Saturday, April 16, 2011


I feel like I've had writer's block for years. Only getting glimpses into my own imagination in fits and spurts. But I've always had problems with endings. I've just never been a fan of goodbyes, not even in writing. It's like I cling to whatever I'm writing as if I'm afraid to let go in case those are the last words I'll ever be able to write. Makes it hard to finish anything. Or maybe I'm just afraid of what happens after you finish. At that point you don't have any excuse not to show it to people, including publishers or editors. If I don't finish it then I can't be rejected, right?

A few years ago, a good online friend and fellow writer (Hi, Cormac!), suggested that I write flash fiction or very short pieces. I was scared, but I gave it a try. I did manage a few posts here on my blog and since them have posted a few more. I also tried my hand at Six Sentences. I even had two of them accepted. Some of them weren't and never really saw the light of day. For no reason whatsoever, I think it's time they did. So here they are.


The first one was declined by Six Sentences by the nicest rejection I've ever had. Robert McEvily (the editor of Six Sentences) said, "
I've decided not to use this piece, but I wanted to thank you for sending it, and I hope you'll consider sending more work in the future." He only has himself to blame for the many submissions that followed. :)

She had looked forward to this day all of her life and now it was nearly here. She would soon change her name and her life forever. She had hoped and prayed about this moment for her whole life. She had planned every last detail. She knew it wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be a dream come true. She just couldn’t wait to be a doctor.


The next one was actually published on the Six Sentences website.

Our conversation abruptly stopped and I looked up to find him staring off into nothing with a far away look in his eyes. My first thought was to wonder where in the universe he was when I realized that I didn't really care. It also occurred to me that he was mentally absent from our life together more than he was present. I let out a deep breath that I felt like I'd been holding since we'd met twelve years ago and left the kitchen. In less than thirty minutes, I'd packed everything I wanted to take with me from this life, grabbed my laptop, and headed towards the door. I only stopped long enough to erase my number in his cell phone, before I exited this life and entered another.


This one was the "Bonus Six" at the end of the Six Sentences newsletter.

She has such a tight grip on her heart that she can barely breathe. She's so determined not to fall that she's forgetting to live. Happiness isn't the lack of unhappiness; it's something you have to work at because if it was easy then it wouldn't mean anything. You have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light. But if you don't let go of the darkness, how can you ever let in the light? You have to open up your heart and let the light shine in so happiness can grow.


Now for the ones that haven't really seen the light of day. Robert has seen them & there were posted on my page on the Six Sentences social website, but that was pretty much it.

He called again today and it's all I can do to not draw him back into my world. I don't love him, but the lure of being adored is almost irresistible. Knowing that with just a word from me he'd abandon his fiancee and rush to my side is intoxicating. He'd risk a lifetime with her for just a moment with me. Having no intention of keeping him usually strengthens my resolve not to use him to take the edge off of my loneliness. But tonight my need to be loved might override my need to be kind.


The beat of the music vibrates up and down my spine and makes my body tingle. Trying to disguise my intense observation as casual curiosity, my eyelids flutter rapidly. My eyes track his movements like a predator on the hunt as he continues to dance with girl after girl in happy oblivion. The only comfort is realizing he never dances with any of them more than once. Their lack of appeal keeps them safe from him and me. For now.


The truth is that no one gets out of this alive, so what is the big deal? They say you can't take it with you and she was okay with that since what you should take with you had nothing to do with dollar signs. What she valued was that moment as she stepped out of her car and he wrapped his arms around her and instantly felt like home. The time, years later, that their lips met and their friendship blossomed into something so much more than either of them had ever expected. That night they parked by the lake and he confessed that he loved her, that he'd never told another girl that before, and probably never would again. As she looked down at his peaceful face and felt him leaving her, those were the things she hoped he would take with him on his final journey.


I think that last one is my favorite. There are many more short pieces in the archives of my blog. Feel free to give them a read. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who Am I?

My new friend & fellow member of the DOC (Diabetic Online Community), Mike Durbin posted a blog today stating who he was and challenged everyone who read it do the same. I said I couldn't really answer that since I never have a clear picture of who I am. For the most part that is true. I find that I most often describe myself in terms that reflect a relationship I have instead of who I really am. I'm someone's friend, co-worker, sister, aunt, etc. All of those things are true, but they aren't all of who I am. At least I hope not. So I did some thinking and here's what I came up with.

I am a woman of......
passion & compassion
hope & help
life & love
words & phrases
needs & deeds
mysteries & truths
dreams & nightmares
needles & numbers
frets & debts
melodies & harmonies
paper & pages
uploads & downloads
highs & lows
strengths & tears
giving & holding
heart & mind
heaven & earth

Pretty sure that doesn't clear up anything, but it makes sense to me. And I'm sure there are a few people that know me well enough to see the sense in it too. Now I'll pass on the challenge. Who are you?

