Tag Archives: type 1 diabetes

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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Food food food

I’ve been trying to eat healthier for the past week or so. I started telecommuting (working from home) last week, and after day 2 I realized that the temptation to get something to snack on from the fridge every hour was going to be detrimental. So I started filling the house with healthy snacks. 


I have many friends who are beachbody coaches, or have done competitive body building, or follow IIFYM, or are just legit amazing people who are all on a journey to better themselves. I want to be like that too, so that’s another aspect of my drive to eat healthier. 


My husband, who is the pickiest eater on the planet, decided he wants to try eating better as well. I’ve been making healthier meals, and even bought the ingredients for protein and fruit-packed smoothies and have been having one every weekday morning. 


Of course, it’s been wreaking havoc on my blood sugar numbers, because my body is used to taking in so much junk and much higher amounts of carbs! (Plus I am move physically active now that I started softball – there will be a post on that later). 


Overall I’m feeling more energetic and I’m hoping that I might see a few pounds come off between eating healthier and being more active, but we’ll see. For now the biggest struggles will be finding recipes that both Allen and I will eat (the fajitas were full of compromise lol) and just to not fall off the wagon! The most important thing for me to remember is small compromises are okay – like having a diet pop once in a while (rather than 2x a day, or going cold turkey on them entirely). 

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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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#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!

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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.

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“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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#DBlogWeek: Shout from the Rooftops

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#DBlogWeek is this AMAZING Diabetic Online Community event where for one week, all us bloggers have a broad topic given to us for each day and we all tackle it in our own way. It’s hosted by Karen over at Bitter~Sweet and this is year 7 of the event!

The first topic for the week is as follows:

Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog? (Thank you, Heather Gabel, for this topic suggestion.)

So why am I here? If you’ve just started following, I was diagnosed at a PM Care facility with diabetes on July 10, 2012. Unfortunately, I was misdiagnosed as type 2 for five long months before being reclassified as type 1 in December 2012. I was 22, married and fresh out of college at diagnosis, and have no family history of type 1 diabetes.

I’m not a typical diabetes case, which is why I was misdiagnosed. I’ve always been on the thin side, and at 22, I was seen as “too old” to have type 1 diabetes. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common misconception, and too often with fatal consequences. I am thankful every day that I am alive.

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(This photo is from the day I was diagnosed)

Unfortunately, children are misdiagnosed as well, and I’m tired of seeing obituaries for children who have been lost to this disease. It’s hard enough to stay alive when your body is trying to kill you from the inside out 24/7, and the insurance companies are trying to make it impossible for you to afford to survive. So I advocate in the only way I know how: never shutting up.

I won’t stop telling my story. I won’t stop tweeting politicians to support important legislature, I won’t stop blogging about the truth even when it’s SO hard to write, I won’t stop connecting with any and every diabetic I meet, I won’t stop sharing the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes, all because I don’t want to attend any more funerals.

So this is the most important diabetes awareness message to me: simply be aware. It can – and does – happen to absolutely anyone. But we keep going, holding out to see a cure someday.

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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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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Filed under LeWayne Productions, Photography, Support system, vacation