Archive for June, 2010

MORE Upcoming Book Signing Events

June 15, 2010

FYI:  A. K. Buckroth will be available to sign your copy of “My Diabetic Soul- An Autobiography” about living with diabetes for fifty years.  The following sites with the appropriate dates are available for your convenience:

Saturday, July 17, 5 – 7pm, Placerville News Company, 409 Main Street, Placerville, CA, 95667 (Courtesy of Ms. Mary Meaden and Family).

Sunday, July 18, 3:00pm, Atria Covell Gardens, 1111 Alvarado Avenue, Davis, California, 95616 (Courtesy of Kathryn Green).

Monday, July 19, 7 – 9pm, Fair Oaks, CA, Library, SIDE DOOR, 11601 Fair Oaks Boulevard, 95628.  (Courtesey of the Sacramento Suburban Writers Club Monthly Meeting.)  Other authors will be available as well.

Saturday, August 14, 1:00pm, Borders Bookstore, 2030 Douglas Boulevard, Roseville, California, 95661 (Courtesy of Bill Walker).

Friday, August 27th, 7:00am, Amador County, CA, Television Station TSPN TV, Inc.  (Courtesy of Sue Slivick).

Saturday, August 28, 1 – 4pm, Hein & Company Bookstore, 204 Main Street, Jackson, CA  95642 (Courtesy of Wendy and Rob Ashton).

Saturday, September 25, TBA, Borders Bookstore, 2765 East Bidwell, Folsom, CA  95630 (Courtesy of Bill Walker).

Proceeds will help benefit The Barton Center for Diabetes Education.

A. K. Buckroth,


“Let’s Stop for Coffee!”

June 15, 2010

“Hey, let’s stop for coffee” I proclaimed during a brief, but not unusual, road trip.

“Yah, let’s.  And I’ll get one of my favorite teas,” my friend replied. 

“Do you want me to drive through or would you like to go inside, then sit on the patio and people watch?” I asked. 

“Let’s people watch,” she said.  “We”ll sit outside and make up people stories as folks come and go.”

Simple fun between two adults.  Nothing unusual these days.  Coffee and tea service has positively roared in this young century.  Popularized with fast-food convenience, grande lattes and iced frappes, to name only two choices, are easy to come by. 

My favorite is a grande latte, sugar-free hazelnut with soy.  Mm, mm, mm.  However, such a treat was changed, had to be, due to consequential high blood sugars.  I was astoundingly quizzical until… Taking for granted that the “sugar-free” flavoring was harmless, I did not realize that another favored and popular ingredient – soy milk – was not.

This came to my abrupt attention when watching my grande latte being made.  I happened to notice that the carton of soymilk being used had read: “Vanilla.”  OMG!  Already knowing that flavored soymilk has sugar as an ingredient, I asked the latte creator if there was sugar in the soy.  “Hmm, let me look,” she said.  “Yep, 13 grams of sugar.”  Much to my chagrin, I told her that I could not drink that.  “I am diabetic;  now I know why it tasted too good to be true.”  Not only did my blood sugar soar after such minute enjoyment, but I quickly became slow-paced, on the road to lethargism.  These are my body signs proving what sugar does to me – makes me sick and tired.

After too many years of sparse enjoyment, now I understand.  Since then, I have not stopped visiting coffee houses, but I surely changed my drink of choice: “Cafe Latte, Sugar-free Hazelnut (or Vanilla) with Sugar-free Soy, if available.  Otherwise, non-fat milk.”

Once again, change brings chaos and chaos brings change!  Buyers beware, ESPECIALLY if you are diabetic or diet restricted!

Enjoy!  A. K. Buckroth,

Pump Up The Jam!

June 15, 2010

This particular blog will intimately and ultimately refer to my personal use of various and popularly known insulin pumps. 

The phrase “Pump Up The Jam,” has become a personal cliché that I have used for many years dealing with diabetes.  Before insulin pumps came into flamboyant popularity, a particular song entitled “Pump Up The Jam by Technotronic, 1989,  was adopted through a need for self-expression.  Technotronic helped me to achieve this.

Pumping on to a present-day conundrum, I have quit the pump.  You see, my original purchase was glorified and its machinations remained faithful for eleven years.  At one time, an endocrinologist begged me to try a competitor.  I did.  He earned a trip to Hawaii and that particular pump ceased its service(s) and sent me to the hospital with ketosis.  Not good. Another story. 

With that drama aside, I was able to return to my original and beloved insulin pump and its organization.  Thinking that I was comfortably back to my original brand after insurance tedium,  this company sold out to another well-known diabetes tool supplier.  The next three years brought off-and-on havoc.  For instance, necessary insets and tubings were changed, battery types were changed, my blood sugars became a daily roller-coaster, my HbA1C levels rose, my give-a-care waned, and this particular company blamed me for “having too much scar tissue” and that is why the pump did not work.  Well, after over fifty years of needling and pricking myself in one way or another, of course I have too much scar tissue! 

