Wednesday, October 31, 2012

News For The You Can Do This Project.

Hey, you! You should head over to the You Can Do This Project site today (use the button to the right if this post) - there's a promotion announcement over there!

And I'll level with you - it's pretty awesome.

Like A G6... er... 4.

First of all, Happy Halloween!


The best I can say is that Billy tolerated this costume. It fits better than last year!

Secondly, my Dexcom G4 Platinum showed up yesterday. I want to tell you all about it, and sometimes it's just easier to show you:




Tuesday, October 30, 2012

One More.

I put in my last (?) Dexcom sensor two weeks ago. I did it a little ceremoniously, assuming that it would be the final one of the Seven Plus variety, as I had placed an order for the G4 after finding out that my insurance plan will cover the majority of the cost (a fact I'm very, very thankful for).

Last night, I got the following in my inbox:



Happy Snoopy Dancing aside, I think my sensor must have sensed the foreboding in the air as it got more and more wonky (technical term) as the day drug on. Wonky to the MAX. The kind of wonky that caused me to waaaaaay under-bolus for my nacho dinner. Evidence:

So much product placement!

Anytime you want to get here, G4, I'm welcoming you and your better accuracy-having self with wide open arms. I'm also wondering if I'll wearing both the Seven Plus and the G4 simultaneously for a while.

What's one more robot part among friends?

UPDATE: My G4 was originally scheduled to arrive Wednesday, but after checking the tracking ID, the G4 is on the delivery truck RIGHT NOW. (!!!!!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Something New.

Have you ever plopped a fresh infusion site on your leg and then thought, "I immediately regret this decision because the place where I usually clip my pump and the place where my infusion set is are the same place and how did I not think about that beforehand"? This happened to me yesterday, and I made a mental note to be extra cognizant of where my robot parts where situated.

The thing about leg infusion sites, especially, is that you can't let down your guard while doing everyday activities, like... eh... well, you know.

Original cartoon here.

Get my drift? Tubing gets tangled, certain items of clothing have to be precariously stretched, and you can't pull any fast moves.

Because if you do, FFFWWWAAP! You've ripped out your brand new infusion site.

The bright side of this story is that ruining that new site provided me an excuse to try something new (to me): an arm site.

I promise I wasn't trying to take a photo of my towel hanger

But, ladies, I have to ask... how does this work? Do you tuck your tubing under your bra strap? I feel like if I don't, tubing is going to be dancing around under my shirt all day today, which is sure to cause some interesting "I swear I'm not feeling myself up" moments.

Once again: yaaaaay, long tubing.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beep Beep.

Anyone else ever have the inclination to Armor All their insulin pump buttons?

Vroom!
No? Just me. Okay.

But really... Animas, you should sell a pump detailing kit. Something to buff out the marks the pump housing accumulates, a new screen protector, and some Q-tips that will actually fit in the crevices of the battery cap. Actually, maybe just include a new pump cap. Yes.

I want the stuff that I wear to look good - and a mildly beat-up insulin pump struggles to deliver on that demand.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Is It About Expectations?


"I think the great underestimation about life is that life is manageable, or it's supposed to be easy, or good people will persevere. I'd rather go a little bit deeper and look at life through the ideal of the never-ending, really difficult obstacle course."
                                                                                                      - Robert Downey Jr.
Is that true? Is it just all about the expectations you set?

You can wallow in the disappointment of unmet expectations, or you can revel in the challenges.

You can agonize over how much you don't measure up, or you can enjoy the moments in those moments and see that insult is only operable when you make the decision to care what others think about how you're living your life.

You can give yourself reasons upon reasons that you don't deserve health or happiness, or you can choose to believe that you are at least worth the act of trying.

You can move forward with the assumption that life will never be easy; that you will have to fight for yourself, for others, for what is right, and against what is wrong and unjust. Is the fight itself the beauty of the journey? Is what pushes against us what actually pushes us forward?

Wise words from a guy in a metal suit.


image via Amazon



Monday, October 22, 2012

Upcycling: T-Shirt Scarf.

I've been addicted to Pinterest feeling crafty lately, and had the urge to make something out of something else. The hip kids call this "upcycling". I called it "how I spent my Friday night".

