Tag Archives: insulin pump

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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Pepto Bismol Pink

I’ve had my insulin pump for 3.5 years now. I got the Minimed 530G in December 2013 when it was still very new. The entire time, I’ve had one pump – my black one named Artemis. 


Unfortunately, over the Fourth of July weekend, I noticed a severe crack in Artemis, and was forced to call Medtronic for a replacement, since I’m still under warranty. Cracks can and do happen with pumps, especially since they’re worn 24/7/365 for 4+ years, and Medtronic customer service agreed to replace my pump without a fuss.  


The problem is, the only replacement pumps they had in stock were pink. Now, I like pink well enough, but this new pump is Pepto Bismol Pink. 



I hate it so much. However, it isn’t broken, so I guess I can deal with it until I upgrade, probably at the end of the year. So for now, I have an ugly pink pump. Good thing it stays in my pocket most of the time!

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oo5. More like Longest Course Ever

Today’s “Longest Day 5K” was absolutely brutal. 


I knew it would be. Any course going through a nature preserve is going to be tough. Yet somehow I was shocked when I rounded the first corner and started my way up a big hill. 

And somehow I was still shocked when I had to tackle puddles, mud, narrow trails, rickety wooden bridges, stairs, and insane heat. 

It didn’t help when the water station at mile 2.3 was handing out warm koolaid instead of water. Really? Ew. 

However, Allen kept watch on me through me sharing my location via iPhone and continually texted me updates as I ran, which showed on my Apple Watch and kept me motivated. 


I had bought an arm band designed for some obscure MP3 player to carry my Dexcom receiver in, to free up some room in my flipbelt. It did the job, but I hated it, so I’m not sure if I’ll use it again or not. When I got sweaty it started to slide around my arm, and when I tightened it, it pinched my skin. It was nice having my Dex right there though, so I didn’t have to keep trying to flip through Apple Watch screens to get to the Dexcom readings. I’d recommend it if you’re wanting something to wear on your arm for Dex. It’s a tight fit to get the receiver in and it sticks out on the end a little but it was very snug and secure. 


My blood sugar was a steady 115 most of the afternoon. An hour before race time, I did a temp basal rate of 60% insulin for an hour because I knew once I started running, I’d drop. I was drifting down so I had a roll of smarties about half an hour before race time. I started the race at 108 and peaked at 140 around the 2 mile mark. I finished the race back near 110. 

So did I beat my goal time for the race? No. I was almost 6 minutes slower than last week. However this course was ridiculously tough, and I still did pretty well. I was 93rd overall for women and 187th out of everyone, out of 244 people. 


So I didn’t do amazing. But I didn’t quit, even when I really considered it at mile 0.75. I kept going even when i was completely by myself and thought I took a wrong turn at mile 2. Even when I thought I was going to puke at mile 3. 


The course was absolutely gorgeous, and that was awesome in itself. Also, this was my first chip timed course so that was a neat experience!


And I got a free beer at the finish, so that was cool too. 

Thanks Chris for somehow convincing me to do yet another 5k. I don’t know how many more you’re going to be able to talk me into, but so far, I’m having fun. 

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#DBlogWeek: They Don’t Care About You

diabetesblogweek7

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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#DBlogWeek: Please Don’t Say…

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

Today is day three of #DBlogWeek! Here’s today’s topic:

Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don’t care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let’s explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.

Am I a person with diabetes? Am I a diabetic? There are a whole bunch of articles discussing the differences, what is proper, etc.

Here’s my take: I don’t care if I’m described as a person with diabetes or as a diabetic. But that’s because I have bigger fish to fry.

do care when people say I’m “suffering from diabetes.”

Yes, I have a chronic, as-of-yet incurable autoimmune disease. But is this the face of someone who is suffering?

No. No, it isn’t.

So please, be mindful of your wording when it comes to that. I am not suffering, so please don’t say I am! 🙂

Read more posts for #DBlogWeek here.

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#DBlogWeek: Over-Teched

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

Today’s #DBlogWeek topic is:

We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk?

This is so timely for me because I just took a couple short technology breaks last week. One was because my husband and best friend both took me to the Prom!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset prom1

Okay, so it was an adult Prom, but Allen and I were not allowed to attend Prom in high school, so we went the full 9 yards and got flowers and everything.

And although I’m sure I could have stuffed my pump somewhere, or even gotten a dress with pockets, I decided I wanted to be free for a night of fun with my husband and friend so I switched to MDI for the evening. I did keep my Dexcom on though.

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Then later in the week, I decided I wanted to be free from my pump again, since I had to pull my Dexcom sensor anyway because after almost 4 weeks, it was starting to get pretty wonky. So I took a couple days and went back to old fashioned MDI.

insulinpens

“So why did you switch back to pens?”, asked a girl on Instagram. While technology is great and I am hopelessly addicted to my cell phone, I do get overwhelmed sometimes. I get frustrated that it’s time to change my site (AGAIN!?!), I get annoyed with the incessant beeping and vibrating of the pump and CGM, and I get tired of having all the things all over my body.

Sometimes I just want to be ABBY, not ABBY+TECH.

free

It’s something that [probably] doesn’t make sense to those of you who don’t deal with a medical device attached to your body, keeping you alive, 24/7/365, but to those who go through this like I do, I’m sure I’m not alone. Diabetes burnout is real, and so is technology burnout. For me, occasional tech breaks help me avoid both of these burnouts.

Read more posts for #DBlogWeek here.

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When the Only Choice is No Choice

UnitedHealthcare reached an agreement with Medtronic to become the preferred, in-network durable medical equipment (DME) provider of insulin pumps, effective July 1, 2016. (Source)

Even if you and your doctor decide a different company’s insulin pump is right for you, you won’t be able to get it through UnitedHealthcare unless you pay out of pocket for it, because their preferred company is now Medtronic. This is kind of like how the insurance companies currently dictate the brand of meters and test strips you’re able to get.

And it’s bad news bears for those with T1D and UnitedHealthcare. 

When an insurance company dictates my therapy, they’re possibly inhibiting my quality of life. If I have to be attached to a medical device 24/7 for 4 years, I want it to be 1) something I like and 2) something that works for me. And my diabetes is not the same as others’ diabetes, and pumps are not one-size-fits-all. 

I appreciate Tandem immediately issuing a statement. Their CEO is quoted in the image below, and I couldn’t agree more. 


If this is the new direction medical insurance and healthcare is going, then it’s going to get really, REALLY bad for us. It’s not like I can very easily (if at all) choose a different insurance provider that works with the pump company I prefer! 

So what do we do?

Well, I’m making as much noise as possible on social media. And a lot of others are too. I’m tweeting with the hashtags #mypumpmychoice and #patientsoverprofits and tagging UnitedHealthcare in those tweets. I’m sending information on this change to every diabetic I know so they can make noise too. 


It may be a dull roar right now, but this is very quickly blowing up. I’m hoping for a firestorm, and for UHC to realize how asinine, degrading, and greedy their new policy is. 

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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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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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Filed under LeWayne Productions, Photography, Support system, vacation

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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