10 Reasons Why it Rocks to Hang with a T1D Parent!

I was invited by a T1D mom (that means her child has T1D) for a night out since her amazing daughter with T1D was away at Diabetes Camp. Basically this means that she can have a little break from managing her daughter's diabetes (the camp counselor and nurses assist with that during that week.). I had an amazing time and thought…T1D parents rock and I just had to share or with my Cut The BSers…so here is:

10 reasons why it rocks to hang out with a T1D parent!

1. They're so ready for a night out. Having the opportunity to let your hair down and have fun is rare for a parent of a T1D child…so when it does happen…ya wanna be around!

2. They know what you're doing at the happy hour table. No questions as to what we are doing and why there's blood on my finger.

3. They know how to carb count!!! Since they do all the carb counting for their child…they can do it for you too! Bolus me!

4. They're always in mom/dad mode. Adulting can be hard…adulting with T1D…can be even harder. Sometimes it's a relief to pass the torch on to someone who understands because I won't argue with them they way their T1D child might. Tell me what to do…it's cool! I'm soooooo ok with that!

5. They always have a juice box ready! They also have glucose tabs and other random treats on them. They are always equipped in case of a low!

6. They probably volunteer and are members of the same community you are in. So those days when you can't go on…they're there to remind you to keep going…but not before we enjoy this happy hour!

7. They have a sense of humor about diabetes. Sometimes we have to and they have some of the best stories! I'll drink to that!

8. They don't judge…ever. I've never heard, "Should you be eating that?" from a T1D parent. It could be because they have spent so much time helping their own T1D kid(s) live normal lives and bolusing for normal things that they don't blame us one bit for ordering that elephant ear!

9. We can be a resource for them. We can be here to be sounding boards. They can ask us if we were rebellious at their kid's age and why, or how they can be supportive of their child. They can ask us to describe what a low feels like and how we may need to be helped. It feels good to be able to give back to the people who take care of us.

10. They have the biggest hearts ever! Their hearts are overflowing with concern, advocacy, and love. They are true crusaders to our cause.

Cheers to all the T1D Moms, Dads, Brothers, Sisters, and Friends out there! You inspire me and empower me to continue on this T1D journey. Until our next outing…line dancing perhaps?

Donate to my JDRF One Walk Page by clicking here!

How I Learned to Take Insulin Shots From ‘Always Sunny’


Did you see that episode of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ when Mac decides to “cultivate mass” and ends up with Type 2 Diabetes?   Now please note that I am fully aware that type 2 diabetes doesn’t work that way nor does everyone find shows like ‘Always Sunny’ as funny as I do.   

I was still in my transition as a new person with Type One diabetes when I saw this episode.  Besides all the many ways this episode was inaccurate in how Mac handled life with diabetes as well as mishandling the tools involved with diabetes care, there was a scene that absolutely stood out to me.  

Mac and Dennis were sitting at a high top table at Paddy’s Pub talking about who knows what and eating chimichangas out of a garbage bag.  The table is stacked with food.  Mac with giant chimichanga in hand, without hesitation, jabs an insulin filled syringe into his bulging belly.  He then continues to eat and talk with his friend like nothing happened.  

At this point, I was still closing my eyes and my heart would sink into my tummy as I waited for my glucose number flash across the screen of my meter during checks.  I would also carefully select the spot of my next shot on my abdomen before I slowly stuck the needle in.  Well, duh, that would would hurt.  

What if I did it without hesitation? If Rob McElhenny, the actor who plays Mac, can plunge a syringe in his belly to get a laugh…then I can definitely do it to effing save my own life every day.  

My next scheduled shot was at around 10:00pm that evening.  “I’m gonna do it.” I thought to myself, determined.  I took out my Lanuts pen, screwed on my pen needle, cleaned my injection site, and jabbed.  I jabbed quickly and without hesitation.  Guess what?  It didn’t hurt.  I couldn’t believe it.  It was so quick in that I didn’t even notice the prick.  I pressed the button down, held it there for a few seconds, (I count to 8-it’s my favorite number) and removed it.  Success!

Who knew I would end up learning something about my diabetes care from dark comedy?  Who knew my sense of humor was sicker thank my pancreas and even more twisted than my sweet demeanor gives off? Who knew?  

I’ve been jabbing ever since.  Thanks Mac!  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!

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!

Diabetes Blog Week 2016 Day 3:  Who’s Down with PWD?

Today’s prompt asks us on our view on language and the power it has over us and the use of certain phrases over others.  As of today, I am going on 4 years with Diabetes and I’ve only learned about some of the politically correct terminology within the diabetes community in the last year.  Really, there has got to be a whole diabetes dictionary out there that I don’t know about.  I even have an unpublished page on this blog of diabetes terms or my “Diaglossary” that I’ve been adding phrases to as I learn them.  I didn’t even know there was such thing as a DOC-Diabetes Online Community until last year (thanks Diabetes Unconference!)

