Friday, July 18, 2014

Show me your pump

          People inspire others every single day. You read about these stories on the news all the time. Usually I don't  pay much attention, but recently a story caught my eye. Sierra Sandison, who was just recently crowned Miss Idaho, wore her T-slim insulin pump out in the open for all to see during the swimsuit competition. People may think that this is no big deal, but in the mind of a T1D this is no small task. It takes extreme courage to put your disease out there in plain site for all to see. I may seem like I am very open with my disease, but my pump is one thing I am self conscious about. Instead of using a pump clip and sticking my pump in my pants pocket, I use a fanny pack type device to conceal it underneath my shirt and am always checking to see if my tubing is hanging out. I don't know why I feel I need to hide it, but it's something I have always done. Deep down I am insecure about having to rely on a device to do something that my body should be capable of doing on it's own.
Pump Selfie 

        Sierra's story has helped me see that if she can wear a bikini on stage in front of thousands of people WITH an insulin pump, then I can casually walk around town with my insulin pump in my pocket for the world to see. She has inspired me not to hide the pride I have for living with Type 1 Diabetes. If people ask questions, I can answer them with confidence knowing I am advocating for a disease that has many misconceptions. Many T1D's acrossed the country have been encouraged by Sierra and there is currently a #showmeyourpump hashtag on instagram where pump users are posting all kinds of selfies with their insulin pumps. Looking at these pictures brings tears to my eyes. It saddens me that we have to wear these devices, but it makes my heart smile knowing we are in this together fighting the same battle, a battle we are winning. SHOW ME YOUR PUMP!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Not normal

Let's not kid ourselves, life with Type 1 diabetes is NOT normal. There is no denying it. 

Pricking your finger 6 times a day is NOT normal
Giving yourself multiple shots a day is NOT normal 
Wearing your pancreas on the outside is NOT normal 
Measuring everything you ingest is NOT normal 
Counting carbs is NOT normal 
Peeing on a stick is NOT normal 
Drinking juice boxes in order to stay alive is NOT normal 

Living this ABNORMAL life comes with challenges but also many victories. 

Everyday is a TREASURE 
Beating high blood sugars is INCREDIBLE 
Teaching others about the disease is a GIFT 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Waterpark Magic and The Power of Friendship

    There are many ways to lower high blood sugar in a T1D. The most common is giving yourself insulin to put yourself back in range. But sometimes you will get a stubborn high that even a boatload of insulin cannot seem to cure. Over the years I have realized that running around a waterpark for a few hours is bound to drop one's BG back into range. Sometimes it drops a little too much, a little too fast.
They have my back all the time :) 
    Recently, my dear friend and I went on a indoor water park adventure. The days prior to that outing I had been having uncharacteristically high BGs even though my carb intake had been low and I was very active. Before entering the park my BG was at about 180 which is ideal before such activity and I had a small uncovered snack. This park had some amazingly cool, fast, and somewhat scary water slides which require walking up steep staircases multiple times carrying inner tubes to slide down on. I felt myself starting to drop at a constant rate but decided to keep going, because once I stopped I knew I would probably not feel well anymore. At one point I finally said to my friend, "look at my hands", which were shaking like a leaf. So she suggested I check right then and there. And I was 50. All I had was a PB&J bar worth 25 carbs. I was not planning on eating all of it because I thought I would just end up high again, but my friend suggested I eat it all so I would not have to stop again. That ended up being the best decision, because after an additional hour of water park fun and the extra carbs, I left the water park with a BG of 65. A little low but nothing a Starbucks treat cannot fix :)
    I am so fortunate to have multiple friends who are eager to learn about how I live and what it takes to live a "normal" life. The friends who notice when I am driving slower than a snail on the road and say "let me drive" because they know I am most likely battling a high BG. The ones who can identify when I am low and are always there when I need to vent. I am so LUCKY to have support like that.