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Saturday
Nov302013

Soul Brother

This month went by rather quickly. I did not get to post every single day as I had hoped I could. Unfortunately life gets in the way sometimes. There are many many people I can write about and honestly, it was difficult not being able to write about everyone I think everyone should be aware of. 

There are so many in the community that have touched me and been there for me. All of them mean the world to me and I love them all like family. There is one person who I must mention because we share a bond like no other. Of course that person is Scott Johnson.

Scott, like so many, was the first person to ever comment on my blog. I could not believe anyone would read what a loser PWD like me was writing but Scott did. We quickly hit it off and before long he was staying in my house meeting my family and hanging out for a weekend. I had the pleasure of spending a long weekend at his home and met his family. 

One of our close friends called us Soul Brothers and to be honest that is what it feels like. We didn't know each other for very long and yet it felt like we grew up together. It's weird and awesome all at the same time.

Besides diabetes, we have lots in common. We both married our high school sweethearts. We both have two kids, 1 boy and 1 girl. We also share a love of rap music, diet sodapop, clicky keyboards, Pulp Fiction, grilled cheese sandwiches, and video games to name a few. I am at home when Scott is around and have been from the very first second we met.

If you read Scott's blog than you know him. He is honest and himself always. Scott is every bit as nice and friendly as you think he is. The way he comes across on his blog and online is how he is. So accepting and encouraging of everyone and everything everyone is doing! There is no bigger cheerleader in the DOC in a non pom pom way of course.

Scott is someone I look up to both figuratively and literally. He always finds the silver lining and holds on to it with a hope like no other. His faith that everything is going to work out in the end has been proven time after time. It is one of the reasons I love him so much. He keeps me fighting for myself and my health. Like a coach who motivates and is always there for his team.

I talk about how much the DOC means to me and how I don't know how I could live without it which is true. Scott is my rock, my brother, my best friend, my family, and inspiration. He has saved my life countless times and has inspired me to do things I never ever thought I could.

I am a better person because of Scott Johnson. 

Share your love for Scott in the comments.

And thank you all for reading my posts this month. If you were not mentioned please know that every time I talk about how important the DOC is to me, I am talking about you too. I mean that wholeheartedly. I thought about so many of you on Thanksgiving. So much so that I wished the month would be longer so I could keep writing. Who knows, maybe I will write some more "Awareness" posts soon. 

Wednesday
Nov272013

Awesomealiciousness

Blogging about your life with diabetes can be very revealing. Sharing your numbers, about doctor’s visits, frustrations, and fears helps us all be there for one another. Not everyone shares everything of course but some seem to open up about it all. One person who does this like no other is Kelly Kunik.

Kelly has a special place in my heart because she is there for me whenever I need her, even when I haven’t reached out for help. She has a sixth sense about her friends and she loves them unconditionally and completely.

She has seen diabetes in her life like no one else I know. Many family members have had it and some have lost their lives because of it. It would make being an advocate really difficult for me but not for Kelly. Her strength is something I admire and am so very thankful for.

When someone in media says something untrue or misleading about diabetes Kelly is on the case. She is not afraid to call whoever she has to and get a wrong corrected. That takes guts and passion, two things Kelly has plenty of.

As strong as she is she is not afraid to reach out when she needs us. In her weakest moments she is strong because she knows where to find strength and how to tap into it. A skill most people do not recognize or understand.

I talk about her passion when it comes to diabetes but she is just as passionate about many other areas of her life. Her family is such a big part of who she is and what she lives for. To hear her talk about her niece and how proud she is so sweet and loving. And to hear about her mother and the pain she felt when she passed still brings me to tears. Strength, passion, and caring are three words to describe Kelly.

I should also throw in that she is damn funny too. Be prepared to laugh when Kelly is around.

These posts about awareness have been really great for me because they remind me about these amazing people and who they really are. Not just a blogger. Not just a diabetic. It’s why I love No D Day. Diabetes is not everything. Kelly is not diabetes.

Kelly is unique, kind, loving, passionate, funny, witty, brave, caring, and most importantly my friend.

Share your Kelly love below in the comments.  

Tuesday
Nov262013

The Motivator

My motivation for writing about diabetes and sharing my life on this blog is to help anyone who may read this not feel alone. I felt all alone with my type 1 diabetes for a very long time. That isolation made it easy to ignore it and allow it to do damage to my body. I never talked to anyone about it or learned much about it either. I felt alone.

No one with diabetes should ever feel alone and one person who started a project that sends that message and so much more is Kim Vlasnik.

