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  I even have an unpublished page on this blog of diabetes terms or my “Diaglossary” that I’ve been adding phrases to as I learn them.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.

Here she is, Miss Type 1 America

Just got back from my first Hope and Health Type 1 Diabetes Symposium sponsored by the JDRF.  It was awesome and I was inspired to start blogging again.  I find that writing about my experience today will be too long on one post so I will start with this:

I jumped at the chance of wearing Miss America 1999-Nicole Johnson's crown.
I jumped at the chance of wearing Miss America 1999-Nicole Johnson’s crown.

I’m sorry it’s blurry, I had my Dad take the picture.  He said that his hand was shaking when he took the picture.  Maybe being around such a beautiful celebrity made him nervous, who knows, but bless his heart!

Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999 is a Type 1 Diabetic.  She spoke at the symposium today and discussed some great topics like making sure to stay on the optimistic side of the street, the importance of  building a strong support system for the days that Type 1 Diabetes gets us down, and coined a term for the loved ones who support and cheer on their Person with Diabetes (PWD).  They are known as  Type 3s.

She also talked about her D-Day, the day she was diagnosed at the age of 19.  She was urged to drop out of school, to move home with mom and dad, pick a calm and easy career (not journalism like she wanted), and to not even think about becoming a mother. Oh, and by the way, maybe pageant competition isn’t such a good idea.

So, what has she been doing since that diagnosis day?  A whole lot of, “Oh yea? Watch me!”  She has since earned multiple college degrees including a PhD.  Nicole did have a career in journalism and now she works as a spokesperson and motivational speaker-a carreer I wouldn’t call calm.  She also enjoys being a mother to a healthy 8 year old girl.  Oh, and did I mention, she was crowned Miss America in 1999!

Knowing what my life has become and all the things I’ve been able to do in just the year and a half that I’ve been a Type 1 Diabetic, I find it silly what this woman was told.  Its bad enough what ends our minds go to when we first get diagnosed without any outside influences.   Total and utter B.S….and I don’t mean blood sugar this time.

How grateful am I that I had the opportunity to hear this beautiful, brave, and strong woman speak.  I hope to be like her when I grow up.

Cut the B.S…I mean blood sugar!

Arlene

Have you ever been told you couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t do something that you found silly?  What was it and how did you respond?  Leave us a comment.

D-rinking Diabetic

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Ok the girls are in bed…come to Mama!!! It’s a Cut the B.S. appletini powered by Crystal Light and vodka (please don’t ask me which one as it is a cheap one…as in, it comes out of a plastic bottle! Ha!)

Now I feel I can still be diabetic and sassy! So thankful for these options! Now, if only they can carry these crystal light mixers at the bars!

In drinking, as well as in life, don’t forget to Cut the B.S.!

Deli sticks

I was on Pinterest and repinned this link from Eating Well. It is a post about 100 calorie snack ideas. Great ideas, as they also happen to be diabetic friendly. I found myself hungry for a snack so I picked an idea that I had the ingredients to and so I picked the Turkey Rollups idea.

Here’s how it turned out.

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I used mustard because I love that flavor and it has no carbs so I can kinda go crazy with it. It was quite satisfying and I love the crunch of the pretzel stick in the middle.

Then I began to think…

Girl, we can have fun with this!

Here are a few ways I can think of to change it up:

  • Mix up a little whipped cream cheese & cranberry sauce in place of mustard. Baby thanksgiving sticks! Cranberry sauce can be rather high in carbs so just watch out for that.
  • Use vegetable sticks instead of breadsticks to lower the carb content or to splurge on higher carb sauces.
  • Feeling beefy? A1 sauce & roast beef baby!
  • Want some kick? Use buffalo wing sauce, Tapatío, ooooo or sriracha! Oh yea./li>;;
  • Want some Far East flavors? Use sweet and sour, teriyaki, hot mustard-like from the Asian market, or wasabi!
  • Clearly, I love sauces…I’m quite the condiment girl. Again, remember to keep I mind the carb contents of these combinations as some of the sauces are of the sweeter higher carb persuasion.

    What ways can you think of to change up this snack? Please share in the comments as I’m always looking for new ideas.

    Keep snacking.
    Keep counting the carbs.
    Keep it D-licious.
    Keep Cutting the B.S.! …and I mean Blood Sugar!

