Top 10 Things Diabetes Does to Complicate my Life!

Today I had all intentions of doing yoga after work. Checked my blood sugar after clocking outta work. 69mg/dL. Diabetes didn’t agree. Sh*t!

If it weren’t for the fact that this instructor makes my blood sugars plummet every-single-time I take her class, I would have gone. So instead of running into a great yoga class, I’m sitting in my car, drinking juice boxes and waiting for my blood sugar to go up!

Top 10 Things Diabetes Does to Complicate My Life | www.IAmAType1Diabetic.com

The whole situation made me think of how many times I avoid doing things because of my diabetes. Or how many times other times I have to do something because of my diabetes? So I compiled a list of the top 10 things diabetes does to complicate my life.

  1. Avoiding a Yoga Class because of an already low blood sugar (or any other exercise). As noted above, I am pretty upset that I am not working out right now. Sports in high school where also pretty rough. But, I made it through!
  2. Avoiding meals with big carb counts to avoid a high (and unpredictable) blood sugars hours later. Pizza, raviolis and lasagna being the worst for me!
  3. Getting out of bed in the middle of the night because of a low and needing juice and/or a snack. It happens way to often. I’ve learned to go to bed with a juice box beside me, but some nights, that just isnt enough.
  4. Getting out of bed in the middle of the night because for a high. It’s a telltale sign that I’m high when I need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Occasionally I will wake up to extreme thirst from a high, but typically I have something to drink next to me.
  5. Driving because of a low blood sugar. Driving with a low blood sugars causes you to drive as though you were drunk. (It could be considered DUI if you were to get pulled over. If you were given a breathalyzer, your blood alcohol count could also be above the ‘normal’ limit.)
  6. OmniPod or Dexcom alarming at the most awkward times. Last week, I was in church sitting behind a t1d friend of mine. We both use OmniPod. We heard it alarm, and both of us put our hands over it to silence the noise. She was the culprit and it was her pod telling her it was time to change. But, that’s not the point! It was a very awkward time to alarm!
  7. Wardrobe Malfunctions. I wear two things attached to my body 24/7… The OmniPod Insulin Pump “Pod” and the Dexcom G4 Continuous Glucose Monitor “transmitter.” It can be very difficult to wear the outfits I want to wear each day because of a pod or transmitter placement. Today, nothing fit ‘right’ and I could clearly see decom on my upper thy under my pants!
  8. My Mood. With a high blood sugar, you’d think I was full on PMSing. With a low, I act like I’m stoned. Just no winning.
  9. Not always quite feeling “safe.” I can never have enough snacks on hand. I can never have enough insulin in my test kit. I can never quite eat enough with a low. I can never quite get myself enough insulin to bring down a high. It’s a balancing act, and it’s definitely hard to feel safe at one blood sugar. It can easily change 10 minutes from then!
  10. Being able to just pick up and go. Nope, can never quite do that. My husband and I once went to the grocery store, and he was paying, so I left my purse, wallet and meter at home. In the middle of the super market, OmniPod started doing the ‘scream of death.’ I had an occlusion and no meter with me to turn it off. Needless to stay, I put my arm over pod to somewhat silence the noise, but we got some mighty strange looks when I grabbed something off the shelf! Living with diabetes always makes me wonder “how long will we be out?”, “Do I need to bring my purse & meter?”, and “Do I have enough test strips / insulin / glucose tablets until I get back home?”

Spring Forward with a Better Blood Sugar

Today I woke up in a daze. The clocks were all different; I was lightheaded and everything around me felt so strange. I just knew my blood sugar was low. I quickly grabbed a juice box, took a selfie and proceeded to check my blood sugar level.


Yes, that is definitely a low blood sugar kind of daze. My hubby claims that my pupils get really small with low blood sugars, so I’m testing out his theory. 


I was surprised at how low my blood sugar was. How was I functioning? Somehow my sensor for dexcom must have gone bad. There are no readings for the last 2 hours. It didn’t alert me. It didn’t wake me up. It didn’t prevent my extremely low blood sugar from happening. At first I thought it could have been from sleeping on the sensor. Now that I’ve been awake and it still not showing a reading, I know it needs to be changed.

Both my omnipod and Dexcom need to have the times changed today. Hopefully that will also get my blood sugars back on track! 

Please remember to spring forward all of your diabetic devices too. If you need help to change the time on your Dexcom or Omnipod, click here to read an old post with step by step instructions

Appreciation

If you didn’t already know, today is National Employee Appreciation Day. My company decided to send the HR staff around with a plate of cookies to show the company’s appreciation.

Well, sometimes it is things like that that feel like a slap in the face to a type 1 diabetic. I really want a cookie. I really want a cookie! I took that cookie.