Onto my THIRD insulin pump manufacturer, this relationship lasted four weeks, tops

Weeks passed as I volleyed between plastic and stainless steel cannulae (aka: infusion sets), constantly and consistently rotating my body target sites.  The pump’s “error” messages and vibrations were unending, ceaseless day and night, and became embarrassing.  The required AA batteries lasted less than ten days, the clip to hold the pump on my waistband broke, and that was it!  The last straw!  I decided to care for myself and my disease with insulin injections.

Chaos brings change and change brings chaos.

Presently, I am in my fifth week of ‘shooting up the jam’ as opposed to ‘pumping up the jam’ with multiple (six) injections per day.  This many injections per day is due to the fact that I use Apidra and Levemir insulins that cannot be mixed together. 

Acceptance breeds tolerance.    

At this writing, I have not notified my endocrinologist, nor my internist, nor my general medical practitioner.  I know what to do, how to do it,  where to do it and why to do it.  After all, I have been diabetic longer than they have been alive and longer than they have been medical practitioners!  They will all find out soon enough – when I need refills.

 Do widzenia.

A. K. Buckroth (aka: Andrea K. Roth),


Clinitest Tablets

June 10, 2010

OMG!  Clinitest Tablets!  Who remembers these, raise your hands?!  Writer/Author Kelly Rawlings flashed me wa-aa-ay back to my past, to my childhood, when I had  to use this product to test the glucose amount in my urine.  Yuck! That was all we diabetics had back in the day!

By prescription, these highly poisonous tablets were in a dark-colored glass bottle.  Heck, if my memory serves me right, there could have been twenty-five tablets in any particular bottle.   I would handle these things every day, at least four times a day, for glucose testing in order to regulate my daily insulin injection amounts.  Such a tablet was the size of a modern day daily supplement; either dark blue or dark gray in color, they had white speckles on them.  The overpowering, nasty smell alone caused me to hate them, caused me to hate that testing procedure!  More often than not, my mother had to yell at me to get it done, especially since she was the ‘insulin drawer.’  After reading Ms. Rawlings’ twitter, that old smell, from thirty-five years ago, came wafting to my olfactory memory membranes once again.  Yuck. 

To further enlighten your senses, let me share an excerpt from my book, page 15:

 “Returning to the topic of my initial care when first diagnosed [with diabetes] in 1959, I had to continue to use a “potty seat.”  In fact, I continued to have to use a variety of potty seats until I was 15 years old.  Who knew?  This was the easiest way to collect urine for absolute and necessary testing for glucose four times a day.  However, due to school hours, it was done twice a day.

“Using what is known as a “Clinitest kit” that was stored in the bathroom medicine cabinet, it smelled funny – horribly bad – and distinctive.   

“Five drops of urine with ten drops of water in a glass tube [vial]; drop in a [Clinitest] tablet and watch it fizz, fizz, fizz as it turned colors: colors from bright blue, timid green, bright yellow or burning orange were displayed. Either of these colors indicated the level of glucose – sugar – in my bloodstream albeit through my urine. Yellow and orange gave the impression that the glucose level was high; whereas, green and blue were good, implying that the glucose level was low. The process was scary to see as a child and I certainly never ever wanted to touch one, afraid it would burn me.

“Yes, quite odd, albeit historic, compared to the machination processes of today. In my mind, yellow and orange signified “bad” colors. This meant I did something wrong. Maybe I ate too much. Or maybe I ate something I wasn’t supposed to eat. Those colors told me something was wrong with my body, my diabetes. Did I have an infection? Was my body giving me a signal for something? Fear. Fear introduced itself to me before I even knew what fear was. ”

“Ironically, … the colors yellow and orange are my favorite colors to this day.  This type of testing, … would continue for many years to come.”

I realize now that yellow and orange are my favorite colors because I refuse to give in to negativity.  It just as simple as that.  Thank you, Ms. Rawlings, for reminding me.

A. K. Buckroth, “My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography,” 2010,

“Cyborg Rights”

June 10, 2010

Continuing with this newly acclaimed title not of my creation, I will allude to a recent Twitter by Alasdar Wilkins.  Although his blog article subjects the reader to in-depth thinking, I have, nonetheless,  become more comfortable by publicly admitting to being a cyborg.

Wilkins writes “Though creatures like the Terminator are still scifi dreams, cyborgs already exist in real life. Millions of people use mechanical implants to improve their lives. That opens up urgent questions about cyborg rights, particularly in athletics.”  I find the keyword here to be “rights.”

