Oh The Places You'll Go Low

Best Of: Oh, The Places You’ll Go Low!

National Health Blog Post Month, Day 19: “Best of” post. Grab a post from your archives and repost it! Add a few sentences at the beginning to frame it. Why you chose it. Why you liked it. And why it should be shared again.NHBPM_2011_Day19

In May of this year, during Dblog Week, participants were encouraged to write a letter to someone about their diabetes. I chose to address my concerns from myself as an adult to myself as a child with diabetes. I was diagnosed at age two, so I’ve never really known a life without diabetes. I don’t have a before and after perspective, or memories of my diagnosis, or stories of transition. Based on my memories alone, I have always been a person with diabetes.

Still, diabetes has a lot of unknowns. In all of my years with diabetes, I have learned so much that was never shared by a doctor or a nurse, because so much of what we know about diabetes comes from living with it day in and day out. I wanted to share a story that I could understand, as a child, and appreciate throughout my life and years as an adult with diabetes. So I picked one of my favorites, and gave it a twist…

Oh The Places You'll Go Low(Click to read…)

This post was written as part of National Health Blog Post Month (NHBPM) – 30 health posts in 30 days:

National Health Blog Post Month

Monster Video Screenshot


National Health Blog Post Month, Day 15: This one’s for you, baby. Dedicate a song to your condition. Why did you pick that song? Find a YouTube or link to a version to embed in your post.NHBPM_2011_Day15

I’ve been thinking about this blog post, and letting it marinate in my imagination for the past day or two. I’ve written and related music to my place in the world in the past, including here, here, and here.

Lately I’ve been in this spot where I haven’t been wearing my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) consistently (again). Recently my sensors expired, and after trying to get the remainder to work to no avail, I don’t even have the option to wear my CGM now until I order pump supplies again.

It has been about a month since I have worn my CGM. As a result, my blood sugars have been all over the place. This morning I woke up at 292. Then tonight, I bottomed out at 35.

Diabetes is like that. Sometimes it feels like there is this beast inside that is chewing through wires and smashing buttons and causing all havoc in my body’s proverbial blood sugar control room. That was when I thought of the perfect song to dedicate to my diabetes…“Monster” by Skillet.

Listen to the lyrics. The song is all about a monster that cannot be controlled. We try with diabetes, but so often it feels like we are the lion tamer in a cage with three lions who at any minute could decide that they’ve had enough of behaving.

A lot of the time I hide the diabetes monster, and bed it down so that it doesn’t make noise or cause a commotion. Another line in the song, “My secret side I keep, hid under lock and key, I keep it caged but I can’t control it.” Keeping all of our diabetes fueled emotions bottled up inside is sometimes the only way that we have the strength to deal with diabetes, as if ignoring it will make it go away.

Throughout the song there is a line that says, “I must confess that I feel like a monster.” That is how I feel when my blood sugar is low or high and I’m struggling with diabetes. I need to let it out and say, “No, this is not okay!” Maybe I need help, or maybe I just need someone to appreciate the gravity of what I’m feeling inside.

This battle wages inside all of us with diabetes, regardless of type, and eventually we manage to become the monster ourselves and fight back.

In a few weeks I will have new CGM sensors, and will know exactly what my blood sugars are doing between finger pricks. Well, at least within 20%. It doesn’t sound that dramatically radical, ordering pump supplies and getting new CGM sensors, but that is exactly what it is. It is action taken to gain control and tame the beast.

I say to you, diabetes…who’s the monster now? RAWWWRR!


This post was written as part of National Health Blog Post Month (NHBPM) – 30 health posts in 30 days:

National Health Blog Post Month

Diabetically Speaking Circus Ringmaster

Big Top BG

National Health Blog Post Month, Day 2: My TV Show. You’re blog is being turned into a TV show! Congrats – you’ve earned it. In fact, you get to co-write it. Write about the TV show based on your life or blog.NHBPM_2011_Day02

All of my creativity when it comes to the print & motion picture industry may or may not have been used up yesterday. Yes, I realize it’s only day 2 of the National Health Blog Post Month challenge. Fortunately, the idea of a TV show about my blog doesn’t have to be a theatrical production.

A circus production on the other hand is exactly what a TV show of my blog should be.

I write about life with diabetes. I don’t write a clinical how-to step-by-step instruction on living with diabetes. When it comes down to it, after over three decades with it, diabetes is often a complete and utter mystery to me. Why else would I be able to do the same exact thing one day to the next, and get totally different BG readings, have to take totally different amounts of insulin, and have to figure out the mystery that is diabetes every single day? It’s a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in baloney. Or bologna if we’re being proper. But who says “bologna” anyway? It’s baloney. So is diabetes. So there.

When I think about diabetes, and Diabetically Speaking too, it really has all of the elements of the greatest show on earth: the circus.

For example, there is the Blood Sugar Tight Rope act. This is where skill, luck, and the ability to balance reality with whimsy come together to walk a fine line of blood sugar “control.” You know, like trying to maintain that magical and elusive 104 mg/dL that was mentioned yesterday.

Next, we have the elephants. Come see the elephants! The elephant is when you find that your blood sugar has surprisingly dropped too low while you’re in the middle of something important and seemingly noninterruptible, and you can’t pry yourself away to treat it and get your wits back. So what happens? You end up prolonging your time with the elephant until you’re a sweaty, shaky, slow moving and confused mess and someone has to help feed YOU the circus peanuts.

There is also the Diabetes Trapeze. This is the exact opposite of the tight rope act, where your blood sugars are going up and down and all around all day long while you chase them with a bolus here, and a bolus there, here a bolus, there a bolus, everywhere a bolus bolus. This is in the same family as the Glucoaster (not to be confused with D-Coaster Day, which is going to be happening again in 2012, so watch out for the announcement real soon).

