Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I gave up talk radio (haven't to this day listened in over 6 months), and I rarely watch the news. I do still read USA Today every day at lunch though. And I couldn't be happier with that decision. I will still discuss politics, but in a much more rational way. Since I don't really passionately support my side any more, I find myself able to debate individual topics rather than general political theory. For example, I will still take the conservative approach on most things, but it doesn't dominate my thinking like it once did. To be sure, there are serious hotheads and activists on both sides, and I'm not going to use this blog as a way to convince anyone one way or another, but there is something that really bothers me about all the candidates for president this year. In defense of President Bush, like him or not, he has shown the political courage to attack problems that no career politician has ever tried to do: real social security reform, terrorism, and immigration. All serious political minefields that every president before him has deftly avoided.
To his credit, Bill Clinton did attempt to reform health care. He didn't succeed, and I didn't agree with his plan then or now, but he did try. And there's something to be said for that.
That brings us to our three potential presidents: John McCain, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.
McCain seems like a good enough man. Lifetime to service and a solid record in the Senate of voting the way he thought was right. In other words, he showed political courage throughout his career rather than making decisions based on opinion polls. I strongly agree with the decision to give amnesty to illegals rather than deport them all en masse. Think about this one for a second. The ramifications of suddenly withdrawing millions of people from the workforce and the economy would be devastating. Given the tenuous state of the economy, I don't think now's a good time for such a drastic measure. Now on to his health care plan which is...uh...it's....uh....well, you get the idea.
Barack Obama is an empty suit. Bottom line. The Clinton's got it right when they said that he says a lot and very little at the same time. He, like all the other candidates, also has zero executive experience. And what's especially disturbing is the complete free pass the man is getting from the press. Without trying to be inflammatory, Obama is being treated with kid-gloves because no one wants to be accused of being a racist. That's a brand that, once levied, never leaves. He's very good at speaking about general things like optimism and hope. That's great and all, but how will he handle a military crisis with China?
Hillary Clinton is in a no-win situation here. Her negatives are just too high for her to win in a general election. People just don't like her much. Americans view her negatively at a clip of about 50%, which is just too much, and would cause Nader to siphon away too many votes. My personal opinion of her is that she's just too calculating. I don't see an ounce of political courage at all. I'm afraid that she would govern based on opinion polls rather than true core beliefs. That said, she is by far a superior candidate to Obama. If she wants to win in Texas and Ohio, she's going to have to take off the gloves. If I were her, I would publicly point out the free pass Obama is getting and attack him on the issues. And when he tries to song and dance out of taking a stand on an issue, she needs to push him even more.
So there's my political blog. I don't like politics, and I doubt seriously you'll see another one. But there it is.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Therefore, I officially announce the formation of the "Lazy Bloggers Club" whose rules are enforced by the "Lazy Bloggers Police." Since I am the only one nominated, I humbly accept your appointment as head of the Club and the Police.
Therefore, when addressing me as president of the club I must ask that you all refer to me properly as "Chancellor Brensdad." If you are so unlucky as to find yourselves in violation of the club's rules, then you must refer to me in official hearings as "Darth Brensdad."
So, should you choose to join the "Lazy Bloggers Club," then here are the bylaws:
- The first rule of Lazy Bloggers Club, you do not discuss Lazy Bloggers Club.
- If you do not blog at least every three days, Chancellor Brensdad will pay your site a visit and stamp your blog with a Lazy Blogger stamp.
- If you have not blogged within two days of the stamp, then the dreaded Darth Brensdad will revoke your blogger status and banish you for one week to that place that all bloggers fear. The place where all intellectual thought and discourse has been banished. The true underworld of bloggers: Myspace.
I ask you all to commit to the Lazy Bloggers Club in the comments section. By the way, does anyone know how to make a Lazy Blogger Stamp?
Answer the questions and write the first thing that comes to your mind, don't change it.
1. You & your ex:
Well, keep in mind that it has been in excess of 16 years since I've had an ex, but my ex and I were never really right for each other to begin with.
2. I am listening to:
My assistant talk about Chelsea Clinton's visit to Lubbock last night.
