Friday, August 29, 2014

Dear 97.

Dear 97,

The world would have me think that you’re all that.  I know better.

You are reckless and unpredictable, in fact I’d venture a guess that your middle name is Danger…I think it’s time the truth got out there.

Last night you came to visit just as my son was going to bed at 9:23pm.  Admittedly, a visit from 54 or 398 would have been a bit more disconcerting, but the pinnacle intention of this letter is this: you are just as dangerous.  You lull us into a feeling of comfortability and then, without warning, drop.

And drop hard.

It’s a cruel cruel joke.

I know that the possibility of you staying 97 is slim to none.  And even though I know that the possibility of you growing into a larger number exists also…I know the odds are not favorable to do so.

So I feed you.  You know I’m going to feed you.  That is why you come.


And then you give me the virtual finger by jumping to a 248.

Even if I give just a couple bites of something, you put all of your effort into jumping as high as you can.  We all can see you are doing it on purpose.

97.  You are a selfish number.

97.  You hide under the guise of security, of “normality.”  You make us feel like you are a successful place to be, and then you take advantage of that vulnerability and cause frustration.

All I can do is shake my head at you and ask you to leave for now.

One day your impact on this family will be one of Styrofoam…neither here nor there. 

Until that day, I bid you adieu!

Ever so Sincerely,  

P.S. If you want to drop by for lunch on Saturday, I guess it'd be ok.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Their Diabetes.

We’ve arrived in new territory.

I started this blog just over five years ago.  Five years ago my oldest was 14 years old.  J was 11.  B was 7.  L was 5.

Today, our lives are not what they were five years ago.  Not even close.

As I look down the dusty road behind us, I see an enormous amount of progress.  We’ve covered a lot of ground…five years ago isn’t even visible in the rear view mirror anymore. It’s more of a memory than a point of reference.

Things were harder for me then.  Diabetes-wise anyway.

Going from doing everything, all the time…to where I am now, blows my mind.

Case and point: This morning I woke up before the boys and checked their blood sugars as they lay asleep in their beds.  I grabbed one of the boy’s pumps to correct and couldn’t remember the last time I had it in my hands.  It had to be at least a few days before. 

Can you grasp the enormity of that?

Five years ago my hands were on those pumps upwards of ten times a day, each.  Easily.  Now, even though it’s like riding a bike, it felt a bit awkward to give him insulin.

It didn’t feel like my pump.  It felt like his pump.

As I sit here and collect my thoughts, and try to collect my emotions too, I realize that it doesn’t feel like my diabetes anymore either.

It feels like theirs.

Sure, I'm aware it was always theirs.  But for a season, I held the stewardship in my hands.  I stripped their burden bare and wore it on my chest.  Piece by piece they've taken that burden back from me.  They are heavy with responsibility now.

All the boys are doing their own set changes.  J has been doing the midnight checks for the past month.  The two youngest confirm carb counts with me, but when I’m at school, they count/SWAG on their own…and they’re doing a pretty amazing job at it.  The scale has tipped.  They are doing more of the work than me.

In fact, they are doing most of it.

It gives me pause to think where this blog will go in the next five years.  It’s been easy to blog about my diabetes…but now that it is theirs, things get a bit more complicated.

I can blog about my mistakes.  I can’t blog about theirs.  That isn’t my story to tell.

I can blog about my feelings about diabetes.  I can’t blog about theirs.  That isn’t my story to tell.

I can blog about my journey, but now that my boys are taking the lead…its time for them to climb their own mountains and tell their own tales.

No, I’m not going to stop blogging.  I have too much to say.

But my authority on teens and tweens with diabetes will be flimsy at best, as authority infers the power to make choices and enforce obedience.  My boys are old enough to make their own choices now, and we all know how easy it is to force teens into obedience…

I won’t go as far as to say I’ll be a spectator…but I’m a supporting player now. 

My job will be to encourage. 

To lift up. 

To rally. 

To enhearten. 

To praise. 

To buoy. 

To console. 

To applaud. 

And to fortify what’s been taught.

The road is bending and the scenery has become uncharted territory, but my boys fearlessly blaze their trails anyway.

