The Journey: Episode Nine

APRIL 25, 2020

So I just got my new glucose meter and MyID Medical ID. I’m super excited about both of them. This Thursday I’ll post a review of the One Drop Meter. I’m very excited about it. If you want to see the unboxing video, I posted it up on my Instagram. Besides that, it’s pretty much business as usual.

Thanks to the One Drop app, I have a diabetes coach named Rachel. This past week she’s been getting to know me and my diabetes a little more to see exactly how she can help. I’ve learned a bit about diabetes from her too.

With 55units of insulin as my current dosage, I can inject about 5 days per pen and I’m down to my last three pens before my next appointment this Thursday and I don’t know how long after that I’ll be able to get my next prescription.

Unfortunately, 55units isn’t working. My doctor said that my max should be 65 units so I’m getting pretty close to that. I’m a little afraid of upping it to 60units because 55 takes so long to inject as it is and it hurts even if I go slowly. Last night was weird, I injected on the right side of my piko (belly-button) and it was a little sore, but when I tried to push the plunger down, it was having trouble going down and started to hurt a lot. I think I managed 5 units before I couldn’t push anymore. So I stopped and pulled it out before trying in another area close by. There was a bit of blood from the first site. The second site went in less painfully and was easier to push down. I wonder what was blocking the first injection that it didn’t go down well.

I had my A1C blood test this past Thursday and I should know the results during my appointment, which will be done over the phone because my doctor is on Oahu and they’ve had a lot of cases in the past month and a half. Super scary to travel to Oahu with diabetes right now. Plus I’m unemployed now and couldn’t afford a plane ticket.

I hope my A1C reflects well on my insulin usage. This quarantine has really messed me up. Before the quarantine, 45 units was doing really well for like three weeks and then it wasn’t working anymore and I had to up my dosage to 50 and now 55. I might have to up it to 60 units before my doctor appointment so I can see if that brings my numbers lower. My fasting glucose reading has been over 140mg/dL with a couple under 125. I don’t know if 60 units is going to help but I want to see anyway, even if I’m afraid of the paid of a prolonged injection speed.

APRIL 26, 2020

Last night, I upped my insulin to 60 units I first tried to inject and it was too painful so I stopped and removed the needle to inject in another site. That one was a lot easier and less sore. However, my fasting blood sugar was reading at over 170mg/dL. I am very upset with this reading. My weight has dropped 5 pounds in the past week so I’m glad about that which means I’m eating better and getting good exercise. I’m definitely eating more veggies, mostly pickled veggies but veggies nonetheless. I am so excited about the One Drop meter and the app.

So now I’m just waiting for Thursday’s doctor appointment to see how well I’ve been doing or not doing on my insulin. Not gonna lie, when I saw the plunger go up to 60 units I was like holy cow that’s a long way to go.

Other than that, quarantine is really messing with my eating habits and my mental and emotional health. I live in a house with zero privacy and can’t enjoy a night alone with my husband just relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. Our wedding anniversary was on Wednesday and it was the most alone time we’ve had in two months and it was spent not at home. Plus, we were both rejected for unemployment and the letter said we had to contact the office for an appeal, but I can’t get through on the phone and no one has answered my email. I’m getting very frustrated and losing hope.

BUT the other day we got approved for SNAP benefits and that is the best news we’ve gotten this year so far. We don’t have to worry about food now just the bills we still have to pay for unfortunately. We might have to cut off Netflix and Disney + and just stick with Amazon Prime, just to make bills easier for us. We’ve gotten deferments for most of our bills until July but there’s some that we can’t get deferments on, like our cellphone bill. We have to get in contact with our bank about deferments on our loans there.

This is a crazy time and we’re all just trying to survive. Be smart and be safe out there everyone.

The Journey: Episode Eight

APRIL 19, 2020

So I am super excited. Yesterday, I ordered a new glucose meter and I ordered my very own Medical ID! When I bought my True Metrix Air from CVS, I didn’t read any reviews on this particular meter. I thought, Oh my, a bluetooth enabled meter?! I want it! I am all about that technological age and I wanted an app that could help me along my journey with diabetes. I figured my True Metrix was as good as it can get for now.

