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The Plight of a Young, Healthy Diabetic

I sat behind the closed door of my office during a rarely taken lunch break. I had turned my phone on speaker in order to type while on hold, cringing at the choice of hold “entertainment.” Through the hold programming, I learned about absorbent dressing, mini-catheters and other medical equipment that makes you squirm to think about it. I was calling to find out when my pending order for my CGM sensors would ship out, but I got an education on wound care and ostomy products while I waited and hoped that phone volume wasn’t too loud that my coworkers were being educated as well. Sound carries strangely in our office.

Sometimes the things that I need to do in order to manage my health are uncomfortable. Even more uncomfortable than giving myself shots.

Sometimes the things that I need to buy in order to manage my health, make me look young for my condition. Like nutrition shakes that feature elderly people on their ads.

Sometimes the things that I need to carry with me in order to manage my health make me look like a drug addict… who doesn’t carry needles in their purse?

Sometimes the facilities that help me manage my health further the stereotype. My diabetes center shares a building and a lab with a geriatric medical office.

Not matter how awkward it is, I need to plug through it. Discomfort, appearances and stereotypes shouldn’t deter me from doing what I need to do.

Neither should insurance paperwork or long periods of time on hold… but sometimes they do.

I have to say that I envy people who don’t give their health benefits a second thought. Who don’t research all 12 of their doctors, but just stick with the one or two that they’ve always used. I envy the people who can say they “feel like a pincushion” after donating blood or getting a shot. I really envy the people who can eat without math or not pass out at a blood draw.

Despite all of the draw backs, I’m thankful for my life, and health, with diabetes. If I didn’t live with type 1 diabetes, I would have died from it… so being on this side of the dirt is not something to take lightly.

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More Thanks

It’s still November, so I’m still thankful!

1. Family that’s family. Those people with whom you might share DNA but definitely share a warm relationship. They’re the ones who make the holidays enjoyable. The reason Brad and I don’t mind traveling for Thanksgiving is because it’s a day we associate with family.
2. Laughter. Jokes, stories, cute kids or crazy uncles tend to bring it on.
3. Traditions. Brad and I are building our own holiday traditions together, and as my house becomes filled with holiday decorations, the traditions become apparent.
4. Leftovers. Lunches, snacks and a quick bite of good food are great. It also means less cooking.
5. Hand-me-downs. My home is beautifully decorated for Christmas with a mix of new things and lovely things that have been passed on by others.
6. Tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea for comfort and relief while trying to kick the cold that’s slowly going away. It’s calming and enjoyable. Almost as much of an emotional beverage as coffee.
7. Opportunities.

As November is heading toward it’s end, I’m curious: How do you give thanks all year long?

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Leftovers

I hope that you had an enjoyable and relaxing Thanksgiving and (hopefully) a long weekend!

Brad and I had two enjoyable Thanksgivings, neither of which we hosted.Some of the highlights included: Brad’s uncle pocket-dialed the non-emergency police department number, so the police called back. My favorite two-year-old spent part of dinner under the table. Families are great.

We ended up with Thanksgiving feast leftovers from both. Although Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, it’s not something we wanted to eat over and over until the leftovers were gone. Black Friday isn’t just a big day for retailers, it’s a big day for pizza places because there are a lot of other people who feel the same way.

What to do with the leftovers though? Some ideas straight out of the K-couple kitchen are:

  • Turkey quesadillas. Leftovers used: Turkey. New ingredients: Tortillas, cheese, seasoning
  • Mashed potato bowls (KFC-style). Leftovers used: Mashed potatoes, corn, gravy. New ingredients: Popcorn chicken, optional cheese
  • Buffalo (turkey) pasta. Leftovers used: Turkey (ours was chicken after having chicken for Thanksgiving #2). New ingredients: Pasta, cheese, hot sauce (some people enjoy cheesy pasta with Thanksgiving so that works as a leftover in some cases)

Those three mostly used up our leftovers. We had a random food meal to use some of the other things, like chestnut stuffing. Some other leftover recipes I’ve seen/used include potato pancakes, stuffed pancakes (with cranberry sauce of course).

A lot of cranberries!

How do you reuse leftovers and avoid throwing out good food? Read the rest of this entry

Doomed But Still Thankful

My boss had a cold last week. My husband developed a cold last week.

