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Entries in Blogger (13)


Your Favorite Posts: November 2013

Diabetes Awareness Month 2013 was the most popular month in the six year history of Arden's Day, surpassing April 2013 (The month my first book was released). 

After Arden's Day first appeared online in 2007, it took one year to reach 1,000 views and I was so amazed that I grabbed a screen capture to mark the occasion - a lot has changed since then.

The top five blog posts from November 2013 (ranked by views)

The Air Left The Room

When Things Go Wrong, They Go Wrong

The Blood WOn't Come Out: Day of Diabetes Deeper Look

Lace Up 4 Diabetes Shoe Laces GiveAway




Most months, the popular posts on the site differ from what is popular on the Facebook page. This month however they were very similar, with the exception of this post (I think it was the picture that people loved)- After School low, meet Ben and Jerrys.

...and my announcement that I'll be reviewing the Prep Pad made many of you very happy (I'm excited too!).


The most popular topics on Twitter had to do with the Novo Nordisk shoe laces giveaway and my 'Day of Diabetes' tweets.


Thank you all so very much for your continued support and for fervently reading the site. The guy who took that screen capture of the thousandth page hit... he would have fallen off his chair if he saw how many of you read Arden's Day in November of 2013. Seriously, I'm staggered, thank you!

Arden's Day is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and Google+. I follow back and love hearing from all of you through these various social media channels. Stop bye and say hello. I'm @ArdensDay or ArdensDay in all places.

Now for a shameless plug: My parenting book, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Dad' is available everywhere that books are sold and would make a perfect holiday gift for the readers in your life.



Anniversary Week Continues: Books and Video

Arden's Day's First Header Graphic (circa 2007)

The Arden's Day anniversary week celebration continues today with a fresh look at a blog post from 2008 and a book giveaway. 


blog post from 2008

In January of 2008 my focus for Arden's Day wasn't what it is today. Back then I saw this blog as a teaching tool for the uninitiated and a way to drive support and advocacy for people with type I diabetes. I wanted to create educated, empathetic supporters and give them a personal connection to type I. I was trying to support the search for a cure in the only way that I knew how, by communicating. 

So in 2008 I made a video called, 'Six Months Worth of Needles' and posted it on my blog and on YouTube. Since then the video has been viewed on YouTube nearly 9,000 times and I think that it still holds up all of these years later. We walk every year for the JDRF and have never missed a year though we have taken a break from fundraising recently because Arden raised nearly $50,000 in her first few years of walking. I felt because our friends and family had done so much, in such a short amount of time, that I couldn't keep asking them every year to donate. I very much love that the blog has evolved from where it began while still holding true to the goal of creating advocates. Actually, I sometimes can't believe that Arden's Day has been going for so long, six years is a long time. In honesty, I don't have a plan... I just keep following my heart and let my passion continue to shape the content of the site. Okay, I'm rambling, kinda tired and I wrote this in the middle of the night but you get it... the blog started as an advocacy platform and it's evolving, maybe not unlike me.


enough sentiment... how about a giveaway 

Thanks to my publisher Spry,  I have two copies of my first book, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Dad' to giveaway for anniversary week. Simple entry this time, just leave a comment under this post saying "please enter me" and Arden will choose two winners this weekend. I only have two rules: You can enter up until August 10, 2013 at 11:59PM Due to a typo in the entry date (Was originally listed as 8/10/13) the giveaway has been extended. Entries now excepted until August 18, 2013 at 11:59PM EST and the giveaway is open to U.S. residents only this time around for postage reasons.


other anniversary posts and giveaways

'Tell Me About Your JDRF Walk

The Anniversary Week celebration began on a charitable note. I thought it would be nice if we shared what we love most about our JDRF walk experiences. Everyone who shares their thoughts in the comment section (under this post) will be entered into a drawing. At the end of the week Arden will pick one winner and my family will make a $50 donation to your walk effort! You can enter up until August 10, 2013 at 11:59PM est.


Arden's Day is Six Years Old 

Let's celebrate... It's the sixth anniversary of Arden's Day!

