Showing posts with label the beedies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the beedies. Show all posts

April 14, 2012

Fat Talk

It began, like so many silly things do here in the heady days of The Future, with a comment I made on Facebook.

"I lost ten pounds in the week since I was at the doctor. No joke. Perhaps I should let this infection linger a little longer."

The short version of backstory is that for the past week and a half, I have been sick. REALLY sick, actually, with a one-two punch of what the doctor wanted to call pneumonia but which I weaseled her down to bronchitis (because I am so very very charming, no doubt) and a wicked sinus infection. The bronchitis was under control fairly quickly, but the sinus infection, my very first, lingered painfully and disgustingly. I'm going to skip the details, but suffice to say that due to a near-constant nausea, I had very little to eat that week. When I returned to the doctor for new, hopefully not-pretend antibiotics, the nurse weighed me, and yep. I had lost exactly ten pounds in the course of a week.

So I posted that fun little status update. There are two parts to it, which I believe can be identified as a) the "silver lining" part, and b) the "obviously a joke" part.

Well, maybe not entirely obviously. Someone left what I felt was a passive-aggressive response, linking (without comment) to "How To Spot Fat Talk So You Can Stop It". When I called her on it, she took the "oh, I'm just saying…" approach, and that pushed my button, I guess. Don't walk in the room, release a flatus and then pretend it wasn't you. She said she found "fat talk" to be toxic, and I guess it didn't matter that I was talking about myself, and that no, I wasn't actually advocating the use of illness for radical weight loss.

Because here's the thing: I didn't make a choice. Getting a nasty infection wasn't part of my plan. I didn't stop taking my antibiotics or stick Cheetos up my nose. I was sick, it sucked a very great deal, and I didn't eat much. I didn't really understand how much weight I was losing because I wasn't changing out of my pajamas much. I was a delightful treat; if you had knocked on my door this week, when I answered the door, you wouldn't have thought "Sexy MAN!" You might have phoned up the Centers for Disease Control after you finished spraying Lysol in your face.

I'm going to be blunt. She seemed like a perfectly nice person, but I found her point to be extremely unconvincing, as was another comment by someone else later. Because, again, it was a joke, and again, it wasn't a joke at someone else's expense. You can't just show up on someone else's Facebook page and take their self-referencing, self-deprecating humor and sanctimoniously apply it to yourself. Well, you can, but I'm not sure why you would want to.

Anyway, the whole thing got a little out of hand. (Trust me, you want to read that. I'll wait.)

Fun Internet kookery aside, weight is a tricky issue to discuss publicly. I know that in the "fat-o-sphere" (I really did just type that), there are a lot of specific rules for how these discussions are supposed to take place, with lots of trigger warnings and the like. I know none of these rules, and I'm not sure I care to learn them. Not because I'm a dick (or not JUST because, if you prefer), but because the weight issues I'm discussing are my own. I'm not sure I need a set of guidelines to talk about me.

I've always had issues with weight, ever since I was a kid. And while I've never been morbidly obese, I can't remember the last time I was exactly fit, either. I'm going to use some actual numbers today, since I'm sitting at the low end at the moment. For scale, I am six foot, two inches tall and possess all my limbs and parts in the usual proportions.

At my worst, during what might be termed my "County Fair" days, I weighed 280 pounds. No joke. I remember that day, when I stepped on the scale and saw that number. I was young, too, maybe twenty-six or so. I spent the prime of my youth eating and (more to the point) drinking as if an alien invasion were imminent. All I got for my troubles was about ten years of photos I will never show anyone, and well, yeah, perhaps a little type 2 diabetes. (That was a joke, too. I come from a long line of genetic diabetics, although I certainly tossed enough gasoline on the fire.)

By the time I met Julie, I was way down from that, maybe 250 pounds. I lost a bunch of weight when I was diagnosed with The Beedies at 37, but then I published a book and ate and drank a lot and gained pretty much all of it back. The last time I really remember weighing myself was about a year ago, and I was at an unpleasant 245.

Now here's where it gets fun. Last week, when I went to the doctor, I was surprised to find that I weighed 223 pounds. I knew I had lost some weight; my clothes told me that. But twenty pounds, for nothing? I was pleased.

When I went back to the doctor exactly one week later? 213 pounds. That's not all that far from my doctor's target weight for me. The last time I weighed this little, I think I was still receiving lunch money.

For those of you who also have had weight issues during your life, however, you understand a kind of universal truth. Numbers don't always mean a whole lot to a fat person. Not good ones, anyway. And when I say "fat person", I mean that in the same way that someone who has been clean and sober for twenty years still self-identifies as an alcoholic. Sometimes you can tell the formerly fat person by the clothes they wear, at least a size too large, as if they don't trust what their own senses tell them in the dressing room. I imagine sometimes you can identify the formerly fat in the ranks of the extremely fit and healthy. They watch those numbers closely, perhaps a little grimly. Their own silent exercise mantra might be "Never again."

