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.

Diabetes Blog Week 2016 Day 2: Diabetes Playing with my Head

 

Getting diagnosed with Diabetes can be an isolating thing.  It is pretty big no matter what type you are dealt.  The moment that D-word gets dropped, ugly visions of life and future versions of your body come to mind.  I spent a week in the hospital learning how to give myself injections, looking at menus with number of “carb choices,” and asking myself what I did wrong.  Clearly, the guilt from diabetes started at day 1.  I was never told in the hospital that this diagnosis is not my fault.  It was not a result of eating too many cookies or too much rice, since I am Filipino.  I was not told in the hospital that with a few tweaks to my lifestyle, I would be ok.  

I came home after a week, and my life began, without my nurses around me to tell me what to do.  It’s a scary thing.  It was bad enough that I had to poke my finger to get a reading, but I found myself looking away when the meter was blinking, analyzing my little blood drop to tell me that I failed. And the guilt that came over me with each reading was heart wrenching. Every number that came up on that screen was either high or it was low and I had to drink juice-about 15 grams of Carbs worth.  This is not the right condition for a perfectionist.  Or is it?

The problem with being a perfectionist is that I tend to set things aside for later or procrastinate for the sake of “doing it right.”  I’m here to tell you first hand that being a perfectionist is not, I repeat not compatible with having diabetes.  I can do everything right and that number will still fall out of range and it drove me nuts.  Living life this way was not be fun at all and I really could not afford to procrastinate in diabetes management.  

Besides the physical implications to staying high and low, I’ve gotten cranky at the people around me when that number is low or high.  As someone’s mom/wife/daughter/friend, I can’t to that to my friends and family.  And so over time, from meeting others like me (online or in person) I’ve learned that the number on that meter is just a number of reference.  From there, I have to react accordingly, immediately.  That mindset has since turned into a habit.  I still have my bad days where that number on the meter just stays high for hours or I’ve eaten the whole kitchen and that number lingers at 65. Those days I try to grin and bear it and when I’ve reached my limit, I text someone who just gets it-btw, thank you to those I’ve texted to keep me sane.

As for positive phrases or mantras, the name of my blog was coined by extremely creative friends who know me well.  ‘Cut the BS’ became my go to phrase when readings were high or those times that I made excuses for my lack of diabetes management.  It encouraged me to be better than the situation I found myself in.  The phrase is short, simple, and it helps hold me accountable to myself, my family, my friends, and the diabetes online community.  

Cut the BS…I mean Blood Sugar!

Today’s Prompt:

We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)

Diabetes Blog Week 2016 Day 1: Message Monday


I know I’m a little late in the game today.  How can I call myself a Diabetes Blogger if I don’t participate in Diabetes Blog Week.  It’s been so long.  But feels so good to be back here with you guys.

Why am I here?  Hmmm.  I’d say that I’m here in this diabetes blog space, because I am not special.  I was not different from anyone else I knew or didn’t know.  I was just like everyone else when I was diagnosed:  I could have been anyone’s wife, anyone’s mother, anyone’s friend.  So because I am not special and not any different from anyone else, I wanted everyone to know that if I’ve got this, you’ve got this.  I wanted people to know that this life, a life with diabetes, is one worth living and definitely worth enjoying.

I’m going to be honest and say I don’t spend much time in my blog about my difficulties and struggles.  I probably should. Difficulties and struggles do exist and they slow me down a bit sometimes but I won’t let that stop me.  I can’t.  There are too many people that need us to kick Diabetes’ ass every day.  From my family who need their mom/wife/daughter/friend, to people who are newly diagnosed who might need some guidance, to those who have gestational diabetes, to those who are told to watch what they eat because they are considered to have “pre-diabetes.”  I can’t let diabetes get me down, I have to keep keeping on, and I have to do with with a smile-I don’t know how else to do it.

I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do despite having to carry around Diabetes and all the supplies it takes to attempt to keep it managed.  And you can too. 


Today’s Prompt

Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog? (Thank you, Heather Gabel, for this topic suggestion.)

