7 Little Ways to Care for Your Diabetes

Whether you are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with it for years, you can make small changes to your life that could potentially turn your life around. You could come off the insulin injections, you could stop taking tons of medications, you could potentially reverse your diabetes.

Be warned, it will not happen right away. You will need to have patience and persevere. You need to set your goals, keep them in your heart the entire time. It will be hard. You will feel devastated and tired and frustrated, but you can do this. My favorite quote from wherever I had heard it, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

1. Lose (Just A Little) Weight

As your body gains weight, it can have more difficulty regulating blood sugar levels with the insulin your body naturally produces. This leads to insulin resistance, your pancreas will produce more and more insulin to move the sugar from your blood into your cells. But it will become less effective and can cause damage to your pancreas.

Insulin promotes fat storage and weight gain. It causes an infinite cycle of weight gain, insulin resistance, more insulin production, more weight gain. But modest weight loss, 5 to 10% of your body weight, can lead to huge improvements. Just a 7% loss can improve insulin sensitivity by 57%!

2. Water Down Blood Sugar

The more dehydrated you are, the more concentrated the sugars in your blood become. Those who drink less than 16 ounces of water per day have a higher risk of developing elevated blood sugar levels compared with those who drank more. You can drink water, herbal tea, and milk. Coffee should be limited to three cups a day, caffeine can dehydrate you.

3. Try Exercise Snacking

Instead of doing 30 consecutive minutes of exercising, try to spread the physical activity throughout the day. Maybe three 10-minute walks throughout the day. Research suggests that these bite-size bits of activity can help control blood sugar better than one longer workout.

Don’t forget to do various types of exercise, like aerobics and strength training. Adults naturally lose 8% of their muscle mass every 10 years between ages 40 and 70, diabetes can double that. Try spending 10 minutes a day building strength by using weights, resistance bands, or body weight moves.Another 10 minutes doing aerobic activity such as fast walking, swimming, jogging, etc. Then another 10 minutes of stretching, which will improve joint movement and reduce chances of injury.

Walking as much as possible throughout the day matters!

4. Muscle Up With Protein

Protein is important for maintaining muscle and stimulating several hormones that contribute to blood sugar regulation. Focus on fish, white-meat chicken, plant-based sources, and lean cuts of beef. Make sure you’re eating protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

5. Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

People with diabetes, obesity or both are at increased risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19. Research suggests that COVID can worsen diabetes by causing damage to the pancreas and system-wide inflammation that increases insulin resistance.

Even if you get COVID after having been vaccinated, it should indirectly result in less COVID impact for preexisting diabetes. You can get a milder case of COVID with the vaccine. Also don’t forget to stay up to date with your other vaccines as well.

6. Don’t Focus On Sugar

After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for the first time, people often go to extremes, like drastically limiting carbs. But too few carbs can lead to fatigue, nutritional deficiencies and dangerously low blood sugar. Women should aim for 30-45 grams per meal and men should get 60-75 grams.

Proper nutrition is so important after a diabetes diagnosis, meaning consulting with a registered dietician or certified diabetes care and education specialist is very important.

7. Let The Meds Come As Needed

It’s common for people who are trying to their diabetes to feel like failures if they can’t get off their medications. Even if you do manage to come off your medications, medications could still play an important role in your life, like insulin. Don’t feel defeated by the amount of medications you have, hopefully one day, you’ll knock them out. You can do this!


AARP Magazine, Dec 2021/Jan 2022

Season Two: Episode Six

MARCH 28, 2021

This week I had an eye appointment for my new glasses. My eyes have gotten a little worse in the last three years. In the past year, I’ve been getting headaches from wearing my glasses so I knew I needed a new prescription. I’m glad I’m getting new ones.

My ophthalmologist said that the pressure in my eye is borderline high. I’m not sure how I can lower the pressure in my eye, but he said that’s the only problem he sees with my eyes right now, so I’m really glad that even though my diabetes still isn’t under control, it isn’t completely messing up my body yet.

On Friday, I had my appointment with my endocrinologist. Not very helpful. He wants to try and put me back on Ozempic. I told him that we were doing better financially but I don’t think we’re that great yet. I mean $800 per pen for only a month’s worth. Not sure how I feel about it but I said I would try. I’m not sure if he’s also giving me the fast-acting insulin too or if I’m even still going to be taking my Lantus with the Ozempic. I have to give his office a call this week to clarify my drug usage.

