My T1 Diabetes Blog. Reboot.

When I first began this blog about Type 1 Diabetes, although it had the same title, it was a Blogger blog.  I got a good amount of traffic in the beginning, and I felt like what I was writing was helping some people, and creating some great conversation among fellow Type 1 diabetics.  And that was my whole intention.

I thought switching to my own domain, and using the WordPress.org blog would give me better ownership of my content, and seem more legit.  But something got lost along the way during that transition.

boo hoo

I guess I just lost the momentum I had at the beginning. I started getting a lot of bogus comments from robots in the middle of the night. (Apparently, that’s a common problem for WordPress users) I got less feedback from real people than I did at my previous blog address.  I wasn’t sure how to promote my blog and get the readers that had found me the first time around to jump over to this new blog address with me.

I also started to feel like there were only so many posts I could write about insulin and glucometers and my beloved Dexcom. I felt like maybe I had said all I had to say on the topic of diabetes management.

I became frustrated and I decided this blog didn’t really matter to anyone anyway.

Actually, I’ve been re-thinking my pity party.

I’ve had diabetes for most of my adult life.  Something like 22 years.  And I think I have a pretty good handle on how to keep it under control, most of the time.  It’s a lot more complicated than just taking insulin and counting carbs to keep things in balance.  It’s recognizing patterns, it’s dealing with hormones, and emotions, and sleep, and workouts, and!, and!, and the list goes on. All of the things I do for my health- my physical, emotion, mental and even spiritual health- ALL OF IT, has at least some effect on my diabetes.

So I feel rejuvenated to begin again with this blog. I realize now that I can broaden the scope. I won’t just be writing about insulin and blood sugars.  I hope by posting regularly, I can find consistent readers who are also interested in choosing to live a happy and healthy lifestyle with an auto-immune disease like Type 1 Diabetes. Whether it’s in the comment section, or in sharing posts with friends, or in directly emailing me, I appreciate any and all conversation with you!

I’ll be posting on a regular weekly basis. Please subscribe so you won’t miss anything.  Thank you SO MUCH for visiting My Type 1 Diabetes Blog.

Needless Excuses for my A1c

I was suppose to go see my endocrinologist a couple of months ago.  No fault of my doctor, but the place he used to practice shut down.  With no notice!  Diabetes America, no more!

Because there was some lapse in time between Diabetes America unexpectedly closing down and Dr. Mora opening up in a new spot, I haven’t been in to get my A1c checked since December.

I figured it would be pretty good because I have a Dexcom, so I have that information available.  But the last month has been pretty challenging because we were out of town during the entire month of June. We were eating out more than usual, and at places that I didn’t know how long the wait time was, so my insulin doses were often “off”, and my blood sugars suffered because of it.  I saw way more spikes than I like to, or than I normally do.

As I drove to my appointment yesterday, I said a little prayer hoping that this new place Dr. Mora is practicing out of will have the “finger stick method” rather than the from the “vein method” for my lab work. It’s ridiculous that I’m so squeamish with veins, but I am.  I could never be an intravenous drug user- I would never be tempted to shoot drugs up for sure! So, that’s a bonus.  Anyway… Praise Hallelujah!!!  It was just a finger prick.

But even more Praise Hallelujah than that- My A1c came back lower than ever.  5.5%. So even though the last month has been a challenge, I worked hard enough that it didn’t screw things up.

I hadn’t checked the Dexcom Clarity app lately, but I did check after I got my lab results back from my doctor yesterday.  Although Clarity no longer gives a predicted A1c, it does tell your blood sugar average over a 90 day period (which is essentially what the A1c result refers to), and mine was 115.  According to the chart below, my A1c should be 5.4% based on that… That’s pretty close! And I’m very happy.  And proud!  My OCD behaviors are paying off.

As I drove to my appointment, besides saying my prayers about the blood draw via finger prick, I also mulled over my excuses I would give to Dr. Mora in case my A1C was higher than it had been at my last appointment. It’s funny that I feel I owe him excuses.  As if I’m being graded and my lab tests are something I either did or didn’t study for. As if it’s him I’m trying to impress. But I think it’s a common patient behavior. I know I’m not alone in this.

