Hi, my name is Naomi and I used to blog, but I’ve been kind of MIA for a while and don’t know where to begin
*hint hint* this is where you say “Hi Naomi”
I haven’t just been MIA from this blog, but also from Twitter and the DOC as a whole. I think about how distant I’ve been and I honestly feel sad. This sadness has been added to a long list of things that have been affecting my life these past few months. And as I take steps to change this long list, I feel blogging should become an important component again. I honestly miss it.
The only problem is, over this past year, and especially these past few months, I’ve changed. Not in a bad way, not for anyone else, but for myself; Something I’ve really needed to work on but was never able to take the time to do. I’m not 100% where I want to be yet, I don’t know when I will reach that (or if I ever will, to be honest), but I’m ready to talk about it. . I want to be able to talk about anything in my life that I would like to share, including many things I had never taken interest in before or allowed myself to do; some of which have given me confidence and self-worth I never really felt I had before.
Therefore, I am starting to transition to a more ME blog, and not just a my diabetes blog. I feel tied down by the whole “Pancreas on My Sleeve” title and that’s not me anymore. I’m not just the girl who wears her pancreas on her sleeve. I’m the girl who is also dealing with depression and anxiety. I’m the girl who can make a damn good Salted Caramel cupcake. I’m the girl who can give pretty good self-manicures. I’m the girl who is trying to figure out what the fuck she’s going to do with her life, and at 21 with no clue, that’s scary. I’m the girl who’s pretty proud of the things I can do, even with these challenges in the way. And I want my blog to be about that girl, along with the one who wear the pump on her sleeve.
I’ve made promises before, I can list about five right now that I never fulfilled; you can probably list more. But this isn’t just a promise to the people I consider my blogging friends, this is a promise to myself. Because I know blogging will help me grow up, as it has before.
So please bare with me. I know I have lost contact with a lot of you (actually all of you) and I hope I can mend that; because you truly are a group of wonderful, inspiring, sometimes crazy, bunch of good hearted people.
With a part-time job (one change that has come around), I know I can’t make a promise of when this transition will be done. Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow, maybe three weeks from now. Whenever it does come, I hope you learn more about who I really am, and how much you each have helped me in ways you can’t even imagine.
I’ve spent a good chunk of my eighteen years with diabetes trying to find something I actually enjoyed using to correct low blood sugars. Part of my problem is things can get old fast and I’m very picky about others.
It seemed nearly impossible to try and find something that tasted good AND didn’t require me to eat half the package of just to get enough carbohydrates (goodbye money).
I literally had given up hope. So had my parents. At an early age my go to snack was peanut butter in a cheese slice (no really, try it. Like, now). Then when it was my turn to figure things out for myself, I turned to other snacks…and that quickly caused me to overcompensate for lows.
So when Ethan, creator of LEVEL foods, contacted me about LEVEL life glucose gel, I was intrigued. Himself, a type 1 diabetic, Ethan explained to me that he has “struggled with balancing blood sugars over the years. For [him], the root of these challenges often started with low blood sugars episodes.” And I think that can be said about a lot of people with diabetes. Or at least many I have had the chance to speak to and myself.
So I thought, why not? I’ve been so stubborn in the past, why not at least try something new?
And in all honesty, I’m happy I did.
There are four flavors to choose from: Strawberry Banana, Mandarin Orange, Vanilla and (my personal favorite) Caramel. Each flavor comes with three pouches, and even better: Each little pouch is 15g of carbohydrates.
I thought I’d rate each flavor individually, just to give you more details but overall, I love them! I think the most important point of these, is that even though they take the normal 15-20 mins. to really work, by the five minute marker I was already feeling better. That for me is a major point to the product, because that prevents me from rummaging through my cabinets to eat my symptoms away (a habit I’ve been desperately trying to break).
Another point in which they’re all similar is the consistency. I tried to take a picture of the gel out of the package but failed miserably, as it’s very runny. I think the one thing I could relate it to was Maple Syrup, although a little less thick.