I was doomed to develop a cold this weekend.I’m currently a sniffly, coughing mess.

Now that you have that mental image… I’m still being thankful. With Thanksgiving being THIS week, I think it’s important to keep acknowledging both the big and small things.

1. My Home. It’s beautiful, safe, warm and ours. We finally received our deed in the mail so it’s “officially official” as Brad would say. Back in April when we first saw it, I thought it was a place I could be happy, but it’s so much more. It really is home and I love it.

2. My Education. It was expensive, it was stressful, it serves me every single day. The classroom learning, the life lessons, the internships, everything that happened in college on campus or off either served to increase my knowledge… or make an excellent story.

3. Parents. I had excellent parents. They weren’t perfect, but no parent is perfect. Now that I’m all grown up, I value my relationship with my mom more than ever. I’m sad that my father’s last conversation with me took place on the phone with both of us in hospital beds, miles apart but I’m thankful that I was able to have him here into adulthood.

4. Good advice. I’ve received some good advice in the past couple of weeks that I’m glad I took to heart.

5. Insulin. I wouldn’t be here without it. Read the rest of this entry

Week Two of Thanks

Normally thankful stuff is reserved for Thursdays… but I’m going to shake things up! For the rest of the month, Tuesdays are thankful days.

One thing for each day. What I’ve been thankful for in the past week:

  1. Humor. Jokes and general fun make life much more enjoyable. Being able to laugh with people I love is truly a gift.
  2. Grocery stores. Everything I need/want is waiting on a shelf for me to take home. It’s a convenience that is often taken for granted.
  3. Good conversations. Nice catch-up sessions with friends and family are always wonderful. Topics ranging from weddings to politics and wine to technology.
  4. Quiet weekends. Having a day at home without a massive to-do list is very relaxing. Weekends are supposed to provide us rest and we often choose to spend them running around or working. A break is nice.
  5. Excellent deals. Good prices that make things we love but don’t need acceptable to bring home are always nice.
  6. Seasons. Not everyone gets the variety that we do in Northeast Ohio. The vast range of temperatures from below zero to above 100 added to the various types of precipitation makes us very resilient and versatile people. Each season carries its own unique loveliness that I would miss living somewhere else.
  7. Insurance. After being afraid of a lapse in coverage between plans, we received our cards and didn’t have even a day without it. Not everyone appreciates insurance, anyone with a chronic health condition understands the importance of being covered.

What thing(s) are you thankful for this week?

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Thankful in November

There are a lot of people posting daily one thing that they are thankful for. I haven’t been one of them, seeing as it’s November 6th, I think I can catch up a little and spread some thanks once a week.

  1. My husband. It’s a typical number one on the list, but for very good reason. I write about him a lot so you probably already have some idea why. I’m thankful for the past six years that he’s been in my life (even though he told me it was seven the other night) and I’m thankful for the future we have together.
  2. Electricity. I’m thankful that we have this amazing thing to power our homes and lives. I’m especially thankful that we were able to keep ours throughout the storm and that many have had theirs restored. I hope that those still living without, have it back soon.
  3. My kitties. It’s no secret I love animals, by Holmes and Watson really turn on the charm. They’ve shown many people already that not all cats are aloof and give affection to anyone who we welcome into our home.

    This picture would be better if he were actually sitting with a Sherlock Holmes novel

    Read the rest of this entry

Curb the complaining

It’s quite a Monday of a Tuesday today! (Monday needed a break this week too)

I love social media, but sometimes the people on it drive me insane! I got incredibly irritated the other day by various things being said online so instead of complaining about the complainers and annoyances, let’s talk about some things that I’m thankful for! (Seems like a theme sometimes)

  • I’m thankful for the foundation that Brad and I built for our relationship before we got married. I’m not surprised by my role of wife and my husband is much, much more to me than just a new roommate.
  • I’m thankful for the careful choices and responsible decisions that have lead me to this point in my life.
  • I’m thankful that I woke up this morning and that I got at least a little sleep last night. I was woken up multiple times during the night by my Dexcom, I tested, I treated and returned to sleep on each occasion. I may not have had as many hours as I’d like, but waking up every day is a gift so why complain if my eyes are open?
  • I’m thankful for my education and the ways that it serves me daily.
  • I’m thankful for coffee, it’s warmth, taste and ability to transform this non-morning person into a pleasant human being on a daily basis. I’m also thankful for the woman in our office who makes the coffee and that it’s only on rare occasions that I fill in.
  • I’m thankful for the generosity of others. We’re wrapping up our annual tool drive that benefits the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity. Each August, more people participate and each August, more donations are made. I spent part of my day planning the pick ups for the event and there’s quite a list! (Also: I’m thankful for online route planners!)

