Tag Archives: cgm

oo6. Holy Rib Cramp!

Today I ran my third 5K of the year!

It was a small local town race, so it wasn't chip timed, but it was inexpensive and I didn't have any other plans for that day, so I signed up a couple weeks ago and have been running a bit here and there to prepare.

What I didn't prepare for was the awful rib cramp that would hit me at 0.5 miles and never relented.

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#DBlogWeek: They Don’t Care About You

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Check out my other #DBlogWeek posts here. Learn more about #DBlogWeek here.

Today is my fourth post for #DBlogWeek. Here’s today’s topic!

Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What’s your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!

I’ve discussed the insane cost of my supplies here, and I’ve also written about how Obamacare saved my life. However, I’ve mentioned a little more quietly that I was hoarding supplies all last year.

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So here’s what I’ve discovered in my short time of being type 1 and dealing with lame adult things like insurance companies.

  1. Know what your deductible is and how long it will take you to meet it. Sometimes this can take a little estimating, but it’s worth figuring up if your work/insurance offers more than one deductible level like mine does. I went for the higher premium/lower deductible plan this year because I am able to hit a $1000 deductible in 2 months time – and that made the overall year’s cost lower than the seemingly cheaper $1500 deductible plan.
  2. Never stop hounding. Your supply company is at your mercy, not the other way around. If you know it’s authorized, or you’re supposed to have your shipment on a certain day and it isn’t there (AHEM, Solara), hound them. Email them every day. Call them twice a day. Ask for supervisors. This is your LIFE on the line – and you are your own biggest advocate. They don’t care about you, so you have to do everything in your power to get what you need.
  3. Know and accept that you may have to choose a job based on insurance. This is a reality we have to face. The state of American healthcare today means that we have to do whatever we can to have the best opportunity at survival – which means never ruling out the fact that your company may change their insurance to something completely terrible (as my husband’s did this last year) and you may need to look for a new job with better insurance. Dear America, please stop sucking and revolutionize healthcare a la Australia or Canada, please!
  4. If your medical care team isn’t working for you – switch! My initial misdiagnosis led me to seek other options for care, and that ended up being in my best interest. I found a doctor who trusts my judgment and listens to what I want, and we work together to find the best treatments for me. I can’t say enough about him and I wish everyone had a doctor as great as mine!

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I hope this helps someone in some way!

Read more posts for #DBlogWeek here.

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I never realized I’d have to give insulin for…

Cold medicine! 

I’ve been sick for like, forever. (Okay, I’m exaggerating. Realistically, it’s been a week and a half. But that feels like forever!) And it seems like no matter how much Robitussin and Sudafed I take, I’ve yet to really start feeling better. 

Luckily, my blood sugar levels have been very normal throughout the entire sickness (which usually isn’t the case!). Instead I’ve faced a new quirk in diabetes-land: most cold medicines contain things like high fructose corn syrup, which is in other words, sugar! And I’ve seen noticeable blood sugar changes after having a dose of medicine. 


The black line above my graph shows my blood sugar before taking my nightly dose of Robitussin. The blue line is the peak of the increase after taking it, when I finally bolused for the rise. 

All is well now that I know this medicine causes a rise in my blood sugar, and I’ll be paying closer attention to the ingredient listings in the future!

Fellow diabetics, what is something you never even thought to give yourself insulin for?

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Potluck Day

I stumbled into work at 7:08 this morning, still half asleep. I’m not a morning person, and getting me to go into work even earlier than my required 8am – especially on a Monday – is quite the feat. However, I needed to go in early today, so I did. And when I arrived, I quickly realized it was not going to be just another day in the office. 

Today was a potluck day. 

 Ask anyone who works in my building and they’ll tell you that we love our potlucks. And I mean LOVE them. We used to have them more than once a month, until we all realized we were gaining weight. Now we only have them for special occasions, and every once in a while we’ll have one “because we haven’t in a while.” We love our potluck days because the food is always SO good. Since quite a few of us have been working in the same office space together for several years now, we’ve all perfected our favorite dishes for potlucks. 

Of course, as a type 1, potluck days can be challenging. Especially when we usually start digging in before 8am! However, I try to just keep bolusing for each treat I have, and do my best to guess at the carb counts.   

  
Today’s potluck produced some very successful blood sugar numbers. Only over 180 for 10 minutes the entire day say what!? Unheard of! I’m pretty proud of the accomplishment. Tomorrow’s a new day and the next potluck will be yet another challenge in a never ending stream of challenges, but I feel good knowing that I can enjoy potluck days just like everyone else. 

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Family Portraits

Allen and I went on quite the adventure here at the beginning of 2016. We started out with our apartment being renovated and expanded, adding almost 50% more space than we originally had. It’s so wonderful to have more space and we’re very grateful for it!

