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New Director, New Direction

I’ve always wanted my own library. I wanted to be a permanent resident in a place of knowledge, where dreams are created and nurtured, where there is a near-guaranteed payoff for time well spent, where I could inspire people to imagine possibilities and achieve the unexpected, and where I could make a positive difference in the lives of others.

After several years of leading a creative project management and development team, I moved to south Florida in 2004 chasing love and the dream of becoming a library success story. It wasn’t long before I developed aspirations of finding my way to the top, where I could lead and inspire others to dream even bigger than I could on my own. After some hard years of clawing my way up the corporate ladder, and learning and losing more than I had bargained for both professionally and personally in the process, I relocated again in 2009 to venture into the unknown territory of the accidental medical librarian.

The past five years have had both ups and downs, but these years have ultimately been rewarding, and have provided me plenty of opportunities to grow personally and professionally. I am proud of the things that I have accomplished as a medical librarian, as a diabetes advocate, and that I have had the opportunity to play a role in inspiring the people around me to achieve. In our medical library, we are a team, and our success is as dependent on each other as it is on ourselves and our individual accomplishments. And we’re only just getting started.

I am so excited to share the news that, as of today, I am the Director of the Charlotte Edwards Maguire Medical Library at the Florida State University.

I have worked extremely hard to get to this place and to tie all of my little worlds together into one big dream where my passions can coexist. I’ve had some great support. And Amanda has had the patience of Job. So I’m going to take a few moments to enjoy this accomplishment.

And then I’m going to change the world.

Photo-MartinWood

Friday, 5/23/2014

I am pleased to inform  you that after a national search, Martin Wood has been named Director of the Charlotte Edwards Maguire Medical Library at the FSU College of Medicine, and promoted to Associate Librarian.

Martin graduated from Florida State University, twice, where he acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication, and a degree as Master of Library and Information Studies. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians.

After years of experience with the Florida Center for Prevention Research and in the Global Research Library for Franklin Templeton Investments, a Fortune 500 company, Martin brought his skills in technology, business, communications, education, and research to the Maguire Medical Library. Martin started at the College of Medicine in 2009 as the Head of Electronic Resources and Technical Services, and shifted the library’s definition of “collection” to focus on those electronic resources with the greatest potential for positive impact on patients at the point of care. He was promoted to Assistant Director of the medical library in 2012, and then Interim Director in March of 2014, overseeing electronic resources, collection development, scholarly communications and open access publishing, systems, web services, and public services.

Complimenting his leadership of the Maguire Medical Library team, Martin was elected and served as the President of the Florida Health Sciences Library Association in 2012-13, and has been the Chair of both the Strategic Planning and Nominating Committees in FHSLA. Martin is a Senior member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP) with the Medical Library Association (MLA), and also represents Florida State University as a member of the Florida Collaboration of Academic Libraries of Medicine (FCALM), the Southern Chapter of the Medical Library Association (SC/MLA), the Consortium of Southern Biomedical Libraries (CONBLS), and the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL).

In addition to his accomplishments in the medical library field, Martin is also a leader and outspoken advocate for people living with diabetes, and serves at the local, state, national, and international levels to improve the lives of people with chronic conditions. Martin is a well-known blogger and patient advocate in the diabetes community, and was recently appointed to the JDRF International Type 1 Diabetes Voices Council in Washington, DC. He is also a faculty advisor for the Students With Diabetes organization, which aims to create a community and connection point for young adults with diabetes on both college campuses and in local communities across the country.

I want to thank the members of the search committee for their due diligence in reviewing a number of qualified applicants, and confirming for us the real jewel we have at the College of Medicine. Please join me in congratulating Martin, and thanking him for his leadership as he continues to direct the medical library team and oversee the services and resources that have made the Maguire Medical Library the model academic digital medical library for the 21st century.

–Dr. Littles

Outlook for 2013

In 2012, I was a bit quiet on my blog and even online within the diabetes online community (DOC). I spent the majority of 2012 offline with diabetes, working in real life with groups like Students With Diabetes, and spending the bulk of my time professionally in my job as a medical librarian. Now that 2013 is upon me, I want to get my voice back, realizing that time and puberty experience may have changed some of what I have to say.

I get frustrated when I see folks posting so many “woe is me” blog posts, Facebook statuses, and even Tweets about how awful life with diabetes is. I get that, believe me. We all have our bad days, and I’m no exception. The frustration I feel is when that seems to be all that they are sharing, as if living life with diabetes is like walking around in a cloud of filth like Pigpen from the Peanuts gang.