At exactly 3 AM on August 16, 2007, I posted my first blog entry on the Internet and "Decided to Share" began my online life as a type I diabetes advocate. I had no idea if anyone would ever read my little blog and there were times that I seriously considered closing Arden's Day because I doubted that I was adding a needed voice to the community. Well, it's six years later and I couldn't be happier that I made the decision to keep blogging, because so much has happened since that overwhelmed and exhausted guy first said these words...

I can’t sleep... Haven’t really been able to for about a year now.  On August 22nd Arden will be a Type I diabetic for one year.  I’m going to try and relay to all of you what Arden’s disease is, how it effects her and how it effects our family.  My goal is to give you a glimpse into our life so that you can better understand Type I diabetes... My hope is that the understanding will result in your advocacy.

Starting now I’ll be updating this site as much as is needed to bring you into all of this as completely as possible.  I’ll be taking pictures and video as much as possible.  I think diabetes is one of those things you need to feel to understand, an explanation just doesn’t do it justice.  It’s a much more visceral experience then you may think. That picture (above) is from just now (3:00 am), Arden just called me from her bed.  She wanted to lay down with us.  I checked her Blood Glucose (from here on out known as BG) and it was good.  Well not really good, high actually about 120 - 150 points higher then a non-diabetics would be at 3 AM but good for our purposes. Don’t worry it’ll all start making sense to you soon...  Please use the “Subscribe” button on the ‘Daddy’s Blog’ page to stay up-to-the-minute.  I really think that being updated every-time something happens will help bring you into the process. Please share this link with any and everyone you know.  Off to get some sleep...

Since that day, I've spoken to Congressmen and Senators, raised funds for the JDRF, written a book and met the most wonderful people. I could probably make a list as long as my arm of amazing things that have happened since I began to blog, but if I had to pick a favorite... it would be easy to choose. I am still, to this day, amazed at how much sharing our story helps others. Honestly, when I began six years ago, I never expected that. Moreover, I'm simply stunned by how powerfully you all return the love. That dynamic is, without a doubt, the most rewarding part of all of this. The relationship that we all have is one of the most uniquely human experiences that I've ever been a part of. Starting Arden's Day in 2007 was, without exaggeration, a life changing moment for me and that feels celebration worthy. Plus, six years is quite an accomplishment for a blog and I'm genuinely very proud to be able to lay claim to six years of diabetes blogging.

You are reading the 568th post that I've written for Arden's Day and the wonderful feeling that comes from sharing with you has not diminished one bit since 2007. It's my pleasure to be able to say that I am, in some small way, a part of something as wonderful as the diabetes online community.

You must be wondering why I am posting about an anniversary eight days before it happens. Easy answer... So you can be ready for what's happening next week. Stuff like...

Lauren's Hope is generously giving away some medical ID swagerrificness in celebration of Arden's Day's sixth anniversary!

Spry Publishing has donated a few copies of my book, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal that I'll be signing and giving away. 

I'll be asking for your thoughts on what your JDRF Walk means to you and your family. A few days later, Arden will randomly select one of your comments and my family will make a $50 donation to your walk efforts.

I'll highlight one of my favorite posts from the past every day next week and reflect on them from today's perspective.

...and an announcement that includes giving away multiple copies of the newest Coco book from the Lilly/Disney collaboration, 'Coco's First Sleepover'.

I'm excited for Monday to arrive and hope that you are too! In the meantime, enjoy your weekend and good luck getting that Flintstones song out of your head! 


Post A New Comment

I read blog post yesterday by Christopher Snider. Chris is hoping that on Monday, July 22nd people like you will take the time to comment on every diabetes blog that they read. Chris thinks that, "comments make the world go ’round, as far as blogging is concerned. Yes, there are stat counters and analytics reports you can run, but pageviews and unique visitors don’t mean much to me when it comes to sharing personal stories and experiences. What matters to me is when someone reads something I write, and then takes the time to leave a comment.". I couldn't agree with Chirs more and I am hoping that you to read his blog about the topic.

You already know what some of your favorite diabetes blogs means to you, but did you ever wonder what they are for the writer? Or how your participation completes the connection between the two of you and the other people reading? Diabetes blogs aren't like a tech or news blog, I'm not a guy reporting on a story, I'm a person sharing deeply personal thoughts and feelings in the hopes that my sharing will strike a cord of commonality with you. My only goal is to make your day a little easier, better, happier, lighter, more informed. My personal hope is that my sharing will, in some way, help you to not worry, panic, feel alone. I just want to help because I know how it feels to be in your position and no one deserves to feel that alone, scared and helpless - because we really aren't... but sometimes it takes finding others living the same life to realize that is true, at least it did for me. 

