The Journey: Episode Twenty Two

SEPTEMBER 6, 2020

So I couldn’t afford to get my Novolog Mix 70/30 this week. No shock there. My insurance preferred that I get the brand name insulin which was obviously more, almost $600 a box of five pens. So the pharmacy asked if I wanted to screw my insurance and go with the generic and I said okay. Hah $300 per box of five pens. Then I asked if they could take my GoodRX card, they said sure. That would have brought my insulin down to $132. Which that was still too high a cost this week with all of our bills we had to pay, including the insurance that won’t pay for my medications.

So instead I went back to KTA and refilled my Lantus for $99. So I’ve been taking that the last two nights again. Not sure when we’ll get the money to pay for the Novolog, if we’ll get that money. Unemployment is supposed to give us backpay for August but we don’t know when that is coming. I’ve resorted to selling life insurance to hopefully help pay the bills.

I say it like it’s a bad thing. It’s not. I genuinely think people should be getting life insurance right now, especially with the pandemic going on and unemployment still being high. I’m really glad I got my life insurance before I was diagnosed with diabetes because I could potentially be uninsurable. My husband is on my policy and he’s the only one currently working a stable job. If I were to lose him, his insurance could help me financially which would be great.

I think of all of my friends and family who aren’t insured and have children. If they caught COVID-19, their children would be at risk. It’s a sad thought. So I’m glad I was able to get one of my friends insured, as well as his wife and kids, because now they can rest easy knowing if anything were to happen, they would be okay financially.

If only that line of business was more stable. But that’s alright. We’re making do. I can’t get my insulin right away but that’s okay, we’ll get by. I’m hoping I can make more sticker sales so I can pay for my business expenses separate from my personal expenses. I just have to keep persevering. Good things will come, I know they will.

So I have to wait until my husband’s pay day and hope he gets paid enough for the bills and my insulin. He worked too much hours to qualify for unemployment this week and my unemployment doesn’t get filed until next Sunday. Pay day is Friday. I have a doctor appointment with my PCP for my regular pills. I might have to pay for those because apparently we no longer qualify for QUEST medical and they picked up on the copay that HMSA left me with so that’s probably another $40 right there.

We have over $200 in bills to pay this week and only $40 in our account. Super great fun right there. Healthcare should seriously be more affordable than this. Isn’t America just great? I’m just upset that I can’t afford my medication. It all just sucks, but I will never give up.

My message to all of you out there: Keep on moving, don’t give up, and especially don’t give up on yourself. You’ve got this and I’m right here with you every step of the way. You have some rooting in your corner, always on your side, all the way out here in Hawaii. Never, ever give up. You can fight this and you can make it out of this alive. I believe in you.

The Journey: Episode Twenty

AUGUST 23, 2020

Well nothing really to report. However, I got my blood test done for my A1C and my number isn’t looking too hot. I was at 7.9 in April and now I’m at 8.2. So it’s gone up a little bit and I’m not too happy about that. All the insulin injections and blood sugar checks and I’m no better. But on the bright side at least it’s not at 11% like it was last year so in a year’s time I’ve managed to drop by 3% so that’s good news.

My doctor appointment with my endocrinologist is this Thursday so I’ll have an update by next episode.

I’ve been drinking the cinnamon tea some more. I talked with my diabetes coach and she said there was no concrete evidence it really helps to lower your blood sugar. I decided to make an experiment of it. But I can only do it for a week. Here’s how it would work:

For three days, I won’t drink cinnamon tea, Wednesday I would drink only the nighttime tea, then the last three days I’ll drink both teas. I’ll eat the same food at the same time every day, take my medications at the same time and check my blood sugar at the same time. That means alarms will have to be set on my phone and I’d have to try and sleep around the same time to be able to wake up around the same time.

I have to wait a couple weeks so I can save up money to buy the food for meal prepping and more prescriptions. Plus, I’m not sure if my doctor is going to give me a new insulin and I’d like to give it at least a week to figure out how it works for me. But when I do start my experiment, I’ll record about it here. I’m kind of excited about it because it’s going to make me feel like a scientist with all the note taking and experimenting.

I’m going to try a couple of days without the tea to see if there is any significant change in my blood sugar readings. So far it’s been looking pretty good although I take my tea either right before or after taking my blood sugar right now so I have to figure out the best time to drink and check. I’ll figure it out eventually.

Oh hey a self love update! I bought a t-shirt and lounge pants with The Child on them and I love them so much. However, the pants were way too long for my short legs so I cut them off at the knees, just below the graphics. Which is good because I can’t inject insulin in my thighs with pants on. I love it like this and I can use the cut off material to either make pillows or face masks, I have options.

The t-shirt is kind of thick and big so I cut the sleeves and collar off and I turned it into a crop top. It comes down to my belly button and it’s very comfy. I’ve decided to use it as my new pajama set, it’s been kind of warm lately anyway. Maybe when it gets colder and I get a little bit more confident I can wear it out in public. I might do it with other shirts that I have. I’m totally in to crop tops right now.

I’ve had issues with loving myself lately with this pandemic and my diabetes so finding something that makes me feel great about myself is a win in these dark times. I greatly encourage you to find that something in your life that makes you love yourself and enjoy it. You don’t have to take it out in to public if you’re not comfortable with that but you deserve to love the way you look and who you are. No matter who you are and what you look like, you deserve to love yourself and the body you’re in.

The Journey: Episode Thirteen

JUNE 8, 2020

So I had my doctor appointment on May 28. I was given an insulin limit of 85 units. On May 29, I went up to 75 units and decided to stay at that dose, mostly because my pens have about 300 units each and that gives me four doses per pen. Since I have to pay about $100 per box of five pens, I can’t really afford to increase.

