Everyone Has Gone Through Something That Has Changed Them In A Way That They Could Never Go Back To The Person They Once Were

Diabetes Diagnosis changes you. Everything seems to change. Some things for the worse. Some for the better.

I was in my senior year of high school when I was finally put on insulin. Immediately all symptoms went away. That was the great thing that changed.  My migraines went away.  I didn’t pee every hour and 2 to 3 times in the middle of the night.  I was no longer passing out in class. I wasn’t eating like crazy anymore.  I started to gain weight.  I could focus.  My vision got better.  I was no longer nauseous.

Some of the things that weren’t so fun included facing your worst fears as if your life depended on it because it did.  That was my fear of blood and my fear of needles.  I will never forget that first day a nurse taught me how to give myself injections.  Not fun.  I had to start carrying stuff around with me everywhere.  Like a darn monkey on my back.  And I couldn’t forget it.  My life depended on it.  I had to come home for dinner every single night because I was on a meal plan.  I had to eat before physical education because my life depended on it.  My high school sweet heart was a true gem but it even affected our relationship.  No more weekly date nights for strawberry milkshakes.  It changed my future.  As I had wanted to join the military for many years, that was immediately dropped because of automatic disqualification.

But I will tell you that some things never changed.  Maybe life changed but I didn’t as a person.  I still have my heart and love fiercely.  I still have my sense of adventure and inner need for travel.  I still love to write and share and impact people positively.   I like that.  When I think of my day of diagnosis I know I’m still the same.


Diabetes Superpowers

  • Power of Dehydration: ability to dehydrate at the drop of a hat
  • Empathy: we care about people and can empathize with nearly every ailment
  • X-ray vision: I know that’s a blood sugar monitor in that little black case. I know that’s an insulin pump connected to that tubing on your side, etc.
  • Invisibility Cloak: we can hide our disease very well if we want to.
  • Laser eyes: we can shoot dirty looks that can kill when someone says something dumb like: you shouldn’t be eating that.
  • Firestarter: we can start advocacy lightening quick as a firestorm if needed
  • Fast: we have lightening fast speed when in need of sugar
  • Night vision, also echolocation: we know exactly where our sugar stashes and glucose meter are in the middle of the night.
  • Telepathy: when in the company of another diabetic we know exactly what they are thinking when a non diabetic says something dumb.
  • Morph: we can quickly go from being a diabetic to mom, wife, runner, climber, student etc
  • Nerve manipulation: we have the power to damage our own nerves from consistent high blood sugar
  • Superhuman Endurance: we have the power to deal with this disease day in and day out
  • Healing: we know how to make it all better with insulin
  • Superhuman Strength: emotionally we know how to tackle any problem and take it in grace
  • Time Travel: We know how to have hope and still dream and push for a cure and know exactly what that will look like when it happens
  • Precognition: we can sense danger before it comes therefore we take our insulin. I know that muffin will raise my sugar I just know it.
  • Superhuman Intelligence: we have Einstein math skills that can be used at any moment; being able to visualize a baked potato and it’s exact carb count, how many points it will raise your blood sugar, and how many units of insulin you will need to bring yourself back to the safe zone.
  • Power to Fly: this is when you need to go to the emergency room and you or your driver suddenly is able to fly over cars and traffic and big buildings in the way.
  • Lastly we have the power to melt hearts with a simple glance. 💞💕

I Shouldn’t Have To Explain


I called a dear friend that I’ve known for 17 years. I told him how excited I was that I had bought some adult coloring books. He was upset that I said this and said “I don’t want to hear about that I want to know how you’re doing”.  Well, I didn’t want to tell him how I was doing. I always do – and it gets old.  But I went into it anyway.  I gave him all the ugly boring details of my health and wellness being my main focus and priority right now. I explained how I’m starting from the beginning and how much work it takes.  I told him about all my symptoms and physical pain stemming from various things.  All of this is chronic and I hoped I told him in such a way that I didn’t have to explain it again. At least for a long while.  I told him the nitty gritty gorey stuff, the whole picture of what I go through day in and day out, sparing nothing.

When I was done, I slammed, “That’s why I color”.  He kindly responded, “I understand.”

It’s Not The Foods’ Fault!!

I went to see a new RD yesterday.  As we were sitting there crunching numbers and going through logs she stands up and says “let’s talk about blame for a second. (I’m thinking, excellent! A therapy moment about my parents or the healthcare system or myself.) Stop blaming the food!  It’s not the foods’ fault!” I just sat there – stunned.  And she sat down.  Of course it’s not the foods’ fault! But is it?  Have I ever blamed the food I eat?  Now that I think of it, of course I do!  I always have!  And thinking of blame, I blame that on my grandma for yelling at me for eating a muffin 20 years ago.  At that time, of course it was the Muffin’s fault for everything.  For my high blood sugar, for giving me diabetes, for making me feel miserable.  For putting me in the hospital.  So then on out everything was the foods’ fault.  Not diabetes’.

