Tuesday, December 31, 2013


2013 was a year of transition. I feel as if my diabetes grew from a baby into a toddler. I was able to let my guard down a bit and I finally felt as if I was not thinking about it 24/7. I am at the point where I can pretty much do everything with my eyes closed, which can lead to the occasional error since I am not as careful as I used to be. I also feel like I have let go of some of my control and realized that sometime no matter what I do diabetes has a mind of it's own and I should not get too upset about an unexpected high or low, just correct and move on. This leads me to the best and worst diabetes moments of 2013:

The Worst 

  1. The most upsetting D-moment of the year was when I forgot to bolus (give insulin) for my bagel at breakfast and I did not realize until 2 hours after the fact. I felt like crap and I had no one to blame but myself. I learned that I need to pay more attention but I should not beat myself of up because it was going to happen at some point and if it only happens once every 3 years I can deal with it. 
  2. I had my first encounter with the NO DELIVERY alarm on my pump. This occurs when the insulin is not able to properly pass through the tube into the cannula inside your body. I had to learn how to trouble shoot and was reminded that I always need to bring extra syringes and a vial of insulin with me in case of these situations. 
The Best 
  1. The absolute best thing about this year not just in diabetes management but life in general was getting my Dexcom, Dexter. He has allowed me to relax more, knowing that he will alarm when things get a bit hairy. I would never give up this amazing piece of technology. 
  2. I also had the opportunity to talk with an older classmate who has T1D about how he deals with social aspects with D. He gave me great tips on how I can enjoy my upcoming 21st birthday safely without D getting in the way of the celebration. In general all conversations with diabuddies are ones that I cherish and never forget because we belong to a special club and they just "get it". 
Below is a short snapshot of my 2013 journey with Diabetes:
Happy New Year Y'all!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Blessed with the Best

I love winter break because I get to catch up with my long lost best skating friends that I do not get to see much because we are all busy with college and our "new" lives. It is amazing to see how when we step on the ice together, we magically turn in to our "old selves" and it is almost as if nothing has changed. I felt as if I was in a time warp on the ice as jumps seemed to come back easily and laughter filled the rink.

This girl <3 
I also got to catch up with my BSF (Best Skating Friend) over dinner. When we get together you can bet on there being a lot of pink and purple, diet coke, and all-around silliness. We got to discuss skating, college life, and the excitement of our upcoming 21st birthdays!!!! Of course, the D-monster got in on the conversation too. I am so LUCKY to have someone to discuss the effectiveness of different insertion sites and the feeling of lows with, otherwise I would be a sad lost puppy.
Paradigm 523 on top, Paradigm 723 o the bottom 

We even found time for a in-depth comparison of the medtronic Paradigm pumps. The smaller one is the 523 and it holds up to 180 units of insulin. The larger one is the 723 and it holds up to 300 units. That is the only main difference, as they have identical features when you go through the menu. One visual difference I discovered is that the reservoir for the 523 has a medtronic logo on it that you can see through the little reservoir peep hole. The 723 reservoirs do not have that because the pump has room for the medtronic logo on the front. The debate is still out on which one is more practical, but in the end it does not matter because they both do their job and are a heck of a lot better than shots. I continue to be in awe of the journey I have been on for almost 3 years now and am so blessed to have such wonderful people to share the up's and down's with.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I Won!: A Christmas Story

I will let the wonderfulness of Christmas speak for itself.... 

Happy Happy Happy

Nothing some Chocolate Coins wouldn't fix :)
Moments later I was back to my sibling duties 
This was a blessed CHRISTmas filled with family, friends, joy, laughter, and great food. But as always, I am bit apprehensive to see how all the excitement affects my BG overnight. But this year I am proud to report....
Diabetes: 0 


Monday, December 23, 2013

A Life of Numbers

When I wake up every morning of every day, the first thing I see is the numbers on my BG number. Next I see the numbers on my pump, when I give a correction. Then, I move on to the major equation of counting carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are one of the three main nutrients in food and the one that effects BG so insulin must be used to match the carb intake in order to stay in range. When I was first diagnosed, carb counting was on of the hardest aspects of the disease for me to adjust to. During my first year with T1D I was never without my Calorie King book to look up different foods, a note pad and pencil, and my iPhone calculator. Now, it all is second nature and I can usually do it without even looking at labels.
How many carbs? 

Above is a picture of a lunch I ate one day. The main carbohydrate in this meal was the crackers. In order to see how many carbohydrates for the crackers I look at the nutrition facts label on the package. The serving size on this package is 15 crackers, so there is 21 carbs in 15 crackers. To find out how many carbs are in one cracker you divide 21 by 15 to see that each cracker is 1.4 carbs. I had 12 crackers on my plate for a total of 16.8 carbs, which I round up to 17 carbs. The 1/4 cup of trail mix in the lunch is 12 carbs, while the salami and cheese are carb free. So in total this lunch is 29 carbs (17+12).