You can be the obscenely rich CEO of a major corporation, but you can still probably list the names of the bullies who made fun of you when you were a little fat kid. You can have the most beautiful and successful man or woman on your arm at an elegant dinner party, but if you close your eyes, you can clearly see the faces of the pretty girl or the handsome boy who turned you down in school with a barely-concealed smirk on their face, the universal "As if!" sneer.

And if you were a fat kid who discovered early on that you could make people laugh at the jokes you made instead of the shape of your body, then you made sure to hone those skills. You learned to make jokes, and not just innocent ones, either. You learned that the easiest way to deflate a bully was to get the crowd to laugh at him instead, so you developed a sense of humor with an edge, and you never forgot how to use it. And you never ever forgot that if you really wanted to be funny and to keep yourself in the good graces of others, you saved the most biting jokes for yourself.

And when someone shows up on your Facebook page to tell you to use nice words when you talk about weight issues, even when you're talking about yourself, you push back. And you should. Because no matter what your size now, you're a fat person. And you're not about to let someone who (in your mind) apparently hasn't figured out How Things Work take away your own best defenses simply because when they see "fat talk", they take it to heart, as if every conversation about fat people is a conversation about them. As if the warm embrace of "The Fat-o-sphere" is the only place one can find relief, with words of acceptance and maybe some denial, but never anything harsh or sad.

Some of us, and I'm going to say that includes a lot of you reading right now, some of us learned a different way. And whether we hide our fat person past or joke about it or sweat and bleed it away at the gym, we at the very least own our fat person in our own way. If you're a fat person and you try to change that, you might be a well-intentioned person, but you really ought to know better.

Yours truly at 213. Don't get too accustomed to it...

November 28, 2010

A Beedies thing

I don't usually cross-post much, and I tend to keep the diabetes talk off this blog, for the simple reason that it tends to bring out the assmonkeys in battalion strength numbers.

But I wrote an article for dLife, called "Club Membership", that I think is worth sharing, precisely because of the previously mentioned assmonkeys.

Anyway, here you go.


UPDATE, 12/3 - I guess I had a little more to say...

October 26, 2006

Rock star

Gimp tag redux
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
So last night I got this massive pain in my left kidney, like I had been kicked hard, and just this once, I was smart enough not to ignore it. I had Julie take me to the hospital, and sure enough, it was a kidney stone.

In addition, however, I apparently have gall stones and a stone in my appendix, something I'd never heard of before. I am full of rocks!

A few hours before, I'd hooked up with my friend Jill to give her a copy of Part One of Schuyler's Monster, which she is going to read for me. We met for Japanese bubble tea, or "boba", which, if you've never had it, can be a little weird. There's no appetizing way to put this, but it is basically tea with balls of tapioca in it. Sarah Vowell refers to it as "tea and dumplings", and while it sounds revolting, it's actually quite tasty. Meeting for boba has become something of a ritual for Jill and me.

When the doctor got a look at my CT scan, he saw, in addition to my belly full of pebbles, the undigested pudding balls in my stomach. He came into the room with a puzzled look on his face.

"Um, did you eat a necklace?"

Before the night was up, all the nurses and doctors in the ER were talking about my CT scan. I was the Freak of the Night. I rather enjoyed the attention.

So I'm home now. They elected not to do any surgery just yet, and sent me home with a script for Vicodin, which I have been taking all day like a good little stoner. As of about 11:00 tonight, my kidney has still not relinquished its prize. I have to say that even with the drugs (and don't let me sell Vicodin short as a drug that will fuck you up and good), this sucks.

The doctor at the ER said that for a man, this is about as close to labor pains as I'm ever going to feel. This made Julie snicker.

"Yeah, at least you got a prize at the end," I said.

As for that prize, Schuyler had to go with us, and we were concerned that she would be traumatized by the hospital. Keep in mind that the last time she was there, she was getting blood drawn for genetic testing, and before that she was being operated on for a bad staph infection, and before THAT was the MRI that was such an awful experience. Schuyler had gotten to the point where she would panic any time we went to a doctor's office of any kind, and I can't say I could really blame her.

Well, I'm happy to report that not only did she not freak out at all, but she seemed to have the time of her life. My nurse was a good-looking guy who flirted with her and gave her stickers and cookies, and she liked looking at photos of boba balls in my belly, along with the rest of the hospital staff.

Well, I'm glad someone had fun.

July 6, 2006

Well, yeah

Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
(Cross posted from Diabetes Notes becaause it's more amusing than anything I am likely to write here today).

In a development sure to be covered in more detail in the next issue of The Journal of Duh, a study of overweight type 2 diabetics has found that increasing the amount of walking they do every day will result in significant improvements in heart and respiratory fitness. The study examined the exercise routine of eight subjects who were already walking more than the recommended 10,000 steps a day.