The You Can Do This project calls on people with diabetes to share their stories on camera and share a message of encouragement to the newly diagnosed and/or those struggling with diabetes. The project wants us to be real and candid. Never sugar coating the truths about diabetes and the struggle it is to live day to day with it. Letting others know that although it is hard, they can do this and they are never alone.

If that is not an indicator to how awesome Kim is then the name of her blog, Texting My Pancreas, has got to be. She is creative, funny, caring, smart, and did I mention funny?

Hanging out with Kim is like being with an old friend. I know I say that often about people within the DOC but it is totally true. I love being around Kim because I feel so myself and comfortable. She has a way of radiating that spirit of acceptance around her so when you are near it you feel it. It’s that kindness and acceptance that is the driving force behind the You Can Do This project.

When I think about Kim I think of laughing. Lots and lots of laughing. I never remember why we laugh but who cares. Her zest for life and love of community makes knowing her a joy.

She inspires me like no other. Starting a project like this and making it actually happen is a big deal. Fear can be so crippling if it is allowed. Kim rises above that and does what she sets out to do with a humble nature and a gentle spirit. She is truly one of the most amazing people I know.

Share your Kim love in the comments. 

Monday
Nov252013

Just Awesome

The DOC was first introduced to me via a podcast way back in 2005. Podcasting is a medium that is still pretty effective and one guy who does podcasting in his own unique way is Chris Snider.

Just Talking is the name of Chris' podcast and the format of it. The show is a free flowing discussion between Chris and a guest. Guests are usually from both the Diabetes and Gaming community but the discussion never stays on those topics. Chris has a way of turning what feels like chit chat into a revealing and entertaining interview. It is really wild when you first listen. You almost don't realize it's an interview, you feel like you are hanging out with friends listening to their conversation. 

Chris not only podcasts but also writes. His blog is called A Consequence of Hypoglycemia and although it seems like it would only be about diabetes, it isn't. Chris has a way of writing that seems more revealing than it is. What I mean to say is there is a level of comfort to his words that make you feel like you are following him around and seeing what he wants you do see. Not in a TMI way but in a way like no other. A great writer can really transport the reader and Chris does that with each post.

Chris is a gamer and all around geek (his words). All those things, PWD, Gamer, Geek, are wrapped up in a passionate, funny, witty, and intelligent guy. 

The more I write I realize we have a lot in common. Did I mention his cats and love for them? So much so that he has a Tumblr just to post their antics? 

Recently Chris started another tumblr blog called My Diabetes Secret. It is a site with user submitted anonymous posts of secrets they want to share about diabetes. Reading through the posts I find myself identifying with many, wishing I could reach out to several, and brokenhearted for others. It's tough to talk about diabetes for some and especially when you are afraid of being judged. This is a safe place to do that and I am very thankful he set it up.

I don't think when Chris got involved in the DOC he had any idea his involvement in it and outside as an advocate would be as important as it is. He is an example of how much each of us can be a voice for those who do not have one. I am inspired daily by all he does and who he is.

Share your Chris love below in the comments.  

Friday
Nov222013

The Search Sheriff

When I first started blogging and finding sites about diabetes it was pretty easy to navigate. Most of the legitimate sites I knew about from other bloggers and the ones that were silly snake oil salesmen were easy spot. Not so much anymore.

With all the money to be made and the amount of people online, bogus diabetes products and companies pop up pretty often. With all the junk to have to sift through it seems like surfing the web for diabetes is just not a good idea.

You should be aware of a blogger who not only was frustrated with the same issue but did something awesome about it.

Bernard Ferrell is a type 1 blogger and a good friend of mine. Bernard created a customer search engine called Diaboogle. It is a custom Google search engine that filters out all of those snake oil miracle cure sites!

That there is a testament to Bernard’s character and spirit. He sees a need and creates a solution. His passion for helping and caring for others is seen in his blog posts. Bernard is someone who always reaches out to me when I am in need.

Comments he leaves for me are always so genuine and caring. He will send me a direct message if he notices I am acting gloomy. He puts others first and stands up for the little guy.

Bernard has a special place in my heart because years ago I wrote a post about my feet being cold all the time. A simple post in structure but beneath those words were a concern and worry he picked up on. A week or so later a pair of wool slipper socks showed up at my door.

He sent me a postcard apologizing for not being able to make a diabetes conference and I keep it here in my desk. So thoughtful, loving, caring, and supportive. And did I mention his awesome Irish accent?

Long before we met we used to talk about a day in the future when all of us DOC friends would be hanging out together. Meeting Bernard face to face was another dream come true for me. I thank God for his friendship all the time and appreciate all he has done for me and the community.

Have you met Bernard or heard he sweet accent? Share you Bernard love in the comments.