    Goat cheese & Roasted Red Peppers on the good stuff!

    It’s your Cut the B.S. girl reporting from the official Cut the B.S. Kitchen. I’m here to remind you that diabetic dining doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless. It can be flavorful & D-licious!

    Today, I made myself a sandwich on the good stuff. And when I say good stuff, I’m talking about the artisan breads you find at your local grocer. Today, it’s all about my good friend rosemary! Rosemary bread is just super yummy.

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    Wanna know how to put this yummy sandwich together? Here’s how:

  • Take about 2 oz. of your fancy bread. Make sure to look it up on your favorite carb counter. Remember to use a food scale to measure the bread since that where most of the carbs are. If you buy it sliced in 1/2 inch increments its about 2 slices.
  • Smear some goat cheese on each slice.
  • Add roasted red peppers-about an ounce or 2. I’m lazy so I use the jarred stuff. I like to dry them off with a paper towel so not as to soggy my bread.
  • Throw in a leafy green or alfalfa sprouts.
  • Slap the two sides together.
  • cut at an angle. I don’t know, it feels fancier that way.
  • Enjoy!
  • So you’re looking at the picture thinking…

    “Cut the B.S. girl, you’re supposed to eat 45-60 of carbs per meal. Your picture says 32. You’re short!”

    Besides saying…”I’m not short…I’m fun sized.” I’d show you this:

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    Bam! You just ate healthy and you get to be bad-it’s not even the sugar free stuff. Boo-yah!

    Remember:
    Make it healthy.
    Make it D-Licious.
    Make sure to…”Cut the B.S.!” and I mean blood sugar!

    My Ab-Fab Moment

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    When I was in the ICU, I had a nurse named Annie. She was awesome. My second or third day there, I was told to drink like a quart of crystal light with some medication in it. My doctor requested a CT scan to check out my gallbladder to see if that was the cause of my diabetic ketoacidosis. Anyhow, it took me a while but I did it…downed the whole thing like it was spring break-I should have had my Ryan, my husband, hold my legs while I did a crystal light keg stand! Annie came back with a wheel chair to take me to the CT scanner. I get in the chair and she’s like:

    “Ya wanna do something about your hair? You kinda have an Ab-Fab thing going on there.”

    Ha ha thanks for the comic relief, Annie…I’ll never forget it.

    What a difference a month makes

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    Today marks a month since I came home from the hospital. The week I spent there took its toll on my physical, mental, and spiritual well being.

    When I got home from the hospital:

  • I could not get up the stairs without my legs cramping up.
  • A lap around the couch was my workout.
  • I couldn’t get anything for myself and had to rely on my family to even get me water.
  • I was taking between 24 and 39 units of my fast-acting insulin and 25 units of my slow-acting insulin a day.
  • I could not watch television without noticing that every commercial was a commercial for food I was gonna miss.
  • I just remember feeling frustrated, sad, angry, weak, and lost.
  • Then I remember thinking to myself my first week home:

    “Well, this didn’t kill me, so I must be getting stronger.”

    That’s it. Its time to stop feeIng sorry for myself. It’s time to start making myself stronger. I knew I was still recovering from gallbladder removal surgery so I knew my limitations. I began to challenge myself by adding more laps around the couch. Then I pushed myself to go up and down the stairs a second and a third time. I began to take walks around my block. Read up on diabetic eating and the reasons for my dietary needs.

    Now that it’s been a month, I can celebrate the following:

  • I made my goal of getting up and down the stairs 54 times in one day. (once for each card in a deck of cards-including the jokers-and yes, I physically brought a card upstairs each time.)
  • I can walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes at a time at an incline.
  • I’ve taken up carrying a pedometer. I haven’t been able to do 10,000 steps in a day yet but I’m working on it.
  • I now take about 12 to 15 units of fast-acting insulin a day and only 10 units of slow acting insulin a day. Writing this just made me realize that my doses have been cut by more than half!
  • I’ve gotten back to making the meals for my family, something I take great pride in.
  • I started this blog in the hopes of helping others as well as myself.
  • The blog has a section in which I will try to continue to be thankful daily.
  • I’m very hopeful and happy to be living with diabetes instead of feeling as though I’m dying of it.
  • I’ve got a lot to be thankful for this last month and I now celebrate every day.

    Don’t forget to “cut the B.S.!”