Not The One Where I Get Philosophical

I have a half-dozen drafts started regarding all kinds of crazy.

Including the ‘green bracelet post’, one called ‘You Have my Sword’ regarding the DOC, and one about the theory of probability (where I get all philosophical).

But this post is easy so I am posting now.

Each year our family takes part in the JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes. The kids look forward to the JDRF walk every year and now that they are older they get very competitive. Feel free to donate to any of us on the team page or to the team as a whole. Donations = hugs. Thank you in advance for your support and generosity.

This is our walk video this year: Stick With It Sugar Walk video 2013

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This is our walk page: http://www2.jdrf.org/goto/teamstickwithitsugar

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This is where you can purchase your very own Stick With It Sugar t-shirt even if you are not walking with us on October 20th: www.teespring.com/stickwithitsugar When you purchase a Stick With It Sugar t-shirt you are also supporting the JDRF as all proceeds will go directly to the JDRF. To keep the cost of the shirt down we have set a goal of 100 shirts to be sold. The shirts will not be printed until we meet our goal. (although I can reduce the goal amount to ensure everyone that wants a shirt can get one even if we don’t meet the goal of 100 – To get the shirts at $15 we do need have at least 30) The T-shirt campaign ends August 27th so order soon – why not right now?

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Stand and Be Counted

Hi there.

I’ve been a little laxidasical in my posting. Ces’t La Vie. No one pays me (if someone out there would like to pay me,  Ill be more than happy to tap my creative brain more frequently – honestly you can pay me in Starbucks Sumatra and we can kill two birds with one stone. Attn PITA: no birds will actually be killed)

So today I was procrastinating doing anything early in the day, so I meandered around Facebook/Twitter/Blogs – the usual suspects. On Facebook WEGO shared a blog post, and although I didn’t know the blogger or what Dystonia was, I took a gander. I read the post – it was about Dystonia awareness – wear blue. Read that post here – HERE

Blue?? Blue is for diabetes awareness and autism awareness – of course we don’t have a trademark on blue (not like that other organization who actually did trademark the color pink – No I will not shut up – they did – also they are the reason no other organization can “Walk FOR A cure” – not that I want to bad mouth the organization – they do an awful lot for an awful lot of people and they sure do put on a great walk – BUT they sue any other organization that steps on their trademarked toes – not sure I want my donation money paying for legal fees) HOLY COW did I digress.

Anyway back to Dystonia – I didn’t know what it was so I googled it. Then I felt stupid because if I had just delved a little deeper into this awesome blog I would have read a much better description of dystonia than what Wiki provided.

I wont try to explain it myself because the author of the blog does a superb job of it. I mean of course she does – she lives with it and when we live with something it becomes easier to explain – trust me I can describe the hell out-a diabetes. Click here to learn about dystonia.

So back to “Blue” – blue is a wonderful awareness color. I shared my thoughts about Blue=Hope with the Pamela, author of Chronicles of Dystonia Muse, “Blue is a color often associated with sadness (depression in people with chronic decease is so common) but also the color of HOPE – like the pacific ocean ( I always hear Morgan Freeman’s voice in regards to Hope from the movie the Shawshank redemption – “hope is a good thing. maybe the best of good things. and no good thing ever dies” – he goes on to say that he hopes the pacific is as blue as he imagined. Blue=Hope.”

I like that a number of “groups” use the color blue. We are all fighting a battle and sharing a color units us all just a little bit.

OK – so the real reason for this post was not to discuss colors or poor business practices of huge organizations.

This post is brought to you because of another post that Pamela shared – Showing Up For The Party.

Pamela says it all and says it loudly with these words – “If you plan to change the world – or even one small corner – start by showing up for the party!”

Her post is about Dystonia Advocacy Day which was May 1, 2013 in D.C.

See the point is to show up. Stand up and be counted. Don’t let congress or the nation brush – us – them – anyone – under the rug.

Letters and phone calls to senators and congressmen – Awesome.

In person meetings with those in legislature – as in the promise campaign via JDRF – Fantastic!

