I want to know why!?!

Yes, big pharma and insurance companies, I’m talking to you.

I’m talking to every single one of you who live in your big, greedy glass houses, paid for by the blood money of every diabetic you hold hostage with your insulin prices and all who have died a painful, excruciating death at your hands.

I want one representative, just one, to tell me why the price of insulin has increased 1200% over the last 30 years (you read that right, two zeroes folks)! I want to know, would you be charging these prices if you had one family member who did not have insurance or coverage for insulin?  I want to know why money is more important than a human life.  I want to know how you would honestly answer all these questions if someone who is taking their last breath due to a lack of insulin was asking them.  I want to know how you would feel watching that person die, knowing that you are the reason.  I want to know why the same bottle of insulin in other countries costs the same as insulin in the United States used to cost in the 1980s. I want to know why every person living with type 1 or every parent of a type 1 child has to live in fear that they won’t be able to afford the only medication that will keep them or their child alive.  I want to know why we take extreme measure to rehabilitate drug addicts and have programs that will offer them free syringes but a type 1 diabetic who tries to take diligent care of themselves has to struggle to afford such access.  I want to know why the insurance companies get to put a cap on how much insulin a person is allowed per month, regardless of how much their bodies actually need.  I want to know why that discretion has been taken away from the doctors. I want to know if this was all worth it to you when you have to answer all these questions on judgment day. Those are the things I want to know.

Now, here’s what I want you to know.  I want you to know that we’re coming for you, and we’re fighting for every single person who died because of your greed. On your watch.  At your hands.  I want you to know that your blood money can’t go with you when you die, so enjoy it now.  I want you to know that every time a diabetic dies because of a lack of affordable insulin, that’s one more murder on your hands.  I want you to know that Shane Patrick Boyle and Alec Raeshawn Smith, along with countless others, are no longer here because of you.

Shane passed away on March 18, 2017.  He set up a gofundme page to raise $750 for a ONE MONTH supply of insulin.  He was $50 short of his goal and was unable to buy his insulin.  Without it, he went into DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis).  Insulin is what helps move glucose out of the bloodstream into the cells where it is most needed.  Without insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream and your cells begin to starve, causing the condition known as DKA.  Untreated DKA = death.

Alec aged out of his mother’s insurance at age 26.  Without insurance, Alec’s supplies cost $1,300 per month, which he could not afford.  He started rationing his insulin to make it last, which so many people are forced to do.  Alec was found dead in his apartment on June 27, 2017 after he went into DKA due to lack of insulin.

This must end.  I’ve said before that I choose to live in hope.  I live in hope that despite this greed, honest organizations like JDRF will prevail in finding a cure.  I live in hope that these money-hungry insurance and pharmaceutical companies will be brought to justice and there will be laws preventing this type of price gauging.  It is criminal, and innocent lives are being taken because of it.

If you are one of the individuals responsible for setting these prices, I hope you can sleep well at night.  I also hope you know sarcasm when you see it.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  You should be on your knees every night praying that you don’t end up with a disease that requires your company’s medications to stay alive.

One of the hardest things for me to do is pray for my enemies and those who are evil, but I do it.  Know that I do pray for you, that you are able to see what you are doing to people’s lives.  That you can see the fear that we have to endure because of you.

We may be a bunch of nameless, faceless people to you, but I promise, you will know us.  We are not going away.  You will know our names and hear our stories.  That is a promise.

To all who follow my blog, I know these are typically more upbeat and comedic.  I am not one to let this beat me, but this topic in particular is a hot one for me.  There is a big difference in not letting the every day struggles get me down and seeing my fellow type 1’s struggle just to stay alive.

I’ve gathered many stories so far of those who live in fear day to day.  Please share your stories with me.  My goal is to take all of these to congress to continue this fight.  Thank you, everyone, for your support!

Have a wonderful week, and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Dear Mistakes: Thank You!

My greatest lessons have always come from my biggest mistakes.  I’m no exception, that’s how it is for most people.  Most, not all.  Some just choose to keep making those same mistakes but not using the lesson to make a change.  Khloe Kardashian for example.  Come on girl.  No. More. Basketball. Players.  Sheesh, I think we all learned that lesson for her.  If only it really worked that way, learning lessons for others.  I think I hear every mom of a teenager collectively screaming, YES, if only!