Now that I sit here and ponder this I’m thinking of how important the role of food is.  For me, historically, globally.  For our bodies.  This is the sole source of nutrients for our body.  Food is the best way to get vitamins and minerals and fiber.  It’s the fuel and the energy for our daily living.  It’s our sustenance.  Then I remember how my Dad would always bless the food at the dinner table every night so that it gave strength and nourishment to our physical bodies.   Most families pray for the food at Thanksgiving.  Some Eastern cultures believe they can purify water by meditating on it.  Food is so much more than that nasty little booger that raises our glucose.

What a miracle -mentally- to be able to let go of food blame and get back to blessing it.

Burnout Is Not For Me


I’ve just recently joined the DOC so burnout would not be the right word for me at all.  I contribute my lowered A1C to the DOC support.  I love it here.  It’s like my very own secret society.  Although I sometimes obsess on research and reading people’s stories, asking questions, reaching out, advocating – I think it’s because I’ve never had it before.  It’s that feeling of where have you been all my life?  I’ve needed you! I’m making up for lost time!

I did take a weekend off from social media recently and that was refreshing.  But it’s not necessary for me in particular.  At least, I haven’t encountered the burnout – yet.  Not to say I wouldn’t in the future.  I don’t wake up to it or go to sleep to it.  I don’t take things too personally.  And the the things I am passionate about, I’m very grateful to have a voice.  That’s one cool thing about us, every voice matters.

So why be burned out when I get nothing but positive things?  There are too many wonderful, beautiful people here.  There’s too much education and cool stuff too learn.  It’s a cause that needs me when necessary.  I can reach out for support when I need it.  I am never alone.  Everyone gets and understands me.  I’m learning to laugh at diabetes. Laughter is ALWAYS a good thing.

So, burnout, if you come, know that the DOC is home, this is where you belong, and you are always welcome.

Don’t Be Afraid To Give Up The Good And Go For The Great

I have a new Dr. He’s nice. He’s good. But something got me simmering then thinking. He asked me “what was your last A1C?” Deadly glare. (Hey I worked really hard to bring it down a point and a half in the last 3 months! That wasn’t easy! I was proud! He wasn’t.) I thought that A1C was good. But it wasn’t great.

I think with the all the hypos and then the dangerously low hypos especially in my sleep, I developed PTSD towards it. It’s scary. So on purpose I kept it just a little below the great. I’ve become less and less aware of these hypos. So what’s the answer?

Don’t be afraid to go for the great.

Yes that means I have to set alarms. I have to check a little more frequently. (Geez aren’t I checking enough?) I have to get more down with CalorieKing on the fly. I need to log everything, make sure I got my carb ratio just perfectly right. I have to bring down my sliding scale for corrections. Whoever the hell thought it was OK to start correcting at 180? That’s what I’ve always been told. Screw that. I have to lean on the #DOC for support. Only because they’re the only ones that really seem to get it. And my sister of course.

I can do this. #makemalinagreatagain

The New Normal


Everything HAS TO BE Diabetes – whether we like it or not. It has to be our new normal. We have to invite it with us everywhere. We don’t get a break. When it needs us, when it demands our attention, we have to give it. No matter what we’re doing. Or what’s going on. And we have to accept that. Get over it. It just is what it is. Diabetes is a like a newborn that never grows up. And it’s the enemy that waits for you to be vulnerable to attack. You can’t ever cheat. Diabetes will know. Trust me.

But your favorite show is on TV that will last 30 minutes to an hour. Take a break! Enjoy it!

Be A Witness Not A Judge


I have to remind myself of this every day.  It extends to wanting to fix things. Give advice.  Make the world a better place.  I forget sometimes to just sit and observe, without judgement. This includes my own blood sugar numbers.

This in and of itself can change things.  Like the Heisenburg Principle maybe?  This was not meant to be a deep philosophical conversation although it could very well be.  But the profound simplicity of it that I think we as the #doc desperately fight for, yearn for, and need is more witnessing without judgement.  This concept hits home with every one of us for one reason or another.  This concept encompasses #CrossFit, the diabetes police, stigmas, ignorance in general, our very own health care team, and most importantly ourselves.

We are our worst critic.

Witness diabetes.  Even your own.  Without judgement.  

Stop Looking For Love In The Place You Lost It

There was a time I was just going through the motions.  Just barely getting by.  Robot motion.  I always took my long acting.  Didn’t always count carbs.  Didn’t care.  250 was great.  300 meant a shot.  I was in denial.  It was enough.  I thought.  Hoping my pancreas would magically kick in maybe?  Looking for a reprieve definitely.  It was too hard.  It was too much.  I would go a whole day checking my sugar maybe once or twice.  Thought that should be enough.  I was burnt out.

But that’s not enough…  I needed to accept my lifelong pal: diabetes.

My pancreas will never ever produce insulin.  Ever again.  It’s just a fact.  Time to stop looking to my pancreas to pick up the pieces that I have ignored.  Time to start doing the work it will never do again.  It’s a sad thing.  Grief.  It’s OK to be angry.  But I can’t ever afford a moment of denial again.  I can’t go down that road.

Side note:  this does not mean in any way I have given up on proper allocation of resources towards a cure and that the Drs, researchers and scientists will have the inner guidance and revelation necessary to do so and in our lifetime.  It just means I have to play drill sergeant to a bratty disease in the meantime.

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