I talk about all of these kinds of things on my blog that are part of living with diabetes, so you see, a circus is the PERFECT production for Diabetically Speaking. So prop up the big top, throw down the sawdust, and… “Ladies and gentlemen!…”

Diabetically Speaking Circus Ringmaster

This post was written as part of National Health Blog Post Month (NHBPM) – 30 health posts in 30 days:

National Health Blog Post Month

2011 D-Coaster Day at Disney's Magic Kingdom

A Magical D-Coaster Day

I’m back from another whirlwind adventure. This time, a trip to the Children With Diabetes: Friends For Life 2011 conference. Or as I like to call it, “Diabetesland.” The week was absolutely incredible, spending days and nights with people with diabetes…just like me.

It. Was. Awesome! I have a lot of stories and information to share from the Friends For Life experience, but first I want to recap an event that was eight months in the making.

D-Coaster Day 2011 (JPG)

On Tuesday, July 5, 2011, nearly two dozen people who share their lives with diabetes joined together for the first ever D-Coaster Day, inspired by those days that are spent on the glucoaster with our blood sugars going up, down, and all around. Except this day was way more fun. WAY more fun!

2011 D-Coaster Day at Disney's Magic Kingdom

Kicking off the 2011 D-Coaster Day at Disney's Magic Kingdom!

Space Mountain

Our first coaster of the day was Space Mountain, where Jess and Scott were thrilled, while Josh took a moment to say a prayer and watch his life flash before his eyes.

Amanda on Buzz Lightyear Ride

Then A-Flizzle mopped the floor with me on the Buzz Lightyear ride. If evil toy robots ever try to take over, trust me, we want her on our side.

Me & Stitch in Tomorrowland

Also while in Tomorrowland, I found Stitch, who has done an impressive job of blending in here on Earth. Only that one paw gives him away.

D-Coaster Day - Sara & Jess at The Haunted Mansion

Next, we made our way to The Haunted Mansion, where the expressions on Sara's & Jess's faces pretty much sum up the day.

R.I.P. Martin

Unfortunately, I couldn't be there to join in the fun. I had apparently been planted outside of The Haunted Mansion.

A-Flizzle & me at Cinderella's Castle

Or had I? I may or may not have staged my own death to sneak away to Cinderella Castle with A-Flizzle. Muwahaha!

Big Thunder Mountain

Here we are at another classic Disney coaster, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Disney's Philharmagic in Fantasyland

What do you get when you mix a bunch of PWD's with 3D Disney cartoons? D-Coaster Day!


We gave Dumbo diabetes! Well, we at least gave him a bunch of people WITH diabetes. Who wants a flying elephant with a low blood sugar anyway?

D-Coaster Day in front of Cinderella Castle

A fairytale ending to D-Coaster Day right where we started front of Cinderella Castle.

Thank you to all of the folks that came out for D-Coaster Day. It truly means the world to me that you joined in on this crazy idea, and made it such a huge success. I hope you had as magical of a D-Coaster Day as I did!

Oh The Places You'll Go Low

Oh, The Places You’ll Go Low!

Thanks to a little help from Dr. Seuss, this is a story to me and so many others as a kiddo with diabetes.

Oh The Places You'll Go Low

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
But you’re awake, and afraid!

You have low brains in your head.
You have sticky feet in your shoes.
You can’t seem to steer yourself any direction you choose.
You feel all alone. And you know what you know. And YOU need SOMEONE to know that you’re LOW!

You lay there in wet sheets. Thinking over with care. About next time you say, “I’ll remember to have glucose right there.” With your head full of low brains and your shoes full of sticky feet, you’re too clumsy to make it to the kitchen to eat.

And you may not find any snacks sitting around. In that case, of course, you’ll cry out and growl. It’s easier when stuff is right there.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people just as low-brainy and sticky-footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. And drink you some juice.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go Low!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be doing alright!
You’ll do a quick blood test and everything will be fine.

You won’t be all shaky, because you’ll have what you need. You’ll keep up with the world and you’ll soon take the lead. Whatever you eat, you’ll dose it the best. Wherever you go, will be with less stress.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that birthday parties and pizza can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a high blood sugar perch. Pause, and you’ll realize, you feel like you could lurch.

You’ll come down from the perch with an unpleasant tumble. And the chances are, then, that you’ll overdose and stumble.

And when you’re on the glucoaster, you’re not in for much fun. Un-stumbling yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the guilt is so harsh. Diabetes is like that. It can get very dark. A place you could stay in and feel like you can’t win! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a low-brained mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll start to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a chance to go or a thought to come, or a sound to make or the cry to come, or the door to open or the phone to ring, or the light to come on or waiting around for a Mom or Dad or waiting for the world to slow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the apple to eat or waiting for juice to kick in or waiting around for the night when waiting will end, when low-brain will subside, and sanity will return, or you can stop focusing on things you must learn, or another chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the strength to rise up and stop praying. For one brief moment, you are strong! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re not ready to die!

Oh, the places you’ll go low! There is fun to be done! There are carbs to be scored. There are alarms to be silenced. And the magical things you can do with the DOC will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win an awesome A1C.

Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All alone!
Whether you like it or not, alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though diabetes may prowl. On you will go though the CGM howls. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your pump sites may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that life’s a Great Blood Sugar Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right sites with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(You’ve got an army of people with diabetes who agree!)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Martin or Jacquie or Kerri or Scott…you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
No lows, no waiting.
So…get on your way!