What I’ve Learned?

Today is the last day of the 2011 Diabetes Blog Week.  I’d like to send a very sincere “Thank You” to Karen for her great idea, the courage to give it a shot, and for all of the energy she put into making it happen.

Our assignment today is to talk about the experience of coming together online and what we’ve learned.  Heck, where do I start?

I have learned that:

  • The diabetes online community is even bigger and better than I thought.  While I know I’m not able to keep up with all of the new blogs, I’m amazed at how large, diverse, talented, and passionate this community is.  I’m so proud to be a part of it.
  • Seeing so many people come together like this makes me very emotional.
  • It is very hard for me to post something every single day, even with prompts for topics.  This is because I’m spread too thin trying to make ends meet.  Someday I’ll be able to really focus on my diabetes writing and communicating.  I can’t wait for that to happen.
  • We are all very gifted communicators.  I’m so impressed with most of the things I’ve seen this week.
  • I’m so happy to have made such good friends from all of this, and you have all changed my life in a positive way.
  • I’d be very happy doing nothing more than reading diabetes blogs and writing blog posts all day every day.

What a great week it has been, and yes Karen, there needs to be a 3rd Annual Diabetes Blog Week.

Great Things Because of Diabetes?

Logo for 2nd Annual Diabetes Blog WeekOur assignment from Karen, our super awesome Diabetes Blog Week “Ring Leader”, is to write about something awesome we’ve done because of diabetes.

You know what – there is a lot that comes to mind.  Stuff like playing basketball with diabetes, kayaking 44 miles down the Mississippi river with diabetes, Biking like crazy last summer with diabetes (and doing it again this summer – when it finally arrives!).  But none of that stuff is because of diabetes.  It is life, with diabetes along for the ride.

When I think of things that are awesome because of diabetes?  You come to mind.  The Diabetes Online Community.  You all mean more to me than I can say, and the only reason I know you and love you is because of diabetes.

Ten Things I Hate About Diabetes

Logo for 2nd Annual Diabetes Blog WeekToday’s Assignment: Ten things I hate about you, Diabetes – Thursday 5/12: Having a positive attitude is important . . . but let’s face it, diabetes isn’t all sunshine and roses (or glitter and unicorns, for that matter).  So today let’s vent by listing ten things about diabetes that we hate.  Make them funny, make them sarcastic, make them serious, make them anything you want them to be!!

 

  1. Interruptions – I hate when I have to stop what I’m doing to deal with a diabetes related issue.
  2. Messing up plans – Life is busy.  When I have a day where I can go play basketball, only to have my bloodsugar not cooperate, it really frustrates me.
  3. Lost time – Sometimes I feel so dang tired that I can’t do anything.  There is also the time lost waiting for low blood sugars to come up, or high blood sugars to come down.
  4. Cost – Living well with diabetes is expensive.
  5. Unpredictability – Even when I do things exactly the same from day to day, diabetes doesn’t respond the same from day to day.
  6. Seeing people I care about hurting, physically and/or mentally
  7. Having to be so damn prepared for everything – my mind is always calculating “what if” scenarios.  Always.
  8. Food – diabetes has made food become something different than just food.
  9. Counting, figuring, factoring – I can’t remember three digit numbers (like a parking space) because my head is overflowing with random diabetes related numbers.
  10. Stuff that hurts – pokes, blood, stuff sticking into me, wires and cables hanging off me.  So unnatural.

On one hand, it was hard to come up with ten items.  But on the other hand, I feel like I could go on forever listing things I don’t like about diabetes.

Diabetes Bloopers!

Logo for 2nd Annual Diabetes Blog Week

I couldn’t get my Diabetes Blog Week post done yesterday.  Felt bad, but I just couldn’t do it.  I’m hoping you all will accept a “makeup” post a day late?  I even drew a picture for it…

Today (yesterday) our assignment is to talk about a diabetes blooper.  Like anyone living with diabetes, I had plenty to pick from.  But there was one that kept jumping to the front of the line in my head.

This was many, many years ago.  It was before I started pumping, so I was doing injections with syringes.  I had this routine where I’d get done with the shot, stick the tail end of the syringe in my mouth while I grabbed the cap that goes over the needle.  I’d gently place the cap over the needle, making sure to get it lined up just right.  Then, to make sure it was on tight, I’d “smack” it with the palm of my hand.

Well, one day I forgot one very important step…

Drawn sketch of a guy with a syringe sticking out of his palm

It didn’t hurt.  But as I saw this freaking syringe stuck into the palm of my hand I was paralyzed. It totally freaked me out, but I was so shocked that I couldn’t pull my head together enough to pull it out!  I just sat there, eyeballs as big as Diet Coke cans, making weird “Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!” noises.

I eventually pulled it together enough to pull the syringe out, but that incident is burned into my memory forever.

A Letter or Two

Logo for Second Annual Diabetes Blog WeekFor my second post in the 2011 Diabetes Blog Week I am writing letters.  Two of them actually.

Don’t worry, they are short and to the point.

Letter One:

Dear Internet,

Thank you for making it possible to connect with so many other people living with diabetes.  You have made it possible for all of these amazing people to talk to each other, share their stories, and break away the isolation that we all feel from time to time.

You have changed my life for the better, and I’m forever grateful.

I love that smart people have found so many fun ways for us to talk to each other.  Way to go smart people!

Love, Scott

Letter Two:

Dear cold/sinus/allergy/whatever thingy,

Please leave.  I’m tired and way too busy to mess around with you.  I also miss my basketball.  You need to go away now.

Sniffles and Sneezes, Scott

That’s all I’ve got for tonight folks. I need more rest.

Admiring Differences!

This is my first post for the 2nd Annual Diabetes Blog Week (thanks Karen!)

Our assignment for today is to pick a type of blogger who is different than me and talk about why they inspire me, why I admire them, and why it’s great that we are all the same but different.

There are so many great story-tellers out there, and sticking friends and family into categories, or types, feels like an extra step.  A very difficult extra step.

But working my brain very hard to talk specifically about differences, I’m going to talk about two people who are very special to me.  Bob and Rachel.

Bob and Rachel both live with type 2 diabetes.  They are among a small minority of bloggers with type 2, and I’m so thankful they are sharing their stories.  There are many fantastic bloggers who live with type 2 (hi Mike!), but Bob and Rachel are both heavy on my mind tonight because they talk often about the mental aspects of living with diabetes.   Actually, maybe it’s more accurate to say that most T2 bloggers I know talk often about the mental aspects, but for whatever reason, Bob and Rachel resonate for me.

What they have helped me learn is that mental struggles, for any reasons, are a lot alike.  They are always different, because we are all different.  Maybe never more different than inside our heads.  But it’s the way we are different that is also somehow all too familiar.

The art with which these two talk of their journeys in and out of they dark places is something special.  Nobody likes to talk about the dark places because they are lonely, and dark, and terrifying.  But it is very important to share experiences about it, as hard as it may be, because others need to see that they are not alone.

Just like why so many of us blog about diabetes.

Breaking isolation down is one step towards empowered action.  It takes many steps, empowered action does. Sometimes knocking back isolation is the first one, which might be a life-changer for someone.

Thank you Bob and Rachel, for all that you do, and for continuing to tell your story, even through the dark times.  I admire your bravery, your honesty, and your gift.  Most of all, I admire your generosity for sharing with us.