Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just One Thing for 2012 . . . .

NewYearThis month the DSMA Blog Carnival asks what one diabetes related thing we are most looking forward to in 2012.  Just one thing?  That’s a tough one for me because I’m looking forward to, and hoping for, quite a lot from the New Year.  Advances in technology and new products on the U.S. market would be wonderful (like the Enlite sensors and the iBGStar meter, which I’d love to see this year).  Doing more advocacy work will be awesome (like heading to DC in March for JDRF Government Day and hopefully presenting at TCOYD next month).  Finding a  way to turn my diabetes passion into a part-time source of income would be amazing (although I’m not sure it’s a very realistic dream).  Brushing up on my personal diabetes care is important (breaking the “ignore my CGM alarms” habit and finally getting fit and losing weight is something I’m already working on - and I’m proud to say I have shed 5.6 pounds so far this year).

However, I’m only supposed to write about ONE thing.  So I stopped to think about what one thing I’d chose if I had to give up the others.  I’d love fancy new d-gadgets, but I could continue just fine with the ones I’m using now.  Advocacy is very important to me and I’d be disappointed to miss out on new advocacy opportunities, but I could still continue with my local adult support group and the JDRF stuff I’m already involved in.  Finding my dream job is what everyone hopes for, but in reality paying the bills must come first.  And if I didn’t exercise or lose any weight this year?  Well, I’d just keep working on it.

When it comes down to the one thing I’m most looking forward to - the one diabetes thing I absolutely don’t want to miss out on this year - it’s pretty simple.  It’s the connections and the support.  I value my local diabetes groups and am looking forward to more dinners and discussions and sometimes, diabetes rants.  And  I can’t wait to attend more meet-ups and conferences and spend time with my DOC family.  I’m unsure if I’ll be able to attend Friends for Life this year but I’m going to try my hardest to make it happen.  And even if travel and in-person DOC meet-ups aren’t an option, I’m really looking forward to continuing to connect on-line - through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, #dsma, emails, and any other ways I can find.  The DOC has changed me from a person who hid the fact that she was diabetic and never wanted to discuss it, to a person who talks about it every opportunity she gets.  The DOC has taught me that I’m not broken and helpless, and that I can be strong. 

Giving up the connections and support I’ve found is unthinkable - and continuing and growing the relationships I’ve made is the one thing I’m most looking forward to in 2012.

This post is my January entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/january-dsma-blog-carnival/.

8 comments:

  1. I have to agree with connections and support. It really is quite amazing!

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  2. Congratulations on the weight loss Karen! I was like you and used to hide the fact that I was diabetic. Even people close to me at work didn't know. The DOC has really helped me a lot too. Thank you for being an advocate and helping us!

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  3. Yay for local meet-ups!! I was just thinking today that we need to get something on the calendar! Let's talk soon!

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  4. Great post Karen! Good job on the weight loss, very impressive so far! I would have to agrewith its hard to pick just one thing!! I'm sure you will do amazing things with all you put your mind and heart into! I hope see you & Pete this year! :)

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  5. I was the exact opposite--I told everybody. If I needed help, they could then help. I even taught children I babysat how to call 911 should I pass out or get "wierd" (fortunately, it never happened). My mother freaked out when I did my shots in full public view in restaurants, but it was disease--nothing I did nothing wrong. I'm really glad that people are opening up and talking more about diabetes. (I have a friend who had cancer on her nose cut out and posted pictures of her face before reconstructive surgery. She wanted people to know what skin cancer can do. It hopefully helped people understand the disease and what is done if you contract it.)
    Since I don't have a CGM, I was wondering what ignoring the alarm means. Just curious.

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    1. Well, my CGM will alarm if my blood sugar is rising or falling quickly, approaching my high and low limits, or when it's actually showing me as too high or too low. I usually get fairly good accuracy - but for some reason lately I tend to ignore my low alarms. I usually don't feel low (which is the whole reason for having the CGM) so I tell myself it must be wrong and just ignore it instead of testing and treating the low. It sounds so foolish when I type it all out here - but it's the truth and I WILL break myself of this bad habit!

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    2. Thank you. If your blood sugar is rising quickly, what do you do? I understand low, but my guess is with a pump, you can stop the high in part by adding short-acting insulin? My worst habit was not checking in the middle of the night if I woke feeling "funny". When meters could finally give results in 5 seconds, only then did I actually learn to check in the night. Somehow, 30 seconds or even 20 seconds seemed eternity at 3 in the morning!

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    3. Yup, if it alerts me to a high, I confirm by checking with my meter and then I can use the wizard on my pump to tell me how much fast-acting insulin I need to correct the high. The thing I like best is that the pump factors in any insulin I already have still working in my system (it calls it "insulin on board"). I never used to think about that when I was on injections - I'd just keep taking more insulin and more insulin and more insulin without remembering to let what I took an hour ago finish working!!

      I agree, middle of the night checks are so much harder than during the day!! :)

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