Pigpen

I don’t want to be someone who parades around in a sea of hate because I have diabetes. Diabetes doesn’t own me, and I work extremely hard to never let it. Diabetes is not all bad. It’s a challenge, certainly. Life with diabetes is not going to always be easy, but it’s not going to always be the thing that demands every single second of my attention either. The same can be said for life without diabetes. If diabetes took up every single minute of every single day, none of us would have time for jobs, families, hobbies, or any other activity that is really what makes life worth dragging our carcasses out of bed for every morning.

I like to think that diabetes is more like a sleezy landlord in my body that I have to pay rent to (insulin, time, attention to details) and deal with quarterly walkthroughs of my proverbial apartment (trips to the endo) to continue living in its good graces. If I want to renew the lease on this walking shack of mine every year, then I have to do my job and take care of the things that were featured on the lease agreement that was forced upon me.

In 2013, things are changing. I’ve taken the first steps by completely redesigning Diabetically Speaking so that it is available to everyone via their mobile phone, tablet, or computer. All of the old posts are still there, but I needed to give my site and myself a refresh.

2012 was an election year, and it seemed like there was so much hate flying around. People that I thought I knew better showed (and in many cases are still showing) a side of themselves that I simply can’t support. It really made me feel like I couldn’t trust people, or myself, because I had made such a mistake in my judgement of their character. I’m not a hateful person, and I can’t operate with disdain toward people just because they don’t match my politics, religion, sexual orientation, skin color, income level, education level, gender, or any other measuring stick that people seem to choose when comparing others to themselves. In 2013, I am not going to tolerate that nonsense in my world. It yields no good. I am all for free speech and sharing of opinions, even if I don’t necessarily agree, but I believe we can do it with some human decency and respect for each other. Type 1 diabetes does not discriminate based on any of these things, which tells me that a stupid autoimmune system malfunction may have more sense than some of the rest of us walking around. Like diabetes, I want to give people an equal opportunity, because we all need someone who gets it, and gets us.

Finally, I’m not going to set specific goals for myself in 2013. In previous years I’ve set a list of goals, and some of them I accomplished, and some of them I didn’t. In the grand scheme of things it didn’t make a bit of difference. This year, I feel like I need to leave some room for the unexpected, and paint with a broader brush. I’m not going to force myself to lose X number of pounds, pay off X number of bills, pedal X number of miles, or write X number of blog posts. I’m going to set myself up for success, not failure, and I’m going to do what I can in hopes that it will be enough. I’m going to lose SOME weight, I’m going to pay off A bill, and I’m going to ride SOME miles and work my way back into riding shape, and share everything that is going on in my world WHEN I can.

This year, I want to find happiness, be kind, and seek greatness. I want to practice random acts of kindness, because despite appearances and our own biases, you never know just how bad the person sitting next to you may have it. Above all, I want to approach the world in 2013 like it’s an adventure, and let that lead me wherever it may.

Snoopy Ace

2012 Goals & Resolutions

Last year I put together a post of some of the things that I wanted to accomplish in 2011. My first goal was to get my A1C under 6.2. At my last three endo visits, my A1C was 5.6, 5.7, and 5.6. Goal achieved, sort of, but with that low A1C came a couple of dangerous lows. Those A1C’s don’t make me a “good diabetic” anymore than those dangerous lows make me a “bad diabetic.” It’s just proof that an ideal number goal that signifies that diabetes is in good control is also very close to the edge of a low blood sugar disaster.

I made a resolution last year to wear my CGM more regularly. I did mostly, yet those two aforementioned lows both outran my CGM’s ability to predict the low blood sugar in time for me to fix the problem myself. During the first low, my CGM started beeping while A-Flizzle was feeding me glucose tabs. (See also: This CGM technology stuff has got to improve if we ever hope to see a closed-loop artificial pancreas in reality.) Unfortunately, due to expired sensors, supply refill woes, and now a CGM transmitter that is no longer transmitting, I’ve been without my CGM for 2-3 months, and I can definitely tell because my BG’s are all over the place. Like that sweaty 35 this morning, followed by a headache inducing 237 at dinner tonight. I’m concerned about my next A1C, but I know that it is just data, and I know that I’m struggling, and I’m just going to put my faith in my endo, my CDE, and myself to work together and turn this beat around. Diabetes is hard enough. Why beat myself up about it?