I’m not quite sure if the last month’s blood sugar average has more impact than the previous two months on the A1C, so I was a bit worried.  I was going to tell my doctor, “Traveling gave me an added challenge.” Paired up with, “Also, I’m a woman of a certain age, and I’m sort of going through “puberty” and it’s messing with my blood sugars.”  I will always have an excuse, because life always throws us little challenges, and sometimes big challenges.  But, we keep plugging away, and we keep trying our best.  And sometimes, you end up rewarded for all that trying. And this time, I was definitely rewarded!

And that’s the greatest motivation for me to keep trying my best. Not for my doctor.  But for me.

Yay, ME!

UGH. Fake Comments

I sort of feel like Trump in saying this, but it seems worth saying.

This is my first WordPress blog.  And it may be my last, and come to and end before I felt ready to end it.  I get SO MANY fake comments.  From people in the middle of the night.  It’s probably not the middle of the night where they are- But they’re writing in a different language, or in broken weird English, OR leaving super lame comments about my “amazing content”.  Ugh.  My email inbox gets filled up with all these stupid comments.

No idea what to do about this and how to make it stop.  But it’s so frustrating and it makes me avoid this blog.  So for now… I am.  🙁

Blame the fake commenters.  Which I’m sure will comment on this post… about the amazing content.

T1 Diabetes Looks Like Me.

Type 1 Nation Dallas 2017

This weekend, I got to attend the Type 1 Nation Summit in Dallas, hosted by JDRF.  My friend Tanya Conovoloff, works for JDRF and does a great job each year organizing this event. There are so many type 1s (kids, and grown ups) all in one place! And although because of that, we have a lot in common, this “disease” is different for everyone.  That’s what is always very apparent to me anytime we come together and share our stories.  And it’s why this blog is called MY T1 Diabetes. I can only write about my experience with Type 1. And I’m sure My T1 Diabetes looks different than yours.

One of the presenters Sunday, who I really liked hearing from, spoke of his experience managing his diabetes while running marathons and competing in triathlons.  He’s worked  hard to figure out what works best for him in controlling his blood sugars when it comes to things like the stress and excitement of race day, dehydration, swimming vs. running, etc.  Just like I’ve worked really hard to figure out what’s best for me when I work out.  But there is no special formula that works for everyone.  If there was, this thing called Type 1 Diabetes would be an easy cake walk, right? (And yes, pun intended.  And also yes, we CAN eat cake!)

Even when you figure out what “works best” for you, it can vary greatly from day to day.  So it’s a constant challenge.  But challenges are not always bad things.  And they do make us stronger.

My friend Willie took hundreds of photos for this event.  I asked him to send me the one I remembered him taking of me.  He actually sent a few more.  Here’s the one I had in mind… I’m standing beside a sign that says, “T1D Looks Like Me.”

Type 1 looks like Me.

This other picture, as you can probably tell is not posed- it’s so genuine.  I love this picture because it shows how happy (and lucky) I am to not only get to go to a great local event like this one, but to have people I know and love that also attend. This is the moment I walked through the door and got to see Willie, as his camera was pointed right on me!

Ok, so THAT’s a happy face!

I got to spend pretty much the entire day with another T1 friend, Roberta.  We sat through a few different presentations together which was great, but we mainly laughed a lot throughout the day about all sorts of stupid little things, which was most excellent.

So yep, going to Type 1 events for information is great, but knowing you’ve got friends there… the best!

As a P.S., I’m ending my post with yet another photo.  This is a little girl I saw soon after I walked in. I noticed she was wearing a Dexcom CGM.  So here’s another picture of what two Type 1 looks like.  Not too bad, huh?

Type 1 looks like US!

Come To the TypeOneNation Summit April 23rd!

This event! If you live anywhere near the D/FW area, you really should come check this out.