Becoming a delegate for Children’s Congress via JDRF – Outstanding

Sharing personal stories in social media to raise awareness – Terrific

It’s all about showing up – in person is best (hard to ignore real bodies standing front and center) but all communication lets those in power know they only have the power because we gave it to them – it can be taken away.

Multiple points in this post –

Colors and walks shouldn’t be trademarked. For Shame.

Blue is a color of Hope for everyone.

Everyone is fighting a battle – and I don’t believe any are less important than others. (well maybe if there is an organization out there demanding research to enlarge male genitalia – that would be like the bottom of the list – but then again some might disagree – although I’m fairly certain a good deal of money is already spent on that area of study)

Its late – I’m rambling and I’m out.

 

 

Posters Save Lives

A day behind with Day 5 of Health Activists Writers Month Challenge.

(In my defense I did post yesterday and yesterday’s post was viewed more than any other post I’ve ever written – it just wasn’t my Day 5 post – Thank you to all who viewed the post and shared your thoughts – your support means so very much.)

Day 5 Challenge: “If I could do anything as a Health Activist…” Think big today! Money/time/physical limitations are no longer an issue. What is your biggest goal that is now possible? And/Or What’s your one, three, or five-year plan for your Health Activism?

If money and time were not issues I would work towards educating the world about Type 1 Diabetes. I would use either existing posters (International Diabetes Foundation has created one) and/or create new posters, flyers, videos about the early symptoms of Type 1 diabetes to distribute to all doctors offices (pediatric & general health care providers), school health offices and hospitals. I mean truck loads of them and I would hire folks to hang the posters so they didn’t sit rolled up in some back office where advertisements for over priced meds go).

The posters would include illustrations of children and adults doing the things that many parents and patients miss (or explain away) prior to diagnosis or after it is too late to save the child/person.

  • excessive thirst
  • excessive urination
  • excessive hunger
  • excessive sleepiness
  • headaches
  • leg aches
  • rapid heart rate
  • mood swings
  • weight loss

The posters will also identify myths about Type 1

  • isn’t caused by too much sugar
  • there is no cure
  • one cannot grow out of it
  • well-managed diabetes is the cause of absolutely nothing (Dr. William Polonsky)
  • complications can happen and will happen with poorly managed diabetes
  • a person with type 1 diabetes is always insulin dependent
  • a person with T1 has to check blood sugar at least 4 times a day – yes it hurts
  • a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes did not cause it to happen
  • a person with T1 can do everything everyone else can do

The posters will also encourage newly diagnosed to seek support within their community and online. There is no reason (unless by choice) a pwd or parent of cwd should ever be left to feel alone.

While distributing the posters I would offer short classes to all health care providers about Type 1 diabetes. That seems weird right – I mean they are way more educated than I am – in a way that one would think they should know (medical school). Still I’ve heard of many health professionals missing the diagnoses Type 1 diabetes. I’d also educate school staff – I mean come on teachers spend more time with their students than parents spend with them during the school year. I mean actual clock hours not the quality of time.

I would ask that the posters hang in every exam room, hospital elevator, and school health office. I mean come on, how many times do we read the posters in those rooms while we wait for our HCPs? Visit after visit we read the same posters. The knowledge will sink in. Most people who read the posters will never need the information. BUT – the message will reach those that one day (some random Wednesday) will need it. Maybe it will reach the friend of a teen that has been showing the symptoms and the friend will mention it to their friend. Maybe it will reach the teacher who has a student that’s always leaving the classroom to use the bathroom. Maybe it will reach a grandmother who is keeping her grandchildren for the weekend. Maybe It will save lives.

When I lived in Texas I volunteered with the Austin JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). I would visit elementary schools with a large cardboard picture of the Pink Panther and boxes of fundraising envelopes. I would meet with every grade level for about 45 minutes during their PE classes. During the presentation I would talk about what the JDRF is, what diabetes is, what types there are and what causes the different types, how the kids can stay healthy by eating right and exercising, how type 1 is not caused by poor choices, why pwd need insulin, how insulin is used in the body, what happens to a pwd if they don’t take insulin and that there is no cure. The last few minutes I would invite the kids to ask 10 people for a $1 to help fund a cure.

