Saturday, November 14, 2009

World Diabetes Day

The last couple of years, when I come to my blog I always notice that I haven't posted in a long time, this time no exception and that bothers me a little. I may be the only one but it seems like the diabetic community has become more fragmented. The advent of twitter and facebook has pulled many away (me included) from blogging. Instead, we hear 140 byte snippets about what's going on in people's lives rather than a fully developed thought. Not good or bad, just different I suppose.

In a little under three months I will celebrate by 41st D anniversary. It seems like just a few short years ago, it was uncommon to bump into folks who had reached that milestone, now it's reasonably common. It's good that people are living long, healthly lives with T1 but quite frankly I'm tired of it. The week has been particularly trying and I've fought high blood sugars on and off all week and I know that affects my attitude. But still I ask, can't we find a cure?

I almost feel guilty for asking that. A 22 year old friend of ours has Muscular Dystrophy and probably doesn't have too much longer to live and here I am bitchen' about diabetes. I am thankful there are groups attempting to find a cure for MD for his sake and thankful there are groups trying to find a cure for diabetes. Hopefully before too long we can look back on both of these diseases and talk about them in the past tense.

I hope this World Diabetes Day finds you well. Many of you have done a great job spreading awareness today and that is sooo important especially to those who have T2 and don't know it. And for those of us with Type 1 let's keep pressing on till we find that cure!


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Insulin Usage Up in America

Dateline America: Preliminary figures released today indicated that insulin usage across the country is up 52.9% over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Final figures may be significantly higher as weekend nears end.

I feel like this could have been me this weekend. Thanksgiving is inheritly a high carb meal full of atomic sugar spikers like mashed potatoes, white bread, dressing and cranberry sauce. This is just in the main course let's not even talk about dessert with it's luscious pies: pumpkin, pecan(one of my pre-D favorites), mincemeat(another favorite).

I managed to keep things under pretty good control on Turkey day. The dessert cause was helped by the fact that I made dLife sugar free cheesecake. I personally think this is some of the best cheesecake I've eaten, primarily because of the texture. Nice and light. My youngest son vehemently disagrees with me as he likes the heavier, goo up your mouth kind. Of course, his dislike saves more for me!

Again this year we fried our turkey. This is the second year we've done this While on first thought, it seems this would create a greasey bird, it does not. We are big Alton Brown fans and again we used his recipe. When you fry a turkey safety is of utmost concern. This cannot be emphasized enough when you've got a 4 gallon vat of hot oil you're working with. Alton cautions to use a turkey derrick when frying your bird so last year we made one from a pulley we had here at the house and a step ladder. It is a good investment. Safety over the ER anyday!

My oldest holding the turkey in 'pre-dunk' position.

The Turkey cooking safely in the HOT oil (plywood windbreak in place!).

We had a great meal and we've really enjoyed the leftovers all weekend. The best part has to be spending time with family. It was just the four of us again this year but we enjoyed the relaxed pace of a weekend spent together. Family is one of my biggest blessings and I hope it is your's too.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

World Diabetes Day (the weekend edition)

It's World Diabetes Day (plus two) and I've been to several sites on the net reading superbly written blog and vlog posts. Kudos to my friend George for putting his thoughts to song.

My overwhelming thought today concerns the amount of time this disease robs from lives. To borrow an analogy from my programming days, living with diabetes is like a task on your computer, constantly consuming precious, limited resources. Most of the time idling quietly, basically unseen, in the background, other times jumping quickly do the foreground and hogging the CPU.

In the background I take care of things like, how I'm feeling, did I do something because I'm nervous or is my sugar low or do I need a drink (of water) because I'm high or am I just plain thirsty. Throughout the course of the day, D jumps to the foreground: when testing, calculating carbs, bolusing; or when I'm sick, it becomes an all comsuming resource hog while I attempt to drive down a high and stop my system from sliding down the ketone slope.

