Tag Archives: continuous glucose monitor

012. Virtual Run with my Twinner!

For my August 5k, I decided to forego a real race and signed up for a virtual run instead. I did the Pride 5k through Badass Runners which directly benefits The Trevor Project, which is a 24 hour suicide hotline specifically for LGBTQ+ youth. This is a cause near and dear to my heart, as I came out as queer at Pride in Kalamazoo Michigan this past June.

A few months ago, my friend Alli (Also known as my Twinner) surprised me by mailing me an awesome workout tank top. She had gotten herself the same one. We decided we wanted to run a race together in our matching tanks.

Fast forward to this weekend when I am in Wisconsin for her daughter’s 3rd birthday. We decided this would be the perfect time to do our race, but there weren’t any nearby. So the virtual race was the perfect option!

Alli and I ran the first mile on our own before meeting up with her friend Victoria in the park for the next two miles. Then we walked home to finish out the remainder of the 5k.

Time wasn’t the goal for this run. We ran and talked and walked and laughed. It was an amazing time with one of my best friends, and totally worth getting up at 5am to do!

The only thing with this run is that I was running “blind.” Of course, when we left Indiana yesterday, my Dexcom sensor was working perfectly, but now it is totally on the fritz. My fellow Dex wearers will understand what I mean when I say that it keeps “dropping off” randomly – it’ll show I’m hanging steady and then suddenly drop 100+ points. I eventually shut it off this morning because it was showing LOW (which means below 40 mg/dL) when I was actually 165. I ate a roll of smarties as a precaution at mile 2. When we finished the run, I was 81. Next time, I’ll make sure to pack a spare sensor, even if the one I’m wearing seems to be working perfectly.

Thanks for inviting me to run, Twinner! Now to decide on my September race.

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011. When You Think You’re Going To Place… And You’re Not Even Close

For 2018 I’m trying to run a 5k every month. (Recap of May and June here) So today was my July race.

It was put on by a group called Run Michigan Cheap who are doing a ton of races all over Michigan this year. This was their 3rd of 4 events in Kalamazoo this year, on the Kal-Haven Trail.

There was no chip timing, the t-shirts were generic, the “official” race photos left something to be desired, and the medals weren’t super fancy, but for the price, I couldn’t beat it! (And I won’t ever pass up a finishers medal race).

The course was a down-and-back with a mostly flat scenic trail on crushed rock (thank goodness because we’ve been having insanely hard rains for the last three days). There was a 5k, 10k and half marathon, but there weren’t any mile markers until “5k turn” signaling my turn-around point.

It was humid, I wasn’t able to pee before the race started because there was only one potty and it was apparently super disgusting, and my head just wasn’t in the game… but I still ran a good, hard race. I knew there wasn’t a ton of people running the 5k so I actually thought I might place in the top 3 in my bracket. I worked hard to pass a couple ladies ahead of me and stay ahead of another one… only to find out they were all in older age brackets than me, and I was a full six minutes behind the next girl in my bracket. That was a bit of a bummer.

I ran in a new pair of leggings this time that I picked up at Ross Dress for Less for $15. They were advertised as having a cell phone pocket, however my phone would NOT safely and securely fit in them. But, my Tandem insulin pump and 4 rolls of Smarties fit in there perfectly. I decided to forego the FlipBelt and Spibelt and run with my iPhone in-hand.

I also recently picked up a pair of AirPods at the urging of my husband (because working out at the gym with headphones cords was difficult) and that was a great decision as well. No more cords bouncing all over the place while I was running!

My blood sugar started a bit high so I left my basal at my normal rate and by the end of the race, I was back in range. I had only just dropped low when we got to breakfast so it worked out perfectly. (And then I dropped low again right before lunch lol)

I did not PR this race, but I still beat all my race times from last year as well as my May race this year. Overall I’m proud of myself and my progress.

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010. “Hey, look at those shoes!”

Last year I signed up for an inaugural 5k in my hometown an hour before it started. I ran it on an impulse with a couple of friends and no training. And I had a BLAST.

So I decided to do the same race again this year (this time with a little more training).

My training this time wasn’t the same as I’ve done before. I focused on my speedwalking since I’m still nowhere near able to run an entire 5k without walking. By walking but doing so quickly, I was able to maintain a pretty decent pace.

I’ve ran a race with my friend Chris before but this was the first time his wife Katherine ever did a 5k. She’s been training for months and she did AMAZING.

Since it was a night race, I bought these ridiculous light-up shoes on Amazon for like $15 for the heck of it. I had them set to flash super obnoxiously throughout the entire race and I kind of loved it. Although I paid for it later with sore arches, they were worth it.

I was in shock throughout the race at how good my average pace was, but I tried not to get my hopes up that I’d be able to maintain it. At the end I was really feeling my elevated heart rate and struggling to breathe. However, a lady that had been passing me back and forth came up behind me while I was walking, tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Come on!” And that was all the motivation I needed to finish strong!

The course was 0.05 miles short. So my official race time shows 37:56, however if I calculate out my average pace on my Apple Watch of 12:29 min/mile to the proper race distance I get a race time of 38:42. I don’t feel like it would take me an extra minute to go 0.05 miles but I feel like the timing was goofy anyway so who knows. Either way I completely obliterated my previous Personal Record of 41:12!

