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.

Season Two: Episode Five

MARCH 15, 2021

I have my Endocrinologist appointment set for next week Friday. I just went and got my lab work done this past Saturday. I forgot how much I hate needles. It hurt like a bugger. I had to make an appointment with our lab to do my blood stuff and the whole night before my arm was so sore and I was freaking out about the needle. The morning of I was scared and my arm was sore.

I’m so glad that even though I freak out about needles, as long as I don’t look at it, I don’t flinch. Do you know how much more sore it would be if I flinched? My goodness that would be painful.

I have to wait a couple of days for my results to be available through my portal and I can see what my A1C is. I’m not looking forward to that at all. I’m sure it’s high, like over 9. I’m so upset at myself. Yes I’ve lost weight but I haven’t been watching what I’m eating and my sugar has been elevated. I was in a rush this morning and I forgot to take my blood sugar before I left the house.

I swear my diabetes management has gotten worse this past year. I need to exercise and eat better so I can get my blood sugar down and maybe I won’t need to take the second insulin, which thanks to the Stimulus check I will be able to afford for a short time. But I can’t keep paying for two insulins and I need to work on myself too.

I’m really scared of needles and I don’t want to take two insulins and inject like three times a day. I don’t like this at all. I’ll let you folks know how my appointment goes in a couple weeks. But I’m sure he’s going to prescribe the second insulin.

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 One

JANUARY 4, 2021

It’s a new year and honestly I’m not sure if it’s a new me. The drive and passion to make changes in my life are just as strong as five days ago but my willpower is as low as ever. I know what I have to do, it’s finding the motivation to get up and move. When I do move, I’ll keep moving. It’s the first step that’s always the hardest.

On the other hand, The Young and Diabetic has turned one and it’s honestly so amazing that I’ve managed to keep this blog going for one year. I’m notorious for starting things and stopping right in the middle, but I think it’s because I’m so passionate about diabetes that’s keeping me going. Not to mention you guys. As much as I like writing to keep me busy, it’s good to know that someone, somewhere out there is reading my work and actually liking what I write. You’re amazing. If you weren’t here, I would have stopped writing a long time ago I think.

I hate the idea of resolutions and diets. I hate them because I never remember them and I never stick to them. Resolutions seem so temporary even though they’re meant to be kept the entire year, we forget after a couple of weeks. So instead, here is a list of my goals for the year:

  1. Build My Followership. Get 500 followers on The Young and Diabetic blog, 250 likes on The Young and Diabetic Facebook page, and 150 followers on @younganddiabetic on Instagram, 500 subscribers to my newsletter.
  2. Reach My Goal Weight. I am now 212lbs and I want to reach my goal weight of 160lbs this year. That’s a 52lb weight loss, one pound per week.
  3. Reach Etsy Shop Goals. Make $1000 in revenue and 150 orders.
  4. Reach My Business Goals. Protect 60 families and recruit 60 people with my business.
  5. Save More Money. Get to $2000 for retirement, save up $2000 for a second car, and save up $2000 to buy a house. This is just for the year but I hope to save up a lot more.
  6. Get My Diabetes Under Control. I want to be able to lower my insulin and metformin dosage this year.

I’m going to print out my goals and post them in my room and at my desk so I can always seem them and take steps everyday to achieving them. I encourage you to write down your goals for the year. Avoid using certain phrases like “I want to lose 20lbs” instead say you want to achieve your goal weight of whatever it is. Aim big, you more than likely won’t make it but even if you make it halfway, that’s a big win. Like I have 100 followers right now and it took all year to get 100. I think realistically I can get another 100 this year, but if I aim for 500, 250 will still be a big win for me!

Feel free to share your goals with me so I can help cheer you on. You all are going to keep me accountable this year. I really appreciate all of you. Thank you for sticking with me. I hope you have a great 2021 and you achieve your goals and dreams this year.

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.

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 Nineteen

SUNDAY, AUGUST 16, 2020

My blood sugar is looking a little bit better this week. I started drinking cinnamon tea about five days ago and my blood sugar has been in range more days than out of it. I’ve heard of the benefits of cinnamon tea on blood sugar levels and I’ve been wanting to try it out for a while and I finally got around to it. I’ve read that you can use either a cinnamon stick or one tablespoon of ground cinnamon, I finally found cinnamon sticks in a big container at my Walmart so I don’t have to do ground cinnamon.