A couple weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard looking for posts to reblog on my The Young and Diabetic blog and I came across a post about my meter. The original poster had noticed that her meter was reading significantly lower than her previous meter (a Reli On Prime like my old meter). Now I know there are some differences in accuracy across different meters but I had gone three weeks with my blood sugar seemingly being within range but what if it wasn’t within range?

I read other reviews and there were other reviews just like it. I thought, No my meter isn’t one of those. So I decided to test it out. My grandma also has diabetes and she has a good old fashioned One Touch Meter. I used hers and mine for a whole week and you know what? Mine was consistently lower by 20-25 mg/dL. Her meter was saying that my blood sugar was actually just out of range. This obviously concerned me and I had to think about getting a new meter maybe. One more reliable but bluetooth enabled so I can keep track of my readings electronically.

The other night I was scrolling through the App Store for a diabetes app that could help me keep track of my glucose readings, food intake, and whatever else I wanted to keep track of. Then I came across the One Drop app. It was colorful and can keep track of my glucose readings, A1C, medication (with reminders), weight, food intake, and blood pressure. I was super excited for that app and downloaded it.

While I was exploring the app, I found a link where I could order my own One Drop Chrome Glucose Meter Kit. I loved it immediately. The chrome was so chic and it was a sleek, small, and simple design. AND it only required a 0.5 microliter of blood for testing like my True Metrix. My husband said I had to wait until all the bills were paid first before I could order my kit. Now that all the bills are paid, I put in my order yesterday and I am anxiously awaiting for my kit! When it comes in, I’ll do a sort of unboxing video and show you folks what it looks like.

Another great thing about One Drop is that it comes with a subscription plan for testing strips and lancets. They will send you how ever many strips and lancets you need at whatever frequency you want (one month, two months, etc.) AND every year they send you a brand new meter for free!!!! That is so cool!

To check out One Drop for yourself, click here!

Then last night I was scrolling through Facebook and I found an ad for MyID Medical ID and I decided to check it out. I looked at what products they had available and I asked my husband if I could get one. I’ve been wanting to get a Medical ID for a long time but it’s always been kind of expensive. He said yes because he’s an amazing husband. I decided to go with the Sport band in blue and turquoise for $24.95. Then I also decided to upgrade to Plus for $12 for an entire year (50% off from $24). Basically the Plus can also send a text message that my Medical ID was scanned and give a GPS location, in case something happens to me while I’m out and by myself, my husband can know there’s an emergency.

While I was in the checkout, I looked back through their menu to see if there was anything else I might want to get. Then I saw they had a clearance section so I decided to check it out and there I found the Sport band that I was getting but it was $7.50 in a different color! What a freaking deal! So I got the white and salmon sport band instead and saved $17. Then I Googled to see if there were any discount codes for MyID that I could apply to it and I found one for 30% off! So I bought a discounted MyID and a year’s subscription of Plus for the price of ONE ID!!! How awesome is that?!

The MyID also comes with an app where I can update my information and pick and choose what I want to show up on my profile when a medial professional scans my Medical ID. Also a bonus of the Sport band is that it’s waterproof so I don’t have to take it off when I shower.

To check out MyID, click here.

So now I’m just waiting for those things to ship out. I’m a little upset that I didn’t find these earlier this week so it could ship out sooner but oh well. I can’t wait for them to come in so I can show you folks, I’m so excited!

Other than that, which was a whole mouth full or eye full. My insulin is up to 55 units and so far my True Metrix says I’m within range. Unfortunately, I weigh 210 pounds again. This pandemic is not good for my health. I am sleeping irregular hours and I don’t know how to fix that just yet. The only highlights of my day are now writing for this blog and walking the dogs at the park in the early evening. I want this pandemic to be over.