I learned to love my mistakes.  In my younger days, I was always a yes person, especially in my jobs.  I was never able to disagree with intimidating people and always went along with whatever was asked of me.  I worked for one of the most morally corrupt people I’ve ever encountered and I, along with every other employee, was subjected to mental and emotional abuse every single day.  I stayed for four years and finally just broke one day.  I was worn down, exhausted from the daily doses of abuse.  I quit without another job to go to, but I was done, in every way, I was done.  You don’t get unemployment when you quit a job, but I did.  I did because I proved the environment was corrupt, abusive, and chock full of nepotism.  From the day I left, I changed who I was.  I made a decision that day.  I would never, ever in my life let someone intimate me, abuse me, or make me feel less than what I am.  I will never pretend to agree with something that I don’t.  I can be pretty outspoken now, and I only have the devil woman herself to thank for that.   Because of that experience, because of how I used to view people of authority, I am a strong person, and I will fight to the end for myself and anyone I think is being mistreated.  Intimidating people are just that.  They’re people.  They are no better than you and me.  They don’t have the right to diminish our self worth, yet we allow them.  I did learn a great deal about the person I didn’t want to be from her.  But, I also learned that those kinds of people are everywhere and they are nothing but bullies.  Bullies who will one day have to answer all the questions we will when we meet God face to face.

Having type 1 diabetes has by far been my biggest lesson in self discovery.  The years of neglect of my disease, the mistreatment of my body, the way I chose to live my life in denial.  Those years most definitely came with consequences and diabetes-related complications, but I’ve said it time and time again, I wouldn’t change any of it.  To change any of my mistakes would be changing who I am, and I kinda like me, so I’ll keep writing my life in pen.  The comedian Louis C.K. had a perfect quote about our lives, he said, “To go back and erase all of our mistakes would be erasing ourselves.”  We’ve all said, if I could just go back and change this or that.  Changing something from your past would be erasing part of why you are who you are.  B.O.R.I.N.G!

It’s hard to look back at some of our mistakes.  Some mistakes are funny and we learn a silly lesson, like don’t dive into a pool in a bikini.  But others, well, others are just plain painful.  When I think back to some of my biggest regrets, I feel shameful and embarrassed that I could have been that person, but isn’t that part of the lesson?  If we didn’t feel those things, I guess we didn’t really learn much (someone should write that down, that’s profound!!).  But, it is nonetheless a painful process to go through when you’ve made big mistakes.  A process that will bring you to a more peaceful place if you can learn to let it go.  I’m not saying it is just that easy.  Some things took years for me to let go.  I had to keep asking God for forgiveness over and over.  He forgave me the first time. What I should have been asking was for Him to help me to forgive myself.

Some of the best things come from mistakes.  Like chocolate chip cookies.  Ruth Wakefield is the inventor of Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies, but she only accidentally invented them when she was trying to bake an all-chocolate cookie.  The chocolate bits didn’t melt as she had hoped, but everyone loved her cookie and the rest is chocolate chip history.  So, I think I’ll stick with writing my life in pen.  I really don’t want to erase any of it anyway, even the most painful parts.  I hope you are content writing your life in pen too, I mean, like a real pen, not an erasable pen you cheater!!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Go enjoy a chocolate chip cookie that may have never been!

Why are You Waiting until Monday?

Everything seems to revolve around Mondays.  Ugh, Mondays.  The beginning of the work week.  The first day of your diet.  The first day of starting exercise.  The day you are going to quit smoking, drinking, or perhaps another vice.  The day you are going to start your cleanse, drink 8 glasses of water, finally start putting yourself first.  This is it.  I’m starting Monday.  We’ve all said it, we’ve all tried to start Monday.  I’ve lost count of the Mondays in my younger days that I was going to start really keeping my blood sugar in control.  If you are in a situation that you want to change and you are going to change on Monday, ask yourself…

Why aren’t you worth it today?

If you want to start eating better, why aren’t you starting now?  Is it because there is that big party coming up on Saturday night?  I promise you, there is another party right around the corner and that one is going to have all the goodies too.  What will you do then?  Start over next Monday? Do you want to exercise but really aren’t in the mindset today so you are going to start Monday.  A bet I’m willing to make… not going to want to start Monday either.  What about smoking, or drinking?  You might say to yourself, I just want to get it out of my system this weekend.  Is there something magical happening this weekend that your system will be done with those things, never to be longed for again?  Spoiler, there’s not.

You are better than that.  Your life and your health are better than Monday.  If you’ve made the decision, I mean really made the decision, then you are ready now.  I lost count of the Mondays that came and went when I was going to put the smack down on my blood sugar control.  I was terrified to go to my endocrinologist because I didn’t want her to see my failure, over and over again.  I would try really hard to eat right and keep my levels in controls in the weeks leading up to my appointment so she would see good numbers.  I wasn’t fooling her, I was fooling myself.  Who cares if she saw good numbers, it didn’t make my body any better.  I was still in poor control so it didn’t matter if she thought I was doing great.  That’s a terrible way to live.

When I made the decision to start really caring for myself, Monday seemed so far away.  I didn’t want to wait until Monday, I wanted it now, not three days from now.  If you are honest with yourself, and I mean the kind of honesty that is difficult to admit, it becomes clear as Crystal Pepsi (yes I realize how much I just dated myself ) the things you need to change.  What nobody in the world but you can control is your desire to do that.  Your desire.  Not someone else’s.  If  you are doing it for someone else, well, I’m sure you know how this story will end.

