TypeOneNation Summit 2017

This past weekend I attended the local JDRF TypeOneNation Summit. I’ve attended this event several times over the years, and the first one I went to I even drove 5ish hours to a different city which was the closest location at the time.

I always get a lot of out of these events. Sometimes I crave them. Some people ask me why I still go because after almost 25 years of living with diabetes, you’d think I know everything I need to know by now, right? That’s a big fat negative. There’s always little nuggets of information I pick up. But even more than that, one of the main reasons I go is because I get to be surrounded with my peeps for a day. People that get it. People that hear alarms beep and instantly know what’s going on. And if it’s your device that’s beeping, you can beep away without feeling like you need to hurry up and silence it before someone figures out something may be “wrong” with you and starts asking questions.

To be able to eat in a big group for lunch where everyone is looking at CGM data, and pulling out meters to check blood sugars. Where you don’t feel like you have to hide it in your lap. (Although, I did catch myself sitting mine in my lap, out of habit.)

To get to hear my friend, Kerri, as she was the keynote speaker, share her experiences of living with diabetes and reminding us that there is no level of perfection that we need to be striving for. To hear her say that having her children was “a life that was a maybe that we turned into a certainty.” (love that!) And to hear Kerri also remind us that people have no idea what goes on behind the scenes each and every day, for us to remain healthy. And gave the example of ducks swimming – you look out at a pond and think “Oh how cute is that duck” but you don’t see how fast their little legs are paddling.

To be in a room where you feel thankful. For so many things. Do some days suck having to manage my diabetes? Abso-freaking-lutely. But at the end of the day, it could always be worse. And I can’t undo the fact I have diabetes, so I try to just live day to day the best I can and not let it interfere any more than it already does. One of the guys in a session I was in was wearing a shirt that said, “I can do anything I want. Except produce insulin.” Haha Love that.

To get to make new friends, and to see friends that I would not have known if it were not for my diabetes. (Shout out to my friend, Suzanne, who I failed to get a picture with!)

And an even cooler part of this year’s event that was different for me, is I was asked to moderate a pump user’s panel. I’ll be honest, I went into it pretty nervous. I have been an attendee for so many years, so I was a little nervous how it would go being in the front of the room. But I had THE best group of panelists – four of them wore different pumps, and one was on MDI. We had lots of good questions coming from the audience, and the time flew by. Was honored that JDRF asked me to do that!

So those are just a few of the reasons I keep going to these events. And will continue to do so. We can/should all try and learn something new every day-diabetes related or not. #challengeaccepted

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jetty-punchI enjoy a good smoothie. But I rarely ever drink them. I can probably count on one hand how many I’ve had in my life (that I didn’t make myself), or at least in the last 24+ years I’ve been diabetic. I think they scare me a little? So much unknown about what’s actually in them. If you look up the carb count in some of the larger chains’ smoothies, my goodness you’re looking at 100+ carbs in a lot of them. I know it’s because some of them have a lot of added sugar, and then the fruit adds up, too, but still. I’m not a huge fan of drinking all my carbs.

But today I tried one from a new place that was delivering to my office (I’m all about convenience, too.) I probably spent 30 minutes debating “Do I really wanna just SWAG this and probably get it wrong?” The smoothie I was looking at was a simple strawberry banana one. I avoided even looking at the ones with the added juice in it. And the instructions said you could substitute Splenda.

So I went for it. The nutrition info on their website said this particular smoothie was 86g. And then I ordered a 1/2 chicken salad sandwich, which was 32g. I was nervous to actually bolus for 118 carbs so I cut that in half (I know, I know- that’s why it’s called SWAG’ing) and I did a dual wave (60/40) bolus for 2 hours.

I stayed around 140-150 for the first 1.5 hours. Not too shabby! Then around the 2 hour mark, I crept up to 220. Then around 3 hours I dropped down to 120.

So overall I’ll call that a win. I’m very glad I didn’t bolus for full 118 carbs ’cause based on how my numbers played out, I can’t imagine that would’ve ended well. (YDMV) But at least now I know that I found a smoothie I don’t have to be afraid of 🙂

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What do you carry your diabetes supplies in?

Let’s discuss my history with cases for a moment. 🙂 I was diagnosed in 1992. And at the time, they admitted me in the hospital for a week so I could do inpatient “training” 3x a day to basically learn how to flip my life upside down and be diabetic. In a nutshell. But I digress.

