Blood sugar madness!

So last week I was complaining of higher than normal blood sugar levels… And I believed it was due to stress. Well, now I’ve completed my papers, walked across that stage at graduation, and am on the road to myrtle beach! But my sugars have not decreased!

I’m not too sure what exactly to do. I just recently adjusted my pump settings to give me more insulin, and it’s only slightly worked. I’m more afraid of having lows then being slightly higher than normal.

But all my stress is gone, so shouldn’t my blood sugars return to normal?!! One would think, right? This is the hard part of dealing and controlling diabetes.

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I’m not Perfect

I am certainly not the most perfect diabetic out there, nor do I do claim to be!

I mess up my sugars, I don’t eat 100% perfectly, and I don’t wash my hands before checking my blood sugar levels. I don’t always use alcohol swabs to clean off my skin and the top of the insulin bottle either. But, I’ve never had an infection either.

I am not perfect and I know that, but I’ve been doing this for so damn long, I know what is ok to do and what is a big no-no!

I'm not the perfect diabetic, but PLEASE show me someone who is!

Recently on my I am a Type 1 Diabetic YouTube site, I got some negative comments from other users. I don’t take things personally, but I do know what is right for my own body and the machines I use to keep my body in its current condition.

If you are a clean freak, constantly need to wash your hands before pricking you finger or wash yourself completely off before changing an infusion site, that is your own business. I am not a dirty girl — I shower everyday, and usually do so right before I change my infusion sites. (I also like taking the OmniPods off when I am in the shower because it doesn’t hurt as much, and the adhesive tape comes off much easier when its wet.) Does that make me a bad person? I do not think so.

So, to end this post, if you don’t like OmniPod — that’s your own decision. I love mine, always have, always will.

If you have questions about the pump or pod itself, you can ask and I will respond. All I ask is that you not be bluntly disrespectful to me and telling me I am doing things the wrong way. I am not, I am just doing it my own way.

Omnipod Occlusion while Priming

Last night I was changing my Omnipod, and had this weird little thing happen. I got a occlusion during the priming period? How does that work exactly?

What is a occulsion? What happens when your OmniPod Insulin Pump does have one?I am aware that not that many diabetics actually have an OmniPod, so let me clarify. An occlusion occurs when blood or insulin or a mix of moisture gets into the cannula of the pod. The occlusion pretty much means that there is an issue with the insulin being delivered into the body. The pod beeps extremely loud, and as a continuous beep until I use the glucose meter to turn it off.

But why was it odd that this occlusion happened during priming? Because the pod was not actually attached to my body yet, and I never got to the point to pull off the sticky stuff and actually put it on!

I just called OmniPod to report the issue. The people there are really great, and say that they will replace it with my next order. They always tend to take full credit for an issues or occlusion that do happen, so of course they would replace this pod for me.

I really do love my OmniPod, but like anything, sometimes you run into an issue. This was a new experience for me and I thought I would share.

How to Deal With the Stress

How to Deal with Stress and Type 1 Diabetes

It is finals week, so I have to admit I am especially stressed out this week. I have been noticing that I’ve had higher than normal blood sugars over the last couple weeks, and I’ve been blaming it simply on the stress I’ve been under.

But what should I do to relax and reduce the stress?

  • Breathing exercises
    Sit or lie down and uncross your legs and arms. Take in a deep breath. Then push out as much air as you can. Breathe in and out again, this time relaxing your muscles on purpose while breathing out. Keep breathing and relaxing for 5 to 20 minutes at a time. Do the breathing exercises at least once a day.
  • Progressive relaxation therapy
    In this technique, which you can learn in a clinic or from an audio tape, you tense muscles, then relax them.
  • Exercise
    Another way to relax your body is by moving it through a wide range of motion. Three ways to loosen up through movement are circling, stretching, and shaking parts of your body. To make this exercise more fun, move with music.
  • Replace bad thoughts with good ones
    Each time you notice a bad thought, purposefully think of something that makes you happy or proud. Or memorize a poem, prayer, or quote and use it to replace a bad thought

I have tried each and every one of these this past week. And the truth is, they’ve got me in better control because I’ve tested my blood sugars more often. I am looking up to the positive aspects of my life that will happen later in this week. Papers are all due by Tuesday, Senior fun activities are happening on campus, and Graduation is on Friday. The only thing to shake this stress for me, and help me maintain better blood sugar level is to finish up these last couple papers!

My good thoughts: Dreaming of my summer vacation, relaxing on the beach, and reading this new diabetes book I just bought called Islands and Insulin. Anyone read it yet? Stay tuned for my review…

Walk to Cure Diabetes

As many of you may already know, I participate every year in the Buffalo Walk to Cure Diabetes and the Westchester Walk to Cure Diabetes. Both walks help raise funds to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, and to make it easier for those suffering with type 1 diabetes, like myself.

Here is a little bit of background information…. I am currently 24 years old, and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 9. I wear an insulin pump called the OmniPod which helps to control my blood sugar levels better — but it is not a cure for Type 1 Diabetes! While many people believe that insulin is a cure for diabetes, it is only a way to manage the disease and try to prevent its complications. That’s why I am committed to JDRF – the only global organization with a strategic plan to fight T1D. JDRF raises funds for research to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until it is no longer a threat to anyone.

