HAWMC Day 30 (And A Few Others) – Fin

hawmc day 30

Thought this was going to be easy-peasy: 30 days of writing about my health and health activism. Perhaps if I didn’t have a life and a toddler and didn’t go on a two week holiday to see family, it would have been. None the less, here we are on Day 30 of the Wego Health challenge, and it’s time for a little reflection (and a little catch up, too…). Here are the final prompts:

What have I learned from this experience? (Day 30)

That we all have something to say about how we (or our family members) feel. I’ve read blogs about autism and RA and depression and diabetes from a parent’s perspective. I just scratched the surface of learning about other chronic illnesses. It’s truly humbling to explore the illness world outside of your own tiny corner and listen to each person’s voice. (I’ve never been a fan of Wordless Wednesdays, which I believe is a cheat when it comes to a “writing challenge”.)

While the Wego Challenge was going on, our own Diabetes Online Community discussed a petition for a name change of what we call the two main types of diabetes, with the petitioner’s claim that the public doesn’t know the difference. They’re right, but it’s because, if you don’t have diabetes or aren’t impacted by the disease, you don’t know a lot about it in general. I also don’t know a lot about the different types of autism or the myriad of depression categories (or what the proper terms to call someone who is suffering from them), so I find it difficult to get angry that people don’t know. It’s up to us – health activists – to teach others – and this challenge was a great way for me to learn.

Share three things you love about yourself. (Day 29)

  • I’ll never be Tom Robbins (Damn, Jitterbug Perfume will make you think about beets and immortality in a new light…), Christopher Moore (Lamb? Haven’t read it? Do not pass go or collect $200. One of the funniest books I have ever read. The tagline: The Gospel According to Biff.), or even Keri Arthur (Smut smut, glorious smut.), but I love to write. I’m long-winded and wish I could turn a phrase that makes you stop breathing, but I hold my own. Will I ever write a book? Who knows? Will it be about diabetes? Probably not. (But maybe zombies or time travel or diabetic zombies who time travel… working on plots suck.)
  • I make people laugh. When I was growing up, I was incredibly sensitive and could never laugh at myself. (My family can still push all of my buttons and light me up like a pinball machine in about 30 seconds.) But I learned that I’m funny and that laughing at yourself is the first step in making others giggle. No standup comedy club circuit for me, but I do enjoy making those around me happy. (And my daughter’s chortle? Best sound ever.)
  • I’m still growing. I love that. I’m a zig-zag grower: two steps forward, one step back, change direction and move on. I’m willing to look at other options now and give things a chance (I wasn’t always like this, so it’s a big deal.). I’m still feisty and stubborn most of the time, but I’m getting better… and that’s growth.

If I wrote a book about my life, what would I title it?  (Day 27)

Time Traveling Diabetic Zombie 

(Maybe I need to work on the title and the plot.)

So, this is the end of the road for this year’s HAWMC. I’ll get a nifty badge to put on my blog and you’ll get my snarky self back a few times a week with things pertaining to diabetes and my life. Thanks for reading this month!

Get it? Tail fin? Fin? ::sigh::
Get it? Tail fin? Fin? ::sigh::

 

HAWMC Day 28: Fo-Lo-Lo-Lo-Low

Day 28

Wego Health’s prompt today is: Create a “must follow list” for a single social media network, offering up five people in your community. So, here’s my Fo-Lo-Lo-Lo-Low list. (I know it’s not close to Christmas, but…sing away.)

Twitter, as I’ve said before, is chock-a-lock full of interesting diabetes tidbits and people who share those tidbits. If you’re not a Twitter aficionado, I’m going to give you who I think you should check out. Even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can see what sweety tweety goodness that someone has to offer by putting their twitter handle into Google (don’t forget the @).

For instance, if you type @theperfectdblog into Google’s search bar, the first result is my Twitter page, which lists all of my tweets. (Or you can follow me on Twitter ::hint hint::.)

Circle of PeepsI follow these people on Twitter because they either give great links, great comfort, or great interaction. Check them out:

@diabetesmine – Got to say, I love these peeps for their great articles and insights about diabetes, whether it be research or the DOC. Founded by Amy Tenderich with contributors I adore like Wil DuBois and Mike Hoskins, it’s a good resource.

@Colcalli – Lorraine is a D-Mom of T1 superstar Caleb and a DOC blogger at www.thisiscaleb.com. As a former child T1 who was almost a teen when I was diagnosed, I’d never really spent a lot of time thinking about a parent’s perspective on diabetes. Lorraine has changed that and I’m trilled that I found her.

@CureT1Diabetes – Ellen has the pulse on what I want to read. I’ve gotten such great links from her tweets that I’ve had to limit myself to choosing just a few at a time or I’d never get things done. She is also a mom of a T1 and a tireless advocate.

@CGMBDiabetesDuo – It’s Captain Glucose and Meter Boy for the win. They are my giggles for the day and should be for yours as well!

@Strangely_T1 – Scott’s a T1 with great links and even better insight. Seriously, follow this dude.

There are more…many many more. If you follow me, you can pilfer my list of d-peeps. Please do!

 

HAWMC Day 26 – Decision Fatigue

In the final stretch of Wego Health’s 30 day challenge to juice everything I eat, including juice write about my health activism, today’s prompt is to talk about a day in which I would have liked it to be worry-free. How would have impacted the day?

