Here’s a snippet of my presentation given on World Diabetes Day.
Nov 15 2015
Nov 13 2015
Almost naturally, I found myself on Pinterest searching for “Pregnancy announcements” because I wanted my announcement to be “P.E.R.F.E.C.T.” when I told my husband. I thought about telling him over dinner where instead of dessert on the tray, it would be the pregnancy news. Or perhaps a puzzle or scavenger hunt. While, I wasn’t sure which one it would be, I knew it would be creative. After all, I am a creative person.
It was a Wednesday morning around 5am and I had awaken early only to relieve my bladder. It would mark the 4th day I had been awaiting a visitor to no avail and I was happy, but not too happy because the month before was similar. Except my monthly visitor arrived eight days late. So, although I was happy, I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high and experience the level of disappointment I had before. I knew it was almost too early to check, but I decided to check anyway. As soon as I sat down to rescue my bladder of its load, I heard the call to prayer. I paused to bring my mind into submission. I went through the motions of taking the test and while I waited the 2 minutes for the results…I prayed.
I don’t do heartache too well. I know it’s a part of life, but it isn’t an experience I care to partake in too frequently. So, because I knew the heartbreak of wanting to be pregnant only to find a negative result, I wanted this time to be different. Previously, I had tested once with the early detection test (negative), then waited to the right window and tested again (negative), used the test from Dollar Tree (negative), used the most expensive test in the store (negative), and yet still I held on to hope. Cause we’ve all heard/read about that woman who was actually pregnant when the tests said otherwise. That could be me, couldn’t it? It wasn’t.
So, because I wanted this experience to be different, I prayed a different prayer. Rather than asking to be pregnant, I asked God to help me surrender to His will for my life. My exhaustion from being disappointed wasn’t completely over the negative test result, it was partly about not getting what I wanted when I wanted it. I knew that I needed to find peace. In those two minutes while I waited for the result, while the call to prayer was echoing from all the nearby mosques, I closed my eyes and surrendered to His will.
I took a deep breathe.
I inhaled serenity.
I exhaled all my desires.
I just broke down with gratitude that God had given me this gift. I smiled. I laughed. I jumped up and ran…
“I’M PREGNANT” (jumps on bed)
“DO YOU SEE IT? PREGNANT! I AM PREGNANT” (Feeling a sense that’s indescribable)
I eventually went back to bed and a few hours later went to the hospital and it was “confirmed.”Next Post: I share my “Pregnancy Wish List.” Now that I was pregnant, there were surely somethings I didn’t want to experience like swollen ankles. Yes, I know I still need prayer. LOL But I figure, we have not cause we ask not.
Oct 13 2015
I am not the type of woman that felt my life would be incomplete without experiencing motherhood. For most of my life, I would even say, “I don’t want children.” I didn’t get a “tingling” feeling when passing the baby section in stores and “Baby Fever” was never something I caught. It was a distant thought but nothing that lingered in my face like a golden carrot like it does for some women.
I was a bona fide career-focused woman. I made no apologies for my feelings when family would ask “So… when are you going to have kids?” My quick-witted response was “When they come out with a check in their hands.” I wasn’t even moved when my grandmother said, “I hope you have children before I die.” We laughed, but I know deep down she was serious. I said, “Grandma, you have more than 40 grandchildren and more than 10 great grandchildren, ain’t that enough.” She smiled, “but not one of them is yours.” We laughed again.
Fortunately, my husband never pressed the issue and gave me the space to be me. To do me. To focus on US. To explore the world together and establish our bond.
My diagnosis with diabetes entailed me spending six days in the hospital alone and that was a life-changing experience! Due to circumstances, not one single family member could come visit and since I was new to the city I was working in, I didn’t have a tribe of friends. I had never spent one night in a hospital before and having to spend five lonely nights there was cause to pause.
I walked away feeling strongly about two things; 1-I didn’t want to ever be that alone again, I wanted a family and 2-I was doubtful that I could have a family with Type 2.
Will I pass Type 2 to my kid(s)? How can I add anything else on my plate with having to count the carbs in everything I eat and drink? If I need to cater a hypo and my baby at the same time, who gets the priority? How do I manage finger pricks and diaper changing? See the dilemma. I had finally reached a point in my life when I wanted to be a mother, but was now so rattled with fear, anxiety, and questions about diabetes that I couldn’t possibly seriously think about children. So, I didn’t.
3 years passed.
I had carb-counting down to a science, my life with diabetes was organized and no longer consumed me, I had a diet and exercise routine, and I was living by my motto… Diagnosed NOT Defeated. I remembered that Fear and God do not occupy the same space at the same time; so it was my time to try. I prayed for a family and my prayer was granted.
I had no clue, however, that living with Type 2 while pregnant would be one of the most difficult things I have experienced. I couldn’t write about being pregnant while pregnant but I knew if I survived the experience that I would share it so that others may be informed. Tune-in to this blog series because for the next few weeks, I will be posting about my challenges and joys.
Next Blog: How I found out, how I planned to tell my husband, and how the “perfect” announcement failed.
May 14 2015
Today’s topic: What I would most like to see change about diabetes.
That’s an easy one for me. I would like for diabetes management to be more affordable. I was diagnosed while living in the United States and over the past four years I have had the privilege to benefit from access to diabetes care in two other countries and the difference in shameful.
In France, insulin, oral meds, injectables, glucose strips are reimbursed at 100%. There is no cost for needles and lancets.
In the United Arab Emirates where I lived for a year as a Fulbright Scholar, I paid $0.00 for my diabetes related medications. I will repeat that…I didn’t pay ONE SINGLE DIME for my diabetes medications. My visits to the Endo were only $13 bucks, a big difference from the $70 that I was paying in North Carolina with Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s premium healthcare plan.
I can’t tell you how many times I worried, cried, paid bills late or not at all just to come up with the $300 a month (an average) for diabetes supplies.
So, I think we have a serious problem in the USA. It’s as if we are the last to realize that diabetes is a growing epidemic and without proper management the death toll rises.
When I walked into a pharmacy and saw THE EXACT SAME glucose strips that cost me $79.00 at Walgreens or CVS (for 50) were priced for the equivalent of $ 21.51; I nearly cried. Just thinking about all the times I skipped testing after a meal to make 50 strips last a month made me sad. Why are diabetes supplies so expensive in the USA? Aren’t “they” getting enough from us already?
I can’t express the totality of how it feels to NOT have the financial worry on top the other worries that come with diabetes management–it is a feeling that we all should experience. Not just once, but forever.
I would rapidly change the cost of management so that we can focus on LIVING our lives free from worries of debt or financial bondage.
May 12 2015
Today’s topic is very interesting because if I tell you what I don’t tell you, then I’m telling you. LOL
However, in my most recent interview by Health Central that went live a few weeks ago (see it here) the thing that I’ve been keeping to myself is now public.
Pregnancy and Diabetes. I read, with MUCH appreciation, Kim’s and Ginger’s blogs and posts about their pregnancies and thought that I would follow suit. However, very early on I decided that being pregnant was an intimate experience for me that I wouldn’t tell you until after it was over. I wanted to savor every moment and share with only those I communicate with either via phone or text. I even tagged the slogan, “My Pregnancy is NOT for social media consumption.”
I haven’t talked about the challenge of being back on insulin and how with each new week the increases in the baby’s size foreshadows the need for more insulin. This means that sometimes I get it wrong and sometimes those errors have sent me into an emotional low (when the reading was high) or I found myself in “hypo land” too often. Nearly fainting, heat flashes, pounding heart, and worried about my baby.
It’s been too emotional, too private, too present to talk about now. When it’s over, I will reflect on it and share. But I can say this… Every woman who manages pregnancy and diabetes is a very special superwoman!
May 11 2015
So, today is the kick off of the 6th annual DBlog Week and today’s topic is “I CAN…”
When I think of the I CAN theme, I think about my ability to integrate diabetes management into my life rather than have diabetes management take over my life. It’s been 4 years since I was diagnosed and for the first year or so, I was CONSUMED with managing hourly glucose checks, hourly readings, hourly injections, then twice daily injections, meal prep, carb counting, doctor visits, and it was simply put…just too much to deal with. I quickly understood why some people just give up altogether or burn out frequently. Day after day, however, I woke to try again.
Even though managing diabetes clouded my mind, confiscated my thoughts, and caused me to have days filled of worry; I honestly didn’t see how I would have a life after diagnosis.
In time, however, I realized that
I CAN manage diabetes and still have a life.
I CAN manage diabetes and not be overwhelmed by it.
I CAN and I’m so thankful that I am able to integrate managing diabetes into my life without it taking over my life.
Apr 28 2015
This is a link to the video interview conducted by Health Central
Check it out
Feb 15 2015
Today marks four years since I was diagnosed with diabetes.
I’m still here, still counting and living my life diagnosed not defeated.
Each of my diaversaries are special. When I reflect on where I am now, I know that I am just where I need to be, even though I am not where I want to be in every aspect of my life.
Over the past four years I’ve learned that living and I don’t mean simply waking up in the morning and going to bed at night, I mean LIVING life is possible even though I need accommodations and I am reminded multiple times a day that my pancreas is not working properly.
Managing diabetes is no easy task and it does get the better of me some days, but overall, I am LIVING. I am making everyday count.
Dec 02 2014
There is no cure for diabetes… and yet, God is STILL God.
I live with a bodily dysfunction for which there is no cure.
There is no cure.
There is no cure.
I live with a broken pancreas and prayer hasn’t fixed it.
I accept it.
I accept it.
I accept it just as I accept the crucifixion.
Just as I accept there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, MS, Sickle Cell, or Cancer.
There is no cure for diabetes… and yet, God is STILL God.
Accepting this truth is not easy for some and it’s almost impossible for others,
but accepting the truth has strengthen me.
Because I know now more than I ever have that faith without works is dead.
I have the faith that God will keep me as healthy as I can be with a broken pancreas, and that’s pretty healthy.
if I do the work: eat right, on time, and exercise.
If I don’t do the work, I will die.
I have the power to do the work, I have the power to control, I have the power to manage.
There is no cure for diabetes… and yet, God is Still God.
It doesn’t have to be either I believe in God and reject that there is no cure
or I accept there is no cure and lose belief in God.
These things are not opposites.
There is no cure for diabetes… and yet, God is still God.
Nov 02 2014
It’s that time of year again…November. November is diabetes awareness month.
Today’s Blog Post: What Does Diabetes Awareness Month Mean to Me?
This month is special to me because I feel united with others. Because diabetes is such an individual experience I spend most of my time feeling alone. I’m often the loan diabetic in the room or the lone “diabetic that prioritizes management” and because of that I enjoy embracing all that November has to offer. The diabetes walks, the stories shared by others, the educational seminars, the concern…in short, the attention. Finally, the seriousness of diabetes gets its fair shot at getting everyone’s attention.
I enjoy talking about diabetes with others and during the month of November I get to do that more often.