Honestly, I’ve never been so proud of them as I am in this moment.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Diabetic Ice Cream Social 2014

The Diabetic Ice Cream Social has been my baby for a few years now. It’s really been everyone’s baby. It’s been a special thing for me to fight misconceptions, and to spread a little bit of change in everyone’s mindsets as to what a person with diabetes can and cannot eat – as well as what moderation looks like. The idea that a person with diabetes gave themselves a disease is repulsive to me, as well as the idea that foods are ‘bad’ or ‘off limits.’ As a person with an eating disorder, as well as diabetes, I feel that moderation (and not deprivation) are key to managing our daily lives with a modicum of enjoyment and success.

So, in 2011, when a local Indiana chef wrote a poorly educated column on type 2 diabetes, he stopped my world. In his misguided crusade against people with type 2 diabetes, he sought to attack the local Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana for holding an ice cream fund raiser in order to help children with type 1 diabetes go to diabetes camp.  There isn’t just something wrong with attacking children with type 1 diabetes trying to enjoy life as any other child – there is also something wrong with someone who tries to shame our food choices, and create food militancy. Food militancy is something we don’t need in our body image obsessed society. Food militancy is one of the triggers for disordered eating, and many of the common eating disorders affecting our current society – including diabulimia.

Food militancy is also creating a lot of shaming of people with type 2 diabetes and this has got to stop. NO ONE gave themselves diabetes – not a type 1 and not a type 2. People with diabetes are people who were predisposed to developing the disease, for one reason or another. No one knows what triggers type 1, and though obesity may trigger type 2, the fact is that millions of obese people will never develop type 2 diabetes. We all struggle making the healthiest choices for ourselves, and we all need to learn moderation… and we all suffer from bad luck. Life just happens. The #1 risk factor for developing illness is living. Being alive. But one thing is for sure: none of us need deprivation and shaming.

This is what we seek to spread with the Diabetic Ice Cream Social. We seek to spread a renewed view of the person with diabetes; a renewed perspective, as well as a healthier attitude toward food. I have had some pushback from a few folks with different perspectives – and that’s fine. I respect their life path for managing their conditions. But at the same time, I have had thousands of partners in this crusade – the crusade for freedom to make the best choices we know we can make in order to manage diabetes, without fear or shame from others.

The Diabetic Ice Cream Social is a celebration of life – and you may choose to celebrate it any way you want. You can have an ice cream scoop in any way you please: make it lactose free, fat free, sugar free, make it sorbet, make it wine. Make it whatever you prefer – but make it a statement that says you love life, and you appreciate living it, even with diabetes. Make it with family, with friends… or toast the full moon. Make it your own.

This year, 2014, I am very busy with many life challenges and responsibilities – so I won’t be able to lead the crusade as I always do. I won’t be too far from the fray, though. I will be right here, having my scoop, and cheering it on. My friends at The Blue Heel Society have agreed to take on the Social for me… perhaps for a year or so, we’ll see. But they are just as gung-ho about diabetes awareness as I am, so please know this event will keep going. Give them your full support, as I know I will.

This year, while you have your favorite treat… have it will wearing your favorite pair of blues: blue shoes, that is.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Facing the Trigger in the Eye -- Binge Eating Disorder Problems

Life has a funny sense of humor, sometimes... A funny way of testing our wits.

I have a lot of jobs. One of my jobs is for a local church, as their Administrative Assistant. This is a job in which I am transitioning, and their old Administrative Assistant trained me last week, and suggested if I had any questions at all, I could call her. She gives me her business card, and I take it. Later, I'm looking at it, and I find it a bit unusual, as she's labeled herself as a 'Certified Hypnotist and EFT Practitioner,' whatever EFT is. 'Call Your Power Back' it says, under the main header. Under her picture, she claims 'Empowerment and Nutritional Cleansing.' -- Now, this is where I give you guys the disclaimer that I am a skeptic, and I am not fond of new age methods and things. I really like science a lot. I don't believe in cleanses and other kinds of 'fasts' people do to get 'clean' or whatever -- because science doesn't back them up (they can also be dangerous).

