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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

(Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech from Henry V)

As a kid, I too had dreams of serving in the military.  I read books on the Navy Frogmen.  I was fascinated by the Green Berets.  Of course, having diabetes at the age of seven, in 1976, put a huge damper on my dream.  I had a lot of inspiration.  My father served in the Navy.  Both grandfathers served in the Army.  My great uncles did too.  All had adventures; all had stories to tell.  I wanted desperately to be a part of those adventures…

But alas, that didn’t happen.  Now some 34 years later, I’m a husband and father.  I hold down a tech job and drink copious amounts of caffeine.  Boring right?

Actually, not so.  It’s what you make of life that defines who you are.  Back in the late 70’s and 80’s and 90’s…you get the picture, exercise and diabetes wasn’t actually promoted too well.  As a matter of fact, it was more downplayed, more shied away from than encouraged.  But sometimes the need to push the limits happens and so we take that first step.  I, among many of you, have pushed the limits and loved it.

To name a short list, I’ve done the following:  martial arts (28 years), scaled 100+ foot cliff walls, parachuted (my parents still don’t know I did this one), survived an Army survival course, kayaked a class 4 rapid…  The list goes on.

We, as diabetics, don’t have to live a sedentary life.  No!  We can accomplish great things IF we aspire to push ourselves beyond the walls of this disease.  We may not be able to serve our country directly, but we can support each other and the brave men and women who do so every day.  Let not your heart be troubled.  Do something great this day!

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother!

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Diabetes Every Day

Yes, those of us who have diabetes (Type 1, Type 1.5, or Type 2) live with this disease every moment of our day.  But what does this really mean?

Imagine your life on a constant roller coaster.  Some coaster cars go up (like our blood sugar), some cars go down (like our blood sugar), and some cars are even and steady (you get the point).  Some days the roller coaster ride is a nice, steady ride with the wind blowing through your hair and, essentially, you’re coasting.  You want the ride to keep going.  While other days the ride is full of climbs and drops, some drastic, with severe sharp turns as you wonder when this ride will ever end.

Now throw in food, exercise, stress, and emotions and the roller coaster ride becomes much larger.

This is our lives with diabetes.  Our diabetes doesn’t stop during the day, give us a break during the night, then continue in the morning.  No, it constantly ebbs and flows like the ocean.  We manage it; it does not manage us.  We decide whether to live, or try to live, a healthy lifestyle.

Right now, I would like you to watch this video.  It serves two purposes.  One, to inspire and two, to remember there are children in the world who need our help.  If you are diabetic, watch it for the inspiration and allow it to, “move you”.  If you are not diabetic, I hope you become inspired to get healthy, get active, and encourage others to follow.

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Today begins National Diabetes Awareness Month!  To begin, let’s focus on “SAE it loud!” day.  SAE stands for, “Support, Advocate, and Educate”.

In my opinion, there has been no other time in the history of diabetes where support, advocacy, and education are so very important.  Not only to those of us who have diabetes, but to those who do not.

First, for those of us who do not have diabetes…if you haven’t seen a doctor for a full checkup, do so NOW.  Don’t wait until you get really sick or have some unexplained health issue.  Go see your doctor for a full physical now.

Second, if you do have diabetes and you haven’t seen an endocrinologist for a long time, then please make an appointment.  Life is too short to take chances with your health.

Here are a few helpful websites:

AACE – American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

ADA – American Diabetes Association

JDRF – Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Don’t delay; act now.

Happy SAE it Loud day!!!

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A short 2 minute phone call can change your day.

On Monday afternoon, my wife received a call from my endocrinologist’s nurse with my recent A1c.  Now before I tell you the number, consider what I’ve been through in the last 6 months:  (Not in chronological order.)

1.  The death of my mother in-law.

2.  The death of our dog.

3.  The summer heat forcing me to use MDI instead of the pump.

4.  Lots of exercise!

5.  Both our boys starting new sports.

6.  Both boys, and my wife, returning to school.

7.  And let’s not forget work stress.

And the number is…

6.4 (If you’re a friend of mine on Facebook, then you already knew the answer.)  However, what was great really wasn’t the number per se, it was the excitement of my nurse.  Her words to my wife were (and I’m paraphrasing here), “the results were flawless”.  My last A1c was a dismal 6.8 or 7.  What did I do differently or better?

1.  Exercise, exercise, exercise.  The more I exercise, the better I feel.  My BG numbers are fantastic for days when I exercise.  I now make it a point to exercise every day if only for 30 minutes.  It’s tough, but well worth it.

2.  Less carbs, more protein, no snacking.  I made a promise to myself that while on MDI, I was NOT going to snack.  I did snack, but not on my favorite Goldfish crackers, but on protein, e.g. cheese, peanut butter, ham, etc.  This worked very well.

3.  Kept the fried foods away when I could.  Fries bring thighs!  Of course, I really don’t eat a ton of vegetables either.

4.  Less is more.  I don’t have gastroparesis, but my blood sugars do a lot better when I eat less.

We are not perfect and striving for perfection is a killer.  I am not “flawless”.  However, I strive to do my very best for my family.  I want to live a long life.  I want to see the men our boys will become.  I want to see them do great things.  And by taking care of myself, I will be around to see the joys and fruits of my life.

Be strong!

Mark

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Opportunities

When life presents you with a challenge, how do you face it? I love reading stories of people who have started a for- or not-for profit venture and ran with it. When I read this story from Scott K. Johnson’s blog, I had to promote it.

Life Coaching, Weight Lifting, Book Writing

Shameless plug here: I am very impressed with Ginger Vieira. She is proving that once again those of us living with diabetes can do great things. Please check out her site and contact her.

One last shameless plug…

If you are a diabetic and have your own business, I am willing to promote your stuff here. We all need the help.

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