I’ve written about this a lot, most things in life are about perspective.  I used to look at changing my habits as dreadful, and hard, and something I was never going to be ready for.  Well, bust my buttons, I just can’t understand why it never worked?!?  Change your perspective and you can change your habits, it’s really that simple.  The mind is a very powerful tool that can help you achieve amazing things.

Take Mondays for instance.  Most people hate them, but mostly because we’ve been taught to hate them.  But, not everyone does.  The one thing people who don’t hate Mondays have in common is their perspective.  Think about it, Mondays are a fresh start, they are a way to kick off a new week of adventures.  Do you live for the weekends?  If you do, you’re missing a lot in between.  Embrace each day.  Each day, even Monday, is a new day, a new start, a day to say I was able to put my two feet on the floor today, eat a good breakfast with a roof over my head, it’s a good day!

Change your perspective and you change your world!  When you think how hard it will be to eat right, exercise, or quit whatever it is you need to quit, STOP RIGHT THERE.  Change your perspective.  You will never be able to succeed if you don’t.  It really is mind over matter.  Instead of going in dreading the change, dive in, head first ready for the challenge.  Like I’ve said many times, I can be pretty stubborn, and I don’t like letting things in my control beat me.  Diabetes did that to me for so long, but no more.  I will not let things in my life control me.  I am the one in control over my body.  I am the one who calls the shots.  I’m worth it, and so are you.

Start today, you will not regret it.

Thank you, all, for your interest in Juvenile Journey.  I am so grateful to everyone who reads this and for the positive feedback.

Have a great week, everyone!

You Will Never Suffer!

Happy Easter, everyone!  Today is the day we celebrate that CHRIST IS RISEN!  He died so we could live, but He did not die so we could live without pain and suffering.  That was never a promise He made, nor one that is even a possibility.

We all suffer.  We all have our very own crosses we need to carry.  Sometimes though, it’s easy to look around and feel as though you are the one with the heaviest cross.  And maybe you are.  Maybe the hand you were dealt far outweighs the suffering of others. But to say that is unfair is just, well, unfair. What would be unfair is if someone told you, “You will never suffer,” and then you did.  But those words were never said to any of us.  I’ve written about this before, but it’s not hard to find someone whose shoes you would not want to walk in for a mile.  That, for me, is when my crosses seem a bit lighter.

Most things in life are about perspective.  It’s all the cliches.  Mind over matter.  This too shall pass.  Time will heal all wounds.  Although those are pretty cliche cliches, they hold very real truths.  For more years than I care to admit, I had an eating disorder that even those closest to me didn’t realize just how bad it really was.  I was in the depths of hell trying to claw my way out, by myself, every single day.  I was ashamed, alone, and I knew that eventually the deadly combination of an eating disorder and type 1 diabetes was going to kill me.  I wasn’t making it very hard to do that, until I was.

When you hear it won’t happen overnight, I am living proof.  I can’t even say how or when exactly it happened, but it did.  I spent every day for the better part of 20 years on my knees begging God to help me.  I just wanted to get through a day without suffering, without feeling like my life was consumed by what I saw, or didn’t see, when I looked in the mirror.  I can remember so well when I thought to myself, wow, a week has gone by and I’ve felt pretty good.  Then it was a month, and now it’s been over 10 years.  God didn’t answer my prayers when I thought He would, but He’s not really concerned about my timing.  He knew exactly what I needed when I needed it, and I can tell you without a doubt that I needed to be in the lowest part of hell to appreciate the beautiful life that was right there all along, just waiting for me. And that beautiful life includes being an unruly teenager, an eating disorder, depression, suffering, type one diabetes, and a husband who doesn’t realize he shouldn’t sing. I’m kidding, he totally realizes he shouldn’t sing, but does anyway.  I just have to keep telling myself this too shall pass.

I love my life.  The suffering is part of my journey.  Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for us, and I am grateful for the lessons I have learned through living an imperfect life.  I feel fortunate that I have gotten to the point in my life where every obstacle is not something I complain about but something that is going to teach me something important.  It’s perspective.  I’ve seen rock bottom and don’t particularly like it much.  I hear people complaining about the silliest things and think they’ll get it, someday, they will get it. 

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found out my grandfather was a recovering alcoholic. I only found out when I was an in-patient for my eating disorder and I made him a plaque with the serenity prayer on it.  He told me that was the prayer they say at AA meetings, and I always felt a special bond with him because of that. I love that prayer.  It’s exactly how I want to live my life, by accepting the circumstances that I can’t change but changing what I can.  I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job at changing the circumstances that were keeping a beautiful life right out of my reach, but again, it certainly didn’t happen overnight.

Happy Easter to all of you!  May God bless you and guide you through the crosses you need to carry.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

So, real quick, the singing husband thing.  I have accepted this as “the things I cannot change.”  Please pray for me 😉