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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Know-It-All Waitress


Yesterday, I wanted to wear blue in honor of World Diabetes Day. So I donned my navy Jack’s Pack t-shirt with a light blue, long-sleeved t-shirt underneath. 
Gregg and I went out to lunch, and our waitress asked, “What does your shirt say?”

“Jack’s Pack — that’s our team name for the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. I’m wearing this shirt, because today is World Diabetes Day.”

“It is? My nephew has diabetes,” she said.

“Type 1?” I asked.

“Is that the bad kind?” she replied.

“I remember now. Yes, that’s the bad kind. That’s what my nephew has,” she said, answering her own question.

The bad kind! The classic comments keep coming! First Wilford, then the lizard spit lady and now the know-it-all waitress.

Is there is a good kind of diabetes?!

“Our eight-year-old son has type 1 diabetes,” I said.

“Is he on the pump? My nephew, he’s eight, too, and he’s on the pump,” she said.

“Not yet,” Gregg replied.

“Oh, you should get him on the pump,” she advised, as if she knew what she was talking about.

“It’s an insurance thing,” I said.

“Same thing for my brother and sister-in-law,” she said. “They both work for FedEx, and they had to have their insurance person ask and ask and ask, and finally they got the pump. That’s what you have to do. You have to keep asking, and then you can get it.”

Yep, she was an insurance expert, too.

Gregg and I couldn’t help but chuckle and talk about her as soon as we left the restaurant. She meant well, she was nice, and we both appreciated that she took an interest in my shirt. But, it’s funny how people think they know what they’re talking about and freely give advice, when, really, they’re just talking out of their elbows.

Monday, November 14, 2011

WDD Postcard Exchange



Because of where some people are geographically, the options
for connecting with others on World Diabetes Day are limited or don’t
exist at all. My belief is that no matter where you live, you should be
able to participate in World Diabetes Day by connecting to someone
else with diabetes. It’s not the same as hanging out with people in
person, but I feel like a postcard exchange will allow us all to
celebrate together. Imagine postcards with bright blue circles
spinning around the globe, connecting us to each other!”
Lee Ann Thill, The Butter Compartment

I could not pass up the opportunity to participate in such a fabulous project! I think it’s a great way to unite the DOC and add a little more art into our lives.
Thank you, Lee Ann, for initiating and organizing the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange!
Here’s our postcard, which we sent to a family in Maine. We hope it makes them smile and feel connected.


World Diabetes Day



Today is World Diabetes Day.

Today we celebrate and honor Jack.

Today 40 more children will be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Today we join millions of others around the globe, as we recognize all of these children and adults, who will spend the rest of their lives fighting this disease unless a cure is found.

Most days, we try to make diabetes just one facet of our lives. Today, we will recognize what a big facet that is. As much as we try to instill in Jack that he is a boy with two siblings, with brown hair and brown eyes, who loves Legos and art and science and tennis, who enjoys going to Cub Scout meetings and birthday parties and the movies, and who happens to have diabetes, we also know that, out of necessity, diabetes influences his every day. He is different than his siblings. He does not play with his Legos when his blood sugar is so low he can not function. He can not focus well enough to draw a picture or read about science, when his blood sugar is too high. He must test his blood before eating cake at any party. He must take his D kit with its life-saving insulin and other supplies to every movie, every tennis lesson and every Cub Scout meeting.

Jack is not alone. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes (all types combined). That number is likely to more than double by 2030 without intervention.

So today is World Diabetes Day, a global holiday created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the WHO in response to the alarming rise in diabetes around the world.

In 2007, the United Nations marked the Day for the first time with the passage of the United Nations World Diabetes Day Resolution in December 2006, which made the existing World Diabetes Day an official United Nations World Health Day.

Diabetes education and prevention is the World Diabetes Day theme for the period 2009-2013. The campaign calls on all those responsible for diabetes care to understand diabetes and take control.

For people with diabetes, this is a message about empowerment through education.

For governments, it is a call to implement effective strategies and policies for the prevention and management of diabetes to safeguard the health of their citizens with and at risk of diabetes. (Hello, school districts?!)

For healthcare professionals, it is a call to improve knowledge, so that evidence-based recommendations are put into practice.

For the general public, it is a call to understand the serious impact of diabetes, be aware of the warning signs, and know how to avoid or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes and its complications. (Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder. Type 2 is a metabolic disorder. Type 1 can not be prevented. For many people, type 2 can be prevented.)

Diabetes is deadly, if not detected, and still often life-threatening when it is detected. Know the warning signs!

The warning signs* of diabetes include:
     • Frequent urination
     • Excessive thirst
     • Increased hunger
     • Weight loss
     • Tiredness
     • Lack of interest and concentration
     • Vomiting and stomach pain (often mistaken as the flu)
     • A tingling sensation or numbness in the hands or feet
     • Blurred vision
     • Frequent infections
     • Slow-healing wounds

*These can be mild or absent in people with type 2 diabetes.

If you show these signs, seek medical attention!

November 14th also marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, was instrumental in the discovery of insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you Frederick Banting and Charles Best! Jack is alive because of you!

