Day 16: Liberty in My Happy Place

So I am halfway through this Health Advocates Writers Monthly Challenge blogging thing. I took yesterday off, which I kinda regret, because I think I would have had fun with the topic or choice that was presented to me, in blogging about my own writing style. I may wander back to that if some of the blog topics don’t fit my model.

Technically today, I could do that, because well I just did not feel the urge to create a pin board or whatever the prompt was today. Instead, I am going to take one of my “early bird” registration prompts and use that in its stead.

Today’s prompt is now…. Happy Place. When you need an escape from your condition where do you imagine yourself? Close your eyes and go to your happy place – then describe the sights, sounds, scents, and feelings.

I love the idea of a happy place. A place where I can just sit back relax and enjoy stuff. This happy place of my imagination has been in existence for soooo long. It came into fruition when I started reading the books of Mercedes Lackey, a pretty awesome fantasy writer, back when I used to have to ride my bike to a local book store. You know, when Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders (gone), Waldenbooks (gone), were not household names.  Anyway, in one of her series of books in her Valdemar series. She talks about the Hawkbrother Vale. 

Basically it is an outdoor environment that is always warm in climate with huge trees big enough to build houses in and hot springs. My small explanation does not do this justice. I say this now. These purported vales are magical in nature and just plain awesomeness. So from these images, my imagination took over and I created my own happy place, so to speak. 

My place was off in the middle of the forest, where there were beautiful hot and cold springs with waterfalls and just the ideal nature setting. Green wildlife wild animals peacefully walking around and well me chilling in the hot springs resting, relaxing, and eating strawberries. Who doesn’t eat strawberries in a hot spring, I mean come on. 

So this is pretty much my happy place. My ability or inability to truly classify it and the images I see in my mind are truly just because to  me, they are ever growing, expanding, and a true figment of my imagination. Yet the thing is, in all of my imagining and thoughts my diabetes is not there. My friends may pop in or not. Yet, when I need to relax this is what I may think about. Why? Because it is so nice. I liken the image to a place that I could hike to when I was younger, granted I could still hike there now, it is just over an hours drive away. A place barely touched by human hands, with running water. Still amazing. I truly love the nature ideas and concepts. They have always been fun in my mind and well places that I will not forget. 

When I was younger as well, I used to work at a summer camp. Some mornings, I would get up early and sit on the porch to the dining hall looking at the lake. That was amazing. Again, it was another way to bring about peace of mind and to bring me to a happy place. Truly, nature can be that for me now still. I just never have the time to do that. But I guess I need to work on it, to find my happy place.  

Advertisements

Day 14: Dream Day

Today’s prompt was a good one to think about, especially from my own perspective. I know this is something many of us dbloggers dream about, talk about, and hope for one day. 

Describe your ideal day. How would you spend your time? Who would you spend it with? Have you had this day? If not – how could you make it happen?

What is my dream day? While I am not normally the one to fall prey to the typical stereotypes and answers that people would expect. Today, I think I am. Could I have made an amazingly awesome day with friends and family on an enchanted island relaxing in the sun, without fear of sunburn and the water being awesomely warm. (I SO WANT THAT). I am not going to do that.

Today, I am going to go with the flow and be the stereotype. 

My dream day, would have to either be the day I wake up and know that a cure has been found for type 1 diabetes and that my life can go back to being “normal” without some of the fears that I have had in my life. It would not be the imagined “cure” in 5 years, that have been the longest 5 years in my life. But a day where the fictitious cure has happened. That would be an awesome day.

However, seeing as how that day is years and years away. I am going to just ask for a one day cure. That would be truly amazing for me. Waking up when I want, if I want to drinking a huge glass of OJ without needing to think about the carbs and everything associated with what I need to do. That would be great. Taking a shower with NOTHING attached to me and not worrying about accidentally scrubbing it off (I take long hot showers adhesive has been known to come lose). That would be an awesome day.