My #2 and #3 goals were really all about exercise, and if I look at them explicitly, I failed them both. I did not run a 5K, nor did I find a group to start cycling with on a regular basis. I did, however, discover the joys of spin class, so I’m chalking those up as a sort of win.

One goal I had that I’m extremely disappointed about not achieving is to get down to a stable 165 lbs. The first half of this year I did phenomenal at losing some weight, eating low carb, getting some exercise in, and really feeling like I was on my way to a more fit me. Then I had that low BG seizure at the beginning of July, where I chewed up my tongue and could only eat really soft, bland, room temperature foods for about 2-3 weeks, and that sunk my battleship. I was traveling at the time, so I resorted to eating total garbage like macaroni and cheese, soft cookies, potatoes, and starchy things that I had done so well at resisting in the first half of 2011. Now, here at the beginning of 2012, I’m right back to where I started, maybe even a little heavier. I have some new weight-related goals in mind though, so rather than throwing myself a pity party, I’m going to try a healthy helping of encouragement instead.

Another resolution I had was to go to the ophthalmologist. I’ve written about this experience, but suffice it to say that I did indeed go, and I got my card the other day reminding me to make a new appointment, and it isn’t something I’m as afraid of as much as I once was. I’m calling that an accomplishment.

Other goals and resolutions involved having adventures, paying off some bills, getting diabetes stuff that I needed (like a new medical ID bracelet), and remembering that even though diabetes is ever present, it isn’t the only thing that is important in life. All of those things I can mostly say I succeeded at, and am not opposed to carrying those ideals forward in the new year.

So without further ado, I present my 2012 goals and resolutions.

Goals
1. A1C <= 6.2. Less would be good.
2. Pay off at least two debts.
3. Have an adventure…regularly. Take pictures. (I really can’t emphasize this one enough. It’s a MUST!)
4. NEW for 2012: Drop some heft. Goal weight, 175 lbs. I will re-evaluate once this goal is achieved.
5. NEW for 2012: Complete an urban disturbance/warrior 5K, where you climb walls, jump fire, wade through mud, etc. I don’t know the exact name of these types of races. I just know I want to do one.
6. NEW for 2012: I will have a pool nearby this year, so I’m going to start swimming again. I miss it bunches. Plus, I need to get my bikini body ready for…*cough*…nevermind. Nothing to see here. Move along people.
7. NEW for 2012: Be successful with at least one big thing for diabetes advocacy. Measure of success to be determined based on specifics of the diabetes advocacy activity. That should leave me plenty of room to cause trouble.

Resolutions
1. Wear CGM consistently.
2. NEW for 2012: Find and go to the dentist, in addition to endo and ophthalmologist.
3. NEW for 2012: Exercise at least 3 days a week, even if work, blogging, and rest have to be sacrificed in order to do so. This will help my strength, energy level, blood sugar stability, and entertainment value while strutting around without clothes on.
4. NEW for 2012: Blog consistently, but only if it meets self-imposed quality standards. Or includes a good laugh. Or both.
5. NEW for 2012: Stop letting other people dictate my emotions. Their Jedi mind tricks are no good here.

Yeah…that’s a good start.

Snow - 12-28-2011

Back On Track

188. That is the number that greeted me Saturday when I stepped on the scale to see just how bad things were. After making significant progress in losing some of my heft, making as much progress as getting down into the mid-170’s by June of this year, at the beginning of July I had a bad diabetes moment, and despite my intentions to throw myself back into exercise and eating low carb, I’ve really lost focus.

My clothes fit a little more tight than they used to, and certainly more tight than I want them to. I look at myself in the mirror and I’m not happy with what I see. I want to look and feel sexy, and make the mistake of asking my reflection for my phone number when I walk by. I need to get new clothes too, as most of my clothes are well worn, some even with holes in them. But I refuse to go buy them when I’m at a weight and size that I’m not happy with. I don’t want to buy the size clothes that I am. I want to buy the size clothes that I want to be.

I’m also tired all the time. I don’t really sleep that much, and when I do it is restless and dream filled. Part of that is because I’m stressed all the time. I feel like I have for more to do than I have time to do it, all the time. It’s not just work, or life at home, or people I need to see, or things I need to do. It’s just the culmination of everything. It’s as if I can never get enough accomplished, and despite my generally optimistic view of the world, lately I feel frustrated because I end every day with a list of things I didn’t get done.