“The program used simple tools (pedometer and stopwatch) and a simple message to pick up the pace,” said Steven T. Johnson of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, along with colleagues in the journal Diabetes Care.

The “Pick Up the Pace” program measured the number of steps that test subjects were typically taking and increased them by ten percent. This increase led to improvements in heart rate response to exercise, as well as a decrease in blood sugar levels.

In an earlier study, Johnson and his colleagues found that type 2 diabetics typically walk at a speed that is slower than that necessary to derive health benefits, even when the number of steps taken daily were increased.

There’s no word on whether or not they uncovered any mysterious connection between slow walking and painful feet, but I can only hope that in the near future, these researchers can unlock the secrets of how not smoking or eating donuts can also increase the health of diabetics. Well played, Mister Science!

June 13, 2006

Breakfast with Rob

Dark Thoughts, by Luke Chueh
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
Good morning, kids! Say, what's for breakfast? Here's what's on the menu today:

Metformin ER. (generic form of Glucophage XR) This is the primary drug addressing high blood sugar for type 2 diabetics. If you know a type 2 diabetic, they are probably taking some form of this, unless they reached their "fuck THIS" stage and gave it up. Each pill is huge; they come in a bottle roughly the size and shape of a Red Bull can.
Potential Side Effects: Good lord. One 500mg pill did nothing to or for me, two made me vaguely nauseous and fatigued. It was when I went up to three that the real fun began. Extreme nausea, diarrhea cha cha cha, and a fun thing where you burp a lot and the burps taste like you have been eating a skunk, ass first. I finally had enough and stopped taking them while I was working over the weekend, and guess what happened? I INSTANTLY felt 100% better.

Actos. This is another drug for high blood sugar. Starting today, I'm taking one of these a day instead of that third Metformin.
Potential Side Effects: A whole new set of possibilities! Shakiness, dizziness, sweating, confusion (beyond my usual level, I assume), nervousness or irritability, mood swings, headache, facial numbness, pale skin, sudden hunger, and my favorite, seizures! Wouldn't it be ironic if I got seizures before Schuyler? I went and read what other patients said about Actos, and a lot of them complain about weight gain. Which is funny, since two of the other drugs I'm taking are supposed to cause weight loss. A war is shaping up inside the Rob!

Lisinopril. Okay, so this is the thing I didn't want to talk about last time. This drug is normally used to address high blood pressure, but my BP is normal. In my case, it is being prescribed to arrest and hopefully reverse early signs of kidney failure. Yeah, that's the thing I didn't and don't so much want to talk about.
Potential Side Effects: Dizziness, headache, fatigue, dry cough, muscle cramps, numbness, nausea and diarrhea (well, of course), and a rash (delightful!).

Phentermine. This is my supermodel diet pill.
Potential Side Effects: Restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, headache, insomnia, cha cha cha, and extreme sexiness! Oh, and it is habit forming.

Cinnamon Bark. This is my new age natural supplement to address high blood sugar. No idea if it works.
Potential Side Effects: No idea. Cinnamon taste will make me a more attractive target for cannibals and vampires. Fucking vampires, man. As if life wasn't hard enough already.

Banana. A tasty treat.
Potential Side Effects: Improper disposal of the peel may result in comical injury.

June 9, 2006

I thought drugs were supposed to be fun.

The Prisoner, by Luke Chueh
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
I wonder if I'll get fired from my diabetes blog for what must surely be the very worst blog post ever. It's a very real possibility.

I know I was pretty upbeat last time about my health, but the past two days haven't gone so well. One of the things that Dr. Hottie did was increase my daily dosage of Metformin (the poor man's Glucophage) by another 500mg, and that, possibly along with the Supermodel Diet Pills, has caused my body to reject the very idea of human life in a rather dramatic way. I won't go into a great amount of detail except to say that I'm glad our apartment has two toilets. You figure it out.

I got a call today from Dr. Hottie's office with results from my last round of tests, and it was basically one of those "I've got some bad news and I've got some good news" calls.

Oo, that reminds me of an old favorite joke!

A man has been having serious dental problems, so he goes to see an oral surgeon. The surgeon examines his mouth and then goes off to analyze the results. After a while, he comes back into the office and sits down with his patient. His face is somber.

"Well," he says, "I have some bad news, and then I've got some REALLY bad news. But then I have some good news."

"The bad news," he continues, "is that a rare but serious infection has attacked your teeth. I'm afraid we're going to have to pull every single one of them out."

"Oh my God, that's terrible!" the man cries. "I can't imagine what the REALLY bad news could be!"

"Oh, it's bad," the doctor says. "It turns out that the infection has also moved into your gums. We're going to have to actually go in and file your gums down, all the way to the bone."

