Full circle?

I have been trying to reorganize my diabetes supplies. My upcoming trip to London prompted this, but I’ve realized overall I need to be more organized. And where better to start than my diabetes supplies that I access every single day??

I currently have a Vera Bradley cosmetic bag where I keep my go to items. One infusion set, the inserter, a reservoir, my insulin vial that I’m currently using, AAA batteries for my pump, a variety of tapes, prep pads, etc. It’s the bag I grab when it’s time for a site change.

image

I’ve been using this for a couple of years now and it works fine. But as you can see, it’s pretty messy.

And when I travel, I have a pink Libby Lu drawstring backpack that was my step daughter’s that I’ve been using for about 10 years now- I just load it with all my extra supplies and put it in my carry on bag. Again, not very organized.

I’ve been looking into several options for daily storage, as well as something efficient for traveling. My first thought was Myabetic– those cases are awesome. But it looks like they’re geared more toward storing MDI supplies, and not as much for pump supplies – those infusion sets and inserters take up a lot of room!

Then my friend, Sarah, told me she uses a cosmetic bag from Initials Inc. It looked really good so it’s still an option.

I have been known to overthink things too much. ;)

Well, tonight I remembered that I still have my very first case that I was given in the hospital almost 23 years ago when I was Dx’d. It was ginormous to carry everywhere I went. I carried my meter, bottle of test strips, syringes, a vial of insulin, a freezer pack that I had to remember to freeze when I was at home, ketone strips, alcohol wipes.. It was a lot. And it was huge. I always carried huge purses so it would fit.

But now I’m thinking it might actually work for my go to bag vs the cosmetic bag I currently use?? Wouldn’t that be ironic to come full circle.

I put my current meter next to it for size reference.

image

image

And here it is with almost all my go to supplies that I mentioned above – the only hing that won’t fit is my inserter, which could be a problem because I can’t put on a new infusion set without it. :/

image

I’m still open to suggestions if anyone has any? Favorite way to store your “go bag” that carries all your go to supplies, as well as any efficient tips you have for traveling with all your supplies, specifically pump supplies.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Traveling internationally with diabetes

Next month I am taking my first international trip as a grown up .. The only time I’ve left the US is when I went to Mexico on a couple of mission trips in high school, and that doesn’t really count. ;) I do remember, though, the 2nd trip we took there was just a few months into my new diagnosis and I was still on 5 daily shots a day. I remember having to keep my insulin in the community fridge and being worried someone was going to break it – there were a lot of teenagers in/out of that fridge. And one night we drove as a group to McDonald’s for dinner – it was quite a ways away and we got there and I realized I’d forgotten my insulin at the camp. Our Youth pastor drove me all the way back to get it, and by the time I got back to McDonald’s, everyone had finished eating but they politely waited for me.

So now I’m all grown up, a wife and mommy, and I’m traveling to London with a small group of 6 people. I’m trying to prepare as much as I can ahead of time. But I’ve never been that far from home. I know diabetics travel internationally every day -I personally know several who do it, and I have asked their opinions. But I’m having to plan out everything from – how many extra supplies do I pack? Have to have extra pump supplies and extra insulin. And batteries for my pump and for my meter. And syringes in case my pump fails or malfunctions. Thinking about what’s the best way to carry my supplies so they’re not all loose in my suitcase. And how much of my supplies do I carry in my backpack during the day while we’re out walking 5+ miles each day.

And thinking about will I need to do a temp basal to increase my daily amount to counter all the walking we’ll be doing? That part I won’t know till I get there. I do know we won’t be eating 3 square meals a day. We will get up and have a big breakfast, then be on the go the rest of the day. Some people will only bring protein bars and/or beef jerky and that will suffice for the day. I know that’s not the best option for me, especially with all the walking. So I’ll have to figure that out. I’m told there are places we can eat along the way so I’m hoping I can either take enough snacks to keep me going, or to stop for eat least a second big meal for the day.

I am more comfortable with all of this now that I have my Dexcom. And one of my friends going has said she’d put the Share app on her phone so she can get alerts if I start to go too low.

Lots of unknowns going into this, but doing my best to plan as much as I can ahead of time. Just making me realize how much more goes into traveling with diabetes. But at least I know I can do it and I cannot wait to have this experience!!