3. Maybe I should:
Finish up here and get onto work-related things.
4. I love?
My wife, my kids, my parents, and smart, funny people.
5. I don't understand:
Why it is that when I am in a hurry, all the lights are red, but if I need to stop and test or something every light is green.
6. I have lost my respect for:
7. I last ate:
A graham cracker last night.
8. The meaning of my display name is:
Long ago when my first child was born, we named him Brenden. And since then pretty much every username I have ever had has been a take on his name: Brensdad.
-IS YOUR/ARE YOU-
1.Is your hair red like a punk white boy?
2.Is your cell phone right by you?
3. Do you miss someone?
I miss my deceased brother dearly.
4. Do you wear protection?
Don't need it.
5. Are you tired of gay people?
I'm tired of the "token gay man" that seems to be mandatory on every sitcom these days, but otherwise they don't bother me.
6. Are you wearing a mullet?
7. Are you mad?
In a cosmic sort of way, maybe.
8. Are you gay?
Negative, ghost rider. My taste in shoes is not nearly refined enough.
1. Recently done anything you regret?
Yeah, I shouldn't have drunk that Gatorade last night with no insulin. Believe me, I'm paying for it today.
2. Ever lied?
3 and 4 were intenionally omitted. This is a PG-13 Blog.
5. Ever tripped out while you were on acid?:
I have never even sampled an illegal drug of any kind, ever.
TODAY HAVE YOU:
1. Have you cursed ?
Not yet, but it's really just a matter of time.
2. Have you gotten mad at someone?:
Q: Is there a person who is on your mind right now?
Emma and Brenden enter my mind about every two minutes in one way or another.
Q: Do you have any siblings?
Yes, three brothers. It's complicated. My natural brother died a few years ago leaving me with my two step-brothers, Joey and Nathan. We've been step-brothers for so long that we don't call each other step-brothers.
Q: Do you want children?
Already have two. And two weenie dogs.
Q: Do you smile often?
Yep, pretty often.
Q: Do you untie your shoes every time you take them off?
Nope, just toe them off.
Q: Do you like your handwriting?
Q: What were you doing at 7PM yesterday?
Watching Deal or No Deal and telling Brenden to get in the shower for the tenth time.
Q: I can't wait till:
A decent vacation.
Q: What would you rather be called?
Q: When did you cry last?
Last night when the two people on Deal or No Deal didn't win the $1 million. I'm sappy like that.
Q: Are you a friendly person?
Q. Do you have any pets?
Two weenie dogs that are cute as pie and dumb as bricks.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
But before he began, I wanted to test my BG right before the procedure, and then again right after to see if the Lidocaine, nerves, or minor pain would cause any sudden variances. He seemed interested too so I tested. 117.
The surgeon was very nice, and we shared some idle chit-chat while I lay prone on the little table and waited for my procedure to remove my third head, I mean my carcinoma, from my temple. We visited about manly things like college sports and tools and such. While I was waiting, I casually asked how much a jar of Lidocaine costs. No one seemed to know (or wanted me to know). They shared awkward glances and changed the subject. It seemed to be a bit like walking into a nuclear power plant and asking where the "off" button was. So we all seemed to decide that would be a good time to stick a giant needle in my head at least 67 times until it was nice and numb. After I was numb, he handed me a metal plate and told me to hold it very tight. I guess you just don't ask a lot of quesitons when a man is holding a scalpel to your temple.
He proceeeded to cut away a fairly good-sized piece of skin. I could feel the tugging and cutting, but it didn't hurt at all. Then he turned on some sort of electrical device and told me it would be used to seal off any bleeding. He also told me that if I let go of that metal plate while he was using it my heart would stop. Excuse me? It was rather if he was telling me to tie my shoes so I don't trip on my way out. I clung to that plate like Kate Winslet hung onto the wooden door in "Titanic." Then, reassured that my heart was still dutifully pumping away, I worried that this little death band-aid would damage my pump. So I asked "Will that thing damage my pump?" To which he replied, without missing a beat, "Hope not."
