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Well, it’s the last day of Diabetes Blog Week and today we’re not talking about diabetes.  Because there’s more to life than diabetes.

Today’s Prompt: More Than Diabetes – Friday 5/19
Lets wrap up the week by sharing a little more about ourselves, beyond the chronic illness we or our loved ones live with.  Share an interest, hobby, passion, something that is YOU.  If you want to explore how it relates to or helps with diabetes you can.   Or let it be a part of you that is completely separate from diabetes, because there is more to life than just diabetes!  (This topic is a suggestion from the 2016 #DBlogWeek survey.)


When living with chronic health issues that require constant attention, it is easy to become so consumed by those thoughts that we lose sight of the fact that there’s more to life than just those health issues. Sure, they are always with us, but they should not be the center of attention all the time.

I much prefer to devote my time and attention to the people and things in my life that are the most important to me. Like April and the time we get to spend together. Nature photography and other arts.

For the past few years, April has been living in California while dealing with family matters, and I’m still carrying on life here in Indiana.  We don’t get to see each other often, so what time we are together is all the more meaningful.  My most recent trip to see her was in February, during the week of Valentine’s Day.  This was our 14th Valentine’s Day and it was important to me that we be able to spend it together in some special way. So, I arranged for us to spend a few days in San Francisco.

We did a lot of the typical touristy stuff that folks do when they go to San Francisco.  We spent time at Fisherman’s Wharf, the Aquarium of the Bay, and rode the trolleys and cable cars around town.  We spent time checking out some of the shops and art galleries as well.  All of that was planned and we enjoyed every minute of it.  But the most memorable thing we did on Valentine’s Day came about by accident.  And I’m so thankful that it did.

We happened upon an charter boat outfit that was offering cruises on the San Francisco Bay for an incredibly cheap price.  It was the last cruise of the day. A sunset cruise that would take us out under the Golden Gate Bridge and then around Alcatraz Island before returning to port.  So, we jumped at the opportunity and it was amazing.  When we reached the bridge, a crew member offered to take our photo for us.   I snapped a shot of us together as well.  And they are probably my favorite photos from the whole trip.  They capture us together and having a damn good time on a special day.

Those are precious memories that I hope will linger forever.  And that I hope to relive again someday soon.

In the mean time, I’m here in Indiana.  Trying to keep my head above water and finding things to occupy my time.  Most of my free time these days is spent on traveling, nature photography, and painting.  Spending time in nature and capturing the beauty around me is very therapeutic.  It helps me disconnect from the digital world in which I live and work.  It helps restore my sanity and gives me strength and peace in the hard times.  Painting is much the same for me.  Only messier.  Here’s a small sampling of my work.

There’s so much more to this life than diabetes.  There is so much more to me.  I try to remember that.  I hope you remember that as well.  And I hope that you’ll join me in pledging to remember that going forward.  Leave a comment to sign the pledge.  And, if you’d like, tell me who you’re signing for.  Why does it matter to you?   Thanks for reading.  Lots of love, my friends.


The Pledge

We, the undersigned, acknowledge and understand that we, as PWD’s, are not the only people affected by the disease with which we have been diagnosed. That our loved ones endure the struggles of this diagnosis along side us. We pledge to remember this, to show appreciation for their support, and to support them in return.

We, the undersigned acknowledge and understand that there is much more to life than diabetes and that it is important to take every opportunity to enjoy life in the moment. We pledge to stop and smell the roses and make memories, like the one above, as often as possible.

We, the undersigned, pledge to always remember the importance of making time for our families, and for ourselves.

Signed,

Mike Durbin. (And hopefully everyone who reads this. 🙂 )

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Well, it’s day 4 of Diabetes Blog Week and today we talk about mental health and diabetes.  Today’s prompt reads:

Today let’s revist a prompt from 2014 – May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks again to Scott for this 2014 topic.)


If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’re likely aware that I’ve made no secret of my struggles with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. I’ve shared some pretty dark stuff on those topics over the last couple of years. When I wrote the Confessions of a Broken Man at the end of 2014, I was in such a bad place mentally that I was ready to end it. Obviously, I didn’t, but the possibility was real. A few months after that I shared about The Ah Ha Moment I had that led to my diagnosis with PTSD and that I was working to get back on the wagon. I’ve had success with that. Though I’m still struggling with some things, I’m in a much better place today. Life gets messy at times. And it’s OK to need help with cleaning things up. We just have to ask. I’m glad I finally did.

