Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Figuring out Social Media

This month the DSMA blog carnival is all about Social Media.  We are asked “What advice would you give someone who was trying to figure out how to use social media?”.  The first thing that pops into my head is JUST DIVE RIGHT IN . . . .  but I suppose that’s not really much of an answer.

Instead, here are a few things I wish I had realized when I was just starting out.
  • Don’t be so shy!!  When I first started out, I often held off on leaving comments on blogs because I figured “these people don’t know who I am, they won’t want to hear what I have to say”.  I could not have been more wrong!!  The great thing about the Diabetes On-line Community (or DOC) is that we can (respectfully) share our thoughts and opinions.  You never know when something you say will really help someone else.
  • Don’t get overwhelmed!!  There is a lot of social media out there.  Blogs, twitter, Facebook, message boards, etc. etc.  This is a good thing . . . . until you tell yourself that you must read each and every post and tweet out there and immediately get completely overwhelmed.  (Actually, I still get overwhelmed often!)  Remember that it’s completely fine to participate as little (or as much) as you have time for.
  • Do be sincere and friendly!!  Nobody is the perfect diabetic, so don’t worry that you need to be.  If you feel like sharing mistakes, do it!  If you want to share triumphs, do that too.  Commiserate and celebrate with the DOC - that’s what we are here for.
  • Find the SM tools that work best for you!!  You might be a blogger.  You might not want to write a blog of your own, but you love to read other’s blogs.  You might be super at leaving blog comments.  You might find the 140 character updates of Twitter are more your speed.  Maybe you’ll love message boards.  The great thing is that you are free to choose as many or as few social media tools as you see fit!
  • Have fun!!  Okay, that one goes without saying.  And also, once you get started, I bet you will automatically have more fun that you can imagine! 
To those of you starting out, do you have any questions I haven’t covered?  And to you social media “pros”, what advice would you give??

This post is my November entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The DOC - D Blessings Week

dblessingsweek2011_edited-1gifHappy Thanksgiving!!

Today I am very thankful and very blessed.  I am lucky to have a very wonderful husband,  and family and friends who support me, love me, and are proud of me.

The biggest blessing diabetes has brought me, of course, is you!!!!  The DOC, the friends I always needed, even when I didn’t know it.  The only people who really get what the whole diabetes thing is like.  You help me and support me and inspire me.  You have filled a huge void in my life!

Happy Thanksgiving to you!!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Being Able - D Blessings Week Day 2

I’m not shy about sharing how much I despise exercise.  I know it’s important.  I know it’s good for me.  I know it will help my blood sugar.  But I still don’t like it.

I’ve tried time and time again to get motivated for a regular exercise routine.  Sometimes it lasts for a few months.  Sometimes it lasts for a few weeks.  And yes, sometimes it only lasts for a few days.  I still haven’t quite figured out how to make exercise a lasting part of my life.

ugh_thumbBut here’s the thing.  I hate the way I look.  I am fat.  I see pictures of myself and cringe.  Over the past several years, weight has crept on steadily.  I’ve been talking about losing weight for quite some time now.  As with exercise, I start strong and quickly sputter out.  But every pair of pants I have is unbelievably tight.  I am NOT going up yet another clothing size.  And so, I’m starting over.  Yesterday was Day 1 - and I did pretty well.  I pulled out Your Diabetes Science Experiment and looked over my notes from last time I was working out.  I went to the store and stocked up on healthy foods.  I put in 45 minutes on the treadmill and I made good food choices all day long.  This morning, I did 50 minutes.  And it didn’t seem like a struggle.  It seemed like a blessing.

Yes, I have a chronic illness that makes diet and exercise a bit more tricky.  But I am blessed to still have a strong body that can move.  I am blessed to have the tools I need to navigate a successful workout.  I am blessed that although I’m unhappy with how I look right  now, I have the power to do something about it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Taking Breaks - D Blessings Week Day 1

This week marks the annual D Blessings Week, a wonderful event created by Mike of My Diabetic Heart.  The idea is to post about diabetes blessings, either in a single post or in a weeks worth of posts.  I’m shooting for blessings all week long because I think it’s a very good idea to take a step back and really appreciate all that I have.

