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Friday
Jan312014

Spare a Rose - Save a Child

So here's the deal.

Valentine's Day is coming up and you are probably going to buy roses for someone or hope to get some from someone. Cool. I totally get it.

What if I told you that the price for just ONE of those roses could get a child with diabetes the medicine and supplies he needs to live for a whole month? 1 rose = 1 month of life.

So for the price of a dozen roses you could help save the life of a child with diabetes for an entire year!

The Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign was created to raise awareness and donations for the Life of a Child program.

Now if you're saying, "George! I have to buy my special someone roses because my special someone is super special!" Relax! I get it. No problem.

Send them one less then a dozen and donate the money for that one rose to Life of a Child. That way your special someone gets flowers but also gets to help save a child's life!

 

This is like a total no brainer. Click on the banner, donate a little cash, order your roses for that awesome person in your life, find a mirror so you can look at the awesome person you are, and know that a few clicks of your mouse just changed the life of a child. 

Thank you.

Wednesday
Jan152014

Life is too long

Last week I had a doctors appointment. It ended with blood being drawn, urine being collected, and an exam that was one step away from a T&C (turn and cough).

The last time I came in to see the doctor was over 6 months ago. I went in a couple of times for moments of sickness but I have not had a diabetes check up style appointment until now.

When I got a call the last Monday afternoon saying my doctor wanted me to come in at 9AM the next day to go over the draw results I was worried. I knew something was wrong since my doctor would not normally call me in.

When I got into the room my doctor came right out with it.

“Your A1C is 9.8 and that is not okay. I don’t blame you, I blame myself because I should have spotted this sooner. You are insulin resistant besides having type 1 so we need to do something different to get your numbers down.”

Stinging guilt poured over me regardless of the fact that there was no blame on my doctors face. That self-inflicted sting which stems from years of being on the wrong side of an index.

“You also have leaky kidneys, nerve damage, and heart disease. There is no time to mess around with this Georgie. I am going to change things and it’s gonna work so please be patient with me and we will get you where you need to be.”

Leaky kidneys? I know I have nerve damage since my feet are rattling all the time. The heart disease I never tied to diabetes but my doctor does and he is the one with the while coat so I believe him. But kidneys?

Here is an explanation:

Diabetic kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy) is a complication that occurs in some people with diabetes. In this condition the filters of the kidneys, the glomeruli, become damaged. Because of this the kidneys 'leak' abnormal amounts of protein from the blood into the urine. The main protein that leaks out from the damaged kidneys is called albumin. In normal healthy kidneys only a tiny amount of albumin is found in the urine. A raised level of albumin in the urine is the typical first sign that the kidneys have become damaged by diabetes.

My doctor assures me that as long as we act now I will be okay. I trust him so I felt better.

"Since you are using so much insulin everyday and it is not working for you I am going to switch you to U-500. Are you familiar with that?"

I wasn't and he broke it down for me. 

"It is basically concentrated insulin. All other insulins are U-100 and so this is 5 times more concentrated. You take 20 units of U-500 and its like taking 100 units of R. This is serious stuff Georgie and it takes a smart person to be able to take it. So you should take it as a compliment because I know you are no dummy and can handle this!" 

The problems? Weight gain. The possibility of some scary lows. Having to bolus 30-45 minutes before I eat. 

The real problem is that my high BG is damaging my body so I will deal with whatever else comes along with this. I will do what I have to do.

On the drive home and all night kept thinking about all of this stuff. What my life was like 10 years ago. What I wanted to do and who I thought I would be. I started thinking what life would be like if I was on dialysis. What if I lost my vision? Or a limb? Or had an actual heart attack? What would my life be like? What would my family do?

People always say that life is too short. "Life is short so live like tomorrow is your last." And I believe that. Life is too short and I need to live life to the fullest.

But...

Life is too long.

Life is too long to live it being crippled by complications. Life is too long for me to not do something now to make my life as well as I can make it. Life is too long to not spend time and energy keeping my body healthy. Life is too long to not care about today so tomorrow and all the tomorrows that come will be the best they can be.

You can enjoy each day and not get caught up in all the stuff that bogs us down but at the same time do things that, to the best of your ability, make tomorrow as enjoyable as it can be!

Live like today is your last but plan for tomorrow to come. 

Life is too long not to.

Tuesday
Jan142014

Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum 

Last week I attended the Medtronic Diabetes Advocates summit. This year both Medtronic and Bayer sponsored the event. They put me up in hotel, fed me, and are taking care of other expenses. Since I am “local” I got to drive to the hotel which is fine by me.

Image courtesy of Medtronic

 

I always love getting a chance to hang out with my DOC family and meet new people in the community. That is usually the driving force behind attendance but this seemed different. Although we had a great time seeing one another there was this feeling like we were ready to get stuff done and work together to do it!

Medtronic really did a great job balancing product info and advocacy. It felt both like a meeting for them and for us. I really appreciated that. There are lots of things spinning around in my head about the event but the important thing to note is that the event really jumpstarted my advocacy heart.

Lately I have been feeling a little stale when it comes to my contributions to the DOC but now I am ready to go.

Thanks to all the Medtronic team for putting together a great event and for being so kind to all of us.

Kim, Sara, and Kerri wrote some great posts about the event that you should check out too. They write way better than I do.

Monday
Jan132014

Blogaversary - The Ocho

Eight years. That is crazy.

Eight years ago today I started blogging. My drive was to share my story and connect with others as I travelled down a path to better health. 

There have been lots of ups and downs over these 8 years. The ups have included some major changes to the way I see my diabetes and my attempt to keep it managed. The relationships I have madet that stemmed from this blog have been a major positive in my life. Friends that I will have forever!

The best thing that has happened to me is hearing from the people my blog has touched. I share all my stuff on this site in hopes that others will not feel alone and can learn from what I have been through. Hopefully saving them some grief and struggle. That is a dream come true for me and why I continue to do this. 

Sure I don't write as often as I used to but I promise I will always share my stuff, I will always be honest, I will always be looking for more people to connect with, and I will always keep this place as my little internet home. 

Happy Blogaverary to me.

Tuesday
Dec312013

Thoughts of '13

My year was filled with self chosen negative responses that made me feel terrible.

Lots of goals were forgotten.

Dreams I had been holding onto for years and believing in became an annoyance.

I had no major health issues.

My sister fought and won the battle with cancer. 

A surprise party for my 40th was a highlight.

Finances continue to cloud my plans.

The physical self I planned to sculpt became the victim of procrastination and lack of motivation.

Me and my guitar performed at two weddings.

I did not volunteer for anything for the entire year.

The mustache that so many had no problem saying they didn't like has been worn for an entire calendar year. 

The last thought reminded me how much I cannot stand mean people, and how many I know. And how much I can be one too. And how I need to stop.

My absolute favorite moment of the year was sitting in a sleezy smoke filled casino in Downtown Las Vegas by myself drinking alcohol in front of a slot machine until 4AM. This moment was significant and something I have never done in my life. I actually was okay being with myself which some may say was pathetic but in all honesty, it is what is makes me want to turn this whole negative crap around. 

Next year is going to be so much better because of all the reflecting I have been doing since that night in Vegas. 

My last thought is that this post started off as something completely different, as did this blog, but it is what it is and there must be a reason for it. 

Here's to 2014! Bring it.