It would be great to be able to go for a run and not have to pregorge myself on OJ so that halfway through the run my sugars do not take me low and make me leery about my making it back to my abode. To be able to go and play basketball (which I suck at horribly) or Ultimate Frisbee and not have to worry about people getting tangled in my exposed tubing or smacking myself black and blue when I run with my various bits and pieces attached to me (pump and dexcom). That would be a dream day.

My dream day would involve fun and relaxation. It might involve some time at the beach or at a pool without people staring at the Dexcom sensor on my side or the infusion set coming out of me somewhere. Going swimming and just well swimming. That would be a dream day.

Who would be with me? Well that is obvious my friends. I don’t need any famous people. My friends are famous enough for me and well awesome enough that I could care less about any superstars. To be able sit down and gorge on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups with Sara. To eat amazing cupcakes with Jess and Kim all day long telling corny jokes. To make fun of my “sister” C as she turns all sorts of red as we trade jokes and talk about her recent misadventures with the tp shredding hell hound. And of course, because I love her so much (only slight sarcasm) sit there trying to see how long it takes for Kerri to flip me off or try not to say anything completely offensive to me as I taunt her.

This would be a truly amazing day. The funny thing is on some level this day has happened and will keep happening. I have hung out with all of these people. We have swam together gorged together, made fun of each other, flipped me off together. I know it will happen again in just a few months. It can happen and is amazing. We are able to put diabetes “on hold” for awhile yet it is still there. We hear it in the random beeps and buzzes of people. We see it in the finger pricks and tests as people do what they need to do. We know it by the claim of “I need regular coke or OJ NOW.” We know it in the “100 sweet” or the “37…. Brian really, eat something, just not frosting or I will try to make you throw it up.”

These days have happened, even with the loomingness of diabetes hanging out with me. It would just be awesome to one day have that day without the Big Gorilla in the room taunting me. That would be an even dreamier day.
 

Day 13: 10 Things I can’t live without

So apparently I need to come up with a top 10 list of things I couldn’t live with out. I am going to modify this because my mind goes into two categories, food or tech. Both of them I could easily fill up 10 spots and frankly I am not about to choose between my number 1’s.

So food:

10.) Bacon (I may be a vegetarian, but the smell makes me happy)
9.) Celery (Yummy empty food)
8.) Cupcakes (They are awesome, ’nuff said)
7.) Orange Juice (Helps me in a rush, when embarrassing lows make me blush)
6.) Tomato Soup (Is so great, I could slurp it from a plate)
5.) Cheese (So many types, so many flavors, I would cut you all with my real light saber)
4.) Peanut Butter (I could eat you with a spoon, underneath a bright full moon)
3.) Chocolate (If only they made sugar free that did not make me have to do the opposite of pee)
2.) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (See the other day)
1.) Pizza (Do I really need to explain this? See also cheese)

I must apologize for the weird rhyme, it truly must be a crime… Crap there I go again.

So tech:

10.) Google Hangouts (While these could be higher on the list, I am sticking it here you all get the gist).
9.) TV (While I don’t use it often, when I need it, it knows what to do)
8.) iPod (Keeps me going when I run or else things would not be fun)
7) Alarm Clock (While not essential, I would not be able to wake up some most mornings without it)
6) Kindle (Gotta read)
5.) USB Contour Meter (Without you my life would suck)
4.) Dexcom (Gives me a clue as to what I should do)
3.) Insulin Pump (Keeps me alive)
2.) Laptop (Keeps me out of trouble…. HAHAHA, no seriously)
1.) Cell phone (Need to keep in touch with you all)

There are so many other things that could go on this list, but I was made to choose, so yeah. This is what I got.

Day 12: Stream of Conscious Day

Alright, I am not going to lie. When I saw this topic I immediately said to myself (close your eyes if you are younger than 15) “Oh fuck, I don’t know if I can trust myself to be good in this post.” Stream of thought, stream of conscious is never a good thing for me. I dig holes faster than I can get out of them sometimes and well yeah. We’ll see what happens. Hope I don’t offend anyone today.

So we challenge you, start with this phrase: “Today I looked in the mirror and…” (Or another sentence you come across.) But sure to – Keep writing. Don’t stop for 15 minutes. Don’t edit. Post. Go!”

Today I looked in the mirror and notice something funny. Yeah, that’s right  noticed me staring right back at me. Granted I had yet to put my contacts in or shave, but I saw myself staring back at me. I was half groggily smiling, which I think is good based upon the 5 hours of sleep I got last night. I blame the new books I have been reading. Psion Beta and Psion Gamma by Jacob Gawons really good. The second book I started and almost finished last night, whoops. So I am tired. However that is okay. My lack of sleep does not affect what I see in the mirror when I look at myself.

I see Brian, I see a sense of humor, I see a person. I do not see a person with type 1 diabetes. I do not see a person who has issues with this illness. I see me. A unique individual. Which is what I should be seeing. I am a person with diabetes, however, i try not to let this affect me. Yes, there are days when I want to scream, to yell, to use language even worse from what I typed above. Yet, I do not. Not because I don’t want to. It is because I try my hardest to not let the illness define me. This can be soooo hard somedays. Usually, those days are the ones when I have THAT low or that HIGH that is just playing royal havoc with my entire day, week, life. Those are the days when I sigh and curse to myself. (Again I can curse enough to make a sailor blush). 

I cannot let my diabetes define me. Maybe yes shape part of who I am and who I have become, but not who I am. Dealing with this chronic illness can be difficult. It can lead one to be really depressed, overwhelmed, alone. It is hard to explain the feelings to others of a low of a high. Yes they see the after affects at times. They see the pools of sweat dripping from our foreheads, the vague looks of a low. They see the thirst, the peeing, the irritation of a high, but yet they cannot feel what we feel. They do not see the defeat, the heartbreak, the frustration. They sometimes think this is easy to handle. Just take your insulin, avoid sweets, kill rats… I mean pet cats, especially these two. If only people knew what this was truly like. JDRF once had the test or “live like a diabetic for a day” example. You know “pretend” to be a diabetic. That is a good idea, but it doesn’t really do things justice. At the end of the day with all of the carb counting and rubber band snapping to simulate the testing, it is not the same. People may see the mental aspect of things and the work of living with this illness, they do not see the “mental” aspect or the “work” of living with diabetes.

Playing at an illness is one thing, but the day to day drain we encounter the emotional and sugarcal roller coasters we ride are not the same. People don’t get me, don’t get us. I have friends who have helped me out, who I can talk to about my fears, my frustrations, and anything else. I have others in the smaller group of people with diabetes online/offline I can talk to (Yet this group is growing immensely). They get me kinda. They know, but the rest of the world truly doesn’t. 

I have no idea how I just got to this point. It’s weird. The thing is that the rest of the world does not get me. I think this is why sometimes I write this blog so that those of us who need the support and help and guidance find someone to “get” them. I am more gotten now than I have been. Yet I have probably gotten more out of what others have posted than I care to admit. I am so glad for this.

My friends on the DOC and beyond have helped me so much. So, back to the origin of all of this. When I look at the mirror I see… I see Brian. I see me. I see who I am. I see my weaknesses and strengths. I see a unique person who has grown from have the diagnoses of type 1 diabetes, but mainly now I see a booger hanging from my nose… (YEAH I WENT THERE).

Thank you all for being there for me. You know who you are. I love you all. And this was way more than a 15 minute ramble. Oh well. 

Day 11: Theme Song

  So for the Wego Health blog topic today I have been given the hint of Theme song. Imagine your health focus or blog is getting its own theme song. What would the lyrics be? What type of music would it be played to? 

I started to giggle a little bit about this one. My obvious thought was if I had a theme song what would it sound like, I heard the Andy Griffith theme in my head. Not because I am Andry Griffithy… but because I know of at least a few people who would claim I was a back woodsy sorta sheriff. I digress and Sara keep your comments to yourself. 

So my blog if it had a theme song and lyrics…. The obvious would be to the tune of Rafi’s Banana Phone. If I just got this song stuck in your head, my bad. But thing about it: Buzz, Buzz, Buzz, Buzz Buzz, not my cell…. It could just write itself.

