Ode to Ozempic (A Rant)

Ode to Ozempic (A Rant)

Here’s a rare sighting: A new Ozempic injectable pen.

I need this to help control my Type II diabetes. Yes, it is working. Yes, I’ve lost quite a bit of weight, just like the commercials are touting. No, it isn’t easy to obtain because some beauty and influencer communities continue to boast how wonderful it is to help get people ready for red-carpet events and the like.

We cannot let this be our reality anymore. 

This medication is not new, but it continues to gain headlines as being the “miracle” weight loss aid. It is so popular; my insurance is raising their co-pay by 50% this year. Of course, that is when I can get my prescription filled. 

We cannot let this be our reality anymore. 

I’ve been fighting the sugar battle for 13 years since being diagnosed. I’ve lost the same 60 lbs. on every diet plan that seemed “sensible,” only for the weight to come back, and always with friends. This last year proved a turning point for me. I don’t want to be another casualty like my uncles and aunts, who all succumbed to diabetes in some form. Some went blind, others lost parts of their feet or legs, and others died of strokes.  I’m not alone in this reality.

We cannot let this be our reality anymore. 

While the struggle remains real for many of us, we endure because we need to be there for the people who depend on us, the people we love. That many people cannot get this medication because doctors are willing to give it to healthy folks looking to become a sample size is wrong. It only validates what I’ve finally come to realize: the health complex wants fat, sick, and stupid to allow them to get away with such flagrant abuses of greed and power. What’s worse, I’m part of a community that is a massive target for diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension. (And yes, I possess this trifecta.)

We cannot let this be our reality anymore. 

This isn’t about vanity for many people coping with diabetes. It is about sticking to a healthy regimen that keeps us alive, sane, and empowered to fight for others who don’t have the will, support, access to information, or resources.

We need a “Hail Mary” of morality now more than ever before losing anybody else to an illness that is controllable to the point of remission for many. Stay strong, smart, and healthy, mi gente.  

“Sugar is the next tobacco, without a doubt, and that industry should be scared. It should be taxed just like tobacco and anything else that can, frankly, destroy lives.”

Jamie Oliver

185. (Binge)

185. (Binge)

It happened. A classic Jorge binge.

After months of keeping a strict eye on my diet, focusing on daily exercise, and eating healthy, anxiety took over in the form of my declaring myself worthy of a reward. My numbers remain stable, and my last two doctor visits could not have been better or more encouraging! Like gold star level visits, if you must know. I felt chuffed and indestructible! So, despite a healthy sushi lunch with Mom and Nan, I chose that evening to binge on a dinner comprised of a Hi-Life (a local burger joint) carne asada burrito, adding one of their hard-shell tacos and a small order of fried zucchini. Since their iced tea machine was out of order, I went to McDonald’s to get the beverage but felt the need to add qa QPC (Quarter Pounder with cheese) and a small order of fries.

Yes, I have always subscribed to the belief of “Go Big or Don’t Go!”

Whhhaatttt the hell is wrong with me!!!!????

Naturally, my glucose meter this morning read 185, putting me in the red zone for the first time since last summer. I felt like shit last night and this morning, too. Make that guilty and lousy. Yes, I pulled back on the reins and returned to the “Better eating and Walking Over 3 Miles” routine to clear my head and shake off the residue of this epic fuck up. I won’t allow this to turn into a self-punishment downward spiral, nor will I indulge that ideology of “I’ve been good since September, and I deserved a food vacation, so what?” as excusing away poor judgment.

The work involved with being healthy is challenging for personal reasons, but recognizing these moments of weakness is a huge part of being able to bounce back stronger than before. I wouldn’t say I liked how I felt by consuming such a collection of poor food choices, throwing away most of the burrito, which proved to be one item too many in the end. Even more, it didn’t even taste good to me! It was heavy, dense, and beyond bland. It almost manifested what I felt physically AND mentally at that moment. Throwing away food should be deterrent enough from making such a choice again, especially given the socio-economic divide we all see daily in Los Angeles.

Today is another day to fight the good fight. I did do better today. I feel much better today, knowing my numbers will improve tomorrow. I am starting a new book to continue my resolution to read at least two or more books in a month for the entire year. 2023 is about making achievements happen and avoiding caving to the “all or nothing” mentality that is one of my biggest saboteurs in finishing anything I start.

It is a marathon, not a sprint when you’re turning the Titanic of life around. You need to remind yourself, “You put trash in, you’re gonna feel like trash!” Still, damn, those candy-coated icebergs are a mf’er, though. Yet, we can find inspiration with the right playlist as we walk away the consequences of our sins, like today. To quote the divine New Order,

There will come a day
When your fear and self-doubt fades away
Because you have achieved what you need
There’s no doubt in your heart
Not a care
It’s a funny affair
Take a look at yourself
You may not be the same as everyone else
You’re just different, and that’s okay
We all follow our own way
And if you find that they won’t listen
Then they’ve got nothing to say
So don’t get mad and don’t feel sad
Be a rebel, not a devil

From “Be a Rebel” by New Order

Why I write.

Why I write.

I choose to write because I can’t always keep all these thoughts running roughshod in my head in one place.

Words on a page, or in this case, words on a screen, make these feelings seem natural and harmless, even though I know they can hurt me if I let them roam too freely. But they make greater sense when they appear in front of me, written by hand or typed into existence. I can order and re-order these feelings with a swift keystroke, adding or subtracting their intensity with decisiveness. Sometimes, my editing can make these words lie for me, pushing away my motivations or lessening them, so I don’t worry the reader about my state of mind. Yet, truth is constantly pulsing underneath, waiting for its turn to be seen and heard.

I write because the world I live in isn’t always the one I want to see. You can build a better place with the right words and frame of mind. I can create a more beautiful self or a happier persona, obfuscating the grey truth as to why I’m not who I should be or want to be as a 55-year-old man. I can build a world that seems limitless, one with bolts of vivid color and endless horizons that feel like hope and longer stretches of time to fill with avoidance, procrastination, and festering guilt as to level this foundation of excuses as to why I can’t seem to change or make myself better.

I write because this defiant means of self-expression cures my often paralyzing loneliness, knowing that these words mean I exist with two people in the room where these thoughts materialize and become corporeal. I see the person taking shape before me, knowing it reflects who I am at that moment. I can be a Dr. Frankenstein, choosing the bits of me that make a whole person, all brought to life with an impulsive jolt of creativity and insight. I am not a monster, though, although sometimes I feel monstrous in my hunger to be noticed and validated.

I write to stave off the noise of a world that feels hellbent on keeping boxed and labeled as unworthy.

I write because it is what makes sense in the nonsense that threatens to overwhelm me to the point of pushing me into a space that looks like oblivion, but I know it is so much worse.

I write because words matter, and I know I matter just as much.

I write because it feels so fucking good to let these feelings out.

I write because I fear I will cease to exist if I don’t.

I write because I know I’m not the only one who does this for all the same reasons.

“I would rather be a soul than a body. I would rather be fluid than frozen. This is why I share when I’m hurting. Because I am alive. And it is terrifying and brilliant. It is the most profound argument for love I have ever known.”