I can no longer watch my family making unhealthy choices
If anyone wants to know why I do what I do, here’s one of those reasons: to be able to see this sweet face everyday.
I want to show him and his siblings the right way to take care of the temple that God gave to them. I want to show them that this diagnosis is not the end of the world, and that we have the power to change the narrative.
Observing their current eating habits solidified that the fact something has got to change. With a family history of diabetes and heart issues on all sides of their families, there’s no reason why my family should not start changing their current lifestyle.
In a couple of weeks, I will be sharing what my husband and I are planning create a new health legacy for our family. Follow my blog to stay updated!
Read how Allison is taking charge of her health and not allowing anything to stop her.
Allison Age: 45 Conditions: Hypothyroidism and allergies to everything outside (biweekly shots) and dust mites and mold.
Year diagnosed? 15 or so years ago for hypothyroidism and maybe 5 years ago I was tested for allergies.
How were you diagnosed? Tested by blood tests for hypothyroidism after demanding bloodwork (doctors said I was fine, I work too hard, maybe I was depressed…I knew something else was wrong but couldn’t figure out what). After bloodwork they were almost surprised, like oh, something IS wrong. This was probably the hardest part and the part that took the longest. It’s hard getting passed doctors who look at you and say you’re fine and disregard what you’re trying to tell them. With allergies, same thing, I had to keep trying to figure out root causes of why I struggled. Life shouldn’t feel so hard. Allergies are one of those things too that doctors can’t see, but the patient feels and knows something isn’t right.
How have the chronic conditions affected your life? I think the mental torment is the worst part. I tried for so long to fix things on my own or worse, thought I wasn’t doing something right. I cried a lot. Conditions like these often go unnoticed or undiagnosed but the symptoms are terrible to live with. I take medicine for hypothyroidism. I have no idea if I could feel better, I don’t know any different. I still want to find a better doctor. Currently where I go the doctor turnover is so high it’s like I have a new primary doctor every year and half to two years. It’s frustrating and honestly, I haven’t put in energy to find a different doctor (I would have to travel more than I already do for doctors and I’ve become complacent. Typing this is convicting me to not be. 😳😶
Your thyroid plays a HUGE role in your overall well-being. I had no idea and still could learn more. Again, just typing this is convicting me to start researching it more and find a doctor who specializes in it. I’ve heard so many say they can get off medications with proper diet. I asked a thyroid specialist and he said, NO! Food doesn’t change anything. I don’t know why I stopped checking. I assumed since he was the specialist on thyroid disorders, he would know. I know I don’t live in area where there are many specialists. I had to drive over 100 miles just to see him (which is probably why I stopped checking. 😔).
How have you grown since diagnosis a d what do you wish people knew about the condition and/or chronic illnesses in general? I will say that learning about what I COULD do enabled me to actually feel like I’m living. I hear so many women give up like it’s a life sentence to be turned an overweight for the rest if their lives. I’m living proof you can be fit and healthy with hypothyroidism. I have to work for it and eat healthy, but it’s possible. 😁💪🏻❤
I hope that Allison’s story resonated with you. Learning more about your condition and researching ways to control the symptoms is the first step in owning your health journey.
You have the power to take charge of your health. Don’t let your illness control you!
We want to hear your story!
If you would like to be included, email me at email@example.com by July 18th with the following information:
First name Age (Optional) Condition Year diagnosed How you were diagnosed? How has your condition affected your life? How have you grown since your diagnosis? What do you wish people knew about your condition or chronic illness in general? Picture of yourself or family (optional)
Your story has the ability to educate, empower and motivate others who might be struggling on their own journey. Telling your story can be freeing and therapeutic, not only for the listener but also for yourself. The more you share your story, you will gain a better understanding of yourself and it will also help build greater self-confidence.
Telling your story has the capacity to change lives, including your own.
I’m excited to announce that illustrations for my first published book, My Diabetic Mama are completed and the images are absolutely gorgeous!
The next steps are editing and proofreading. That process should take no more than a few weeks. In the meantime, we will start our official webpage for our book as well as some pre-ordering information. My plan is to debut the book later this summer.
My Diabetic Mama is a children’s book featuring 8-year-old Mac, whose mom has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, along with his family, that supports his newly diagnosed mom adjust to new lifestyle changes. This book is recommended for elementary school students in grades 2-5. This book will cover a basic definition of diabetes, the two major types of diabetes (type 1 and 2) and general symptoms of high and low blood sugar levels.
For more updates, follow my blog or my social media pages:
How I’m using the PURE stress management method this week.
This week will be an extremely busy for me personally. Therefore, I will only be blogging for a couple of days this week.
A few days ago, I wrote about an upcoming youth entrepreneur event that my organization has been planning this month. The event is this Saturday and we are in full preparation and promotional mode.
We’ve managed to score a radio interview, which one of the youth entrepreneurs and I did yesterday, and an upcoming TV interview on Wednesday. Other than that, we are creating signs, decorations, swag bags and certificates all week long.
