A review something I don’t normally do!

I realize today is “Wordless Wednesday” and I should just be showcasing a picture something diabetes related and leave it at that. However, today I do not feel so wordless. It has been a week since I have posted anything. Hell it has been even longer since I actually wrote something. Life has been busy. I have been busy, so I am today is a Ketchup and Mustard sorta day. (Ketchup = Catch up and Mustard = Mustard)

Last week, people were talking about the Lily Bloggers event that they all went to, without me (jerks). No, but seriously. I loved reading their blog posts, seeing some of their tweeted comments and the like about the conference. I think it was good, more so I do like to see that Lily/Disney on some level are trying to make diabetes awareness more well out there. Very great idea and putting the muscle of certain companies behind an idea can make all of the difference to helping a cause.

So I was reading Lorraine’s blog post about the books and a comment she made kinda made me laugh but realize if I was a parent, I might be having those same thoughts. “The struggles featured for these characters were more emotional as opposed to physical. For tweens that may indeed be the priority at first…… found myself anticipating an out-of-range blood sugar at one of the many times the characters responsibly checked their bg. It might be better to say I was actually rooting for an out-of-range blood sugar to see how the story would address it because so many other things were being portrayed well. Those opportunities were few.”

Dealing with hypo’s in a kids book could be freaky on some level to young kids, even though we know they will face them. This comment along with some other comments got me thinking, which is a very bad thing at times about life in general and books I have read about characters or people with type one diabetes. I can count on one finger the amount of books I have read about this. Sad?!? I don’t know. I was/am a nerd. When I was younger I read a million books a year, now I am slowing down and reading only about half a million a year. I never knew or thought about books like this. Looking for the character, the “role model” so to speak who has type one diabetes. I have found real life role models. Nothing really in writing.

Three?!? or so years ago I stumbled upon this book. I think the title or suggestion came up in a conversation over on Juvenation. I could be so wrong on this. My memory is not what it once was. Anyway, the book called This Side of Normal by Eric Devine suddenly came into my life. Here’s the
biography of the author.

“I was diagnosed with type one diabetes at age twelve. I remember every detail: my mother’s face, the solemnity of the hospital, the absolute confusion. Those images will never leave me and have worked their way into This Side of Normal. This book is not my story. It is Ed’s. The details of such, however, were hard-won. Life with type one diabetes is not easy. Every day is different from the last. That is the essence of a chronic illness. Life becomes a paradox: success one day, and then failure the next, without having altered the treatment. It is a humbling experience. I believe I have captured what it is like to be an adolescent today, searching for identity while struggling not to be overpowered by one’s own body. It is a unique dynamic, but one that reflects a more universal dilemma: accepting one’s vulnerability and entrusting others with our weaknesses. Adults and adolescents—with or without diabetes—can relate. We have all been Ed at one time or another”

So anyway, I decided what they hey, let’s order this bad boy. The book came and I can remember myself becoming instantly engrossed in the tale. I mean it was an amazing tale. I actually do remember sending an e-mail off to Eric at that time thanking him for the book.

Anyway, back to my own rambling and musings. After reading the various comments about the Lily books, I thought to myself. “Brian you should reread this book and see what you can get out of it now.” I responded with the obvious response of “Brian, you don’t have this book anymore you gave it to someone else to read and they never returned it. (This is why I don’t like lending my stuff out to people anymore.)” I was pretty bummed, but I went to Amazon anyway just out of curiosity to see if I could find another copy of the book for cheap. There it was $2.99, Kindle edition. Hell, I could do that. That is one less Iced Coffee for the week and well worth it.

So I downloaded the book, (I apologize as I write this I am giving you all way to much insight into how my mind thinks and how it writes… eep!!). I loved it again. The thing is with this book the character is someone we have all seen in ourselves on some level. Let me start out by saying that this book is definitely PG more like PG-13 for some of the language, not bad language but crude at times and the use of the word “Piss” in the first chapter alone as the character is struggling pre-diagnosis about how often he has to pee can be seen as strongly used.

The thing is the book is well written, it does give us the reader a look into the thought processes of a newly diagnosed young man, but more so the after events. Dealing with the diagnosis, the lows, the highs, the frustrations, mixing alcohol into everything, but also the loss of a friend due to the “disease”. It is truly a great book.

