Monday, April 28, 2014

My favorite time of the year...

      I love spring because it means the season of glitter, spotlights, costumes, and annoying songs is upon us. ICE SHOW TIME!!!The time of the year that I spend more time focusing on sparkles than I do focusing on sugar. This marks my 14th consecutive year being involved in a ice show production and I could not imagine myself doing anything else.
Ice show selfie with the best yo 
     I just love the atmosphere backstage and the excitement that fills the air when skaters and coaches come to come together and work hard towards a common goal. Backstage everyone is "ice show happy", this unique happiness where people openly sing and dance to every single song and let their goofy side show through. It is one instance that every thought of D leaves my body and surprisingly my BG remains stable generally. People are always worried that I am not ok because I act so silly, but that's just me and I am able to be like that when my BG is in good range. But by the end of each show, I usually crumble into a sugar-starved mess when apple juice becomes my best friend. But it is all worth it. Skating is the best outlet for me and ice shows are an awesome extension of this fabulous sport. 
Just a little GOOFY 

Friday, April 25, 2014


        I am usually a very organized person when it comes to keeping a schedule. I have a talent for not only remembering my own schedule, but also those of my closest friends. It is not uncommon for me to get a text message asking me what someone was supposed to do that day. I also love having my school binders organized and have an obsession with planning a head. Most people would agree that oblivious is not an appropriate adjective to describe me with.
       But when it come detecting low BGs, I am the epitome of oblivion. It seems that when I was first diagnosed, I was more aware because the sensation of being low was new and unusual. But now it seems as if I have become immune to that feeling and body is ignoring the signs. I have also found that I can function quit well even in the 40's and 50's, although I know that is not a good thing. On numerous occasions I have skated with a BG of 40 or below. I got a Dexcom CGM to help with my apparent unawareness, and it has a major help but nights are still scary. I am awesome at sleeping through my low alarm for up to 3 hours until my parents finally get annoyed, come in my room and say "drink some juice yo". There has been occasions when I have slept with a BG below 60 for up to 4 hours. I just don't feel it or hear the alarm of my CGM. And this is not good. It makes going to sleep seem like a frightening prospect at times.
      I have talked with many of my diabuddies about this and they  all describe this internal feeling they get that wakes them up when they are low. But unfortunately I do not have that trait. So the CGM is my best bet. Being oblivious is NOT COOL.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Anatomy of Finals Week

     Finals week is always a stressful time. It feels like there is so much to get done but not enough time, so I always try to start early and be prepared.
Calm before the storm
       But after I just get into my studying groove, I am often rudely interrupted by a tingling, lightheaded feeling. The brains start to get mushy and no process is being made. This time around I have been having a case of the lows, some semesters it is a case of the highs, but it is always something. 

Awesome :( 
     So then I am forced to stop, take a break, and stock up on some sugar to get my brains back in to gear. I loose my train of thought and I have to start all over again. 
Finals Fuel 
         By this point, I am aggravated, over tired, and annoyed. So my studying habits become a lot more sporadic, less organized, and continue later into the night. 
Cramming Session 
     Diabetes just does not want to feel left out. Finals takes up 100% of a college students time, but Diabetes is selfish and always wants some of your time too. I just don't have time for you right now D, go away!!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The way I am

    Recently on Facebook, one of my second mom's who just happens to be the mom of my BFF and fellow T1D shared one of my blog posts and thanked me for being open about the disease and sharing my feelings in a humerous manner. And that got me thinking about how I got to this point, where I am freely sharing my story.
    The amazing girl pictured above is the reason. I met E when we were 7 years old in learn to skate classes, and we became fast friends. Over that summer, E was diagnosed T1D. I remember my mom explaining to me that now E had to give herself "medicine" to help her but that she was still the same friend I had always known and nothing had changed. I remember the early days when she had to wait to eat at certain times. One of my biggest memories was her excitement about getting her first insulin pump because she was able to eat snacks whenever she wanted to.
    There were some  crazy times too. Like when we were at skating competitions and sometimes E would not being feeling well. Back then I did not understand why, but now I know that it was an adrenaline induced high BG. She never let it stop her, and was an amazing competitor. Another time, E was sleeping over at my house, and announced her reservoir was low. I did not know what the heck a reservoir was, but her dad came, they refilled it, and  she was good to go. Then there was our trip to Colorado where we were so excited that insulin was accidentally left in the car and was spoiled by the hot Colorado sun. But never fear, you can get prescriptions transferred to any CVS in the US, so the problem was quickly solved and a new insulin vial was in their hands.
   So when I was diagnosed I was prepared. I had the most amazing friend sister by my side and numerous experiences to look back on and say to myself, "I can do this too". From day one, I knew a pump was in my future because I had seen first hand what an irreplaceable tool it can be. When things would go wrong at the beginning, instead of getting upset I would just think about how E would handle this situation. By her actions, she made me see that D is not a deal breaker, just a bump in the road of this crazy life. Beyond all that, she is one of the smartest, most caring, and talented people I know. I am so thankful to have her and her family in my life. I would not be where I am today without them.
Friends forever & always 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Life Support

