Thursday, May 16, 2013


We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you've made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small - think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.). (Thanks to Hilary of Rainie and Me for this topic suggestion.)

Becoming independent with my care is probably my greatest accomplishment. I was diagnosed the summer before going into high school. I remember about a month or so after I was diagnosed, my sister and I were invited on a camping trip up in Maine. My mom broke the news that she didn't think I should go since I was so newly diagnosed...I was devastated....but who knows what would have happened without her there. She was still doing all my injections, still checking up on me in the middle of the night to make sure I was still breathing. There was no way I could have gone on that camping trip without her.

Fast forward a few months to October. My friend invited me to her Halloween was a slumber party. I was SO SCARED that my mom was going to have to come and give me my dinner and breakfast injection. Being in high school, all I wanted was some independence. Luckily, I was able to successfully give myself both my dinner and breakfast injections without my mom coming to help me. I honestly think that was my proudest moment. Before that moment, I felt like I was on a leash. Just as I was starting to gain some independence at the end of middle school, it was almost like it was all taken away from me in an instant after the diagnosis. Going to that party without having to call my mom to come give me a shot gave me the confidence I needed to take on more and more responsibilities in my diabetes care.

Now, fast forward to today. I'm 22...out of college...and have total independence. I'm so proud of how far I've come.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere.... your or your loved one's diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share. (Thanks to Jasmine of Silver-Lined for this topic suggestion.)

My most memorable diabetes day is probably not the day of my diagnosis...but the day after.

The day after my diagnosis, my mom and I went back to the hospital to meet with a CDE and start our training. The CDE I was working with also happened to be an RD. We started off learning about the basics of diabetes, signs and symptoms of hyer/hypoglycemia, how to treat hyper/hypoglycemia, insulin peak times, how to give injections, and my favorite part....carbohydrate counting. I fell in love with the nutrition portion of her education. She brought out plastic food models, gave me handouts, we practiced making meals with different carbohydrate was so much fun. The real test was when she had my mom and I go to the cafeteria and pick up some lunch. We had to document what I chose to eat and how many carbohydrates were in that meal. We rocked it.

While we were at lunch, my RD came up with a day-to-day meal plan. I was on MDI at this time, so I had to eat a set amount of carbohydrates at the same times every day. I still remember exactly how it worked out: 7am 40-50 gm, 10am 25-35gm, 12pm 90-100 gm, 2:30pm 15-20gm, 4:30pm 15-20gm, 7pm 65-75gm, 9pm 25-35 gm. This schedule ruled my world for an entire year. As annoying as it was to always stick to this eating schedule, it taught me a great deal. I learned the importance of regular meals and became an expert carb counter. Give me a food in any quantity and I will tell you how many carbs are in it.

This was the day that opened my eyes to the wonderful world of dietetics. When I went home that night, being the nerd I am, I read all my nutrition for diabetes information I could get my hands on. I read every food label I came in contact with...even if I was not planning on eating that food. I LOVE DIETETICS and I honestly don't think I would have discovered this awesome career had I not been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes sucks....but it really was a blessing in disguise.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We, The Undersigned

Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let’s pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) - get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change? (Thanks to Briley of inDpendence for this topic suggestion.)

I would choose to petition insurance companies and their limits on the number of test strips they allot to each patient. This is a problem I have run into on a couple of occasions. Back when I first started college in 2008, I once ran out of test strips. My mom and I tried to call and order new strips, but CVS told us our insurance company had denied our request. We then called the insurance company who told us that I could not reorder anymore test strips at this time because I went over my prescription and had "abused" my strips. I think that is the most ridiculous response ever. How can one abuse their test strips?? I feel like insurance companies sometimes make diabetics walk a fine line between being cautious and staying healthy in hopes of preventing future complications and saving money. It's not fair. I shouldn't have to be worried about testing too many times in one day....I'm probably saving the money by keep my blood sugars in optimum range and preventing costly complications down the amputations and renal disease.

It's unbelievable.

That being said, I'm petitioning larger maximum allotments of test strips per person. I'm tired of worrying about going over my monthly limit. Why should we have to worry about going over our monthly limit? Aren't we supposed to be testing often?

Why we need to test often.....

Monday, May 13, 2013

D-Blog Week: Share and Don't Share.

Day 1 post for diabetes blog week!

Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one's daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don't see?

I feel like my doctor and care team seem to understand what my daily life with diabetes is like- I REALLY DO. I give myself such a hard time about my control and constantly need to remind myself that the numbers aren't always going to be perfect. LIFE HAPPENS. Luckily, my care team is always on my side. In fact, at my last appointment, I was explaining my current situation to my APRN. I was throwing out all these ideas of how to achieve better control. One idea in particular was to stop eating fruit at breakfast (an idea I got from gestational diabetic nutrition therapy). MY APRN quickly shot down that idea and reminded me that I'm 22 years old. Go out, have fun, eat good food, take my insulin, and test my blood sugar. LIVE LIFE AND ENJOY IT. I love this woman. Ever since visiting her, I have felt so much better. This is why I feel like my doctor and team understand what my daily life is like. There's no need to explain anything to them.

It's not my medical team that I wish could see what my daily life with diabetes is like...but there are other people in my life that I wish could see how difficult it can be. I don't appreciate being called a "bad diabetic." I take better care of my health than a lot of people out there...just ask my care team. I get upset and cry if my A1c is above 6. All they want to see is one below 7.

I think the reason people sometimes says this to me is because they see the type of food I'm eating. Let's face it... I love food and refuse to deprive myself of one of my greatest pleasures in life. This is why I have an insulin pump. I eat what I want and bolus for it. I just want to be treated like a "normal" person without diabetes. Please don't tell me I'm a "bad diabetic" when you see my heaping bowl of froyo or my cranberry vodka at the bar. I know my body and I know how to work my insulin pump/glucometer. There are a million and one thoughts that go through my head on a daily basis when it come to taking care of myself. Am I low, when was the last time I tested, we're going for a walk??...better eat a little something before we go, do I have my starbursts with me, how much insulin do I have on board, do I have enough insulin left in my pump, how many carbs are in this....the list goes on and on and on. I honestly don't need the comments.

I'm so happy to get that off my chest. Thanks for reading.....and a BIG THANKS to my diabetes team for being so supportive. That includes my doctor, APRN, mom, and close friends. I love you all.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Checkup (finally)!

Last week, I finally had my endocrinologist appointment! It actually went better than I expected. My mom and I made bets on what my A1c would be before going into the appointment. I bet 7.1…so had a little more faith and bet 5.7. Turns out, my A1c was 5.7. Initially, I was pretty excited! The APRN was a bit concerned. We downloaded my meter and I was averaging numbers in the 200s….not exactly a 5.7. We think I’m not detected all my lows, which is bringing down my A1c.

Looks like I’m starting my sensor again! WAHHHHH. In 2010, I got the Dexcom sensor and LOVED it…but I lost the monitor and never got a new one. In 2011, I decided it was time to try out the Medtronic sensor considering I had the Medtronic pump. I ended up using it for a couple of weeks and hating it. To be fair, I don’t think I gave it much of a chance. I’m back on the Medtronic sensor and things are beginning to look up! The sensor really is helping me catch a bunch of lows that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise noticed. It’s scary to realize that I’ve been walking around like this….sleeping through these! The only thing I dislike about the Medtronic sensor is the needle. It’s so intimidating. It took me nearly 2 hours to work up the courage to insert it last week. Luckily, it looks scarier than it feels and I was so surprised with how little pain I felt inserting the needle.

In other news,I think I'm going to participate in the Fourth Annual Diabetes Blog Week! More posts to come! =]