Then they sent me home with this beauty of a case. It was big enough to hold it all – my meter (One Touch – which was ginormous compared to my tiny Freestyle I use now), my insulin, a freezer pack, syringes, alcohol wipes, glucose tablets, and pretty much a spare of anything I needed.


I used it for several years then gradually just started using the infamous black case. You know the one. The one that every meter comes in. So the only main difference is the size of said black case. The only thing you can really care in there is the meter, lancet device, and spare lancets. (Which those are pointless for most of us, considering we don’t change them, right? #likeyoudo)


And I am terrible about not carrying insulin with me. I have what is in my pump reservoir, and my spare supply is almost always at home. When I was still on injections with syringes or pens, I just carried them loose in my purse. And I put the insulin vial in my black case with my meter. Not very secure or sanitary, though. But it’s what I did for years. And years.

Last year I decided to try a Myabetic case. I had kept hearing about them and they are SO stinkin’ cute. And I have a few friends that absolutely rave about theirs on Facebook and I wanted my own to love. 🙂 I first bought this one at Target. It was super cute, but I ended up taking it back. It was bulky and I just didn’t like the layout of it. It wasn’t functional for my needs/preferences. (Everyone is different – YDMV.)

Then I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and bought this one online. And I absolutely love the color. And I gave it a try. I carried it for a few weeks. But never took the tag off. I am a creature of habit, and I had 20+ years of “habit” with carrying my diabetes supplies around, and this was totally new. I loved the look of it.

But quickly I realized I didn’t like how big it was. And I wasn’t utilizing all of the space that was available. I missed the simplicity of my old black bag. That also is frayed and has holes in it.


This is a total preference thing, but the main “issue” I had a hard time overcoming was that I was used to not having to take my meter out of the case to check my blood sugar. I can just unzip my case and the meter is strapped in. With the new Myabetic one, I had to take it out and well that was just an extra step I was trying to get used to. I switched back to the black bag after a couple of weeks.

Now don’t get me wrong – I LOVE the Myabetic cases. I LOVE the thought process behind it and I would love to try other versions of the case at some point. But I am very simple. And cheap. And it was difficult for me to spend that much money on a case I didn’t end up using. Not going to lie, that pretty blush Banting case is still sitting on my kitchen counter. Taunting me. Reminding me that I need to give it another try. And that I need to start carrying around supplies with me that I don’t carry on a daily basis. And I’m sure at some point I will. Or I’ll give in and try another version of the Myabetic case/bag. They look to be very functional, and like I said, I have several friends that couldn’t live without theirs. I hope to catch up to them one day! 🙂

I would love to hear your feedback on cases you’ve loved/hated or any thoughts/comments you have. Is anyone else out there simple like me? Or do I need to be better about moving along with the times and being ok with taking the silly meter out of the zipper pocket to check my blood sugar? 🙂

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Girly talk

Ok, guys, you may want to skip this particular post .. not because inappropriate, but because … well….. it won’t apply to you. 🙂 And the whole TMI thing…..

So having been diabetic now for 24+ years, it’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve noticed patterns in my blood sugars when it comes time for my monthly friend to arrive. Since I also have PCOS, I have never in my life had regular cycles. So I never knew when it was coming -and it was not uncommon for me to only have a cycle once or twice a year.

For some unknown phenomenon, I have been much more regular the last couple of years – my personal opinion is it is because I work around mostly women in my office. My OB/GYN said there are no scientific facts to back it up but it happens ALL the time that women who are in close proximity with one another will oftentimes “sync up”. So .. that’s what I’m gonna go with. As much as it did not suck to only have a cycle once or twice a year, it is better for our bodies to be more regular, so I’ll along with it.

But my point is … since I was so irregular, I never knew when it was coming, so I never could chart or plan or see any signs of it coming. And it was always a surprise. Which is super fun. #sarcasm About a year ago, not long after I started wearing my Dexcom, I started to notice a trend. I would consistently have unexplained lows for 4-5 days, then bam, I’d start. I’d stay low for the first 2-3 days, then I would start to creep back up and stay high for a few more days.

So once I figured this out, I started paying more attention to when I was having unexplained lows for more than a day or two. And so far it’s been spot on. #pardonthepun And it’s been kind of nice to have a heads up, so to speak, to know it’s coming. And since I also wear an insulin pump, I’ve learned to be able to adjust my temp basal. I decrease it pretty drastically in the beginning, then gradually have to increase it for several days till I level back out.

Just in time for it to start all over again.

Being female is no joke, y’all.