This was a very interactive presentation. I asked the kids questions, allowed them to give examples, maybe tell short stories, I had them get up and move around. If there was a child(ren) with diabetes in the school I would invite them to talk about it (I met with the child ahead of time so if they did not want to talk I did not single them out).

I believe I reached these kids. In fact I know I did because parents would tell me how much their child shared with them when they got home.

I haven’t been able to get that involved yet here in CA. I’m still unpacking my life. I hope to get the program moving in my area next school year.

Which brings me to my 1 year, 3 year, 5 year plans.

1 year – bring the JDRF kids walk program to the East Bay area of San Francisco

3 year – be invited to speak at conferences to adults and/or children about diabetes awareness, diabetes in school, diabetes and siblings, diabetes and peer pressure, diabetes and depression (in regards to parents of kids with diabetes). Any and all of these topics are ones that I am working on a plan for.

5 year – write a book – this is the scariest of all for me to think about (yes way more scary than talking in front of huge crowds – that’s easy for me). So many books have been written. Really wonderful, informative, funny, heart-warming books about all things diabetes. What on Earth would I have to share that hasn’t been shared already?

So basically give me money and time and I will make a poster – a priceless poster that can/has/will save lives.

 

Sharing Is Fun, It’s What We Like To Do

Today is Day 4 of the Health Activists Writers Month Challenge

Today’s challenge: Create a “care page” – a list of your best resources that someone who is newly diagnosed could go to when starting to advocate for themselves or a loved one. 

Have I mentioned how incredibly disorganized I am? Being so disorganized is difficult and bothersome. My disorganization doesn’t just disrupt me it annoys the heck outta my husband too. Just last night I asked him to fix my email because I was trying to email myself pictures from a file to include in a collage for Day 3. He became distracted and highly aggravated by my disorganization – in his defense I had no less than 6 word documents open, my desktop is filled with other documents and pictures, and I have over 350 unread email messages. It drives his OCD brain insane. (He is not OCD when it comes to leaving socks, shoes, candy wrappers or coffee cups all over the house.)

I have known for sometime that if I would add all my favorite blogs and websites to a special ‘feed’ or ‘reader’ I wouldn’t spend so much time trying to find the pages again. I asked for help early last night regarding organizing my favorite blogs and web pages and a dear friend from the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) agreed to help but she can’t until Friday. Thus – I’m screwed for today’s prompt. Speaking of the DOC – you can find so much support on twitter. Join Twitter – search the hashtags #DOC, #DSMA. You will never be alone with an entire community of people following you – free glitter, bacon and cupcakes for all newbies (all virtual btw – I’m not actually going to send you a bacon cupcake topped with glitter).

One of the first places I would suggest both D-rents (that’s parents of kids with diabetes – I totally only learned what Drents meant on Monday and I’ve been one for over 6 years) and PWD (People with diabetes) go after diagnosis is the JDRF website. Yes they are a fundraising organization but they do great things with those funds in addition to funding promising research that will one day end diabetes. THIS link will take newbies to specific pages for the newly diagnosed (both for drents and pwd) within the JDRF website. As far as the advocacy part of JDRF – you can create or join a walk team to raise money while raising awareness. I should mention that the JDRF focuses its awareness toward Type 1 diabetes but when a cure is created (let’s be honest it isn’t like we are going to turn over a rock and find it) it will benefit all people with diabetes.

So much text – here is a cool cat picture to break it up.

My cat is Batman

My cat is Batman

Another great recourse (also a fundraising organization doing wonderful things to advance diabetes awareness and end the decease) is the American Diabetes Association. THIS link is also specifically for the new diagnosed. It has tips and tools for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes management, how to get the best from your healthcare team, and you can register to join the TourdeCure (which I would be excited about if I was a cyclist) – it is exciting that so many PWD do ride and raise a great deal of awareness and money for research.

