Season Two: Episode Three

FEBRUARY 1, 2021

I’m sorry I haven’t been updating lately. I have been so busy with work that I can’t seem to find any time to blog these days, but I’m going to try and at least post ONCE a month for you folks. So far the update is neither good nor bad.

I have lost some weight just by cutting down on rice. If I even have rice in a day, it’s usually not a lot, maybe one or two scoops (about a cup) at any given mealtime. Most days I just go without rice and I’ll have mashed potatoes instead or nothing at all. Plus I’m consciously choosing more vegetables and proteins in my diet. I’ve managed to finally go below 212 pounds. I’ve been at about 212 pounds for several months, since the pandemic started. I’ve finally managed to keep my weight below 210 for a month so that’s an upside.

The downside is I haven’t been doing my insulin. I’m not sure how my medical is working out in the new year and I haven’t been in to see my doctor yet so I’m just making what I have already stretch, plus I still hate the needles I have and 99% of the time, they make me bleed and they are way more painful than my old needles. I have to find time to call my insurance company and make sure I’m still covered. But I am still unable to pay for a second insulin so I’m not sure when I’m going to see my endocrinologist again. Not too worried about it though.

I’m trying to take care of my diabetes on my own with diet and exercise and with what I’m doing I’m actually losing weight so who knows, if I lose enough weight and keep it off, I might be able to manage my diabetes better. My PCP always said if I just lost enough weight, I would be better off. Although he never told me how, I’ve had to manage on my own.

I am making arrangements to meet with a dietician so I can make my own diabetes meal plan and find what foods are best for me and all that jazz, so I’m excited about that. Work keeps me busy enough that I can keep myself moving and burning calories so I think I’ll be okay for now. I just have to get better at eating.

Thank you for sticking with me for this long. I am still selling stickers on my Etsy page. I hope to design and release new stickers in the next month or two. But for now I’ve been so busy and I just wanted to let you folks know that I am okay.

Season Two: Episode Two

JANUARY 10, 2021

I had my eye doctor appointment this past week. Turns out my eyes are okay. Thank goodness. I was a little worried when I took an eye test that gauged my peripheral vision. I could hardly see most of the lines with my left eye, but my doctor said I was nearly perfect which was good considering it was my first time doing that test. Though I do remember when I was a kid, I did something like it at my pediatrician’s doctor office. Gosh that was a memory from a million years ago, I still remember how the doctor office looked it never changed, and it actually still hasn’t changed to this day. The same doctor is there still practicing.

My gynecologist is the same doctor that delivered my sisters and I. It’s pretty crazy living in a small town. Hardly anything changes here, but when you really look, everything has changed.

I am currently making changes to my life. I think it’s been pretty positive so far. I have consciously made the decision to eat less rice. Before I would eat rice every meal of the day, but now it’s only once or twice a day, mostly once though. As I write this on Sunday night, I had a fruit salad for dinner because I had a pretty heavy breakfast, medium lunch, and I just didn’t feel like eating a lot for dinner so we went and got fruits. I wanted apples, but I ended up eating the fruit salad instead tonight.

This morning, I was the lightest I’ve been since May 2020. I weighed in at 207.9lbs. I’ve been plateaued at 212 for a long time and I’m really glad that cutting out rice has really made me feel lighter and less bloated. Sometimes I’m weak and eat a bunch of rice, but now I feel awful afterwards and completely regret it, so I’m learning a little at a time. I’m getting there.

I still haven’t contacted my endocrinologist. I’m going to get a raise at my job, so maybe that’ll be able to help pay for the second insulin, but really, I don’t think I can afford it. Oh and my pharmacist gave me a different needle from the one I’ve had and I HATE IT. It says it’s the same length as my other needle but that is a bull lie, it looks so much longer! When I inserted the needle in my thigh, I felt the whole thing and it kind of felt like it popped something when the whole needle went in, I don’t know how else to describe it. When I was injecting the insulin, I could feel every single click of the plunger as each unit went in and I HATED THAT MOST. It’s not been a good experience.

I’m working and studying to get my securities license. I’m trying to really work on my business and it’s going to be a long road, but I have to keep reminding myself why I’m doing it. The studying is like learning a whole new language but I’m excited about it.