One thing about cinnamon tea though, is make sure you’re not taking too much of it. It has a compound that could shutdown your liver if you ingest too much of it, but you’d have to take like either a lot or this one cinnamon that has a high amount of that compound. I can’t think of the name right now, so do your research before you start drinking this stuff.

It’s not so bad although if I let it sit for too long, like when I’m waiting for the water to cool down and I’ve forgotten it, it can get a bit spicy. One time I forgot it completely until the water was basically cold and the stick was sitting in the water and it was the spiciest drink I’ve ever had in my life it was a bit hard to swallow but I managed to drink it all. I think it works best when the water gets spicy.

My cinnamon stick stash

I’ve been using one stick twice a day, once in the morning and once before I take my insulin. Then I’ll take my blood sugar and prep my insulin. Man my insulin. I’m running low on funds to buy my insulin, fun times. So I’ve taken to using every drop of insulin I have. Before I’d throw away whatever was left in my pens if it couldn’t make a full dose, because I was afraid of sticking myself twice in a night, and for good reason too, it’s not fun twice in one night.

But since I won’t be able to afford it for much longer I’ve had to double up on needles every couple of days to make my 85 unit doses. It’s not fun and my left leg has already had to do it twice now. I’ve managed ten shots in my right thigh and I’m eight shots in on my left thigh with two nights doubling up. It wasn’t very fun, though last night it wasn’t too bad when the needles went in, but afterwards they both stung and the second one bled a little bit.

I’ve kind of come to terms with double shots some nights, anything to save money really. I’m just upset that I have two insurances and neither of them will pay for my insulin. I’m not sure if my insulin is a life-saving drug, but it’s so important to my health and they won’t cover it, like it’s some optional drug that I don’t need. They’ll pay for my cortisone cream for my eczema but not my insulin. Thank goodness for a manufacturer coupon that makes it cheaper for me, but at $100 a box every couple of weeks is still ridiculous.

This is so ridiculous. But hopefully with the cinnamon tea, exercise, and lower carb intake my blood sugar will be able to get under better control. I hope I can get another insulin or something that I can take a smaller dosage and maybe cheaper? Who knows. Here’s to hoping for a better future for myself.

The Journey: Episode Eighteen

AUGUST 10, 2020

So conditions have been unchanged since the last journey update. I went one night without injecting my insulin and the next morning I woke up and my blood glucose was 210 mg/dL. I’m not sure how it would have been if I had taken my insulin that night because we had dinner kind of late that night, after 7pm, and it was pretty carb heavy. But then there’s today. I ate dinner way before 6pm and it wasn’t very carb heavy. When I took my blood glucose at 9am, kind of late because I woke up late, it was 179! So that’s very frustrating.

I think my insulin injections aren’t working as well as they were when I first started taking them. They’re still working thank goodness, but not nearly enough. It’s only a slight change in my numbers between not taking and taking my insulin. So I’m basically paying $99 every two weeks or so for a drug that’s supposed to be helping me, but isn’t.

And that’s another thing. I have Lantus. It’s 5 pens of about 310units each. I’m at 85units now, I can only get three doses from each pen. I don’t use it all the way to 0 because I don’t want to inject myself twice, it’s bad enough doing one each night, plus there are always bubbles no matter how hard I try. I have a coupon card which helps me get my boxes at a discount, I’m not sure what the discount is, but I only pay $99. However, when I tried to fill my prescription on the last week of July, the Pharmacy said if they were to fill it then, I would have to pay full price, but if I waited until next week, it would be $99. Neither of my insurances companies cover my insulin, which completely fucking sucks, so I had to wait, thankfully I had enough left to be able to wait. But now I go through one box in two weeks and I wonder if they’ll be able to fill it at the discounted price. I think I might have to double inject this time just to make it stretch, which doesn’t sound fun at all.