Now here’s what I thought of each flavor…
I know I’m going out on a limb when I say; I don’t like orange tasting things. ESPECIALLY glucose tablets. Sorry. So I really thought this would be one of my least favorites, and it just so happens to be my second choice. It’s not the strong typical orange flavor you assume it’s subtler. But I like it that way!
BG Before: 57
BG 10 Minutes After: 70
BG 20 Minutes After: 115
When I first saw the flavor options, I actually thought this one would be my favorite, because two out of the other three are typical flavors you see when dealing with low blood sugar foods and this one is a little more unique. Initial taste is a little bit more banana than anything else, the aftertaste is where you get a bite more strawberry and banana flavor. A little disappointed in that, but again, it’s a different flavor than the normal so I at least appreciate the difference.
BG Before: 62
BG 10 Minutes After: 65
BG 20 Minutes After: 101 (looks like I was probably lower than 62)
Honestly, I didn’t come into this one with high expectations either. I’ve consumed so much “vanilla” flavored gel in my life that even the EMT that came to teach us first aid understood when I said I didn’t want to go near the one he was offering to the class. Although, this is my last choice, I would like to point out that it got a MUCH higher score than I thought I would be giving it. It sort of reminds me of what a melted lollipop would taste like… if that makes any sense. But I definitely can taste the vanilla in this one. A big change from other vanilla flavored items.
BG Before: 42
BG 10 Minutes After: 56
BG 20 Minutes After: 97
Last but certainly not least (no, seriously). I’m in love. It tastes like a caramel coffee in syrup form, and that’s good for me because I LOVE my Caramel Latte’s. It also really resembles butterscotch candies, which I used to be obsessed with. Which is kind of weird, because I don’t remember caramel latte’s tasting anything like butterscotch. Anyways, definitely my top choice of the four!
BG Before: 45
BG 10 Minutes After: 68
BG 20 Minutes After: 107
Overall, I would definitely get these again. Even if the store only had my least favorite flavors, I would choose them over glucose tablets any day. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find your own favorite!
Level Life Glucose Gel
Disclosure: I received samples of this product for reviewing purposes. However, all opinions are 100% my own and no compensation was received for this review.
No, no! Not that kind!
A few days ago, my friend, J, and I had started talking about our landmark birthdays coming up. The big 2-1. If you’re not from around here, that’s when us Americans get to legally drink. *cough*
The conversation quickly turned to shots (no, not the ones with needles, the ones with alcohol), and then somehow to diabetes, as per usual. Then with a stroke of genius, J suddenly said this….
“On your 21st birthday if you go low, we should have you take diabetic shots”
Huh???? That’s the opposite of what you would do…
“Instead of salt, you’ll have a pixie stix [flavored sugar], a shot of orange juice and then an orange slice, instead of the lemon… or a cracker!”
Oh dear god. Best idea ever.
See? You can always get a little creative with diabetes.
One of the only things I don’t like about the Omnipod is that it’s not customizable; no fun colors or prints, just this plain white color, with a little bit of translucence so you get to see all that good looking medical equipment inside.
Then, over the summer, I learned of Pump Peelz. Originally they’re plan was to make a hard cover shell, called an OmniSkinz that you can snap onto your pod. But while they were figuring out small kinks in the manufacturing process, they were also getting bombarded with requests to release products. So…. Pump Peelz were created.
Basically a Pump Peelz is a sticker that wraps around your Pod. As of right now, they come in 46 pre-made designs and have a custom option where you can send them your own design through email and they’ll print it out as a peel. Patterns include animal prints, sports, seasonal prints and a ton of other cute and cool designs.
I had been wanting to order them for a long time and have seen countless of diabetes bloggers rave about them. So in November, right after they released the option of custom “Peelz”, I caved in.
I ordered one of the pre-made designs, the leopard print, and because I had a concert coming up, I ordered the custom ones and sent them a picture I had made. The custom prints come with three peels, while the already made designs come with one per order.
Within two weeks, I had my Pump Peelz and was really happy with how they looked and came out.
I tried my first (and only) one the night of my concert. It definitely will take practice to get the Peel on perfectly, but I am so so so happy with how it looked. And I *might’ve* been so excited about using them, that I forgot to refer to their directions on how to put them on correctly.
