Tag Archives: continuous glucose monitor

008. My first 10K!

Last Saturday, I drove 3 hours to Chicago where I boarded a plane for a 4.5 hour flight to San Francisco to spend a week with my friends, sans husband.

After landing at 10pm local time (add 3 hours for my native time) and struggling to get a shuttle to the hotel, I crashed for a restless 5 hours of sleep before waking up to run my first ever 10K!

Elizabeth and I have been friends for basically forever. Well, roughly half our lives at this point, so close enough. She’s ran countless races including many half marathons, and has been wanting to do a race with me for years. So the week before I boarded the plane, she signed us both up for the 10K, knowing full well that 1) I’d never gone that distance before and 2) that I’m super duper slow. She was willing to take one for the team and run with me, and I “trained” by running with my friends Michael and Chris to prepare for the race.

We were almost late because of construction. And by “almost late,” I mean Elizabeth had to jog to the starting line and reached me right as they told us all to GO so I don’t think she got to stretch at all, and I maybe got 3 minutes of stretching in. I definitely felt that later on in the race!

The half marathon that was happening as well had started about 30 minutes before the 10K did, and the courses were largely the same. The half broke off from the course somewhere around the 2 mile mark and went for a large loop before meeting back up with the 10K course only a short ways further ahead, so when we were in mile 2, the half was at mile 9 or so. Of course, I had to get a funny picture.

The course was very flat and Alameda looks largely like something out of a Michael Bay film. I kept thinking I’d see explosions or people jumping out of the buildings or something because of how unique they looked. It was cool and so different from the scenery I’m used to here in Michigan.

Mile 2 was, as always, my biggest struggle! I wanted to quit. I was tired, sore, and irritated that we were getting passed by the 1:30 pacer for the half marathon, and the group that was with him were all super ripped and looked like it was nothing whereas I felt like I was about to die. But I pushed and got through it, with plenty of walking breaks.

I didn’t push my body to run, I was patient and listened to it, and allowed myself to focus on the distance and not on the time. Of course, there were a few race volunteers who were “trying to be helpful” by “encouraging” us to run. Please, if you see me out there, don’t encourage me to run or I will cut you. I am pushing my un-athletic body to do something unnatural for it, and telling me “you can do it! Don’t walk, run!” is not only annoying but also ignorant of what I’m actually achieving out there.

My blood sugar actually cooperated for the race! I was in shock, and it was literally the only time my blood sugar cooperated for my ENTIRE trip to California. I had set a temp basal of 1/4 my normal basal rate for 1 hour and that seemed to do the trick! I had 3 glucose gels with me just in case and luckily, I didn’t need them.

My official chip time was 1:37:11 and I am happy with a 15:40 average pace because I did 6.2 miles when earlier this year I could barely do 1.0. It’s a start and now I have a time to improve upon!

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My Non-Diabetic Husband Wore My Continuous Glucose Monitor for 2 Weeks and This is What Happened

I recently upgraded my Dexcom system to the G5, which has allowed me to ditch the G4 receiver. However, I still had some juice left in my G4 transmitter, so I asked Allen if he would be willing to wear it for a week – Just for a fun comparison of his blood sugars versus mine.

If you know my husband AT ALL, then you know he’s completely squeamish when it’s his own blood, but mostly fine when it’s someone else’s. He inserts my sensors without fuss, and goes with me to my quarterly blood draws, but when he had to get his blood drawn for a physical at his work, he passed out. So I figured he would say no to my proposal, but I was thrilled when he agreed to be my pincushion for a week. He agreed knowing full well that he was committing to the initial insertion plus calibrations.

When he was finally ready to do the insertion, we got comfy on the bed, with a bucket in case he puked, and we got to work.

I don’t usually insert Dexcom sensors, but I know most of how it works, so I stuck it on, and prepped him for the actual insertion. Luckily he didn’t flinch, and I quickly pulled the inserter off. There was a little blood but not too bad. He let me know that it didn’t hurt and he was doing okay.

But then I had to insert the transmitter piece. There’s a little plastic arm on the sensor base that makes inserting the transmitter easier. However, that piece had fallen off as it sometimes does, which makes the transmitter insertion harder. So when I tried to insert the transmitter, I had to push really hard.

Allen freaked out. He laid down to try not to pass out, and ended up sitting back up and vomiting. I started crying because I felt so bad for what I felt was “making him do this.”

Thankfully, a few minutes later, he and I both calmed down. He pulled up a YouTube video to distract himself and I quickly jimmied the transmitter into the sensor base without any more fuss.

So the experience began!

The first day, Allen ran high for a non-diabetic, but I think the readings were not accurate. There was probably a bad initial calibration or something, and once we added a few more calibrations, it fell into range.

