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.

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.

Yoga with Type 1 Diabetes

Yoga is relaxing. Yoga lets you relieve stress. Yoga will lower your blood sugar level.

Yoga With Type 1 Diabetes | www.iamatype1diabetic.comA few months back, I started a graphic design job at a fitness club. I got a free gym membership, and decided to try a Yoga class. I felt great afterwards; relaxed, my mind was cleared, my shoulders had no pain, I was all stretched out, but my blood sugar was severely low.

My blood sugar level was elevated before I began (about 180 mg/dL), and I had given myself insulin.  I thought I had over treated the high. I brushed it off, and tried another class a couple weeks later.
Same-damn-problem!

On the second time around, I could feel my blood sugar level dropping, and my dexcom CGM was going off, indicating a quick fall and a low blood sugar reading. I knew something was wrong, so I left my class. I ran to the cafe’ and asked for a glass of lots of sugar, and little bit of water (I had no money on me at this point!)

The next day, I decided to do some research. What were other type 1 diabetic’s have saying about yoga?  To my surprise, there weren’t many articles relating to type 1 diabetes!  Yoga is used as a wonderful tool to lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics, but that wasn’t what I needed! The best article I could find, relating to type 1, was from We Are Diabetes.

In non-type 1 diabetics, stress may potentiate action caused by epinephrine, cortisol and glucagon – hormones that boost blood sugar levels and diminish insulin activity. Because type 1 diabetics can not naturally produce insulin every time something stressful arises (and let’s face it, we have just as much stress as non-type 1 diabetics, if not more) we can often experience a series of frustrating high blood sugar readings on our meters if we’re going through a stressful time. Yoga counters the effects of stress by relaxing the sympathetic nervous system, thereby helping the endocrine glands.

That was the best advice that I could find… and it makes plenty of sense. My blood sugars are usually high, probably due to some sort of stress. Yoga relieves that stress, and magically my blood sugar levels plummet!

Having type 1 diabetes is certainly a balancing act. There is always some sort of ‘explanation’ as to why your blood sugars went high, or why they went low. From now on, I need to make sure my insulin pump is turned off, and see what yoga really does to my blood sugar levels.

What has your experience been with diabetes and yoga? Has any other Type 1’s experienced severe lows after doing a yoga session?

Father-Daughter Diabetic Style

Not your usual ‘father-daughter’ dance. I couldn’t keep my blood sugars up.. watch to see why! #diabeticprobs

My wedding day was definitely a day to fight with my diabetes. I tried to eat multiple times throughout the day, but being so busy as a bride, I had a lot of other things on my brain. I made sure to keep my dexcom close at all times, and it definitely saved me from a few severe lows.

In this video, I am wearing both my OmniPod, my dexcom sensor and dexcom receiver. Do you see where they are? Of course not… I didnt want to show off my diabetic issues all day on my wedding. My OmniPod was located on my lower back, towards the right hand side. My dexcom transmitter was located on my upper thy, also on the right hand side. My dexcom receiver was tucked away in the corset of my bra. Easy access to check it, and easy to feel it vibrate for alerts…. nothing like having the ‘girls’ jiggling all night long! haha

While planning the wedding, one of my worst fears was passing out on the dance floor while dancing with my father on my wedding day. I had a few occasions throughout the night when I would sneak away for some juice, snack or cake (the not sugar-free section). The DJ musta had it out for me, because every-time I left, he would call me right back onto that dance floor.

I don’t really know how to offer much advice to those who may one day be in my circumstance, but I can tell you one thing — try to eat as much as you can on your wedding day! I was promised food throughout the day/night, but it wasnt as easy to eat when everyone would come up and talk and/or say goodbye.

My husband and I never woke up more hungry than the day after our wedding.