Advocating for your school aged child is likely one of the most frustrating and daunting tasks for parents of newly diagnosed children or to those that move from one location to another while trying to maintain some sort of consistency. One of the best resources I have used while advocating for my children at school can be found HERE. It has oodles and oodles of information. I wouldn’t try to wade through it all at once. If your child isn’t in school yet I would suggest taking time to read and familiarize yourself with laws (both federal and state), read sample 504 plans (legal documents that protect your child at school), and print out the resources for teachers and classmates. The Children With Diabetes Organization also has a great page that shares webpages to help advocate for yourself or your children. Find that HERE. Honestly just go to the CWD website and poke around for information regarding all things diabetes – be sure to check out the Friends For Life conference page and if you can go – GO. (It isn’t just for families with cwd they have adults with diabetes tracks at the conference too!)

I have a number of amazing websites and blogs listed here on my blog too – look to your right. I have been meaning to organize them better with descriptions about the authors and such but haven’t. (Have I mentioned Im disorganized?) I have also been meaning to figure out a way to keep YOU on my blog while also sending you to other great blogs but I haven’t done that either – the links will take you away from my blog so before you go to the others maybe bookmark mine or sign up to get my drivel awe inspiring babble prose sent to your inbox – I mean shit if you read all the way to this point clearly you find me riveting and here is another a cute cat picture.

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Sunday Seven

  • Dexcom G4 approved (for adults) – so happy for my DOC friends and all pwd/cwd that will be able to get the G4 – it is an amazing Dcare tool. Hoping FDA approves for under 17 so I can beg our insurance company to help us get them for our kids. Currently our insurance will not approve anything ‘off label’ so we need under 17 approval if we want financial help via insurance.
  • Hubby and Middles attended a 3 night/4 day field trip – missed having them around – hated not being able to chaperone myself (dads with sons/ moms with daughters). They both had a blast and I’m thankful Chad had a chance to spend the time with Middles on a school event.
  • During a late night sugar check I walked in to find Sugarboy drinking an imaginary juice – blood sugar was 46 – gave him a real juice – check in 30 min to find a lower sugar – another juice – 30 min later 118. Sad and thankful to find other dmamas on FB (one whose son was eating an air sandwich about the same time sugarboy was enjoying his imaginary juice)
  • While walking to lunch after class a friend of Sweetstuffs thought she (sweetstuff) looked ‘off’. She encouraged Sweetstuff to test her blood sugar. Sweetstuff said she was fine and continued on to lunch (she was gonna test soon anyway). The other student continued to encourage Sweetstuff to check her sugars. Begrudgingly Sweetstuff did as she was asked sooner than she would have for lunch. She was 35. While the friend could have gloated or said “i told you so” she instead fished a fruit roll-up from the Dpack and handed it to Sweetstuff – she also alerted a teacher. First have I said how badly I want the Dexcom G4s for my kids and second have I told you all how blessed we are for all the wonderful friends Sweetstuff has made in our new home.
  • I had an off morning – I texted some wonderful DOC friends in a group message that I hated CA and wanted to go home to TX. I got lots of virtual hugs back. I love “The Hive” – and I am thankful to always have this group of friends in my pocket – always only a text away.
  • First family outing since we officially moved in to our home. We went to a pumpkin patch with a huge corn maze. The boys took off on their own to find their way through the maze (daddy close on their heals) while Sweetstuff and I wandered slowly through the tall corn stalks and discussed how much more fun it might be at night. After navigating the corn maze we picked out pumpkins, enjoyed some fresh corn on the cob and called it a win.
  • Today – best day of the week. Completed our first ever JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in CA. It was at the Oakland Zoo. It was very foggy and misting just a bit – perfect walking weather. We were joined by two of Sweetstuff’s friends and another mom. I met Mr. Mike Lawson of the Diabetes Hands Foundation promoting the Big Blue Test. He is as sweet in charming in person as he is in the DOC. Can’t wait for more meet ups.

Goodbye Pink

Leaving a community, city, state that I have been apart of for nearly 13 years has been had to think about. Thus I have not thought about it. Sure I put my house together, listed it with an agent, accepted an offer, scheduled movers, and are making the small repairs the inspection identified. However I have done all of this and continue to do all this on auto pilot.