I am an insulin pump user.  Have been for fifteen years.  In my recently published autobiography, page 215, I bring up the fact of being a cyborg as follows:  “Thus, I claim fame to being a cyborg.  I walk around in life with a 3.5 ounce machine clipped to by belt, bra, waistband, or in a pant or skirt pocket that is both comfortable and big enough to hold it.  A clear plastic tube no more than 24 inches in length dangles between the pump and my body site.  This allows a life-giving and necessary human hormone to drip [insulin] into my person every three minutes.  If that’s not a cyborg, I don’t know what is!”  Etcetera, etcetera.

I not only credit Mr. Wilkins for this recent article, but the term “cyborgization” will now be adopted, at least by me.   Having seen this specific word for the first time, it brought a smile to my face.  

Just more food for thought.  It is what it is and that’s all there is.

A. K. Buckroth, “My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography,” 2010,

The Illusive Conclusive Raccoon

June 7, 2010

This is the conclusive follow-up to a story written in May, 2010, entitled “A Raccoon In the Attic” by A. K. Buckroth – me!

To refresh your memories, a soft spot in the ceiling of my husband’s wood shop had given way.  Black mold due to extended and ignored moisture caused part of the ceiling to cave in.   The resultant hole in the ceiling became a hole in the roof that granted easy access for any type of rascal to gain comfortable entry.   Our particular rascal happened to be a raccoon. 
As the story went, a trap was set: a specific type of metal ‘racoon trap’ with dog food and peanut butter in it because that is what his brother told him to use, and then he ingeniously rigged the trap to the roof of the building using  yellow nylon rope.  This rope was purposely wrapped inside the door of the trap and then each end of it extended ten feet in both directions – from the north side of the wood shop to the south.  Can you see it?  Visualize it?
Day-after-day I was directed and reminded to “watch the rope.  If it becomes taut, that means we got ‘im.”  Or “her,” whichever the case may be; I suspected the raccoon to be a nesting female.  
Thinking for sure that a loud crash, bang, boom would awaken us after we settled in for a night, meaning that the raccoon was caught, that did not happen.   Instead, six days later, during a bright Saturday’s mid-morning rope check, the rope was indeed taut.  “Hon,” I yelled and scurried through the back door.  “The rope is taut.  Come see.”
Hearing this news, such excitement in this particular grown man was comparable to a child on Christmas morning!  Quickly donning his dirt/work boots, gloves, flashlight and safety glasses, once again he climbed the carefully positioned ladder.  Sure enough, the raccoon was in the cage.  Having not only eaten the dog food and peanut butter, but the plastic cup that held it was gnawed apart and eaten as well.  Poor thing was mighty hungry.
Untying the rope ends, hubby lifted the caged animal through the roof hole. Delicately climbing down the awaiting ladder with it in one hand, the raccoon seemed to playfully paw at my husband.  Rather docile, I got the immediate impression that it was used to humans.  No, we had no intentions of playing back!
Gently placing its caged self in the back of the pick-’em-up truck, we purposely drove it to the nearby river for release.  Once there, the raccoon had to be coaxed to leave the cage.  Strange.  After a few long seconds, my husband tilted the cage forward and tapped it with a stick.  I ran twenty feet in the opposite direction, of course, chicken that I am.   The raccoon darted out of there in such a quick blur of motion with air, it could not be seen.  Straight through the trees, over the rocks and boulders, down hill to the river, we know it will be fine.
Glad that we were responsible for its proper entrapment and release, work on the roof and the ceiling is under way.  The comfortable nest area made from the existing fiberglass insulation will be replaced along with dry-wall, plywood and shingles.  Such is life in our rustic suburbia.  Ahh, it is good.
A. K. Buckroth

U. S. Naval EOD

June 1, 2010

Having been unfamiliar with the United States Naval EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) until recently, my daughter  has excitedly informed me and her father that she has been accepted into this prestigious program. 

“The United States Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians render safe all types of ordnance, including improvised, chemical, biological, and nuclear.  [Ordnance is artillery; all weapons and ammunition used in warfare.]  The technicians perform land and underwater location, identification, render-safe, and recovery (or disposal) of foreign and domestic ordnance [aka: bombs].”  (  If you are a parent, would not such facts raise hairs on the back of your neck?!   

“What do you think?  How do you feel about this?’  have been the first remarks from others.  Well, I have always been excited when she was excited, happy when she is happy, etc.   That hasn’t changed and never will.  After all, one of my life-time duties as a mother is to pray and then be concerned on the verge of worrying.  I accept that she always wanted to enter a U. S. military organization; I accept that she is mature enough to make her own decisions without regret; I know that she is an extremely intelligent young woman, empowered with already having made mature and lifetime decisions.  She is responsible, she is dependable.  She is all good things.  She is my heart.  She is my daughter.

It is my selfishness that would hold her back and I will not allow that to happen.  It is my selfish love that does not want to be without her for years at a time.   With all this in and on my mind, I wanted to share – vent – with you, dear readers. 

Simply and unending, God Bless our Military, their Families that stand FOR each end every soldier, with each and every Citizen of these United States.  Amen.

A. K. Buckroth. MA, Author,