Pretty the Pump (or CGM)

I recently found this great little website called PumpPeelz.com.

They make these nifty little stickers and covers just for your insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). I’m a graphic designer, so I wanted to create my own design for my Dexcom CGM. I ordered mine last week and have patiently have been waiting.

Pretty The Pump (or Continuous Glucose Monitor) | Decorating Diabetes | www.iamatype1diabetic.com Today, I received this strange envelope in the mail. I opened it, and turns out it was a card from pumppeelz. 

Hi Calla!
We are going to resend this design to you. It somehow got moved during printing, leaving some white space. You will receive a new one next week!
Thanks, Scott

I really appreciate the effort given from pumppeelz. I am very excited to decorate my new Dexcom share. The pumppeelz sticker is a lot like a clear, protective cover on a cell phone. So far, it seems to be very sturdy!

With my new Dexcom share, I ordered it in the black color. I’m not too much of a “girly girl” and I began to feel like I was with my pink receiver (and the pink case on my OmniPod meter that you can see is this post).

For now, I am going to wait til next week for the new one before completely sticking this new black & purple design onto my CGM. (If you’ve seen any of my wedding photos, my cell phone or my car, you’d know black and purple are more my colors anyway!)

Pretty The Pump | Decorating Diabetes | www.iamatype1diabetic.comI can’t wait to make my Dexcom CGM look pretty! Super excited about this new product, and glad it’s not super expensive either. Click here to find out what other device covers they make to make your diabetes products prettier.

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

Order New Transmitter

Order New Dexcom Transmitter | www.iamatype1diabetic.comWell this isn’t a good sign! What to do?

As Dexcom says, order a new transmitter! The transmitter is the small sensor piece that clips into the adhesive piece attached to the body.

After going on the Dexcom website, it says that the Dexcom transmitter battery lasts at least six (6) months. I guess I’ve have a great battery because it’s been over a year since I started using it! When the Dexcom G4 first came out is when this transmitter and receiver were first used. I have a new receiver waiting to be used, but I am waiting for that battery to die first too.

I called my new medical supply company to order a new transmitter, but they need to get authorization from my endocrinologist doc. Hopefully that doesn’t take too long. Today I recieved a callback, and they are still waiting on forms from my doctor (apparently they had the wrong fax number!) The representative on the phone said my battery should last for a few more days. Dexcom’s website says to replace the transmitter as soon as possible. The battery may drain as quickly as one week after this alert appears. Luckily (well, for now at least) it’s been about 3 days since I first got the alert.

Hopefully my transmitter will last until I can receive a new one in the mail. It’s really scary how reliant I have become on my whole Dexcom G4 platinum system. The receiver is attached at my hip more than a cell phone is to a teenager… And that’s just because I’m not charging it every night!

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.

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!

Dexcom Software with Artificial Pancreas Algorithm

FDA Approves Dexcom Software with Artificial Pancreas Algorithm | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

 

 

There has been a lot of good news out this week in the Diabetes Community! Today, I get to share that the FDA approved new Decom software with artificial pancreas algorithm. Earlier this week, I posted about experimental encapsulated cell replacement therapy called VC-01™.  Both are getting us diabetics closer and closer to that “cure” we have been searching for since the invention of insulin!

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)— Dexcom, Inc., (NASDAQ:DXCM), a leader in continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved new software for the Dexcom G4® PLATINUM CGM. The new Software 505features the same advanced algorithm as used in artificial pancreas research around the world. The software will impact the performance of the Dexcom G4 PLATINUM, already considered the most accurate CGM system on the market today. The software will be made available free of charge to adult patients using the Dexcom G4 PLATINUM.

“Patients will be able to go online and download the software, or they will receive the software preloaded onto their Dexcom receiver with new orders,” said Terrence Gregg, CEO, Dexcom. “This latest software enhancement to the Dexcom G4 Platinum will make the performance level comparable to episodic blood glucose finger sticks; this is a significant step in the evolution of CGM becoming the standard-of-care over blood glucose meters for people with diabetes.”

Dexcom, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, California, develops and markets continuous glucose monitoring systems for use by diabetes patients, as well as blood glucose monitoring systems used by healthcare providers in hospital critical care settings.

Available to Dexcom CGM users at no charge, and those who are 18 years and older, the NEW Software 505 features the same algorithm used in the Artificial Pancreas Research and is available to  existing Dexcom customers for free! The Dexcom Update Tool will guide you through the download process. For those who are already using Dexcom G4 PLATINUM, of course you want to download the software! Here is where you can download.

Unfortunately, I cannot. Hopefully, it’s just for the moment. I am an Mac  girl, and this is currently only available for PC! :/

If you don’t currently use Dexcom or have a Continous Glucose Monitor, watch the video below about how it has made life so much easier!