What you may not know is the act of writing on this blog is how I find peace with type I diabetes. My calm comes when I can see people like you reading. I tell myself that it doesn't matter if you leave a comment, that I can tell that you are getting something from the experience when you return the next day. I think what Chris is saying is that he believes blog comments perpetuate more blogs. He may be correct, I don't know. I'm not sure how seeing more comments would effect my writing frequency but I do like his idea for Monday.

Anyway, Chris's blog made me want to tell you that I have faith that you are out there and that sometimes I write stuff that you find valuable. But if I'm being honest, some days it is really nice to hear a voice come back from within the abyss.

I hope you have a second to read about what Chris is calling, #dblogcheck - Have a great weekend!


What Lies Beyond My Understanding

That's Kris in the red shirt

I like to wonder about the things that I struggle to understand. I find it relaxing to think about something that I can not fully absorb and then push myself to grasp every facet until I can feel my mind stop trying. That point is the wall, it's the end of my understanding. The topics vary, often I think about type I diabetes, my marriage, my children, what happiness is. Lately, if I'm being honest, I think a lot about how to help my book to find new readers.

I love the quiet that exists when my brain doesn't know where to go next. I don't consider hitting that wall as an impediment, I find it exciting, I trust that new concepts will eventually appear and that anticipation is electric. Sometimes nothing comes, I take those moments as a sign that I'm in uncharted waters, a place that I've yet to explore and I find the challenge to discover new ideas to be intellectually sexy.

Recently at the 2013 Lilly Diabetes Blogger Summit, I realized that there was a new place where answers about type I lived, a place that I didn't yet understand how to get to. That moment was exciting because it meant that one day I could do an even better job of keeping Arden's BGs in range. I like that idea very much.

Olympic skier Kris Freeman visited with our group at Lilly and during part of the discussion that we had with him, he spoke about his team. There are people that help Kris to optimize his insulin regiment so that he can perform at the peak of his promise. His team has, of course, access to machines and monitoring equipment that I don't have. More importantly they posses the know-how and intellectual prowess (far beyond mine) to read Kris's data and implement changes. Now, I don't have a team and I'm not a doctor but neither of those truths brought me down, on the contrary... they made me feel hopeful. If a bunch of smart guys can figure out how to keep an Olympic skier's BG from fluctuating, I can figure out how to mimic that response in a little girl whose sitting in a third grade class and playing softball a few times a week - right!?

It should be known that despite the vigorous testing, his team's calculations aren't always fool proof. Kris told us a story about a wildly varied BG that snuck up on him just before a race. His tale left me sure that diabetes is a wild bucking stallion for everyone at times. I loved how normal I felt listening to an Olympic athlete tell me that his BGs got crazy just like Arden's, it was so genuinely comforting to hear him speak those words.

Back before I knew what a CGM was I would test Arden's blood glucose at odd times just to see where meals and insulin would take her BG. I remember this one day in our Endo's office, Arden's NP asked how her A1c was so good when all of her BG checks where so high, I said, "Oh don't pay attention to those numbers, I'm trying to figure something out". I didn't exactly know what I was doing back then, what I did know is that there was some variable that I was struggling to comprehend, I could feel that it wasn't right to shoot insulin and then just except that the next three hours where okay. Today, thanks to those BG checks at crazy times and the advent of CGM technology, Arden's BGs are far more level and controlled. Tomorrow, thanks to Lilly and our meeting with Kris... I have something new to wonder about, something that may well bring all of this into even better focus. I can't wait to find out what lies beyond that thought.

There's always an answer. Please don't stop looking for it just becasue you've reach the end of your ability to understand. Push yourself, experiment and ask lots of questions until your conversations bring you the answers that you deserve.

Lilly Diabetes invited and paid for me to attend the 2013 summit. Airfare, lodging, food and transportation was all covered by Lilly. I did buy a jammin' lemon pound cake slice for myself at the airport. They never asked me to write about my experience or in any way tried to sway my opinions.