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I’ve been nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award

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It’s my second Award, which is truly amazing and I appreciate it immensely. I’ve discovered that blogging is not only about writing and posting, but about interacting with others, and I really do enjoy commenting on other blogs (even if the authors don’t like it). I’ve met some insightful, clever people whose posts make me smile, laugh, nod in appreciation or even get me commenting out loud (which isn’t hard as I have entire conversations with myself, it’s much easier to argue if I know what the other person’s going to say). I primarily started writing this blog for myself, not even my mother has read it (she wouldn’t have a clue how to use a computer because she’s technologically challenged, besides I wouldn’t want her to read it because I’ve mentioned her and posted an unflattering photo of her), however I am the first to acknowledge that having people like, comment, or follow a post is heartening and the way socialisation seems to be going in the 21st century. Just writing in itself makes me happy, but the people I’ve met so far fast becoming an essential aspect of my life.

I accept this award with gratitude, so thanks for thinking of me Wandering Soul, for making me strive to be a better writer, and human being. Wandering Soul, who nominated me for this award, is a funny yet insightful blogger who writes from her own personal experience, and she likes cats (what that isn’t important?). She often makes my day by her comments, and of course I highly recommend you visit her blog, even though she’s as mad as a hatter (it’s an expression, I don’t really have anything against milliners so please don’t send me angry emails).

On to the Rules of the Blogger Recognition Award Rules…

  1. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to. I’ve amended it to 10 because if I didn’t, I would still be writing and I would never get this post out!
  2. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you. Clearly I would nominate Wandering Soul if I could, but I can’t which is a shame since I know she’d make a valuable addition to the dinner table, and she’s such a lovely person I’m sure she’d bring a dish, and even offer to do the washing up, which of course I would refuse because I have some manners at least.
  3. Write a post to show your award.
  4. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  5. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.
  6. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  7. Attach the award badge to the post (right click and save, then upload.)
  8. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them
  9. Provide a link to the original post on Edge of the Night

How this all started

I think every writer has a compulsion to write, I don’t believe you can write if your half-hearted about it. I’m writing because I can’t not write, about everything that comes into my head, whether it’s funny, or sad, or just my opinion. I only ask people to consider what I write, hence the name of this blog, and really think about what’s going on in the world.

Advice, warranted or not!

I would say write from the experiences in your life, write from that place inside that wants to be heard because your voice is unique. Also take the Writing and Blogging courses because you will meet some truly amazing people to interact with, and form friendships which I never expected from starting a blog. These people will support you and make you grown as a human being, and make you formulate your own way of writing and blogging, so it’s mutual benefits all round.

Nominees

I’ve selected the people I would like to have in my home, around the dinner table, and have lively conversation with as their points of view make me think about why I’m blogging in the first place.