I flip the card over -- and what do you know... before and after pictures of people at the worst of their weight gain, and then ripped to no end with muscle, and 'in shape.' I feel the sudden judgmental thoughts going through me -- the sudden comparisons of 'I'm not as good as these people.' Then I'm reminded this person just wants to make a compelling case to get my dollars. I'm reminded that she has confessed to me that she has a lot of health issues herself, and from her appearance is not in what one could term as 'ripped' or in as 'excellent' shape as the people on the back of her business card, and that she's just another human being. I tell myself I have a binging problem, not a weight problem. That I need love, and not a carrot on a stick. I don't need to be Mrs. Olympia 2015.

I will write her numbers down -- and just throw the card away.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Winner of the Level Life Sweepstakes!

Alright. It's been long overdue, but it's time to announce the winner of our Level Life sweepstakes. First, I want to thank everyone for their comments and their wonderful likes and follows. Even if you didn't win today, Level Life has a wonderful discount promo for any of its first time customers -- and I encourage everyone to try out this company. They are well worth it.

But now, without further ado... The winner of our Level Life sweepstakes is...

Rachel Pullman Koltoff

So, Rachel, congratulations!!! You'll receive a package of Level Life products -- shakes and bars -- valued at $60. You'll enjoy their wonderful new flavors, and my favorite, the Caramel shake. :)

Thanks to ALL who participated, and I hope you try out these shakes and bars, they are worth it. I am glad to try out new products here, on the blog, and give the most unvarnished review I can -- if they can handle it. lol :) I really enjoyed trying out these items, so it wasn't too difficult to give them a stellar recommendation.

Hopefully, we might have more of these types of sweepstakes in the future!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Becoming comfortable with the unknown.

I’ve been marinating in new experiences.  (Meri-nating?) My life is full of the unknown, which in and of itself isn't anything new...but for the first time in a long time, the unknown  has become a thrilling prospect.

I’m not unsure anymore.

I think part of that has to do with finally making decisions, and another part is the fact that the unknown isn’t new anymore.  Each day I’m stepping further into it, gleaning familiarity with the landscape.

It stands to reason that the unknown isn’t unknown when it is more known.

(I’m good writer.)

Humor me?

Take out a pencil/pen/crayon/charcoal briquette…and write your full name...with your left hand.  (Or with your right hand if your dominate hand is the left.)

I’ll wait. 

Try it.

Ok, I know most of you didn’t do it.  I'm super sad about it, but you can keep reading...just imagine that you did.  What did it feel like?  Can you describe what the writing process felt like with your non-dominate hand?


Now think of yourself when you were faced with a new diagnosis.  Do these words fit?  How about starting a new job?  Maybe you were just divorced?  How about meeting someone important for the first time? A job interview?

All of those words are typical of the unknown.  Thankfully, as time passes, the unknown goes from shaky to stable.  From uncomfortable to comfortable.  From awkward to ease.  From harder to easier.  From slow to a steadier pace.  From painful to enjoyable.  From silly to amusing. From Different to normal. From regressed to progress.  From frustrating to encouraging.  From forced to natural. We don't feel so clumsy after fact we begin to feel sure footed.

The combined components of time and the journey find us relaxing despite our fears and worries.  We look back and see how far we come, and confidence creeps in.  “If I made it so far, certainly I can make it so far more.”

I’m thankful the hardest is behind me.  I’m thankful I can stop looking at my feet, concentrating on every step and begin moving forward with my eyes on the future.

I feel like I’ve written my name with my left hand a million times since I lost Ryan.  It has taken time, but I’ve finally become accustomed to the new way.

Moving forward into the unknown feels natural to me now.  Any anxiety I have is melting away, revealing a core of sureness.  The unknown used to be a bed of nails, and now it seems to be more of a comfy couch.

I’m excited about my future.

Every step into it has reaffirmed that everything will in fact, be ok.

I’ve been saying it’s all going to be ok for so long, it’s been my mantra repeated over and over and over again...

I don’t have to convince myself anymore.  

I don't have to fake it 'till I make it...

I've made it. 

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