Pinterest lead me to this lovely idea at a blog called Ninth & Bird:



Super cute, yes? Aaron and I thinned out our closets recently, which meant that I have a bag of clothes that I didn't have a use for and will probably be in my trunk for weeks that I'll drop off for donation THIS WEEK.

Armed with some "old" t-shirts, scissors, and the internet, I got to work. I've mentioned how much I love scarves, right? Yeah. I obviously need more.



Super easy to make! If you want to make your own:

1. Go you, being all crafty and such!
3. For instructions on how to make one of these, go visit Ninth & Bird and use her tutorial!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Antidote To Fear?

Last week I saw what was probably intended as a passing comment, claiming that "information is the antidote to fear" when it comes to health. So trim and concise, that thought.

Coming specifically from the viewpoint of a patient living with type 1 diabetes, I'd like to respectfully disagree with this idea. I think the statement is an oversimplification of a much larger issue.




You see, information is fortunately/unfortunately never in short supply for someone like me. I have access to so much of my own data: blood tests, CGM readings, carb counts, insulin ratios, basal rates, and the list goes on. I've been forced to do self-tracking for the past 26 years because that's how you figure this diabetes thing out: week by week, day by day, hour by hour, and sometimes minute by minute. And not only do I have this data, I'm expected to organize it - not just for my own use, but for my doctor. And then it's not enough to simply have it; I have to interpret it, too. Every little thing I do is supposed to be quantified and recorded. Every fluctuation accounted for. And when it's not - when I have a half-filled in log book, or fail to do the basal testing I promised to, or don't live up to the expectations that were set - it's my fault. As patients it's not enough that we have to live with the disease itself; we have to live with the data management as well.




And you know what? It's effing exhausting. Information is actually the antidote to being well-rested, as far as I'm concerned. After all of the "living it", I'm expected to then analyze it. I'm expected to pick apart the 3,427 things that affect my blood sugar in order to figure out what exactly when haywire this time, yet even that won't predict what may happen next time. I know of no other disease state where the burden of such intricate daily care is placed primarily on the shoulders of the patient (or their caregiver). We wear so many hats each day, and while information can be useful the sheer amount of it can sometimes back us into a corner. When we have more than we know what to do with, information becomes a hinderance rather than a help.


Let's not even get into the fact that much of the information I'm getting isn't even correct, nor can I tell when it is and when it isn't - the food labels, the glucose meters, the CGM readings. Do you want to know the antidote to my fear?

 Accuracy.



The idea that information is an antidote to fear ignores that there are often very strong emotions tied to data, and what that data represents for the patient. When we see a 300 mg/dL on the meter, that tends to say something about us to our health care providers. That "something" may not always be the full truth, yet it is something we still have to face, explain, and justify. We feel guilt, shame, anger, or disappointment with that data. It doesn't speak to what we tried, how hard we tried, or what else was going on in our lives at that time.

Data, when interpreted by humans, can impart judgement - and patients living with a chronic illness already deal with plenty of that. The human element of self-tracking can't be ignored.



Information may not be the antidote to my fear, but maybe empathy and understanding can be.

Monday, October 15, 2012

What I'm Reading.



Good morning! I've been wicked behind on d-blog reading lately, and I'm attempting to catch up a bit. I'm also attemping to silence all of the beeping around me (accidental cell phone alarm that I don't remember setting, Dexcom "callibrate me NOW" beeps, insulin pump low cartridgeness). Pass the coffee, pls.