  1. The Personal Blog of Henry Jones – I really like Henry, he’s a lovely guy who really gives back to Blogging 101 by helping in any way he can. He writes a news blog, and as I write this he’s summarised the attacks in France. His digest of news is well-written and thought provoking, and you’ll find my comment at the end. Watch out for this one, as he’s going to do something extraordinary with his life. No pressure Henry!
  2. Mirrorgirl – She writes an extremely insightful and introspective blog about all things psychology, which of course is one of my favourite subjects. Go to her blog, or feel guilty. Sorry, a little bad psychology humour.
  3. Afthead is a truly versatile blogger, who write about being a mom (American spelling), a wife, but also about her everyday thoughts and happenings. Her wit and sense of humour will have you hitting the Follow button before you even know you’re doing it!
  4. What Sandra Thinks – I’m just getting to know Sandra, but already she’s offered her help in a little project I’m working on, right out of the blue, which being the sane person I am, I have gladly accepted. She writes a blog that has me laughing out loud, her latest discourse on the word f**k is pure hilarity, and I’m not even that into swearing.
  5. Spiritual Dragonfly – focuses on all things natural and spiritual, living for herself in the present. She doesn’t like labels, but that’s the point of this award, to define the people one admires, and Linda’s attitude to simple being, and enjoying the cosmic journey we’re all on has definitely made her blog worth a read.
  6. Freud and Fashion – I know what you’re thinking, how on earth can you combine Sigmund Freud (Siggy to his mates) and Fashion? When you’re a psychiatrist of course! No, that’s not a joke. This young woman has introspection all sewed up, she combs through the ins and outs of psychiatry with humour and self-criticism, and as a psychology student I can say with confidence that I wish she be cloned. A fascinating insight into the world of medicine and helping people, and to balance it out fashion. She’s the best looking psychiatrist in America. Not only that, she gives away free tips!
  7. Living, Learning and Letting Go – Karuna has lived in many places around the world, finally settling in Seattle with her husband but she makes sure she heads to India when she needs a spiritual recharge. She’s had several incarnations (ok I’m using a pun there) in her life, after working out her past in therapy, Karuna decided to go back to study after working in Nursing, and specialised in psychiatric nursing and finally started her own psychotherapy centre and website. Wow that was a mouthful! She’s dedicated to helping others, and giving back, and writes about her experiences.
  8. Dr Meg Sorick – has a cure for the reading blues (couldn’t help myself on that one), by offering wonderful poetry, her book series which is available on Amazon. She’s well known as a really lovely, caring woman who would probably give you the shirt off her back if asked. She has an appealing way of writing, so I suggest you Follow my, well, suggestion and take a look.
  9. Life Home and Away – She writes about a number of topics close to her heart, including motherhood, politics, and interesting little bits of fiction. She describes herself as a ‘non-biased writer’, as she reviews the news. Worth a read and a Follow.
  10. Kinneretstern – she discusses everything arty, taking a look at many different genres into consideration, but also writes about other influences in her life, including in her words ‘literature, film analysis, psychology, forensic psychology, faerie tale analysis, cognitive therapy, cognitive linguistics, classical theatre, World War II, and Russian and British history so there’s definitely something for everyone. Kinneret is also writing a novel, describing it as a kind of American Gothic, and produces these fascinating little cartoons which provided her with an introspective view into her depression, which she reports has resolved itself.
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Today is World Diabetes Day!

Well today’s the day we diabetics get our own day, so let me say HOORAY! Ok that’s a bit much, for diabetes is an insidious disease that can have far reaching consequences. I thought that today is MY day, I would give you all a lecture about how to live your life to prevent type 2 diabetes. 1 in 4 people will develop diabetes in their life, that’s a fact. Trust me from my personal experience that it’s definitely not a good way to live your life for it impacts it with everything you do, and there’s no escape once diagnosis is achieved, except if you have gestational diabetes, and even then sometimes it will stay on in your body. Diabetes has an impact on every cell in your body, so listen to Aunty Emily and pay attention.

Essentially, diabetes is a condition where the body cannot produce insulin, which transports the sugar you eat across from your bloodstream to your muscles to be used as energy. The symptoms include;

  1. Excessive weight loss over a short period of time (months).
  2. Unexplained weight gain (type 2)
  3. Excessive thirst (I was drinking up to 3 litres per day at the time of my diagnosis).
  4. Constant hunger that normal eating won’t satisfy (not I get up in the middle of the night and eat my sister’s chocolate bar that she thought I didn’t know she had).
  5. Passing a lot of urine (I practically lived on the toilet).
  6. Feeling lethargic (not ‘I just want a sleep-in because it’s the weekend’).
  7. Having cuts or wounds that refuse to heal.
  8. Blurred vision.
  9. Mood swings (I was ropeable apparently around the time of diagnosis).
  10. Headaches, dizziness, leg cramps.

I’m going to tell you you some of my story. Not all of it, because it’s been nearly 29 years, and there a lot of things I can say, but I think this will do for now. Talking about this is so very difficult for me, but I think the least I can do is try and tell you why I’m so passionate about diabetes prevention. It’s had an impact on my life that’s across the board, I have to monitor myself constantly, and be ever vigilant. I’m having 5 injections a day, and up to 5 blood tests where I have to use a small device, a bit like a trigger, where I press a button to release the spring-loaded mechanism, and it hurts. The injections aren’t too hard to perform, but I still find myself wincing even though I’ve had countless amounts. My everyday life has really hard because I started developing complications when I was 18 years old, because they start showing up about 8 years after diagnosis. I’ll get to that in a moment. I was ostracised at school because I was treated specially as I have things called hypos, in which there’s too much insulin in my body and I need sugar fast, or I can go into a coma fairly quickly. Many a diabetic has been taken for a drunk when this happens, as you lose your motor functions, making it hard to talk without slurring your voice, and very difficult to even attempt walking properly. I have to watch what I eat, as it’s even more important for me to get essential vitamins and nutrients, have low fat foods, and stay away from high sugar items like most cakes and sweets because they can make me go into the opposite of a hypo called hyperglycaemia. This can also put me into a coma, but this time it’s too much sugar or glucose in the blood, and I’ll experience the symptoms I’ve listed above. Anything can upset my sugar levels, from being ill to stress and the depression which has resulted from having diabetes, but that’s fairly common with us. I’ve now managed to tick almost all the complication boxes, so here’s a handy reference about what diabetes can do if you can’t control it;