Liliuokalani Park and Gardens – Hilo,HI

My next prescription of Lantus, I’m moving to another pharmacy where it will be hopefully cheaper for me. If not, then I have no idea what to do and I’m screwed. Unless my doctor can give me another insulin which would be a lot better, if it’s cheaper.

Yea the stress of not having enough money to buy my medication and the stress of my medication not working is very…stressful. I’ve been so stressed out lately that I had a breakdown, in front of my boss. Thankfully she was so kind and understanding. We worked out my schedule so I only work one to two hours a day from home and it’s been working a lot so far. I feel less stressed and I’m getting more work done.

I’m looking in to meditation to try and help get my stress levels down on the regular and take time for myself more often. I’ve got a lot of lovely scented candles that I’ve been lighting and it’s been lifting my spirits.

I hope if you’re facing these same hardships in your diabetic journey, that you’ll take some time for yourself. Your mental health is so important and we always forget to take care of ourselves. Go take a nice warm bath. Drink some tea and read your favorite book. Go take a walk outside in the sunshine today. Take some time to slow down and enjoy your life. Even though you have diabetes, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this life you were given. Smile at yourself in the mirror and take a minute to love being you. I love you. I am here for you. We can get through this together. You’ve got this!

The Journey: Episode Seventeen

AUGUST 3, 2020

So it’s been a long while since I last posted. A lot had been going on during July with helping my sister with her move and then cleaning up after she left, she left a surprising amount of stuff behind. We had a ceremony for my dad’s ashes in July which took a lot of planning. Then there was our storage unit we had to go through. It was all very overwhelming and I hadn’t expected on taking a hiatus from The Young and Diabetic, so I deeply and sincerely apologize.

On to the journey, not so great. So I’ve been injecting in to my thighs for a bit, it’s not super fun, but it doesn’t hurt as much as injecting in to my abdomen. I actually miscalculated the injections in my thighs and only did 15 shots per thigh when I could have done a lot more, but I used quite a bit of my outer thighs so I decided to give them a rest for two weeks and went back to injecting in to my abdomen, man it was sore. I forgot how sensitive my abdomen was. My pen only does up to 80 units but I’ve gone up to 85 units of insulin which means in the middle of injecting, I have to stop and twist the plunger back 5 units to make 85. I definitely don’t want to reinject the needle. HELL NO!

I use a One Drop meter and with it I have a monthly subscription for test strips. Thanks to the monthly subscription, I have access to a diabetes coach. My coach, Rachel, had asked me if I ever talked with my doctor about possibly switching to another insulin brand that was stronger so I could do smaller dosages. I didn’t even know that was a thing! I was worried that my doctor would switch me to an insulin that needed to be taken with each meal. I think a stronger but smaller dosage would be great because a larger dosage takes forever to inject.

My next doctor appointment is on August 25th so I’ll definitely bring it up with my doctor. Then we’ll see what we can do. Right now, I’m injecting in my thighs again. I’m on my right thigh and I’m going to do about ten injections on my thigh in a line with a 1/4″ distance between injection sites before moving to the next thigh.

I’m still really upset that now I have to stop mid-injection to up my dosage by 5 units and my hands involuntarily shake and move the needle AND MY GLUCOSE IS STILL HIGH! It’s so frustrating and a couple of times, I’ve bled because my hand shakes too much and it all just sucks.

Honolii Beach Park – Hilo, HI

My glucose ranges from 120 to 170 in the morning and anything above 125 is an evil number and it’s like no matter what I do I can’t seem to keep my numbers down. Some times it’ll be nice and low but I don’t know what I did to get that number and when I try to replicate it the next day, my number is over 150, like WTF!?

So annoying and so frustrating. I feel like I’m stressing out and I can’t stop stressing and I feel like everyone around me is adding to my stress and it’s getting overwhelming. I can’t even get a good night’s sleep. I’m lucky if I fall asleep before 10pm. Sometimes I won’t fall asleep until almost 3am. Like what is going on with my body! I’m sorry I didn’t mean to just lay all that out for you.

Anyway, I’m going to keep pushing ahead and I’m going to try to get back on my content schedule as best as I can, even though this one is a day late. Please don’t worry about me, I’ll get through this. I always do.