3 months of life support 
    Today I received my 3 month supply of pump and CGM supplies. I remember the first time I got one of these shipments. It was a very large box containing my original pump, numerous reading materials, 3 boxes of infusion sets, and 3 boxes of reservoirs. My mom was surprised by all of the "stuff" I needed and couldn't believe that it would only last 3 months. It is sometimes hard to realize that without this technology I would not be where I am today. These supplies are not optional, they are a requirement and something I must have to live. At times, I wish I did not need all this paraphernalia.
New PINK infusion sets 

     But, whether I like it or not, I need these things. I am blessed with how advanced the technology has become and how these supplies allow me to live an independent life where D takes the backseat. I am thankful for my insurance plan allowing me to use these advanced technologies, because many around the world struggle to obtain even the simplest supplies of sterile needles and adequate insulin. So I get excited for my new supplies to arrive, instead of being upset that I need them. I look forward to trying out new infusion sets and figuring out what works best for me. I am a diabetes geek. But, being involved in my care helps make me feel in control of a disease that often controls me. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What it's like...

        I am very open about my T1D, sometimes I even talk about it too much. I usually announce when I am having an extreme high or low, so now many of my friends can recognize my symptoms. That is very comforting to know that they are watching out for me. Usually that's where their curiosity stops.
       But once in a while I find people who want to know more. They want to know what it is like. How I feel when I am high or low. I try my best to explain, but there really are no words. It is an out of body experience where you are no longer in control of your actions. But that description does not do the awful experience justice, you have to feel it for yourself. One day I simply told my friend, "I wish you had diabetes for just one day, so you can see how it feels". Her response: "me too, I want to know what it's like". And that is just what I needed to hear. Thank goodness for best friends <3

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A different path...

      College is a time of major transformation in all aspects of life for teenagers. The beginning of my college career was made more difficult with my T1D diagnosis just months before starting my freshman  year. Everything in my life was up in the air and I just rushed through all the senior year activities. My surprising diagnosis kind of scared me away from going away for school, so I choose a highly rated University in my area. I love the school, but sometimes I wish I would have made different decisions. At the time, I was dead set and confident in my choice in major for my undergraduate degree . I thought everything would work out.
      Fast forward two years, and I became a completely different person. I am comfortable in my own skin and feel "almost all grown up". As I have matured, my passion has also transformed. As a way of coping with my T1D, I have turned to advocating for myself and all others living with the disease. I can spend up to 2 hours a day researching possible treatments and love educating others about the disease. I feel as if I was diagnosed with T1D for a reason, and I need to use my voice to do everything I can to help others living the D-life. I have now committed myself to becoming a registered dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). I hope to work in pediatrics because I just feel newly diagnosed children will react well to working with someone who knows how it feels. I want to do everything I can to help them live their life to the fullest and enjoy every moment.
      Three years ago I never would have imagined my life going in this direction, but everything happens for a reason and I know this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life. I am so excited to see what the future holds.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Live the moments

           I often find that all I can think about is medical junk. Questions like: "how many carbs?", "is that gluten-free?", "should I adjust my basal rates?", "do I have enough supplies?", and "how will skating affect my numbers?" fill my mind. I try so hard to block them out but being a perfectionist makes that an uphill battle. I also am very sensitive to the slightest drop or increase in BG, so it is never far from my thoughts. It is on my mind every hour of every day. My closest friends can tell when it is really getting to me, and they remind me I just have to let it go because it will never be perfect, I can just do my best.
        Some days, it is impossible to ignore. But that makes the good days even more special. Those days when I make the decision to not let the D-monster win and enter in my mind. Those moments when I forget about D and just live in the moment. I owe it to myself to let that happen more often. One day at a time...