  • Blindness – I have background retinopathy, which results from pressure building up at the back of the eye in the tiny blood cells that break, causing the vion to b obscured. So far my eyesight is only blurry, but part of that is due to the cateract that’s in my left eye which I developed because of, you guessed it, the diabetes.
  • Kidney problems – my kidney function is impaired, but it’s holding for now. The biggest cause of kidney failure is diabetes.
  • Amputee – I had an accident 7 years ago where I broke my Fibula and Tibea by falling over. The bones couldn’t heal, so eventually I developed gangrene and my right leg was taken from below the knee. I was so annoyed because it was my driving leg, I thought if my horse was going to step on my foot and cause me to lose my balance, then the least thing would be to have it be my left leg!
  • Gastroparesis – I can’t digest food.
  • Lack of saliva, causing me to lose all my teeth, which is just so attractive when you’re 38 and female, and I’m still in the process of having them removed.
  • Peripheral Neuropathy, an incredibly painful condition in the hands and feet where the nervous system is basically dying so there’s a lot of numbness, but perversely is also the opposite, where the nerves are sending signals and there is a a whole communication problems so the nerves are trying to be heard. Typing isn’t fun, nor is anything that demands touch, as the nerves will fire at random. Only Methadone can touch it, and I refuse because I’ve been there, done that, and I will not live my life drugged up to the eyeballs. So there!
  • Hypothyroidism – also known as an underactive thyroid, which makes me put on weight easily.
  • Sinus Tachycardia – in real language, a fast heart rate.
  • High blood pressure.

Now that I’ve scared you all to death, I must stress that this is diabetes has developed in me, in my body. I’m like this way because of the nature of my family situation, when I was growing up I had a emotionally abusive father, and was producing a large amount of cortisol (adrenaline). That causes sugar levels to go very high, and it’s prolonged high levels that do the damage. Diabetes can be controlled in a normal environment, but every effort has to be made to support the person in question.  Family and friends play a key role in ensuring the person has all the tools available to help manage their diabetes. There are definitely diabetics walking around who’ve been type 1 for 50 plus years, but they’re the lucky ones. There is actually an organisation in Australia who give out a medal to type 1 who been diagnosed for 50 years. Yes that’s right, a medal, and I’m going to do my best to get one! So how/why/when can you get it? You are considered ‘At Risk’ if you;

  1. Have someone in your family who has type 2 diabetes. It’s hereditary, in the genetics, so at least you’ll have someone to blame, unlike me as I have type 1 which I developed when I was 10 years old. Experts simply don’t know what causes the T cells in the immune system to suddenly attack the islets in the pancreas, but they’re constantly looking for the answer, and many promising studies are being conducted right now, but they need time.
  2. If you are inactive, overweight, eating unhealthy foods (such as high sugar and fat content), this is why countries like America and Britain have high incidences of diabetes.
  3. If you have high blood pressure, heart disease or high cholesterol.

If you have one or more of these things, there is a risk assessment tool that you can use, please go here, but also see your doctor if you’re concerned.

Now that’s quite scary when a lot of people are at risk, but guess what? Type 2 is preventable! That makes it all the more distressing, when you realise that such a prevalent disease is so very preventable. There’s a lot of support out there for people trying to reduce their risk of getting diabetes, and if I could possibly identify someone who could be at risk, I’d be there with bells on. Plus, every other kind of decoration available. If you believe you or a friend has problems with any of the above symptomology, share this article, and use the above tool It could save your life. If you have these symptoms and are concerned about it, please see your doctor as soon as possible. I’m not a health professional, I just happen to know my foe extremely well.

