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Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Complications, General, Type 1 Diabetes | 32 comments

Pickles are important

Pickles are important

I received my pickle over 60 years ago.  I have had it all my life.  Shortly after others saw my pickle, it was shaved and after that, my pickle pretty much just grew along with me.

At times my pickle seemed to have a mind of its own.  It seemed like it wanted to explore anywhere and everywhere.  It tried to roam near and far mostly with me in tow until I was 18.  Then my pickle settled down and became less important.

Things like backpacking, cars, work and family became important to me.  Over the years my pickle would seek attention and then it might drift away.  I suppose looking back on it, like most men, my pickle has always been important.


After I was diagnosed with diabetes, my pickle seemed alright. The doctor warned me that someday my pickle might not be resilient if I did not take care of my diabetes.  Of course, I didn’t listen. I had other things to worry about.  Then in my 30’s my pickle stopped being so crisp.  When that happened, I went to see a pickle specialist.  This person took an interest in my pickle and offered a solution to my pickle problem.  This pickle specialist offered an AMS 700 to solve my increasingly annoying pickle problem.  The AMS 700 is a special type of pickle packer which helped my pickle be crisp again without using painful injections.  My newly packed pickle was great because I hated putting needles into my pickle.

While all this worked, it was not an ideal pickle solution.  My pickle was not as crisp as it was when I was 20.  But regardless my pickle did function.  I enjoyed my new pickle possibilities.  Even a specially packed pickle is better than a pickle that is not crisp.

The pickle specialist always reminded me to take care of my pickle.  I was warned to practice caution while I went about my life.  The pickle specialist said it was possible to bruise my pickle and if I did it may no longer be stout.  I was cautioned to keep my pickle out of unwelcoming environments.  But most important of all, I was reminded that I had to watch for a special pickle blight called infection.

Bad toe and more

Things went along well for over 20 years and then on December 21, 2017, I encountered a bad toe.   I took all appropriate actions.  I informed my doctors of my special pickle arrangement, and I took care to follow the instructions of the surgeon.  All seemed well with my pickle and other parts when I went home the very next day to celebrate Christmas.

After I got home, I developed two red patches on my back.  Then my mouth became infected.  But still, I did not worry.  Surely my many parts would be fine.  I had these types of things before, and while these minor infections are annoying, it was routine for a person who uses powerful medication to control his Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Then on Christmas evening, my pickle started to look different.  It took two days to see my new pickle specialist.  When he saw my pickle, he admitted me to the hospital immediately.  I had a night of special medicine, but my pickle was not responding.  Then on December 28, I had emergency pickle surgery.  It turns out my AMS 700 pickle packer had developed the dreaded blight of infection.   It was a difficult evening.

The good news is I still have my pickle.  My hip, heart, toe, ankle, and pickle are all infection free.  Recovery has been a long road since the start of 2018.  But I am getting better.  My pickle will never be the same, and that will be alright.  Someday I may have another packed pickle, but I must wait at least six months or maybe more.  In the meantime, I have an unpacked pickle that remains very important to me.  Even if it is not as crisp as before.



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  1. Get well soon, Rick!

    • Thank you Emma. It has been a tough road back but I am doing well.

  2. Oh Rick! I’m so sorry…what a pickle 😂 Sorry, I know it’s not funny but my husband & I just laughed so hard reading this post. It’s brilliant & your sense of humour in such a difficult & painful event is just priceless.
    I’m so glad you are feeling better. Not the Christmas you would have hoped for.
    Thinking of you

    • Sam, I am so glad you laughed. I tired hard to make the post both informative and funny. It is difficult to know if you succeed with funny until you put it out there. Thank you so much for the comment.

  3. Damn. You think you’d catch a break! Damn RADiabetes and pickles.

    Take care. Never lose your humor. It’s what sustains us thru the lows.

    • When a man’s pickle is in a difficult situation (not of his own making) you can really only laugh. Thank you so much for catching the humor and seriousness of the post.

  4. Rick –
    Sending you lots of positive and healing vibes my friend.
    Sharing with grace, humor, and strength to all of us who care and are continually inspired by you. Xoxo

    • Thank you, Kelly. I have always been inspired by reading your blog so the feeling is mutual I appreciate that you commented on the humor, I was so afraid it might fall flat.

  5. Dude, I’m sure this was a real letdown.:( Hope you and your pickle are functioning as normal very soon.

    • Stephen, thank you for the comment. My pickle was in a real pickle, so I am learning to live with its current state of pickledom.

  6. Oh man! What a rough patch! I’m sorry to hear about all of the trouble. Sending positive vibes for a smooth recovery, brother!

    • Things are getting better each day. But you know those pickles, well they are sensitive.

  7. Rick I too was smiling reading this, though obviously not at your pickle predicament 😊 glad you’re feeling better, sending love & light 🙏💙

    • Denise, I am so glad you found the humor. What choice do we have except to be have fun with adversity. But the good news is that things are better each day. It is always good to know your pickle survived, a pickle.