By now the man is in tears. "That's horrible," he says. "What good news could you possibly have?"

The doctor looks up at him. "Did you see that good looking receptionist at the front desk when you came in?"

"Yeah?" says the man.

"Well, I'm banging her."

Ha! Anyway.

So the good news is that my blood sugar is actually coming down, slowly but steadily. It's still too high, but not crazy high. More wacky high now.

The bad news, well, just this once I'm going to keep it to myself for a while. I know it sucks to mention something on a blog and then be all "But I can't tell you, tee hee hee!", but we're still processing it and sorting out what it means and what we'll have to do about it. It was unexpected, I'll say that much.

I'm embarking on a crazy weekend where I'm shooting two weddings in two different towns, neither of them local or even all that close, and also working a bridal expo. That's a lot of pretending to be a nice person. This is the first time I've ever been concerned about actually making it through a gig, but I think I'll be okay. The truth is, I feel best when I'm shooting, with all the moving around and thinking on my feet. It's when I'm sitting on the couch watching Battlestar Galactica reruns all day like today that I feel bad.

You know, I'm standing by my assertion that the Diabetes Notes post I mentioned earlier is the worst blog post ever, but now that I look back on it, I think this one maybe runs a close second.

June 6, 2006

Beedies update, originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.

I had my monthly visit to Dr. Hottie today, and it went fairly well. I was all prepared to find out that I am even fatter and lazier than I was last month, but I was surprised to learn that I've actually lost three pounds in the past few weeks. I'm still on the wrong side of where I was the day I was diagnosed and was told that I should lose twenty pounds, but considering that I thought the news would be worse, I was happy to hear that I am at the very least not turning into a chud monster at quite the rate I thought I was.

It's hard, losing weight when you've led a free and easy, chocolate-coated, deep-fried existence. I'm proud of some of the changes I've made. I don't find it all that hard to stay away from sugar stuff (although yeah, I miss me some cookies), and what cravings I do have are easily enough satisfied with some items made with Splenda, things like Sugar Free Jell-o Pudding (but not the Jell-o itself, oddly enough) and some fakey-fake chocolate ice cream by Breyers. There are a number of diet soft drinks I can have, but honestly, I mainly end up drinking lots of Propel.

The thing that's hard to fight is carbs. And honestly, I snack more than I should, and I exercise less than I should, and so I lose less weight than I should. This last twenty (okay, shut up, twenty-five now) pounds is going to be a challenge. It's funny, too, because I have lost about, and this is not a lie, seventy pounds since college. Man, I was a treat for the eyes back then.

To help with these last remnants of Jabba the Huttliness, my doctor prescribed Phentermine, a diet pill that I thought was all controversial until I actually started reading about it. Turns out Phentermine was the "phen" part of Fen-phen, and it was the other part, the Fenfluramine, that was messing people up. Phentermine doesn't appear to be a big deal, although it is very tightly controlled and is not intended for the 125-pound purging sorority girl so much as people with a medical reason to lose weight, like the morbidly obese and, well, me.

As for side effects, Phentermine can affect your blood pressure, but my BP is completely, weirdly normal. According to Dr. Hottie and the stuff I'm reading, it also can make you jumpy, and after one short afternoon on it, all I can say is "yep".

So between the Phentermine and a newly invigorated exercise program (I am Bikezilla these days), be ready for the hot new Rob.

Slim. Sexy. And jumpy as fuck.

May 24, 2006

Ten Things

Hi there
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
(Originally written for Diabetes Notes, but I thought I'd share.)

Here are some things I've learned from my three months as a diabetic.

1) Aspartame makes my blood sugar go all funky.

2) Splenda makes me feel (in the best possible way) like I'm cheating on my diet, and does not appear to make my blood sugar freak out or my liver turn to stone or my brain explode or whatever I keep reading is supposed to happen to me when I eat it.

3) Because of 1), I am sad to part ways with Diet Dr Pepper, alas. I mean, I'm saying goodbye to most diet drinks, but Diet Dr Pepper is the only one that did not taste like it was made with butt.

4) Because of 2), I am now entering into a beautiful long-term relationship with Diet 7-Up, Diet Big Red (which tastes VERY guilty, and probably not what you'd expect a grownup to drink), Sugar Free Jello Pudding (chocolate and the ever elusive vanilla, which I might actually push over an old person to get to if she was standing in front of the display at the grocery store) and Breyer's Carb Smart fake ice cream (but only chocolate; the other flavors are weird, like what an alien might come up with if he were trying to make ice cream back on Mars).

5) As long as I am on a double dose of Glucophage, I should probably stop scheduling important things in the morning. I need that time to sit and be an 80 year-old man for a while.

6) When buying a bicycle for exercise, getting a big heavy one-speed beach cruiser? Pretty fabulously stupid. I'm going to trade up to something practical.