The second time through reading this more ideas and thoughts came to mind. How on so many levels I was able to relate to Ed and the processes he went through. How my best friend and I went our separate ways post diagnosis and truly until recently it never clicked to me, that maybe it was because of this that all of a sudden we had stopped hanging out. It really made me think.

Anyway, I am just writing this and offering a suggestion about an interesting read. I wish there was more to the story or book two. However, that does not seem to be in the works.

*** Disclaimer – I Brian have chosen on my own to write a small review of this book. I am in no way shape or form benefiting from this review. I have not been asked, contacted, begged, or pleaded with with by the author, publisher, or seller to write this review to help generate sales income. I did this on my own. However, my stamp of approval does still stand. ***


Day 6: Photos

So I may or may not have taken a cop out on this topic. I looked at the folder on my computer appropriately titles dblog photos and well stole a bunch of pictures out of it. Ideally it is not thievery, yet it is still a repeat, a repost, yet for some of you they are “new to you”. I know that is a slogan for something, but well I can’t seem to remember what. So in accordance with today’s post prompt, lets see some of these awesome pictures.

Back for the third year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like!  With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Between bent infusion sets, tangled lines, strips and supplies out the wazoo. Not to mention just the volume of strips and such that we deal with it is amazing how we keep our lives together. I have supplies in bits and pieces, nooks and crannies, that I never thought they would end up in. It is sad, yet at the same time funny. We deal with what we got, but I could so do without the strips, the bloody infusion sites, the costs, and tangles, yet it is not always easy to do. But I have friends who support me and are there when I truly need them. WHICH IS AWESOME!!! Thank you one and all for your help, support, and listening to me when I am weird or low.

DBlog Week – Day 5 – What they should know

Alright before diving into the meat and potatoes of this post, well in the case of the crazy vegetarians out there like me. The Facon and Potatoes of this blog post, I will start with the hardest what you should know. Did you know it is really hard for me to consistently match the titles and how I did the titles up to this weeks blog week? I don’t think I have hit the same format once yet. Could I fix them? Yes. Should I fix them? Probably. Will I fix them?? Nope. Why?? LAZY!!!!!

So today’s prompt from Karen was a good one.

Today let’s borrow a topic from a #dsma chat held last September.  The tweet asked “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”.  Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes.  Have more than one thing you wish people knew?  Go ahead and tell us everything.

I start this post off with a side comment almost a pre-disclosure, disclosure. However, since I rarely take those things all that seriously I am not going to claim it is a disclosure. How about a point of interest. I had some ideas as to where I was planning on taking this post. Many ideas. I had resolved myself that I was not going to look at what anyone else had written until I wrote my own stuff for fear of corruption or ideas sneaking into my head. I failed at that. I read a bunch of #dblogs once I got my internet back. I was just so happy to have it back, I forgot my resolution. FAIL. I am not intentionally taking anything from you, yet if I do not attribute an idea that you feel is YOURS, it is not intentional. You corrupted my thought patterns and well yeah. The other tidbit is I am going to try to keep sarcasm to a minimum…. I mean my sarcasm in check… I mean I won’t be making fun of someone at all in this blog post. Other people. Who knows.

My thoughts were more or less focused on one part of the disease and well I stumbled upon the musings of Caleb this morning and well, I like what he wrote so I am quoting a lot of him right now. And he gets all of the credit for where this post goes from here:

Non-diabetics shouldn’t think that we got diabetes from eating too much sugar; it’s just a disease that scientists haven’t discovered a cure for.

They should also know that diabetes isn’t contagious.

Diabetics are the same as everyone. Just because we wear pumps and take carbs to treat lows doesn’t mean we’re different.

It makes me feel sad when people go around thinking that we ate too much sugar so we deserve this disease.

 I have to be honest with you, it is the last line I have from Caleb that really caught my attention as I was directing my thoughts. “We ate so much sugar so we deserve this disease.” It scares me that people still think that. I wish it wasn’t the case, but we ALL know that this happens and the misconceptions about diabetes abound. It is so sad, it is messed up. NOBODY and I mean NOBODY deserves this disease or any other disease. When a person is diagnosed with cancer, nobody says “oh it’s because you stood in front of the microwave for too long.Or maybe, if a person is lactose intolerant that the blame is assigned to the milk drinking habits of either you or a parent. Sure there are some people out there who blame cell phones and microwaves for cancer. But people tend to write that misinformation off.

