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.

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!

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?

August 8, 2014 -- Our Wedding Day | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

My Heart Beats

Today is the big day. Today is my wedding day.

When Your Around... My Heart Beats Like I've Got Low Blood Sugar | Today's the Big Day! | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

Hopefully, I will be having some low blood sugar levels today! I would like to pig out — but I am scared to think that today is going to work out that way… even though I have a (partially) sugar-free wedding cake!

I have no idea what to expect from my blood sugar levels. I have no idea how my nerves, excitement, and those pesky little alcoholic drinks are going to effect me. I have no idea if my pump placement (on my leg currently) is going to change the way in which my body reacts to my insulin. Or if my dexcom is actually going to be close enough to me to do its job.

Will it be a high day, a low day, or an “ok” day? I guess I just have to wait and find out. Stay tuned!

I guess this blog post really doesn’t have a point… but I needed to vent about how scared I am… and how excited I am. Today is the day that every little girl dreams of, and today is this little girl’s big debut.

My fiancé is a great big part of my life, and has helped me to gain better control of my diabetes. He wakes me up every morning to make sure I check my blood sugars, and is on top of my case when I eat things I shouldn’t be eating.

He has been there with me through the thick and the thin, the highs and the low blood sugars, and shows me every morning how much he loves and cares for me. I know he’ll  make a great husband, and I’ll be his imperfect  little wife.

We have been awaiting this day for a year and a half… and it’s finally here! Wish me luck in tying the knot with this lucky man pictured above.

Instagram - Omnipod Insulin Pump on Type 1 Diabetic's Back! | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

Site Change

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Not that I don’t think normally, but just thinking a lot about alternative ways to wear my OmniPod. I’ve worn it on my arms, and I tend to run into doorways. My sides are starting to hurt, my arms can be annoying, and I refuse to put it on my butt!! Ha, it’s already big enough, and being a female, my pants tend to be just about skin tight — which leaves my legs/thighs outta the question too.

With the Olympics on TV — there’s been a lot of posts all over social media. Personally, I haven’t really watched any of it — but I also don’t watch much TV in general. On Facebook, I found an article of an Olympic player with Type 1 Diabetes, and he wears the OmniPod Insulin Pump. [My heart jumped a beat, and in my head I screamed “I do that everyday too!”]

The photo I saw was of Kris Freeman, an Olympic cross county skier, a Type 1 diabetic with an insulin pump and a CGM. He was wearing his pump in a different location. He had it on his chest to avoid hitting it, ripping it off or slow him down in a race. Obviously, as a woman, I can’t exactly do that, but it got me thinking… where else could I put my pump?

And this is what I came up with.

Instagram - Omnipod Insulin Pump on Type 1 Diabetic's Back! | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

I purposely took a photo of my pump site, and posted it to my instagram. I have a lot of fellow diabetic followers on there, and thought might get inspired to change their sites too. Surprisingly, I received a lot of comments from instagram users asking me how my sugars levels were, if it hurt, and if I had problems sleeping with my pump because of it’s location.

For me personally, I usually sleep on my stomach or my side, so there is no issue wearing the pod on my back. When I have the pod on my stomach or my side, that’s when it hurts to sleep on because there’s more pressure. When I laid on my back, there wasn’t as much pressure on the pod itself because my head was held up by a pillow.

I had a great experience with wearing my pod on my upper back. My blood sugars were great throughout the three days… actually on the lower side. I really like that it was out of the way completely for me. Only thing, I should of moved it over just a tad bit — my bra strap is just about the tape!

I decided to try it again. This time around, I swapped sides! I avoided where my bra straps would be, not on my shoulder blade, and I’m loving it!

If you are a fellow OmniPod pumper, I do recommend trying it! If you don’t like it, then don’t do it again. What’s the worst that could happen? If your interested, scared, or just have more questions, please ask! I’m always willing to answer!