The main question here is where I stand on this diabetes PC spectrum.  As much as I’d like to say I don’t care either way, there are some terms that I have made my mind about:  

  • Testing my blood sugars: The term “testing my blood sugar” infers that I might pass or fail such a test, making me less willing to take such a test.  Who wants to fail at anything?  Not I.  I felt like crap every time I tested my blood sugar.  Even when they were good, I was more likely to be a little sarcastic and say that if I sneeze, that number would shoot straight up.  I’ve learned since that performing the same action and calling it “checking my blood sugars” is less daunting and I am more willing to check on how my body is doing and more willing to take the necessary steps to get back in range.
  • Blood Sugars: Some people don’t like the use of the term because my meter doesn not really measure the amount of sugar in my blood.  It is checking my glucose glucose levels.  Saying that “I’m checking blood sugars” feeds the assumption that sweets are what cause my high glucose levels-that’s false.  The intake of carbohydrates without proper dosing of inulin  is what causes my high glucose levels-sweets just happen to be carbohydrate heavy.  I still use the term Blood Sugars, though..calling my blog, “Cut the BG” doesn’t seem as fun.
  • Diabetic:  This is a big one in the diabetes online community.  There are some who find that being called “diabetic” lumps the individual in with their condition and they are not their condition.  Some see it as a label with a bit of a stigma.  Some prefer being called a Person with Diabetes, or PWD.  I don’t think I’ver ever referred to myself as a Person with Diabetes.  I’ve told people, “I have diabetes.” And before learning of the distinction, I’ve definitely told people I was diabetic.  To me, the term diabetic is the quickest way to identify myself in certain cases.  For example  have you guys checked out the Diabetic Ink Facebook Page?  Rarely have a seen a tattoo that says Person with Diabetes or PWD.  I don’t have a tattoo, but if I did, it would be for medical identification purposes and the quickest way for an Emergency Medical Responder to know I have diabetes is for the tattoo to say, “T1 Diabetic.”  

Language is a very powerful tool.  I find it important to be as fluent as I can be in my diabetes terminology.   I also find that being able to speak the proper dialect  with those who are not familiar with my condition and those who are elbows deep in diabetes has the potential to help more people instead of isolating anyone.  I want to embrace everyone with my giant Diaglossary!  

Today’s Prompt:

Our topic today is Language and Diabetes. There is an old saying that states “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I’m willing to bet we’ve all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes. Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don’t care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let’s explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.

Diabetes Blog Week 2015 Day 4: Got any change???

Diabetes Blog Week 2015 Day 4: Got any change???

I found myself running low on time today, but I seeing as I have recieved a surprising amount of feedback from friends, aquaintances, and people I don’t even know, I thought I’d keep the momentum going.  I even began a post for other blogs that I work on that don’t have anything to do with Diabetes. Yay blogging!

Anyhow, today’s subject is change.

What would I most like to see change about diabetes?  Hmmmm let’s see, besides its exsistence?  I’m gonna go with yesterday’s theme…less pricks in my life, please!

At my last appointment, my endo and I were talking and in her opinion, if checking blood sugars was not so uncomforatable, we’d do it more often.  I agree.  If you asked anyone to choose between checking their blood sugar or their blood pressure, I’m sure more people would pick a tight little hug in the arm than a poke in the finger.  Anyone interested in checking their BS by using a Google Contact Lense? I know I am! 

The same goes for taking insulin.  I am pretty much at a point where I’m fine with MDI (Multiple Daily Injections) over the use of an insulin pump.  But with with the growing popularity of Afrezza® and longer lasting long acting insulins, I’m optimistic that this is only the beinning. I wouldn’t be surprised to see other phamaceutical companies coming out with their own versions non-injecting insulin, maybe to the point of making generic versions, bringing down price. Ok, now I’m just getting too excited…need to “simmer down now.”

For those of your who won’t be blogging this week, I’d still love to hear your thoughts on this, maybe in comments?

    Today’s Prompt:

    Click for the Changes – Thursday 5/14 Link List.

    Today let’s talk about changes, in one of two ways.  Either tell us what you’d most like to see change about diabetes, in any way.  This can be management tools, devices, medications, people’s perceptions, your own feelings – anything at all that you feel could use changing.  OR reflect back on some changes you or your loved one has seen or been through since being diagnosed with diabetes.  Were they expected or did they surprise you?

    The Shakes aka Hypoglycemia

    I know, this video is random, but I thought you’d enjoy a little bit of shake humor. On to the blog post:

    Something especially new to me is the idea of hypoglycemia or what I like to call, “the shakes.” Here’s a description of hypoglycemia by the American Diabetes association:

    hypoglycemia (hy-po-gly-SEE-mee-uh) a condition that occurs when one’s blood glucose is lower than normal, usually less than 70 mg/dL. Signs include hunger, nervousness, shakiness, perspiration, dizziness or light-headedness, sleepiness, and confusion. If left untreated, hypoglycemia may lead to unconsciousness. Hypoglycemia is treated by consuming a carbohydrate-rich food such as a glucose tablet or juice. It may also be treated with an injection of glucagon if the person is unconscious or unable to swallow. Also called an insulin reaction.

    Since I’ve been home, I’ve been hypoglycemic almost daily. It’s confusing to me because I’ve always thought that a diabetic’s problem was blood sugar levels that are too high. I’m learning quickly that it is not so. A diabetic’s problem is that the blood glucose levels vary between the two extremes because the body does not know how to balance it’s own glucose levels. We as diabetics need to work closely with our doctors figure out the right combination of nutrition, physical activity, and insulin dosage.

    I used to pass this feeling off as being tired but if you feel the symptoms listed above, please don’t ignore it. Here are a few tips:

    • Be sure to follow directions provided by your doctor.
    • Be sure to educate people in your household on what to do if you cannot handle things on your own.
    • You may want to purchase a medical identification bracelet for when you’re out and about.
    • Always keep a form of quick acting carbohydrate on you just in case: A juice box, hard candy, glucose tablets -between 15-20 grams of carbs.
    • Carry your blood glucose meter with you.

    Hypoglycemia is serious business and it’s no fun to feel like you have no control of your body.

    Since writing this post, I received a call from my endocrinologist to lower my long-acting insulin dosage by 6 units. I’m so thankful for progress!

    To learn more about hypoglycemia Click here.