If I think too much about what I am leaving behind I become overwhelmed and begin ransacking the house for some form of chocolate. Even when friends or family ask me how everything is going I answer the questions as if I was an automated phone menu – “For Questions about our offer press 1, For questions about the pending house in Cali press 2, For questions about moving household goods press 3, For my feelings – operator is unavailable.”

The week before last I had to say Goodbye to a good friend. He has been a trusted alli the last three years while I volunteered with the JDRF Kids Walk To Cure Diabetes. He has helped to educate elementary school students in countless schools and always loved it when the kids would sing his theme song when I introduced him. He is back with the people who shared him with me and I’m sure his days of presentations is not over. I hope my days are not over either – I hope the San Francisco JDRF chapter has a Kids Walk program and they will find a place within it for me. Presenting Kids Walk has been a real treat for me these last few years. Goodbye Pink and thank you JDRF Austin for allowing me to be part of a future cure for diabetes.

Saying goodbye to Pink and the JDRF office was hard and resulted in a teary drive home. Saying goodbye to friends that have been with me for over a decade will be worse. This Friday one of my BFFs is helping me host my last BUNCO party in Texas. It will be at my house as usual but I couldn’t bring myself to send out the Evite so she agreed to do it for me. She didn’t copy me on it. It was too much for me to think about – seeing the RSVPs come in would cause a chocolate shortage in my area. My BUNCO (dice game that requires no skill – thus can be played while consuming adult beverages) parties have always been themed – I normally would host about 4 a year and invite just about anyone – the more the merrier – plus more cash in the pot. This party is Themed too “If You’re Going To San Francisco” – Not sure if my friends will show up with flowers in their hair or as a transgender. Either way is good. The guest list is a bit more exclusive – just 30 or so of my closest friends. The ones I have known and loved for years. I am gonna be a wreck – although it will likely be the one of the few times since hubby left to work in CA that I’ll put on make-up and do something other than toss my hair in a clip.

 

 

My Own Devices

My own Devices….

Day 23 Health Activists Writers Blog

Today’s prompt: Health Activist Choice Day – Write about whatever you want.

As a parent of cwd (children with diabetes) when I think of Devices I automatically think of my kids insulin pumps, glucometers, and the Dexcom that is still sitting in its box getting dusty. All the pwd (people with diabetes) or other parents of cwd that stumble upon my blog (or are guilted into reading it because I self-promote it 5 times a day on twitter) also very likely think of pumps, glucometers and CGMs (continuous glucose monitors – ie Dexcom). People without diabetes that read the word ‘Devices’ likely think of phones, MP3 players, or tablets.

However – I am not thinking of electronics during this post. Here is what I am thinking of:

Device: A plan or a scheme for effecting a purpose.

Why do I advocate? Why do I volunteer for the JDRF presenting the Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes? Why do I share great blog posts (others as well as mine)? Why do I share information about new technology and promising research? Why do I do my best to change stereotype perceptions regarding diabetes (all types)? Why do I insist on 504 plans for my kids? Why do I take my kids to diabetes camps? Why do I form a JDRF walk team? Why do I spend hours writing a blog? Why do I spend hours tweeting with other pwd and parents of cwd?  Why why why why….

Because I have a plan with a purpose – to end diabetes, to end misconceptions, to end bullying, to end sadness, to end confusion, to end it all.

I advocate for those with diabetes because change happens when we make it happen through action. Writing letters to government officials to support diabetes research lets those individuals know we are watching and we vote.

I volunteer for JDRF because my time and ability to speak in front of large groups (including kids) is more valuable than the modest amount of money I can afford to give (although I give that too). I educate the kids regarding healthy life style choices to hopefully prevent type 2 diabetes (although not all type 2 diabetes is caused by poor lifestyle choices) and I educate the kids about what Diabetes is, that it isn’t contagious, that a person that has Type 1 didn’t do anything wrong to get it, that a person with Type 1 can do everything a person without Type 1 can do but also has to do extra things to stay safe, I educate them on how they can help end diabetes by supporting organizations that fund research. The Kids Walk is my most favorite thing to do regarding diabetes education.

