Rest In Sweet Peace Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore died today.  I knew I wanted to write something because she meant too much to me.  I couldn’t quite find the words so I began procrastinating by looking for images to use for this post.  Then I came across the quiz: Which “Mary Tyler Moore Show” character are you?  I already knew the answer, but I thought I’d enter my answers and get a confirmation from the gods at MeTV.com : I got Mary Richards.

 

No, I didn’t look like her.  No, I wasn’t an actress.  No, I wasn’t a trained dancer.  But so much of me can relate to the real Mary Richards – Mary Tyler Moore.  First of all, we both went to Immaculate Heart High School.  Yes, believe it or not, we both went to an all girl school and came out on the other side still smiling.

          

Next, Mary Tyler Moore provided me with role models that I wanted to be like when I grew up.  Through her role as Mary Richards and through the different shows produced by MTM Enterprises, her name and influence brought strong, articulate, intelligent, and funny female characters to life at a time that it just wasn’t common.  As a young woman in the 80’s, I tightly embraced the idea that I could be a TV producer or the mastermind behind a private investigating company like Remmington Steele.  Did I turn into any of those characters? No. But I knew I could if the desire struck.


Lastly, we were both diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in our early thirties. She was 33 and I was 32.  It wasn’t only the fact that she was diagnosed at 33 that amazed me about her.  It was what she was able to accomplish after that diagnosis.  The work she has done with the JDRF and the commitment she gave to our cause is nothing short of great and it’s something I will forever appreciate.  


Her transparency and honesty with how she lived her life with diabetes is an  inspiration to me and it helps me to live my best life with Type 1 Diabetes.  I only hope that I can help others in the same way she helped me.  Every day I celebrate little victories where I feel like I can  twirl around the throw my hat in the air like times when my blood sugars are in check.

So thank you, Mary Tyler Moore. Thank you for being a pioneer in television, female empowerment, and living a long, full, and eventful life with diabetes.   I now have hope that I can live well into my 80s.  I have been inspired and empowered by you to continue doing my own share of the work in volunteerism, fundraising, and advocacy with JDRF.  I will keep your spirit alive by working to “turn the world on with my smile” and continue the legacy of encouragement you began decades ago.  

I’ve Never Done This Before…The Diabetes Mistake I Made Today


This morning I made the epic mistake of taking my fast acting insulin, Humalog, in place of my long acting insulin, Lantus.

What does that mean?  It means that I have given myself an accidental overdose of insulin.  It means that I now have to consume 150 grams of carbohydrates this morning when I typically eat 25-60 or else I may suffer from extreme blood sugar lows that can result in shakiness, crankiness, coma, or death.  

Why this is so frustrating for me: My family had plans today.  I had plans today.  And now, we have to rearrange stuff because I’m not sure how my body will react.  In addition, I am making efforts to lose weight, exercise more, and be better at my eating.   I have to take added quick sugars to this morning’s meal.  Added sugars equals added calories.  In addition, because working out can lower my blood sugars, I will have to table my plans and wait out the result of my stupid mistake.  

Another frustrating thing, I just wasted about 20 units of precious insulin on a boo-boo. Costly.

I was making breakfast at the time.  Waffles.  So now I have added every syrup we have in the house and am drinking a glass of orange juice.

So when someone looks at a plate like this and labels it, diabetes, they may be right.  But this plate of sugary waffles will probably be what saves my life today.

Ok, I know that I will probably bounce back from this setback by lunch and can work out then.  I am just extremely frustrated with myself and quite frankly, I’m embarrassed that I’ve made this mistake.  (I’ve had diabetes for almost five years at the time of this post.)  

As embarrassed as I am to make this mistake, I cannot keep it a secret.  This is one of the many reasons I fundraise and work to bring awareness.  I know will be ok.  I know what I have to do to get myself to baseline.  But there are others out there who will not be ok due to these accidental overdoses and complications with diabetes treatment. 

I’m hopeful that one day I won’t have to worry about making mistakes like this.  

The First Time I Went Out to Eat With Diabetes

The First Time I Went Out to Eat With Diabetes


Actually, I went out to eat with my husband, Diabetes came along uninvited, the schmuck!

