LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Saturday, February 14, 2015

See you later, alligator(s)

This isn’t a goodbye, but rather an official acknowledgement both to you readers, and to myself, that I’m on a diabetes blogging hiatus. This isn’t really news to anyone, as my mother pointed out recently over dinner, my last post was pre-Thanksgiving.

But before you think my health has taken a turn for the worse, let me assure you that quite the opposite is true. Just as predicted by my medical team a bit over a year ago, it took me a full year to recover from my near-death experience. I’ve really rebounded over the last two months and now I’m actually feeling like my old overly energetic self again. I’m back to working too much, drinking too much, smoking too much, swearing too much, and womanizing (with my wife of 26 years). But now I’m taking a break from all of that. Well, except the fucking swearing too much and the damn womanizing the wife, of course.

Here’s the deal on the blogging. I just discovered that there’s only so many hours in the day. I have my own diabetes 24-7, plus my wife’s, too. (She beat me at Blood Sugar Bingo the other night, trumping my post-anniversary dinner reading of 249 mg/dL with her own 250. What? What’s that? The goal is to have the lowest blood sugar, not the highest? Well, shit! Why didn’t someone tell me that earlier?? I’ve been paying the game wrong all these years!) Then 36 hours a week I have 350 other PWDs to worry about. On top of that there’s the diabetes weekly column, the monthly diabetes column, and assorted diabetes articles that come my way.

At times in the past, there are things I really wanted to share, or things I really need to say, but right now—now that I’m feeling human again—I find that I don’t want to spend my “free” time with diabetes anymore than I already have to. Instead, I’m finding joy in reading a good book, exploring museums, or pursing my interests in archeology, weather, aviation history, and online shopping. So don’t expect much here for a while.

Besides, it’s not like you are lacking from my diabetes writing. I’m still keeping up with my weekly diabetes advice column over at Diabetes Mine (now at Healthline with a theoretical audience of 25 million people a month). We just marked my 200th column for the ‘Mine. And of course I’m still writing for dLife, a few months ago my 50th piece for them was posted. Then, of course, I’m still writing for magazines like Diabetes Self-Management. Did you catch that crazy four-piece “magnum opus” I wrote on blood glucose monitoring for them? So I’m not thinking there’s much of a shortage of Wil for you to read.

But I do have a couple of quick things to wrap up before I take the official hiatus. The first is that I want all of you to buy and read a book called “The Dangers of Kissing and Diet Coke,” by Mitzi Mensch. It’s the tale of a lady who had a series of mysterious health crisises that make diabetes look like a walk in the park, written in parallel of the story of her re-kindling a romance from her youth via the internet. There’s a couple of things to really love about this book. First, no matter how sick you are feeling, you’ll feel better knowing this poor lady was sicker. Perverse, I know. Second, her extraordinarily loveable personality shines through the pages in a way I’ve rarely seen. Damn, you really wish you could have dinner with her when you read her work! Third: Seriously? A tale of internet romance with a married man interwoven with a tale of worsening chronic illness? How can that work? Well, it can and it does, but only because she’s one hell of a good writer. Plus, it’s a kick-ass title, isn’t it? It made me want to pick it up. I’m glad I did. Oh, right, and she worked for an HMO and couldn’t get good healthcare for herself. And she knew how to navigate the system! So the book is also sort of an indictment against how our healthcare “system” is organized, too, especially when it comes to complex illnesses or things that break the mold.

Next, got an elder with a ton of meds? We just lost one of ours. Deb’s mom, who lived with us for the last three years… Well, that’s not really accurate… The truth is she slowed died before our eyes over the last three years despite all our best efforts; her mind and her body succumbing in slow motion to a nasty pack of degenerative muscle and nerve illnesses. Over the last year, while I’ve regained strength and mind, she lost both. It’s been a very long time since Debbie and I had a date, one or the other of us has had to be here at home with her mother 24-365 for longer than I care to recall.

Oh, sorry, got off track. I worry that this absent-mindedness is from the encephalitis, but I’m told I was always that way. Anyway, if you have someone with tons of meds on various schedules, can I recommend the Med Center System? It’s an intimidating pyramid of pill containers for various times of the day that let’s you organize four times a day meds in advance for a full month, and helps track what’s been taken and what hasn’t. It even has a talking reminder alarm. My only complaint is that the timer’s voice isn’t Angela Jolie’s or Olivia Newton John’s. Oh, and it’s kinda big and kinda ugly, but if you need something like this, function really trumps form.

Lastly, I got a sample of a pretty amazing low carb bread a while back. The Great Low Carb Bread Company makes a number of products, and while I didn’t think much of their bagels or muffins, their paleo hamburger bun was pretty awesome. It’s flat and high-fiber but it actually tastes good, plus their ridiculously low sounding 2 net carb impact (yes, two carbs!) is accurate. Bottom line: An option to the flimsily lettuce wrap for those of us whose bodies equally hate flour and carbs. (Ain’t life grand?)

So that’s it. To-do list ta-done! I’m officially on diabetes blogging hiatus and I’m off to have fun in the sun… and the rain… and the snow. But not to worry, I’ll be back. Probably in time for another neglected Thanksgiving post!