  8. Rick – You crack me up! But seriously, not fun. Sorry to hear! Will be praying for you, your pickle and Sheryl. Hope you get better soon

    • You know if it was not funny, it would be serious and while this could have been serious it is mostly OK. Thankfully the infection has passed so that is good and I have a great new story and as I type this a florescent orange cast. I was going to go with florescent green, but Sheryl orange would match my jumpsuit someday.

  9. Oh, Rick, this was hard to read. I had no idea all this was happening. I am thankful for not only your great humor but Sheryl’s as well. Keep getting better, please!

    • Thank you so much for the concern. Things are better now. The infection is mostly gone and I am seeing the podiatrist this week, thankfully no infection got into the foot incisions. I am hopeful I might get out of the cast this week or no more than 3 weeks. The other issues are healing and I hope to be ready to ride my bicycle this spring.

  10. Hahahahahaha I’m crying laughing – glad you’ve got a sense of humour about your pickle problem.

    Wishing you and your pickle a good recovery.

    • Ashleigh, I am so glad you are laughing. I hate posting something humorous that falls flat. Also thank you for the kind thoughts on recovery. It is getting better every day.

  11. Sending you healing wishes – thank you for sharing and for having a great sense of humor in spite of the seriousness of the situation!

    • I am glad you found my blog funny. I always fear putting up something that is supposed to be funny, because sometimes it falls flat. I am fortunate to have a supportive wife and that we have been able to work together to support each other. Yes January has been difficult and I still have a cast on my right leg. But we will get through this, together like we have for over 40 years now.

  12. Rick, thank you for sharing so fully. While pickles are often difficult to discuss, it is important that we all understand completely what these illnesses can do. Thank you for sharing in a humorous yet informative way.

    • Thank you for the kind comment Cathy. It ahs been a tough start to 2018, but I am getting better each day. I have to say this was completely unexpected, but it could have been much worse.

  13. What a hero. Talking pickles is never fun and your brilliant and honest way of laying it out there is inspiring. In the guise of Erma Bombeck……we laugh, but more importantly—–we think. Bravo!!!!!!

    • Tom, I guess I am more a victim of circumstance, but being that I am hopeful I educated others about this almost never talked about complication. I struggled about how to write it, I hope doing it in a humorous way helps others learn about the issue. Because pickles are important, I mean they are to me anyway.

  14. I am, unfortunately, just catching up. I’m sorry you’ve been in such a pickle. Having been married four times, and been “pickled” more times than I can remember, I totally “get” the importance of a good pickle. Hope you and your pickle continue to improve and have a great 2018!

    • Well I am still sporting a pickle, but not one that is good for one of its intend purpose I am afraid. These many years following the suspension of pickle crispness, I find myself once again feeling rather uncrisp. The question is if someday I can return to pickle packing form, or do I even want too. You know us men we tend to get depressed when our pickle withers. But now the second time around I can say it is not as bad the first time it happened, so maybe that is a blessing? In time many decisions to come.

  15. Hi Rick,
    I missed your posts and unique way to describe our chronic lives. Wanted to stop by and say hello. I knew you would put a smile on my face 😊

    • Hey Christina, so funny to have your comment. I am glad you enjoyed my pickle story. I can say I felt it was a little disjointed and out of form. In fact as I told my doctor when he asked what I thought of the pickle place I found myself in.

      I said well doctor, I hate to say it but lets play taps and retire that solider, that pickle’s duty is done. 🙂 The doctor said indeed his days of service have come to an end, then he said we will send in a mission to get that solider out. LOL it is a good joke.

      • Rick, you are such a funny and upbeat guy!!!😄 Sorry to hear about your pickle! 😢Are you on Twitter or Instagram? I’ve never heard of that happening before and I’ve had Tyoe 1 diabetes for 36 years. Just got the 639g, haven’t even tried it yet and now the 670g is out…☹️ I hope they’re going to be available in Canada right away and we will be able to upgrade. I plan on using the CGM also. My new pump cost twice as much as my other two. They get covered in some parts of Canada but not in BC. Now I’m wondering why they just didn’t put the 670g out here….seems like an IPhone thing, where they don’t put the best option out first….

        • Kelly, we do not see this much anymore in younger men, given that we now have medication to correct the issue. When I encountered the issue there were two treatments injections in the extremity (yeah that was awful), and vacuum therapy (It did not work). Surgery was the third option and it does work. Unfortunately, once one uses surgery, there is no turning back. I am happy I had the surgery and it was good for around 20 years. I would do it again if I had the same choice. Ugh the injections.

          I use twitter extensively @LawrPhil – I would love to connect, I wish the best on getting the 670G, I absolutely love mine. I have used it since last September with great results.

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