  
  
Then on the 2nd, we threw a surprise 25th wedding anniversary party for Allen’s parents. We had been planning it for 2 months and somehow managed to pull it off without his mom being tipped off to the surprise. It was a blast!

  
 
Only a couple days later, we left on Allen’s birthday for San Francisco, California. One of my best friends, Elizabeth, was getting married so we flew out to photograph her big day, and piggybacked a vacation on top of it. 

It was beautiful and we had such a great time, but one story from our adventure in particular stands out as one I want to share here. 

  
On the second morning, I woke up in Elizabeth’s apartment where we had been staying and went into the living room where I ran into a stranger in her apartment. I quickly learned this stranger was a friend of Elizabeth’s from back home in Virginia named Julie. 

Julie sat down to have breakfast, and I started to do a site change. Julie and I were talking the whole time I rewound my pump, drew up the insulin, etc and she didn’t seem alarmed or even like she cared, and I was still so jet lagged, so I didn’t elaborate on what I was doing. 

Soon enough, Elizabeth came back from her eyebrow appointment and got in the shower. A few minutes later, there was an unexpected (to Julie and I) knock on Elizabeth’s door. I opened it to about 10 members of her family who had just arrived from Virginia. Luckily, Julie knew them, and Allen had just woke up, so Allen and I made quick introductions and headed off for our adventure for the day. 

  
Later that day when I saw Elizabeth again, she informed me of a funny conversation that had transpired after Allen and I left. Somehow, it was brought up that I had stabbed myself with a needle and medicine from the fridge in front of Julie. Elizabeth’s brother, Porter, had freaked out, thinking his sister’s friend was a drug addict. Luckily, Elizabeth quickly explained that I was diabetic, not a crack addict. So of course, Elizabeth’s family’s first impression of me was that I was a drug addict and was shooting up in her kitchen at 7am. 

Note to self: Take a minute and explain what you’re doing to a total stranger when in a one-on-one situation. Lol! Luckily it became a source of humor for the rest of the trip. Oh, and the wedding went beautifully!

  

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Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk – Unless You’re Low

I reached a new level of low blood sugar last night – not in terms of actual mg/dl number, but in the events that transpired. 

When I went to bed last night, my blood sugar was a little high but on its way down. I woke up twice to correct for the low in the night, eating a total of three rolls of smarties. 

Then at 3am, my husband rolled over and woke me up, complaining that both my Dexcom and my Enlite cgms were alarming (because I’m running both at the moment for a future blog post). In my low and half-asleep stupor, I yelled at him that I had already eaten a bunch of smarties, before I finally rolled out of bed to get a glass of milk. 

I made it to the kitchen, tested my blood sugar (72) and calibrated both cgms. I grabbed the chocolate milk and began pouring it into a glass. But I started to feel weird, like I was going to pass out. I raised the glass up to my lips and immediately it fell out of my hands and spilled all over the counter, the floor, my dexcom and myself. The room was spinning. I stumbled and sat down on the floor of the kitchen and mustered up enough strength to yell for my husband. 

Allen jumped out of bed and, seeing what had happened, quickly poured me a new glass of milk. He got a towel to clean up the mess, and also grabbed his phone to snap a picture of the mess, because he knew I’d want it for my blog. 

    
Meanwhile I sat in a ball on the floor, drinking my milk and trying not to cry. I was so embarrassed that I had lost control like that, especially when I wasn’t even all that low! But every low is different and diabetes is still unpredictable. I’m just thankful that the cgm technology I am lucky enough to have did its job and woke Allen up. 

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Frankensensor! 

It’s spooky. It’s weird. It’s gross. It’s the Frankensensor!

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The Survival Guide for Being Newly Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as an Adult

Having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 22, I was thrust into a whole new world in my already established life. I was married, freshly graduated from college, working as a low-level manager at a big box store. For those first 6 months or so, I was completely on my own in this new reality. Any time I tried finding info on what to expect as a newly diagnosed adult T1, I’d only be able to find things parents had written about their newly diagnosed kids, or adult T1s who had been diagnosed as kids. There are so many things I wish I would have known, so I’ve compiled them into this list.

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A Mazda and a Maserati

The Enlite CGM system was the reason I ended up getting the Medtronic Minimed 530G as my first insulin pump in December 2013. I really liked the idea of only having to wear one device on me at all times. And the Dexcom wasn’t compatible with the pump I really wanted, the Tandem T-Slim. So I ended up trusting my endo and went with the 530G with Enlite.

A few months after receiving my pump, I heard about Nightscout for the first time. It was a Dexcom exclusive movement in the early days. I became a lurker on the CGM in the Cloud Facebook page, waiting anxiously for the day that Nightscout would work with my Enlite. And finally at the end of 2014, I was notified that Nightscout for Enlite had been born and was testing. It took me a few months to get the supplies, but eventually, I was in the Cloud with a rig of my own!

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