7) When your bike is big and stupid and impractical and hurts to ride up hills? You tend to find excuses not to ride it.

8) When your ass starts expanding for seemingly no reason, see 7).

9) There are some people out there with some pretty strange ideas about diabetes. Every last one of them has a cure for you, if you'll just listen and follow their bizarre advice.

10) Man, I miss pasta.

May 19, 2006

Could be worse. Could be raining.

Shitstorm, by Luke Chueh
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
So let me just put this out there.

I'm not having a swell week.

I had a blood sugar incident two days ago in which, despite doing everything the right way, my blood glucose level reached a dangerous level. Because of this, I have now had my daily dosage of Glucophage doubled. So far, this horse pill double whammy does not seem to have a very marked impact on my blood sugar, but it does leave me feeling nauseous and wiped out, like a puppet who has just gone from being animated and lively to being discarded in the toybox for the night.

My dental adventure has left us financially... anxious. I think that's a nice way to put it.

We're trying to find an affordable, non-thug-filled program for Schuyler for the summer, but those two criteria don't appear to cross paths very often in North Dallas. She might end up needing that shiv after all.

And Julie got so scared by my blood sugar incident that she cried. Hard. I think it's all starting to weigh down on her, too.

So yeah. Here's to next week.

May 11, 2006

I want a new drug.

Pharm-Life, by Luke Chueh
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
After three month of trying to control my blood sugar and weight with diet and exercise, I had my follow-up appointment with Dr. Hottie.

"So, how are you doing?" she asked.

"Well, I'm fat and my blood sugar's too high," I said. "Other than that, I'm swell."

It was true. My blood sugar is down, but not enough, and I actually gained a little weight, which she said was normal. So we moved on to the next step, and that next step is a drug called Glucophage.

It's not a bad one. I don't have to inject anything into my stomach or get bitten by a Gila Monster, for example. It's just a big pill that I take once a day. Glucophage works in three ways. It reduces the amount of glucose produced by the liver, it reduces the amount of glucose absorbed from food through the stomach, and it improves the processing of the body’s naturally produced insulin to reduce the amount of glucose in the blood stream.

It doesn't seem to have many side effects, apart from fucking with my digestive system a little bit. A small number of people can react to it by developing a condition called lactic acidosis, and that can be fatal in about half the people who get it, usually patients with kidney or liver problems. So that's no fun. But so far, I live and breathe.

My eyes are fine, too. You know, aside from their usual state of nearsightedness.

The other thing that Dr. Hottie did was put me on something called the Zone diet. Okay, I admit, that was the day before yesterday, and all I've done so far is buy some of these Zone Perfect bars for my desk drawer at work. Baby steps, you know.

I don't have much else to report, actually. The person who was bitching in my comments about the quality of my writing since I took on my diabetes blog will no doubt be even less thrilled that I am also now writing for a literary blog with my friend Rhys. Yeah, I know. Guess I'll have to start reading now.

This entry might actually be slightly lamer than most, but honestly, I don't have a lot to say today. I'll tell you what. You ask me whatever you want, and perhaps I'll answer your questions in future entries. I promise not to lie unless my true answers are too boring. So get ready to be bullshat.

April 22, 2006

Been better, been worse.

Target, by Luke Chueh
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
Well, it's been a mixed bag of a week. On one hand, people have been slightly more hateful than usual, Schuyler is sick and coughing like a chain smoker, and of course my mouth feels like I've been snacking on glass.

On the other hand, work is going really well, and my pro-blogging career kicked off nicely, by golly. Best of all, I talked to my agent tonight.

And yeah, I still feel like a bit of an asshole when I say that. What are you going to do?

The bad news is that two editors who were very interested in my book changed publishers and are no longer able to publish memoirs. (Imagine, they'd rather change jobs than turn down my agent. I told you she was good.) The good news? Two more editors are looking as we speak, and she's fairly confident that she'll have even better news soon.

I'd be more anxious about it if I actually had a finished book.

We discussed my diabetes diagnosis and whether it should change the direction of my book, and we agreed that it would just be a distraction. Schuyler's monster is both unique and poignant, she said. Diabetes is common and boring.

"No one wants to read about your diabetes, Robert," she said.

Heh. Like I didn't know that already.

April 16, 2006

I'm too sexy for my shoes

Off the Wall
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
Well, almost two weeks after the fact (and a week after all my shoes were sold and shipped off), I got a response from eBay about my naughty shoe listing. I thought it was funny at the time because it seemed pretty obvious that in explaining why they delisted a couple of shoes from my auction, they accidentally sent the "Materials adult in nature or otherwise not appropriate for minors (individuals under 18 years of age) may only be listed in eBay's Mature Audiences area" response instead of "Your shoes are too nasty to sell to other humans".

Turns out that no, they got it right.


Thank you for writing to eBay with your concerns. I am happy to help.

