Friday, March 28, 2014


Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s 
about learning to dance in the rain.
         There are four nights of the year when I am completely dying inside. Those 4 appointments a year to the endocrinologist are at the back of my mind constantly. I am so fortunate to have a fabulous endo team behind me that allows me to be the navigator of my own disease. Whenever I bring up new treatment options that I have researched, such as going gluten free to improve my control and stomach issues, they supported me 100%. When I asked for a prescription to get a Dexcom CGM, they gave the ok even though they worried that I did not have enough space on my small frame to hold all these devices. They always let me try new things because they know it is my disease and I know what I need to have the best control possible.
          Even with all of this support I still get totally spooked about having my A1C test each visit. This test measures your average blood glucose and level of control for the past 3 months. I look at it like a report card of how well I carb count and correct, and how responsible I am. I know I am always hard on myself because the D-monster can never be completely controlled, but I am a perfectionist and am always looking for a good number. I know that this number does not define me, but I still strive for the best. I was particularly concerned at my latest appointment because I have had a pretty crummy 3 months with a hospitalization, major illness, and broken pump. I was expecting the worst, but I was pleasantly surprised with a 7.2, which converts to average BG of 160! I am very pleased that even with the difficulties I am still battling the D-monster and winning.
I need to locate my transmitter, oops! 
          Next, I got to visit with the best endo ever, Dr. G. When I first met him when I was scared and weak in my hospital bed, I liked him immediately. He taught me that diabetes was just a part of me and it does not define me. We have become great friends and he talks to me like a real person and not just a patient. I am dreading having to leave the pediatrics practice and graduate to the big girl endo. He promised me today I am welcome until I am 24!!! I told him about my plans to obtain a dietetics degree and then become a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) after completing my degree in education. He was thrilled by this, and says he would love to have me in his office someday. That is my real dream. Before leaving, he asked me if I would be interested in helping him recreate the D support group in his office. He would like me and some of the older patients with D to mentor the younger ones. So, a summer meet-up at the zoo is being planned. I find so much joy in helping others navigate this crazy life, so I am really excited. Whenever I start to freak about endo appointments in the future, I must remember all the great things that come out of them.
Proud to be T1D! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Ordering a venti black iced coffee tells you many things:
  1. I am battling high BG < so thirsty > 
  2. Avoiding extra sugar 
  3. Sleepless nights battling the D- monster are tiring
  4. I am a Starbucks addict!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Never Alone

        Diabetes can be a lonely disease. Having high and low BGs countless times throughout each and every day is exhausting. Sometimes you just feel alone and it's hard to explain these feelings to others. So on the rough days, it is nice to be able to share stories about battles against the D-monster with others who speak the same "language". I am beyond blessed to have  friends to talk to and share the hard times with. Together on the journey to a cure...
<3 Blessed with the best 

"Some of the most comforting words that can be heard are 'me too.' That moment when you find out that your struggle is also someone else's struggle and that you're not alone, fighting that same battle."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Pump that couldn't take a Bump