  • I Don't Think You Know, from Ellie at Oddly Ironic: Living with what she describes as "severe reactive hypoglycemia... or so they think... we're really not sure at this point", she finds that a low moment gets mistaken for a "feel sorry for me" moment by someone at a friend's party. Awkward.
  • 31 Days: The Dish Drainer, from Zakary at Raising Colorado: For similar reasons that I have an addiction/need to limit my time with things like Pinterest and Real Simple magazine, I've been glued to Zakary's "31 Days. It's a Hot Mess." challenge. It also inspired me to clean out our coat closet and kitchen junk drawer last night. And I didn't even need wine to do it! Hats off to you, m'lady.
  • "The Hook" Brings You Back, by Scott at Rolling in the D: What wins, when it comes to the medical equipment you decide to use? Is how the data is presented king, or is it trumped by a less painful, waterproof option? Is it worth "more d-crap to haul and less comprehensive reports" if it means more accurate readings?
  • Eye Eye Captain!, by Danie at Danie, Diabetes and Dieting: None of us really enjoy those eye appointments, but Danie's recent appointment provided a welcome reminder for her of the goals she needs to work towards.
  • My only goal is to finish, by Victoria at VictoriaCumbow.com: YOU GUYS, she's riding 105 miles in Death Valley, CA this weekend. That's a scary sentence, let alone actual goal. Lend her some supportive words?
  • T3's - I Love You But I Don't Understand You, by Karen at Blah Blah Bklyn: This post touches on something many of us wonder, but perhaps don't say out loud: "How does a husband or a wife or a parent look at their loved one [with diabetes] and just say 'Well, I'm going to be as supportive as I can, but this is kind of on you' and then live with that?!" For the record, I'd be a terrible T3 too, Karen.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Device Story.

If you follow people with diabetes on social media, it's likely you've noticed a flurry of excitement surrounding the new Dexcom G4 Platinum continuous glucose monitoring system. It's slimmer, it's more accurate, and it makes the Seven Plus system seem like the Tommy Lee Jones of this CGM family. Type 1 diabetes, especially, requires that we make hundreds of decisions and judgement calls each day about how to care for ourselves, and wearing a device like a CGM helps us make those decisions in a more informed way. If finger sticks can be considered still photographs, a continuous glucose monitor is our live-streamed video. It may still have some buffering issues, but some data is better than none.

I've watched this week's conversation arc of "I want this so bad!" to "On hold with Dexcom now" to "It's how much?", sometimes progress to "I'm approved! It ships in a few weeks!". (I called Dexcom on Monday morning and heard back Wednesday afternoon - pending my doctor's approval, all systems are GO.) With so many upgrading to the new system, I'm now wondering - what will we do with the old ones?

I mean, has anyone stopped to consider good ol' Seven's feelings about this? It seems like someone could write a whole new version of the Toy Story movies, with characters like Jessie swapped out for a Dexcom receiver. (So, Device Story?)




Once a precious and valued member in our collection of medical devices, Seven will be ousted by Platinum (Platty? Plato? I'm still working it out) and suddenly, he's no longer needed. He'll have to watch from a drawer, shelf, or cabinet as we discover, with wild fascination and anticipation, why our new "toy" is so much better. He'll collect dust. He'll think back on the "good ol' days" when he so proudly alerted you to the times you were under 80, and then 81, but hang on you're 78, scratch that you're 82, and now you're 75. He'll regret the times he became confused and couldn't tell you anything useful. He'll be happy for you and the joy your G4 brings you, but inside, he'll be so disappointed that your joy was found elsewhere.

Maybe my Seven needs a proper send-off to honor his service. Should I release doves? Recite a poem? Take it out once last time and buy it a shot of whiskey?

Or maybe I'll keep him on standby - just in case.


Andy: Oh no!
Andy's Mom: Andy? Let's go! Molly's already in her car seat!
Andy: But Mom, Woody's arm ripped!
Andy's Mom: Oh no! Well maybe we can fix him on the way.
Andy: Nah, just leave him.
Andy's Mom: I'm sorry, honey, but you know, toys don't last forever.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Preliminary Big Blue Test.

35 minutes of Dance Central 2 plus a smidge of insulin:
130-ish point drop in blood sugar last night.

"What's the Big Blue Test? And when is it? And what are we raising money for this year?" Well, have a look for yourself. It starts Monday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Medicine X: A Stretching Of The Mind.

The more time that goes by after Medicine X, the more unsure I become of what I want to say about it.