I understand your frustration at having your items ended, however, I carefully reviewed your account, the auctions in question and current eBay policy regarding Used Clothing/Mature Audiences and determined that the correct action was taken.

Since there are sellers who list shoes as fetish items, eBay has adopted strict guidelines for the listing of used shoes.

The following are some examples of what is considered inappropriate in listings on the general site:

* Marketing the person who wore the clothing, rather than the clothing item itself. ("TYLER'S used/worn shoes", "MY used socks", "JOCK WORN/USED", "FRAT BOY WORN/USED", "I have worn this shirt daily as I work out", etc.).

* Any reference to odor or stains.

* No reference to "fetish", "special request" or other sexual innuendo is allowed.

* Indicating the item has not been or will not be properly cleaned (any reference to odor, shipping in a zip lock bag, etc.).

* Images showing the sellers face, whole body or that are sexually suggestive or otherwise inappropriate. In listings for used shoes or socks, the image cannot show above the knee, and the foot must be totally inside of the item being sold (no bare foot in a sock auction; no foot outside shoe even partially, in a shoe auction, etc.).

Any extraneous information such as "Then, about a year ago, my feet started hurting. For some reason, I suddenly couldn't wear my Chuck Taylors or my Vans, forced instead to retreat into the comfort of my big leather Airwalks instead. A few weeks ago, I found out that I have diabetes and will never again be able to wear my hip and happenin' shoes from before. Sad story, I know. Every time I walk into my closet, my old shoes are there, mocking me. It's time to get rid of them and move on with my new life, one with trips to the salad bar and fake foods and no alcohol (no, really), and most of all, with ugly new shoes for my big sad diabetic feet. But don't weep for me, gentle buyer friend with unusually large feet, because my fun happy shoes are going to walk again, perhaps on YOUR big dogs."

It has been my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing eBay and have a great day.


Community Watch Team
eBay Trust & Safety

So really, according to the rules, NONE of my shoes should have been fair game. I managed to slip most of my fetish items past The Man and into the hands of sleazy shoe-fuckers. I made a little money, too. Add pornographer to my list of accomplishments.

Incidentally, if you did buy a pair of my shoes and are currently in a relationship with them, you really are encouraged to keep that information to yourself. I'm just here to bring you together. After that, it's all you.

April 14, 2006

Talking about stuff

Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
I got interviewed!

The site is a diabetic blog, and so most of the questions were about my own experiences with the Beedies. I've done some interviews in the past where the questions made me cringe, but this time around I really liked them, and I tried to answer them as honestly as I could. I don't think I came across as particularly knowledgeable, which of course is sadly accurate, but at the very least I hope I seemed like a nice enough guy who might just get his diabetic crap together before someone has to saw off his feet. In any case, I was very pleased with how it turned out, and it might just lead to some more cool stuff. I'm being vague about that last bit because I know it pisses you off.

It's been a weird few days for me. Yesterday I had an outright bad day. I keep reading that it's bad for diabetics to skip meals, and yesterday I discovered that yes, it is in fact not a good idea for diabetics, or at least this diabetic, to go all day without eating. About the time I left work for the long drive home, my energy dropped dramatically, my feet started to feel like someone was stabbing them with knives, and I got dizzy. As soon as I walked in the door, I fell on the bed and passed out for about half an hour.

Julie found me and (with some effort) woke me up, and I groggily took my blood sugar, expecting it to be badly elevated. Weirdly, though, it was unusually low, almost where it was supposed to me. I had dinner and almost instantly felt much better. I have no idea what happened, although I am pretty sure it was high and then dropped like crazy for some reason. What reason? Who the hell knows? Not me.

So yeah, my body has become a mysterious and hostile organism. Today I didn't mess around. I had breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I got some exercise with Schuyler, who was home from school thanks to the kickoff of Zombie Jesus Weekend. I bought her a little pink soccer ball for three bucks, and it was worth every one of those three hundred pennies. I feel normal tonight, healthy even.

So there's one more bit of advice that didn't make it into the interview. Eat some damn food.

March 22, 2006


Hey, you know how sometimes you just feel down? Like all the little bullshit life things just catch up to you all at once?

That's sort of how I'm feeling these days, on top of not physically doing as well as I want to be.

You know, I joke about being old, fat and drunk, and eating a bunch of crap, but the truth is that according to Dr. Hottie and the diabetes literature, I'm relatively young for diabetes, I only need to lose about twenty pounds, and my diet? Well, yeah, that was pretty bad, but I've never smoked and I haven't been a big drinker for a few years.

All of this is good in the sense that being old and fat is generally considered to be a Bad Thing. I'm no doctor, but ask any old fat person and I'll bet they'll tell you it sucks.

