How the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare Saved My Life

This post is dedicated to Patricia for giving me the courage to find the words to write about a topic that goes so much deeper than just policy.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare was passed into law on March 23, 2010. On April 24, 2009, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, an incurable autoimmune disease. I must inject myself with insulin to live. Without insulin, my body goes into shock, something referred to as diabetic ketoacidosis. My organs ultimately fail, and then I die.

I was diagnosed nearly a year before the Affordable Care Act became law. I was preparing to graduate from college and start a career in psychology. I didn’t know much about the health care system in this country or the health insurance I would need to access the supplies that would help me manage this new disease. Fortunately I had started a full-time job and was able to acquire employer-sponsored health insurance.

By the time the ACA was passed, I had decided to change careers and return to school. But leaving that full-time job meant leaving behind my employer-sponsored health insurance. It would be another three years before the ACA was fully implemented. In those three years, I learned firsthand the physical, mental and financial ramifications of not being able to access the treatment I needed to manage my chronic condition.

When the ACA came into full effect on January 1, 2014, it had completely saved my life. Here are five reasons why. Continue reading

The Little Mermaid is My Favorite Disney Movie, and I Finally Figured Out Why

Ever since I saw The Little Mermaid as a young girl (it came out when I was two), I was immediately entranced. I dressed as a mermaid that Halloween and belted out “Part of Your World” on the daily.

But as I grew up and became more aware of feminism ideology, I started to feel shame for the love of a movie that seemed to completely go against that ideology. Here is a young princess with the underworld at her fin, and she decides to give up all of that, including her most prized possession—her voice—for a man she barely knows.

Yeah… it’s hard to reconcile that as an adult. But here’s the thing—that’s not what drew me to this film. I didn’t run around the house with an Eric doll pining for the day I could find my own Eric and be led into another world. No, I idealized Ariel for having the guts to leave everything behind to explore something new and find her sense of belonging.

Let me break it down. Here are the real reasons I love Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Continue reading

Will You Help Me Find a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes?

On June 4, 2017, I’ll be taking part in the JDRF One Walk to change the future for myself and everyone affected by Type 1 diabetes (T1D).

When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 8 years ago, I didn’t have a family history. No one really knows why my pancreas stopped working. But it did. And it has greatly affected my life. When I was admitted to the hospital with a blood sugar of 690 on April 24, 2009, I shouldn’t have been alive much less standing. I like to think my body is fighting for me even if it is ultimately the one that failed me. But I can’t win this fight alone.

Join me on June 4 or donate to my Sugarcoated team. Help me turn Type 1 into Type none.  Continue reading

Tomorrow I Turn 30 and I Am Jumping For Joy

I am less than 24 hours from officially surviving the most heart wrenching, traumatizing, emotionally charged, tumultuous, unforeseeable, devastating decade of my life (Jane Austen would disapprove of that many adjectives).

Speaking of Jane, 10 years ago I was obsessed with the movie Becoming Jane (I also had a huge crush on James McAvoy, that is until his overdramatized portrayal of mental illness in Split). Like Austen’s character in the film, I wanted to experience a great love story but then spend my life dedicated to my writing (and writing six of the greatest novels in the English language couldn’t hurt either). Continue reading

It’s 2017 so Naturally I Decide to Uproot My Career

I wrote this post almost six weeks ago when I was about to embark on a positive change in my life. My computer is on the fritz so hence my absence since then. I was apprehensive about this move — the last missing piece in my effort to “live my stars” — but intuitively I knew it was the right decision for me. And now six weeks later even in the midst of this country’s current turmoil, I have never been happier. I like to think that being internally fulfilled will only enable me to make positive change externally. “Because when you’re operating from a place of wholeness and value, you see value in other people and you reinforce the belief that there’s enough to go around for all of us. So in this sense your self-worth is a service to humanity,” writes Danielle LaPorte in her book The Desire Map. Such power in that statement. Here goes…

Many folks have used the word “surreal” to describe the year that is 2016. I personally like the following quote a friend shared with me recently: This has not been a good year for women who try hard.

I’ll drink (and march) to that.

But for me, 2016 was a year of serious self-discovery. And although I wouldn’t necessarily categorize the vast majority of those weeks as a reflection of depression, most of those weeks really sucked (my elementary school English teacher would mar me for using that word but I can think of no better usage – okay maybe a few?).

Right before the actual election happened, I was focused on creative living and letting go of the things that inspired little to no creativity. I was also practicing self-compassion, allowing myself to be okay with feeling any kind of pain so that I could understand it and more easily bounce back.

There was just one problem. Continue reading

World Diabetes Day: The Election And Some Busted Diabetes Myths

Today is World Diabetes Day, and since many people I come across often confuse Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, I want to take this opportunity to address a few myths about Type 1 diabetes.

But before I do that, I want to reflect on the distress of this past week. I’m not much of a political activist, and I was never enthusiastic about any of the candidates this election cycle. But having come to terms with who our country just elected to represent them, I feel I need to be more vocal (at least about the issues that affect me on a personal level), and I need to be better about standing up for those whose rights are in jeopardy.

That is my personal commitment in light of these election results. I will not judge based on your vote, and I will not give into the hate that is now plaguing our country (although it was difficult not to hate the white heterosexual male this past Wednesday but that’s unfair because I know plenty of white heterosexual males who voted in my favor).

But there’s something you have to know going forward. I’ve written about it a few times on this blog but not in depth. Mostly because I don’t like to give energy to negative entities, and I don’t want to draw myself into contentious battles with fellow family members and friends. And even though I wasn’t surprised by the outcome of this election (you have to remember I grew up in a red, conservative state), I was disappointed. Continue reading

The Day I Decided I Needed a Pet

“Oh my god something shit on my bed,” I remember telling my roommate on the phone. I was living in the Little Italy neighborhood of Baltimore, and after an eight-hour day at my contractual position at the university, I came home to find a pile of poop on my $20 Target comforter. I was planning to move in a few days.

Of course upon texting both my roommates, they responded with inherent laughter. I didn’t think it was so funny. Once I removed the comforter and ruined sheets, I realized the shit had stained the actual mattress. I’d had this mattress since I moved into my first apartment four years prior. What did I know of mattress protectors?

made bed next to window

“Did the landlord let her dogs in here? Why the hell would she let them shit on the bed and leave it?” I didn’t consider myself a bad tenant, but maybe I had done something to make her mad? I would have categorized this instance as beneath her, but I also knew she could be vindictive.

I considered throwing the comforter in the washer. God knows it had survived a few drunken vomit episodes. But nah, I was moving soon, and it didn’t seem worth the dry cleaning. I threw it in the trash. But what about the mattress? I had already sold it to the next tenant. What could I do?

I opened the window and sprayed some Febreeze. And then something came crawling out from underneath my bed, seeming completely terrified. A cat. Continue reading