I have tried out taking my insulin literally within an hour of going to sleep and I have seen my blood sugar go down in the morning. Not down to the goal level, but pretty close. So far I have been under 150 mg/dL so that’s at least a win.

I kind of hit a plateau. My weight, my medication, my blood sugar, all kind of hit a level plateau for the last couple of weeks. It’s not great, but it’s not bad either. Now I just need to bring all of these numbers down instead of going up. I hope that I can do that. I need to get my health and diabetes under control.

This pandemic isn’t doing me any favors and not being able to work is really bringing me down, but I can get through this. I can make it through this and come out for the better. I know I can.

On another note, my sister is back home from visiting with her husband. The plan is for her to completely move out and in with her husband by the end of July. Then my husband and I can move in to her room and we can actually sleep on a bed again with a little bit more privacy. I think I’m going to miss her, but she’s so annoying that I think it’s going to take a while before I miss her at all. I know I’m going to miss her cat, Penny, because she hunts the cockroaches in this house and she does a good job at it.

I know this one is a little short, but I have to take my dog to the salon now. Thank you for sticking around and enjoying the content. Stay safe out there!

The Journey: Episode Eleven (Memorial Day)

MAY 25, 2020

I want to take the time right off the bat to thank all the men and women who are serving our country past and present. Because of their selfless sacrifice, we are able to enjoy some of the freedoms and liberties we have today. Take that how you will, I still have mad respect for those who are willing to put their lives on the line for their country. I could never make that sacrifice even though I had wanted to join the Navy or Coast Guard when I was in high school.

Memorial Day, in my eyes, has kind of lost its meaning especially this year. Our mayor just reopened the county beach parks and everyone has flocked to the beaches, regardless of the rainy weather, and they’d all much rather enjoy the freedom they have from quarantine than the freedom they always had because of our veterans. Now it’s all about beaches and BBQs. I mean at least everyone is spending time with family right now, but it feels a little lackluster for our veterans.

But I digress. Today, I’m spending it working. Not just on my blog but also at my Office Manager job. We have a meeting this afternoon and I’m going to be busy.

Now about my health. It’s not going so well. I woke up this morning with a fasting blood sugar of 161! That’s pretty high considering I ate before 6:30pm last night and I took 1000mg of berberine before bed so I’m very suspicious of my blood sugar right now. Something is wrong. I think I may need to monitor more for the next week or two and that means I have to monitor at bedtime, 3am in the morning, and when I wake up to see if I’m being affected by the Dawn Phenomenon or the Rebound Effect. I suppose I should do a post about those two just in case for those who want to know, but that’ll be at a later time.

On the bright side, I’ve re-clarified my weight loss goals. I am currently 210 pounds, which is very disappointing, but I can’t let that get me down. I want to lose 30 pounds by the end of the year. There are about 31 weeks left in the year. For a healthy and sustainable weight loss, I need to lose and keep off one pound per week to make my goal by the end of the year. That means weekly weigh ins, daily exercises, healthier food options, and portion control. I’m starting to get the hang of it while I’m stuck at home so I think this is completely do-able.

I will need to do a lot of hard work from here and I’m not going to lie, it will be really tough for me to follow through with all of this. But I have a lot of dreams that I want to accomplish one day and I need to see these through.

I’m going to be losing a part of my support system soon though. My sister is going to be moving in with her husband by August. So because she won’t be able to support me as much as before, I would love to get your support, fellow diabetic, and I would love to support you too. Please feel free to reach out to me and we can support each other.

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!

The Journey: Episode Five

MARCH 29, 2020

I haven’t made any progress in losing weight lately. I’m very upset that I had regained all the weight I had lost. I regained about 16lbs from 183lbs. I’ve been eating healthier and exercising more, but I think portion control, my old enemy, is striking me again and again. Food is just so delicious!

My grandma was recently doing an ornish lifestyle program and she shared with me some of the food they had recipes for. I don’t think I could give up meat or animal by-products altogether, but I am contemplating taking red meat out of my diet and putting in more tofu. In fact, tonight my husband is gonna try to make Tofu Long Rice. If I remember to take a picture of it, I’ll post up the recipe. A couple nights ago, he made chicken long rice for us and it was so delicious, but I forgot to take a picture of it.

Whatever my husband and I try to make, I want to share that recipe with you folks so you can make it and eat it too. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to find all of the ingredients though, but I’d like to share them with you anyway.

For exercise, my sisters and I take my dog and my mom’s two dogs walking down at the park. If the weather’s good, we’ll go down, if not, then we just stay inside and I’ll use my sister’s resistance bands just to do something, you know?

Yesterday, we took our dogs down to a little island just off the shore called Coconut Island. With the lockdown/quarantine, the island was pretty much empty except for a homeless man, so we took the dogs off their leashes and let them loose on the island. They had so much fun. My dog had so much things she could sniff and smell. She even chased a couple of birds near the water and ran across the island three times! She’s 15 years old! I even ran with her one of those times. They had so much fun.

We were hoping we could take them again today but it was raining almost all day and there was even some thunder. So today is not a good day to go down, but the next clear day, I’d like to take them back to Coconut Island and let them run free.

Hopefully, this healthier diet and walking the dogs will help me lose some weight. But I also know that I need to watch what I’m eating. I’ve been so hungry lately and I’m not even doing anything! I need to tell my stupid self to stop being so damn dumb and stop eating!

I’m kind of glad I have this Journey blog to keep me accountable and be able to put it out in writing to keep track of my thoughts. If you’re ever thinking that your journey isn’t working, maybe you need to write it down in your own journal, diary, or even a blog. If you decide to make a blog, let me know, I’d love to follow along with your journey as well!


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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.