My blood sugar still hasn’t been in range all that much lately, but I’m getting there. I wish I wasn’t diabetic. I wish I could have a child and a house of our own. I wish I wasn’t fat and I had an actual butt. Wishing can only get you so far. You have to put in the work and make your wishes come true. You can shout your wishes to the Universe, but YOU have to meet the Universe halfway. I’m trying to meet the Universe halfway and it’s a lot of work, but I have so much to fight for. I have to fight for it, no matter what.

The Journey: Episode Twenty-Seven

NOVEMBER 16, 2020

Well there isn’t really anything to update. A couple weeks ago, we bought an ice cream/rice scooper with the little wiper thing. Last night, I finally used it to help my portion control with my rice. Usually I pile the rice on however much I THINK I need, which is way too much. So last night I used my scoop and made two small scoops. They were small like I could put them in my hand and roll them into little rice balls. We had breakfast for dinner, eggs, bacon, and Portuguese sausage with rice. My two scoops were just the right amount! I am so upset by how much I have been overeating rice in my life. My blood sugar didn’t really reflect the lower amount of rice, but I’m sure in the long run it’ll start showing.

In Hawaii, it’s common for people to lose weight when they eat less rice or no rice at all. I’m definitely going to be eating a lot less rice, so we’ll see how much weight I lose, if any at all.

As of today, I’ve gotten two orders on my Etsy shop and I’m super excited that I’ve even gotten that much. My hopes of selling stickers and other merchandise to keep my blog running is working pretty okay right now. If I can sell four or five stickers, then I have enough to order a new sticker design or another batch of stickers so I’m really excited for that! I’ve saved enough that I can order one or two new designs to put up on the shop in the coming weeks. Since you’re my follower, you get to see what’s new first. You can also follow my Instagram and Facebook to see updates too!

My sister thinks I should make car decals. While I think that’s a great idea, I do have to find suppliers and keep it within budget. I do have plans to expand to pins and notebooks one day. If I do decide to do decals, I have a friend who makes decals on her cricut and I could maybe ask her to make a batch for me, that way I can keep things local and the money in Hawaii’s economy. That would be great. But we’ll see what happens. It’s only been a little over a week now and I’m doing okay so far.

I’m running low on Lantus prescriptions so I’d have to call my endocrinologist to renew my prescription for another year’s worth of insulin. 95 units seems to be where it’s at unfortunately. If I can bring my weight down and my blood sugar under control, then maybe I can lower my insulin dosage, but I haven’t been within range with 95 units enough times yet and I’m terrified to go up to 100 units. 95units already hurts a lot and I am not a fan of double injections on the same night.

In fact, my left thigh has still been sore recently so I’ve decided to do 20 injections in my right thigh for now. I’m making sure the last ten are staying at least one inch below the first ten and at least 1/4 inch away from each other. So far this arrangement has been working out as I just did injection 16 last night. I just hope that my left thigh will be okay for injections to start soon. It’s been really tender and sore to the touch on some places. The bruises have faded away but there are still bumps from old injections that still haven’t gone away yet. It’s pretty frustrating.

I’ve been pretty proud of myself. We still have a lot of Halloween candy in the house since October and I haven’t been going off on them like I thought I would. In fact, the most chocolate I ate in the past month was yesterday and it was because of my period and even then it was maybe 2 ounces of chocolate.

I’ve also decided to get back in to intermittent fasting as well. I already don’t eat after a certain time anyway so making it to 16 hours usually isn’t that difficult, but I want to make it a regular thing more often. I’m going to keep trying. Somehow I’ve had this sudden spurt of inspiration and determination that is propelling me forward with eating better and moving around more. I don’t know where it came from, but I want to jump on it and try to turn it in to good habits before I lose it, you know?

I guess I did have updates on my journey today. I’m really glad you’re sticking around. Your support is giving me the motivation to continue working on myself to be better. Suddenly sitting in front of a couple dozen people make being accountable all the more easier to do. Thank you so much for supporting me, especially through this pandemic. It’s been hard but I’m really glad that I’m doing this. It’s never too late to want to make yourself healthier.

World Diabetes Day

Happy World Diabetes Day, fellow diabetics! It’s not something really to celebrate but during Diabetes Awareness Month, it helps bring awareness of this disease worldwide every year.

What is World Diabetes Day?

It was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the threat posed by diabetes. In 2006, World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day. It is marked every year on November 14th, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin alongside Charles Best in 1922.

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2020 is The Nurse and Diabetes.

How ‘worldwide’ is World Diabetes Day?

It is the largest diabetes awareness campaign in the world reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. That’s astounding!