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Random much?

One of my 2 yr old twins has been sick and recently I took him to an after hours pediatric clinic.

After we’d given him two breathing treatments, the dr was sitting in front of me (with my son in my lap) and we were going over the “what to watch fors” and out of the blue this happens ..

Dr: So a lot of times I have patients ask me how to know if their child is diabetic. And I always tell them to test their blood sugar when the child is sick. That’s when to test.

Me: Uh … that’s random.. I’m diabetic?

Dr: I know. I saw your insulin pump. So anyway, I always tell the parent if there’s any doubt, it’s always best to test when the child is sick. I know people say it’s good to get fasting blood sugars, and what not, but I’m telling you, the time to check is when the child is sick.

Me: Uhh … ok. Well I’m not concerned about him having diabetes at this point. Just here for the pneumonia. ;)

Dr: Oh I know. Just thought I’d share that with you in case you ever have any doubts.

Can you say random? I thought that was odd. I’m sure he meant well. But it was a very random, very odd conversation. I may have been sleep deprived from my sick child not sleeping because of his cough for a couple of days, but I felt like he was acting as though he was an expert, because he was qualified to work in an after hours pediatric clinic. I left the conversation by assuring him that I’ve been diabetic for 22+ years and I’m pretty confident I’d know what symptoms to look for, but thanked him for his suggestion. :)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dexcom Trial – Update #2

I was able to put the new loaner Dexcom on Monday, at the dr’s office, and it worked great. I never lost a signal throughout the night, and woke up Tuesday morning and everything looked good.

Tuesday night, as I was stepping over a Lego in my son’s room, I bumped into the door frame, subsequently knocking off the Dex. #whompwhomp

Luckily, it did not hurt when it came off, but I was super bummed because by that point, I had only had it less than 48 hours.

I called my dr’s office Wednesday morning when they opened to see if I could run by to get another one put on .. the nurse was super apologetic and checked with the billing department. Unfortunately, insurance would not approve a 2nd trial sensor, but she said if I wanted to swing by, I could pay out of pocket for one. I opted not to do that. I luckily had two friends offer me one from their personal stash (thank you, Suzanne and Krista!!!) so I was able to get one and then just had to figure out how to put it on myself last night. ;)

I found a YouTube video on inserting the Dex, and it was very simple to do. Again, like the first time, it did not hurt at all. It still just felt like a pin prick.

Here are my thoughts as I’m a couple of days into this now:

The tape on the first one did not stick well for me at all. It was already bubbly after the first couple of hours of wearing it. But I’ve been told now by many that using Skin Tac helps tremendously – and I was able to use some when I put this 2nd site on. (It is very sticky! Even my shirt was sticking to the area for a little while.)

The site itself is very big compared to my Medtronic sensor. It sticks out a lot more (see above re: knocking it off on the door frame.) I think I maybe knocked off my Medtronic sensor only once or twice in the last 8 years?

dex in hand

The tape area is still very itchy – it was itchy on my arm site and it’s still a little bothersome on my abdomen site.

I put on the new site around 8:30pm last night, and had to wait the 2 hours to calibrate. I was high (bad swag’ing at dinner apparently) so I had the high alarm go off a few times after I’d gone to bed – but it was not too bad.

But as much as it’s a tad uncomfortable/unattractive to wear, I am loving the data and the technology aspect of it – I love the fact I can see it on my iPhone. And that my husband can see it on his, especially when he’s traveling. I’m not a huge techy person, so that stuff is not usually a big deal to me. But for some reason, I’m loving these feature on the Dexcom.

Another big difference I’ve noticed is that when I wear my Medtronic sensor on my arm, I cannot sleep on that side that the sensor is in, because I get a “Lost Sensor” error throughout the night. But Monday night, I slept on the side that my sensor was in, and I had no problems. Same thing with last night – I slept on the side that my current sensor is in on my abdomen, and had no problems and never lost connection with the receiver. During the evening, I left it sitting in the living room and was able to go throughout the house and never once lost the signal.