However, I am not one to write lyrics about my own blog theme song. That is where the creative writers at some other persons imagination crop in. I would hazard a guess that the theme song would be upbeat, poppish, with Piano and a little guitar. 

The lyrics well basically something like, “What is that?? Not my cell. What is that??? Not my cell!!” Honestly after that I got nothing other than monkey’s and banana’s playing tag in my head. Weird, but hey at least I admit it.

Day 10: Letter to Self.

When I saw today’s topic of writing a letter to 16 year old Brian. I thought, I know I have done this before. While yes, I could have written a new letter to myself. I am cheating and borrowing from last years post.


Why? Well my mindset hasn’t changed all that much, plus I thought I was quite clever when I wrote this last year.


Dear Brian,
It’s me, a much older and well most likely wiser version of you writing to you about life as a person with diabetes in the future. I know you don’t want to hear this, because well I know I didn’t want to hear this but well I am going to pass my wisdom on to you anyway. Maybe you will ignore me, well I know what you will do. You will get pissed off that someone dares to talk to you about have diabetes. Who the hell am I to do that anyway? Yes, you think you know what you are doing. Yes you have survived doing what you have for so many years. I can’t fault that. But just listen and think about things for a few minutes.


First and for most. Yes, a good, low a1c is nice, you can avoid many major complications. Yes what you have been doing shot wise is pretty good as well. But well you were never really taught about that entire difference between your NPH and your R/Humalog insulin. This is very important. Because while yes the twice daily injections of NPH are fine and keep you going at the 20 units a shot, the use of the fast acting insulin was not really explained to you. There is really no need to take the amount of insulin you were taking. The 15 units in the morning and evening while yes balanced out your sugars, have been dropping you low for years, this is why you are going to be hypo unaware. The Humalog insulin is not long term. It moves fast, it drops your sugar. You wonder why you were low so often. It had nothing to do with being cunning or outsmarting your illness. You could have died. In fact in the future you will come close a few times due to your ignorance. It is not really your fault. As far as I can remember I don’t quite remember any of our endo’s from the first at diagnosis to the last one we had before moving to a pump, really explaining this insulin and carbs and shit to us. You are lucky and were lucky. Take a few minutes to educate yourself and ask questions. I promise you can still control your a1c’s. I promise.
That was probably the most important thing. Testing, testing goes hand in hand with everything else. Yes it is a pain in the ass. Especially back in the day when meter’s took a minute to test. The longest minute ever. Yet, some of your issues and problems could have been avoided had you tested more. You might have seen the affects of the insulin regime you were on. Instead, you took a long hiatus from testing because of the waste of time you found it to be. You are given 168 hours in the week to do with as you please. Why not waste a few minutes of that time to keep an eye on things. Than maybe mom won’t keep asking you, “Brian are you ok? You seem grumpy, do you need to eat?” Yes those questions are annoying, but there is a reason to this. Your mom actually is paying attention and cares. Don’t be a fool.


So those are the big things. But I just want to encourage you to take a more active stance on life and take control of being a person with diabetes. There are camps out there to get involved in, something I never did. It will be awesome if you go. You can talk to people and learn stuff. Stuff you might need. People I know who went to camps loved it. Pumps are not a bad thing. They are not for people who can’t “control” their diabetes or did a poor job. You are an idiot for thinking that. Hell where did you even get that idea? Idiot I swear. Well again, you will learn more when you meet people who also are PWD’s. Don’t ignore them. Talk to them. It will help. You are truly not alone in this.


At the same time, don’t change. You will be an awesome guy. Have people laughing at you all the time. You can be a positive force in the hidden world you have chosen to hide in. I promise you, it is worth it. You meet some characters. I know and hell you will become one yourself. I hope this helps. But I promise you, this is just some friendly advice from well you. I know you won’t like to hear this, but I thought you should know some stuff. It will help you from other more embarrassing moments.

