Saturday, May 16, 2015

Diabetes Blog Week 2015 Day Six: Favourites and Motivations

If you have been blogging for a while, what is your favorite sentence or blogpost that you have ever written?  Is it diabetes related or just life related?  If you are a new blogger and don't have a favorite yet, tell us what motivated you to start sharing your story by writing a blog?  (Thank you Laddie of Test Guess and Go for suggesting this topic.)

Writing is very important to me. It’s a passion of mine. When I was younger, everyone thought I was going to write the Great Canadian Play. That may never happen, but I love getting to “write what I know” on this blog, and in the process, connect with other people in some way. Here are a few favourite moments, for me, in three categories.


 My second-most read post of all time was one I almost deleted, because I wrote it in a very emotional space, and I was worried it would be controversial. “Liar” is about all the things, people, and institutions that lie to people with diabetes throughout our lives. It sparked a lot of discussion, was shared by many people and organizations, and even made it to a conference slide (which I found out about after it was posted on the Internet; it would have been nice to be informed or asked, thanks).

 So when I hear that test strips can be +/- 20% in accuracy (a 10 could be 12, or 8) and are often worse, it makes me sad. Because it's a lie, and we're already dealing with so much misinformation, so many lies, that we'd like something to be true. Something that, instead, takes the best of us, the life from us–blood is life–and turns it into another lie. Something that comes from the heart, which is supposed to (but often fails to) be the truest thing of all.” "Cards Against Diabetes" is my most popular post because I think it’s a ton of fun, and it touches a nerve. Some people are turning against the game as becoming tiresome, offense for the sake of offense, but I think it works well in the context of diabetes – what’s more offensive than that? It’s nice to share our experiences, and make mocking matchups. One day it would be nice to play with a full deck (that’s how diabetes makes me feel, too).


 I do a lot of pop culture referencing in relation to diabetes (see my Star Trek rant from Thursday). One of my favourite pop-culture posts is my comparison of the diabetes life to the life and mission of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (my favourite show of all time). It’s a constant, valiant, thankless and unpaid fight, and all diabetes has to do is have one good day.

As diabetics, we walk the fine line between secretly believing we're immortal and knowing that we've got this expiration date. In a way, we have more conscious control over what our bodies are doing than anyone else; in another way, we have much less, our bodies being essentially out of control with so many factors to deal with.  Buffy's super strong and quick, but she has to deal with all sorts of violently unpredictable outside forces that most people don't.” 

Another, “Latitude and Longitude,” takes an episode of the West Wing, where Sam has his worldview destroyed, and explores how things you thought were solid, like latitude and longitude, can turn into constantly moving goalposts.

 Now, we place great trust in our devices. We try to believe that they will never fail us. We place our lives in the hands of plastic and metal and batteries and medical research, sure that they will work; sure that they will always deliver some sort of base measure of performance. Like latitude and longitude. We know this isn't true. Plastic fails. Metal fails. Batteries are spent. People get sick. People die. We take a lot on faith. Like latitude and longitude, which are invisible.” 

Finally, my favourite kids’ book, The Phantom Tollbooth, lends itself perfectly to the emotional journey of diabetes.

 D-Blog Week

We all need a little impetus to get writing, and D-Blog Week is so amazing for providing that every year. Some of my favourite D-Blog Week posts, to round out the list:
 Diabetes Hero”: All about the people who mean a lot to me. It was nice to thank everyone, and to hope for the future.

 "Everybody who has touched my diabetic life is my diabetes hero. It's trite but it's true. Everybody with diabetes is my diabetes hero. If you asked someone to say or draw the first thing that comes to mind when you say "hero," it would probably be a fighter of some kind. A war hero; a soldier. A firefighter. And that's what we all are. We fight every day against odds that sometimes seem insurmountable; in a way, they are. The odds are literally insurmountable. We can't win. The best we can do is try, and see another day the best we can. Bravery is not the absence of fear; it's having the courage to fight in spite of that fear. The definition of hero seems to be a person who fights even when he or she knows he or she can't win, because it's right. That's what we do."

 Mantras and More” won a couple of D-blog awards, and I’m so happy it resonated with people.

 Each drop of blood is a drop in the ocean
Each high and low is a wave in the sea
Each day you live represents forward motion
Each day you make it the best it can be. 

"Change The World (Sweat The Small Stuff)” was about the things that seem small, but really mean a lot. The post meant a lot to me.

 The refrain is constantly there. The small stuff is the heartbeat pumping the lifeblood of diabetes: the fear inherent in every move we make. The small stuff is the big stuff. The big stuff is the small stuff. We are made of atoms, and capillaries, and the tiniest prickles on the skin. When we complain about the small stuff, we are saying: we are here. We are saying: we are scared. We are saying: listen.” 

Hope this wasn’t too self-indulgent! It’s fun to walk down memory lane.


  1. I'm the wrong generation to have watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but thanks for the introduction. And I've never played Cards Against Humanity. Frankly I don't know if I even read The Phantom Tollbooth. But I do know diabetes and all of your posts were fantastic:-)

  2. Hi!!! Thanks for sharing blog it is informative and beautifully articulated keep updating the blog:):):)