My husband and I have gone on mini-honeymoons for our anniversary every year since we got married.  Every year, we take turns surprising each other by picking the destination.  He took the odd years, I took the even years.  The year of my diagnosis, was an even year, and about 2 weeks after my diagnosis.   As apprehensive as I was to go, and as apprehensive as everyone else probably was, I had already booked our mini staycation. We were going.

We packed our bag.  That was the first time I experienced this feeling:

Big-Backpack_fb_31071.jpg

We checked and double checked for everything I would be needing. Insulin, pen needles, test strips, my meter, sharps container, alcohol pads, and one lancet. (Just kidding, that was when I changed the lancet every time, so I brought many lancets-I know better now!)  In hindsight, I highly recommend doing a staycation after diagnosis before your first huge trip-it gives you some peace of mind the second time around.

We kiss the girls goodbye and head to our hotel.  We check in and go to dinner.  Johnny Rockets and my mind starts to wander and get sad. “No, milkshake for me.” Sadface.  I was under the impression that I couldn’t have any carbs or the Diabetes Police would send me to Diabetes jail…oh wait, I’m already in Diabetes Jail not being about to eat any carbs. (Please excuse the sarcasm.).

We order, I probably got something along the lines of a burger, no bun, no cheese, a salad, and an unsweetened iced tea.  My husband promises me a few fries off of his plate.  I excuse myself to test my blood sugars in the bathroom.  My husband says I should just wash my hands and test at the table.  Really? At the table? What if people are watching me?  What if I gross people out? These are all thoughts that are going through my head.  He assures me that no one will stare.  Ok here goes.

I test my blood sugars and guess what?  No one cared.  No one noticed.  Everyone was so busy at their own tables to even care about what was going on at our BS checking table.  I worried about all that for nothing.  I’ve been testing my BS at the table ever since.

It’s been  years since this has happened, and I now know that I can order that milkshake if I want it as along as I dose myself with enough insulin.

I feel so fortunate that I have someone to champion for me even when it didn’t occur to me to champion for myself.  A huge thanks…about the size of that backpack from earlier to my husband!

Do you remember the first time you ate out with Diabetes?  What thoughts went through your mind? How did it go?

It’s my Diaversary

I felt particularly anxious yesterday and could not quite put my pricked finger on why.  I even tossed and turned until 2:00am before falling asleep and didnt’ know why.  It wasn’t until this morning when I realized the date: June 28th.  It’s my Diaversary, meaning it has been 4 years since I woke up in a hospital bed and was asked, “How long have you known you had diabetes?”  

For months, I was trying to figure out how I was going to celebrate this day.  Life then took over and I shifted my party plans.  I thought I would still want to party it up despite the fact that this day snuck up on me.  It was surprisingly somber for me, though.  Remembering this day 4 years ago took me to a dark, sad, and hopeless place.  I seemed to have been brought back to a place that I have fought so hard to keep behind me.  

That’s when I reached out to my dia-buddies via text message.  Of-course, I true Dia-badass fashion they came through for me.  I received virtual hugs, words of encouragement, and suggestions of our now traditional test strip shot.  Need a visual? Here you go:


After dinner, my husband took the girls swimming and as I watched my beautiful family happily jumping into the pool,  my eyes welled up with tears. “I’m so happy I’m here!!!” I thought to myself.  “I’m delighted I get to watch this and be a part of this, all of this!”  All the reasons why today is a day to celebrate came to me all at once.

  • I get to watch my girls continue to grow into the intelligent, creative, enterprising, and fun young women they are.
  • I get to continue to plan trips and plan a kick ass future with my husband, best friend, and hero.
  • I get to participate in research studies that help diabetes medicine and technologies move forward.
  • I still get to help others with Diabetes or Pre-diabetes by way of this blog, Team Cut the BS’s fundraising efforts, and just by being me.
  • I get to watch more Indycar Races and cheer for Charlie and Conor, so that children with diabetes can follow in their sweet and fast footsteps.
  • And I get the opportunity to experience much, much more!!!

With a new outlook on today, I took my friends up on their suggestions and poured myself a shot for all the insulin shots I’ve taken since June 28, 2012 (A loosely estimated 5,840 shots, probably more.)  Happy Diaversary to me. Cheers.  

One for the Soul

I was working as a greeter/brand ambassador at a tradeshow when I saw their CFO, this slightly older, but extremely glamorous and successful woman walk between the two showrooms drinking a glass of green juice.  This was my second season with them and so I felt a little more comformatble speaking with the higher ups of the company.  She walked by again snacking on something.  