Nothing seems adequate to explain the transition from my full-scale freakout two days before traveling (there may have been a miscommunication about how many nights I was allowed to stay at the hotel, and it may have been the last thing in a long line of "things", and it may have resulted in me crying - not the dainty sort of tears, but an ugly cry that I locked myself in a restroom stall at work to deal with, and that completely freaked me out because I have never reacted to anything so dramatically and uncontrollably before, but now this tangent has gotten really long, so let's get back to task here) to the unreal feeling of being a guest on Stanford's campus and getting to be a part of this amazing and unique experience, to the growing feeling that I actually began to feel comfortable among the crowd, to the realization that there is so much more to know (about patient advocacy, about healthcare, and about how the two merge) than I can ever hope to grasp, but I'll be damned if I don't keep trying to do just exactly that.



It was exhilarating and exhausting and mind-stretching, and I feel so humbled and honored to have been able to be a part of it.




Some of the most moving moments of the conference, for me, happened during the "Ignite talks" - the young arthritis patient whose doctors dismissed her as a hypochondriac; the widow whose experiences with her husband's health care has driven her to be a voice for humanizing the patient experience; the man whose isolating personal experience with Crohn's disease drove him to build an online community for his fellow patients. (You'll find more and more of these talks uploaded to the Medicine X website as the videos are edited.)



But the magic was not just in what we heard and what we learned, but in what we could discuss. Medicine X brought together patients, researchers, designers, entrepreneurs, healthcare providers, students, and technologists. We had the opportunity to interact with each other face-to-face; to bounce ideas off of each other (I may have, in a wild moment of bravery, approached one of the guys behind the iBGStar meter and pitched him my idea for the kind of CGM-like sensor I'd like to see: one that can monitor more than just our interstitial glucose, but the factors that cause the fluctuations: blood pressure, heart rate, white blood cell count, exhaustion, hormones - and wouldn't you know, he actually seemed to take me seriously); to see, as patients, the human faces behind the often seemingly monolithic forces behind healthcare.




Speakers on Day 1 helped me become more familiar with terms like participatory medicine and self-tracking, and shared refreshing thoughts such as the belief that "the best way to design useful tools is to notice and respect what people are already juggling in their lives." (Quote from Susannah Fox.) Having not had much experience as a hospital patient myself, presenters such as Dr. Roni Zeiger and architect/designer Michael Graves opened my eyes to what is, and what can be.


...


...and this is where I stopped writing last night at 11:30pm, because I was so tired and really wanted to get to sleep. I figured I had said what I needed to say for the night, and I’d pick up where I left off later on. 

As the clock turned to 1:36am, I savored the last bits of a dream. Actually I didn’t realize it was a dream until a few seconds later, when I woke sharply out of it. I had been watching a very well-produced video that had moved me deeply, and then I had copied the link and pasted it into the blog post I was working on (which was this post). Except I didn’t actually do any of that, as I was startled awake by a low blood sugar. 

I lay motionless for around ten seconds, combing through what had just happened. I had hit ‘save’, right? Well, yes I had - but that was in the dream. The video didn’t actually exist, and the longer I laid there, the less I would be able to recall about why I thought it was so poignantly brilliant. I knew it ended with two people walking down a sidewalk, holding hands - I think my brain had made that to represent the patient and the healthcare provider joining each other on the road to "better".

(and this is the point where I spilled half of my juice on myself because I was still low as I wrote this) 

I pushed myself upright somehow; little strength available to me at that point. It was one of those completely disorienting lows that left me with little in the way of logic, balance, or rational thinking. The hallway bounced me around as I attempted to walk through it, or was that not real either? I ended up in the kitchen and drained my first juice box, while simultaneously pawing around for a notebook; a scrap of paper; anything. I desperately needed to get down in words the epiphany I had just had in my dream. 

Here’s what I got out: 


Yeah, I don't really know either, now that I look at it with properly glucosed eyes.
Hat tip to the juice box straw wrapper, though.

I'm keeping this really long intermission in this post because I want to help you (and when I say "you", I'm referring to anyone who may read this that designs, researches, studies, or otherwise is involved in healthcare) remember how a chronic condition like type 1 diabetes can impact every single bit of a patient's life. It disrupts our sleep; it can weaken us during the very moments in which we wish to be strong; it never leaves the equation of our daily lives. Many of us may flourish, but it is nearly never with ease. But even so, we are strong - partly because we are compelled to be, and partly because we have to be to survive. Our narratives can move and change and inspire, and that is why we must share them. We cannot expect designers to be able to develop these "useful tools" for us if we don't share with them why and how they need to fit into our lives.

