Why I Decided to Start a VLOG

2016 was the year of the podcast. For others, it was the year of the VLOG. For me, it was the realization that blogging just doesn’t do it for me like it once did. Now, I enjoy writing, and I will continue to write. My goal is to create one piece of content every day of 2017. This includes all of my channels and blogs, not just The Life of a Diabetic.

I began to come to this realization when I saw Casey Neistat make the decision to end his VLOG. It just wasn’t challenging him enough and it wasn’t doing for him what it once it did. That is exactly how I feel about my blogging.

Blogging become more of a task than it was a hobby or pleasure. I started to say, “ugh, I need to write something.”

I have not lost my passion to share my voice and advocate and share my experiences in hopes that it will help others. It’s just that I lost the passion to blog consistently.

When I first started blogging, it made me uncomfortable. I was afraid people weren’t going to like the way that I wrote or that they would rip apart my grammar. But then as time went on, I became more and more comfortable writing. To the point that I decided that it was time to start getting paid to write.

Now video on the other hand…… that makes me uncomfortable. Extremely uncomfortable. I am not comfortable with my weight (even before the 10 pounds the camera adds). I just don’t feel comfortable on camera.

Well, that is exactly why I’m going on camera. Because I’m uncomfortable with it and afraid of it.

And the feeling of uncomfort is exactly what I need to feel in order to start something new.

This VLOG is not going to be high quality, great lighting, and Hollywood levels of editing. It is raw (with a few edits). Just like my writing style has always been. There may be bad lighting, bad audio, but it will improve over time.

This VLOG will not just be about diabetes, however, when it is, I will share on the site and my other diabetes related channels.

This VLOG will also include discussions of entrepreneurship, digital marketing, finance, and more. It will not be a daily VLOG of my life.

All videos will be posted to YouTube, so please go subscribe now – https://youtube.com/user/chrisstockerinc

And here is a little teaser video:

Read More

img_0182.jpg

Top Posts in 2016

Here are the top 10 most read posts in 2016. Some of these were written in before 2016:

  1. Dario Review
  2. Diabetes in Dunkin Donuts
  3. Fired Up Friday: Diabetic Supplies vs Durable Medical Equipment
  4. JDRF vs ADA
  5. How Low Can You Go?
  6. Contour USB Review
  7. Medco Pharmacy and Tier 3 Drugs
  8. Josh Bleill Motivational Speaker
  9. You Down with PPO or HMO?
  10. OptumRX Strikes Again

Some of these posts may have opinions that may have changed over the time. A lot of these are based on issues that I had that it seems a lot of people have.

Read More

Endo Appointment Review – Another Great Discussion

Last Monday was my endo appointment. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize it was my endo appointment, so I didn’t get any blood work done before hand. This would usually be a waste of an appointment, but I’m thankful for the 630G and a lot of great data that we could discuss anyway.

First, we started with an in-office A1C, for whatever that’s worth. 8.1. Not very good. I knew it was going to be high because I spent 45 days without going to the gym and visiting my family in PA, which I tend to eat pretty bad while up there. My weight was down, but only about a pound, not too happy about that.

We couldn’t go over any labs, which I was curious to know where my triglyceride numbers had gone to. Previously, they were amazing, 6 months after being at “heart attack” levels. I’m going to get my blood work done this week, so I am lucky to have an endo that is willing to review my reports after an appointment and send me an email with any recommendations or updates after viewing that.

I had two main concerns going into the appointment, which is how we start out, her asking me, what’s been going on? Morning and after meal spikes. In the morning, as soon as I wake up, my blood sugar just starts to shoot up. Without eating, without drinking anything, just as soon as I wake up, it just shoots up. I do drink coffee pretty soon after I wake up, but I’ve purposely held off on the coffee for a little while and the same thing happened.

What I’ve done in the past is just take a 5-7 unit bolus as soon as I wake up. No real rhyme or reason behind it, just give a little extra insulin to combat that spike that I know is coming. Then, I need to cut out all carbs during breakfast, well as many as I can. I typically eat a 3 egg omelette with cheese or ham in it. When I do this, it definitely helps stabilize my blood sugars until lunch.

But, then that’s when the next issue happens (depending on what’s for lunch). If I eat what I’m supposed to which is a salad with no croutons and a vineagar based dressing, then it doesn’t spike that bad. I can usually control this lunch spike. 

On a good, normal day, I will then hit the gym. This brings down any high that I had and usually drops me pretty low. This is where I see a fun amusement park looking slide on my CGM. This is followed up with a nice, cold Gatorade that also puts back into my body 120 calories that I just burned off.

