Managing Diabetes in Japan: Pros and Cons

imageedit_50_7869423516Yesterday’s blog post and subsequent trip down memory lane back to when I lived in Japan made me think about managing diabetes while living in Japan. At the time, I didn’t put a lot of thought into how my diabetes routine would differ from the one I’d only recently established in the United States. But looking back, a few aspects have become quite clear. So here’s a quick list of pros and cons about managing diabetes in Japan from 2002 to 2004: (more…)

Hypoglycemia: What I Remember vs. What Happened

imageedit_40_2796347744My first job out of college was teaching English in rural Japan. I agreed to take the job during my senior year – before I could speak any Japanese and while still within my first full year of having diabetes. After graduation, I enrolled in an intensive language program and three months later, I flew to Japan. And yes, my diabetes came with me. The placement agency that hired me put me in a small town that was only an hour’s drive from the prefecture capital where there would, as they said, be hospitals equipped to handle my diabetes “in case anything went wrong.” To this day, I don’t think they realize what a smart decision that was. (more…)

The Tow Truck Sign

In San Francisco many people (including myself) have to rely on street parking. As long as you get the mechanics down of parallel parking, and remember which way to turn your wheels, it’s not much of a problem. But for the people who have garages with doors that open onto the street, it can be frustrating when someone neglects the law and parks on the street right in front of your garage door. That’s why I was amused today when I saw the following sign/piece of art on someone’s garage door:

imageedit_38_3604158241 (more…)

Defining the DOC: Can it be Defined?

Graffiti that reads, "Puppies Love You"My post yesterday about the diabetes online community (DOC) has elicited a good amount of feedback, much of which is from people who are quickly jumping to defend the DOC. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with not finding what you wanted when turning to the DOC. Has our reputation gotten ahead of us? Are people coming to the DOC expecting miracles? Or, perhaps more realistically, 100 new friends on Facebook*? Have we somehow become too big for our britches? These questions have been going through my head today as I have tired to define what the DOC is. But I think the answer is this: It cannot be defined. It is a living, evolving thing without a strand of DNA, a blueprint, or a plan.

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Defining the DOC: Why Do We Blog?

imageedit_28_4224324379As the diabetes online community (DOC), what are we about? I ask this question not because I feel I represent the DOC in any way, shape, or form, but as a self-appointed member of the diabetes online community. In fact, all members of the DOC are self-appointed. I also ask because there has been some buzz recently about what the doc is and is not and the perceptions that some people have about feeling left out or less than equal. I think that in the evolution of a virtual patient community, this type of feedback is valuable, so I wanted to explore some of the frustrations that have been voiced recently.  (more…)

I Can’t Get No Motivation

running shoesI’m often motivated. Motivated to do crafty things around the home, motivated to sit and read books, motivated to watch too much television with my sweetheart. I’m creative, my mind is alert, and I enjoy what I’m doing. I am, however, not-so-motivated when it comes to physical exercise. In fact, I really hate it.

Maybe it’s the discomfort of reminding muscle groups that they exist after having ignored for too long. Or maybe it’s the sudden shortness of breath I’m used to experiencing (although a new inhaler prescription helps). Perhaps it’s the horrible feeling of being sticky and sweaty and too jello-legged to step in the shower immediately (Eew).  Mostly, though, I think it’s the bright red/purple face I get when I exercise.

I don’t like any of it. And I have ignored it for too long. I’m not saying this because stupid bridal companies keep sending me emails about weight loss programs that promise to help me lose multiple dress sizes before my wedding date (note to self – unsubscribe tomorrow!). I’m not even saying this because the phrase “skinny jeans” makes me laugh and suck in my belly at the same time. No, I’m saying it because a few months ago my doctor found that my resting heart rate was much too high, and told me the best thing I could do for myself was to get into a regular exercise routine.

But I haven’t. Instead I’ve enjoyed puttering around my home, reading books in bed, and sitting here on my couch, blogging.

Some people are motivated by activity trackers. I wear a fitbit. Sometimes I even check it. But mostly, it doesn’t do the trick.

Some people are motivated by having peers to talk with about their exercise routines. Not me. I tune people out when they start talking about their workouts.

Some people are motivated because exercise helps them work out tension and stress. I hear this, envy them, and think, “A doughnut would probably do the same for me!”

Some people are motivated because the first few weeks of building a routine are hard and they don’t want to go through that again. But I’ve trained for and run ten mile races and I hated every step of it. It never felt easy or enjoyable for me.

Some people are motivated because their health care team points out some risk. Clearly that’s not working for me.

Some people are motivated because they’ve found a form of exercise they really enjoy. Me? Well, I guess I’m still looking for my “thing.”

I’d love to think that by posting this, I will be motivated to get off my butt and do something. But I know myself a bit better than that. It would last three days, tops. So I think this more of a confessional post: Hello world, here is another one of my flaws. That said, any tips or tricks or hypnosis recommendations to get me going are welcome.