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Burnt - #DOCBurnout2015

Oh how fitting a day to post this. 

Friends, I have been burned out. Not just in the DOC but all over my D life. Diabetes has been a complete asshole lately. 

Never in my almost 25 years having diabetes has it been this unpredictable, this bizarre. So much so that I have almost given up on ever bolusing before a meal and would rather play catch up correcting. 

And even correcting is not working at all like any other time in my life. 

So getting online and reading about diabetes is hard to do when you feel like you are failing beyond belief. Sometimes it is hard to hear people say, "you're not a failure." 

Is it depression? Maybe. Maybe a form of it. I am more angry and fed up than I am depressed in the sense of feeling sad. It is not sadnesss, it is anger.

The stupid thing is that I KNOW the DOC can pull me out of this. That I am not alone. That maybe if I read somewhere that someone else was having such a horrible time in their diabetes life right now it would help by reminding me that I am, in fact, not alone. And yet I am choosing it, or at least did up until now.

So when I heard about the #DOCBurnout2015 day I knew I wanted to post about it.

And of course, now I feel better.

Also this kitten on my new glucometer helps.



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!


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!


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.


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. 


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.