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Mantras, Reminders, and Walks in the Woods

On my worst days with diabetes and congestive heart failure, when everything seems to be going wrong and I’m ready to give up, I try to remember how far I’ve come since I started on this journey. I try to remember the struggles I’ve overcome this far and the strength and determination it took to do so. I try to use that as assurance that I can get through the difficulties before me. I say try because some days it works, and other days it makes no difference at all.

Some days, looking back through my blog archives for inspirational quotes that I’ve shared helps. This quote from a post in 2012 has become something of a mantra or motto. It’s certainly fitting.

“A little heart can do big things.” – me

Some times, though, I really just have to take the time to remember who I am, especially with the identity crisis I’ve faced since my diabetes label changed. I have to look inside myself and reconnect with the person that I know I am.

I am a strong, confident, caring, loving, and passionate man. I have a sound mind, and a strong spirit. I am well educated; possessing the knowledge and abilities needed to make it in this world. I am strong willed; filled with a sense of determination and endurance that will carry me through all situations. I am filled with respect, not only for others, but more importantly, for myself.

I’ve had more than my share of those days. And I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to reconnect and thinking things through. I’ve made progress. Slowly but surely.

I’ve found that the absolute best thing for helping my mood and clearing my mind is spending time hiking the trails at the many nature preserves in the area. And when the weather is cooperative, that’s how most of my days off from work are being spent. I take my nature and trail guides, camera, notebook, walking stick and water, and hit the trails. I stay out for hours at a time. And it helps a lot.

And taking my camera along on my walks in the woods has provided plenty of photos for sharing with friends.  Like this photo of a mother and father Bald Eagle in the nest with one of their eaglets.

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.

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One last quote. It’s one of my favorites.

“Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming … WOW! What a ride!” ~ Author Unknown


To read what others have shared on this topic, visit the link list @ Throwback Thursday: What Brings Me Down – Thursday 5/18

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Published on 05/17/2017, by in Diabetes, Diabetes Blog Week.

Well, it’s day 3 of Diabetes Blog Week and today we talk about the blame game.  Except, I’m not really up to playing that game right now.  I mean, I could rant and rave about my misdiagnosis and how that happened and who is to blame for days.  I have.  But, I’m just not up to it.  That’s not why I’m here today.

Why am I here? Why are any of us here? Well…

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.” ~ Prince

This thing called diabetes life.

That’s why I’m here. That’s why My Diabetic Heart is here. It’s here because I was diagnosed with what was long thought to be type 2 diabetes, and also with congestive heart failure, at age 24.

I started writing here as a way to document what I was going through with the scary, life changing diagnoses that had been dropped in my lap. Writing helped me then and still does when I’m able to find the time and get the words I want to say out of my head.

As I continued sharing my story through the blog and other social media avenues, I found that what I was sharing helped other people who were going through some of the same things that I was. I found people who understood. I found community. I found encouragement and support. I found people who genuinely care and many are dear friends to this day.

They are my tribe. They help me get through this thing called diabetes life. And everything else that comes along for that matter. And I love them for that.

My tribe consists of people from all walks of life. Some live with Type 1 diabetes. Some live with Type 2 diabetes. Some folks, like myself, have LADA. Some have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Some are parents of children with type 1. Some are children who have parents with diabetes. Some are spouses of PWD. Some are just friends who support the cause. And some are just Type Weird.

Personally, I think we’re all Type Screwed. And that’s what should unite all of us.

At the end of the day, regardless of the type of diabetes a person may have, there are a few things that we all need in order to live well with the hand we’ve been dealt.

We all need and deserve access to good doctors, medications and supplies, and diabetes education.

We all need and deserve proper treatment regimens, tailored to our personal diabetes management needs by our doctors and not insurance company bean counters.

And last, but just as important, we absolutely must have the love and support of family and friends. Living with all types of diabetes is hell. And we really shouldn’t have to go through this alone.

We need better. We deserve better. And together we can achieve better.

Together, we just might get through this diabetes life. Lots of Love, Everyone.


To read what others have written for today’s topic, visit the link list @ The Blame Game – Wednesday 5/17 .  

Prompt: Having diabetes often makes a visit to the doctor a dreaded experience, as there is invariably bad news of one kind or another.  And sometimes the way the doctor talks to you can leave you feeling like you’re at fault.  Or maybe you have a fantastic healthcare team, but have experienced blame and judgement from someone else in your life – friend, loved one, complete stranger.  Think about a particularly bad instance, how that person talked to you, the words they used and the conversation you had.  Now, the game part.  Let’s turn this around.  If you could turn that person into a puppet, what would you have them say that would leave you feeling empowered and good about yourself?   Let’s help teach people how to support us, rather than blame us!  (Thank you, Brian, for inspiring this topic.)