The Journey: Episode Seven (Easter Edition)

APRIL 12, 2020

Happy Easter! Or, I suppose, the day after Easter. For most of my life, Easter was literally about the egg hunt and loads of candy afterward. My sisters and I helped our parents pack the eggs the night before and my parents would hide them the next morning. Usually, before 8am they’d go out and we were released at 9am. I loved dyeing the eggs when we were little. Then I turned 12 and it was mostly for my sisters. Then we all got too old, but thankfully my aunty had a son when I was 11. By the time we were too old for eggs, Hunter was just the age for the hunt and we got to do it all over again for him. Then Hunter’s sister, my cousin Kale, had a son and we were doing it all over again for him. In 2015, I had an egg hunt for my husband (then boyfriend) because he never had one before and I thought it was so much fun doing it for him. He loved it and we shared the candy afterwards.

Now that’s my history of the egg hunt. Easter has always been about the candy and my grandma’s honey baked ham (YUM). Now I’m 25 turning 26 this year. Coronavirus is a thing and the Merrie Monarch was canceled this year. Merrie Monarch is an annual hula festival that takes place here in my hometown of Hilo. Every year, Hawaiian craft and clothes vendors flock to Hilo and sell their special Merrie Monarch collections. It brings much needed revenue to the town. Now that’s all changed.

In August of 2018, I started going to church just as something to do with my coworkers. When I was little, I used to sleepover for the entire weekend at my friends houses and we’d go to church on Sunday, whatever church they went to. So I’ve been to a lot of different churches and seen a lot of different denominations. Last year, I ended up getting baptized and joining a Christian church in my area. Last Easter, before I was baptized, I went to their service and I enjoyed the service very much. I just watched their Easter service online and it got me thinking.

I’m really glad I joined the church last year and I have this faith to kind of keep me sane during this pandemic. Everything seems so bleak and depressing and it feels really good to have a faith to keep me sane. But at the same time, during this quarantine and lockdown I’ve been thinking about how this will change our society when it’s over. How will it change holidays, sports, and school?

Do you know how much candy goes in to this holiday? I was thinking how can we change that? How can we take the sweets out completely or at least decrease it? Then I saw a video on Tik Tok. I follow a lady called CouponKatie and she showed how she does Easter for her kids. Besides candy, she also puts some money and small toys in the eggs. Nothing more than $5 bills but that’s up to you and small lego figurines and other toys that can fit in to eggs. I thought that was a fabulous idea!

So for my diabetic parents or parents of diabetic children, save your plastic Easter eggs for next year and cut back on the candy and fill them with other items like change and toys! Guess what we’re having for dinner tonight. The very not-diabetic-friendly dish of kalbi (YUMMM). If you want the recipe for that (and I know it’s not diabetic friendly) just comment below and I can share it this coming Saturday. My husband has had it marinating overnight and my grandma has been craving it since she graduated from her Ornish program. Breaking the diet already.

Anyway, besides church and egg hunts, my diabetic journey isn’t going well. I have gained weight in this quarantine even with all of the healthier food and exercise. I believe it’s the unhealthy amount of snacks and the constant snacking while I’m not doing anything. It’s healthy snacks but of course, everything in moderation. How the heck can you really avoid the Quarantine-15?! How can I avoid gaining 15 pounds during this?! I’ve already gained 5 pounds here.

Otherwise, my insulin injections are getting better and I’m taking my medication and everything. My blood sugar is not within range anymore and I’ve had to up my insulin dosage to 50 units but it’s been five days so now I have to go up to 55 units tonight. I think it’s a whole bunch of factors like being locked down and snacking so much. Hopefully this pandemic ends soon and I can see if what I’m doing now (minus the snacking) is working.

In three weeks, I am going to get a blood test to check my A1C and the following week I’m gonna have my endocrinologist appointment over the phone and see what we’re gonna do next. Here’s to hoping!

Have as great an April as you folks can have out there! Stay safe and stay healthy! I love you guys!

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.