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!


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.  

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 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.