So the doc wrapped up the cutting and told me it was time for the owies. Eleven altogether that will have to be removed on Monday. He told me I could let go of the metal plate. I told him it was just fine where it was, thanks.
So now I have eleven owies on my right temple, and rather than telling people it's from a carcinoma, I tell them I got it in a fight with an Asian biker gang. "I got four of 'em before the fifth one gave me this!" Scars are sexy anyway, right?
Oh, and post-op BG? 117. Must've been the metal plate.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Last night as I was laying in bed, a troubling question occurred to me. "What if I don't approve of the content of the ad?" How many times have we all done a search for "diabetes" and seen paid search results promising "cures" for type 1 diabetes? I was instantly horrified that this might happen and knew that would be the first thing I would check this morning.
Sure enough, the first ad I see on MY blog says "Reverse Type 1 Diabetes! 64% success rate!"
So I have removed the Adsense code from my blog and pledge never to do that again.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
- I was born on December 19th, 1974.
- Gerald Ford was president when I was born.
- I know just enough about computers to fix most things and seriously screw up others.
- I'm afraid of heights.
- I am not afraid of public speaking.
- I sleep on my back.
- I drive a 2003 Silver Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup.
- I like watching NASCAR.
- People always fight to have me on their team when we play trivia games.
- I have an MBA.
- I am afraid that a shark will attack me even when I am in swimming pools.
- When I shave off my goatee I look like I am 20 years old.
- I constantly battle my weight.
- I play goalie for two indoor soccer teams.
- I met my wife of New Year's Eve 1992.
- I wanted to name Emma "Emily."
- I type 55 wpm.
- I can only sleep if my room is pitch black.
- My cell phone rings more times in a day than most peoples' ring in a month.
- I like seafood.
- I never let my son beat me when we play "Madden."
- I like Jim Beam.
- Bill Bryson is my favorite author.
- My second favorite is Gary Larson, author of "The Far Side."
- I prefer brunettes.
- My wife is a brunette.
- I'd rather watch my son play soccer than breathe.
- I wear a Rolex watch.
- I have not thrown up in over two years.
- My favorite TV show is still "Seinfeld."
- I wish I was rich.
- I like to tease my wife by saying that the kids' real father in the UPS driver.
- I think scared people are funny.
- I can carry on four different conversations at once.
- My favorite restaurant is Houston's.
- I really like managing car washes.
- I come up with a lot of really stupid ideas sometimes.
- I've tried quitting chewing tobacco at least ten times.
- I'm going to keep quitting until I succeed.
- When I get overwhelmed, I just shut down.
- I refuse to leave the house, even to go to the mailbox, without my wedding ring on.
- I never miss Dallas Cowboys games on TV.
- If left alone, I would eat until I exploded.
- I constantly worry that I am a good father to my kids.
- I've never voted for a Democrat.
- I'm bad about leaving money in my pockets and then finding it later in the dryer.
- I like onions.
- I get carsick just by riding in a car no matter how short the trip.
- I get tired of my insulin pump.
- I wear sunglasses that are too small for my head.
This isn't to say that soccer is perfect; it certainly has its flaws. But if I could for a moment, allow me to offer up a few suggestions that might make soccer more appealing to the American palate.
1. Allow free subsitution like in hockey. Soccer players are incredible athletes, but could you run for 90 minutes? Me either. And they don't either, they do coast, and that's why allowing a player that leaves the field to re-enter would make for a more exciting game.
2. Add an additional referee to the field. There is no way a single referee is going to catch everything, and in fact he rarely sees when his assistants on the sidelines raise their flag to call a foul.
3. If a sideline official calls offsides, the play should be allowed to continue, and if a goal is scored, it should be reviewed by instant replay. In the USA's match against Mexico, there was a TERRIBLE offsides call made against the Americans (one of many by a clearly biased official) that led to a goal being disallowed. The side official should raise his flag if he sees offsides, and just like in hockey, the play should be allowed to continue until a goal is scored, the goalkeeper makes a save, or there is a change in possession. If there is no goal, then play continues as normal, if there is, we go to the videotape.
