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Monday
Aug102015

Doctors Are People Too!

That sentence seems like one nobody needs to say. I mean, of course doctors are people too. Why would you need to remind us of that?

I probably don’t need to but a reminder of that fact was delivered to me the other day and it sort of freaked me out.

My wife and I are not the most traditional people in the world but there are a few old school things we just cannot shake. In this case, I am talking about the answering machine and home phone. Yes we have cell phones but that home number with an answering machine is still collecting messages from telemarketers and bill collectors. As well as sick doctors.

The other night we get home and see the indicator light on the machine blinking. When I listen to the messages I find out that my doctor is in the hospital having emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix!

YIKES!

The message also instructed me on who to call if I need to get to the doctors while he is out.

When I think about my doctor I always assume he is healthy. Of course this is something that happens. Of course doctors get sick and need emergency services sometimes. Of course because doctors are people too!

That statement usually reminds me of the mistakes doctors can make and how they are not perfect.

They have their own health to think about as well as their own patients. There is something very comforting about seeing a doctor as a person just like me and not some super human that has all the answers. 

I trust my doctor because he has earned it, just like any person I trust. It doesn’t just come with that prefix before his name. And with that trust comes a relationship that is good for my health. He can talk to me about my life and my health and I am willing to share honestly and follow his lead knowing he is doing his best to take care of me. And also knowing that not everything he tells me to do will be the right thing but I trust he is doing his best.

After all, doctors are people too!

I hope you start feeling better soon Dr. Awesome!

Thursday
May142015

Diabetes Blog Week Day 4 - Changes

Today let's talk about changes, in one of two ways.  Either tell us what you'd most like to see change about diabetes, in any way.  This can be management tools, devices, medications, people's perceptions, your own feelings – anything at all that you feel could use changing.  OR reflect back on some changes you or your loved one has seen or been through since being diagnosed with diabetes.  Were they expected or did they surprise you?

The first thing that comes to mind is changing the power numbers have over us.

When I check my bg and see a number I don't like people around will usually ask, "well what is it supposed to be?" I always want to say, "It's supposed to be that I don't have diabetes!" But I don't. 

For years I would check my blood maybe once a month. Maybe. Seeing a number that was "not where it was supposed to be" made me feel like a failure and an idiot. I need no help feeling that way so better to just ignore it. Yeah right!

The turning point for me was ending up in the hospital with DKA due to stomach flu. It was at that point I knew I needed to get over this whole denial thing (which was not as easy as I just made it sound) and figure out how I needed to handle this diabetes thing (see last parenthetical note). 

After I got out of the hospital I found an endo and he checked my A1C which was 12.5. At the time I had no idea what an A1C was so after he explained it to me and how important it was for me to check my bg's, I started on my journey to the DOC. 

My feeling now is this, there is no such thing as a bad number! Or actually, I would say the only bad number is the one you don't know. 

If someone tells me they have a bad A1C, I tell them, "If you know your A1C then it is a good number. The only bad A1C is the one you don't know!" 

Same goes for bg tests. We should get a pat on the back before the "test" since really that is where the pass/fail mark it. If you have a machine and you have strips for it, then the "test" should not be about the number so much as just getting the number.

A+ on your bg test! Now here is your number! 

This is something I feel needs to change. We need those bg numbers and A1C's to design a plan that keeps us as healthy as possible. Those numbers are the markers along the way while we journey through life diabetes. They make sure we are not straying too far off path and staying safe. 

Numbers should not determine if we are good or bad or failing or succeeding or anything like that! Knowing your numbers is where we should be focusing. The data we get from those "tests" are just the information we need to make the next decision about our health. 

So please, give yourself a high five everytime you go to a doctor appointment. Toss up some confetti when you get your labwork done! And pat yourself on the back whenever you check your bg*! You've earned it!

*You may want to check your shirt for blood spots at the end of the day.