How can I recognize World Diabetes Day campaigns in my area?

Look for the blue circle logo. This logo was adopted by the campaign in 2007 after the passage of the UN Resolution on diabetes. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes awareness. It signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic.

For more information about World Diabetes Day 2020, you can download this .PDF:

I encourage you to find out more about World Diabetes Day and make every day in your community a day of awareness about diabetes. The International Diabetes Federation has many resources and information about diabetes whether you’re here in America or around the world. Don’t let diabetes become bigger than it’s already gotten, once we’re aware of the dangers and the ways we can prevent it, we win. Be safe out there and tell a nurse how much you appreciate them.

History of Diabetes

This is a short history of diabetes. From the times of the Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to modern day, diabetes has been present throughout our history.

Diabetes mellitus comes from the words diabetes (Greek) meaning siphon, to pass through, and mellitus (Latin) honeyed or sweet. This is a reference to the excess sugar found in the blood and urine of someone with diabetes. In the 17th century, diabetes was known as the ‘pissing evil’ because of the excessive urination and thirst.

It was first recorded in English in a medical text around 1425 though the symptoms of diabetes were recorded as far back as Ancient Egypt. In the Middle Ages, diabetes was believed to be a disease of the kidneys, but in the late 18th century they found it occurred in people who experienced an injury to the pancreas. Before proper research and treatment, when someone had symptoms of diabetes it was often thought as a death sentence as they would often die within weeks or months of symptoms appearing.

In 1889, Joseph von Mering and Oskar Minkowski discovered the role of the pancreas in diabetes through research with dogs. They would remove the pancreases of multiple dogs and observe the symptoms of diabetes develop in the dogs before they passed away.

In 1910, Sir Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer found that diabetes was a result from a lack of insulin.

In 1919, Dr. Frederick Allen introduced a therapy of strict dieting or starvation treatment as a way to manage diabetes, not unlike the treatments that were used by others in history.

In 1921, Sir Frederick Grant Banting and Charles Herbert Best repeated the work of von Mering and Minkowski. They also gave the diabetic dogs insulin extracts from healthy dogs and found the results to be in their favor. In 1922, they purified insulin from pancreases of cows and created an effective treatment for diabetes available. This earned them a Nobel Prize in 1923.

January 1922 saw the very first patient to receive insulin injections, a 14-year-old named Leonard Thompson. He lived another 13 years before he died of pneumonia at age 27.

In 1936, Sir Harold Percival Himsworth published his work about differentiating between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

In 1982, the first biosynthetic human insulin, Humulin, was created that was identical in chemical structure to human insulin. It was mass produced and available globally.

In 1988, metabolic syndrome was discovered by Dr. Gerald Reaven. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that raises risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other health problems. Metabolic syndrome is a serious health condition. It is diagnosed when any three of the following five risk factors are present:
• High blood glucose (sugar)
• Low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the
blood
• High levels of triglycerides in the blood
• Large waist circumference or “apple-shaped” body
• High blood pressure

In the centuries that diabetes has been present in human history, we as humans have come so far. In Ancient Greece, they prescribed physical activity and a change in diet, just as we do today. Where they might only have lived weeks or months with their condition, now we can survive many years and thrive with diabetes.

Perhaps someday we can find a cure to diabetes instead of preventative measures. There are many organizations around today doing research in diabetes to find a cure. You can help donate to their efforts.

American Diabetes Association
Cures Within Reach
American Society of Nephrology


References

American Heart Association
News Medical: Life Sciences
Medical News Today


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The Journey: Episode Twenty-Six

NOVEMBER 8, 2020

Well nothing really good has happened. My endocrinologist has decided he can’t help me if I can’t afford my medication. Like thanks, man. I can barely afford my Lantus every two weeks and another insulin would be pushing it. I finally met the deductible for my health insurance this year and it only lasts until December 31, 2020 then my deductible starts all over again. I have to pay $6500 before they pay for anything. I’m not sure if my deductible will change next year.

So whenever I get a job and I’m able to pay for additional medication, he said I can give him a call and we can get started on another insulin. I’m hoping that I can get my blood sugar under better control before then so I won’t need it. I was doing so well with my blood sugar before and now it’s so out of control.

