A look back that a year that sucked… or maybe not.
Just when, for the first time in years we could pay all our bills and breathe a little easier; Deb lost her job, my hours at the clinic were cut back, and one of the two University programs I worked for was shuttered. On top of that, I haven’t seen an increase in my salary in three years, but I have seen an increase in the cost of gasoline. And electricity. And propane. And milk. And eggs. And every other fucking thing I pay for. It seems like I’m working harder for less every day.
This year I had a protracted fight with my insurance company over my CGM which they have been covering for several years. I guess because they haven’t had to pay for an ER visit recently, they’ve forgotten how much money they save themselves by covering it.
I had a number of health misadventures this year, including crippling bone-pain from vitamin D deficiency, of all things. And I sleep poorly. When I sleep at all.
My 22-year marriage was cast onto the rocks by four separate major storms this year, but she’s a tough old ship (the marriage, not the wife) and she’d didn’t break up and sink. The storms? Some money troubles, some communication troubles, and some girl troubles—which invariably lead to wife troubles.
Our house is literally falling apart around me. Old mobile homes have a tendency to do that. Fully three-quarters of our windows are broken and their shattered panes held together and in their frames with clear packing tape. All the faucets leak and the roof sometimes leaks, but we’re having a severe drought, so you’d hardly notice that most months. Oh, and don’t walk around barefoot when a cold breeze blows, ‘cause it cuts right though the house. That’s OK, dFolk aren’t supposed to go barefoot anyway.
And then there were the computers. First the “big” computer (at the time the only one we owned) bit the dust, taking with it the backup external hard drive and two months of writing. The only reason I didn’t commit suicide right then-and-there was the fucking rat poison box didn’t have a nutrition label on it with the carb count. (Even when trying to kill ourselves, we type 1s can’t breakout of certain habits.) At that point, we decided that even though we couldn’t afford even one computer that we needed two. First, a sacred computer—a lovely little Gateway— for writing that only I would touch and use to avoid the software problems that are inventible with too many people using too many applications on too little machine; and a second one for email, web and porn surfing, and computer games.
That second machine has now been back to HP three fucking times and no one in the household has been able to get email, web and porn surf, or play computer games for two months. Never buy a Hewlett-Packard computer. I know I never will again. I could spend a whole post just ranting about that experience, but I won’t.
Is it any wonder that I drink too much?
But at least I do have a job. Well… three part-time jobs, actually. And for that I am grateful, as many in our nation are not so lucky. I’m exhausted, physically, mentally, and spiritually: But oddly, my creativity remains intact. I guess it draws its water from a different well. So that’s a good thing.
And… you know… come to think of it… a few other good things have happened this year. I did release a new book. And my book about CGM was converted to a Kindle by the folks at ShareCare. And a European publisher has picked up the Tiger book. And the Spanish version of Tiger came out as a Kindle, too. And I won a slew of book awards for titles both new and old. I’m now up to fourteen national and international awards for the four titles, but who’s counting. Oh. Right. I am. And I got a couple of cool new writing gigs including the every-Saturday Ask D’Mine column at Diabetes Mine (the New York Times of diabetes!) and the Diabetes Simplified column at the dLife supersite.
Oh yeah. And you know, I also wrote a number of articles for Better Homes and Gardens Diabetic Living Magazine. They publish only four times a year, so most of those haven’t even hit the street yet. But look for my name there. Oh. And in the upcoming pages of Diabetes Self-Management Magazine, too.
And, after my latest car was beaten to smithereens by my epic commutes and crappy roads, I finally threw in the towel and got a Jeep. It’s the most wonderful vehicle I’ve ever owned, hands down. Well, except for the gas mileage. But I’ve been able to rationalize that annoying fact away by balancing it with the fact that the Jeep has not once failed to get me home, to my door step, at the end of every day. My previous car left me walking the last half mile in the cold and dark waaaaaaaay too many times.
Oh, and I got a Twitter handle (finally). Not that I use it or anything. But now I’m cool.
And I traveled by airplane much more than usual this year, going to the first Med-T social media summit and the zillionth Roche summit. I also flew to DC to lobby for rural internet and to Palo Alto for the Diabetes Mine Innovation summit. All those trips were wonderful. I also spent time teaching in various parts of the state that I hadn’t seen before, so that was fun.
Recently, I got a call from one of my friends who insists that I be brutally honest, rather than polite. She made the mistake of asking how I was. There was a long pause. Then I said, “Well…” Where upon she made the observation that since she’s known me, my spirits tend to run dark at this time of the year. I’d never noticed, but I think she’s right. Maybe I have that seasonal mood disorder thing.
Oh. And I shouldn’t forget that not a day goes by that I don’t help someone with their diabetes. Sometimes one-on-one in my office, sometimes by email, or sometimes in ways I only learn about months or years later when someone tells me that something I wrote had a positive impact on them. And that, of course, is why I write.
OK. So maybe it wasn’t such a bad year, after all. Still, I’m not sorry to see 2011 in the review mirror and I’m now looking out my windshield, looking forward to seeing what’s in store for me in 2012.