Tag Archives: dexcom

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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I’m Pumped About My New T-Slim Pump

Four years ago, I got my first insulin pump, the Medtronic 530G.

After four years, your pump goes out of warranty. At that time, you’re able to upgrade through insurance. So, back in July, I began the process of getting my new pump even though I wasn’t out of warranty until December. (Of course, the Tandem rep laughed at me in July because it was way too early to even start paperwork or anything).

After 3 weeks involving 37 phone calls (no joke!), I finally have my new insulin pump in hand: the Tandem T-Slim X2.

I’m so obsessed with this pump. It’s rechargeable so I don’t have to worry about always having spare AAA batteries on me. It syncs right with my Dexcom G5 so if my phone dies or gets misplaced, I can still monitor my blood sugar. It’s touch screen and doesn’t look like a damn pink pager.

After 2 days, here’s my impression so far:

The T-Slim’s more precise boluses are great, and although there are more steps for the bolus screens on the T-Slim and some people may find that irritating, I feel like it’s a good safeguard against accidental incorrect boluses

Medtronic’s menus are way more complicated and hard to navigate than the T-Slim’s are

T-Slim’s screen is bright and easy to read

The T-Slim primes so much slower than my old Medtronic pump did

Filling the reservoir/cartridge on the T-Slim feels more archaic than the Medtronic (since it uses a 2 piece syringe separate from the cartridge rather than Medtronic’s simple clip-it-on-the-vial setup)

Even with everything on vibrate, the T-Slim still audibly alarms when you’re starting a new cartridge, you’re below 55 mg/dL, and when you plug it in to charge (not so great when I’m at work in my quiet office) However the Medtronic also audibly alarms when you’re starting a new cartridge and also all the time when the battery is low, which happens after like 2 weeks and then you can run on a low battery for another 3 weeks-ish, so Tandem gets the point on this one

Tandem doesn’t have a Quickset equivalent so I have to use their Mio equivalent. I’m not a fan of Mios but I will get used to it eventually

The T-Slim’s case (and specifically the metal belt clip) feels so much more secure and heavy-duty than Medtronic’s flimsy plastic belt clip did. We will see how it holds up

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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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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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Apple Watch vs Pebble Time vs …Softball??

I recently joined a softball league that my work is sponsoring. I am NOT sporty/athletic but I had played in middle school on a league and we were really good (we won the city championships both years, the first year as underdogs!) plus my best friend Katie is the one who started assembling the league. 


Of course, things were way different when I played in middle school. I was 12/13 years old – it was literally half my life ago. I was in better shape and I was not diabetic at that time. 

Today is our first game. I’ve been struggling with finding the perfect bg balance during practices. Most times I’m running ultra high even though it’s been 90 degrees and super humid, but one practice I did crash low and had to sit and smash a few rolls of smarties while everyone else kept practicing. That sucked. 


As much as I LOVE my Apple Watch for monitoring my bg during various activities, I have to do what’s best for me out on the field so I can perform at my best. That’s why I made this decision: I will be wearing my Pebble Time while playing softball. Here’s why!


1) Constant display! The Simple CGM Spark watchface updates every time my Dexcom does meaning I have live readings at a glance! 

1a) I have to sidebar and note that the WatchSugar app I have on my Apple Watch is great, but it only updates every 20 minutes or so. This is an issue on Apples side of not updating Complications. It will be changed in WatchOS3 coming out next week where we can have timely Dexcom updates on the watchface. 

1b) Also note, the native Dexcom app gives live updates but it is not ON the watchface. I have to navigate to it. And then wait for it to update. I can’t use that much time staring at my watch while on the ball field!

2) I will be a LOT less devastated if my Pebble gets destroyed by a line drive than if my Apple Watch did. 

2a) The Pebble is pretty rugged. It has a couple scratches on the face, sure, but overall it’s pretty tough! Sadly I feel like my Apple Watch wouldn’t take the abuse as well. 

3) Since I’m only using it for softball, I shut off all the extra stuff on my pebble. I don’t need my calendar, or text message notifications, etc while I’m on the field. That’s a lot easier to do than switching those settings on and off all the time on my Apple Watch!

4) Battery life. The Pebble lasts way longer than the Apple Watch. Plus it charges so fast, I could throw it on the charger 10 minutes before a game and probably have enough juice for the whole game. Not the case with my Apple Watch. 


One of the big Cons to this setup is that my Move goals on the Apple Watch won’t be accurate. Of course I’m gonna be moving during the games and since I’m not wearing my Apple Watch, my “rings” won’t catch that movement and I’ll look super lazy on those days 😉 But it’s a small trade for the benefits of using my Pebble on the field!

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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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