#Thankfulfor

  
Since the year started, I have been keeping this New Year’s resolution, that I would jot down something that I am thankful for everyday.  In previous years, I would have set up a spreadsheet for myself to fill in the blanks and measure my success, but not this year.  I have written my ‘Thankful For’s in one of two journals I keep, and sometimes, I’ve written them on a napkin and tossed it.  I’m going to be honest and say that I have fallen a few times in that I have not written something down everyday, but feel that I’ve built up the habit enough that I feel a void in my day if I didn’t do my #thankfulfor.

My #thankfulfors are varied from day-to-day.  Here are just a few things I have been thankful for:

  • Getting a new job.
  • New pen needles.
  • The whole family feeling healthy for a whole week.
  • Pink pens-I love pink!
  • The Diabetes Online Community (DOC)-you guys get me.
  • Family members getting to their destination safely.
  • Coffee.
  • That my arm is getting better after a Dexcom Rash.
  • Second cups of coffee.

I would go on but I’d end up being here all night.  I try to just keep it to one thing a day as more than that would pressure me to spend time I don’t really have.  A minute is all it took to write, “Today I am thankful for (fill in the blank.)”

Today is my birthday. So, today, I’m going to spend a little more than a minute.  There are so many things that I am thankful for, but to some them all up, I am thankful for another birthday.  I’m thankful for another day with my sexy husband and our beautifully creative, intelligent, and silly daughters.  I’m thankful for another day to be part of this Diabetes community.  I’m thankful that I get the opportunity to empathize and contribute in ways I never thought I’d could.  Lastly, for today, I’m thankful for diabetes reasearch which is why I am still here on this planet with you today.

My goal today, was to write for thirty minutes, and get back to blogging.  I’m pretty proud of myself for having 3 minutes to spare.  So, I guess I’m also thankful for goals. 

My second most memorable Long Beach Gran Prix!

In honor of this year’s Indy 500, I thought I’d finally post this blog I’ve been sitting on for 2 years!  This was the first Long beach Gran Prix I’d been to since I was diagnosed.  I’ve gone pretty much every year since 2003.  Here’s the post: 

I just had the most amazing weekend!

So, I’ve become quite the Indycar fan by association.  My husband was a huge fan when we met and he started going to the Long Beach Gran Prix 2000.  I started going shortly after in 2003.  Needless to say, I was very excited as it was my first race I attended since my diagnosis on June 28, 2012.  Going as a newly diagnosed T1D, you know I was there as a huge Charlie Kimball fan.  I was a fan of his before my diagnosis, but now it’s personal.

On Friday, we walked the pits, and I found Charlie Kimball’s pit box…so I had to get a picture while sporting my Super Duper Handy Dandy Novolog FlexPen!

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On Saturday, We went to the Indycar fan village where the Race with Insulin tent was up. There, I got to sign up for a chance to win a VIP trip for four to the final race of the year in Fontana, CA. After entering, I was able to sign this shell of Charlie’s car.  

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I love this guy.  I’m so happy, Ryan introduced me to this sport.

As I was there talking to the Novo Nordisk people, I told them that I was gonna come back for the Question and Answer Session with Charlie and have him sign my Novolog Flexpen. They told me that there would be a special line for Novolog Users and to see their marketing person to make sure I was in the right line!  Oh boy! Oh boy!

I was the only adult in the special VIP (Very Insulin-dependent Person) line that day!  I got to tell him my story of the fact that I had been diagnosed last year and that when they told me I had diabetes, I hoped I was prescribed Novolog so I can support Charlie even more!  The weekend I came home from the hospital after being diagnosed, Charlie drove to his first podium finish in Toronto.  He placed second.  I like to think he did for me.

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I had to make sure I took another picture after getting my Charlie swag!

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As always, it was a gret race day.  What made this one even better was at the end of the day, Ryan and I were able to sail away into the sunset with a great friend. 

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…And then this happened…about a month later!  I thought they skipped my part since they showed Charlie with all the kids that day but, nope, check for this Cut the BS Girl’s story at 13:14!

Some of you may be wondering what my most memorable Long Beach Gran Prix is.  It was in 2003 when I got engaged to the most amazing man after the race! I’ve been quite the fan ever since.  The only two Long Beach Gran Prix I’ve missed are the years we welcomed our daughters into the world.