So what have I taken away from Medicine X? I think that answer will continue to evolve over the next few months. Seeing and hearing from patients in other pockets of chronic illness (meaning, outside of diabetes) helps me both appreciate and empathize how far healthcare has come, but also where it needs to go.

The best part of that last conclusion is that we, the patient advocates, are gaining an increasingly influential role in how that future is shaped. We have an obligation and a right to speak up. We must.


Check out the Stanford Medicine X Flickr account for images from the conference, as well as the Medicine X website for videos and other details.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Want.

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas this year is a Dexcom G4 Platinum.



And maybe a gift card to Sephora.

But mostly the first thing.

Loooooooove yoooooou,

Kim

Friday, October 5, 2012

Guest Post: Diabetes and Anxiety.

Today's topic is a tough one, and I'd like to say first that I understand some people who live with anxiety find that talking or even reading about anxiety can serve as a trigger for symptoms. If that's you, please proceed in whatever way is most comfortable for you.

With that said...

Diabetes sometimes comes with "add-on" conditions; meaning that the prevalance of some conditions (such as depression, anxiety, hypothyroidism, or celiac) is statistically higher for those with diabetes, versus the general population.

Today marks the launch of a new community surrounding the topic of diabetes and anxiety, aptly named Anxious You Anxious Me, run by Alexis of "The Chronicles of D-Boy and Ribbon". To help jumpstart the conversation you'll find a group video on the You Can Do This Project site today in which Alexis, Hallie, and Kate share their personal stories and struggles with anxiety, and encourage others to talk about their own experiences.

I'm honored to share this post from Kate who is bravely sharing how anxiety affects every bit of life, including diabetes. It's a battle she's still waging, and I hope that talking about it is helpful. No one should have to deal with this alone.

* * * * *

"Peeking Through The Keyhole"

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 7 years ago, on the 4th of October, 2005, at the age of thirteen. My journey with anxiety started roughly around a year and a half later, in the summer of 2007, when my Grandfather died. I called this blog post Peeking Through the Keyhole because anxiety is a very difficult thing to explain to somebody that has never experienced it before. So by my writing this, you will get a ‘keyhole’ view, a small portion of what life is like for somebody with anxiety and this is my story.

I was 15 years old and just finishing my third year in high school when my anxiety symptoms started. I became very cautious about who I started to hang out with. I always made sure there would be a friend in our group that knew how to help me if something went wrong with my blood sugar. I did this subconsciously at the time, not knowing the reason. I would avoid situations which I deemed ‘unsafe’ such as: Spending time with people that didn’t know one thing about diabetes. I would start snacking more ‘in case’ I had a low blood sugar. This particular feeling is difficult to describe. I just had this ‘feeling’ that something awful was going to go wrong with my blood sugar, or with me in general, and that I would die. I was terrified much of the time, then when my Grandfather died suddenly that summer, things rapidly spiralled out of control.

I remember driving home from school one day and having a conversation with myself in my head about my diabetes care. I was able to calm myself down when I didn’t take my insulin or test my blood sugar, because I knew that ruled out the possibility of me passing out. I remember telling myself this: “You either keep your sanity and be sick, or be healthy and insane.” I opted for keeping my sanity and being sick. That is where the story begins.  From that day on, things got intense. I stopped taking my insulin.  Checking my blood sugar was out the window. Not a chance. I would die if I did any of those things, surely.

To make a very, very long story short – here are the main issues I faced on a daily basis:

I couldn’t let my Mam leave the house without me. If she tried to, I would physically drag her arm, screaming and crying, not letting her leave unless she brought me with her.

I hated driving in the car. I was afraid the car would breakdown and we would be stranded. I was afraid we’d be left there for hours and I’d have no food or insulin and that I would die. I never let my parents drive under a half tank of petrol – and if I got scared and they wouldn’t pull the car over – again, I would physically yank their arm off the wheel in order to try and get them to start driving.

