Monthly Archives: May 2014

Aizu Wakamatsu: The half marathon and the city (Part 2)

Aizu Wakamatsu

Dinner by the river

Dinner by the river

I, my husband and a couple of friends from Tokyo who accompanied us to the race arrived at our ryokan in the town of Higashiyama Onsen in the late afternoon before the race. The train journey from Tokyo station to Aizu Wakamatsu station consisted of a Shinkansen ride, a local train ride and about half an hour of waiting time in between. From Aizu Wakamatsu station, our inn was a short taxi ride away. The journey was pleasant as I had great company and the May countryside landscapes outside the train window were lovely. We saw not just vibrant green mountains and late spring wild cherry trees (yamazakura), but also snow-capped mountain ranges (Mt. Bandai and the Azuma Mountain Range) in the distance.   Continue reading

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Aizu Wakamatsu: The half marathon and the city (Part 1)

Selfie Aizu wakamatsu 2014

This is a much delayed report on my most recent half marathon. I was happily sidetracked by the Diabetes Blog Week and not so happily by work (work’s always there, isn’t it). Last week presented more work and much needed break from blogging. Although I’ve listed most of my initial thoughts before, after and especially during the race on my May 12 post, I thought this race deserved its own report. In fact, I may just start reporting on some of the races I’ll be joining. Continue reading

Diabetes Blog Week: May 18: Favorite Things

As we wrap up another Diabetes Blog Week, let’s share a few of our favorite things from the week. This can be anything from a #DBlogWeek post you loved, a fantastic new-to-you blog you found, a picture someone included in a post that spoke to you, or comment left on your blog that made you smile. Anything you liked is worth sharing! 

“Where do I start?” is my favorite question this week. This was the first thing that came to mind every time I started a post in response to each day’s designated topic for the 2014 Diabetes Blog Week. Now, on the last day of this blog fest, I am again faced with this question.

I’ve met so many new blogs and bloggers, and have been reacquainted with others, that I don’t know where to begin. Since I haven’t read every blog of the 200 bloggers who signed up and all the posts that this week produced, I will refrain from choosing a few. In reality, if I were to enumerate my favorite blogs, posts, bloggers and comments, this post may not end. The posts I managed to read have, without exception, expanded my horizons, deepened my insights into my fellow diabetics’ personal world, and intensified my wish to know more, reach out and share my own thoughts and experiences. This year’s contributions have been so rich that I can safely say that they are all my favorites. Continue reading

Diabetes Blog Week: May 17: YMMV

Back for another year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like!  With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Your mileage may vary

Your mileage may vary

YMMV. Your Mileage May Vary.

This is one significant lesson I’ve learned from the DOC. There is no one perfect treatment or control plan for diabetes. We are all different. We may be Type 1 or Type 2 or Type 1.5 or some other type, but even within each type, each diabetic is different. There is no one-size-fits-all plan. But it is not the similarities that make us interesting. It is the difference.

The difference should not separate us from each other. It should bring us closer because we all have something different to contribute. Our differences make us what we are.

But we should not, must not, overlook our similarities. At the end of the day, we are all diabetic, struggling with our BG control, figuring out what to eat or how much exercise we can bear, dealing with our highs and lows, and facing prejudices and assumptions for no reason other than we have diabetes.

Let us celebrate our diversities.
Let us unite in our similarities.
Whether we like it or not,
We are all part of one diabetic world.

Diabetes Blog Week: May 16: Diabetes Life Hack

Our Friday #DBlogWeek topic is one I find really fun – Diabetes Life Hacks.  Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes, everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel ofProbably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.) 

As a non-insulin injecting type 2 diabetic, I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of tricks to share since my diabetes management is not all that complicated. Whatever few tricks I have, I hope some of you find them useful.

Exercise plays a major role in my diabetes management. Those who have read some of my posts will know that exercise plays a major role not just in my diabetes management but in my life and sanity in general. By running and keeping myself fit, I keep a lid on diabetes. Even then, I need motivation to peel myself off the couch. My tricks in this regard can be found in this post about motivating myself to run.

In addition, I have found the following to be valuable in dealing with diabetes: Continue reading

Diabetes Blog Week: May 15: Survival tools

Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day.  Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day.  Is there something positive you tell yourself?  Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through?  Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we’ve done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)

I’m the queen of mantras. All right, maybe not the queen but close to it. I have an arsenal of mantras, sayings, quotes and real life inspirational stories, depending on the situation, to inspire me. My favorites are mentioned below.

When I’m afraid, usually when I’m about to make an important decision or take a major risk, or when I go for my quarterly A1c test or annual medical check, or when I ponder upon the complications that diabetes threatens to bring me, I find strength from one of my go-to mantras. It’s from Frank Herbert’s Dune. It’s called the Litany Against Fear.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
Continue reading

Diabetes Blog Week: May 14: Paint It, Not Black

May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

Shadow of a flower

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore, I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

Red, my favorite color, is the color of life. But I occasionally want to paint it all completely black.

Most people see me either as a happy-go-lucky person or a very serious and often cranky professional when I’m in the middle of work. I am either of those two personas most of the time. What people don’t know about and what my husband has to deal with are my dark, sometimes very dark, moods that wash over me from time to time. When these moods come, the sun and everything around me dim. Continue reading

Diabetes Blog Week: May 13: My Celebration

NOTE: This year, Diabetes Blog Week and TuDiabetes are teaming up to bring out the poet in you! Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes. After you’ve posted it on your blog, share it on the No Sugar Added® Poetry page on TuDiabetes, and read what others have shared there as well!

Celebration

Unquenchable thirst
Water water, not enough
Out faster than in

An Asian woman
The fruit of her father’s genes
Months shy of forty

Once I carried weight
Shed years before D’s ugly head
Barged through my door

It tries to take over
As unwanted second self
Casting dark shadows

The salient problems:
Doctors, strangers, even friends
Slothful reporters

I dare D: get me
You and your many cronies
You can try, you’ll lose

I struggle, I fight
It bites but I bite harder
I won’t be vanquished

Power, it has none
It will writhe beneath my feet
For I’m its mistress

Run, work, eat and drink
Love, cry, feel, dance, smile, and sing
Live, not just exist

Do not pity me
I am as I choose to be
D does not own me

I will celebrate
Fireworks, drinks, and lots of cheers
I live. I am. Me.

Diabetes Blog Week 2014: May 12

Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)

“Where do I start?” This was the first thought that crossed my mind last week when I read the topic for today. There are so many misconceptions, causes and issues about Type 2 diabetes that thinking about them can be disheartening at times. I have such a long list of pet peeves related to Type 2 diabetes that I can be guaranteed to be writing for a very long time. But for some reason, I can’t pick on a particular issue or set of issues to champion for day 1 of Diabetes Blog Week. Hence, I decided to postpone writing and to think about it during my scheduled half-marathon run yesterday. Continue reading

A bit of diabetes (Part 2)

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Why I resist the mild versus serious dichotomy

The perception that Type 2 diabetes is mild, or that it can be subdivided into mild and serious, usually misleads doctors, patients and the public into thinking that this so-called mild form does not deserve earnest attention. This has been my experience, almost without exception, with people who comment on diabetes (whether or not they themselves are diabetic, or are in the medical profession who ought to know better). The reactions thrown my way are a variation of Why go through all that trouble for a little bit of diabetes? Continue reading