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Scott Johnson Guest Post – Resignation Versus Resolve

Day 2 of guest post week is Scott Johnson.  He is a great person to know if you don’t know him already.  If you are not following him on Twitter already, then please follow him right now.

I recently wrote a blog post (“Screw It! I’ll Just Eat The Rest”) about not wanting to finish my dinner. My brain almost imploded when I tried to think about my insulin and how it would affect me if I stopped eating. So naturally, I posted about it!

I think it’s important to talk about those sorts of situations because it gives those around us a glimpse of how difficult food can be for us. While food is only a small part of our daily life with diabetes, it seems to take up more energy than it should. At least that is how it seems to me.

I got so many wonderful comments from that post (thank you!), but there was one that hit me and stuck in my head.

Barbara said:

“What I am wrestling with now is balancing resignation with resolve to keep trying and working on it. I think that the key is to try and keep figuring out how to tolerate all these diabetes difficulties which you describe so well. I pray for strength and resilience because most of it can’t be ‘fixed’, just tolerated.”

Thank you Barabara, for such a great comment. That is something I wrestle with all the time! It’s really a tough thing! There is very little positive reinforcement with our diabetes management. Think about it! If we do well enough, the encouragement we get is lack of negative consequences! That is not the same thing as positive encouragement.

The amount of work it takes to maintain anything close to normal is mind-blowing. Many of us try so very hard, but still struggle more often than not. The messages we receive when we’re not doing so well are all negative. Those messages come from many places (including our own heads!), and often get skewed by our huge load of guilt (why do we feel so guilty?).

I am all too familiar with the “resignation” that Barbara talks about. It usually comes to me in one of two ways. One is after I’ve tried SO HARD and still can’t seem to do well enough. The other is a slower, sort of grinding down of my resolve to keep trying. I think that one in particular is from the lack of positive reinforcement.

I try very hard to not be negative, and honestly, it’s not always negativity directly, but rather the LACK of positive signals and messages. If I do great – well, that’s expected. If I do poorly, then by default I’m not working hard enough. It’s a failed feedback system that has been built into so many of us.

Have you ever had a really great A1C? You and the doctor might celebrate for 5-10 minutes, then you’re back out in the world again. You are expected to maintain that fabulous A1C, and often to work even harder to get it down more! There is constant frustration built into something that always has room for improvement. It is a hard, hard balance for us to find. The balance between resignation and resolve is slippery, and most often a moving target. What is the answer? IS there an answer?

Weekend Filled with Work

Here it is another Friday and another week gone. Where has the time gone. This had been one of the busiest and craziest weeks of my life. Everything from battling high blood sugars, extrely high blood sugars, meetings with clients, writing proposals and contracts, actually doing the consulting work, exercising, dieting, losing weight, 3 am bed times with 7 am wake-ups. What a week!

I used to get so excited about Fridays and the weekend starting. But now? Not so much. I used to be able to relax on the weekends and go out on Fridays and Saturdays and have a good time. I have decides not to do that anymore. I will only go out one of the two nights and not even late either. Instead, I have a lot of work to get done in such a small amount of time.

Currently I am writing 2 daily blogs, I do on site consulting for about 25 hours a week at Volvo Aero Services and managing some other consulting services, trying to exercise and eat healthy, which is almost impossible when you’re working at a pace like this.

But you know what? This is the life that I chose, so I am not complaining about it because I love it! I’m doing what I have always wanted to do, screw the sleep. I know that it’s not the best for my health, but ya know what no matter what I do, there will always be something that is not good for your health.

Last thing I want to mention. This Sunday I am going to the 25th anniversary of the Chili Cook Off. Google it because I am typing this on my WP app and can’t add a link. It features Zac Brown Band, Gloriana, Sara Evans, Montgomery Gentry, and Rodney Adkins. Should be a great time.

Have a good weekend y’all.

4 Essentials of Managing My Diabetes

We all have our favorite meter’s, pumps, syringes, glucose tabs, CGM’s, and whatever else you use to manage your diabetes.  Here are my top 4 essentials to managing my diabetes.

Medtronic Minimed Paradigm 722Insulin Pump

This is my insulin pump of choice at this time.  It is the one that I was given when I first got the pump 5 years ago, well it was a Paradigm 712 at that time, but I upgraded to the 722 at the beginning of the year.  I don’t have any issues with the pump, but there are some things that I do like with the other ones as well.  This pump is my life right now.  I would not be able to manage my diabetes as easily without it.  I did MDI and it just didn’t work for me, I eat too frequently and eat at random times that just make it best for me to use a pump and bolus at any given time.

Freestyle Lite MeterFreestyle Meter

For a very long time I used all One Touch products.  That stopped about a year ago when I received a Freestyle Lite meter, and I haven’t switched to another since then.  I absolutely love this meter.  I never have any problems, it’s small and the best part about it is the light it has.  I test more frequently, especially at night because of this light.  I would never test at 3 am because I didn’t want to turn the light on because then I can never go back to sleep.  With this meter, I can just turn on the light on the meter, test, and go back to bed.  I do use other meters in different situations.  I use a True2Go meter when I am traveling or golfing because it carries easier.  I look forward to trying out the Contour USB, who knows, that may become the new meter of choice, we shall see.CGM

Minimed CGM

Even though I don’t use this as often as I should, when I do, it helps me out tremendously.  My average BG levels are about 20-30 points lower when I use it.  It comes down to dealing with the pain of inserting a new sensor.  That is the number one reason that I hate to put it on because quite honestly, it hurts.  The needle is extremely long, so that’s not a plus either.  Once it’s on and calibrated I love it.


You may be wondering why this is one of my essentials.  Well, it’s because this is the most comfortable item that I like to use.  When I eat a bag of Skittles(the small bag shown here), I know how much it will bring up my sugar, which means that I don’t overeat.  When I am eating other things like glucose tabs or orange juice or whatever else, I don’t know how much it will raise my sugar, so then usually my sugar is way too high at that point then.

My Diabetes Has Been Easy As To Manage As Of Late

Controlling my diabetes over the last few days has been…. easy.  I don’t think that I have ever said that before, but it has been.  I’ve been eating not that great, but have been counting carbs almost dead on because I have had only 1 or 2 sugars over 200 this whole week.  I did this before and as soon as I made a comment about it my sugars went off the charts for about a week straight, so I have contemplated writing this or not because I don’t want it to happen again.

On the other hand, it feels so damn good to be able to say that it has been easy.  I test, I eat, I test and it’s still normal.  No infusion set mess ups, no low reservoirs when I am not at home, no running out of test strips, no low battery warnings on the pump, I can’t complain at all!  In fact, it even let me meet a new diabetic today. I was at Starbucks (since I’ve been unemployed the last week I go to coffee shops and do work) and someone saw my insulin pump and told me that their wife was diabetic and was thinking about switching to an insulin pump and he hasn’t talked to a pumper face-to-face yet, so it was a great help to him.  Thank you diabetes for giving me this opportunity to help somebody out.

I have not won the so-called war against diabetes yet, but I am sure kicking the $&!# out of it right now.