I’ve been feeling unwell the last couple of days. I haven’t been in to work much but I’m still working from home. I woke up with a sore throat a couple days ago and it went away, then the next morning it was worse and didn’t fully go away. Then this morning at 4:30 I woke up and couldn’t breathe or swallow and I was coughing. And I’m not going to lie to you, I thought I had COVID. I started crying and I couldn’t go back to sleep for a long while. But after sitting up for a while and drinking water, my cough got better and I was able to swallow a bit more.

My husband bought me cold and cough medicine when he came home from work and I took some and felt a lot better. I’m still coughing here and there but I can breathe. I’m still worried it’s COVID. We don’t have free COVID testing until Wednesday and that’s a bit too long to be out of work I think. But we’ll see what happens when I wake up in the morning on Monday, because apparently it happens while I’m asleep.

I’ll give you folks an update next Monday here on the blog or earlier on my Facebook page. I don’t know what’s going on with me, but if tomorrow I feel worse, I’m going to go to Urgent Care to see what the heck is up with my body. Wish me luck folks.

A Day in My Life (Quarantine Edition)

Here’s what my day looks like during quarantine.

Wake Up (any time between 6 and 10am)
Blood Sugar Check (between 7 and 9am)
Breakfast and get ready for the day.

Then it could be anything that needs doing around the house.
We defrosted and cleaned out our chest freezer, we’re thinking of ways of better organization for it. We’ve already cleaned out the refrigerator, so next is the cabinets and the pantry shelves. We also have to clean our car and clean the area we’re staying in at my grandma’s house. We have plans to cut down the invasive trees in the yard and break them down, that’ll involve the whole day. There’s also time to walk in the yard and harvest the fruits from the trees.

We usually finish by 2pm and I spend the next hour to hour half working on the blog, WattPad, language lessons, or do some research.

By 4:30pm we get ready to take the dogs to the park for a walk. We do one lap around, which takes so long because Angel likes to stop and smell everything that’s interesting. Then we go to a little island in the park that has bridges to it and we let the dogs go around off leash. When we’re done, we take Meli and Paws back to mom’s house then we head home.

I take a shower immediately coming home, I hate feeling sweaty. Then it’s dinner time. After dinner, my evening is spent either on my laptop working on the blog or watching tv.

Around 10pm, I take my bedtime insulin, but I don’t go to bed yet. I usually stay up until 1am, which I’m sure does wonders on my blood sugar in the morning.

And because I went to sleep so late, I will wake up late as well.

My days are pretty boring during quarantine and I hope after being so bored here I’ll live a less boring life after quarantine. Yea, right. But here’s to hoping that I won’t want to be cooped up in the house all day ever again.

One day, I hope to buy a DSLR camera and go out and take photos of my island. We plan to move to the mainland one day and I think I’m gonna need those photos to remind me of where I came from. I also want to make a video of all of my favorite places to take with us. I also want to do some painting. Maybe I can do some of that now. So many possibilities.

The Journey: Episode Six

APRIL 5, 2020

So I’m a little bit a lot upset. Three days straight my morning blood sugar has been higher than normal, over 150 mg/dL. We’ve been having dinner a bit late but I’ve eaten by 8:30pm. I took my berberine, did some exercises and after three days, it was still high. So last night I decided to go up to 50 units of bedtime insulin. I woke up and took my blood sugar and it was still a bit high. 128mg/dL just three marks above my goal. I’m a little upset that I had to go up in insulin after a little over three weeks at 45 units.

My weight has pretty much stayed the same. Which is completely lame. I’m getting out, I’m sweating, my heart rate is up. Physically activity isn’t my issue now I guess. It’s literally what I eat. If it wasn’t for this damn coronavirus, everything wouldn’t be either expensive or out of stock. We’re literally just buying whatever is available and making whatever we can with whatever we have.

Hopefully this all ends soon so I can find replacements for the things I currently have. I will be making a post sometime either this month or next that will be all about the foods diabetics can swap for something healthier. While I’m creating it I will definitely look into how much it’ll cost too. I know for myself, quinoa would be a better alternative than rice, but since rice is more available and affordable right now than quinoa, I have to make do with it.