(Allen’s numbers are on the pink receiver, mine are the screenshots)

The most interesting part was how steady his lines usually were compared to mine. I expected that he’d hover in the 80-100 range all the time, but not that he’d stay so completely steady even when eating high carb meals.

Even his “dawn phenomenon” wasn’t actually that – he had eaten right before sending me this screenshot below.

I think the most amazing comparison was this one of a 24 hour time span near the end of our 2 week experiment:

A typical non-diabetic and a typical diabetic for 24 hours. The difference was amazing. I even found myself trying extra-hard to be in a “normal” range to compete with him. Of course, I failed miserably, but it was a great experience.

I am so thankful for my husband being willing to experience a snippet of my life for two weeks. Even through our anniversary, a trip to Wisconsin, and many days of work, he carried that pink receiver without fuss. He said the transmitter in his arm didn’t bother him much at all. His tegaderm looked WAY better at the end of two weeks than mine EVER does. And removal when he was done was a piece of cake. Overall, it was a great learning experience for us both! (And he’s said he’ll never do it again… but we’ll see.)

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Frankensensor! 

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

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Flying with an Insulin Pump

My vacation a couple weeks ago was my first time travelling with my insulin pump. I’ve been pumping with the Medtronic 530G since December 2013. There was a bit more preparation for travelling with the pump, but overall I had a very good experience and wanted to share a little of what happened to me, and what to expect for those who haven’t air-traveled with a pump.

The first thing to keep in mind is that diabetes doesn’t play fair. Just because you will be gone for 2 days doesn’t mean that you don’t need to pack insulin and site change supplies. For my 5 day trip, I packed two vials of insulin, two separate blood sugar meters and their corresponding test strips, and enough supplies for three site changes and two CGM changes, and their insertion devices, overtape, band aids, and the list goes on.

Was all of it necessary? Absolutely! A site could have failed, a vial could have been dropped and broken, etc. I split the site change supplies between my carry-on bag and my suitcase so that way if I lost my luggage, I’d still have some supplies with me. (Insulin, of course, was in the carry-on).

We left a day early and spent the night in Chicago. I was worried because we had to get a hotel with a fridge/freezer for my insulin, which cost us a bit extra, but was worth it of course. I was able to re-freeze my cooler pack in the freezer part and keep my insulin cold in the fridge. (This is the cooler pack I used for my insulin – I found it stayed quite cold for several hours longer than advertised!) Don’t forget, do NOT pack your insulin in your luggage! It needs to be carried on for so many reasons. Just trust me.

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(photo from cnn.com)

The TSA looks so scary, but I promise they aren’t!

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Flipbelt in Action

We shot a wedding this weekend about three hours from home for a friend from high school. 

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I used my Flipbelt for the first time on a photoshoot (Previously I would just wear a skirt/shirt combo and clip it to my skirt). This enabled me to wear a dress!!! Woo! The bride and groom know I’m diabetic, and when I showed the bride my pump in my belt, she exclaimed “I thought that was just a cute sash! I had no idea your pump was in it!”

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The Vacation Post, Part Two

For Part One, click here.

So far I’ve covered all the events that happened up to Friday night. I did this on purpose because Saturday was it’s own adventure.

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Vacation Prep & a Little Frustration

I’ve been slacking in the blogging department! I have a couple unfinished posts hanging out in the wings, but we’ve been busy packing and preparing for vacation next week. I’ve had several photo sessions to wrap up on top of work, church, and plenty of other activities. I’m not complaining – it’s been exhausting but I wouldn’t have my life any other way!

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Accountability 8/15/14

Last week was great.

0801-0807This week was terrible.

0808-0814Partially due to completely incorrect sensor readings (showing 300 when I’m 190, or 50 when I’m 80). And partially other factors. Bad weeks happen, but I’m still pretty proud of myself. My average BG is right around 140, which is awesome!

I need to get in and actually get my A1C officially checked, but I just don’t want to. I haaaaaaaate getting my blood drawn… But if my average is really between 140-160 then that would mean my A1C is somewhere between 6.5 and 7.2. When I was on injections (and actually DOING the injections like I was supposed to, which is a story for another post) I pulled a 7.5 A1C, so anything better than a 7.5 is success in my book.

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Accountability 7/29/14

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I am SO EXCITED. My sensor average was 131 for the week. Amazing! That’s the best average I’ve had since being diagnosed. Of course, today I’m riding hard on the diabetes roller-coaster with a few rage boluses, but I am so happy with the past week that it makes everything better. Plus I set a new record on my sensor… 12.5 days! Woohoo! Continue reading

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The things we do to stay alive.

The past few days have been intensely frustrating. The minute you start to think you have this under control, diabetes throws a giant curve ball and you’re scrambling to keep up, to make sense of it all again.

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