JDRF
Greater Dallas and Greater Fort Worth Chapters invite you to TypeOneNation Summit

Sunday, April 23
10:30 am – 5:00 pm
The Marriott Quorum
14901 Dallas Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75254

This event filled day of education, connection and inspiration is for anyone impacted by type 1 diabetes (T1D), including adults, parents, family members, friends, teens and children.

Expert speakers will present on T1D topics including nutrition, exercise, emotional aspects, technology and advanced care.

Industry partners will share the latest in support and technology.

Children and Teens will have a separate track to meet others their age with T1D.

Please join us by registering at http://NorthTXTypeOneNation.eventbrite.com

 

My great friend, Tanya, is the organizer and she always lines up incredible speakers.  I’ve had T1 well over 20 years, but I learn new things each year I attend this. PLUS, I get to be around so many other T1s, and as you know, they’re the sweetest people around!

So do yourself a big favor, and treat yourself!!- learn some things and make a new friend or two at this great event.  And I will see you there!

 

 

The Complications of Type 1 Diabetes

The other day, on another blog I write called Resparkable Vintage, I posted about my contribution for the upcoming JDRF Dream Gala Auction.  That website is really all about my repurposed vintage handmade designs, but in that particular post, since I mentioned the JDRF Gala, as well as the fact that I’m a Type 1, I gave a brief explanation about Type 1, thinking probably most of the readers over there don’t know much, if anything, about it.

Mainly, I just said Type 1 is an auto immune disease, and that our bodies don’tt produce insulin on their own, so therefore we have to inject synthetic insulin multiple times on a daily basis to survive.  I also mentioned that it’s a complicated disease.

And it is.  It’s hard to explain to someone what all of that means- Because what does insulin do exactly?  And that thing I mentioned about having to take synthetic insulin- how do you know how much to take? And when to take it? And what happens if you take the wrong amount?

Because, as anyone who lives with it knows, there’s no obvious or predictable formula for getting dosing amounts correct.  And the way a low blood sugar or a high blood sugar makes one feels varies from person to person, and from day to day.

Here’s a small, seemingly unimportant example of what it’s like to have Type 1 that I experienced today. I can never be spontanious about eating something.  If I’m at an event, as I was earlier today, and they happen to be serving lunch, I can’t just pop food into my mouth on a whim.  If I had wanted to eat at this luncheon, I would have needed to know what exactly I would be eating, at least 30 minutes before eating it, so that I could take what I hope is the right amount of insulin to cover it.  But since I didn’t know in advance, and they put a plate in front of me, I just said, “Oh no thanks, I already ate a late brunch.” It was a lie.  And truth be told, I was getting a little hungry.  But if I don’t take my insulin pretty well in advance of eating, my blood sugar will soar, and I will be on the diabetes roller coaster of high to low blood sugar for a good part of my day.  And it will likely make me feel like crap.

So, I keep it simple.  I say, “No thanks” to unplanned food.  I eat my same (some would say boring) lunch most days because it’s just easier.

I also happen to be a picky eater by nature, so most people who know me (including my husband) just sort of roll their eyes at me, assuming it’s all about my pickiness when I say no to food.  But I don’t even know which came first, my extreme pickiness, or just keeping my diet simple to avoid… well, COMPLICATIONS.

I don’t bother to explain these things.  It’s easier just to tell a little white lie.  “No thanks, my stomach’s a little upset.”  Or, like today, “No thanks.  I ate a late breakfast and didn’t realize there would be food here!”

Type 1.  It’s complicated.

One Touch Veria Meter

Every year or so, I have to switch my glucometer due to what my insurance will cover.  It’s not a huge deal, because meters are just meters- as long as they’re accurate.  I don’t care about the bells and whistles of meters that do special things with data anymore, because, well… I just don’t.  I have my Dexcom, and I feel like the bulk of important information comes from that anyway.  These days, my meter is just what I use to calibrate the Dexcom.  And as long as it’s calibrated, I trust the Dexcom’s numbers just as much or more than a glucometer.

My insurance company now only covers One Touch meters. So, it was time to move on again. My endo had two to chose from: the Verio and one other (I don’t recall the name) that looked a little flimsy, so I went with the Verio. I liked the sleek look of it.

One Touch Verio Glucometer

Instead of batteries, it has a charger.  Initially, I liked this idea.  But I just noticed last night that the charge only holds for 1-2 weeks.  So when I go on a trip that’s anything over a week, I have to remember to take yet another charging cord.  Ugh. So honestly, I think batteries are my preference.  They last for months, and double A batteries are cheap! Oh well.  Not a big deal.

Like pretty much all the meters I’ve tried in the past few years, the Verio is quick and simple.  Just a teeny bit of blood on the teeny strip, and 5 seconds later, you know what your blood sugar is.

I’m currently paying out of pocket until I meet my deductable, so this first 3 months supply of test strips cost me around $560 at my online pharmacy.  Just out of curiosity, my husband checked Amazon Prime’s pricing on the strips and they were actually CHEAPER on Amazon.  But we weren’t sure how regulated they were (when’s they’re expiration? why do the boxes look diffrent?) if I bought them through Amazon and the price difference wasn’t hugely significant. Before I order my next batch of strips, I might look into this a little more.  I guess I shouldn’t just assume that buying from my online pharmacy  (when it’s out of pocket and not a drug that needs a prescription) is always the best, most affordable option. I wonder how much the strips would be if I ordered them from Canada?

 

 

The Only Complaint I’ve EVER Had About Dexcom…

Let me start this post by saying I love Dexcom.  99% of anything I have to say about the company and the product they make is positive.  I’ve written numerous blog posts about how Dexcom has positively impacted my life with Type 1 Diabetes, so please scroll back if you’d like to know about that!

There is just one thing that bothers me.

One.

I was talking to a Dexcom rep the other day, because I had gotten a new iPhone and had a question about setting up the app.  During the conversation, I happened to mention that I’d had a sensor fall off a few days earlier than it should have due to me forgetting to add my adhesive I usually put on by about day 3.  I had just forgotten to do it, and as I was pulling off my pants one night, I ripped out my Dexcom.

Towards the end of our conversation about the iPhone app, the representitive asked me again about my previous sensor falling out.  It was not a big thing, and I wasn’t even complaining about it, but that person was a good listener, and cared about customer support.  So he told me they would send me out a new one to replace it.

I don’t fault them for the adhesive… Because it’s a tricky thing.  If I wasn’t in my bathtub so much, and if I wasn’t running around getting sweaty each day, I’d probably be fine without any extra adhesive.  And, if a stickier adhesive came with it, it might be hard on the customers with sensitive skin.  I’ve heard Dexcom will eventually come out with various options for people with varying “adhesive needs”.

But I was happy when the Dexcom rep said they would be sending out a new sensor for me because, as we all know, these diabetic supplies don’t come cheap!  So yeah, Dexcom!  Bring it!

And they did.

but.  and notice, it’s just a little but…

all this packaging for one little sensor?

The small sensor, for whatever reason, had to be mailed out in the Dexcom cardboard box that typically holds 4 sensors.  And that cardboard box had to be wrapped with bubble wrap and put in an even larger FedEx box for shipping.  And that seems awfully wasteful.  But it is a medical supply, and I’m sure it’s important that it arrive to me undamaged and all.  So I get it, and I know the intention is great, but it seems a little over the top.

All companies need to think about their packaging and how much waste is involved.  I love Dexcom.  But I love trees and the environment too.

Sick Days for My Type 1 Diabetes

This week I’ve been sick.

You know how sometimes people complain about what babies men are about getting sick?  Well, I’m very masculine when it comes to the way I handle illness.

I do not suck it up.  I do not go on about my day as usual and try to fight my way through it.  I don’t keep it to myself that I don’t feel well.