So instead of being superwoman and doing it all, this week I have implemented the PURE stress management method and decided to focus on making this youth entrepreneur event successful. I will only blog today and tomorrow. Then return with to my normal blog posting schedule on Monday.
This will help me not get so overwhelmed and will have some extra time to rest when I can.
It’s important to practice what I share with you because if I don’t, then everything that I’ve been sharing with you would be just meaningless advice.
So continue to prioritize your health first so you can be able to focus on the things that matter to you. And as my good friend always says:
Looking for tasty granola that’s not loaded with sugar? If you don’t have an allergy or intolerance to nuts, this simple recipe is a fantastic alternative to original granola!
I’ve discovered this recipe in an online diabetes support group. I’ve decided to make some using what I had at the time. It was absolutely amazing! It was like eating a candy bar. I had to stop myself from eating the entire batch in one sitting. All you need is a few key ingredients and you’ll have the perfect complement to any meal or snack!
Try it for yourself and share a picture in the comments!
Right now it’s 9:35 PM where I am. I’ve just finished taking a hot, relaxing bath after an extremely rough day.
Besides blogging, writing contributing articles and moderating, I am also a co-founder for a local nonprofit organization that helps young school-age entrepreneurs. In about a week from now, we will be hosting our biggest annual event: a youth entrepreneurship fair where youth from all over our state and surrounding states sell their products and services.
I absolutely love planning this annual youth event! I love seeing the excitement of the youth when they make a sale. The fun and amazement from the community when they hear the stories of how these youth entrepreneurs got started. It makes planning this event so rewarding.
Planning this year’s event is a little different than previous years, with the exception of last year’s event (which was online). Because of the pandemic, our event, which usually takes place in March, takes place this month, on July 17th.
Unfortunately, we’ve been hitting a lot more snags than usual. Many of our senior youth participants have canceled because of timing and schedule conflicts. It’s been harder to get media coverage for our event (which usually we had been able to get media coverage from all TV stations and radio). There has been a lot of miscommunication or no communication at all, from some families of the youth participants. Then there’s the health department requesting extra data and requiring us to implement extra procedures from kids who only plan to sell drinks and packaged sweet treats.
Today, I was really under pressure and at my breaking point. Between following up with parents who I have not heard from since the pandemic contacting us two weeks before the event, the last minute cancellations, the health department breathing down our backs, following up with the TV and newspaper stations, making sure my kids are not killing each other and trying to work on blogging and posting, I was angry, frustrated and depleted. Every ounce of me wanted to explicitly express how I felt at that moment.
Needless to say, it has been rough experience for me and my colleagues.
Instead of losing my cool, I’ve stopped everything I was doing, changed into some walking gear and walked. I didn’t care what was happening at the moment. I knew that I needed to pause in order to keep my composure. Fifteen minutes later, I returned home and resumed work with a sound mind. I was able to solve all of the issues that I could with kindness and patience.
A brisk walk is one of the newest ways that I’ve been managing my stress. Besides exercise and diet, managing stress is a huge component of diabetes management. All of us have experienced various forms of stress, including personal, interpersonal and environmental.
For those of us living with diabetes, stress can make it more difficult to manage our condition. Stress disrupts our daily routines and causes fluctuations in our blood sugar levels. Stress increases our blood pressure and raises heart rate, resulting in rising blood sugar levels.
If you find yourself in a stressful situation or environment, remember, everything doesn’t require a response. Try these healthy strategies to help manage stress:
Unfortunately, chronic conditions account for 7 of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.
According to a 2018 peer-reviewed research study from Preventing Chronic Disease, 129 million adult Americans (51.8 %) had a chronic condition. Sixty-one million (24.6%) adults had one chronic condition.
Sixty-eight million adults (27.2 %) had two chronic or more conditions. The chances of being diagnosed with two or more chronic conditions were higher among women, non-Hispanic white adults, older adults, adults aged 18–64 on Medicaid, dual-eligible adults (Medicare and Medicaid), and adults in rural areas.
More likely, we know a family member, friend or coworker battling a chronic condition. Many who are diagnosed with chronic illnesses suffer from lack of attention, proper medical care and resources.
This is the reason why organizations like the Chronic Disease Coalition and Good Days are dedicating this month to raise awareness of the impact of chronic disease in this country and to encourage others to advocate for access to quality care, treatment and resources for those with chronic illnesses.
The Chronic Disease Coalition, where I serve as an ambassador, has always advocated and raised awareness on behalf of the chronic illness community. Therefore, every month is Chronic Disease Awareness! However, in July, we specifically amplify patient voices while continuing to advocate for patient rights. The organization has planned amazing opportunities to get people engaged in advocacy efforts, including access to their special Chronic Disease month toolkit, live interviews and a Chronic University event about policy advocacy.
The Good Days Organization has dedicated July 10th as Chronic Disease Awareness Day. There are opportunities for people to participate in social media campaigning, a healthy recipe contest, opportunities for your hometown to recognize Chronic Disease Day and a separate live-stream event on July 13th.