I also think about where society could be if PWDs weren't consumed with diabetes management tasks or where we could be individually if we didn't have this time commitment. As I look back over the past forty years I fear diabetes has taken a toll on my personal life, especially in the early years. Before blood glucose monitoring, my sugars and probably everyone of that era, our levels were bouncing like a superball dropped off a four story building. How can a PWD possibly maintain focus and make clear decisions with this kind of activity going on in their systems?

Of course this whole thought process is futile, at least in the short term, as we are likely to be dealing with diabetes for the foreseeable future. Diabetes is the hand many of us have been dealt. It's important to play it to the best of our ability, regardless of the time commitment. The time invested will hopefully pay big dividends in the form of a long and healthy life. However, I'd just as soon live a long and healthy life without diabetes. Let's find a cure.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

D-Blog Day

I wanted to post today in honor of the 4th annual D-Blog Day. It's my understanding that Gina Copone over at diabetesdaily christened Nov 9th as the official D-Blog Day in order to unite the world of Diabetic bloggers back in 2005. Good idea Gina!

I enjoy blogging, but unfortunately don't make the time to post nearly often enough. There are several that post daily or almost daily and I don't see how they have the time to do it. Regardless of whether or not I post, a day is not complete without checking with several of my favorite bloggers to see what, if anything new is going on in their and/or their family's lives. I got away from this for awhile and missed it, but I'm glad to say I'm back reading regularly.

I am thankful for the OC even though I have never felt particularly alone with diabetes as many seem to do, It's always felt it was my lot in life and I try to handly it wisely and with grace and aplomb. However the DOC has given me a sense of comaraderie that I've come to enjoy. It's great to belong to a community where you can give as well as receive support.

Happy D-Blog Day everyone!

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Its Been Too Long

I went to post a while back and couldn't believe how long it had been. It felt like a couple of months but I couldn't believe it when I saw it had been Chrismas. Time flies when you're having fun I guess. Several of you have stopped by to check on me and I'm grateful.

Well I'm thoroughly hacked at blogger this morning. I had a entry all ready to post and was checking out my links and lost it. I know this happens, but it happened back in September too and I, like most people, simply don't have time to recreate entries gone wrong.

I had a birthday back in September. This year (age year not calendar year) I will celebrate my 40th anniversary with diabetes. I'm doing OK, but I'll admit that the diabetes is more difficult to control of late than it was say two years ago. One reason I'm not exercising as frequently as I need to. I'm in desperate need of another 100 days of fitness that several of us disciplined ourselves to do. Secondly I'm eating little or no lunch. For the most part this is OK except somedays I go low in the late afternoon. I probably need to set my temp basal back .1 on these days. The larger problem is I come home famished and as you know that leads to overeating and the challenges of adjusting for that.

I've been hanging out over a Manny's place - tudiabetes lately. I came across a small group dedicated to summer camps for diabetics. I mentioned before that I went to Camp Sweeney for a couple of years right after my diagnosis and it was a great experience. Between all the support I received at home as well as at camp, I got the tools I needed to live healthfully with diabetes for these almost 40 years. I want to leave you with this cool Camp Sweeney video I found over at youtube. Camp is certainly not what it was, but nobody said it had to be. I love their rendition of Sweet Home Camp Sweeney a.k.a.Sweet Home Alabama.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

It's now 1:20a on Christmas morning and I just finished wrapping presents. Hope by this time you're fast asleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in your head. If you have little ones, no doubt you will be up in a few short hours as their internal alarm clocks will ring in anticipation of discovering Santa's gifts. Those days are over for us, but I enjoy this season of life as well as it's much more laid back... and I get to sleep later too.

I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and leave you with the poem my wife wrote to enclose in our Christmas cards this year.


