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

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Seven Years With T1D

Today is my seven-year anniversary with Type 1 diabetes. I’m not sure what to say. It’s definitely been a learning experience, and I’m thankful I live in an age of technology where it’s easier to manage this disease but let’s be honest that doesn’t make it easy.

And maybe my diabetes (because I just love to give it its own persona) knew my anniversary was coming up and wanted to send me a big fat reminder of its existence by pushing the limits of my insulin sensitivity and resistance. A lot of highs and lows this past week.

Last night was no exception. Got home from a date with a friend, and my blood sugar was 77 with 0.9 units of active insulin in my system. So I drank some juice and ate some protein to keep it stable throughout the night. But then by the time I went to bed it was 167 and climbing so I gave myself a dose of insulin. And then my CGM woke me up at 4 a.m. because it was 48 and dropping. So I drank some juice. Then I ate some gelato. And then I just said f*ck it and poured myself some granola cereal and almond milk.

But by 4:30 a.m. it was 118 and climbing again. So I calculated how many of those carbs I really needed to keep my blood sugar stable and then gave myself an extended bolus rate over the next hour. By the time I checked it again at 11 a.m. it was 106 and stable.

Happy anniversary to me!

Oh and just for fun here’s a list of the most-read diabetes-related posts on this blog. Continue reading

Because I Have Type 1 Diabetes

I don’t know how I ended up here. 

“I submitted my payment two weeks ago. I just want my member ID cards. I’ve been covered since September 1st,” I say.

I’ve come directly from school, my backpack still attached. The insurance representative in front of me is wearing a white coat (I don’t know why). Her dark hair and pale complexion remind me of one of the robots from the movie, The World’s End.

“It takes 7 to 10 business days, sometimes more, for the initial payment to process,” she says matter-of-fact.

“But you did receive my documentation of continuous coverage?”

“Yes,” she says and then drops the bomb, “But we have a new rating system. If you don’t meet our health standards, and because you’re diabetic, you probably won’t, we don’t have to cover you.” Continue reading

Screaming Babies

Tracy-Year-One012-webSomehow, I have found myself surrounded by pregnant women—the neighbor down the street, my supervisor across the hall, former college friends—everywhere I turn, people are having babies.

At 26, that should make me happy, right? My family asks when I’m next. Are there marriage talks in the works with my boyfriend of three years? Yes, it’s the first stable relationship I’ve had, one that even survived 21 months of long distance, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready for marriage.

I don’t even know if I want to get married let alone have babies. I feel like a family slows a woman down, that if I want to accomplish anything in terms of a career, I must put the idea of a family on the shelf and hike it up the chain solo. But everywhere I turn, women are asking how can they do both? Can’t we have it all? What if I don’t want it all?

A week after I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I met with my nutritionist for the first time. Continue reading

Days in the Life

This short essay describing random days in the life a diabetic was first published in Sugarcoated and is part of the University of Baltimore Plork Anthology (2013).

ONE DAY

7 a.m.

The harp string of my alarm wakes me. I remove my insulin pump from the folds of my cream-colored sheets. As I walk to the bathroom outside my bed­room, I clip the pump to my underwear.

In the bathroom, I unzip the black case of my glucometer, insert the lancet into the pricking device and then shoot it into my calloused fingertip. I push the blood from my finger and touch a drop to the test strip. The meter reads 88. A good start.

7:30 a.m.

Before I leave for work, I unclip my insulin pump from the plastic tubing taped to the skin above my waist line. I do not want the exercise from walking to and from the bus stops to make my blood sugar drop.

If my blood sugar is low when I wake up, like yesterday when it was 80, I drink a cup of orange juice before leaving.

It also is easier to manage diabetes with the insulin pump—it administers a consistent amount of insulin over a 24-hour period to keep blood sugars stable. Continue reading