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!


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!)

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.  

  

My Diabetes Personified

Go figure: Friday came along, I blinked, and Diabetes Blog Week was over.  I want to thank Karen Graffeo of www.bittersweetdiabetes.com for organizing this and bringing me back to blogging.  It really is something that I enjoy and I hope those of you who read Cut the BS…I mean Blood Sugar can tell.  

I was in the process of writing this post and I still would love to share it with you, so here it is:

Today’s post was supposed to be about food.  I’ve posted about food before and I will post about food again so I decided to write about one of the wildcard topics.  It asks me to personify my diabetes.  

As much as I’d like to call my Diabetes every horrible name in the book, I recall  referring to myself as a D-Toddler at the Diabetes unConference in Las Vegas this year.  The more I think about it the more  I find that is a better personification of my Diabetes.  For me, it’s like having an additional child.  

I’m a mother of two young women, both under the age of ten, and I find that in being a parent, my husband and I have to take the lead and make decisions for them.  I can’t expect my diabetes to take care of itself.  I have to keep a watchful eye on my diabetes, just like my girls.  It is my responsiblity if my girls hurt themselves because I did not set boudaries or check in with them soon enough.  It is my responsibility if one of my girls end up with her head between the stair railings or my blood sugars get too high and it is my responsibilty to get her head out of there or get my blood sugar back to a healthy range.  Luckily, no one’s ever gotten her head stuck between the railings at our house. 

Similarly to having a child, having diabetes takes some getting used to.  With time, I’ve gotten the hang of it and can roll with the punches.  Diabetes has it’s routines just like babies and toddlers have their routines and by the time I get used to the routines, the children and the diabetes change on me and I have to adapt.  There are fears and frustrations upon being a parent, but there are also little joys and victories like the first time all of us slept through the night or the times I make changes in my treatment and it happens to work.  Both have resulted in funky victory dance.

Differences?

The difference is my children will eventually grow up and make decisions of thier own based on their experiences in life.  My diabetes will always depend on me to make decisions to keep both of us in line.  I know that there are devices and surgical procedures in the works that might make decisions for me in the future, but my body will never correct itself or appologize when we are not in agreement.  My daughters and I have already corrected ourselvs and appologized to each other countless times in my tenure as a mother.  Diabetes will always be a part of me just like my girls are, but I will probably never love my Diabetes and I doubt that I will ever be proud of my Diabetes.  Needless to say, but I will, I very much love my girls and my husband and am very proud of every accomplishment they make along the way. 

My relationship with my diabetes has evolved, just like my relationship with my girls.  And through the years, it will continue to evolve.  But some things will always remain: I will always be Mom and I will always be a Person with Diabetes.

  

Click for the Diabetes Personified Wildcard Link List.

If you could personify your diabetes or that of your loved one, what would it be like?  What would it look like, what would it say, what kind of personality would it have?  Use your imagination and feel free to use images, drawings, words, music, etc. to describe it.  (Thank you Reva of Type ONEderful for this topic suggestion.) 

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?