It’s too easy to pick a “special day”. Sure, my wedding day (both of them, because you know, if you like it, do it more than once…) or a birthday or convocation or the day I gave birth to my daughter or something like that, but really… what I want?

rock paper scissorsAny day without diabetes decisions.

To wake up in the morning, well rested and laze beneath the covers for a few minutes.

(Instead of checking my CGM. Did I drop overnight? Rise overnight? Sleep through an alarm? Why did my blood sugar do that?)

Slip out of bed and into the kitchen for a cup of coffee.

(Instead of grabbing my meter, checking my blood, calibrating if necessary, bolus correction or grabbing the bedside juice box, waiting for the low blood pressure rush to my head upon rising from probably vagus nerve damage…and then get up.)

Stick my head in the fridge to decide on a cinnamon roll with icing or cold cereal or a gooey piece of chocolate cake from the night before. Breakfast is served.

(Instead of having an argument with myself about the evils of cold cereal and what it would do to my most likely already precarious blood sugar and slamming the door to the fridge while dosing for the half and half for a cup of coffee which will end up being my breakfast until my stomach calms down from the delayed gastric emptying.)

Poking my head out the door and instantly deciding to step outside for a leisurely walk.

(Instead of packing a rucksack full of supplies to march around my neighborhood. Glucose tabs, water, check your shoes and socks for chafing which could cause a foot infection, while wondering if I should even walk at all because if I drop rapidly and I was alone and unable to get back to the house would it be worth it? Hint: I end up sitting on the couch.)

Call friends for a day of frivolous trying on of 15 outfits that we’ll never buy while sucking down an iced chai latte. 

(Instead of deciding that unclipping my pump every single time I went into the dressing room was just too much of a hassle and so I just try on 5 outfits that I’ll never buy while sucking down a sugar free soda.)

Do I need to go on?

There’s so such thing as a worry-free day, but I’d take one that didn’t require me to make so many decisions that could severely impact my health if I didn’t make them wisely. They have a term for it: decision fatigue. I love this article about it. (Doesn’t make me feel better about my decision fatigue, but at least I’m in good company.) It’s a very long article, but there is a section in there about glucose – and they’re spot on.

According to this article in Psychology Today, the average person makes 70 conscious decisions each day. I make that before I leave the house in the morning! It’s no wonder people with diabetes and their family members are exhausted.

So, my “worry free day” doesn’t need to be special. It just needs to not be about diabetes decisions. That would be divine. (And if it had a chai tea latte in it, that would be super duper divine.)

HAWMC Day 25 – The Invisible Badge

 

Day 25

Wego says (it’s like Simon Says, except no one is making you stand on one leg while rubbing your tummy): Share something you’d like to teach other Health Activists. 

I want to teach you to rip off the invisible badge.

“Most chronic illnesses are invisible.” I’ve seen that statement a lot and it’s true. It’s not like we walk into a room and tattooed across our foreheads is a numbered list of what ails us. We look healthy at first glance. We may have pains and aches and complications, but if we’re standing in line next to you at the grocery store, you wouldn’t know if we had a chronic illness. Even as open as I am with my diabetes, there are still days when I tuck the pump away or try to be inconspicuous with my glucose testing. I don’t want the focus to be about my illness; I want it to be about me.

So I wear the invisible badge, pinned to my sash. Throughout my day, trying to be part of the general population, the badge that says: “invisible illness” is there, but you can’t see it. A lot of us wear this badge. I wonder what would happen if we all decided not to wear it.

Yesterday, I tore the badge from the sash and chucked it in the trash.

FountainThe kid and I were at a major amusement park and she loves the toddler water play area. (She also loves the carousel, the bouncy area, the retaining wall, and the trees, so I’m thinking she not too particular in what she loves right now…) The last time we were there, I wore a T-shirt, covering the pump set and the CGM sensor and hung back, letting her run in and out of the sparkling water sprays. My heart hurt. Somewhere, in my little brain, that voice whispered: “It’s OK to let the world see who you are…all of you.”

This time, the bikini top went on, my pump strapped to the inside of my shorts, and we frolicked in the blazing sun, letting the cold water create rainbows over our heads. My invisible illness was on blatant display. You couldn’t miss the sensor on one side of my abdomen and the infusion set and tubing on the other side. We meandered slowly through the park, waving good-bye to the pink “mingos” and the trees (Should I be worried about her insistence at waving to the trees?), and I felt…free.

Yes, people stared.

I’ve decided that I would rather them stare than not see all of me.

My diabetes is not invisible to my family and friends, so why should I wear the invisible badge when I’m in public? I’m a health activist.

And today, I’m a health activist with a sunburn, because I forgot to apply sunblock. Definitely not invisible anymore.

 

 

 

 

HAWMC Day 23 – What If There Was No Social Media?

HAWMC_23

 

 

We’ve got a week left on the Wego Health prompts, and today is: How would your life be different if there was no social media? 

My connection to the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) began with podcasting. If I hadn’t started diabeticfeed with John, then I would have never met amazing people, learned about new technology, connected with others when I needed help and support, and become healthier overall.

So, I would have had a lot of extra time, but I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it because I wouldn’t be as healthy.

Sad face.

Not only would I be sad, I would be creeped out sad.
Not only would I be sad, I would be creeped out sad.

The end.

(Yeah, yeah. This is a short post. Enjoy the lack of verbosity today. Don’t worry. I’ll be back with War and Peace soon.)