I couldn’t stay in school. I lived a twenty minute drive from my school which was nothing. I loved school and I generally felt very safe there. I had a great relationship with my friends and teachers and I loved everything about it. But for two years I couldn’t stay in school at all unless one of my parents were outside in the car. All day, in all weather. I knew then if anything happened to me, I could just run straight out and be with them in seconds.

Sleep was non-existent. I would constantly stay awake and eat. I didn’t gain any weight because I didn’t take any insulin. If I did fall asleep, I would wake up panicking, darting around the house looking for someone so that I could calm down and know that I wasn’t by myself in the house.

Those are just day to day things, things that ‘normal’ people do. Now throw Diabetes into the mix. If I saw a blood sugar below 16 mmol/l (320 mg/dL), I would have a massive panic attack and drink glucose drinks and disconnect my pump. If my eyes started stinging or if I realised I wasn’t thirsty, I’d have a panic attack because I knew my blood sugar was coming down. Somehow, I never once went into DKA. I knew when ketones were forming and I would take maybe 1 or 2 units to take the edge off so I didn’t have to go into hospital. Most days I went fully disconnected from the pump. That went on for about four months before my parents realised. After that, I forced myself to keep it on because they made sure I had it on all the time – and I realised how much better I felt when I was getting some insulin.

And of course, I was lying the entire time about everything, leading people on to believe I was doing fine and that I was healthy. I never had any energy, I always just wanted to sleep, and I constantly peed and downed water.

In 2009 I developed an incredibly painful abscess.  On my butt. You heard. It wasn’t pleasant and I had to have surgery. The exact cause of the abscess was: “Uncontrolled Diabetes.” My blood sugar was so high all the time that my body couldn’t cope and this abscess occurred. I spent a couple of days in the ICU after having surgery to remove this abscess, and because of its size and depth, I very nearly almost died. It was the most painful, frightening experience I have ever been through.

Fast forward to now, 2012. Things are better for me now. I realised that I had a problem that I couldn’t fix all by myself. I sought help from counsellors, psychiatrists and doctors. I started being truthful and telling people I was struggling and couldn’t cope. I met great, wonderful friends in the DOC that, to this day, are the reason I am sitting here typing this. I am not where I want to be right now.

For the most part, my day to day life, anxiety-wise, is very manageable. I still have my struggles with diabetes. I rarely test, and I just take enough insulin to keep me feeling somewhat functional. I am working (albeit from home) socialising a lot more, and enjoying life more, looking forward to tomorrow. I am starting to believe, thanks to friends, that I have the strength to beat anxiety. This is why we created Anxious You Anxious Me. People don’t talk enough about anxiety. I have laid it out here because I know I am amongst friends. A lot of times, people think that if you suffer from anxiety, you are being dramatic or looking for attention. But that is not the case.

The point I want to get across strongly to you is: I’m not lazy. I’m not suicidal. I don’t want to die or be sick. The anxiety has this grip on me that I really take out on my diabetes care. Outsiders and some friends think I’m being a lazy diabetic by not testing and eating junk. But really I’m doing it to get through each minute because sometimes I just don’t know what else to do.

For some people, anxiety is just as real and prominent as diabetes. Sometimes, anxiety wins, I eat that bar of chocolate or that regular coke and don’t bolus. But I can relax and feel safe. Sometimes, diabetes wins, and I test and bolus for my meal and tell myself it’ll be alright. It’s something else I live every day with and try to juggle amongst other ‘real-people’ life situations.  I’m glad that now thanks to the DOC, I don’t need to do it alone. 

Now, you don’t have to do it alone either. If you have anxiety, talk about it. You’re not crazy, you’re not delusional, and you’re not sick.

* * * * *

Thank you, Kate, for having the courage to put out in the open something so personal. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Trying Is The Best Part.

When I first saw the swimming pool, I was excited. I didn't know such things existed. I laid a towel on one of the chaise lounges, claiming it for my own and settling into my space. Being surrounded by other swimmers was calming and unifying. Look! Everyone else is wearing a swimsuit, too! I began to feel less self-conscious, and more sure of myself.

It wasn't long, however, before the idea came that I might stick my toe in the water. You know, just to check the temperature - I didn't have to get in the water completely, but I should at least see if the water felt as good as so many said it did. Scared as I was, I pushed myself to try it anyway. Just a toe. No splashes or waves.