I told the HR lady that I would love one, but had to wait until my blood sugars went down. She said, “well, just take one. Is there anything you can do so that you can eat the cookie?” I said “yes, I need to take extra insulin.” “Well, just do that then” was her response.

Poof, insulin gets injected/bolused and my blood sugar is normal. Oh man! If only my diabetic life was that easy.

Now, I have the cookie sitting here on my desk. I am contemplating eating it, but with a blood sugar of 150 (and dropping), I know I have a wait. I gave myself the insulin. And slowly, it’s coming down.

Employee Appreciation | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

I ate that cookie. And man did it feel good! Blood sugars are now stable at 110mg/dL and I want another one. Luckily, they are all gone and I don’t have to be a “bad” diabetic!

Thanks for the Employee Appreciation cookie.

Middle of the Night

Dear Dexcom, Omnipod and my body — I hate these middle of the night lows!  It’s now 3:30am and I am now wide awake.

I had my typical-middle-of-the-night-alarm set to check my blood sugar level. My meter said I was 52mg/dL. My Dexcom said I was 49mg/dL. Whoops, how did that happen? For how long have I been like this? How did i miss it? It’s for nights like these that I love my Dexcom.

Tonight, we somehow missed hearing Dex vibrate and alerting that I was low. I guess my husband and I were both in a deep sleep. Middle of the Night Low Blood Sugars | www.IAmAType1Diabetic.com

I am not complaining, just annoyed with how frequently it does happen. Thank you Dexcom for catching my low blood sugar before it could be much much worse. I am proud to say that my blood sugars are much more controlled since using Dexcom (and having my hubby sleep next to me!) Now, I’m back off to sleep.

Gaining Control

With the use of Dexcom and advice from my endocrinologist, I have been watching my blood sugar levels much more tightly lately. My a1c from an endocrinologist visit 3 months ago was 7.3% (average BG of 163mg/dL). Recently, it has gone down to a 6.9% (average BG of 151mg/dL). With that extra encouragement from my doctor (and my husband), I feel like I can get it into a ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’ range more quickly than ever before. In case you want to find out your a1c to blood sugar ratio, click here for a niffy little calculator.

Last night, I changed the settings on my Dexcom. It was set to alert for a LOW blood sugar at 70mg/dL, and a HIGH at 170mg/dL. Looking back on yesterday, I did not have one high blood sugar!! Wahoo! That is a huge accomplishment for whatever type of diabetic you are. I decided to change the settings on my Dexcom, with a HIGH of 150mg/dL to gain even tighter control.

Gaining Control of my Type 1 DiabetesRight now, I have reached my HIGH alert. I just had a LOW and may have over calculated. With my old calibrations, Dexcom wouldn’t have been going off yet. Instead, I have tested my blood sugar and already given myself insulin. On top of it all, I have decreased the rapid incline of the double arrows up to a slower increasing arrow of where my blood sugar levels are headed.

In the last couple days, I have felt like a super-woman — completely on top of my blood sugar levels! Hopefully I can stay on this positive track and get my a1c down even further.

Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic

It is very hard to constantly balance my normal life, and my life with diabetes. Most people don’t understand the stresses I deal with on a daily basis. Today, I would like to share a “Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic”. These are everyday struggles that I and so many other type 1’s deal with everyday.

Day In the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.com
OmniPod Insulin Pump
Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.com
Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor

To start off, I need to show you the devices I use to manage my diabetes and explain how they work. My OmniPod Insulin Pump is a wireless pump attached to my body. It constantly is giving me insulin to keep my blood sugars down. This device gets changed every 3 days. Whenever I eat, I need to test my blood sugar level. I use the meter (the part I am holding) to check my level and to give myself extra insulin (aka bolus). Food, juice, carbs etc. raise my blood sugar level. Insulin in my pump bring it down. My goal is to keep my blood sugar levels between 80 – 140mg/dL. I also have the Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor which monitors my blood sugar levels. The sensor and transmitter are attached to my body (that’s my upper thy). The receiver is the pink part I’m holding that vibrates to alert me when I am higher or lower than my target range. For right now, I have low alerts set at 70mg/dL and my high alerts set to 170mg/dL. I wear these devices on my body 24/7, and they wirelessly communicate with the other devices you will see throughout this post.

Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.com2:06am – My husband is yelling at me to turn shut my Dexcom off. Apparently it’s been vibrating and he can’t sleep. I am extremely drowsy and definitely not awake; I reach for it and knock it off the end table. Grab my OmniPod meter and try testing instead. Blood sugar level is 228mg/dL. Ugh, that’s why Dexcom is vibrating! Go to correct with bolus, and realize I never changed my pod before going to bed last night! Now I really need to get up.

Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.comI realize I need to use the bathroom, as high blood sugars make me thirsty and use the bathroom more frequently. I do my business. Then, I quietly locate new pod, fill with insulin (as seen in this picture), rip off the old pod, prime new pod, use alcohol swab to clean new spot and stick it on my stomach. Pinch up the skin and bleep! New pod cannula is inserted. Now I can bolus for 1.15units of insulin to correct my high blood sugar. I then shut off Dexcom so my hubby doesn’t complain and go back bed.

Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.com5:10am – I awake from OmniPod meter vibrating, telling me it’s been two hours since I changed my pod. “Please check blood sugar level.” Thirsty, so I already assume I’m high. Blood sugar reads 226mg/dL, Dexcom reads 228. Bolus 1.0 unit of insulin to correct. Get up to get a glass and drink some water. Why hasn’t my blood sugar gone down from my last bolus? I don’t care, I’ll correct again. I’m tired and going back to bed! This was one of those awful “I’m not getting any kinda sleep” kinda nights!

Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.com8:10am – My husband woke up, and said it snowed. I got very excited and had to check it out… Yup, all the snow is there!

Since I got up, I decided to check my blood sugar to see if it went down. Blood sugar is 116mg/dL and Dexcom says 138mg/dL. Dexcom shows a red blood drop (in the top right hand corner) which means it needs to be calibrated.

Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.comDexcom requires me to enter 2 blood sugars per day for calibration and to make sure it stays on track. After entering my correct blood sugar, Dex says I’m 123 mg/dL. I am perfectly ok with that! Go back to bed for an hour.

Around 10:00am, my husband asks me to get up, come outside and help him shovel a little bit. I get outta bed, grab my phone and Dexcom, throw on some boots and go out to play. I shoveled a little bit, but not too much of a workout. It was more fun to throw snowballs at the dog and watch her try to eat them!

Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.comI should’ve realized that I skipped breakfast. Around 11:00am, Dexcom alerts me to a low blood sugar… a pretty low blood sugar (I don’t remember the number, but it was vibrating without me noticing).

Without testing, I run inside, grab a juicebox and go back outside. That’ll fix it for now, but I know I need some carbs to keep my blood sugar from dropping again.

Ahhh, but look at those pretty trees! (Yea, I got made fun of for taking this selfie… but I love the snow, so I don’t really care!)

Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.com1:15pm – Just got done with snow shoveling, and had fixed that low blood sugar. I was still low… at least Dexcom was saying I was. Ate quickly without testing. I had eggs, toast and hash-brown potatoes. Now I’m going to pay the consequences for all those carbs. I’m going high as Dexcom can show you. Blood sugar reads 144mg/dL. I’m definitely going high, and quickly! Bolus 2.85 units of insulin for what I just ate.

Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.com5:50pm – For dinner, we went out. Blood sugar is 154mg/dL which is slightly high, but good enough for me. I bolus for my sandwich and fries. I also have a glass of wine, which is always a miss for managing my blood sugar levels.

Shortly after dinner, I get extremely frustrated. My hormones start ranging. My frustration makes my blood sugar level goes up.

Annoyed. Aggravated. and High. Not a good combo.

Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.com8:44pm – It’s been about an hour or so after the frustration that I realize I’m thirsty. I test my blood sugar at 269mg/dL. Yikes!!

Dexcom didn’t read it well, didn’t vibrate to alert me that I was high and was way off. It says my blood sugar is 166mg/dL. NOPE! Luckily it was time to recalibrate and I enter in my new blood sugar. It was still off, but a lot more accurate.

Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic | www.iamatype1diabetic.com9:50pm – This is my bedtime reading… well my last test before I went to bed. It’s an early night as I have work earlier than normal in the morning. Bedtime reading is still high at 244mg/dL. Dexcom is reading 238 and dropping. I bolus another 1.0 unit just in case and try to get some sleep… Hopefully I don’t go low overnight!

Today was filled with a lot of lows and highs.. and not much in between. With my target range being 70 – 150mg/dL, I was only within my goal 33% of the day. Another 67% of the day was high. This is not a normal day for me… but it is proof of how the most minor things can throw off my blood sugar levels, and for hours afterwards! What I thought would be a typical day turned out to be much different than expected!

I am in the process of creating another blog post called “Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetics – Part 2,” which hopefully will be a much more “normal” day for me, and a regular work day. Stay tuned for what is to come.

When is the “right” time?

I never thought that so quickly after getting married we would talk about having a baby. Yes, I have that “motherly instinct,” but I hadn’t thought it would run through my head almost on a daily basis. Is this my brain telling me that I am mentally ready to take the next step? Are the daily conversations with my husband about “not doing *blank* when we have a kid” or “we’ll need space for *blank* when we have a kid” normal for those who are recently married?