The best part about this was that when I went to the concert, people were looking at the design rather than the object itself. One mom even asked as my friend and I were sitting down to dinner what is was, and when I responded she thought it was really cool that I could deck it out in whatever design I wanted, especially specifically for that night.
The only negative thing about it that I can see so far, and please keep in mind I’ve only used it once, is that even though they promote them as reusable, I definitely could not reuse this one. Sort of annoying, as the pricing is a little steep for a one time use (for almost all of the designs,one is sold for $5.99). Maybe it’s how I put it on, but when I took it off it just wasn’t as sticky as it had originally been and the flaps on the side were sticking to everything but a new pod. However, I’m hoping this was just a fluke with my first try.
All in all, I will DEFINITELY be ordering from here again! I’m so excited to use the other ones I have and try some new designs as well… perhaps make one that says “Stop staring at my insulin pump”?
I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
I had been researching places and applications for months and here I was on August 26; standing in a room that would over the next couple of days become my first apartment bedroom. You know, once my bedroom arrived, my furniture was arranged in all the right corners and there were no more miscellaneously marked cardboard boxes scattered across the floor.
This was the start of me living by myself. Well, not completely alone, I do have an amazing roommate. However, I had my own room, my own bathroom, and enough medical supplies to take up an entire shelf in my closet and the entire butter compartment of my fridge (along with about 2/3 of the condiment shelf as well).
What have I gotten myself into?
It’s funny, throughout the entire process of researching apartments, filling out applications and signing my name on so many leasing documents I got a glimpse into what it’s like as a celebrity on the streets on New York, the thought of me and my diabetes alone never really worried me. Maybe it’s because I just didn’t have enough time to let myself worry about it.
Even as I was packing up three boxes full of diabetes, it never crossed my mind that I couldn’t walk to the room next to mine and ask my dad to give me an emergency shot, or call a number to have campus security come by within minutes if something just wasn’t right and the “Wellness Center” wasn’t open (thankfully, something that never had to happen).
Now, had I really had time to think it over, I would have probably experienced several anxiety episodes. And maybe that would have mad things worse for me when moving time actually came.
But the good thing is, I didn’t worry… I don’t know why, I just didn’t and in the long haul, I didn’t have anything to worry about. Thousands of people, my age, older and even younger, take care of themselves, why couldn’t I??
What these past few months have shown me is, I can.
The thought of living on my own came with plenty of other stress-enducing worries and concerns, I’m just so thankful that Diabetes decided to play nice.
One of my best friends, J, has been mentioned many times in previous posts. But I think this was the best discussion I had ever had with her about my diabetes. Wait, I think this is the best discussion about my diabetes I’ve had with anyone, like, ever.
A few weekends into this past semester, we had decided to go back to her house and get away from the bumblefuck area that is our campus town. The weekend was filled with shopping, shopping and oh, some more shopping. Girls.
One day, while we were at a mall, we decided to grab a quick lunch from the food court. We ordered, sat down, and I reached for my PDM to warn my pancreas about the incoming carbs.
When I suddenly hear across from me, “You know, sometimes I forget that you have diabetes.”
What do you mean?
“I’m only really reminded that you’re diabetic whenever you pull your PDM out or change your pod… otherwise, I completely forget that you have it.”
And I almost cried right there.
It’s an awesome feeling when you have a friend who can both help you get through tough times with diabetes, and at the same time recognize that diabetes isn’t you; that you’re more than it and it shouldn’t and doesn’t take over your life, it’s just included at times.
I realize I haven’t posted anything in a really long time, and that’s not because I haven’t had anything to write about.
These last few months have been extremely hectic for me, one of my busiest semesters so fay; BUT one of my best!
I haven’t posted anything since moving into my apartment, but short story (with a longer one to follow), I LOVE it!!!!
I know I haven’t been tweeting, posting, talking, ranting as much as I usually do. That will continue again after finals week (wow, this semester has gone by incredibly fast)!!
I know I have A LOT of catching up to do, but mark my words it will get done!