LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A whiter shade of pale

The head nurse regarded me carefully with her steel-blue eyes. “You’re looking rather pale,” she said, “How do you feel?”

Actually I was feeling fine, but when you’re presented with a professional assessment like that, you’re forced to do a quick inventory.

How do I feel?

Energy: Check.

Brain Power: Check.

Motivation: Check.

Best test the sense of humor.

Well, I am a white guy, I pointed out.

“There’s a difference between Caucasian white,” and she pointed a long elegant finger at me, “and Liquid Paper white. And you look like Liquid Paper more often than not these last few months. So, really, how are you doing?”

Just a few weeks ago I was asked the same question, without the pale observation, several dozen times by various members of our tribe while I was coving the AADE in Florida.

“How are you doing?” “How to you feel?” “Are you OK now?” Often followed up by, “I’ve been so worried about you.”


How sweet. Why would anyone be worried about me? Well, probably because my last post was in May, and it was a bit of a downer.

So here’s the Liquid Paper update: The last time I checked in with all of you I was running tired but still able to do all that is required of me, even though everything took me longer than it used to. Sadly, this is still true. My energy level isn’t back to what it used to be, may never recover, and I don’t feel it’s improving. In fact, I frequently feel overwhelmed by all that I have to do, by how fast the hour hands on the clock spin, and by how rapidly the calendar pages flip. It’s almost September? Seriously? How did that happen?

For most of the spring my life wasn’t much of a life. I worked and slept, ate occasionally. I did lots of drinking of course, because you can multi-task a good Malbec with almost anything. But it seemed I needed every second of every day to keep up with the minimums: My thirty hours at the clinic; my weekly column at Diabetes Mine; my monthly column at dLife; my assorted freelance gigs; and helping out with the family businesses. Plus my domestic responsibilities: Helping care for my ailing mother in law, doing the household laundry and 50% of the dishes, cooking my share of the meals, paying the bills and balancing the checkbook, and cleaning out the cat box.

And while doing what needs to be done is satisfying, and work is frequently rewarding, I was missing a key element of life. I didn’t have time for… well, I wasn’t making time for fun. (There’s never time for fun in our lives. We have to stand firm, carve out time, and defend it to the death if need be.)

But for more than half a year, I guess I was just too sick to have fun.

So I’m happy to report that I’m starting to enjoy life again. I’m making time for fun again. Sometimes it’s just little things, like watching Dr. Who on BBC American, or Sky King on DVD, with Rio. Other times it’s something more grand.

For instance, I took Rio to a pottery class this spring…

And we took in the Blue Angles over at Cannon Air Force Base…

Then got soaked to the skin…

But it was all fun. I’m also teaching Rio and to have a healthy disrespect for authority by breaking into a wind farm for a closer look…

And to have love of history by visiting a train museum…

And I’ve started making time for some photography again…

And along with a group of diabetic college professors (and their Type 3s) I’ve been studying the perfect bolus for gluten-free pizza, with dark ale, of course.

So now my goal is to have some fun with whatever extra days on the planet I’ve been granted, while still earning this T-shirt:

(It’s always best to know your limitations and not to over-shoot your ambitions.)

How am I? Well, no matter how pale my skin is, the fact that I feel good enough to make time for fun should tell you that my soul is now a darker shade of pale. And that’s a good thing. I’m starting to truly recover.

So, really, how am I?

I’m doing much better.

Thank you for asking.