Wednesday
May132015

Diabetes Blog Week Day 3 - Clean It Out

Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let's clear stuff out.  What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out?  This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you're mentally or emotionally hanging on to.  Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it? 

I am not a neat person.

Not that I am a dirty or filthy guy. That is not really my issue. My problem is being messy. I wash my clothes but they may live in the laundry basket instead of ever seeing the drawer where they are supposed to be. I’m that guy.

When I think about cleaning things out in regards to my diabetes, I think of the supplies I have in my “diabetes drawers.” A few years ago I purchased a 5 drawer little organizer specifically for my diabetes supplies. It made a lot of sense to me. Keep them organized and easy to find. Brilliant right?

Except when you are not a neat guy AND a D-hoarder. I have supplies for pumps I don’t even have anymore! I have glucometers that I have no clue where they came from or where I can get strips for them. I have lancets from when I was diagnosed in 1990 and all kinds of weird stuff I have picked up at diabetes conventions over the years. It’s a mess.

There is one drawer where the stuff I need and use is located but the others are just random, weird, useless stuff.

I am also a sentimental guy too so name badges from seminars, photos from conventions, and brochures from companies I like are also in there.

Maybe someday soon I will take some time out to clean that little organizer out but until then I figure I should at least come clean and accept who I am.

My is George and I’m a D-Hoarder. 

Tuesday
May122015

Diabetes Blog Week Day 2 - Keep it to Yourself

Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see.  What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet?  Or from your family and friends?  Why is it important to keep it to yourself?  (This is not an attempt to get you out of your comfort zone.  There is no need to elaborate or tell personal stories related to these aspects.  Simply let us know what kinds of stories we will never hear you tell, and why you won't tell them.)


Having a difficult time writing this post may be a good reminder that some things should be kept private! I can not honestly think of anything I do not talk about.

When I started this blog I did so with the hopes of helping others to never feel alone. The way I feel I can do that is by sharing all of my life thinking someone somewhere will identify with my posts and feel connected. In doing so my troubles, issues, failures have purpose and make me feel better about the mistakes I may have made in life. 

If someone can learn from my misshaps then so be it! 

There have been times I have written posts, read them, deleteted them, and had to rewrite them. Sometimes I have gone through that cycle a few times before I decide to publish them no matter what. 

My family and friends have always been pretty understanding of my posts since I write like I talk. I am willing to talk about all aspects of my life with almost anyone. I should keep more secrets and be a little more selective about what I share but I just cannot do it. 

Wearing my heart on my sleeve is one of the things I like most about myself. Sure it makes me a wuss in some peoples minds and I know I cry about almost anything emotional but I don't see it as a weakness. It is who I am and I cannot change it. Nor do I want to.

My faith, complications, fears, dreams, desires, goals, failures, needs, all of it I share here. I guess I do bad job of keeping it to myself. 

But for me, it works. 

 

Monday
May112015

Diabetes Blog Week Day 1 - I Can

It's the beginng of the 6th annual Diabetes Blog Week. The founder of the event, Karen Graffeo, who I have the honor of calling friend, has a page on her blog explaining Diabetes Blog Week and has a list of participants too! I am so excited to be apart of this and thankful for Karen for putting this on each year! You can click the banner below to read other posts for today.

In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of "I can...”  that participants found wonderfully empowering.  So lets kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes.  What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren't sure you could?  Or what have you done that you've been particularly proud of?  Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life? 

Diabetes is nothing I asked for, nothing I wish on anyone, but because I have diabetes my life has been filled with some cool opportunities to do things I never thought I could of done!

 

Ride a bike over this bridge.

 

Write and record a song.

  

Hold a celebration while raising funds for JDRF.

 

Make a parody music video PSA. 

 

Help facilitate a first of its kind conference.

 

Having diabetes did not make these things possible but the fight against diabetes helped spark the flame the brought these things to light. I understand that now and am thankful for all the blessing that can come out of something like diabetes. I am not thankful for diabetes though, I want to make sure I am explaining it correctly. ;)