4. Players diving and faking injuries in order to draw fouls must be dealt with. This is where adding a second official to the field helps. Habitual divers must be given yellow and red cards.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Surely there are funny things about diabetes, right? I mean how many non-pancreatically-challenged folks have dropped their pancreas in the toilet? Or had their pancreas snag on a doorway causing an awkward stop that looks like they just stepped in a puddle of liquid nitrogen? Shoot, we used to think it was at least marginally funny that when Emma was very little and got a little low, she would start bumping into things like a shaken cicada. Now add in her diagnosis of polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and the chemotherapy drugs she takes to combat it, and the humor tends to fade a bit.
Even now as I sit here in a high blood sugar fog, the words just seem to float away. What gives? Who knows? I'll keep at it though.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
In several of the blogs I've read today, the author talks about themselves being in a funk. Their BG is running high, they're chasing stubborn lows, they want universal health care, they're tired of being up all night with a child whose BG is too high or too low. They're not in a funk, they're burned out. For most people, when they get burned out on something, they just walk away from it for a while. They take a vacation, or they go to lunch, maybe catch a movie.
Diabetes doesn't allow that. It may let you pretend it's not there for an hour or two, but that's it. It will remind you that it's there with a pounding heartbeat or a mouthful of old sweaters. Either way, there's no escape from D burnout, and the problem is that I never know what to suggest. Having been subject to a major D burnout about a year ago, it would seem that I would have something to offer, but I don't. When I would let it slide for bit, diabetes quickly reminded me, everytime, that ignoring it was simply not an option.
Being the annoyingly optimistic type that I am, I tend to take setbacks in stride and just move forward, but there are some people who aren't born with this particular curse that I call "misplaced optimism." My guess is the best thing to do is just to listen. When my wife comes to me with a problem, I always ask "Is this one of those 'I need a solution' problems, or one I'm just supposed to listen to?" Seems to work so far. Happy Valentine's Day.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
- "You only have some minor background retinopathy."
- "That mole we removed came back positive as basal cell carcinoma."
- "The water bill for your car wash for the last two months is $42,000." And if you don't get it taken care of we are going to close your car washes.
- Emma had to start on a JRA medication most commonly known for treating cancer.
- Amy is stuck at home with a child whose only real friend moved away along with her mom, who happens to be Amy's confidant and sister.
So today, the following things happen. First, I get a call from the city wanting to meet with me regarding the outrageous water bill that was caused by a plumber and made worse by them. My first appeal had been denied, but now she wanted to meet with me face to face so we could "settle this issue." I expected them to offer half or some such thing. I show up for the meeting, and the city has forgiven the entire bill. Every penny. Whew. Big whew.
Not 30 minutes after I get this great news and pass it up the chain, the principal from a local elementary school calls and tells me that Emma has been accepted into a full-time public school preschool. When I tell her Emma has diabetes, she says "Oh, we have another child on a pump and the nurse knows how to do everything. We're very excited to have her!"
I still have retinopathy, and I still have to have a big part of my head cut off, but I still have a job, and Emma has a preschool. Sometimes God doesn't work in mysterious ways, He just works.
Friday, February 8, 2008
I then saw that I was talking to an eye chart on the wall through my dialated eyes in a dark room. Is there such a thing as minor retinopathy? "You have cancer, sir, but just a little bit." I'm not done with this one. Time for Google and WebMd. WebMd will tell me to call my healthcare provider, to which I will wonder, "How would I know I have retinopathy withourt having seen a health care provider?"
Sheesh, at least WebMD won't make me read year-old magazines.
Airplanes are late on a regular basis, and people raise all kinds of heck about it in the media. The difference is that airplanes are late because one of them may be broken, or there was bad weather somewhere, or someone insisted that a piano will in fact fit in the overhead compartment. If someone comes to one of my carwashes, and it takes 10-20 minutes longer than we quoted them, they are sure to be in my face yelling at me about it. If you are stuck in the drive-through for longer than 5 minutes you may tell the manager about it. And we pay these people just a few bucks per visit.