I’m sure it’s super annoying for my husband.  But the good news is, I rarely get sick.  I seriously have thought before that I seem to have such a strong immune system, and so rarely get sick, that maybe this all ties in to how I got this auto-immune disease called Type 1 Diabetes in the first place.  At a certain point, my immune system just got bored, went a little nuts, th-4and attacked my cells that produce insulin. And then, BAM!  I became a Type 1 Diabetic.  Ok, there is no science behind that idea, but it’s the way I think about my T1.  I got it because of my overly strong immune system.  Yeah!

Anyway…

This week I had a scratchy throat on Tuesday.  So besides walking dogs for a couple of hours, I did very little else. My blood sugars started going up and up and up.  My body didn’t seem to realize I was giving myself insulin.  I had to take about 3 times more than I usually do.  And even with that, it never got down where I wanted it to be. But oh well.  It’s one day. In a long life.

On Wednesday, my eyeballs ached.  My head hurt.  Actually, my whole face hurt.  I decided it was a sinus “thing”.  My husband took me to La Madeline for the Tomato Basil soup because when I’m sick, that’s a requirement.  I took not one, but two baths that day and was in my pajamas by about 5pm.  I read a bunch of a book I had started the day before that I’m just in love with.

I stayed in bed almost the entire day Thursday.  I got up in the morning and felt dizzy in the shower.  So I got right back in bed.  With wet hair.  And made a discovery that my hair looked pretty cool by drying against a pillow.  It made my waves a little more pronounced than usual!

Today, I’m coughing and my nose it stuffy, but my face doesn’t hurt.  And I’m not dizzy when I stand up. And my blood sugars are back to normal.  I’m so much better.

So although I don’t like being sick, it doesn’t suck completely.  I don’t fight it.  And I don’t try to act tough.  And I don’t berate myself for having crappy blood sugar control for a couple of days.  Because it’s a long life!

World Diabetes Day

The month of November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and today is World Diabetes Day.

Having lived with Type 1 Diabetes as my constant companion for 20+ years, I count my lucky stars that I have no complications from the disease. I know that is not the case for many people who have had it as long as I have.

So let me give a shout out to some of those lucky stars of mine now, and hope that in focusing on the positives, they will continue to multiply- not just for me, but for anyone and everyone affected by diabetes.

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Star #1: I have pretty good insurance.  This year, I went for the “high deductible plan”, which felt a little scary, but worked out okay.  I am so lucky to have access not only insulin which keeps me alive, but things that make diabetes easier to manage… In particular, my Dexcom CGM.  Thank GOD my insurance helps me on that. I wish everyone could be so lucky.  I do not take it for granted.

Star #2: As mentioned above, I am so grateful for my Dexcom.  It’s been a life changer for me and Dexcom really should seriously consider hiring me to be a spokesperson for what a great product it is, and how much I love the company.  I can’t help but mention, on a daily basis, what a huge fan I am.

Star #3: I have a lifestyle that makes living with diabetes easier.  I love to be active, I (usually) make smart choices about what I eat, and I do a lot of things that keep my stress level low.

Star #4: I have friends that also have T1.  I am so lucky to not only know others with diabetes, but to call them my friends.  If I need to complain, or if something weird is happening regarding my diabetes, they are the people I talk to first…not my doctors.  Other Type 1s, who live with it 24/7/365, just get it like no one else can.

Star #5: Because I’ve known my husband since high school, he knew me  before diabetes, during my diagnosis, and now, many years later.  When it was scary for me, he was calm.  And now, we don’t see it as a big deal or crisis, but it’s something we both have to deal with.  There have been plenty of times, me and my diabetes have cramped our style just a little, for just a brief moment or two (ha!) but he’s been patient with me, always.

Star #6: NO COMPLICATIONS.  So far, so good.  Thank God.  Really.  Thank you, God.

I know there are more stars out there, and I’ve only counted a few of them.  But I really do feel lucky.  And grateful.

I have seen so many good things come along since my diagnosis, and I know there are even bigger and better things in the near future for Type 1 Diabetes. Whether or not there is an actual cure someday, I know the smarties of the world out there are working hard to make it easier for us.  I celebrate those people today. Happy World Diabetes. ❤️

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