A Letter to a Senator

** Please note:  This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking.  If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source!  Thanks :) **

Our assignment in class today was to write a letter to a senator or congressman about an issue that was personal to us.  I decided that I would write my letter as though I was actually going to send it out, instead of just writing something kind of generic.  I think I will actually take the time to spiff it up and send it off, too…

Dear Senator,

I am writing to you as a Michigan resident, blogger, student, and Medical Assistant living with Type 2 Diabetes.  As I’m sure you’re aware, there is currently an epidemic of this disease across our nation, with more cases developing every day.  There are stories, advertisements and campaigns being covered about this issue all the time, but many of them are misleading or inaccurate.  People with Type 2 Diabetes are frequently portrayed as obese and lazy, and it is frequently inferred that they have brought the disease on themselves.  While this may be true in some cases, it is more often a development brought on by genetics alone.  Unfortunately, the stigmas being attached to this disease are preventing further research, better treatment plans, or even a cure, from being found.

In many cases, as it was with me, people who are diagnosed are given little instruction and even less education before being sent on their way.  We are expected to control our condition and are chastised when we can’t, but we aren’t given the necessary tools to be able to control it.  Unfortunately, Diabetes differs for everyone.  A fellow blogger once coined the phrase “Your Diabetes May Vary (YDMV)” which is used frequently in the Diabetes Online Community.  Everyone with Diabetes, no matter which type, reacts differently to medication and to food.  We have to figure out what works and what doesn’t and go from there, often alone.  Contrary to popular belief, simply losing weight does not cure this disease.

People living with Diabetes need more support, better nutritional labeling, and more effective education about our condition.  We need more effective advertising about what it is like to live with Diabetes, and better information on how to control it, and to prevent it from developing in the first place.  While a cure would be best, we need help for the more than 25 million people who are living with Diabetes today.

I am writing simply to ask you to take the time to educate yourself about what it’s like to live with Type 2 Diabetes, and to consider this when dealing with legislative decisions about health care, nutrition, and medical research.  This is not a political issue, just an issue about people who need more effective help to be able to get by, and need more understanding from people who can make a difference, like yourself.  There are so many ways that you can learn more about Diabetes.  For starters, there are bloggers who talk about living with this disease every day.  You can find my blog at https://ninjalimabean.wordpress.com/ which links to other blogs.  There are also incredible website communities devoted to helping the many people with Diabetes, like Diabetes Daily (www.diabetesdaily.com) or TuDiabetes (www.tudiabetes.org).

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Diabetes Blog Week 2012! – One Thing to Improve

Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at. Today let’s look at the flip-side. We probably all have one thing we could try to do better. Why not make today the day we start working on it. No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!

Yesterday the topic for the day during D-Blog Week 2012 was One Great Thing, meaning something that we do really well for our diabetes.  I talked about how I’ve gotten good at paying attention to what I eat since my diagnosis.  Granted, we all realize we have to pay attention to what we eat, so its really not that spectacular of a feat, but compared to the way I used to eat, even at the beginning of my diagnosis, its spectacular for me.  But today, for One Thing to Improve, I’m going to talk about the same thing… watching what I eat!

For all my talk of being so proud of having the ability to pay attention to what I eat, I still don’t make the choices that I know I should make.  Sure I look at the carbs and the calories of everything I eat, and I try to keep them down.  I use the MyFitnessPal app on my phone to keep track of my calories (and other stuff), and I use the OnTrack Diabetes app to record all my numbers.  I look at all these numbers all day long, but I don’t really look at them beyond just looking at them.  Sure, I eliminate foods or cut my portions sometimes to fit in with what I need to be doing, but the foods are still the wrong ones.  I still eat the same foods from my favorite restaurants, even though their healthier options are just as good.  I still loooove my desserts, even when I should be skipping them.  Sometimes I think I slip into the mindset that as long as I cover what I eat with insulin, its ok to do what I want.

I know that I need to change this habit.  I need to stop looking at food and really start LOOKING at food.  For my health, for my weight, as well as for my diabetes.

D-Blog Week 2012! One Great Thing

Today’s D-Blog Week topic is “One Great Thing”

Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”.  But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit.  Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly!  Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes.  Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!

I have to say that nothing I do for my diabetes is “perfect”… I think this is a disease that unfortunately just can’t be classified like that.  No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, sometimes its just not going to work. Sometimes it does, though, so you have that to look forward to!