What do we do in doctors' waiting rooms when the doctor is running late? Nothing. We pick up another two year old edition of Highlights magazine and continue to wait as the person next to us thoughtfully breathes her flu germs into my pores. Why? We pay doctors hundreds of dollars for just a few minutes of their time, and yet we never really know when we are getting in to see them! I'm reminded of a favorite book of mine that talks about air travel in the Middle East. In Egypt, for example, you are expected to show up at 8am on the day of your flight and hope for the best. The plane may leave at 11am, it may leave at 6pm, you just never know.
It is time, my friends, to make our voices known. Stop being patients and start being impatients! I for one, do not wait any longer than 30 minutes after my scheduled appointment time. I have been known to leave an exam room just as the doctor was coming in because I had been there an hour and a half after my scheduled time. Most of the time they are quite stunned. I would imagine this is common in an urgent care clinic or an ER, but at a doctor's office? If the doctor is running that late, then they should tell us when we check in so we can decide if that doctor is going to get our $200 that day or not. If time is short and you must leave, stop and tell them first that you are leaving and why. If it is a large practice or clinic, ask for the number of the office manager and write to them about your concerns. I promise you that it works. I once walked out on an endocrinology appointment that was 2 hours late, and let them know that I was not at all pleased. They were very courteous, and I have NEVER waited past a scheduled time again...ever. When they see me come in, they are quick to get me into a room and seen by the doctor asap. I had to leave my primary physicians office last week because he was 45 minutes late for the appointment. Next time I went in..no charge for the visit. Doctor's offices are BUSINESSES, folks, and it's time we start acting like customers.
It's time for us all to be that squeaky wheel that needs some grease. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and what some of you have ever done when your doctor was late.
For those of you with diabetic kids, this device is a must-have...
From what I can tell, it looks like a caregiver tests your child's BG, and the result is sent to you via your cell phone. Emma's too young still to need this device just yet, and because she is on a CGMS we don't do as much finger-stick testing as we used to. But it sure would be nice on those few occassions that she is hanging out with one of her plethora of grandparents.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
In order to edit the spreadsheet, you will have to save a copy to your own computer, as it will not allow you to modify the original version:
I've had several people ask about this, so I decided it was just time for me to try and post it online. I'm not real technically astute, so this is my first attempt at publishing documents. As always, drop me an email if you need help with it.
I am still doing my best to try and make this thing so that you can save it to your computer and edit it to serve your own needs. Thanks JR for the tips, but I'm still not sure I am doing it right.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
You see, my company likes to fly us around the country one-way. Let me tell you, based on experience, the TSA does not like people who are flying across the country one-way, and so just as I expected: "Sir, the airlines have selected you for additional screening." What they're really saying is "Sir, we are going to take you aside into a little plexiglass room and run a wand between your legs." No problem, it happens so often now that I am prepared for it. I will say that everytime I have flown the TSA people in Lubbock are always very courteous and generally know what my insulin pump is (as opposed to the old guy in Orlando that said "Yer gonna hafta take that mp3 thingy or whatever that is off.") Since I flew last, there is now a restriction on carrying on liquids, so I was sure to tell the person I had two vials in my carry-on, and she very nicely asked me to take them out and put them in their own little bucket for screening. Fast-forward now to Houston (where I had to actually exit the terminal and go through screening AGAIN, this time minus the crotch-wanding. I dutifully took my vials out of the bag and put them in their own bucket, and the "girl" working there screamed at me to put the vials back in the bag and then ROLLED HER EYES at me just as big as she could. So, being the kind and patient fellow that I am, I stopped where I was, looked at her, and yelled back at her and very nicely asked that she not ever roll her eyes at me or anyone else ever again. Very nicely....of course.
I was lucky enough on the last leg from Charlotte to Fort Myers that I had two very emaciated older ladies on either side of me, so I had plenty of leg room. My colleagues that were on the same flight were not so lucky. It looked like the airline decided to pick the three fattest guys they could find, put them on the same row, and filmed them for a secret reality show called "fat, snoring guys squished together on an airplane." I took great pleasure in looking back at them and indulging in a big, long stretch topped off with a yawn.
Part three...the road trip. And this one includes all kinds of diabetes drama. Hang tight.