What are the positive things you can do to prevent type 2 diabetes? I’m afraid it’s the usual, exercise, and a healthy diet. It’s so important for your general health, let alone diabetes prevention. Your risk of major and minor health problems is dictated by what you eat and how you manage your exercise, it really comes down to that in the long run. I know nowadays there are a lot of people who are dealing with stress, a sedentary lifestyle because their job requires them to be behind a desk all day, and bad eating habits in a world that seems to have little time for anything. I urge you to make the choice to look after yourself, remember you’re going to have that body for your entire life, so it’s slightly difficult to trade in and get a new one. If it were possible, I’d have been there, again with the bells on, waiting whatever time necessary in order to get the tickets, and I’m sure my parents would have paid any price at all to take it from me.

This article was not to upset or depress you, rather to get you to contemplate the causes and prevention of diabetes. If you’re at risk, I want you to consider the future, not only for yourself but the ramifications of what would happen to your family in that situation. There are many type 2’s wandering around without knowing they’re diabetic at all, and unfortunately it’s in those early stages that the damage is done to your body, so prevention is a far better option than a cure that I do not believe I will see in my life time. My life is still rich and complex, as I’m at the stage where I love my existence, despite my problems or perhaps because of it.

If you’d like further information, go to Diabetes Australia or have a look at the Diabetes Australia Victoria. If you’re a newly diagnosed diabetic or the friend or family member of a diabetic I’ve provided a link to Diabetes Counselling Online, a site and service set up by a diabetic who saw the need for it.

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Learning To Be Patient

I’ve been having quite a few ‘aha’ moments lately, I’ve realised that there are forces in the universe that are working very hard to lead me to a safer, more productive and happier place in my life. This wouldn’t have been possible even just a year ago, because I wasn’t ready to listen and learn from something far bigger than myself. I was arrogant, closed and afraid of life and other people; it was the more negative emotions that were controlling my life. Anger, feels good at the time, but regret will come quickly and it’s a bit hard to take back the devastating words that tend to come out. The catch is, of course, the effect it has on us in our day to day experiences; if you let anger through, you will tend to find it will own you.

I certainly don’t have all the answers, in fact far from it. I’m struggling with what God is trying to teach me: but that’s ok, it may take time but the concepts I’m trying to grasp are life-changing and I know whatever time I have left on this earth I will continue to develop as God guides me. There is a time and place for everything; this is promised to us, so whatever your journey however short I believe the answers will come when we die. Some things we simply aren’t meant to know, and I think comfort can be derived from that.

I was led to start writing again after years of silence, I know I clammed up and became quite insecure about what I wrote, who to and why. Especially what I wrote, because I’ve always been a very harsh critic and judgemental about every single sentence. I’m still that way, my aim for the start of writing this blog was to write about the impact my diabetes has had on my life but even though I’ve taken a pseudonym I’m finding that every time I post something, the anxiousness will well up and I’m waiting for the critism. It’s not the way to think, I fully understand that, but now I can see the way forward.

The answer is in letting go, I need to care more about my feelings and thoughts. Your opinion and good will is important, I certainly don’t want to hurt anyone or cause them problems. This is my story however, my chance to fulfil my own promise to myself and write freely about my life and what’s happened, and dare I think I might help someone else along the way. I need to keep a focus on the positive and realise the good I’m doing for myself by freeing up the writer inside, the ‘inner writer’ who wants to discuss everything she possibly can cover and really cares about.

If we come from a false place how can we possibly focus on connecting through one another and share our experiences? If we focus on the negative we become the negative, and the same is true for the positive.  We are both the student and the teacher in life, but if you’re not open to that, your journey will be short and pointless. Open yourself to the universe and God, and literally anything can happen.

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I never thought that people would accept me as someone with something important to say, to help others understand the things in life that are so vital. I’m ready to accept that my role belongs to God, and it’s what God says that’s important because He knows me and knows what’s best for me. It easy to know exactly what’s going to happen to us along the way, or even to know ourselves. If we get things right, we’ll keep evolving along the way. That’s why God is our guide, He made us and has seen what can become if we surrender to Him, trusting Him with our journey. Have you ever heard the saying ‘Hope for the best and plan for the worst’?

I’m typing away at the speed of light here; do you think writer’s block occurs not when we run out of material (for our lives are material) but when we try to stop that person within us from speaking from the heart, as one person to another?I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please feel free to write in the comments below. This is in response to Day 5 of Writing 101, ‘Hook ’em with a quote’, and I’ve picked the place to find the ultimate quote – the Bible (always pick the best for you) Done and done my friends.