Saturday, April 09, 2011


The summer of 1990 was a hard one, but little did I know that the following summer would make it look like a vacation by comparison. It started out fun with my first trip to Disney World, but quickly went downhill from there. I came home from vacation to find out that I'd been fired and if that wasn't bad enough they did it through the mail. I also came home with several small lesions on my lower legs that were purple, smooth, and looked like burns.

A friend of my mom's sent me to his very expensive dermatologist who was also an expert in rare skin diseases. He took one look at it and knew what it was. The biopsy result confirmed his diagnosis. Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum*. He told me I needed to get to an endocrinologist right away because only diabetics get this skin disease. I knew that couldn't be right because I didn't have diabetes, but he insisted.

My mom's friend helped out again by sending me to the best endocrinologist he could find. The visit is a bit of a blur, but I do know the man never took any blood for tests except for the finger prick for a blood sugar test. He wrote a lot in my chart, but didn't talk a lot. He never even shared the blood sugar test result with me. He simply said I had Type 2 Diabetes, gave me a couple of pamphlets, an exchange diet booklet from the American Diabetes Association, and a stern warning that I needed to lose weight. I was too deep in shock to realize that I'd basically been given the bum's rush out of this guy's office.

The pamphlets were vague at best and he never mentioned a return visit at all. A few week later I called his office to find out when I should come back and was told that I didn't need to because Type 2 Diabetes was all about self-care. The nurse informed me that the doctor said he couldn't do anything for me if I didn't lose at least 100 pounds. When I asked how I was supposed to do that she replied that she didn't know but maybe I should stop eating so much. Yes, she actually said that. And to add insult to injury she said it in quite a snotty way. My response will NOT get me sainted for sure. I said, "Really? And I bet you'd be less of a bitch if you stopped breathing," and I slammed the phone down.

Over the next 6 months, I cut out as much sugar as I could. Switched to diet sodas, unsweetened tea, and stopped eating candy. Even though I didn't really eat or drink much of that anyway. Of course the pamphlets didn't say anything about carbs or how to check my blood sugar. I had been on the exchange diet when I was a kid due to Hypoglycemia, but it had changed and I couldn't make much sense of it. I did the best I could and moved forward.

It seemed like each day I was hungrier than the last. No matter what I ate, I never felt full or satisfied. I started bring snacks to work to stop the gnawing stomach pains. It seemed like I was constantly eating. Small Ziploc bags of cereal & other snacks would surround me at any given moment at work or home. And despite all the eating, I was losing weight.

At first it was gradual, but as the hunger increased, so did the weight loss. A couple of pounds a month turned into a couple of pounds a week in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Worse yet, my personality began changing. I had always been a perky and happy person. Almost annoyingly so. Suddenly I was moody and grumpy. Where I once sprang out of bed each morning with a smile on my face, I now crawled out of bed with a grimace and often remarked that I felt like I hadn't even slept. I was constantly tired and just generally felt bad.

This went on for nearly a year. I wouldn't find out until June of the following year that I had been misdiagnosed. If the so-called specialist had bothered to do any real blood tests on me, he would have known right away I had Type 1 Diabetes. If he had stopped looking down his nose at me and looked past my weight, I might not have had the three-month-long battle to save my foot and ankle.

Looking back now, I know that I'm lucky I survived. There are so many things that could have happened during that time. On any one of those restless nights, I could have easily slipped into a coma and never woke up again. I could have had kidney failure due to diabetic ketoacidosis. I could have lost my foot and my ankle because after all that time and stress on my body it just simply couldn't heal. I definitely got lucky. Really lucky.

The next chapter of my diabetic life story continues in the post I wrote for the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy website -


Friday, April 08, 2011

Reversing Ignoranace

On Thursday, Kim Vlasnik from Texting my Pancreas, a fellow member of the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) brought to our attention that Reader's Digest would be releasing a special Diabetes Magazine called, "Reversing Diabetes - Your Total Guide To Blood Sugar Control" that will hit stands in May.

Needless to say, the DOC is up in arms. Reversing Diabetes?!?! Really? And who is your medical expert, Reader's Digest? Halle Berry? Any REAL medical expert will tell you that you cannot REVERSE diabetes. Unless you have invented a magic ray gun that changes your DNA. And if you have, are you planning to make one that can reverse stupidity? I'd like to nominate Halle Berry as your first test subject. I'm just saying.

Anyway, today I read a blog written by Kelly Kunik from Diabetesaliciousness. She might be my new hero. The blog details the multiple calls she made to Reader's Digest today. I was impressed to say the least. Kim & Kelly made such lasting impressions on me that I want to share their blog posts with you.

Please take a moment to read both of them. And if you feel like calling Reader's Digest & expressing yourself, Kelly has included phone numbers. :)

You can read Kim's post here - A Letter To Reader's Digest

You can read Kelly's post here - Just Got Off The Phone With The Director of Customer Care for Reader's Digest

Like so many members of the DOC, these women ROCK. They are worth their weight in BG test strips for sure. :)