“Lane, what healthy thing are you eating now?  I noticed you with your green juice earlier.”

She quietly opened her hand to reveal a colorful and tiny handful of…M&Ms.  She winked at me then graciously and equally glamorously said, 

“That was for the body, these are for the soul.” 

She then strolled into the next room to meet some international contacts of hers.  I almost felt like I was in a White Diamonds commercial with Elizabeth Taylor.  I stood there grinning, feeling like she had imparted some huge secret of the world, in our brief interaction.  I continued welcoming and  scanning in tradeshow attendees with a little more wisdom. 

I just loved that.  Something for the body, something for the soul.  I find that this is a great lesson in life and an even greater lesson in diabetes life.  

When we get newly diagnosed as people with diabetes, we face fears and stigmas of losing our vision, losing our kidney function, losing our limbs.  As a result, it is very easy to shut down, I know I did for a bit.  I don’t blame anyone else for shutting down either.  But if someone told me during those early days of diabetes learning, that I can still have something for the soul, things I like to call “shot worthy,” I wouldn’t have been as scared as I was of the life ahead of me.  I wouldn’t have tried to shield myself so hard from people who stay things like, “Should you be eating that?”  I could have confidently said, “Why yes, sweetheart, it’s for the soul. You should try it sometime.”

What an awesome rule to live by.  I sooooooooo want to to be her when I grow up!

  
What things do you do for the body? I’m more curious about what you do for the soul.  Tell us in the comments!

Indy 500: Charlie Kimball, Driver with T1D, Takes Green Flag with Diabetes Leaders Onboard

I know, the 500 was on Sunday, and what a great race it was!  I was working on this post prior to and during the 500 and so I’ll post it now.

Not sure if you guys saw this, but I accidentally came across this story when one of my friends posted that her name will be featured on Charlie Kimball’s Tresiba car for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.  The story talks about how Charlie would be running the 42 of Kyle Larson, a driver for Chip Ganassi in NASCAR.  The 42 signifies the 42 hours that Tresiba can last in your system after first use and so they will honor 42 leaders in the diabetes community by having them ride with him on that day.

The more imprtant part of this photo was not the back end where Charlie and Kyle are, but closer to the front wheels.
 

As I looked into the story further, I found more names of People with Diabetes that I have met in my relatively short tenure of having diabetes. Needless to say, I was excited and really confirms why I am such a fan of both Charlie Kimball and Novo Nordisk.   

The 42 names that adorned the side fin’s of Charlie’s Indycar include not only people with Diabetes, but organizations and people without diabetes who work tirelessly for our community.

Isn’t that just a sexy car???
 
I’ve actually met some of these people!!!
   

I then began to think of my own heroes in Diabetes.  The cool part is, some of the people on our lists are the same!  For the sake of Charlie’s Temporary Number Change for the 100th running of the Indy 500, here is my list of 42 heroes in my life with Diabetes:

  1. Ryan
  2. Elan
  3. Ella
  4. Arturo
  5. Liwayway
  6. Charlie
  7. JDRF
  8. The Diabetes Unconference
  9. Kimberly 
  10. Tony
  11. Cynthia
  12. Chris
  13. Adriana
  14. Ali
  15. Mike
  16. Stephen
  17. Palm Medical Group
  18. Palm Research Center
  19. Serena
  20. Samer
  21. Danielle
  22. Sara
  23. Alecia
  24. Heather
  25. ADA
  26. Kathleen
  27. The Diabetes Collective
  28. Christel
  29. Diabetes Hands Foundation
  30. Kerri
  31. Karen
  32. Anni
  33. Team Happy
  34. Sonia
  35. Marcy
  36. Norman
  37. Mary
  38. Novo Nordisk
  39. Susan
  40. Kathy
  41. Dexcom
  42. Team Cut The BS…I mean Blood Sugar.

Wow, I feel fortunate to have been able to come up with these names as quickly as I could.  Honestly, I could have probably kept naming people until I reached Charlie’s actual racing number (#83.). Everyday, I am thankful for these heroes. Whether these leaders have diabetes or not, these people/organizations encourage and inspire me to become my best self…a self with diabetes.

Playing with Hot Wheels after the 500 has become a thing for our family!