Chronic illness rates are steadily increasing, but remember, we have the power to change the narrative. Consider taking part in the movements mentioned or consider starting your own local effort. This chronic illness journey is not meant for us to fight alone. There is strength in unity.
It’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve made the decision to advocate for diabetes. I’ve never would have imagined that diabetes would take me on this path in this space at this time.
Yesterday, I’ve found myself contemplating my purpose in advocacy. Why do I advocate even though I am still in the early phases of this illness?
Who am I doing this for and why?
Then it hit me while getting my walking steps in at a nearby track and field. I advocate for those who feel that they’ve been forgotten and neglected by their family, friends, their healthcare team and legislature. I do what I do to remind those on the chronic illness journey that they are not forgotten, they are respected and they are heard. Even though I am still going through difficulties with this illness, I continue to use my voice, my fingers, my pen and my presence to stand in the gap on their behalf and mine.
This is why I advocate. This is why I will continue to fight. This is why I am in this space in this place at this moment.
Today is the first day of Chronic Disease Month and I encourage you to take a stand and raise awareness on learning more about those who are on the journey. Here are some ways you can help:
Share your own story!
Learn more about the different conditions and the issues that many of us with chronic illness face.
Write letters to lawmakers about passing legislation that will allow us to have access to affordable care and medicine.
Speak out on discrimination based on our chronic illness in schools, hospitals and the workplace.
Do something kind for someone you know with chronic illness just because.
Chronic illness can happen to anyone at anytime. We don’t wish anyone to go through what we do, but in the unfortunate event that it does, we want to have access to the best care, the best treatment and equal opportunities.
Help the chronic illness community be seen and heard!
Walmart’s private brand insulin brings some relief to uninsured patients
Walmart has unveiled their private brand of analog insulin, ReliOn Novolog. A prescription will still be required, and the cost is still slightly higher than what people will pay through insurance and copays. However, the list price of the insulin brand would bring some much-needed relief to those without insurance that need insulin immediately.
ReliOn Novolog, manufactured by Novo Nordisk, is a rapid-acting insulin analog used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes. Walmart promises to offer customers a significant price savings without compromising quality. A prescription is required to purchase the new insulin brand.
ReliOn Novolog will cost $72.88 for a glass vial and $85.88 for a box of five FlexPens. According to Walmart, the cost saves customers between 58%-75% off the cash price of Novolog branded products. This translates to a savings of up to $101 per branded vial or $251 per package of branded FlexPens.
ReliOn Novolog will be available in Walmart pharmacies this week and Sam’s Club will start offering ReliOn Novolog in mid-July.
Keep in mind that every patient responds differently to treatment, therefore, consult with your doctor to determine if ReliOn Novolog will work for you.
Today, I’ve battled extreme exhaustion in the middle of the day. One minute, I was watching TV with my sons. The next minute, I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open while sitting on the bed. My sons’ caught me dozing off and they tried to keep me up.
Even though I did manage to stay up and not go to sleep, I’ve felt completely drained and it was hard for me to focus on any tasks. With my annual community event quickly approaching, starting my new positions, completing my children’s book while taking care of my household, I knew that I have a lot on my plate. I’ve felt like I had to do it all.
And my body realized it, too, and decided to give me a reality check in the form of sheer exhaustion and debilitating headaches. Instead of trying to meet my deadlines and complete the tasks that I’ve intended to accomplish, I’ve decided to complete what I could and then pause everything else and rest.
Recognize the signs that our bodies are telling us to slow down:
– Feeling frazzled and overwhelmed with all that you have to do.
– Feeling less motivated to complete your tasks.
– Being short-tempered, annoyed and irritable around others.
– Lacking sleep because you’re too focused on completing your tasks.
– Experiencing a change of dietary habits. You’re either skipping meals, not eating a lot, eating too much or eating less nutritious meals. This could also happen when you’re drinking more caffeinated drinks to stay focused or just not drinking any liquids at all.
– Experiencing headaches, muscle tension, skin issues due to stress and anxiety.
If you’re currently experiencing any of these symptoms, then your body is telling you to pause what you’re doing and rest.
As spoonies, it’s especially important that we listen to our body cues, because ignoring the signs will greatly affect our health. From a diabetic standpoint, we risk experiencing hyperglycemic episodes from being stressed, forgetting to take medicine or lack of sleep. We could also experience hypoglycemic episodes issues from skipping meals, not eating enough and feeling fatigued.
What does it mean to pause and rest?
You stop doing everything that you’re doing and rest. You’re taking a nap. You’re eating a nutritious meal. You’re spending time with family and friends. You’re taking a walk or going to the gym. You’re going on a vacation. You’re focusing on a hobby. You’re delegating tasks to others, whether it’s chores or work assignments. You’re giving up control and letting things be.
Then when you’re ready, return to your task with a sound mind and renewed focus.
Don’t wait until you’re exhausted to pause and rest. Listen for your body cues. When you notice the signs, act accordingly. Don’t ignore the signs. Pause and rest!