When is the "right" time to have a baby? | www.IAmAType1Diabetic.comRight this second, we are definitely not ready to take the next step. We are in the process of buying our first house. We need to get ourselves situated in that new home. We need to make improvements to that new home. We need to make sure we can afford to live in that new home.

Financially, we agree that we need more money before we can “afford to have a kid”. There is no way we could live on just one income. Yes, I understand that you “make sacrifices for a baby,” but I don’t think we are ready to make so many sacrifices quite yet. On top of it all, I am a diabetic, and the high risk pregnancy scares the crap outta me! I just can’t imagine getting my husband all excited about having a baby, and then for something to go terribly wrong. My A1c level is right now is about 7.1.

My dad keeps saying that we are going to make a ‘special announcement’ by our one year wedding anniversary. My sister keeps saying that she can’t wait for my nephew to have a little cousin. My huband’s family loves me. I’m loved in his family. And I have to say, we work pretty damn well together too.

My whole family is leaving little hints that they want us to have a baby. They just don’t understand where I am coming from. I am scared. I don’t want to disappoint anyone, especially my husband. My A1c just isn’t perfect enough to stop my birth control pills and I don’t think I’m ready.

According to others in my situation on typeonenation.org, many OBGYN doctors and endocrinologists suggest that a type 1 diabetic’s A1c be in the 6 range before getting pregnant. During pregnancy, A1c levels should remain in the 5’s in order to avoid complications. I do understand, but I have also heard of many successful Type 1 Pregnancies without such tight control. My endocrinologist has already given me the “green light” to start trying, if we wanted to of course. Click here to read a little bit more about diabetes & pregnancy.

Do I have the motivation to lower my A1c? Will lowering my A1c help me to feel like I am ready to be a mom? Will us owning a home and having a little more space make us feel like we could have a kid? Will I ever not be scared, or will my worries just change? Will we ever feel like we are ready? I guess only time will tell… and we have plenty of time!

New Year, New Health Insurance

The beginning of 2015 is upon us. With that said, there is always changes with health insurance, deductibles needing to be met and of course, supplies needing to be shipped out! The health insurance through my job actually runs from July 1, 2014 until June 31, 2015, so I don’t need to worry about any health insurance issues starting in 2015. I am about to reach my deductible and I thought it was smooth sailing from now until the end of June.

Now that I am married and have officially changed my last name, I have the luxury of choosing to keep my own health insurance or go onto my husband’s health insurance policy. After doing research between his family policy and mine, it turns out that his insurance is a hell of a lot better that what is offered at my job, with a very minimal deductible to be met. Even after the deductible was met, his insurance will cover my diabetes supplies at 90% (verses the 50% my job was offering).

New Year, New Health Insurance | www.iamatype1diabetic.comFor the last month, I’ve known that I will be changing insurance in 2015. In an effort to save money, I purposely only ordered a one month supply of OmniPods, test strips and insulin. I thought I would be “OK” with the amount of dexcom sensors that I had, so I didn’t order any extra of that.

On December 30th, we received our new health insurance cards in the mail. I quickly called Insulet (maker of Omnipod) to give them my new insurance, as well as Neighborhood Diabetes (where I get my strips from) and Dexcom’s reorder department. They all said I would need to wait until the policy was in full effect on January 1st before they can send out supplies. Because the 2nd was a Friday and many offices did not open, I have to patiently wait to hear back from them in the coming week.

Unfortunately, today I ripped off my last dexcom sensor. I have been at a loss of not checking the reciever every 20 minutes or so! I feel like a teenager who lost their cell phone; waiting impatiently to call the insurance company so a new one can be ordered. I have been testing my blood sugars a lot more than usual today. I feel like my blood sugars have been all over because I can’t see the typical trend from dexcom of where they are headed.

From testing more, I am using more test strips. I seem to be running low on those too!

Luckily tomorrow is Monday and a normal “back to work” day. I will be on the phone first thing to order all my supplies, and pray that they will be delivered quickly. This girl needs to know what her blood sugar number is!

Simply Making it Through the Holidays…

Below is self explanatory. I have to laugh. I feel like I raised my a1c for the last 3 months just by how my blood sugars were acting yesterday!

Simply Making it through the Holidays | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

I’m kinda glad that Christmas is over, yet New Years may actually effect my blood sugars more. Be careful drinking my fellow diabetic friends! My new years resolution will be to get my a1c below 7.0. I’ve been getting closer, last one was 7.3, but my endrocrongolist  wants to continue to get it down more.