Unfortunately, this year I will be unable to participate in the Buffalo Walk in June. I am graduating college in late May; I have a vacation adventure planned for the beginning of June, and I am unable to travel to Buffalo for the Walk. I am however still raising money for JDRF and need your support! Click below to donate now.

My walk team, Calla’s Crusaders, was started in 2001 as a family team in Buffalo NY. We started walking at University at Buffalo; moved locations to Fantasy Island and this year are walking at Delaware Park in Buffalo. In 2011. I created a secondary Calla’s Crusaders team in Westchester County and our team has continued to grow! I am looking forward to raising awareness for type 1 diabetes, and raising money to be one step closer to finding a cure!

Did you know that JDRF funds a major portion of all type 1 diabetes research worldwide? That’s more than any other charity! In fact, JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific breakthroughs in type 1 diabetes research to date, and a cure for type 1 diabetes is within reach. This is why I am asking for your help and support. Please make a donation.

If you wish to join the team for the 2013 Walk to Cure Diabetes in Buffalo, NY on June 9th, please click here: http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR/Walk-NY/Chapter-WesternNewYork4424?px=1249609&pg=personal&fr_id=2195

If you would like to visit my walk webpage and see how close I am to reaching my goal, click here: https://secure3.convio.net/jdrf3/site/Donation2?idb=194518292&df_id=3060&FR_ID=2195&PROXY_ID=1249609&PROXY_TYPE=20&3060.donation=form1

Interested in learning more about Calla’s Crusaders and how diabetes affects my life?

Follow Calla’s Crusaders on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/callascrusaders
Read my diabetic tweets on Twitter: https://twitter.com/atype1diabetic
Read my Type 1 Diabetic Blog: http://www.iamatype1diabetic.wordpress.com
Watch my Type 1 Diabetic Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/IamaType1Diabetic
Or Follow my Diabetic pins on Pintrest: http://pinterest.com/misscallanicole/i-am-a-type-1-diabetic/

New Dexcom G4

Would you spend an additional $400 to upgrade to the new #Dexcom G4? (Without insurance reimbursment!)
Would you spend an additional $400 to upgrade to the new #Dexcom G4? (Without insurance reimbursment!)

I have been receiving a lot of emails from Dexcom advising me to upgrade to the new G4 system from my Seven Plus system. That is great, and I would absolutely love to, but for $400?

According to the email I just read, I can’t even have my insurance reimburse  me for the new system. What would be the benefit anyhow? A better screen. A different senor. More accurate readings? Well, maybe.

I’m pretty much a girly-girl. The fact that they make the new Dexcom G4 with a pink cover is pretty sweet. (I’ve gotten the pink case for my Omnipod meter too!) I don’t know if I am willing to dish out so much money for almost the same thing I already have.

For now, I am going to hold off on ordering it. Thank you Dexcom for thinking about me, but living with type 1 diabetes is already expensive enough!

Can Diabetics Donate Blood?

We had a blood drive at my church last week, and I called Red Cross to see if I was allowed to donate. The person I spoke to said yes, as long as my blood sugar levels were under control, I ate afterwards, and I wasn’t diagnosed before 1990 I could donate. Perfect! I was all excited. First time I could give blood. Oh course, I arrived and they ask a ton of questions, and make you fill out some forms. Easy enough.

Are you over 5’4? Ha.. yes.. by a quarter of an inch.
Do you weigh more than 120 pounds? Ha.. I wish I was that skinny!
Have you traveled outside of the USA in the last year? Well, technically yes, but its been almost a year. (And I didn’t go to any countries they ask about)… so no.
Have you received any tattoos in the last year? No? I’m not 100% sure when I got my last one, but again its been about a year.
Do you have any medical problems that may interfere with you giving blood? Yes, I am a type 1 diabetic. Ok, please step aside and let us check into that. Can Diabetics Donate Blood to the Red Cross?Damnit… the lady on the phone said I could. Well, you can, it just really depends on the type of insulin you take, and when you were diagnosed. Let me look into it.

So the lady from Red Cross got out her book, and looked up diabetes. I am on Novolog insulin (and have been since my diagnosis in 1998). Apparently the type of insulin you take, or have ever taken, affects the fact if you can donate blood or not. Insulin made from human insulin is ok, but insulin made from cows and pigs is not. According to the little handy book she had there, Novolog was once made from the insulin of a pig (until about 1998, the year I was diagnosed!) Because of that, her book claimed me to be a “HIGH RISK” and she couldn’t allow me to donate. I asked why it was such a high risk, and she stated that it was because of the FDA’s fear that I could have antibodies for Mad Cow Disease.

I did some research when I got home, discovering that her book is wrong! According to the sites I read into, Novolog is made with a man-made human insulin, and from what I understood, it’s always been like that. Now I am totally confused, and can completely understand why the lady on the phone from Red Cross was confused in telling me I could donate. Well, I don’t think I’ve got Mad Cow… I would think I would have found out by now. Oh well, I guess the FDA is sh*t outta luck for getting my precious blood! Change the dumb rules, and then you won’t have to complain that you don’t have enough blood at your blood banks. Because of the FDA, I can’t give blood… but to all the other type 1’s out there, I want to know if you ever have? I want to know what type of insulin you are on, and what it is made out of. The only hope I may have is calling the Red Cross next year to see if regulations for insulin have changed.

Click here to read the update where I do give blood!