Hugging the Cactus Turns 4!

Today is this blog’s fourth birthday.

Four whole years of Hugging the Cactus! I can hardly believe it.

As I think about 1,460 days of running my blog, other milestone numbers related to it come to mind:

  • 605 blog posts that I’ve written
  • 595 comments from readers (you guys are the best)
  • 51,276 unique visitors – WOW
  • 71,662 total views – OMG what
  • 100 dollars earned (one month ago, WordPress paid me my first $100 for featuring ads on my blog. The honest-to-goodness truth is that I never intended to earn money from my blog, but the fact that I have is pretty cool considering the following bullet point…)
  • INNUMERABLE HOURS spent writing new blog posts and coming up with graphics to accompany them – if I even attempted to calculate the amount of time, then I think my head would explode

It’s not surprising I’m thinking of the numbers behind Hugging the Cactus; after all, diabetes is a chronic condition based on numbers. People with diabetes spend all day long monitoring, calculating, and thinking about numbers. So it feels pretty natural to me to think about the numbers that have built Hugging the Cactus from a tiny little passion project to a bigger, more meaningful passion project.

And I can’t help but feel extraordinary gratitude for the numbers of people that have motivated, encouraged, and supported me and this blog – people who read this blog daily, weekly, or every once in a blue moon all fuel my desire to keep maintaining this blog and keep proving to me, time and time again, the power of the community that diabetes created. It’s a very special thing to be a part of.

With that said…here’s to four years, and plenty more to come.

Temp Blog Post Decrease

Hey, it’s me, Molly, the blogger behind Hugging the Cactus. 

As you may or may not be aware, I’ve had a lot going on lately.

The newest, most exciting thing in my life is, of course, my new job (I’m aware that I keep gabbing about it…I can’t help it and there’s definitely more to come about that in the future).

I’ve been busy getting acclimated to my role at CDN. When I’m not working, I’m taking care of my dog, Violet, maintaining/cleaning/attempting to update my relatively new-to-me condo, and trying to keep some semblance of a social life – which, now that summer is here, is getting downright crazy with plans. And I love it! I truly love staying busy in some form or fashion.

This blog is great at keeping me busy when everything else in my life is slow or when I need a distraction. But lately, life’s been so hectic that I’m getting distracted from the blog, so I’ve decided to temporarily decrease the frequency at which I post…from 3 to 2 blogs per week, posted on Mondays and Wednesdays (instead of Monday/Wednesday/Friday).

I’ve decided it’s time for a temp basal – I mean blog – decrease.

It’s not a dramatic change and I’m certain it’s only temporary…just like a temp basal decrease on my pump can improve my blood sugar levels, cutting down on the number of blogs I post per week will help me improve my overall blogger abilities and prevent me from feeling too pressured to keep churning out posts at the pace I’ve been doing so that last few years.

So I won’t have new content posted here on Fridays for the time being, but never fear: I’ll pick it up again before long. And maybe now this will mean that I can interact a little more with the diabetes community within other platforms, like Twitter and Instagram, which will be a nice change.

As always, lovely readers…stay tuned for more.

Stuck.

I’m stuck in a creative rut.

Lately, I just can’t seem to come up with fresh ideas for the blog. The desire to write is there, for sure, but the ability to compose engaging content is definitely not.

Does this have anything to do with the bout of burnout that I mentioned I’m currently experiencing?

I don’t think so.

When it comes to blogging, lately, I’m as stuck as this sticky note (so no fear, y’all – it’s not permanent).

I’ve gone through burnout periods before in which diabetes was the last thing I wanted to talk about, and I can recognize that this isn’t one of those times. In fact, this “stuck” feeling with my blog is rather inconvenient, because I count on my ability to come up with new posts to help me sort through some of the emotions associated with diabetes…ah well, such is life.

Anyways, I’m asking you, my lovely reader, to bear with me for a bit. I promise new material is on the way. In the meantime, please don’t be deterred if you see me republishing old blog posts. I’m quite selective in choosing which blog posts to share again, so rest assured that I’m doing my best to re-up pieces that I think you’ll care about. Thank you, as always, for stopping by and checking out the blog – I’m infinitely grateful for your support.

My Top 10 Blog Posts of All-Time

I’ve been writing blog posts for Hugging the Cactus for just over three years now. In that span of time, I’ve accumulated more than 500 posts total, and I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon.

Obviously, though, some of those posts have been more popular than others. I thought I’d link to them all here because 1) it’ll be helpful for both my readers and to me to see which topics garner the most interest, and 2) it makes for easy clicking to get to the top articles! So without further ado…

The only thing missing from my blogging location is…a real cacti. I got plenty of fake ones, though!!
  1. Is a Bleeder a Reader? My Take on a Bloody Dexcom G6 Insertion – This is the top blog post of all time (so far) here at Hugging the Cactus. It’s got more than 6,000 views and proves to me that many people who use Dexcom sensors aren’t sure whether bloody sensors indicate an inability to measure blood sugar readings. If you aren’t sure yourself, click the link for my take.
  2. So THAT’S How Long and Sharp the Dexcom G5 Insertion Needle is… – I’m very surprised that this is number 2 on the list, but it is! Who else was slightly horrified by the sheer length of the needle used to insert Dexcom sensors?
  3. My One-Month Dexcom G6 Review – People seem to dig reviews (I know I love reading product reviews online), so it’s pretty obvious why this comes in third place. Plus, I wrote it early on in the release of the Dexcom G6: Due to my participation in the advertising campaigns, I was lucky enough to be among the first individuals in the country to start using the G6.
  4. T1D and Cosmetics: My Thoughts on Jeffree Star’s “Blood Sugar” Palette – I can only guess that this one is a high performer because Jeffree Star is the kind of character who gets a lot of attention online. Still unsure why he named an eye shadow palette “blood sugar” (tacky IMO), but whatever.
  5. That “Thing” on my Arm – What is “that thing” on my arm? Is it a large nicotine patch? A weird new piece of statement jewelry? Or something else? In this blog post, I write about a situation in which I was asked about the “thing” on my arm and how I handled it.
  6. Insulin Pumps and X-rays – I didn’t realize I had no clue what the protocol is when it comes to insulin pumps and X-rays until I actually had a broken bone! It taught me a lesson that I won’t forget about whether or not it’s safe to wear an insulin pump when getting an X-ray.
  7. Restarting the Dexcom G6: Attempt #2 – The Dexcom G6 wasn’t out for long when the diabetes online community started hacking it to figure out whether or not it could be restarted and worn for a longer period, just like its predecessor. It took me a couple of tries, but I finally found a method that sorta works, as described in this post.
  8. How Long Do OmniPods Really Last? – In this blog post, I reveal the true life cycle of an OmniPod…did you already know this, or was this new information to you?
  9. The CGM Experiment: Comparing the Dexcom G5 to the G6 – I remember that people were verrrrry curious about the differences between the Dexcom G5 and the G6 when the G6 debuted. Could it really put a stop to fingerstick checks? Was it more accurate? Was it painless? I compared the two in this post and, hopefully, answered a lot of questions that people might have had about how the G6 measures up to the G5.
  10. The Best (and Worst) Insulin Pump Infusion and CGM Sensor Sites – I shared my opinions in this post on what makes the best and worst sites for my medical devices. If anyone is wondering about trying a new site, chances are I’ve described how I feel about it in this post.

It’ll be interesting to see how this top 10 list changes in the coming months and years. One thing is for certain, though: I’ll continue to do my best to deliver engaging content that is truly helpful or supportive to our diabetes community. It’s my honor to contribute in any way that I can.