Dinner is my biggest problem and my biggest spike. Dinner is where I tend to slip up. When I am on my healthy eating habits, none of this happens. So, that is the root cause of the problem. Eating healthier. Unfortunately, I eat unhealthy way too often. When I do, I eat a lot of carbs. Those carbs then cause a spike. I have tried all of the different times to take insulin before eating my meal. I’ve taken insulin 15 minutes before and pre-bolused… same thing. I’ve taken it 30 minutes before, same thing. I’ve taken it the same time I eat, 10 minutes after…. it doesn’t matter.

We discussed that it seems like an insulin sensitivity issue. Where I place my infusion sites is the same areas I’ve been doing it for 11 years. I also use a lot of insulin, so within 2 days there’s nearly 250 units of insulin that has been delivered through that cannula. This is where the problem exists… too much insulin.

We felt that all of these spikes can be resolved with less insulin. So, like I try and do with any problem, we reverse engineered it. I’m using a lot of insulin because of lack of exercise and poor eating habits. So, if we change these two items, I will need less insulin, which will have an effect on my insulin sensitivity. Less insulin being delivered in a short period of time, will allow my body to absorb this insulin and allow the insulin to do what it needs to do.

We also discussed several other things. The use of Metformin as an additional treatment to people with type 1. Invokana being used as an additional med used also.

She knows that I do not like adding additional medications to my list of ones that I’m already using. This is why she will make a recommendation, tell me to do my own homework, talk with people in the DOC and then come back with a decision. So, for now, the goal is to accomplish this all naturally with better eating habits.

There is also the idea of quitting pumping all together and just doing MDI again, but I don’t know if I’m ready for that.

Read More

img_0102.jpg

Uncontrolled Diabetes – Honestly I Don’t Care

Last night during the weekly #DCDE Twitter Chat (Tuesdays at 9 p.m.) there was a mention of how HCP’s use the diagnosis code of “Uncontrolled Diabetes” and I tweeted that I don’t really care about that and don’t care what you call it.

I understand that language matters and I totally get it. I, personally, am not really effected that much by the language and wording used in the diabetes world. Myths, yes. But specific words and language, I don’t let it bother me, because at the end of the day, it’s just a word or a phrase. It’s sort of like the old saying from elementary school – “Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt.”

There’s a few reasons why I don’t care about the phrase “Uncontrolled Diabetes”.

First, it’s just a phrase, it’s not that big of a deal. “When I go to get blood work and the receptionist sees ‘uncontrolled diabetes’ they think I’m not working hard to control my diabetes and it undermines all of my hard work.’ Well, guess what? I don’t give a fuck what the receptionist thinks. Nor do I give a fuck about what anybody else thinks when they see “uncontrolled diabetes” I know the work and effort I’m putting in, so I don’t care what others think. I know who I am and that’s all that matters.

Second, what would you rather it say? A Diagnosis code that says “Trying very hard, but still needs some work” or “they really do put in a lot of effort, but they just need a bit more tweaking to keep their BG’s in range for a longer period of time.” I’m just curious as to what the better phrase would be.

Third, and let’s be real here. It’s not controlled. I have no problem being a realist and not trying to fluff myself up. My diabetes isn’t under control. I do what I can to manage it and I can be doing a lot better. More exercise, better eating habits, more weight loss, etc. But when you take a look at some of my CGM graphs and you see roller coaster after roller coaster, guess what, that’s not controlled. So, unless your blood sugars are staying perfectly between the top and bottom line limits that you and your HC team put together, to me, that means it’s not in control.

Here’s an example using a different subject.

If you are driving a car and you are in control of the car, then that means you are staying in your lane and not crossing over the lines into someone else’s lane. If you are driving the car and keep crossing over the lines and are almost hitting other cars because you’re in and out of your own lane, you are an out of control driver…. or an uncontrolled driver. Does that mean you’re a horrible driver? No. Maybe you’re just learning or you’re distracted or maybe it was dark and you didn’t really see the lines that well. All things that you could improve on. But, until you do, you’re still an uncontrolled driver.

I don’t want to undermine anybody’s thoughts and feelings on this topic. If you are outraged by the phrase, then that’s fine, this is just simply my view of it. I am just not a person to be effected by words or phrases that are just used to describe something. I know who I am. I have so much self-awareness of what I am and what I’m not, that it doesn’t matter to me that an outsider sees a diagnosis code and makes a judgement on me.

Read More

I Failed My #HAWMC Goal

November was a 30 day challenge to follow the prompts for the Health Advocates Writer’s Monthly Challenge. Well, I failed. I failed to complete the 30 days. In fact, I think I only made it about 15-16 days. I don’t like failing. I don’t like losing.