I share diabetes blogs on Facebook, Twitter and Emails because sharing our struggles, successes and failures benefits everyone effected by diabetes. It isn’t because misery loves company – it is because we need to know we aren’t alone – we aren’t the only parents that missed a high at night, or a low on the playground, or whose child is being non-compliant.

I share information about new technologies and research because it provides hope, it shows things are moving forward and even though the 5 Year mark (the number of years we are told at diagnosis in which a cure will be found) passes without a cure – we see progress.

I interrupt strangers I overhear speaking incorrectly about diabetes to educate them – to change the worlds perception of either that a) me or my kids did something wrong and thus got diabetes b) only people who are obese and lazy get Type 2 diabetes c)  people with Type 1 cannot eat a cupcake d) diabetes is easy.

I insist on 504 plans for my kids at school because I want them in a safe environment, I want them protected, I want the schools to know I WILL hold them accountable if they deny my children the care they require to stay safe.

I take my kids to diabetes camps because at camp my kids feel normal. At camp my kids see that they can do everything they dream of despite diabetes. I take my kids to camp because meeting other kids with diabetes helps my kids feel less alone.

I form a JDRF walk team to support an organization that funds research that will lead to a cure and end all the madness. I form a team to invite those without diabetes to get involved. I form a team to support my children.

I write a blog because it provides me a place to share, vent, whine, advocate, educate, support, laugh, and even cry aloud through my words. I write a blog because at some point in the future my kids will want to know “what did I do to end the madness” (although I am fairly certain they see and hear all I do). I write a blog because maybe there is a parent out there with a newly diagnosed child searching the Internet for information – maybe they will find my blog and they will see that while they have entered a world of madness there are others here to help them. I write a blog because one day maybe one of my dreams of writing a book or becoming a motivational speaker or a presenter at conferences will be realized and I will have all my past posts to draw inspiration and information from.

I spend hours a week tweeting with other pwd and parents of cwd because I don’t know everything (shhhh don’t tell my kids) and I can and have learned so much from the people I follow. The DOC (diabetes online community) is like camp for me – it allows me to believe I can do everything everyone else is doing and mostly I AM NOT ALONE.

My devices are not a part of a scheme – they are not intended to be tricky or mischievous.

My devices are fueled by my desire NEED to end the madness.

Dinner With Schmucks

You Are Cordially Invited….

Day 20 Health Activist Writers Mont Challenge

5 Dinner Guests. Who are 5 people you’d love to have dinner with (living or deceased) and why?

I’ve had all day to consider this post. I considered going the ‘Jesus, Gandhi, Buda, Mohammad, & Abraham (the one with all the sons as apposed to the one with the hat)’ route but reconsidered. I have a great deal of faith but this isn’t a blog about my religious beliefs. Although I would like to take a quick moment to say that I believe “Faith is not the absence of doubt, it is the ability to believe in the presence of doubt” – read that quote somewhere, I should google it to site the source but I’m hanging on by a thread right now (exhausted) thus I will leave the googling to you. Let me also add that I respect all religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) and pass no judgment.

Digressed – sorry – moving on.

I also considered inviting key scientists and researchers from the past including; Fredrick Banting, John MaCleod, Charles Best, Alexander Fleming, and for fun, because I think he would be a riot Albert Einstein. (For non-diabetes readers the first three scientists discovered insulin) While I have a great deal of respect for these men I’m not entirely sure they would be the best dinner guests for me – I fear I would be lost in all the sciency stuff.

Next I considered a dinner with philosophers such as Plato, Socrates, Confucius, Galileo, and Aristotle. Again I have a great respect for the genius these men had – that same genius would likely be over my head without cliff notes to help me understand all they discussed. Although I am keeping Confucius on a stand-by list since I would like him to look at some fortune cookie fortunes I have received that begin with “Confucius says…” and ask him if they are accurate quotes.

Like I said I had all day to consider my dinner guests.

When it came down to it I have already had this amazing dinner with 5 fabulous people. The dinner was on a Friday evening here in Austin on March 30th. The guests included a JDRF Outreach Manager, a CDE (certified diabetes educator) extraordinaire, two fellow JDRF volunteers and also D-mamas (moms with a child who has diabetes) and the guest of honor – the DOC’s very own Kerri S. who was scheduled to give the keynote at the 2nd annual JDRF Type 1 Now Conference the next day.