 Last week Pete was on vacation from work.  We didn’t really go anywhere, although we did sneak in a trip to the casino on Wednesday (where those mean little slot machines sucked down all our gambling money).  Instead we did some much needed work around the house - painting, updating, organizing.  As far as I’m concerned being on vacation means you certainly don’t cook, so we went out to dinner or ordered take-out every night.

I made a vacation decision about diabetes too . . . . I decided to give my CGM the week off.  Lately I’d been feeling a bit of CGM info overload - where I just got annoyed by all the alerts and found myself ignoring them.  So a CGM break seemed just the ticket.   And it was wonderful.  No alarms trilling about highs and lows.  No beeping waking me up in the middle of the night.  No worries about making sure my pump is clipped near the sensor so it stays in range.  I felt a little more free.

CGMFriday meant vacation was drawing to a close, so I popped a new sensor in.   And as much as I loved taking a break from the CGM last week, it’s really nice to have it back on again.  It's nice to know with one glace what my blood sugars are doing.  It’s nice to catch a high before it hits 200.  Although an alarm may wake me during the night, I still sleep a little more soundly knowing the CGM is doing its best to keep me safe.  I’m back in love with my CGM.

Our diabetes technologies are blessings for sure.  But sometimes having the option to take a break from one of my d-tech devices is an even bigger blessing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A whole lot of BLUE!!

Its another Blue Friday and I’m all in blue today.  My favorite bit of blueness??

 That would be blue hand-knit socks, of course!!

Speaking of blue, have you done the Big Blue Test yet??  If you haven’t, go do it now!!!  If you have, go do it again!!!  And then get everyone you know to do it, whether they have diabetes or not.  Why?  Because each big blue test logged results in a life-saving donation to someone in need.  The goal is 8,000 tests logged by the end of World Diabetes Day - which is this Monday - and there is a long way to go to reach that goal.  So let's get moving this weekend and get that the Big Blue Test progress bar filled in!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Scrapbooking Diabetes . . .

Today is the 6th 7th Annual Diabetes Blog Day, an event Gina Capone created to help bloggers to unite and spread diabetes awareness!  This year Gina put a unique spin on DBlog Day, and asked us to create a scrapbook page.  As usual, I waited until the last minute to get going on my page, but once I sat down I was surprised at how quickly it came together!!

DBlogDay2011Click to enlarge!!

Questions??  Yes, the big Diabetes Awareness circle is made out of yarn.  Yes, the little blue circles are  “Q”s from my Quick-set box.  Yes, there are two martini glasses on my page.  Yes, you also see a cat, yarn stickers, a shoe that looks like a ballroom dance shoe to me, and some sparkly unicorns.  Yes, I did have all of the materials for this page in my office/craft room.  Winking smile

What would your diabetes scrapbook page include??

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

3 Truths and 1 Lie.

Tell us 3 things that are true about you, your condition, your Health Activism, or your life. Now tell us 1 lie. Do you think we will be able to tell the difference?
I’m the first to admit I’m a terrible liar.  And on top of that, there isn’t much I haven’t shared on this blog already.  So figuring out a lie that might be believable was tough, but I gave it a shot (no diabetes-pun intended).
  1. For most of my life, I didn’t want anyone to know I had diabetes and went to great lengths to  hide it.
  2. I can remember lying awake as a teenager thinking that I'd never be alive to see my 30th birthday.
  3. In my almost 32 years with diabetes, I've been lucky enough to never have had a seizure from a low blood sugar.
  4. During my entire four years at college I never once tested my blood sugar.
So, how did I do?  Can you spot the lie?   Leave me your Lie Pick in the comments and we’ll see if I’m as bad a liar as I think I am!!