Yet for diabetes, people are more than willing to subscribe to any urban legend/myth as to what the cause of the illness is. More so, it was because of a lifestyle of bad eating or feeding that led us to have this illness. To my knowledge the causes just like the cure have yet to be completely found. Yes, interesting tidbits have come up to link bits and pieces of the why. Don’t ask me what, I forget. Yet people still parrot the same things time and time again.

For once in my life I wouldn’t mind if after telling someone I had type-1 diabetes that their response to me, was something like… “Oh you got it from playing with unicorns as a kid.” or maybe “Yeah, my mother got it from a bee sting.” Something different, not the same stereotypes.

I knew I shoulda pet the Zebra.
Here comes the diaBEEtus… OMG, I just fell off my chair laughing again.

Not the cause or case. Yet people just don’t know or get it. It pains me and saddens me. Yet again, the comment of “we deserve the disease.” This idea or concept that Caleb has been told or heard from idiots is so sad. We do not deserve this disease on any level. Yet it can happen to the best or worst of us. The thing is, we can survive, we can do this.

You know what we can do this. Yet it would be “easier” if we did not have to answer those same questions again and again. This is why I want my button. Especially the hammer function.

Thank you Caleb for the idea for this post. You are awesome. I guess your mom is pretty cool too.

Dblog – Day 4 Fantasy Device

Before day four even began, I could already imagine my answer to this blog topic. For those of us who deal with type 1 diabetes on any level, parent, patient, caregiver, or friend. Even those who deal with type 2 diabetes, my answer to this prompt would be the same.

Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary.  Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be?  Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc. etc. etc.  The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

So Brian, what exactly are you getting at here? Don’t get me wrong, I want to post about those amazing fantasy devices or cures out there. The tiny pumps. The accurate meters. The less SCAREY CGM’s. The lancers that do not hurt. Hell even the insulin that goes BAM and done. Yet, these are being covered all over the blogosphere today (Sara you are write (get it write cause you wrote it, haha, can you do parentheses in parentheses??), today I am not linking to the fantasy devices, so BLAH). Everyone on some level is seeking the cure. I WANT IT TOO. However today, I am going to do something different.

The fantasy device I want would be a little sticker/name badge that would instantly answer any diabetes related questions. Either the practical, “Brian you seem out of it are you low?” “YES.” to the practical “That cupcake has sugar in it, can you eat that?” (sidenote I had the most amazing cupcake with lunch today, covered in coconut and buttery cake batter…… crap where was I?) “Yes, yes I can. If you would like a sarcastic response keep reading, for the informed response say skip?” This would apply to all of us. The miracle cure, the if you diet and exercise, cinnamon, Halle Berry, Drew Carey…. I don’t really farting care.

Something that does a PowerPoint explanation without me having to address the issue over and over again. Plus the added hammer function. You know for the person who keeps saying the cynical or condemnatory comments when you eat and properly bolus for that lovely Ice Cream cone you have been dreaming about all day. It will recognize the voice and bonk them on the head. Yet instead of making a bonking noise it will say, “I can eat this butt munch.” Being called a butt munch by an inanimate object may be the only way to teach someone the answer to our desire.

This tech does not have to be all that flashy or amazing. Just enough to end the cycle of stupidity that we deal with on a daily basis.

I really want another cupcake now and that hammer function is so stuck in my head. I need help.

*Disclaimer – Haven’t written a real one of these in a while. Well today’s is not real either. Well the fact that it only has something to say, but not a real warning. I pick on Sara sometimes in my blog. Why? Because I know she can take it and is apparently a glutton for punishment. She is a really good friend though who I love dearly and if she ever asked me to seriously not pick on her in my blog I would seriously consider doing it. Yet I think she likes the mentions from me and gets my attempts at stupid humor and the like. So today’s disclaimer is that Sara = awesome. Just don’t tell her that or she will never let me forget it. 

** Disclaimer to the disclaimer – I realize in writing the above disclaimer I mentioned that Sara was awesome. That was weird, I think she possessed me. I change my warning to Sara is a good, understanding friend, that would never use lows as an excuse to pick on someone or exploit a nickname. Yeah, that works in my favor now. BAM!!!!