I suspect it started after my dog had a stroke and I was up most of the night and day keeping an eye on her to make sure she didn’t get hurt or crawl under the bed. Her condition didn’t improve and we had to put her down on October 27th and my blood sugar still hasn’t improved. I really miss her and her death hit me pretty hard. I’m getting better though and since I no longer have to take care of her, I can now apply for a job, but with coronavirus, they’re pretty slim pickings and I’m concerned for my own health with my compromised immune system.

All I can do right now is take care of myself. I need to make sure I eat healthier, sleep better, and exercise more. If I can find a job, we could hopefully move out of my grandma’s house and find a place of our own. I’ve been really stressed so I also need to better manage my stress. It’s all a bit much but I can do it. I am also taking an online hypertension management class offered through a local program. It’s only on Thursday night for three weeks but I’ve already learned a lot from the first class.

I am a little more motivated to work on my diet now. I am aiming for a low-fat, low-sodium, and low-carb diet to help manage my hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes. They are also going to sign me up for a nutrition class they offer and get me in contact with one of their dieticians. I haven’t been able to meet with one since my diagnosis three years ago so this will be great.

I am also going to make an effort to eat more fruits and veggies as well as exercise more. Just getting out of the house will do me good I think.

Other than that, I’m pretty much in a worse place than a couple months ago and there’s a lot of work I have to put in to get back to where I was and improve on that. Right now, I weigh about 211 pounds so I have a lot of work to lose 10% of my body weight, which is my goal.

Money is always going to be a problem for my husband and I right now during this pandemic and the only way to remedy it is for me to find a job. Until then, I am also selling stickers on my Etsy shop. It’s not much but it can help keep my blog running without using my own money.

I have three designs ready to print, I just need the money for them, which I’m saving up for. I’m also designing a couple more. I really like making the stickers. It’s a lot of fun. I am also thinking of making enamel or acrylic pins using the same designs. This is very exciting!

Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and it is very important. Diabetes affects so much more people today than a century ago. As obesity affects more and more people each year, diabetes diagnoses are on the rise. I really hope that the information I share on my blog can help you better understand diabetes as well as inform you of some early signs of diabetes. The earlier your doctor can find your diabetes, the better your chances are of controlling and possibly reversing your diabetes.

This month, I want to help in the diabetes research advances and donate to their efforts.

11/8-11/14: American Diabetes Association
11/15-11/21: Cures Within Reach
11/22-11/28: American Society of Nephrology
11/29-12/5: Good Sports

I have launched my Etsy shop and I will be selling my stickers there. 10% of profits from each order will be donated to each organization at the end of each week. The minimum will be $20 whether I sell stickers or not that will come out of my own pocket but I do encourage you to check out my stickers and maybe make a purchase to help donate OR you can go to each organization and donate for yourself!

Also, November 14th is World Diabetes Day so stay tuned for more about that!

This month, we are wearing blue on Fridays in solidarity with diabetics around the world. I will publish another article about the significance of blue with diabetes. Until then, I encourage you to search on your own what diabetes awareness means to you and hopefully one day we can help bring a cure for diabetics everywhere.

The Journey: Episode Twenty-Five

OCTOBER 12, 2020

First update in a long while. I couldn’t afford my other insulin, Novolog 70/30 mix, so I decided to just keep taking my Lantus. I told my doctor about it and he said that’s fine. I just have to monitor my blood sugar more than I was before which was morning and night. He also wants me to check after I eat as well to see what elevates my sugar and all that.

My sugar has been more in range lately so that’s a plus. But I’m still experiencing more highs than lows. I’m taking my dog outside more because she’s getting restless at home now. Our room is too small but I don’t trust her bladder out in the rest of the house. She can’t be outside for too long, it’s really hot here and she overheats easily so I usually wait until after the sun is beyond Mauna Kea when it’s cooler on our side of the island and let her walk around. The fresh air has been a huge welcome for me. I can’t let her out of my sight. Last time she crawled under the bed and got stuck under there until we pulled her out.

Otherwise, life has been really off. My birthday was this past Friday and we got to go on a road trip to Waimea and back with my dog, she kind of enjoyed it. She was so tired afterwards. I wanted to go to the beach but it was Fall Break here and the beaches were crowded so maybe this week we’ll go to the beach.

That’s pretty much what’s going on right now. I need to come back to this blog and write some more. There are a lot of distractions in my life right now and I need to control them better.