One thing that I feel has been helpful to me since my diagnosis though, is that being a diabetic makes me aware of what I’m putting in my mouth to eat!  I may not always eat what I should… I certainly don’t put down desserts like I should! … but I am hyper-aware of what I’m eating every day.  Every bite that I put into my mouth, be it good or bad, I have to account for.  I have to make a conscious decision as to whether or not that item will be good or bad for my blood sugar, and do I really feel like poking myself AGAIN just to be able to eat it??  Its much more difficult to hold yourself accountable for the foods you eat as a diabetic than if you are not.  Ahh to be able to just eat something without thinking about it first.. but we do what we have to.  And one a personal level, I kind of like having that little bit of structure to hold me up… usually!

D-Blog Week 2012! Find A Friend

I have a VERY bad tendency to do more blogging when I have a reason to… I guess that means I should be scouring the interwebs for memes and the like, but, alas, I do not.

But now I have a reason again!

This week kicks off the 3rd Annual Diabetes Blog week!  Started 2 years ago by Karen at Bitter Sweet Diabetes, this is a week when diabetes bloggers can post on a set of topics over the course of the week.  It brings the DOC a little bit closer… not that this group needs any help!

The topic for today is Find A Friend.  The idea is to write about a d-blog that you read that others might not know about, and share the love!  Or officially:

It seems the most popular thing about Diabetes Blog Week is that it helps us find blogs we weren’t reading yet and connect with some new blog friends.  With that in mind, let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by making some new connections.  Think about the d-blogs you read that you think we may not know about and introduce us to one that you love!!  Let’s all find a new friend today!    (Special thanks to Gina, everybody’s Diabetes BFF, for helping me title this post!)

Well, I feel like I went through and did all my searching a long time ago, so I’ll tell you instead of a couple of my favorites….

I’m sure most everyone has been to this one….Six Until Me was the first blog that I found after I was diagnosed.  At a time when I didn’t know really anything about what was going on, and didn’t really get enough information from my doctor’s, reading Kerri’s blog helped me figure out how to be a diabetic and be a normal person at the same time.  I found so much information in her pages, about so much, that it was just a wonderful discovery!  This blog is always on the top of my reading list!

One of my other favorites is Mike Lawson at What Some Would Call Lies.  His blog is so refreshingly… refreshing!  Its funny, sentimental, and best of all, honest,  This blog is one that I turn to when I need some real life amusement.

There are just so many people that I feel like I’ve come to know through their blogs.. I tend to be a lurker, but I love reading about so many people’s lives, and knowing that everyone is so much themselves, yet part of this great big whole community that I’m so happy to be a part of.

Looking forward to seeing everyone’s posts and finding some great new reads!

Giving Thanks

Well, I didn’t make it for NaBloPoMo….
I got sick during the same week that my hectic online class started doing two chapters per week, and everything just fell apart…but now I should be back!  I got a bit of a break in school and work due to the holiday, so I got to catch up on all my stuff….

Today I just wanted to say that I’m thankful that I am here, with a good job, and the ability to further my education. I am thankful that I have a wonderful family that I can talk to and be with.  And I am thankful that I have a wonderful man in my life who supports me in whatever I try to do.

And on a health related note, since its Diabetes Blessings Week, I’ll make note of a couple D-related things I’m thankful for too..

I think the biggest thing I’m thankful for in this regard is the fact that having diabetes has forced me to take a better look at my eating and exercising habits.  While I’m still not on the exercising bandwagon (and should be), I have learned a LOT about food and what it does to my body.  I’m not perfect (and even if I was I don’t think it would matter), but I know what works and doesn’t.

I’m also thankful that it ultimately introduced me to the joys of blogging.  I know that might sound silly, especially since I don’t blog anywhere near as much as some other people I know, but I really enjoy writing things down a few times a week.  Its helped me better evaluate what I’m feeling and thinking.

So there you go :)

Happy thanksgiving and turkey eating day everyone!!

blue

I have no idea what to write about today, but I forgot to post a picture of my blue fingernails from Friday for Diabetes Awareness Month leading into World Diabetes Day on Sunday.

And by the way, it is really difficult to try and take a picture of your own hand while not having too much or too little flash.  I don’t know if you can even tell, but the fingernails are kinda light blue and sparkly.  Had to get it semi-professional for work!

Sorry for such an incredibly boring post!  I’ll be back on track tomorrow! :)

Today is….

Today I did the Big Blue Test to show support for World Diabetes Day.  I tested at 2:00 and my BG was 121.  Then I made my boyfriend go walk in the cold with me.   It was incredibly cold, even once we started really walking, so a big thank you to Dustin for braving the cold with me! We did 3/4 mile in the 15 minutes that we walked, and when I tested again I was 98.  So that just goes to show the positve power of exercise!

After that I went shopping with my sister, so I got in some MORE exercise than normal today, which was good.  Amazingly I did not drop below 95 the whole time I was out, so that was good too.

Remember, though… exercise is good for every day, not just World Diabetes Day, and advocating for diabetes awareness should be every day too!