My eating habits are just plain gross since July. When I had my seizure, I really chewed up my tongue and mouth. For two weeks I could only eat soft foods like macaroni and cheese, applesauce, soft cookies, breads, and sometimes soup if it wasn’t too hot. Because I could barely chew or move food around in my mouth with my tongue, it completely broke down my low carb routine that I had been sticking with and was doing so good at keeping up. Now, because my routine changed, I’ve gotten accustomed to foods that I can eat fast, because I don’t have a lot of time to stop and put together a meal that is healthy and good for me. Rather than a breakfast made of something in the 20 grams of carbs or less family, I end up grabbing the blueberry or banana nut muffin that is 58 grams of carbs, just because it is fast, easy, and available. Rather than opt for a healthy salad or protein heavy lunch and taking time to pause and use both hands to enjoy it, I end up with the carb loaded option that I can eat with one hand so I can continue working with the other.

Emotionally, because I feel so far off track, I’m not happy. Sure, I still have a good time with friends, when I can find the time to get to hang out with them at least. A-Flizzle and I still enjoy doing things together. It’s not a social unhappiness, but rather a disappointment in myself for putting back on nearly all of the weight that I was so proud of myself for losing in the first half of this year. I don’t like the way I look, and I don’t like the way I feel.

So, all that said, the first step is looking at the situation objectively and admitting that there is a problem. Now what?

I looked over my 2011 goals, and I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m not severely off track. I got my A1C down, I joined a gym and started taking spin classes to have a group of people to regularly pedal with, I paid off my insulin pump, I’ve gotten to have adventures in Washington D.C., New York, New Orleans, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, and I celebrated 30 years with diabetes and jumped out of an airplane.

I still struggle with wearing my CGM every single day, I haven’t ran a 5K, I haven’t made it to the dentist yet this year, and obviously (given the topic of this blog post) I haven’t made it to my goal weight yet.

I’m making an effort to be transparent. I want others to know that diabetes isn’t easy, but there are other things in life with and without diabetes that are also challenging. I’m going to get back on track. Maybe it’s shallow, but I want to look in the mirror and like what I see, so much that I throw dollar bills at my reflection.

Starting yesterday, I’m back in the gym. My BG’s are better when I’m active and working out, my disposition is more positive, and in time it will all translate to a lower number on the scale and a higher number on the miles I can go on my bike and the things I can accomplish with my body. I have to make time to do this, for me, and I have to stick with it, stay motivated and encouraged, and share my progress. That means my friends on Twitter and Facebook get to endure my constant status updates about my gym adventures, how I’m in spin class, working on my core, flexing in front of the mirrors, and looking like a complete amateur with my weak self trying to bench press and look all hard in front of all the juice heads.

I may not accomplish every one of the goals I’ve set for 2011, but I’m okay with that. If you achieve every single goal you set, you’re not setting them high enough.

I will feel better about myself and my body. I will get back to liking what I see in the mirror, enough so that I sneak my reflection a high five or a wink when nobody else is looking.

Right now I’m telling myself, “Self! You can do this.” And I will too.

The New World Of Martin

2011 Goals & Resolutions

To me, there is a big difference between a resolution and a goal. In my mind, a resolution implies that something needs changing, like a bad habit that needs breaking. A goal, on the other hand, aspires to be something greater. I’m a believer that if you put something in writing it serves as a reminder, holds you more accountable, and is an investment in others being able to support you along the way.

So here are some of my 2011 goals and resolutions.

Goals
1. A1C <= 6.2. Less would be good.
2. Run (not walk) a 5K.
3. Start cycling with a group again, and get back into organized & scheduled rides.
4. Like everybody else on the planet, drop a few pounds. Goal weight: A stable 165 lbs.
5. Pay off at least two debts.
6. Have an adventure…regularly. Take pictures.

Resolutions
1. Wear my CGMS 24/7/365, and stop taking 2-3 day breaks in between sensor changes. (I could have titled this one “Stop being stupid Martin” but I felt I should be more specific.)
2. Realize that it’s okay (and encouraged!) to spend money on diabetes supplies before other bills.
3. Go to the ophthalmologist and dentist at least once this year.
4. Find excuses to exercise, instead of excuses not to.
5. Remember that any day can be a “No D-Day” if you want it to be.

3 Stooges - Going for the Goal
Go for the goal!

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