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Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015, 11:23 am
IT IS ALIVE: Diabetes, Patreon, and Just Missing LJ

Good lord, I'm doing LJ once every six months now. I really, really have to spend more time here.

I admit, it's just easier to post on FB. And many of my friends have migrated there. So it's been really easy to not visit LJ. Which isn't fair to LJ, or to all of you.

A lot of you are NOT on FB. And I miss you.

So... what's been happening? Well, you likely heard the biggest thing: my marginal diagnosis of type 2 diabetes went full-blown on FenCon weekend, and I ended up in the hospital for three days. Blood sugar somewhere over 600. (All possible praise for Tim Morgan, Sarah Brigdon, Tim and Russ Miller, and everybody else on the FenCon staff. They took care of me, and possibly even saved my life.) Fortunately, the hospital staff got me down to manageable levels, and I was able to soldier on to ConTraFlow in NOLA.

I now log everything I eat on My Fitness Pal. I've dropped Pepsi completely. And I've dropped salty snacks by 75-80%. Result: since the end of September, I've lost somewhere between 75 and 85 lbs. Blood sugar is well under control, I'm eating better, I feel better. Mind you, I'm still a 340-350-lbs. guy. But that beats the hell out of 425. And, while it might be difficult, getting down to 250 lbs. no longer seems impossible. I'm literally almost halfway there.

Getting my body chemistry working better has also done wonders for my head and my attitude. I'm actually spending four or five hours a day working on music again. I've spent a lot of time learning new mixing techniques, exploring my audio toys, and finding out that I am getting better at it.

I'm also writing more songs again. And I just launched a Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/filkertom), where you can support me on a by-song basis, i.e., I release a new song, you give me some money. I hope you'll check it out.

I could go into a lot more detail, and maybe later I will, but right now this is just a hey-how-are-ya touching-base kinda thing. So... how are you? Those of you not on FB, what's been going on? I hope you're all well, or at least not all bad.

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC)

Hey Mister Man!

So good to see you back here, as it always is. Also good to have a health update, because as I'm not on FB and I haven't seen you at a con in ages, I hadn't heard a blessed thing. Getting the blood sugar under control changes everything, doesn't it? My stepfather had a similar crises a few years ago, and his life improved dramatically (well, for a while. But the man is 82).

Life here is very good (I know you don't really know who I am, but you did ask *grins*). I was invited to vend for the whole season of the Maryland Renaissance Festival last year, and it was a hell of a lot of work, but also fantastic. I'll be there again this year!

I really ought to be making dragons like crazy, but I've fallen down the rabbit hole of cosplay, and am not entirely sure when that will settle down. Hopefully by/after (Re)Generations at the end of the month.

So very happy to see your post, hope to see more!

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 03:46 pm (UTC)

Awesome. I'm an enthusiastic amateur cosplay fan -- basically, I love costumes, and love seeing what other people do. Most excellent luck with the Maryland Fair, and with getting back to dragons, and hey! I'll be at ChessieCon in Timonium this Thanksgiving, if you want to come up and say Hi!

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 06:22 pm (UTC)

I have vague hopes of getting out to Chicago TARDIS that weekend - can't ever get to LI Who, as it's the same weekend as another show I do. But I keep an eye out for your name at the conventions where I vend - not that I'll ever get out of the dealer's hall to see you at DragonCon!

Were you at ChessisCon last year?

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 11:07 pm (UTC)

I was indeed. Lots of fun!

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 04:45 pm (UTC)

Glad to see you post here. I stay away from Facebook because I don't want to sell myself to someone so evil. Definitely happy to hear that you're working on more music.

As for me, I've fully recovered from the surgery and my physical health seems to be fine, but mentally and life wise, I'm not in a very good place.

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 11:07 pm (UTC)

Very glad for the physical recovery! Sorry about the rest -- anything in particular? (Obviously, you don't have to share if you don't want to.)

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 06:58 pm (UTC)

Thanks for the update on your health! (I'm not on FB myself.) Best wishes on curbing the sugar monster swimming through your veins.

I'm keeping a weather eye on my own blood sugar, since my family has a history of Type 2 diabetes that's been showing up in my older siblings (including the stick-thin one, btw) - trying to cut back the empty carbs and step up the greenery, as well as hitting my condo pool (swimming is God's gift to fat folks, if it's doable for you) so it won't be as drastic a lifestyle change when it does arrive.

Preparing to head for my mom's 90th birthday celebration. Just hope all the siblings behave - some of us like to re-enact scenes from Tennessee Williams plays when we get together.