No that I am so experienced with carb counting I often SWAG bolus and have gotten really good at eye-balling my carb intake. Now when I look at a plate of food, I actually see numbers floating in my head of different carb amounts, crazy I know:).

63g of Carbs 
 It all come with practice and is very important during this time of the year when you are encountering many foods that may be unfamiliar. Cheers and Carb Count On!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

It brings me down, they pick me up

Diabetes has an incredible talent for screwing things up at the worst possible times but I always try to make the most of these situations.  A few months ago, my college Figure Skating team had it's first competition of the season, and my dear old pal, the D-monster was by my side the ENTIRE time. When we entered the hotel, I knew that this would be an interesting weekend because I was welcomed by a ripped out insertion site, wonderful.

A roller-coaster weekend 
The morning of the competition started out really well, but about an hour before my first event, Dexter began flashing those lovely ???? showing that it did not have a strong signal. This was very disheartening because the entire reason behind getting Dexter was to use him during these events where adrenaline causes bizarre BG spikes. So since the sensor was 8 days olds, I decided to yank it and insert a new one right there in the locker room. I was not sure what the reaction of my teammates would be but most of them treated it like an interesting science experiment and wanted to watch, as many of them are science majors. The joys of being a human pin cushion:).

After my event, I was feeling a bit icky but that it is not unusual to be fighting high BGs at a competition. When we went back to the hotel, I ripped out yet another set while taking off my dress. When went back to the rink, I was still a bit off but these girls are just the sweetest and actually were interested in the process and why I filled up my water bottle about eight times that day and could not stop peeing :/ I literally felt like I could not stand up straight because my stomach was hurting that bad, so of course I was nervous about going out and skating elements for the team. We gave Dexter another name, "the crying baby" as he just was very whiney that day. They helped me find humor in a crappy situation, which is something that I love. The weekend ended on a high note with our team placing 4th overall out of 12 teams. But, the results were not important as the friendship and understanding I gained that weekend. OUFSC rocks!

These peeps are just the best!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Going on a Hunt

There is a creature that lurks around me and I can not get away from them no matter how hard I try. No it is not a spider, nor germs, or even my own reflection. It is TEST STRIPS. They are everywhere and never seem to stay in the trash. If you are ever looking for me, just follow the trail of strips.
So, here is a look at my strips in their natural habitat:

 The Bedroom 
They take over the floor, my desk, and they even sleep with me. 
 My Stuff 

Hiding in my boots and taking over my purse 
 The Car 

I really do try to throw them away, but no matter what I do these little things want to be in the spotlight! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Meet Dexter

Be sure to visit my Dexcom tab to read up my best bud Dexter. I highly recommend him, as he has helped increase the quality of my sleep and thus improve all aspects of my life.

What NOT to put in the stocking of a T1D

During this holiday season, I am always on high alert informing people that I can eat all the sweets everyone else consumes, just in moderation, like everyone else SHOULD be doing. The whole gluten-free thing does throw another wrench into things, but I am determined to make it work. My first Christmas after diagnosis was quite interesting as I had just started on my pump and was still adjusting to the wonderful ability to freely bolus for snacks.
Fill me with peppermint bark- Please & Thank You :)
The one thing that stood out that first year was the contents of my stocking. My very thoughtful Santa had left me sugar-free candy and more fruit than my brother. At first this did not bother me, but soon I realized that it did not have to be that way and the next year I requested my "normal" stocking goodies from my dear old Saint Nick.

What NOT to include in the stocking of a T1D:
  1. Sugar-free Candy (yuck)
  2. Glucose tablets (these are not candy people) 
  3. No more than 3 pieces of fruit 
  4. Lancets (no needles please) 
What TO include in the stocking of a T1D: 
  2. Life savers Christmas Storybooks (great carb information on the package) 
  3. Anything else you would include in the stocking of any random person :)
My one major tip for the holidays is that the entire day/weekend is a BOLUS WORTHY event. Just stay calm, SWAG bolus on, correct, and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Silent Thread

Today, I was sitting at the front office at work as I saw the Fed-EX man walking in. I thought nothing of it and prepared myself to sign the monitor for the packages that were being delivered. As I was signing, I heard the man exclaim excitedly, "What is that?". At first, I had no idea what he was talking about, but then I looked down and saw Dexter, my Dexcom CGM laying on the desk in front of me.
Dexter, sitting pretty

When he asked, I have to admit I was a bit frazzled because I am never sure what a person's perception will be. So, I began rambling off my rehearsed spiel, "I have Type 1 Diabetes and this device measures my blood sugar every 5 minutes to help me stay in range...". The kind Fed-EX man sweetly interrupted, stating "Oh, that's a CGM!". Then time stood still, he was someone who gets it and lives in my world. He must have noticed the "myabetic" logo on my case. He began explaining that his son has Type 1 and wears a Medtronic pump and CGM. We had an excellent discussion about the latest technology and what we have to look forward to in the future. In the background, I could see the other Fed-EX man rolling his eyes, and laughing a bit about how we both knew so much. But in that moment I did not care, I was just blessed to be among people who just "get it".