5 Years a Diabetic, Where Did The Time Go? 


This week I celebrated my 5 year Diaversary.  I can’t believe it has already been five years.  I’d like to ask where did the time go, but I know exactly where it went.:

  • 1 visit to the ER. 
  • Over 9125 finger pokes.
  • Over 10,950 insulin injections/inhalations.
  • Hundreds of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (my quick sugar of choice when treating a low BS)
  • 2 Research Studies.
  • Over 20 blood draws and endo appointments.
  • 5 glucose meters
  • 3 generations of Dexom Continuous Glucose monitors. 
  • 7 different insulins.
  • Over 350 followers on Instagram @cutthebsgirl.
  • Over 400 Likes on the Cut the BS Facebook Page.
  • Over 45 blog posts with over 2300 visits to the Cut The BS Blog. 
  • 1 5K run completed…slowly but complete! 
  • 4 JDRF OneWalks walked and one more on the way
  • Almost 50 walkers recruited.
  • $16,699.30 raised for T1D research from hundreds of donors!
  • 3 cruises.
  • 5 Wedding Anniversary Trips.
  • 10 Indycar races 
  • 1 Diabetes unConference.
  • 1 radio show.
  • A community of my peeps. 
  • Countless laughter.
  • Immense love.
  • So much pride.

I say “celebrate” because the last five years have truly been a gift.  Every single day has been a gift.  It’s been a gift to me.  It’s been a gift to my family. I hope it has been a gift to anyone my life and efforts have touched.

I’m so grateful to those before me that relentlessly raised funds and conducted research so that I can have these five years.  I’m so thankful that they didn’t give up on finding insulin.  It has been an absolute honor to benefit from better treatments and I am extremely hopeful for a cure.  I have to be.

I’m so stinkin excited for what the next 5 years have in store!

Cut the BS y’all! Much love.

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!

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!