And what I don’t like even more is having to admit that I lost or that I failed. 

I will not fail again next time that I try this. I learned a lot from it. Writing a post every single day is very difficult to do. Especially with a lot of other things going on, but there are no excuses. When you decide to do something, you have to put all excuses to the side.

I am writing this post today to hold myself accountable. A lot of times, people will only share the good either on their site or Facebook, or wherever. But today, I wanted to share the side of failure.

And because I failed this small goal of one blog post per day, I am going to set an even higher goal to make up for it. And I want to make myself publicly accountable for this new goal. In 2017, I will publish one piece of content a day on one of my few blogs that I write at. Whether it is The Life of a Diabetic, Chris Stocker Inc, CSI Marketing Solutions Blog, or my Medium page, or LinkedIn Publisher page, or even a Snap / Insta story, I will create something every day.

I’ve recently became a huge fan of Tony Robbins. I used to think the guy was a fraud and full of crap, but after watching his documentary (now have seen it 5 times), I am a much bigger believer in what he speaks to. For example, the excuses that I had for not completing my #HAWMC were just stories that I was telling myself over and over and eventually I began to believe those stories. The story that writing a post every day is tough because I don’t have the time. I don’t have the time because I’m running a business, being a parent, being a husband, traveling for holidays and work, etc. The story should be about how easy it is to just write one thing a day, that’s a breeze. There is plenty of time throughout the day to do this.

So, the end of those stories. It’s on to creating more positive stories in my brain.

And today is the beginning of that.

Read More

day-17-hawmc

Throwback Thursday – A Post from the Past #HAWMC

So today we are to share a post from the past. I am going to post the link here and then just explain the post and why I would reshare it again in the future. 

You Chatted, Now It’s Time To Act – 5 Things to Do Today to Take Action

This article was posted after a Twitter chat occurred about taking action to create change within diabetes related policies. This post can be used for any chronic condition, or anything in general that you are advocating for, or against.

The most important part of this post is to just act. Just do something to act.

Hope you enjoy.

Read More

day-16-hawmc

Wisdom Wednesday: My Advice to Other Activists #HAWMC

Today’s prompt is to provide some advice to an activist who is just starting out. Well, this advice is pretty simple.

Just start.

Stop thinking about it. Stop talking about how you would like to do something. Stop saying, I wish I had a blog. Stop, stop, stop all that crap and just start, start, start.

Tomorrow’s prompt is about a post from the past, well, I wrote a post about how to do something now to start advocating, so I’m not going to re-write that whole post now because it will be getting re-posted tomorrow.

But, for now, just start advocating. Here are a few things to do to get started in case you don’t know what to do.

1. Figure out what your cause is. Find a niche within your cause that you are the most passionate about. For example, there is no way that I can advocate for every single diabetes issue out there. I will spread my self way too thin and not get anything accomplished. So, I have decided a couple of years ago to focus strictly on policy issues that effect people with diabetes.

2. Where do you want to advocate? You don’t need a blog in order to be an advocate. You can do a lot with Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc. You can even use Medium to write long form content if you want to (and Medium makes it a lot easier to go ‘viral’). If you are familiar with a certain platform, stick to that and master it before branching out to every platform.

3. What’s stopping you? What’s stopping you is most likely an excuse. “I don’t have time” Yea.. how much do you know about The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones or binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix? “I’m not tech savvy”…. Write letters, do local in person support groups / meet ups, etc.

4. Now go…. seriously, go right now. And come back tomorrow to read the throwback post.

Read More

day-14-hawmc

Case of the Mondays #HAWMC

Case of the Mondays…. hmm, I might have a different opinion on Monday’s than most people. A lot of people hate Monday’s and always complain about Monday. Why?

I don’t get it.

I go to sleep Sunday night with excitement and anticipation for it to be Monday.

Why?

I freakin love what I do for a living. I love running a business. I love advocating. I love engaging with people online. I love taking advantage of people being lazy and woe is me on a Monday and dominate when people are sluggish.

So, here is something that bothers me. Why people seem to hate 1/7 of their week. For me, being someone with type 1 diabetes, my emotional state has a big effect on my blood glucose levels. So, if I’m feeling down, lazy, stressed out by a Monday, it’s most likely going to cause my blood sugars to be out of whack which is going to make me feel like crap even more.

So, it’s a lose-lose situation.

So, instead, I take Monday by the horns and dominate the hell out of it. And guess what Tuesday?

You’re next!

Read More