I guess for now, the most I can do is just keep my weight steady. I don’t want to become victim of the Quarantine 15 and gain 15 pounds while trapped in my home. At least my state has allowed residents to get exercise outside. My sisters and I try to keep our dog walks around one hour. It’s pretty much the only time we go outside besides taking trash to the dump and running to the store to get essentials, still haven’t been able to find toilet paper. It’ll be a real accomplishment to weigh 200 pounds at the end of this quarantine.

Tomorrow, I have a doctor appointment to refill my other prescriptions. I forgot to call and see how the appointment will go, but I suppose I just go in, because they didn’t call me either. My endocrinology appointment will be done over the phone since I’m too afraid to fly to Oahu for my appointment. The bulk of our coronavirus cases are on Oahu right now and I’d be stuck there for hours depending on when the flights home would be. Last I checked, Southwest was canceling most of their flights so I’d have a flight over in the morning but because my appointment is at 3pm, I wouldn’t be able to catch a flight out on Southwest, I might have to fly another airline. But at least I can do it over the phone. I have a blood test to do the week before, then they’ll call me around my appointment time and we’ll go from there. I’ll probably get more insulin.

For now this is what’s up, I’m still fat, we have food (not super healthy but it’s the best we can do), our chest freezer is defrosted and devoid of all the old food from five years ago (yuck!), I’m getting exercise almost every day (as long as it’s not raining, like today), and I’m trying to maintain my weight and blood sugar to the best of my ability. Great stuff.

Since I’m currently unemployed, I have a lot more time to work on my blog and I’m also writing fanfiction for fun. I’m also taking an online course for graphic design and learning Spanish and American Sign Language on the side, just to keep my brain from rotting. Hopefully my new skills will make me valuable in the workplace.

When this is over, I really want to go for a long coastal drive and play my music loud with the windows down and enjoy some time in the open, fresh air. Good luck to those of you in quarantine and lockdown. Hopefully this ends soon and we can all go outside again.

The Journey: Episode Four

MARCH 21, 2020

Coronavirus has impacted our lives here in Hawaii. Tourists and visitors still come to the islands even though our governor asked people to stop coming. The other counties have put their islands on lockdown, restricted non-essential businesses and placed curfews on their residents and visitors, all counties except Hawaii County. My island hasn’t done anything just yet, which has upset a lot of our residents. Many companies and businesses have shut down and laid off workers, my job included. No need for tour guides when tourists are no longer coming. Plus with my diabetes, I have a compromised immune system and I had to limit my interaction with people anyway.

So I am currently jobless, hopefully after this pandemic, my job will reach out and see if I still want to come back and work for them. We’ll see how I feel about it when that time comes. Until then I have more time to work on my blog and continue working on my health. I’m not sure if I’ll still be able to go down to Liliuokalani Garden to walk our dogs around and get my exercise in. Since I don’t have work anymore I don’t get the same exercise as before. If they have shut down the park then I won’t be able to get much exercise, my neighborhood isn’t completely safe to walk around unfortunately.

We will have to see how things persist, but I will continue to try and do something in the meantime. For now, I am up to 45 units of insulin at bedtime and so far I’ve been pretty consistent around 110mg/dL. I also definitely credit taking my berberine supplement for helping with that. Lately, I’ve been bleeding from the injection site. Last night’s injection produced the most blood. My tummy was warm and I didn’t feel any pain until afterward as usual, but we think I may have knicked a vein or something. But once I wiped the blood away, it stopped bleeding. I suppose as long as it stops, I should be okay.

Right now, my endocrinologist appointment still stands for April 30 on Oahu, but if anything changes with the COVID-19 situation I may have to reschedule but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. I just need to keep taking my meds and staying as active as I can be.

I’ve been very frustrated with my weight lately. I have gained it all back. I think I should go back on my apple cider vinegar supplement in hopes it’ll help control my appetite. If I go to my appointment on Oahu next month, I’d like to show that I lost weight instead of gained. Especially now that I’m not currently working. I need to exercise more and eat less. I hope I can do it.