So, overall, I’m still very happy with it .. I’ll get to wear it until Monday so we’ll see what happens between now and then! :)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Sailing … with twins .. 2 years later

Two years ago today .. I was feeling a mixture of excitement, nervousness, and pretty much every other emotion you can imagine. I was set to give birth to TWO babies that day. Our lives would never be the same again. And I wouldn’t change one single minute of it. Ok, maybe I’d get a little more sleep those first few months, but I survived. ;)

Two years ago today, I delivered two very healthy baby boys – one of which weighed 7 lbs 4 oz, and the other was 6 lbs. I was very healthy during my pregnancy. I’d say it was luck that enabled me to have such a healthy pregnancy, and two healthy babies, but I know it’s more than just luck. I worked HARD to keep myself and those babies healthy. Having a baby for anyone takes work. But you add something like diabetes to the mix, and it takes it to an entirely new level of discipline.

I had to be even more diligent with my carb counting, to try and avoid the spikes/high blood sugars. And I had to make sure I was getting enough calories to support myself AND not one, but TWO growing babies. But not TOO many calories because diabetics are known to have larger babies. And I had to keep even more juice boxes on hand, to have when the lows hit. I had to increase my insulin intake gradually throughout the pregnancy because the placenta releases an insulin-resistant hormone, and I had TWO placentas in there. By the time I delivered, I was taking 3x the amount of insulin daily that I was taking pre-pregnancy.

I had to miss a lot of work to go to so many doctors appointments. My OB, my Endo, my high level specialist who took regular sonograms to make sure the boys were growing appropriately. My heart had to be monitored to make sure it could support so much extra blood flow going through my body. I wore my insulin pump and CGM religiously, even though I very quickly ran out of real estate in order to wear them comfortably. But it was necessary in order to keep a close watch on my blood sugars.

I always say that I sailed through both of my pregnancies. That makes it sound easy. And I’ve honestly never sailed a boat. But what I do know about it, is it takes work. You cannot just sit on a sailboat and say “Go” and expect it to go on it’s own – the wind will take it in the direction it’s blowing, but there’s got to be some maneuvering and steering along the way. And that is similar to what I did. My body was going to do what it was going to do, but I was for the most part, in control of the direction it went. Had I chosen to not take such diligent care of myself, it could have easily gone a different direction than it did.

I was told at the age of 17 when I was diagnosed, that because of my diabetes, I would never be able to have children. I hope that people hear my story and know that it IS possible to be diabetic and have not only a healthy pregnancy, but to have a healthy twin pregnancy. I did it.

Me and the boys Easter 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Diabetes talk with my 7 year old

I have a good friend who has a 5 year old Type 1 son (J). And yesterday morning she had to take him to the ER, to later find out he was in DKA. Luckily they caught it early and he’s doing MUCH better today.

But last night, I told my 7 yr old that J was in the hospital and not feeling well. He asked me if he was ok, and I said he was doing much better. He asked what was wrong, and I said “Well, his diabetes made him not feel well.”

Keep in mind .. we JUST had a conversation about diabetes being dangerous the other day …

And he matter-of-factly tells me, “You know, you can die from diabetes.” I said, “Well, you don’t technically die from diabetes. But the complications from diabetes, are what can cause problems.” (He’s not your average 7 yr old.) He said, “Well I’m sure that J will be ok because he takes care of himself and takes his insulin, just like you do. But if you don’t do those things, and take care of yourself, you can die.”

Ugh. I hate that he even knows that. Or goes there. Or that it’s such a part of his life that he is fine talking so matter-of-factly about it. And even more, I hate that he’s right. But I again assured him that I do take care of myself. And that J takes care of himself (along with his mommy and daddy, of course) so we will both be just fine.

He also said, “In the old days people used to die after they found out they had diabetes. They didn’t have insulin pumps, or even insulin a long long time ago. So if someone found out they had diabetes, they might live a few days, or even a few hours.” (I have NO idea where he gets this stuff.) I told him that they’ve come a LONG way with technology that can keep people with diabetes alive MUCH longer. I told him that it’s been over 22 years since I found out I had it – which prompted him to ask me how I knew I had it. I gave him the short version, and he asked me, “But how do you know you didn’t have it a long time before you KNEW you had it?” (again .. not your average 7 year old.) I said that I’m sure that my pancreas was starting to not work for awhile before the doctors realized what was happening– I was told at one point that I’d probably been sick for about 6 months before my diagnosis.

He pondered all of that, and then went back to his Legos. ;)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment