Live Life Today!

It’s easy for us to be concerned about the future with chronic illness. However, we must keep in mind that there is so much life left in us. It may not be the ideal life that we’ve imagined, but it is still life. So instead of worrying about the how our conditions might affect us in the future, let’s just focus on today. Do what you can today.

Live life just one day at a time ❤️

Until Next Time,

The Genetic Diabetic

Back To School With Diabetes

How parents can properly prepare their child with diabetes for the new school year with a 504 Plan

We’re back to that time of year:

It’s back to school time!

I’m sure most of you who are parents or guardians have already started planning for the new school year. Setting up appointments to get immunizations and a physical. A dental cleaning for your kids. Getting the best deals on school supplies and clothes, saving up for those secondary school fees, or finding an after-school program for your child. 

What about setting up a 504 accommodations plan for your child with diabetes at school?

What is a 504 Plan?

A “504 Plan” is a plan developed to comply with a federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.The 504 Plan details the steps the school will take to keep students with disabilities safe, ensure they have the same opportunities to learn as other children, and ensure they are treated fairly. This can be used to ensure that students, parents/guardians, and school staff understand their responsibilities and to minimize misunderstandings.

Diabetes of all types is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is, therefore, very important for parents of children with diabetes to take advantage of this and to ensure that their children are safe and treated fairly in school.

The 504 plan describes a broad range of services and accommodations that are often needed by students with diabetes, ranging from kindergarteners to high school seniors. All plans should specify that school staff must receive training to recognize hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and respond accordingly.

A student’s plan should be tailored to his or her specific needs, abilities, and medical condition. Make sure that only provisions that are relevant to a particular child are included. 

How To Pursue a 504 Plan

  • Collect all the information and data about your child and their condition. This includes official diagnosis and medical records from all doctors and specialists treating your child.
  • Write a letter explaining your reasons and requesting accommodations.
  • Ask the school district for a 504 Plan for your child. Follow the 504 Plan Coordinator’s procedures to request a 504 Plan.
  • Keep in touch with the coordinator to determine the progress of the 504 Plan process.

The American Diabetes Association offers a sample 504 plan and examples of accommodations that can be downloaded.

Now is the perfect time to make sure that your child will be treated fairly when he or she has diabetes. Let’s make this school year a healthy one!

Until Next Time,

The Genetic Diabetic

Diabetes On The Clock

Diabetic discrimination at the workplace: What you can do

Take a moment to imagine this:

You’ve worked for your employer for several years. It’s a great job and you love the environment. You have just been diagnosed with diabetes. Suddenly, your entire lifestyle has to change. You must take new medications, alter your eating habits, and increase your physical activity. In addition to adjusting to these changes at home, you will also have to adjust to them at your workplace as an employee with diabetes.

During your work hours, you need to monitor your blood sugar twice, have snacks handy, and find creative ways to incorporate physical activity. In addition, you will need to locate a discrete area at your workplace where you can take insulin and other medications.

However, when you tell your immediate manager about your medical condition and accommodations that you request, the manager is nonchalant and doesn’t seem to care. The manager feels that you’re making too much of your condition, and believes that it would be unfair to give you “special preference” over all of the other workers.

This is an example of workplace discrimination based on chronic illness. It’s more common than we realize, especially when it’s a non-visible condition like diabetes. The awareness of diabetes among employers is still relatively low, even though it is one of the fastest growing chronic diseases in the US and worldwide.

Employees with diabetes working in the United States have Federal and State rights. A federal anti-discrimination law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, covers employers and unions with 15 or more employees. It protects people with disabilities from unfair employment practices. An employer may not treat you differently based on the fact that you have diabetes in hiring, firing, discipline, pay, promotion, job training and fringe benefits. You must be a “qualified individual with a disability.” Diabetes has been characterized as a disability due to its detrimental effect on the endocrine system, which regulates bodily functions.

Many states have their own laws against disability discrimination. These laws and the state agencies that enforce them may give employees extra protection and may apply to smaller employers as well.

Providing reasonable accommodations is the way employers can ensure people with disabilities do their jobs and are treated fairly. The majority of people with diabetes only need to make small changes that cost little or nothing.

Asking for accommodations is employee’s responsibility. While not entirely required, it is best to submit a written request for accommodation that explains why diabetes is a disability; specifies the accommodations required; and how the accommodations will enable the employee to carry out job duties effectively. This should be given to the human resources department along with a letter from the physician confirming the request.

There are a number of reasonable accommodations that may be provided. Here are some examples.