Time to go the Father said
as He sent His Son to earth.
Time to go said Joseph to Bethlehem
where the virgin Mary would give birth.
Time to go the angels said
to the shepherds on the hill.
Time to go the magi said
to find the King who brings peace & good will.
Time to go the Spirit prompts
to the foot of the tree where Jesus died.
To behold the Lamb that takes away
the sins of the world as the prophets testified.
Time to go down on your knees
and accept Christ's atonement for your sin.
Time to go and spread the Word
of how Christmas did truly begin.

May the peace that passes understanding be yours this Christmas season.

Hello again

Well I can't believe it's been 8 months since I last posted. It's been a heck (insert strong language here) of a year. I've come very close to posting several times. Even a couple of times sat down and opened up the word processor, but something would intervene before I even got to the thought collection stage. Now I sit here at 2:30 in the morning after getting to sleep and then reawakening.

Thanks to all those that have mentioned me in a blog post or dropped by to comment. It was very much appreciated. It's nice to know you're missed in a community where very few of us have ever met face to face.

I'll have to bring you guy's up to date over the course of the next week... here again, as time permits. I'm OK diabetically speaking, even though my bG readings have been swinging widely of late. As most of you know they are difficult to control tightly, especially this time of year. I continually thank God for my body's ability to tolerate bG swings. In about 6 weeks I will celebrate(?) 39 years with this disease and I'm still in good health.

Back in March I began slipping off the exercise wagon. For a while I held onto the wagon while it drug me down the road and then I finally fell off completely. After missing only 10 days in 2006, the current year has been dismal. Over the holidays I'm going to try to get consistent again, meaning I hope to do something every day in hopes I will set a precedent for the new year.

Here it is Christmas eve. I will join you in the morning scurrying around town to pick up a few last minute items. Later in the day we'll go over to a friends house for Christmas eve dinner. We've traditionally gone to church on Christmas eve, but this year finds us, oddly enough, without a church home so this invitation is a nice change to what has become our holiday tradition.

Here's to your Christmas celebration being filled with hope, happiness and great memories. Blessings to all.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Sam!

Today is my oldest son’s birthday. I can hardly believe that he is turning 22. It seems like just a short time ago he entered this world, a squalling pink bundle of joy, amidst my wife’s shrieks of agony. It’s incredible how quickly the years have flown by.

He’s turned out to be a fine young man. His moral compass is set to true North and he’s looking to graduate in December with a Bachelor’s degree in economics, very possibly summa cum laude. He has great relationships with his professors and has insight into events that are wise beyond his years.

What a joy this journey has been. As I look back I can’t remember any significant periods of turmoil. I know what your saying, “Diabetes has clouded your memory Keith!”, but in all honesty it hasn’t. Yes we’ve had a few squabbles, but mostly it’s been smooth sailing. I credit most of it to the Lord’s guiding hand and that my wife and I have picked our battles carefully.

One battle I specifically chose not to have was over hair. During my teenage years my parents and I fought terribly, mostly over hair length. I wanted it longer and my mom, in particular wanted it short. It was the early 70’s. Things were in transition. In many circles it was about appearances. The older folks viewed longer hair as aberrant while shorter hair was viewed as good or ‘the norm’. Most of my friends had longer hair while mine wasn’t. It made for some nasty, tearful arguments and for hurt feelings. Bruised feelings don’t heal quickly. Unfortunately, when I was in my late teens my mom became mentally ill and then when I was 21, she died unexpectedly. I feel badly that we had never truly turned the corner from parent-child to adult-friend and healed those wounds.

I told my boys early on I had two rules about hair: 1) it had to be neat (relatively speaking) and 2) it had to be clean, after that anything goes. My oldest never cared too much about hair and his has fluctuated moderately with the current style. However, my youngest has gone from mid-shoulder length to buzzed, then to spiked and then to red, to green and to blue. If it had to do with hair, he’s covered the gamut. Does it matter? I guess it could, but if kids are being responsible, doing the things they should and have good moral character, why make it an issue?

I’m counting my blessings tonight. I hope I have many more years to watch these guys grow, revel in their accomplishments and most of all, enjoy their friendship.