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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. ;)

Friday
Mar272015

The Road to Nuts

"Well at least diabetes is managable"

"It could be worse"

"Diabetes doesn't mean you cannot do what you want to do"

"I could never take shots"

"My uncle lost his leg, but he didn't take care of himself"

"Well, just take care of yourself"

"So do you have the bad kind?"

"I've heard that if you lose weight and eat right you can control it with diet"

All of the statements above drive me nuts. So I say...

No it's not.

True but it still sucks.

Unless you want to be in the military or fly a plane. 

You could if you had to for survival. 

... (I do not know how to respond to this without getting seriously upset)

Ya think?

They are all the bad kind.

Do you think I would have chosen to take shots all these years? 

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I really don't like being so angry and negative but sometimes, like right now, I am just in that place.

Monday
Mar232015

The Birthday

I have been thinking about this day since October of 1991. My father was 42 when he died that year and the thought of reaching that age has been a fear of mine since. And here I am.

Things are different for me than they were for him. He didn’t have the medical issues I have had in my 42 years of life. After having two stents put into my arteries, type 1 diabetes for 24 years, lots of pills, insulin, and struggling with obesity you would think even making it to 42 should have been my goal. It wasn’t.

Last night my family got together to celebrate both my daughter’s birthday and mine. Hers was yesterday. At dinner I was asked what my greatest accomplishment was during this last year. I said being a part of the Diabetes Unconference. I was then asked what I had hoped to accomplish this year. Luckily I was able to change the subject and side step around having to answer because more than any other year in my life I know what my answer would be to this question. To make it to 43.

You don’t have to tell me I am being irrational because I know I am. Why would this age mean anything? Who really thinks just because someone else died on a particular day that you would too? It is silly to think that way! I would agree with all of that and ultimately I know it makes no rational sense. And what makes me think that reaching 43 means I will live a long life afterwards? I could die a year and day from now! It is hard to explain my feelings and thoughts on this which is why I am so thankful I have this place to be to share my stuff.

Losing my father when he was 42 was such a crime. He missed out on so much and so did we. My sisters and I continue to tell his stories, keep up his traditions, and remember him daily so as to never completely lose him from our lives. There were so many things I know he wanted to do and should have been able to do.

Now here I am at the first day of 42 and I plan on celebrating it tonight with my wife and children. I plan on staying as positive about it as I can. I plan on doing everything in my power to make it to 43 and when I do, and I am asked what I hope to accomplish in the new year of my life, I hope to say “anything I want to!”

Wednesday
Mar182015

The Diabetes UnConference

The Diabetes Unconference happened this past weekend and I am not sure how to write about it with any sort of clarity. Since I left Las Vegas I have been thinking about the weekend nonstop. It was incredible but difficult to put into words.

Why was it so incredible? Here are a few of the reasons. 

1. I was a facilitator and able to help Christel in her vision of what the UnConference could be. And the rest of the facilitator team was amazing!

2. Most of the participants were people who I did not know which meant meeting a bunch of awesome new people!

3. Some friends I have only met online were there and we were able to give irl hugs!

4. Seeing old friends is always great and especially when they introduce you to new friends they met. And vice versa!

5. The safe space we all created and respected that allowed everyone to feel valued, respected, and welcomed. This gave people the comfort level they needed to share and listen and react and laugh and cry and swear and whatever else they needed to do.

6. No judgement.

7. Sitting at a table with someone who had never sat at a table with even one other PWD and now had 7 other people toasting to celebrate!

8. Being reminded that I am not alone and never will be again.

9. Almost 2000 years of people living with diabetes in the same room!

10. Vegas baby!

I wonder if any other patient group has done something like this before? I was honestly a little freaked out about how it would all turn out. Who would come? How does an UnConference work? Will people connect and share? Will they like it? 

Everything I hoped for it to be feels like an insult to what it actually was. 

Thank you to everyone who attended, the sponsors, the facilitors, Christel, and everyone who encouraged someone to attend.

I cannot wait until next years UnConference.