Hey, this is pretty great!

But what if I let myself try more than a toe? The risk; the fear reared its head. What if I can't swim? What if the water doesn't feel right? Could I immerse myself fully without feeling lost? Before I could answer those questions, I had slid in.

And the water was wonderful. It felt like home.

But then - then! That huge, intimidating diving board. It frightened me - what if I can't dive? What if everyone else before me in line can do it effortlessly, while I struggle to even keep my balance? What if I fall? Terror vibrated throughout my body, and fear began to paralyze me.

But while the rest of me fought the very idea, a tiny voice broke through with just a whisper that began to crescendo to full-scale shouting: "JUST TRY IT".

As it turns out, I can dive just fine - a beginner, no doubt, but a diver. I felt exhilarated; renewed; as though I had purpose.

And once I plunged into the water I was terrified once again, because now I saw that the pool was an ocean and despite my best efforts I would likely never feel entirely at ease again. I knew the water around me, but who knew what lurked in other corners. I could never know what would lie ahead. I'd never be able to explore it all.

But I could try. And trying is the best part, really.



I've been making a habit of pushing myself out of my comfort zone - which results in a near-constant state of being excerrified (that would be simultaneously "excited" and "terrified") - because that's where the magic happens, right? Each and every time I've been pleased (afterwards) that I tried or did whatever that thing was that seemed so daunting in the beginning, and so I will continue to push myself in ways that help me be better - whatever "better" means for that situation.

What sort of things are you pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to do? Does the idea seem as scary up front to you as it often does to me?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

#MedX And A Bunch Of Bullets.

I know I haven't even recapped the TCOYD experience, and now I can add the Med X conference to that list... so, obviously, the answer is to blog about neither right now. Instead: bullets.

  • One way to mark American Diabetes Month (which is next month - wow, that snuck up fast, didn't it?) is with the American Diabetes Association's "A Day in the Life of Diabetes" campaign. Share a picture on the ADA's Facebook page that represents your diabetes experience - it can be of yourself, your child, a place, object, or whatever you like - and for each image shared, CVS/pharmacy will donate $1 to the ADA, up to $25,000. 
  • In case you wanted to know if a periodic table of cocktails existed, it does. (And it tells you the carb counts for each! I'd like to make an element joke here, but it seems like all of the good ones argon.)
  • I was delighted to be asked to contribute to Diabetes Forecast (!) magazine for the first time by interviewing Haidee Merritt, and the article was published in the October issue. Check out the article here.
  • Continuing the theme of "talking about cool people", the WEGO Health Awards are now open - cast a vote for the health activists you want recognized!
  • The Med X folks did a super job of capturing many of the presentations/talks in very high quality video, which I appreciate not only for those who couldn't attend, but for me so that I can go back and watch some of the ones that went over my head the first time.
  • Also concerning Med X: Cherise, Chris, and I spent a few minutes reflecting on the conference experience on this week's episode of the Just Talking podcast - found here.
  • I ended up on this list of "20 Five Star Quality Diabetes Information Sites", and while I am flattered to be in such good company, I'm a little skeptical of a "Top Whatever" list of diabetes sites that doesn't include Kerri. Right?
  • Last night found me lost in a video vortex. First I watched as some poor girl transformed herself into an anime doll (WHAT), and then tuned into a livestream of Corgi puppies (the link is currently down, or I'd hook you guys up). It was a rollercoaster of emotions.
  • There will be a second installment of the "We Can Do This" group video series (Remember how the first one had people who were diagnosed with type 1 as adults? And then the idea fell off the face of the earth for a while? It's back.), which I'll be releasing this week - so make sure to head over to the You Can Do This Project site on Friday to catch the new video.
And lastly... this exists. I didn't buy it, but I did laugh.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sneaky Gear.

Just a cosmetic bag and a wallet. NBD.

...or is it?



For instructions on how to make your own super-sluethy Dexcom/Vera Bradley bag, visit the post I got the idea from on Moments of Wonderful. Even when the displays on my diabetes gear aren't enjoyable, the package they're delivered in can be.