How are the holes in your boat?

This past week Judith made one of her typically wonderful statements and I do not want it to get lost. The discussion in question centered on a blog I wrote titled “Yelling Fire in a crowded Theater” it is located at:

It is small little blog and really it is of little consequence except for the one part that is profound from my friend Judith and her words just blew me away. Here is what Judith wrote:

“We are all in the same boat. It just sinks a little differently for each of us. Mine just developed a new hole or two that need bailing. I'm T2, but what I have learned from T1s and LADAs here on TuD is invaluable. It is preparing me for the next phase of this progressive scourge. I have felt shut out lately for trying to participate in any discussion out of narrow boundaries that are defined by "Type" ” (Judith From Portland, 2014).

What a terrific and sad metaphor. Over the last week I have been working on four guest blogs for other sites and I have written this blog now 3 times. Each time I write it, I just scratch it out and go on and do something else. The thing is I cannot write a blog worthy of Judith’s statement. This is my 246th blog for I appreciate each and every comment I get about one of my blogs, the ones that take exception, the ones that simply say hey I read your stuff, and of course the ones that say great blog or something to that effect. Over the year and one half I have been writing blogs here Judith has given me more than a few pats on my back, but nothing she has ever written touched me like this statement and metaphor. It is haunting I think because I think it is true.

While I wrote blogs about this statement for other sites, I just could not submit them for consideration. The reason is that her comments are really for the people of this site. I felt it would have been an injustice to carry this conversation outside our community.

I wonder how many of us have holes in our boat that we are bailing. I have several and I often rely on folks on this site along with my wife Sheryl to help me bail the water. In a way being on this site makes my bailing bucket bigger. Because I am here I get more hands on deck to plug the holes both metaphorically and sometimes physically. That makes this site special and different than purely informational sites. Many places have great information, none I know of have such terrific helpers, to jump in and bail.

But here is the thing; we really have to guard against being type oriented. I have been type 1 for over 40 years but I know so little about type 2 that often times when I see a type 2 discussion occurring I move on. I mean what can I offer? Not much really. But maybe that is the wrong question. Maybe I should enter those discussions, because just maybe something type 2’s, know will add to my bailing bucket.

Understandings of and treatments for these two causes of Diabetes are merging. Some scientists believe there is a genetic link to Type 2 (Winter, 2012). Victoza is being used by some type 1’s to smooth out their use of insulin (Close, 2010). Type 2’s are wearing pumps (Reznik & Cohen, 2013). Instead of diverging, our diabetes treatments and understanding are getting more similar. We have no reason to refrain from engaging each other.

Thank you Judith for hitting me upside the head about my shortsightedness, thank you for reminding me we have much to share and learn from each other. Just as important thank you for planting a seed in my mind about one of my shortcomings, I do need to listen in on and comment about type 2 discussions. Thank you for being a terrific friend. Friends often reflect back our own frailties. What you said gave me so much to think of. I appreciate what you do here.


Close, K. (2010). Victoza for People with Type 1 Diabetes? Retrieved September 2, 2014, from

Judith From Portland. (2014). Retrieved August 30, 2014, from

Reznik, Y., & Cohen, O. (2013). Insulin Pump for Type 2 Diabetes: Use and misuse of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 36(Supplement 2), S219-S225. doi: 10.2337/dcS13-2027

Winter, S. (2012). Is it In Your Genes: Type 2 Diabetes. Retrieved September 2, 2014, from



Views: 197

Tags: Blog, Boat, Judith, Phillips

Comment by David (dns) on September 2, 2014 at 8:59am

Someone told me to read this because (she said) "it's a home run." She was mistaken. It's a grand slam.

I am T2. I am also an insulin user. The issues an insulin user faces are the same for each user. Lows, highs, dosing, cost. Why shut yourself out of half the conversation? Never made any sense to me. I read everything I can find.

I don't use a pump or CGM, either, so I know nothing about them from direct experience. Therefore, I pay attention to those discussions. In the first place, those tools might be in my future. In the second place, I want to be able to answer questions accurately and intelligently.

A dear friend who pumps and is T1 said to me, "I am totally unaware of how to use levemir and lantus, but I want to learn so I sit back and observe the conversations."

You don't know what tomorrow holds and you don't know what you might have to deal with in the next 5 minutes. To me, it makes no sense not to learn everything you can.

But beyond all of that, we're here to support one another. In my universe, that means we ALL support ALL of us.

Comment by Dan P on September 2, 2014 at 9:00am

Excellent and well said, as usual Rick. Its true...we ALL diabetics need to realize we can...and SHOULD...learn from one another. No matter our "type".

Comment by Lloyd on September 2, 2014 at 9:15am

About 30% of type 2's are on insulin.
About 10% of pumpers are type 2.
Type 1's with insulin resistance are finding metformin (a mainstay of type 2 treatment) to be very helpful.

We can all learn from each other.


Comment by curlysarah on September 2, 2014 at 9:23am

Rick, again you hit the nail right on the head. Being open minded is exactly what we all need to do. Understanding what each other goes through will help us all get through the fight together.

Comment by Pastelpainter on September 2, 2014 at 12:58pm

I have learned so much from this site, both from T1 and T2 forums. I will be forever grateful. Thank you for spelling this out for us so well.

Comment by Stemwinder (Gary) on September 2, 2014 at 2:44pm

If you read my comments on my profile you will see that I consider my treatment more like that of a T1 than T2. I am definitely a T2, my diabetes has just progressed to this stage. I count carbs and dose insulin just like a T1 and I do it with a pump.

So I read most discussions for both types because it may just apply to me and I learn so much that I feel I can help with a T1 question in a pinch, although I usually let the T1 experts do it.

I am after all T2 and there are thing about being T1 that I probably never will fully understand but I continue to try.

Comment by Kathy on September 2, 2014 at 4:51pm

Yowzah, Rick, if you're speaking about holes, I'm a sieve!!!
I frequently feel left out of discussions because I do not pump or have a cgm. Yet, we all overlap into that "grey area" of coping with a chronic disease.
I have had the pleasure of meeting Judith in person twice and can say that her wisdom and kindness or exemplary.

Comment by Judith in Portland on September 2, 2014 at 9:26pm

"Blessings on us all" is heartfelt and all I ever wish for....Thank you, Rick, I am honored....

Comment by angivan on September 28, 2014 at 7:11pm

It's all the same ol' crap, Type 1, 2, LADA, and whatever new category they come up with next! The bottom line is that a very important metabolic function in our bodies is broken, some more extreme than others, but it's HARD. Some more water just leaked into my boat this week when I was told I have Stage 2 kidney disease. I'm not in dire straits yet, but I am overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to balance a low sodium diet with a low carb diet and still trying to have a life in the meantime. That is a struggle we can all relate to. Thank you for your blog!


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