Always a blast with these girlies 
     I have often talked about how T1D seemingly knows when important events are on the horizon. And the D-monster struck again at just the right time when I was out of state for the final intercollegiate figure skating competition of the season. I always go low during travel, so the 7 hour car ride was interesting trying to keep the BG up while controlling my carsickness tendencies. But we made it, got settled in the hotel, and I began to feel better.
     The next morning was the day of the individual events. I woke up with a spot on BG of 93. Before leaving for the rink, I put on my dress and took my pump out of its fabric pouch and clipped it to my dress with my pump clip. Once arriving at the competition, it was business as usual placing my hair in a bun in the locker room. My friend was assisting me with this, when she announced, "your back is BEEPING". And this beep was different than anything I have ever heard, it was like an ambulance siren. At first I wasn't to worried, thinking it was just sitting in a bad position. I found it was alarming due to a button error, which I am familiar with and is usually solved by pressing the act and escape buttons, but not this time. After working on it for about 20 minutes, I just had a sinking feeling that it was a goner. So I turned my attention to coping without it. I texted my mom this info, and the poor lady was in shock and worried about how I would handle this crap alone. The mission was to get my hands on some Lantus (long acting insulin) because I knew I would be on shots for the remainder of the trip. I had about an hour and half before I was set to compete, so a team parent, Mrs. S (aka my lifesaver), my wonderful buddy, S, and I headed off to the nearest CVS pharmacy. I had thought my Lantus prescription was on file there, but it turned out to be out of date. So we contacted my endo and got an emergency prescription filled, and the dr. gave me a dosage to start with. We got back to the rink about 30 minutes before my event and Mrs. S began talking with Medtronic about my bum pump. Things were back on the right track...
This girl is my lifesaver 
     My on-ice warm up began, and as soon as my blades touched the ice I knew something was very wrong. My legs felt so heavy as if I was to skate on top of silly puddy. I was also feeling so like headed and naouseas. When the referee announced 1 minute remaining in the warm up, I went over to my amazing team coach, CanCan and said, "I feel low". So S went running for glucose tabs and returned right before my name was called to skate. As I went out, I was determined to not let D stop me from doing what I loved. All my elements were clean but I was mentally "lost" and forgot my program, something I have never done in my 13 years of competing. When I got off the ice, I felt like absolute CRAP. A check of the BG revealed I was not experiencing a low, but an epic high of 471. The stress of the situation, combined with the loss of insulin due to pump failure caused this reverse reaction. This was the toughest part of the day because it shows how D can effect one's ability to do tasks that they can easily do. I have been skating for 17 years, but at that moment all my ability was taken away from me. This is why we need a CURE!
     After that event I was able to relax a bit, do some corrections and eat a low carb meal. By late that afternoon I finally reached stability. And after about 2 hours on the phone, Mrs. S had arranged the delivery of a replacement insulin pump to my house by early Monday morning, meaning that I only had survive on shots for 48 hours. I never figured out why the pump broke, but it was just a flukey thing and technology is not perfect. After the days events, we headed back to the hotel where I felt yucky again. This continued for the rest of the trip because I was having trouble figuring out the proper insulin doses and was constantly battling high blood sugars, which brings on major nausea for me. But the trip was not all misery, I have incredible friends that kept me laughing and always know how to get me do be my silly self.
     This was one of the hardest trips I have been on, both emotionally and physically, but I learned so much. first off, I will always carry extra Lantus with me when I go on long out of state trips. Secondly, I learned I can get through anything and T1D cannot get me down for long. Thirdly, I was once again blown away by the support of my team. These girls are always there for me and do not judge. I can depend on them and I hope they feel they can depend on me. I love OUFSC!!!!!

And my new pump arrived right on time and all is well on the Diabetes front, until my next adventure :)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A kick in the butt

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" -Phillippians 4:13
                       Sometimes I feel like I cannot do all the things everyone else can. I know I can do it, but many times I do not feel up to putting in the extra effort so I avoid certain foods and situations in attempt to not rock the "blood sugar boat". Lately, I have been challenging myself to overcome these fears. So one day my friend and I went out for Chinese food. This is a big deal because my body is very sensitive to white rice and many of the sauces used to make Chinese food. But I challenged myself to look past the numbers and enjoy the food, experience, and fellowship. The meal went well and my numbers were stable. 
This is what high BG and ketones 

look like
                     That night I began feeling yucky with stomach pain and "brain fog", very similar to how I feel when I have a failed pump site, so I woke up in the middle of the night to check my BG but it was still stable, so I drifted off to sleep but the bad feelings remained. Next thing I knew I was vomiting. This was my first time doing this with diabetes, so I sprang into action by drinking lots of fluids. I had work early that morning, which I decided to attend since it was a short shift and I was feeling OK. But during the shift things got worse. I was dying inside, and could not think of eating or even looking at food. When I got home from work, I check for ketones and they were large, BG was in the high 400s, I had unbearable nausea, and I was unable to keep any food down. So off to the hospital I went. 
               After arriving in the hospital, I received the miracle nausea drug, ZOFRAN, and IV fluids to rehydrate my now weakened body. I was admitted over night due to the fact I was in slight DKA. This was my first hospitalization since my diagnosis, and it truly did freak me out. It brought back to light the severeness of diabetes and the how quickly complications can arise. I am lucky that I bounced so quickly and it was not a severe case of DKA. I thought this experience would make me more scared to try new things that may affect my T1D, but I have found it has added extra motivation to not let the disease stop me from living the life I want to live. 
"Every human being is the author of his own health or disease" -Buddha