But the bad thing is that my diabetes is probably mostly due to genetics, according to my doctor. (And don't forget, she's hot, so you know she can be trusted.) My father died from his, despite the fact that he was slim and athletic, never smoked and drank only occasionally, in that Texas good ol' boy, "drink a beer while watching the ballgame" sort of way. He was the quarterback in high school and was a coach until the day he died, and yet his diabetes and his heart killed him at the age of 51.

My point is not to be all maudlin about my father (although I get that way this time of year, near the anniversary of his death), but rather to point out that if I were diabetic solely because of my unhealthy lifestyle, I could just change my lifestyle and go a long way towards getting healthy. This might be trickier than I thought, though. Changing the way I live is going to help, but it might not have the drastic improvement that I'm hoping for. Keeping my blood sugar down is hard, and it's not down where it should be by now, and I feel a little like I'm swimming upstream.

But I'll keep trying and keep eating better and exercising more and trying to stay positive about my own health even as I continue to try to help Schuyler (who's having some reading problems in school, as we always feared she would, although really, how do they know, you know?). And I'll try to stay positive about every other little personal thing that comes up in the same way they come up for every person in the world.

But I've got to tell you, just here lately, it's been wearing me down. It won't for long; I'm Chumbawamba, you know.

March 21, 2006

An All Star no more

Purple Chucks
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
The end of an era is nigh. I'm getting rid of my crazy cool hipster shoes.

A few years ago, back when we lived in Connecticut and I had a fancy university job (well, at least that's come full circle), I wrote an entry about my shoe love. There was a time when all I wore were fun tennis shoes, mostly Converse Chuck Taylors and Vans. They were the item of choice when I was in need of retail therapy, and they gave me the illusion of youth. Say what you will about me, but I was a Fun Shoe Guy.

I haven't been able to wear my Chuck Taylors for about a year now, not for any length of time, and since I got my diagnosis, I now know why. I've recently embraced the Way of the Gimp Shoe, although I went with the New Balance which, in addition to being doctor-approved for younger beedies patients with early onset neuropathy issues, are cheaper and much less sad and gimply than the actual medical diabetic shoes. I now have two pairs of shoes that I can wear, as well as my old ugly leather slip-ons. And that's cool, I can deal with that. If I can quit drinking, I can quit wearing fun shoes. (As for the drinking thing, my pancreas is an evil little monster for taking away my booze. Just so you know. I'm a hoot at social gatherings now, trust me.)

The problem for me is that having all my old shoe friends sitting in the closet is both a sad reminder of better days and an unhealthy temptation. The few times I've tried to wear a pair of Chucks or Vans just for old times sake have ended in limping sorrow.

Someone suggested that I try to sell them on eBay, which I thought was both funny and a little nasty. Remember that part about how I wore them almost every day of my life? Even spread out among half a dozen pairs of Chucks and four pairs of Vans, that's still a lot of time spent on my big feet. Even given the fact that I wasn't exactly out there playing basketball in them, we're still talking about shoes that aren't even remotely new.

But I went on eBay, and sure enough, people are selling nasty old Chuck Taylors. I think the key word they all use is "vintage", which in some cases means that they are shoes from like the 60s that haven't been in production for years and would be of interest to collectors. But a lot of the ones I looked at were clearly just used. Still, people are out there buying them.

So sure, I'll give it a shot. I've never sold anything on eBay, but then I never had a hot item like smelly, old, freakishly large, extremely distressed, VINTAGE tennis shoes to offer, either.

March 11, 2006


Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
I miss the healthy person I was a year ago.

I'm impatient to become the person I'll be a year from now, when I have this under control.

Sorry, not having a good health weekend. I'll go back to being amusing next time.

("Wait, you were amusing before?" Shut up, you.)

March 6, 2006

Unhappy Feet

The Titan Gimp Shoe
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
Behold, Dr. Zen's Titan Diabetic Shoe! I do believe that this may just be the most horrible thing I have ever seen in my life. If you saw someone wearing that shoe, you'd want to know what sort of bizarre alien flipper they were hiding inside. And for $109, the Titan Gimp Tard Flipper Shoe does more than suck away your dignity. It drains your bank account, too!

I'm making fun of this shoe because it was one of the worst I found. The truth is, there are actually some that aren't too bad at all, including this semi-badass boot. (How embarrassing would it be to get your ass kicked by a guy wearing orthopedic shoes? Think about that before you trifle with the Rob.) Until Converse decides to tap into the previously underexplored hipster gimp market, this might be the best I can do. (Keep in mind that no matter how Frankensteinian these shoes may look, they'll be even more monsteriffic in a men's thirteen. Nuhr!)

The reason I'm even looking at these shoes is that I've been following up on why my feet hurt so badly. It's called Peripheral Neuropathy, and it's fun fun fun. Basically, it's a relatively common neurological disorder that results from damage to the peripheral nerves and affects a lot of diabetics, like sixty percent. The kind I have is called, delightfully, "painful neuropathy", because really, what are the chances that I'd get the kind that tickles?