I’m thankful for many more things that are not on this list, but for now six will do. I’ve found that I can complain, vent, rant and stew over dumb stuff as much as I want and still somehow not feel much better. Shifting my focus to thankfulness has been one of the best ways to curb complaining, halt sarcastic remarks and avoid passive aggressive social media behavior.

What are you thankful for today?

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How to lose fans and allienate supporters

Lately some sort of flu is going around the social media community that ticks me off. It causes community managers (or the intern or volunteer people put in charge of Facebook and Twitter) to host a giveaway and announce that the X number liker or follower will win a prize. I have been know to unlike and unfollow brands that do this.

Seriously?

You want to get more supporters and gain a larger social audience… I follow you so far. But giving away a gift card to the 2,000th (or whatever) person who likes your page, follows you, etc. is a slap in the face from those who have been with you from the beginning… you know before you started giving away free stuff?

Follower/fan drives, can be an effective way to get more visibility online… but not at the expense of losing the people who actually stand behind your brand.

So shift your focus off the exact numerical “supporter” and instead do a drawing… the fair way, that your supporters can all get excited about.

Your message should be, “We’re excited to reach X number of fans/followers soon. Once we hit X number, we’ll draw the name of one (or more!) of our supporters to win a prize!”

It seems so incredibly simple and fair to me.

Don’t forget to say thanks to the people who make (or break) your brand online.

Who out there is doing this well?

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Mood Lifter

I’ve been a kind of stressed, tired and even a little angry lately. Not overall, but here and there. So the best thing I can think to do is step back and partake in “Thankful Thursday.”

I’m thankful for:

  • Office coffee. I actually look forward to it on my way into work. The first sip puts me in the mood to start working.
  • A tall husband. I love Brad, and would still love him if he were short, but that foot+ that he has on me in height comes in majorly handy. Especially since I can’t even reach the above the fridge cabinet while standing on a stool.
  • A nosy neighbor. I was carrying my mom’s birthday present (a hanging flower basket) into the apartment building and ran into my neighbor. “That’s a pretty flower,” she told me and I could tell that she was curious why I had it. I just replied thanks and stepped onto the elevator. It was a nice confirmation that I’d picked a pleasant plant for my mom.
  • Ruffles and colors. Read the rest of this entry

Press Pause

I complain about doctors, hospitals, blood tests, insurance companies and the general lack of communication that seems to take place anytime medicine is involved.

My insurance and hospital forgot how to talk to each other which resulted in erroneous charges to us. I got upset, frustrated and generally bitter. My wonderful husband went through the bills and the insurance codes then called the hospital billing department. He spoke with a man named Bill (please, someone else find that as amusing as I did). In 10 minutes, Bill had straightened out the billing codes and life was good again.

As annoying as billing codes, paperwork and all the other stuff is… who am I to think that I have room to complain?

I get stressed out about finding a space in the parking garage and navigating the massive medical facilities where my health is cared for. I long for it to be easier and more direct. But seriously, what good reason do I have to be stressed out?

The bottom line is this: I have medical care. I have insurance.

Not only that, I have access to world-class medical care and don’t have to drive a great distance for it. I have good insurance that allows me to get the devices that I need want to use to manage my health.

Not everyone can say that.

I’m grateful for where I am in life and for what I have. I’m also grateful for when I got hit diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I know that if my immune system had kicked into pancreas-killing mode when I was a child,  it would have been a huge stress on our family in times that were already hugely stressful.

Every once in awhile, we need to press pause. Stop complaining. Take a moment to be thankful for what we have.

——

After reading Johanna’s comment about Dr. Bonebrake, I feel compelled to ask anyone to share ironic/interesting/entertaining names as they correlate to jobs…. like a lawyer named “Sue.”

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