Friday, May 30, 2014

Oh the Game We Could Play...

We dream therefore we are.  

Okay, I had a dream. I know that we all dream all the time and that most of the time the dreams are a bit wacky. I usually don’t remember my dreams much the next day.

But this one stuck with me.

It stuck with me so much that I had to figure out it was a dream.  Not only that, the idea still pops up in my mind occasionally. I have mentioned my dream to several family members and all I have gotten is an eye roll. 

To be honest, it is not a full dream. It is a concept from a dream. I now think of it as the dream that will not die. 

Why am I telling you this? Because my dream has a connection to diabetes. 

Are you ready? Ready to roll your eyes and think that perhaps I have lost my mind?

Diabetes Monopoly

In case you have never seen themed monopoly games, they exist. There is a Star Wars Monopoly,a  Dog-opoly, a Golf-opoly, a  Beatles Monopoly and many more. 

This is a Chicago Edition of Monopoly.  It is really old.  You can tell, one of the squares is Marshall Fields.

That is it. I just keep thinking about it. Why anyone would want to play it seems to be a mystery but just give me a moment. 

I wonder if it could be a teaching tool in schools. Perhaps there could be a junior edition for lower grades and a regular edition for older grades. It could teach the non-diabetic students about diabetes. 

What do you think? Are you rolling your eyes or wondering if it could work?  I am hoping now that I have put the concept out that I will stop thinking about it. I don’t think it will work but now I will let you think about it.  Let me know what you think!

IMPORTANT NOTE:  As I was putting this post together to go online, I was looking for images to put into the post.  THE GAME EXISTS!!!  So I will accept the apologies from all of you who were making fun of me.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

When Your Name is Early, It Is Hard to be Late

The Early Bird catches the worm.  No worms for me on Sunday!

As we wrap up another Diabetes Blog Week, let’s share a few of our favorite things from the week. This can be anything from a #DBlogWeek post you loved, a fantastic new-to-you blog you found, a picture someone included in a post that spoke to you, or comment left on your blog that made you smile. Anything you liked is worth sharing!

Okay, this post was due last Sunday but I just didn't get to the page last Sunday.  I am sorry.  

I am also going to go off script here a bit and give you a list of my favorite things I have learned since I started writing this blog.

1.  I am constantly amazed by the support in the on line diabetes community.  It is fantastic.  If you have diabetes or are a diabetes caregiver, you have fallen in with the best, most supportive people.  I am sorry you are here but happy that you can find such great people.

A virtual bouquet for Karen for all she had done for the diabetes community.
2.  Somehow near the beginning of my journey of blogging about diabetes (and blogging at all!) I ran across Karen Graffeo's blog, Bitter~Sweet.  What a treasure!  I feel that was one of my lucky days.  I love her posts and her fantastic participation in the diabetes community. She is the fantastic hostess of DBlog Week. Hip Hip Hurray for Karen!  

3.  During my first Diabetes Blog Week, I ran across, d-meanderings and have enjoyed her posts, her attitude, and her travels (through diabetes).  

Just a note, both of these blogs are women dealing with a different type of diabetes than Silent Sam has. While their issues seem so hard for me to imagine, they are always upbeat and write a post that is educational and usually fun.  

4.  There were so many new blogs for me to check out this week.  Of course, I check some out but did not keep track of them...  My bad.  Thanks to all the participants as you made the whole thing so interesting!

5. Last but not least, I have gotten to share my family's adventures and I have have learned so much more than I would have learned without this blog.  Thanks for reading and hopefully laughing with us.

On to DBlog Week 2015!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Back for another year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like!  With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

It has been a busy Saturday and I find myself with a few minutes before dinner is ready.  I may or may not be cheating a bit on this one.  The picture below is one I used for a DBlog art project a few years ago.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I give you - 

Lancet farm at sunrise....

Happy Day 6 of DBlog Week!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Non-medical Tip for Diabetes Management - DBlog Week

Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes.  Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel of Probably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.)

The first and biggest thing that helped us is - (ta da - cue the horns) - 

Yep, the 9 inch plate.  

One of the only things that we could remember when we were leaving the hospital after Silent Sam's diagnosis was that we should use smaller plates.  I have no idea who gave us this tip but we did remember it.  Now, there might be a question as to whether I remembered it because it meant that I had to shop for new plates or if it was the concept of eating less because you used smaller plates.  It was possibly the shopping part but we think that they have made a difference.  

They were not easy to find.  You certainly cannot find plates that are called "dinner plates" that are 9 inch plates.  I think our plates were called "luncheon plates".  In the US at this point, most dinner plates are about 12 inches in diameter.  

So, if you are looking for a way to help limit your food intake without really suffering, go out and get some 9 inch plates.  

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What Gets You Through the Day

Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day.  Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day.  Is there something positive you tell yourself?  Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through?  Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we've done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)

What gets me through a bad diabetes day?  


I am NOT a musician.  I have no musical talents but I like to listen to music.  I have eclectic tastes.  I like jazz.  I like classic rock.  

I really like country music.  Why? Because the songs tell stories.  I love stories.  Sometimes it is boy meets girl,sometimes it is about friendship and sometimes it is about love and separation.  Okay, and the beat can be pretty good too...

One of my current mood building artists is Kenny Chesney.  


Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Emotional Triggers - DBlog Week

May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

Since I am not the one with diabetes, my perspective is different.  It is hard to get into Silent Sam's head. What I have found really hard is keeping my mouth shut.

Anyone who knows me, might doubt that I ever keep my mouth shut.  But I have to when it comes to diabetes.  There is a fine line between being helpful and being a nag.  I worry about SS.  When I think of all the heath consequences of diabetes, it scares me.  I don't want anything to happen to my silent companion. He means so very much to me.  But at the same time, I don't want to damage our relationship by constantly harping on him.

I have asked him not to walk around in his bare feet.  I know, of all the things that I could ask, that one might seem inconsequential to some.  Feet are important but it is not an emotional trigger to ask someone to wear shoes.  Seeing him in bare feet bugs the crap out of me.  So, I asked nicely.  He knows that he shouldn't do it and has agreed that he won't.

I ordered him medic alert bracelets.  It was not a hit.  There are things that he needs to do for himself and pushing does not help.

I will ask him occasionally to change a behaviour.  I try very hard not to press any issue too much but there are times I feel that I need to say something.

The thing is, I understand that we all do things that we shouldn't but we don't want anyone to bug us about them.  I think by making the occasional request, I am not treading on emotional issues as much. (Perhaps I am not the best judge of this...)

I think this is the hardest part of loving someone with diabetes.  Finding the balance of respect, concern, fear, and love, so that they feel cherished and not constantly badgered.  I hope that I find that balance.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DBlog Week - Poetry Tuesday

Poetry Tuesday

This year, Diabetes Blog Week and TuDiabetes are teaming up to bring out the poet in you! Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes. After you've posted it on your blog, share it on the No Sugar Added® Poetry page on TuDiabetes, and read what others have shared there as well!

I find poetry intimidating. It seems to me that poetry asks you to use words economically and effectively.  Word choice is very important and it is great training in getting your message across more effectively.  

I don't know much about it.  

But I love this challenge.  My attempt at Haiku. 

which finger prick
red peony blooms
strip tells life tale

Yes, you are right.  I picked the shortest form.  But that does not make it the easiest.  

Thanks for reading.  

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dblog Week and Activism

"Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)"

It is my pleasure to participate in this year's fifth annual DBlog Week.  It is my third year participating in this event.  Wow, how time flies.  There a so many wonderful participants.  If you get a chance, please check out some of the other blogs.

When I think of this topic, what comes to my mind is the effect of low blood sugar on a person and how that can be misinterpreted.  I wrote about the topic in March.(Diabetes and Low Blood Sugar Issues) It is important for police and first responders to know the signs of hypoglycemia.  Going hand in hand with that information is for diabetics to carry medic alert cards or wear medic alert bracelets.  

The American Diabetes Association would like to contact each agency and provide them with information but as you can easily understand, that is a huge task.  They would love to have volunteers to help in this effort.  If you are interested, just email and they will work with you and provide you with information.  

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Some Things are a Bad Idea

May is National Healthy Vision Month!

I didn't know that this month was National Healthy Vision Month until today.  It is one of those strange coincidences.  I was going to write about eyes today.

Last night Silent Sam and I were watching the news and we saw a report about a new business that provides a kit for eye exams that can be done online. ( WGN TV Eye Exams Online)

This had me shaking my head.  While it may be fine for some people, this is a terrible idea for people with diabetes.  Okay, I think it is a bad idea for everyone.  When you have your eyes checked, the doctor is looking at more than whether or not you need glasses and if you wear glasses, if they need to be changed.

I interviewed an eye doctor for this blog before in the post entitled "Interview with a Optometrist."The eye doctor is checking much so much more than just doing a refraction (the test to check for glasses.)  When you are diabetic, there are several things that can affect your eyes and if you do not have your eyes checked regularly, you could be in danger of losing your eyesight.

I understand the concept of not wanting to go to the doctor.  I even understand that the eye doctor can take time because you have to wait while your eyes are dilated.  But you need to go and have that done.  Diabetic retinopathy can sneak up on you.  The damage can move slowly and then by the time you realize it, damage has been done it is irreversible.

So, please ignore the concept of "eye exams online" and go see your eye doctor.  They are really part of your team.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Ideas that Help

Pink roses signify gratitude - perfect for Moms!

Mother’s Day is roaring up on us pretty fast. It seems to be one of those holidays that perplexes gift givers. I know that my children seem to be at a loss and I know that there were times that I had no idea what to get my Mom. 

I have a suggestion for you if you are one of those looking for a Mother’s Day gift. It seems to me that the perfect gift could incorporate two things for your Mother. The first is a gift that she would appreciate and the second would be if the gift would also benefit a charity. 

With that in mind, I suggest you look at the American Diabetes Association Gift of Hope shop. As the web site will tell you, every penny of profit from your Gift of Hope purchase goes directly to diabetes research. You might find something on that page that would appeal to your Mom. 

In that same vein, I would also suggest a cookbook from the American Diabetes Association as I have found that they are very good.  There are cookbooks, jewelry and other accessory items at American Diabetes Association shop. (The Gift of Hope page gives all the profits to research while the other shop benefits the organization.) 

I hope that the sun shines on Mother’s Day and that we can all get outside and enjoy the weather.

Thanks for reading. 

I just heard about the Diabetes Hope Conference that will be held on May 20th at 11 a.m. Central time.  It is a FREE on-line conference. Please take a moment to check it out. (Click here)