The thing that all these shoes have in common besides high fashion is that none of them are cheap. I just got off the phone with my insurance carrier (my current one, courtesy of The Monolith). As I could have predicted, they do not in fact cover diabetic shoes, despite that I have both diabetes and feet, which would seem to be the qualifying factors, but what the hell do I know? Once I start my new job, it'll be a few months before I'll be able to change insurance, so until then, I'll look for other solutions such as inserts.

Truthfully, I'm not in a huge hurry to embrace the Way of the Gimpwear. I just want my feet to stop hurting so much, and getting my blood sugar within a normal range will help with that. Just call me Gimpy McStumbles until then.

March 5, 2006

Beedies for Dummies

Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
Look at that helmet. I had to order it online to get one that wasn't decorated like an MTV ad or shaped like some sort of H.R. Giger creation. I'm all about the simplicity, especially since I'm riding this big Mister Rogers bicycle that doesn't exactly cry out "aerodynamic". Well, and really, neither does my general body shape. No reason my head should slice through the air with ease when the rest of me is putting up such resistance.

I toyed with whether or not my low-impact workout was even going to require a helmet, but if I expect Schuyler to wear one when we're out riding, then I obviously have to set my fatherly example. Also, I still have no idea what will happen to my body when my blood sugar gets weird. I know that when it spikes, my feet hurt, my vision gets blurry, and I get crazy zombie tired, almost to the point of passing out. Well, that's fun. I suppose a helmet is in order. Perhaps I should wear it all the time.

So right this moment, I'm at The Monolith, looking at a magazine called Diabetes Explorer: Type II Essentials. The dietary management section is fun, in that "makes me want to stick something sharp in my jugular" sort of way. Here's a quick list of common high ("bad, will kill you very quickly") and low ("not as bad, but it's still food, so eventually, you're fucked") glycemic foods.

The bad ones are soda, hard candy, white bread, potatoes, bagels, white rice (ah, my sweet sweet rice, I shall miss you so), pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe (which of course I just ate a whole bowl of last night, shortly before leaving my body for a little whimsical flight around the ether), raisins, popcorn.

On the other hand, I can have peanuts, lots of citrus, milk and beans. Ah, the magical fruit. That's good news for me, not so much for the rest of you.

It also talks about how to read nutritional labels. "If dietary fiber is 5 grams or greater then deduct this amount from the total carbohydrate; next, subtract 1/2 of the total amount of sugar alcohol."

Oh crap. The Beedies requires math? I'm going to die for sure.

March 2, 2006

Another Miracle of Modern Medicine

My Beloved Gila Monster
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
One of the nice things about having an online presence (I still hate that other word) is that friends out there in the world will send me cool links to stories about a new diabetes drug made from the slobber of Gila Monsters.

The funny thing is, as far as I can tell, the official site for the drug doesn't mention anywhere that it is made from gila monster drool. Perhaps I'm alone in this, but that's the fun fact that makes me want to learn more about it.

I love that in the midst of all the side effects warnings (the usual fun items like throwing up and diarrhea, cha cha cha), it lists "feeling jittery". I don't know why that cracks me up so much. I halfway expect to see a warning like, "Possible side effects may include the heebie jeebies, the creeps, and the willies."

It's another injectable medicine, by the way. Supposedly it's virtually pain free, so that's good news if you're naive enough to believe it. ("Inject this into your stomach! It doesn't hurt, I promise.") Maybe I should just get a gila monster of my own and let him bite me right before meals. It would make eating out at restaurants more fun.

"You don't mind if I do this at the table, do you?"

I'd name him Frank. I have no idea why. Well, whatever. Look at that photo. Tell me that's not a Frank.

February 24, 2006

Tasty treat for the Rob

Blood oranges
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
How is it that until my best friend at work introduced me to them a few weeks ago, I never knew about blood oranges?

I guess part of why I never knew about them is that they are apparently only available part of the year, and until recently, the produce section of the grocery store was a weird and foreign place that I rarely ventured. Planet Rob didn't have a lot of fruits and vegetables, I confess.

Well, I was missing out. Blood oranges are delicious, and cool to eat, too. I should read up to see what gives them their horror-show appearance, since for all I know, it's something that's on the Forbidden Rob Foods list. (Am I allowed to consume blood? Let me check my Beedies exchange pocket guide.) But yeah, it looks like blood. If you peel a slice just right, it looks like you're a zombie, dining on human body parts. Tell me a cooler way to eat if you can. You can't.

I realize that sweet fruits are still probably not the best snack for me; much better that I eat a raw carrot or a stack of Post-it notes. But compared to the things I used to eat, it's a huge step in the right direction. They're not fried, and they're not coated in chocolate. Let me be.

I feel like a vampire right now, and a workplace vampire at that.