Dblog Day 3: #fail

So today’s prompt: Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at.  Today let’s look at the flip-side.  We probably all have one thing we could try to do better.  Why not make today the day we start working on it.  No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!

Is it weird that my first thought was does the improvement have to be diabetes related?? I guess it should be. I mean I could be much better at controlling my sarcasm. I tried that once during lent, I decided to give up sarcastic comments and every time I failed I had to put money in a jar for the poor. After the second day I owed my jar $4,000,000. Oh that was a bad lent.

I mean I have my failures and they are biggies. Ignoring lows. Ignoring the normal guides to what I can and cannot eat or should not eat. Rage bolusing, rage low treating. The list goes on. If one looks at certain things I am a big failure. Hence the #fail. Yet these are all things I know I just need to buckle down and deal with. So I will try, without the entire judging and condemning of me by me. Yet this is not my biggest “#fail”. 

So what can I as a person with type-1 diabetes do better? That is easy. I need to be a more positive presence and advocate. I guess I have to figure out where my local chapter is and see what I can do to get involved in some way. I think that is a biggie for me. I was active in Juvenation for a few years, but I just got bored and sadly ran out of time for that. I started my blog a year ago as part of that decision. I went to Friends for Life to try to meet people and dip my toes into the water, good thing Blue is waterproof as I fell in for a bit.

Yet that is where the advocacy I just kinda stopped. I think as long as I can get clearance from my boss, I will try to do some the Tour de Cure, can’t do better advocacy than that. It gives me a chance to talk and sucker people out of money at the same time. How sweet is that?? I don’t know, but I need to be more active. It is the only way I will feel better on some level with my own dedication or lack there of to try to be a bigger part of the cure.

#Dblog What I do well

Today’s prompt from K-Dawg. AKA Karen was interesting especially when I looked at other peoples blogs before I started to truly come up with an idea of my own. Now I have their stories in my head and I hope I don’t accidentally wander down that same train of thought. 

Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”.  But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit.  Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly!  Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes.  Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!

So with my diabetes, what do I do well?? How about we start with what I so don’t do well. Movie theater popcorn with its fake buttery goodness. #Fail. I tank so often, even with the combo bolus. Brown/white rice?? #Fail. Exercise blood sugars! #Fail. Walking! #Fail. Treating lows. #Fail. Treating highs, well they become lows, so #kindafail.

I am not perfect. Hell I am not even close half of the time. However, if I were to look at what I do well. I sleep great. I eat relatively healthily. I always go to my Doctor’s appointments in the 4 month window I am asked. I could do it every 3 month’s but apparently my doctor does not love me enough to see me 4 times a year. (Oh good, my I’s stopped lining up.)

Taking Karen’s prompt to heart, the one thing I do well is my rotation of infusion sets and always changing my site every three days. It sounds silly and simple. Yet it is something that I do and I do it well. Following some of my crazy dweeps on the Twitter, it amazes me when I see the tweets of “ran out of insulin” or “need to change my infusion set at work #awkward” or “I have the tubing and infusion set, but where’s the reservoir” the list goes on. Mind you I am not judging or criticizing. I love you guys and your uniqueness.

This is just one bit of stress in my life that I am actually able to handle and eliminate. So like clock work/ religiously I will change my site every three days. What do I do with the extra insulin? Why waste it? I don’t. Again, this is not sound advice, hell it is stupid advice. I have an “old” vial of insulin that the extra 5 – 15 units sometimes more or less will go into. That is my emergency supply, my oh shit I am still high what am I going to do supply. Has the insulin skunked itself? No clue. Is is less effective? Possibly. Yet I have this vial which I tap into sometimes when needed. Heck if I am filling up a reservoir and the bottle I am using runs dry, I use the “overflow” bottle to fill it.

Maybe, it is not a good idea, but it works for me. I don’t suggest it as a way to just try or be cheap or anything like that. It is not a great idea on so many levels, but again it works for me. So this is what I do well. I am OCD enough to change my stuff every three days and avoid the running out of insulin’s. Maybe one day I will be brave and just be ready to keep pumping until I run out and than change my site, but I am not there. I am not ready. My quirkiness won’t allow it yet. However, I am sure some of the “bad” influences from my friends may eventually rub off on me.