• Breaks for blood glucose testing, eating snacks, taking medicine, and going to the bathroom

• Keeping diabetes supplies and food close by 

• Leaving for treatment, recovery, or training on managing diabetes

• An alternative work schedule or a standard shift instead of rotating shifts

• People with diabetic neuropathy (a nerve disorder caused by diabetes), for access to a chair or stool;

• People with diabetic retinopathy (a vision disorder caused by diabetes), for access to large-screen computer monitors or other assistive devices

Eligible employees can also take can advantage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employees with serious health conditions, most private employers with more than 50 employees, and most government employers, must provide a minimum of 12 weeks of leave per year. You can take this leave in small time chunks to attend to short term problems, for example, managing blood glucose levels or to attend doctor’s appointments.

If an employer refuses to accommodate reasonable accommodation requests, conducts illegal medical inquiries or undergo an illegal medical examination, employees are encouraged to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The American Diabetes Association and the Chronic Disease Coalition are two organizations dedicated to assist employees experiencing workplace discrimination due to diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association has created an entire section on workplace discrimination and provides resources for employees and employers.

The Chronic Disease Coalition is a strong advocate for rights for individuals diagnosed with chronic illness. Chronic Disease Coalition Ambassadors have published several stories related to workplace discrimination and has a section that keeps people updated on current legislative efforts.

The fact that we live with an invisible illness does not mean we are not struggling and that we are not exasperating our condition. We remain hardworking, dedicated workers capable of performing our jobs. In order that we can effectively do our jobs and provide for ourselves and our families, we need to be treated with dignity and to be provided with the accommodations we need.

It’s just that simple.

Until Next Time,

The Genetic Diabetic

American Diabetes Association Employment Discrimination:

Chronic Disease Coalition:

My Diabetic Mama Book Update

We’re heading to the next phase!

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:

FB: The Genetic Diabetic

IG: thegeneticdiabeticblog

Until Next Time,

The Genetic Diabetic

Chronic Disease Month: Why I Advocate

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 To Sell the First Private Brand of Analog Insulin

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.

Until Next Time,

The Genetic Diabetic

Official Press Release-

Pause and Rest

When it’s time to take a break from it all

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.

– Experiencing short-term memory issues. You’re forgetting appointments, tasks and events.

– 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!

Until Next Time,

The Genetic Diabetic

New Book Alert: My Diabetic Mama

New children’s book will debut in August!

After quietly working on this exciting project for almost a month, I am pleased to announce that I am writing my first children’s book and the book will be based on being a part of a diabetic household.

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.

We are approaching the final stages of the book, leaving proofreading and final illustrations for the last few pages. The book’s release date will be scheduled for August. Stay tuned to this blog and social media pages for updates on the release and pre-release sales!

Until Next Time,

The Genetic Diabetic

Mason Jar Ice Cream

Make delicious, low-carb, homemade ice cream in 3 hours!

Key Lime Ice Cream with Shortbread Cookie Crumble

Have you been craving for ice cream, but diabetes is in the way?

I have good news for you:

You can still enjoy ice cream without guilt!

Since my diagnosis, I’ve been able to enjoy homemade, low carb ice cream and maintain in range blood sugar levels.

This is a recipe that I’ve found posted on one of my online diabetes support groups. A major pro is that you don’t need to use an ice cream machine to make it. All you need is 3-4 ingredients, a mason jar or a Tupperware container and your hands!

The ice cream takes five minutes to make, at least three hours to freeze and the finished product tastes better than any ice cream on the market! You can create amazing flavors using this recipe, including chocolate, butter pecan, strawberry cheesecake, peanut butter and key lime. You can also make a low-carb ice cream sandwich using homemade low-carb cookies. The possibilities are endless!

Try it for yourself and share pictures of your creation below!

Until Next Time,

The Genetic Diabetic

Sound Off: Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act

Big news for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions

Last week, in a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), preserving critical patient protections.

The ACA helps currently protects people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination, while expanding healthcare coverage for young adults, and increasing access to free and preventive health services.

A joint amicus brief- also known as a “Friend-of the-court brief,” was filed representing millions of patients with serious illnesses from various state representatives, patient groups and organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, in support of upholding the ACA.

The Supreme Court ruled the plaintiff states and taxpayers (which included the state of Texas, over a dozen additional states, and two individuals) did not have legal standing to bring their lawsuit, which aimed to get the entire health care law struck down.

If the ACA had been repealed, about 20 million Americans would have been uninsured.

As a result of the ruling, patient protections that prohibited insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, requiring health plans to offer essential benefits, and eliminating arbitrary dollar limits on coverage will remain in place. The ruling will also keep current tax credits that keep health insurance affordable for Americans, along with federal funding to help states provide vital Medicaid coverage to low-income adults.

Let’s sound off in the comments!

1. What are your thoughts about the ruling?

2. Have you tried to apply for health insurance since your diagnosis? If so, did you experience any difficulty obtaining insurance or with the cost of insurance?