Sincerely,
Brian at 30 years and 16 years with D.



So I mailed myself this letter, and I got a response. I hate younger Brian.

Dear Old Man Brian,


I just got your message. I wanted to thank you for your concern with how I deal with my diabetes. But you see, I know what I am doing and nothing bad has happened. Why should I fix something that isn’t broke. I don’t really care what you think. You and your “years” of experience. My years have kept me safe and well f-off. Sorry, don’t care. I can handle this on my own.


Sincerely,
Brian the smarter and wiser



*Disclaimer*
Apparently I was not as polite a person as I am now. What an ass… Oh well. Glad I don’t have to deal with 16 year old Brian all that much. 

Day 9: Keep Calm and Carry on

Keep Calm and Carry On. Reminds me of that infamous cat image, with the cat and tree branch. Know the one I am talking about, don’t you??? No? Damn. Well here is one of the many….

But instead of Hang in there…. or whatever we get the prompt to create our own Keep Calm and Carry On sorta sign. So my slogan or catchphrase with this blog at times when people get frustrated about a high blood sugar or a low is to get annoyed. But in the end, it is only a number. It’s okay for it to happen and we can learn from the mistake and try again.

SO….

DAY 7 Health Activist Choice!

I am sooo grateful to have the opportunity to write something very difficult today. Today’s prompt was a really hard one to do and it is with great trepidation that I put pen to paper or well fingers to keyboard. Today the writing topic is:   Write about what you want today. 

With today being a Saturday, Holy Saturday for those of you who don’t know there is something of great importance to speak about today. 

That’s right the Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg. Now for those of you that read me normally you may very well be aware of my fascination with all things PEANUT BUTTER and CHOCOLATE! Well fascination might not be strong enough a word. Obsession works, yeah I’ll go with my obsession with these puppies. 

I sadly can’t remember who I was speaking to these puppies about month’s ago. I seem to think I can misquote either Sara or Jess or quite possibly Jacquie, but I could have the wrong body completely. “The chocolate to peanut butter ratio on these things is AMAZING!!” Man do I adore these things. I honestly could wax eloquently about this forever.

Sadly right now I do not have any of these. It definitely is not because of my diabetes, because we all know that if foods are properly accounted for, bolused, and thought out, I can eat this. The reasons that I currently do not have any of these things, even though I am sitting here dreaming about them (I need better dreams), are twofold. I ate the pack I had and I wait for the after Easter Sales when discounts abound. Tuesday, I can honestly and without shame say that I am going to buy some low blood sugar medicine at various stores to acquire the discounted Easter Eggs.

I CAN’T WAIT!!!! 

See, this is what happens when you give me free rein over anything that I want to speak about. I probably should have done more diabetes advocacy, but tough pattoots. Have a Happy Holy Saturday and an even more Blessed Easter. I may be taking tomorrow as my first freebie day off.  

The Health Activist’s Writers Month Challenge: Day 5 Ekphrasis Post???

Today’s prompt: Go to flickr.com/explore and write a post inspired by the image. Can you link it to your health focus? Don’t forget to post the image! 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hidesax/7042068183/ 

Sorry, I can’t actually convince my blog to post this picture here. That is messed up, so here’s the link. Maybe I will try to sort this out when I can.

The Ekphrasis post. 


The link might explain to you better what I am supposed to be doing. 


The spring storm image called my name, the hues of blue reminded me of Blue Fridays. The day in which all people with type one diabetes are called to wear blue in solidarity, but maybe also to get people to wonder why we are wearing blue. To be able to advocate for those people who have type one diabetes.


The rain can be symbolic of the tears of frustration we all face in dealing with this illness or condition. the desire to sometimes just sit down, cry, and quit. Yet I don’t see that focus. The image of the spring storm, brings new life. It waters the bulbs, seeds, and trees. Things will bloom and come anew. The rain can wash us clean as we start anew each day. Each spring. The rain cleans us. This is what I see. No tears for fears for me. Not this day, not ever. We start again. We are new. We are whole. We are able to live each day as a new beginning.