Monday, February 27, 2012

DSMA Blog Carnival: Depression and Diabetes

DSMA asks: What can we do to help stop depression from hitting our community during the winter months?

People with diabetes are known to have a higher rate of depression.  Add that to my self-diagnosed mild case of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), winter and overcast days can cause me to be in a gloomy place. I mope. I avoid housework. I eat chocolate, especially Snickers. I drink Diet Coke. I make my favorite comfort foods for dinner, unless I opt for take-out. I open up all the curtains and turn on the lights to make my world as bright as it can be.

Honestly, I don't think there's a way to stop depression. Well, let me rephrase that. There are possible ways to try to stop full-blown clinical depression, but the blues are going to happen. What's the most important thing in my eyes? A great support system. Sometimes that support system consists of your family, local friends, or co-workers. However, sometimes your support system isn't local.

Even though I do have a great local support system, I've also found a great online support system through the DOC (diabetes online community). In her blog, Tales of Rachel, my online friend and fellow Type 2, Rachel, talks about the need for many to just have someone "Be There." If you notice a someone not as active as usual, whether it be online or in real life, check up on that person. It's possible life may have just gotten busy, but it's also possible that person needs a friend. As Rachel puts it, "They may be depressed, they may be ill due to chronic illness flares, they may be ready to give up on diabetes self-care due to a string of unsavory blood glucose levels." Most people would rather you touch base, even when nothing is wrong, than to avoid contact because you're afraid to offend. Nothing brightens someone's day more than to get a call or email that says, "I miss seeing you and wanted to make sure you're doing ok."

When I was pregnant with my fifth child, I didn't go to church much that summer. My pastor noticed and decided to give me a call. He said he didn't want me to feel like "Big Brother" was watching, but wanted to make sure everything was ok with the family and my pregnancy. I wasn't offended; I was touched. Knowing he cared enough to make what could have been an awkward call meant a lot to me.

If I had to pick one thing that probably helps the most out of a friend, chocolate, Diet Coke, comfort foods, turning the lights on, etc. - I would have to say hearing from a friend who cares is the absolute best thing to snap me out of the winter blues. Please reach out to your friends, online or in real life, and let them know you care!

This post is my February entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at

Image credits: Clip are above from here

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Best of 'Betes Blogs: Nominations Needed

(How's that for some alliteration?)

This month I have the honor of hosting February's Best of 'Betes Blogs. How exciting to be allowed to read all the awesome nominations!

Here are the categories:
  • Best Use of Humor
  • Best Vlog
  • Best Recipe
  • Best Use of Photography
  • Best Advocacy
  • Best Reference to a D-Celebrity
  • Best Story of a D Meet-up
  • Best non-D Related Post
  • Best Post by a Type 1
  • Best Post by a Type 2
  • Best Post by a Type Awesome
  • Best Post by a LADA/ Type 1.5/ Not otherwise specified
  • Best story of a D-mistake
  • Best Motivational Post
  • Best Diabetes Art
Want to make a nomination? Nothing fancy needed. Nominations are due on Tuesday, February 28th.  Email or send a DM to the Best of the ‘Betes Blogs twitter account (@bestbetesblogs) with your name and link to your blog (if you have one), who you are nominating, the category, and link to the specific post you are nominating.  (No self-nominations, please.) Look here on March 1st for the winners!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Latest (Future) Gadget

I like gadgets. Anyone that knows me knows this. I love my Android cell phone, my laptop, a new glucose meter. You name it, I'd probably like it. Whether for my use or just the thrill of figuring out a new toy.

My latest obsession is the thought of getting a Keurig coffee maker. What makes this hilarious to those who know me well enough is that I don't drink coffee. I love the smell of coffee but can't stand the taste.  "Why would you want one then?" you may want to ask me.  Well... it's a cool gadget! And it also makes tea and hot chocolate!  YUM!

After working so hard as a wife and mom, substitute teacher, and Y nursery worker, I decided that I wanted to buy something nice for myself. Something I could spoil myself with that wasn't too over the top expensive. (Thankfully my hubby agreed!) After researching prices, a friend helped me rope in an amazing deal on a gorgeous Keurig B70 Platinum Coffee (Tea & Hot Chocolate) Brewer in black (to match my other appliances).

I have already cleaned off counter space for my newest baby. I've also created space the cabinet above for some special mugs (green, my favorite color), my travel mugs, as well as a box of chai latte waiting to become a delicious relaxing drink as soon as this fun new gadget arrives.

I admit, this blog post has nothing to do with diabetes.  But as we all know, diabetes is just a small portion of our lives.  Watch for a review after I take it for a test drive. No tracking information as of yet (just ordered today), but estimated delivery date is February 24-March 1. *swoon*