As you can see above, the World Diabetes Day logo is the blue circle. Across cultures, the circle symbolizes life and health. The color blue reflects the sky that unites all nations and is the color of the United Nations flag. The blue circle signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes pandemic.

Today, we unite with others.

Today, we acknowledge this disease that has profoundly affected us, and we hope you will, too.

Here's to World Diabetes Day! Here's to good health, happy days and a bright future!

Sources:


* This was originally posted on World Diabetes Day 2009. I reposted it last year, and I thought it was worth reposting again this year. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pink Ribbons and Blue Circles


“Hey, mom, look! It’s the breast cancer symbol!” Madeline exclaimed today, as we passed a crowd of women walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.
Surprised that she’d recognized the pink ribbon and had associated it with breast cancer, I asked, “How do you know that’s the breast cancer symbol?”
“Duh, mom! Everyone knows that!” Madeline replied, as if I'd just asked the dumbest question ever.



Oh, how I wish everyone knew the diabetes symbol, too.
At least with it being Diabetes Awareness Month, and with World Diabetes Day coming up on November 14th, we're working on it. 

But really, some day, I hope there's no need for either of these symbols. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

iIdiot


My cell phone is dying. It overheats. It freezes. It refuses to turn on, and when it does, it’s slower than LA traffic during rush hour.
At times, my cell phone is Jack's lifeline. I can't be without a phone. I need a new one.
Thus, seeing my phone’s demise quickly approaching, I went this morning to the local Apple store and waited for over two hours to buy the new iPhone 4S.
Behind me in line stood “Chatty Charles.” “Chatty Chad” stood behind him. They each professed their love for all things Apple.
They babbled about the new OSX Lion. They got giddy when discussing iCloud. They swore they couldn’t live without Apple TV. They traded tips. They shared favorite apps. These guys appeared to be true Apple fanatics.
Bored out of my tree, and admittedly an Apple lover myself, I chatted a wee bit, too. Who doesn't want a good tip or two?
At one point, however, I had to stop talking immediately and turn around in shock when Chatty Charles, a man in his 60s, who should have more wisdom than he apparently has, made a ridiculous, asinine, ignorant and insulting comparison. "This Apple addiction of mine,” he said, “is like a disease. It's like cancer or diabetes or something."
What????
Your Apple addiction is like a disease???? It’s like diabetes????
No, no, it's not.
It's NOTHING like a disease. It’s NOTHING like cancer, and it’s certainly NOTHING like diabetes.
Aaarrrggghhh!
I couldn’t take it, but right then, a nice Apple rep plucked me from the line. It was a good thing for Chatty Charles, I suppose, because I was about to give him a piece of my mind. It is Diabetes Awareness Month, after all.
*For the record, I walked out the store seriously disappointed...more like furious...without a new phone. A few weeks ago, I tried to buy a new iPhone from AT&T. The AT&T rep told me I would get one quicker from Apple. So, every night, I’ve been checking the Apple website for iPhone availability. Today, when I finally had my hands on the high-in-demand iPhone, I was told I couldn’t buy it, because we have a business account for our cell service. Gregg is on the phone with AT&T, dealing with this debacle as I type. If anyone out there has the new 4S, please tell me it’s worth waiting for and much, much better than my ancient, dying 3G.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lizard Spit


We had a great time at our local JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. 
A friend brought another friend, whom I’d never met, to the Walk. 
I introduced myself to this gal and thanked her for joining us, and she said, “I’m happy to be here. My great grandfather had diabetes. He ended up having both of his legs amputated. I remember when I was a little girl and he had legs, and I remember years later when he had none. Then, his son, my grandfather, also had diabetes. He also had amputations due to his diabetes, but he didn’t lose his legs entirely.”
Classic! I meet this woman, and the first thing she tells me is that! At the Walk, I was feeling on top of the world, so she didn’t get me down. But, is that classic or what?!

Later on, she shared another whopper. “I have a friend who has diabetes. He takes lizard spit. It really helps to control his sugar level,” she said.
“Lizard spit?” I asked, thinking it was just some silly moniker. When I was a kid, my father, who was a pharmacist, used to call antibiotic ointment “frog juice.” He would put frog juice on my cuts and scrapes to prevent infections. I was thinking this guy’s lizard spit was like my father’s frog juice. Nope!
“Yes, lizard spit,” she said.
I told her about frog juice.
“No, this isn’t just a name. It’s the real thing, actual lizard spit. I can get you the information on it, if you want to try it for Jack. My friend swears by it.”
Who knew?! Lizard spit!
Diabetes schmiabetes! I’m going to get Jack some lizard spit, and we’ll be on our way to blood sugar bliss!
P.S. I’ll post Walk pics soon. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes 2011




Our local JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes takes place this weekend. 
I have been busy fundraising, organizing our Walk team, designing and distributing our t-shirts, etc., etc., etc. 
There’s been so much to do!
It’s taken me away from blogging. I’m looking forward to catching up and reading all of your blogs soon!
Until then, go Jack’s Pack!!!