How to View All Your Blood Sugar Levels

So I’ve been emailing back and forth with my endocrinologist. He asked me to do a spread sheet of my blood sugar levels. Easy enough, so I thought.

I’m on the OmniPod system, and for some odd reason, I cannot view a list of ALL of my blood sugars in one particular day. Apparently I must have been checking my sugars more than what the makers of OmniPod think is “normal.” My screen will show up to 8 blood sugar readings in each day… but with my whole incident in the hospital, I had a lot more than 8 blood sugar readings in that particular day. I cannot see any readings prior to my dinner time reading!

How do you get the rest of your blood sugar readings from a particular day while using OmniPod system? | www.IamaType1Diabetic.com

I called the rep at OmniPod, and she was unable to help me. I explained my situation, and all she could say is that she’ll have someone give me a call back in the morning (after the weekend is over). Ugh!

If anyone else out there has the OmniPod System, and knows how to look up more blood sugars on their meter (without guessing using the graph system), please let me know!

If you find yourself wondering the same question, or other questions relating to dealing with type 1 diabetes while using the OmniPod, join this OmniPod Users Group on Facebook. Other users were able to answer my question in a matter of minutes,  not days like the OmniPod reps.

Insulin Resistance | I am a Type 1 Diabetic | Read more posts at www.iamatype1diabetic.com

Insulin Resistance

I changed my pod (insulin pump/infusion site) last night… and today has been an aweful day! I woke up with a higher-than-normal blood sugar level of 210 mg/dL. I gave myself insulin, decided to skip on breakfast and grabbed a banana for the road instead.

We had our typical Wednesday morning office meeting. My manager gave me a list of things to do, and it was a little bit overwhelming. I tried to shake it off and get moving on all that needed to get done. I started to get a headache, and thought it would be a good time to check my blood sugar level. 423 mg/dL — and that’s after taking a bunch of insulin for breakfast.

I bolused again. Checked 15 minutes later… Down a few points. Waited an hour, checked again, and it went even higher! By this point I was getting annoyed at my computer not working, a webinar not loading properly and our printer jamming up. I was beyond annoyed, and my much-too-high blood sugar was certainly not helping the situation.

My manager walked over and asked if everything was OK? — I told her “no.” “My blood sugar is like 420, I really don’t feel well, and I feel like I might throw up.” I guess she could see it in my face, and asked if I wanted to go home. I finished up what I could, emailed myself documents to finish when I got home, and then left.

My 35 minute drive home could not have taken any longer! I sipped on water and tried to ignore the extra saliva in my mouth. I made it home, took off my coat and kicked off my shoes. I began to walk to the bedroom to grab a new pod… but something stopped me — the bathroom was calling. I threw up three times. Mostly of water, with a hint of banana.Insulin Resistance | I am a Type 1 Diabetic | Read more posts at www.iamatype1diabetic.com

My pod was still perfectly connected, but my blood sugar levels haven’t been below 200mg/dL all day. This new pod location on the side of my stomach should have been working fine… it’s been there a million times without a problem. But I think that is what the problem is — it has been there a million times!

Insulin resistance doesn’t happen often to me anymore. I know I need to change locations when putting on a new pod. And in the winter, I use my arms more too. Today, everything has all just been hitting me very strangely.

and I still feel like I want to throw up.

To Read the Rest of the Story, Click Here: http://iamatype1diabetic.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/insulin-resistance-part-2/

Questions to a Diabetic

November 16 FAQ – What question do you get asked the most when you tell someone you have diabetes? Do you use any of these opportunities to help teach about diabetes, or do they get annoying? Or both?

Well I do get asked a lot of questions. I do not think they are annoying because I (clearly) like to talk about type 1 diabetes and how it affects my life. I help people to understand what it is like to have diabetes, and try to make them understand how much of a rollercoaster ride I am on each and every day of my life.

I recently made a video about the topic too. Here’s my take on the “Dumb Things People Ask Diabetics.”