I was so thankful to Amy (JDRF Outreach Manager) for inviting me to attend the dinner. I remember calling Amy giddy with excitement after reading that Kerri was going to be the keyone. I likely sounded like a child about to see Santa for the first time. I wasn’t alone in my giddiness – my good friend, fellow D-Mama and JDRF Kids Walk Volunteer Andrea was also as giddy. We were both huge fans of Kerri’s blog and could hardly believe we would get to enjoy a dinner with her.

Me and my two fellow D-mamas arrive to the restaurant first. While Amy had requested a table on the patio when she made the reservation, one was not available – no biggy Kerri was coming. Teresa (other Dmom), Andrea and I caught up on recent events, ordered beverages and relaxed. Shortly after we ordered our beverages Cassie arrived (CDE). As she pulled out her chair to join us I realized the placement of the table was not acceptable. The pathway between our table and the table behind ours was narrow even prior to Cassie being seated. The guests for the other table had not yet arrived, thus when they did arrive and someone was seated in the chair opposite Cassie the pathway (main thoroughfare for servers) would be reduced to approximately 6 inches. I tried to remedy the problem by moving a large floor plant over and then scootching our table over (management and servers alike gawked at us (me) while I was orchestrating the table move). Unfortunately adjusting the table location did not alleviate the poor logistics of the walk way. Amy and Kerri were due to arrive momentarily. I approached the manager ( the same one that had shook his head in my general direction during the table placement fiasco moments early) and pointed out the perceived problem. He concurred and assured me he would find us another table. (sadly – we could not take our waiter with us – I forget his name but I’m certain he would have been an ‘outstanding’ waiter)

Our new table – a secluded corner on the patio with a panoramic view of the hills. Well played Mr. Manager.

Amy and Kerri arrived, beverages ordered and conversation ensued. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that in all the excitement of the pending conference, the view, and the table relocation we neglected to introduce ourselves to Kerri. Thus she was inclined to ask for introductions – sorry about that Kerri if you read this. We played round robin introducing ourselves, explaining our involvement with diabetes and discussed a possible unhealthy obsession with Justin Beiber (not me or Kerri just to be clear). Drinks arrived (mine was wrong – not that I would have cared – thus I was given a second one – score), we ordered dinners and spent the next two hours laughing, sharing, and just having a wonderfully good time.

It was an absolute pleasure to have met and shared a meal with one of the DOC’s celebrities and my good D friends. Maybe a dinner with spiritual leaders, philosophers, or brilliant scientists would be enlightening but I will always take laughter, support, and friends over enlightenment.

Hoping to meet up with more of the dfabulous DOCs at FFL this July.   

The Struggle

“The Struggle”

Created by CJ Ward Abstract Endeavors
CJ created the piece for the JDRF Hope Ball Silent Auction
The vision was all hers – the artistic avenue she choose to travel was left to her.
She and I did chat about was diabetes means to me and my family.
She delivered the piece to me earlier today so I can deliver it to the JDRF office. It will be hard to let the piece go. I was nearly brought to tears when I opened the door to find my own fear, anger, hope, love and journey staring back at me. When I look at the piece I see the blue for diabetes awareness, and red for the blood my kids shed multiple times each day. I see sadness, anger and fear in the faces that are tangled in the weeds to the left – struggling. I see the birds of hope releasing those struggling to be connected with others fighting the same battle. I see the love. I see the keys that will set us all free and unlock the cure. Like I said I will be sad to relinquish this symbol of hope to the JDRF but I have no doubt it will help raise money that will lead to unlocking the door to the cure.
It is truly a one of a kind original work created with love and given with support.
What do you see in it? – feel free to share in comments.
If you want to share your thoughts with the artist you can do so by visiting the link above for Abstract Endeavors. CJ has made a number of original pieces that she donates to non-profits to help raise awareness and money. A side note – a piece she created for a non-profit in LA that benefits women struggling with addiction was sold to Russell Brand for 7K.
If you love it as much as I do send CJ a note to thank her for her support and talent.