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Friday, November 14, 2014

Happy World Diabetes Day!

 So today is the day that all diabetics that are on the social media stuff know that the entire world comes together to celebrate diabetes (no one besides diabetics celebrate diabetes day) and how even though there isn't a cure, we don't let it stop us.  I love diabetes day because I get to harass all my coworkers that hound me to wear pink on breast cancer day that I am not American if I don't wear pink on that day that they don't like diabetes because they aren't wearing blue on diabetes day (trust me I let them know that I will be hounding them on diabetes day).  The thing is that diabetes day could be a great day to spread awareness but instead we have the worst marketing campaign on the planet and almost nobody knows that today they are supposed to hug and kiss their favorite diabetic or something and wear blue.  I think you are supposed to also test your blood sugars, go and exercise for thirty minutes and test them again.  I love the picture above, I was playing around the day after Halloween in the 50% off kids costume isle at Walmart and put on the shark thing and my good diabetic buddy Jeff spent hours doctoring up the picture with the inter-global symbol of diabetes.  The awkward looking blue circle.
 
 I think that a lot of our problems is due to the fact that there are so many forms of diabetes that are similar in only one way and that is insulin (all diabetics don't have enough of it).  You have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and juvenile diabetes.  Then there are no outwardly appearances of having diabetes, I remember as a kid being depressed because everyone made fun of me because I had a disease where I couldn't eat cookies.  Diabetes is the only disease that the entire world makes fun of.  I was listening to the AM radio one late night going home from work and the gentlemen on the radio station were talking about Kim Jong Un the leader of north Korea and I almost got into a wreck when they went over all his illnesses like gout, cyst on his foot, high blood pressure, an addiction to swiss cheese, and the worst of all diabetes.  Then they go into this rant about how diabetes is so bad that no one with it could possibly run a country so there has to be someone in the background doing everything because it is such a dilapidating disease and no ruler of a country could ever have it.  I didn't know if I should be mad because I kinda like to think I could at least rule my house of one with it or happy because they understood how flippin hard it is to always have diabetes on the mind.  Not to mention how much juvenile diabetes I have.

Then there are the countless weight loss commercials about reversing diabetes.  I want to so badly go into these places and pay them to reverse my diabetes.  How do they get away with that crap?  Not to mention the cinnamon, water, aloe vera, noni juice and other crap that grows under rocks that can cure it.  The good thing is that we finally are almost seeing some real progress in the bare minimum of better devices and medicines to help us control it well enough for that infamous five year cure to come around.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Capital to Coast

 Let me tell you something, I have met some amazing people in my life.  I don't know how I have been such a fortunate person (besides the diabetes) to be around and know so many inspirational people and to have them include me in their events.  My friend Don came up with an idea somewhere around last November about wanted to get a gaggle of 12 diabetics to run a race called: Capital 2 Coast. 
 Now Capital 2 coast which is also known as c2c is a 223 mile relay of 12 people in two vans which starts in Austin Texas and goes to Corpus Cristi Texas.  The first hurdle for Don was to get 12 willing and able people much less diabetics that were willing to do this and have the ability to get to the race.  Then there were conference calls, logistics, training runs, gear, medical forms, and so much more.

When the event was finally upon us I was nervous, there were only like 69 teams registered and our time was pushing the cut off and we also had team members with all sorts of ailments from back problems to even me and heart surgery.  The thing is though, Don pushed through and got replacement after replacement along with drivers for each van and also navigators for each van.  He even harassed Medtronic enough to get them to buy us appetizers for our pre-race dinner. 
The event turned out absolutely epic and I had so much fun that I couldn't sleep when I got back Sunday night and finally almost passed out at work the following Monday.  There is something to doing events like this with people that have a common bond and ours was raising awareness about diabetes and what we can do.  We were all laughing and joking along the way and at the last team dinner Saturday night we told story after story of what each van did and everyone couldn't wait until next years event.

I don't know if my friend Don is aware of it or not but he has started something big with this event that is just going to grow the campaign to cure diabetes ignorance.  Don even went so far into harassing the Dallas Morning News to do an article on the team and he sold it to them so good that they did a follow up story on the team after the event.  This was one of those events that I just happen to be in the right place and the right time with a great person in Don to allow me to do 40 hours of juvenile diabetes comedy with a van of unwilling participants I am glad to call my friends afterwards and on a team that I would call a family.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Graduation!

So today was cardiac rehab graduation today for myself, which I am happy and also sad.  I am happy that I have learned so much about heart rate zones and where I need to be.  Then I also learned about blood pressure and where I should be and what to do if I have low blood pressure.  They told me a while back to get a blood pressure monitor for my house but I never got one because I couldn't tell you what those numbers meant if it depended on my life.  Now after 12 weeks of rehab and me asking a thousand questions I know my blood pressure limits and what to do if they drop and I feel comfortable that I am not wasting 80 bucks on random medical stuff that means nothing to me when I eventually get one. 

I learned the most from bugging all the other patients in rehab about what procedure they had done, how they knew to seek medical advice, and how they felt in general about what people around them reacted to their diagnosis and how they felt personally about their own heart issues.  This is the part I am most sad about, before rehab it was just me trying to figure out this stuff alone.  Then once in rehab I had a network of professionals and patients that I could use as my support system.  Heck the second time I went to the hospital one of the ladies at rehab was already showing me some interesting things on my EKG while running that eventually led to my pericarditis diagnosis.  It does bother me a little to not have this vast network at my disposal three days a week any longer but they gave me all their contact information to keep bugging them.

One of my favorite movies is "About a Boy" and the theme throughout the movie is Hugh Grant saying: a man is an island.  Then in the end he realizes that man is not an island and we have to create a network of people that will support each other.    Ever since I have found this philosophy with my diabetes and now with my heart stint, I know that my network of people constantly grows and am better prepared for anything else that life throws at me.