Topic 1: Find A Friend

Karen never makes life easier with her blog topics. Yet, knowing Karen as more than just a name, I get her and why she likes to challenge us. Maybe though she is just being a brat. I don’t know. Either way I love her.

So for the first day we have been given this enticing topic: Find A Friend – It seems the most popular thing about Diabetes Blog Week is that it helps us find blogs we weren’t reading yet and connect with some new blog friends.  With that in mind, let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by making some new connections.  Think about the d-blogs you read that you think we may not know about and introduce us to one that you love!!  Let’s all find a new friend today!

The funny thing about this blog topic is that I don’t have an answer or a real way to actually write something here. For those of you that do read me on some sort of regular basis, you may find it odd that I am speechless. It’s just that helping others find a friend or a blog that they have yet to read is hard. I am still new to this blogging thing just over a year old. Most of the people I read you all read. In fact Jess over at Me and D sums it up the best. Well she at least links you to all of the people I typically read and well I am just lazy. Sara who links people to me today calls me out for my blogging issues, yet those are issues of the past. There was a small part of me that didn’t want to link to Sara out of spite. Yet I am beyond that.

(New paragraph) <—– That is an old annoying joke at Sara’s expense. Yes at times my grammar is bad, however since she called me on it back in July/August much to her chagrin I have tried to fix some of her complaints. So I was a little put out that Sara mentioned my blog as having these issues still. In fact I commented on her blog today and this is the response I saw on the twitter. Yes on the twitter it makes me sounds like an old person when I do that.

I love Sara though and I know she of all people gets me and my sarcasm. If you are new to me. I am going to warn you now in my blogs sarcasm is who I am. And well deal with it! No but seriously, that is how I write and well yeah.

Happy dblog week. I look forward to reading you and hopefully your continued finding and reading of me. 

The songs come and go!

A while ago I had this bold endeavor to start taking songs and change the lyrics to fit living ones life as a person diabetes. They were entertaining and fun to do. However, they took way more time than I ever imagined they would so I stopped. That and trying to do it every week was tedious. Again because of my own BSOS (Bright Shiny Object Syndrome), I can’t be constrained even by myself. Whoops. So I stopped.

Every once in awhile a song comes along though that needs to be dealt with in a way to get it out of my head. For my friends who read this you may know where this is going especially if you were hanging out with us Wednesday night. Someone, had this video she showcased sometime ago to us. She RUINED a song for me. Well not really. I think the video is awesome. It just has lost some of its connotation as I watch the American Revolution playing out in my head now. Thanks Sara! I love you.

Butt seriously, (yes I know it should be but, but we all need some butts in our life) I just get this song stuck in my head from time to time. And well now, I am making it my own. I know what you are thinking! Is Brian really going to write us a new song? Is it going to be to the tune of Dare You to Move??? That would be awesome. Well here ya go. Maybe one day, I will sing it for you all, when I go all Ryan Beatty on you and post songs to Karaoke music. (I have no idea where that reference/idea come from. I need help.)

Anyway, here is the latest “new song” written by me to someone’s hard work and music.

I Feel Really Low
Woke up early morning.
Woke up feeling low.
Covered in sweat,
Covered in sweat.
Can’t get my hands to work now.
Need to get some juice, now.
What should I eat?
What happens next?
I feel really low,
I feel really low,
I need to eat something
Before I’m on the floor
I feel really low,
I feel really low,
Because I over bolused.
Because I over bolused, before.
I really hate this feeling
Feeling out of control
The shaking is here.
The shaking is here.
It’s between me and my pancreas.
It’s between how it works or should work.
I feel really low,
I feel really low,
I need to eat something
Before I’m on the floor
I feel really low,
I feel really low,
Because I over bolused.
Because I over bolused, before.
Maybe one day a cure will be found.
Maybe a pill or a shot will help out.
What can you do until a cure has been found?
What you gonna do? What you gonna eat?
The cure is not hear. (YET)
I feel really low,
I feel really low,
I need to eat something
Before I’m on the floor
I feel really low,
I feel really low,
Because I over bolused.
Because I over bolused, before.

If you have any issues or complaints tough patoots. I don’t really care. Enjoy my fun or curse me in the comments. Not my problem.