The Journey: Episode Twenty-Four

SEPTEMBER 20, 2020

Some good news. I made the decision to lower my insulin dosage from 85 units to 80 units.Why? Mostly because it stings a hell of a lot when I do 85, but also because I want to stretch my insulin as long as I can. And I’ve been doing the 80 units for the last four days and so far my blood sugar levels have been more in range with 80 units than with 85 units. That’s a real surprise to me.

However, I did have one day that was high and I noticed that it was because I forgot to drink my cinnamon tea the night before. When I do drink my tea, my sugar is in range the next morning so that’s pretty awesome.

There’s not much left to talk about. Everything has pretty much been the same as far as not being able to afford my medications all the time. My husband’s birthday is on Wednesday and I plan to make him dinner for a change. He wants mashed potatoes and pork chops. If my grandma’s garden still has green beans, I plan to harvest some and cook some of those with dinner. I think he’d appreciate it if I made him dinner. He always makes dinner, he complains about it too but I know he likes doing it, he can practice cooking and cutting and he’s getting better at it. He is a cook after all.

I am also planning to make him Italian seasoning. I have almost all of the herbs and spices, and he’s been wanting some for a long time. I just need a container to put it in.

My dog had a stroke the Friday before last. She’s doing better after the vet, her recovery is slow-going but she’s walking more and she has an appetite which is good. Her head is tilted and she still kind of walks in circles but she’s walking straighter now. She has started to lose control of her peeing, She pees herself a lot now. We’re keeping a close eye on her. We have step in our room to get up into the rest of the house and today she got herself up that step which was really amazing for her. I hope her recovery goes smoothly.

Other than that, that’s pretty much what’s going on in my life. I do hope to order stickers this week. I’m still deciding which online seller to work with, although it does look like I’ll be working with Etsy, which isn’t so bad except that they have a lot of fees. But we’ll get there when we get there.

The Journey: Episode Twenty-Three

SEPTEMBER 13, 2020

So I’m just waiting to get paid so I can get my new insulin. So far the Lantus is just barely working. I think the cinnamon tea really is helping. However, my dog’s health is in trouble and so I’ve had very little sleep in the last couple nights watching her and making sure she isn’t falling over. I’m so tired and I haven’t been able to eat anything that requires being away from her for too long so it’s not very healthy food the last couple of days and I know that it’s taking it’s toll on my diabetes. My blood sugar was high this morning from last night, 160 mg/dL.

I’m definitely not living the life right now. I’m also studying to take my SIE exam, hopefully next month. The SIE is a financial securities exam, it’s the entrance exam for the Series 6 and 63 that I need to take to become fully licensed and able to sell securities. It’s a bit difficult with all this new language to learn. But because of my dog’s health, I’ve put my studies on hold to take care of her.

I’m hoping that when I get securities licensed I can sign people up for retirement accounts and savings accounts so I can make some income that I can use to build up the Young and Diabetic’s sticker inventory. By the way, I’m still taking pre orders for my first 6 stickers. I decided to keep it open a little while longer. If you want to check them out or place an order, you can check out my Instagram page and DM me.

So I had the blood test a week ago and then on Thursday, I had my doctor appointment and thankfully, my high blood pressure the week before was stress related, not health related. My blood pressure was much better at my appointment. My doctor said my liver function was elevated, I’m still not sure what that means. If you know, can you comment below and help a girl out? I have no idea how bad that is, he made it sound like it was bad.

It feels like everything’s kind of coming apart in my life right now and I know everything will be okay but at the same time, I feel like I don’t want to keep doing this. I wish time could stop, everything could stop and I can catch my breath and prepare myself for what’s ahead. Time is moving way too fast right now and yet each second ticks by devastatingly slow. It’s confusing and frustrating all at once.

What are some things I can control?

I can control when and how I take a shower. If Waiemi watches our dog, I can take my time in the shower to take care of myself and today I felt like I needed it.

I can control how much water I drink. I haven’t been very thirsty lately and that’s a really good sign with my diabetes since diabetes can cause dry mouth.

That’s kind of all I feel like I can control in my life right now, but I’m working on this. Mental health is so important and I haven’t paid enough attention to my mental health and with my dog’s health being what it is now, I know I’m going to hit a low soon and I need to prepare myself for it. She’s been the sunlight of my life for the last 16 years. I’m turning 26 next month, she’s been with me for more than half of my life. It’ll break my heart when she’s gone but I know that the last year of her life, she could have been in a worse off place but my husband and I brought her with us when my mom moved and she’s been living a comfortable life for the last year. She’s my baby and I love her so much.