The best part of it all? My blood sugar held steady (for the most part)! I started around 150 and hung out in the 140s until about 2.5 miles in when I started to drop. A few minutes post-race I was in the 90s but I had just eaten a banana so I knew I was good. It even behaved overnight!

I am so happy with my results and so motivated to keep doing races. Yeah, I only got 121 out of 159 people, but in the end, we all went the same distance.

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Pick Stuff Up, Put It Back Down

One of the benefits of Allen and I moving to a new, bigger city is that they have an affordable gym option. He and I have been wanting to go to the gym more regularly for a few years, but the options in our old town were very limited. Shortly after we moved and settled in our new city, we signed up for the gym!

At first my only plan was to use the treadmill. Running outside in my new city isn’t as much of an option as my old city (I knew my old town like the back of my hand since I lived there my entire life, but in my new city there are a lot more murders and gang activity). So I knew getting a membership to use the treadmill would be useful to me.

However, I hung out with my friend Kristina who is starting to go to the gym now too. She talked about her friend showing her how to lift weights and she was also doing Whole30. A couple other friends of mine had also done Whole30 and between that and running they had lost some weight. Kristina showed me how to use a couple of the machines at my gym when she visited. (It was tough.. see photo below) However, my interest was sparked.

While running on the treadmill I would catch myself staring at the people using the free weights. What was stopping me from doing something other that treadmill? Well, for one, I had no idea how to use anything else. I was scared of injury, or screwing up, or a myriad of other things. I wanted to be happy with my body, and I knew that happiness would come through seeing what I was capable of. I’ve always been embarrassingly weak and pathetic. It was finally time to do something about it.

I finally reached out to a wonderful gal named Taja on Instagram. She’s a type 1 diabetic like me, but she’s a fitness coach. We got to chatting and through a couple conversations she agreed to take me on as a client. I was finally read to start my fitness journey!

Taja and I have been working closely on a custom tailored eating and workout plan. I’ve been eating TONS of protein, lots of lean meats and plenty of veggies and even only a couple of weeks in, I’m already seeing differences. I have baby biceps starting to appear! My clothes are already fitting better. I have more energy every day. And I actually look forward to going to the gym. High school Abby would NEVER have been excited for anything close to the word “gym.”

I’m not an athletic person. At all. I am not built for this, not even for running. But with a lot of consistency, hard work and dedication, I’m thrilled to see where this journey takes me!

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009. Run for the Health of it

This past weekend I completed race #9 of my career, and my first for this year. It was the Borgess Run For the Health of It! run in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I trained for about two weeks at the gym on the treadmill, so my goal was to simply FINISH the race.

Of course, I had nothing but issues leading up to the race itself.

One thing I was looking forward to about this race was that the 5k gives you a medal. In years past, they did not do medals for the 5k, so when I saw they added it, I decided to sign up (because we all know that’s the only way I’m ever “winning” a race is with a participation medal) (but I am running the same distance as first place, just slower, so don’t we all win anyway?).

The other thing I was excited about is that this race does customized bibs with your first name on them!

When I went to packet pickup the day before the race, they handed me my bib with the name Tehya on it. Apparently there had been a problem with printing and a lot of the 5k ones were wrong. So I got a new bib.. with no name on it. I guess that’s better than running with the WRONG name.

The night before the race, my Dexcom sensor was being funky. It was 3 weeks old, so I knew it was going to be a little weird, so I let it slide. I did a site change and went to bed.

The next morning I woke up to a 296 blood sugar and a TON of bubbles in the tubing. So at 5am I’m attempting a site change and pushing insulin and fluids to bring it down. Luckily we had a long drive and an even longer wait before my event.

It was a bit colder than I expected, so I ended up running with my jacket that I had planned on leaving with Allen. But I got to see my Twinner (Alli) in the morning, and I knew my coworker Lona was there somewhere too. This race is HUGE so I wasn’t surprised that I couldn’t find her anywhere.

This race boasted their app and the live tracking it offered. Allen normally tracks my location via Apple’s Location Sharing on our iPhones. It normally runs about 1-2 minutes behind real time but is helpful in case I get injured or something happens. But since the race boasted about the tracking that is “the same app Boston uses!” he tracked me on there instead.

At the 1 mike mark, Allen texted me that I was averaging a 9:45 pace and to pace myself. That seemed REALLY fast to me, but I had just gone down a hill, so I shrugged it off. At the 1.5 mike mark, he texted that I only had 1 mile to go! I texted back “WTF, I’m only at 1.5 miles” and we realized then that the app tracking was horribly inaccurate. He switched back to our normal tracking instead.

The race itself was great! It was weird running with SO MANY people and a lot of them didn’t know runners etiquette so I got cut off a lot. The course was a blast. I knew we kept trending downhill and I knew we’d have to come back up eventually, and boy, that hill was a monster. It really helped to see SO MANY people there cheering everyone on, and the funny race signs too.

This was the first race where I actively tried to run based on how I felt rather than what the clock said. And I think it paid off! I finished a little less than 2 minutes slower than my all time record, pacing faster than most of my races last year, even deep into the season. I felt great, my blood sugar behaved, and I did it!

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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.

cnn-tsa

(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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