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 11:09 pm (UTC)

Continued good luck on the Type 2. I'm working on pool possibilities for the year. And congrats on your mom's 90th! If things don't work out, you can flog your siblings with copies of the movie Home for the Holidays.

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 08:14 pm (UTC)

My life has been several shades of busy, some in good ways, and some not so much. We're gearing up for Passover, still mourning Nimoy and Pratchett, still shaking our heads at too many bad or sad or stupid things, and still finding the music.

We are in a rather long break from cons, with no Lunacon this year and nothing in sight till Concertino. Funny how you start to miss it, especially when you want a nice filk room.

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 11:09 pm (UTC)

Roger that, my friend. OVFF? ChessieCon?

Thu, Mar. 19th, 2015 12:27 am (UTC)

Looking good for both, but not set in stone for either just yet. ChessieCon has the advantage of being over a weekend when no one expects you to think about work.

Thrilled to see you are coming back east for Chessie.

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 08:35 pm (UTC)

Congratulations on your weight loss victory! We will be cheering on further success and wellness for you.

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 11:09 pm (UTC)

Thanks so much! Yeah, I'm doing okay. Working on good.

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 10:07 pm (UTC)

Hiya! Glad to hear your health has improved. I hope to see you at Sasquan - I signed up for the Patreon too! ;)

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 11:10 pm (UTC)

Sasquan indeed! And thanks for signing up! I should have the first song by the weekend.

Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 10:51 pm (UTC)

Hey Tom

Glad you are still kicking. Glad to have an update. I am on fb. I liked your page and followed you some years ago and I don't think I have ever seen anything from you cross my feed. fb sucks!

I got diagnosed with diabetes in 2014 too.

Looking forward to hearing more of your music.


Wed, Mar. 18th, 2015 11:11 pm (UTC)

Hey, Peter! Yeah, Facebook has this odd notion that you don't want or have to see anything by your, y'know, ACTUAL FRIENDS. Frustrating. Good luck with the diabetes -- it's a pain, but it's manageable, I promise!

Thu, Mar. 19th, 2015 12:15 am (UTC)

Good to hear from you. Sorry to hear about the hospital stay, but great to hear about the progress.

It's been an interesting 2015 so far. Much heavier work travel schedule than the past few years. On the bright side, one of those trips resulted in my being able to make Conflikt and two others were to places that were MUCH warmer than the DC area was at the time.

In the midst of Balticon planning. We have catalana as our Music GOH, plus decadentdave, Cheshire Moon and Sassafrass on the bill. And papersky as the Author GOH. Should be a great con!

There are other things going on that I don't want to blather about on a social network. But they are good things.

Fri, Mar. 20th, 2015 04:58 pm (UTC)

Good things are good. Didn't I see and even hug you and Sheryl at ChessieCon?

Sun, Mar. 22nd, 2015 06:33 pm (UTC)

You did indeed. Chessie's in our home state, which makes it fairly easy to get to. We should be back in November.

Thu, Mar. 19th, 2015 07:08 am (UTC)

I keep up with you on FB.

But I like LJ better.

I have a con this weekend (MidSouth in Memphis) And one in 2 weeks (Frolic in Atlanta) And in between, i have a woodworking project to do and a novel to finish editing.

Fri, Mar. 20th, 2015 04:58 pm (UTC)

Sounds good. Be save, have fun, and keep warm thoughts -- I want winter to be the heck over!

Thu, Mar. 19th, 2015 05:27 pm (UTC)

Very glad you're doing better!

Fri, Mar. 20th, 2015 04:59 pm (UTC)

:) I really am. Thank you! *hugs*

Thu, Mar. 19th, 2015 07:12 pm (UTC)

I don't keep up with FB a whole hell of a lot and mostly skim. I'm sorry to hear that your health went to hell and glad that you are now doing much better.

Take good care of yourself, Flaquito, and *chunkyhugs*.

Edited at 2015-03-19 07:13 pm (UTC)

Fri, Mar. 20th, 2015 04:59 pm (UTC)

Right back atcha, sweetie! I hope to get back to FenCon this year....

Fri, Mar. 20th, 2015 02:59 am (UTC)

HI TOM. *confettis you*

Fri, Mar. 20th, 2015 05:00 pm (UTC)

HI BATYA. *gives a little "foof" to get confetti out of his bangs*

Thu, Apr. 23rd, 2015 05:19 pm (UTC)

Welcome back!

That's a dramatic diabetes discovery story! I just noticed I was drinking more. Good on the not-dying.