Who would be the names on your side fins?  Please share your heroes with us!

Diabetes Blog Week 2016 Day 4: Healthcare Bear Stare


I’ve been very lucky since my diagnosis with my healthcare experience.  There are a few things that irk me like not being able to use my preferred insulin because it is excluded from my coverage and having to switch meters back and forth because my insurance changes preferred vendors.  Lastly, I’m annoyed by how much this damn condition costs me and my family.

All in all, these things don’t happen to affect my treatment and how I lead my life with diabetes.  The key word here is “lead.”  When we lead, we have to plan and make decisions.  

The first decision I made to was listen to the releasing doctor at the hospital and go to an endocrinologist.  Since I had no experience looking for this type of specialist, I went with woman and nearby.  You’d think I would have gone to Yelp, but nope.  Just went with girl and a close drive.  Those things are important to me 1) females have my same plumbing and hormones, chances are they might have a little more insight into what I’m going through in addition to the diabetes. 2) nearby: I didn’t want an excuse for not to go to my appointments.  Little did I know that after picking my endo office, they ended up being the best endo office I could have hoped for.  The owners were even the walk chairs for our recent JDRF OneWalk! So delighted with my office!!!  

Remember: Select a medical team that you respect and are in line with your medical needs.  They only get paid if you continue to go to them.  Your primary care or family doctor might not have the experience and expertise to help you dose insulin or know when to draw the line that your Metformin is not working.  It may be time to see a specialist.  In addition, there are also Certified Diabetic Educators (CDE) out there who might be able to help with nutritional needs and correction factors.  I found that I was fine with my endo and I no longer have a CDE. I have friends who swear by their CDE.  The point is: there is a choice in the matter and it is yours.

When seeing my endocrinologist: I write everything down.  Why? Because I’m gonna forget.  I have 10-15 minutes tops and I’m gonna make each minute count and worth my time.  I write down her instructions like new bolusing/dosing instructions and questions I’ve got about everything!  I wanna know about the new pill/pen/gadget on the market and if it is a cost effective option for me.  I wanna know about new research studies that I might be able to qualify for.  Did you know you can get free supplies and test drugs during the course of a study by doing things that you might already be doing?  I will save that for another post.  I also bring up news that is buzzing around in the diabetes online community that’s been bugging me or has got me excited.  There are times when some of the things I tell her is news to her and I get her riled up on a subject.  And no, I don’t expect her to know everything that is going on in the DOC-I assume she would like to enjoy some time away from diabetes and other metabolic conditions when she leaves work.  Anyway, this interaction with my doctor lets her know that I know what’s up and that I value  her as a partner in my wellbeing.  

Remember: You have to make your time count with your medical team.  Make sure you get what you need out of those 10-15 minutes by having a checklist written down of topics to cover.  You’ll feel much more empowered when your time is up.

Insurance companies:  I don’t even know where to begin there except there is a lot I don’t know about insurance and what is covered and what isn’t and at what percentages and after how much in premiums are met.  I have a hard enough time doing the math for my dosing!  So I have to read and find out or I have to ask and make decisions or a game plan based on what I’m told. Your doctor might also be able to help you with getting around obstacles which is why it is so important to ask them anything and everything.  If your insurance doesn’t cover a drug but the alternate preferred drug doesn’t help you-your Doctor might know what to in terms of contacting your insurance to say the preferred doesn’t work.  

Remember: learn the system so you can navigate through it better.  It seems what aggrevatese the most is when unexpected things occur. Unfortunately, I think things with insurance and limiting our options will become more and more evident.  Prepare yourself my friends. 

My healthcare wish list: 1) a cure.  We could all be helping other needy people right now if Diabetes wasn’t sitting right smack dab in the middle of our plates.  2) less painful options for care. I think my friends and I might take better care of ourselves if we didn’t deal with “pricks” all the time by way of lancets, needles, and insertion sets.  3)more affordable treatments and care…if my bottle of insulin  was cheap enough that I could buy it over the counter with my bottle of wine, then I would only bother my insurance company with big things like hospitalizations.  Luckily for me, I’ve only been in the hospital once for diabetes and that was at diagnosis.  

What have been your experiences in healthcare

Wanna read other blogs on The Healthcare Experience? Click Here.

Today’s Prompt:  Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What’s your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!