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Case of the Mondays . . .

nhbpm_logo_v2-02-AD-editsWrite about something that gets you down, burns you out, or makes you sad. Purge it in a blog post.  Turn it around at the end. Tell Tuesday why you’re ready for it.
This time of the year, it’s not so much about the Mondays.  It’s about the Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  The days are cold.  It’s dark when I wake up, and it’s dark before I’ve even started making dinner.  That fun, carefree “it’s summer, lets kick back in the sunshine and have some fun” feeling is replaced with dreary winter doldrums.  I start to feel isolated,  I start to feel apathetic.  I start to feel like a huge loser for still not having a real job.  I start to feel like a waste of human matter.  And one big D starts to eclipse the other big D.  Granted, this can (and does) hit any time of year - but autumn always seems a little bit worse.

This year, these Fall blahs are hitting at a particularly hard time.  A little over a month ago, we lost my father’s twin brother, who was also my godfather.  A little over a week ago, we lost Pete’s grandmother, who was 100 years old and lived on her own in a second-story walkup in Queens until just a couple of months ago.  It was easy to believe Grandma would outlive us all, given how amazing she was.  On top of that, Pete has been away on business almost every week (although luckily it looks like his business trips are finished for a while), leaving me plenty of time to sulk pathetically without anyone to interrupt my crying jags.  It also makes it far too easy to load up on comfort foods instead of cooking healthy, well-balanced dinners for one.  Which makes the scale move ever farther upward instead of down.  Which makes me feel even worse about myself.  Which makes me want more comfort food.  Rinse, repeat . . .

So now, I’m supposed to turn it around and tell Tuesday why I’m ready for it.  Ummmm . . . . I gotta be honest, I don’t have any answers.  I can tell you I dragged myself off of the couch yesterday to go out for a run with Pete, and I’ll make myself get on the treadmill today.  I can tell you I’ve planned a week of healthy, home-cooked dinners and after I hit “Publish” I’ll go buy the ingredients for them.  I can tell you I’ll work hard on being a good advocate - with my blog, with other Social Media, with my volunteer JDRF work, with Diabetes Awareness Month, and with any other opportunities that come along.  But I can’t promise I’ll feel any less isolated.  I can’t promise I’ll feel like less of a loser.  I can’t promise I’ll figure out any answers.  All I can promise is that I’ll try.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Titles of my future book . . .

nhbpm_logo_v2-02-AD-editsNow don’t get excited,  I’m not actually writing a book.  Instead I’m (sort of) blogging along with the prompts from Wego Health’s National Health Blog Post Month.  (Although I may not use every topic and I'm jumbling the order up a bit.)  Today I’m using yesterday’s topic “Say you’re writing a book about your life, community, condition, or Health Activism. Come up with 5 working titles and a quick book jacket synopsis.”.  Here are the five book titles I came up with:
  • Yes I CAN eat that . . .

  • Slacker Pancreas
    my adventures standing in for an internal organ that retired early

  • Because I have diabetes
    answers to “why is your blood sugar high?”, “goodness, what made you go low?”
    and dozens of other inane questions.

  • I’m Stuck
    with lancets, with needles, and with a chronic illness

  • Bitter-Sweet . . . because life with diabetes isn’t all bad.
What would the title of your diabetes book be??

This post was written as part of NHBPM - 30 health posts in 30 days.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Give Diabetes the . . . paw??

November 1st marks the first day of National Diabetes Awareness Month.  This year, JDRF has also marked today as the first annual T1Day.  The aim of T1Day is to spread awareness about Type 1 diabetes and educate people about it.  As part of this campaign, JDRF sent me a foam diabetes finger, so I could “give type 1 the finger”.


Yes, I will admit that the have been days when I’ve wanted to give diabetes the finger.  And I’m not talking about my pointer-finger either . . . .

In a show of solidarity and support for the DOC, K.C. wants to give diabetes the finger too.  Or, I suppose, she wants to give diabetes the paw??


Are you celebrating T1Day?  How will you help spread diabetes awareness throughout the month?