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When DKA and I met for the first time

I saw a post last night that a friend shared about a young girl with Type 1 diabetes that had passed away. Her pump site apparently kinked and she went into DKA and then had brain damage, so her parents had to make the heartwrenching decision to remove her from life support.

This led to a conversation with a couple of friends as I recounted my story of my first time in DKA. It will be forever ingrained in my head, so I thought I’d share it here as well.

I was in college 3+ hours away from home. And about 4 1/2 years post dx. I was visiting my boyfriend’s house and started feeling really sick. Started vomiting. To the point of not being able to get up off of the bathroom floor. I called the campus nurse and she told me to drink some Diet Sprite. Couldn’t hold it down. Water? Couldn’t hold it down. Anything I put in, came right back up. This is not a good combination for anyone, but especially for a diabetic. At the time I had NO idea how serious this was, but I was about to find out.

After several hours of this cycle… my boyfriend needed to go to work but didn’t want to leave me alone. My mom was coincidentally going to be visiting me that weekend so he called the hotel to leave a message for her, not expecting her for another hour or so. (this part gives me chills.) When the hotel front desk answered and he asked to leave a message for her, the receptionist said, “Oh, she is standing right here checking in.” She had gotten on the road earlier than expected. He told her I was very sick and he thought she should come stay with me, because I was too sick to drive back to my dorm.

She immediately heads over there (a 20 min drive that maybe took her 10 min) and saw it was bad. I was sooo soo incredibly sick. She said I needed to go to the ER, but I couldn’t walk. So they had to pick me up and carry me to the car.

She takes me to the ER, and I so vividly remember these details, but at the time, it felt like I was in an out of body experience. I remember laying on the bed in the ER room and the dr talking to my mom telling her it was a good thing she brought me in when she did, because I almost died. I remember thinking, “Why would he say that in front of me?” But I couldn’t speak.

Then a nurse came in to tell my mom they were going to draw a blood gas, and warned her that it was very painful, and said she may need to leave the room. I remember there was a child in the next room having a blood gas drawn, and was screaming so loudly. When the nurse put the needle in my artery on my right arm to draw the blood gas, she apologized for having to do it. And I remember it was one of the most painful things I’d ever felt, and in my head I was screaming in pain. But nothing was coming out of my mouth.

After some time, they put me in an ICU room. I remember them putting a catheter in me. And it was not at all comfortable, but again, I was still too weak to speak.

Eventually, they got enough IV fluids in me so that I was not as dehydrated and could start to function again.

I don’t know what caused my vomiting. I don’t remember if I had a stomach bug, or if my blood sugars were high. But it was a serious lesson learned that vomiting with diabetes is no joke.

I unfortunately went into DKA two more times in the next 18 months, but each time I caught it a little earlier, even though I still ended up in the ICU.

I don’t share this story for pity. I share it because I am incredibly grateful that I am here to tell it. Not everyone is as lucky.

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Sick Days

I started to come down with what I assumed was a cold Monday night – it hit fast, but it was the typical head cold symptoms – stuffy nose, cough, watery eyes. And I didn’t sleep much at all that night because I couldn’t breathe. Normally I can tell a couple of days early when I’m coming down with something, but not this time.

Last night, I gave in and took NyQuil just to relieve the symptoms long enough to let me sleep. Or maybe it’s so that it made me sleep through the symptoms. Who knows – all I know is I was able to finally sleep for a few hours. Today it’s moved to my chest and I feel like someone punched me. But I assure you they did not 😉

But as usual I cannot just be sick … without diabetes wanting to play a role and join in on the fun.

Last night I had to tell my husband to make sure his ringer on his phone was turned up loudly – in case I slept through any Dexcom alarms telling me my blood sugar was low. I had no idea what the NyQuil would do to my numbers, I haven’t taken it in years. They’ve been a little up and down, but nothing too crazy yet.

And I’ve also had to make sure I drink lots of water. Because it’s super easy to get dehydrated. And if I get dehydrated, then I can develop ketones. And ketones could put me in the hospital.

So not only do I deal with feeling super crummy with whatever is going on right now, I have to be even more diligent with managing my diabetes, because being sick can throw all kinds of curve balls at me.

I did make a doctor’s appointment for this afternoon, so I should be good as new in a couple of days. 🙂


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Nobody likes a know-it-all

halloween-candy1Last week I was talking with a co-worker about Halloween, and talking about favorite candies, desserts, etc. Another coworker came up and joined the conversation. I was still talking about candies I liked/disliked and then she said the dreaded, “Aren’t you diabetic?” Ugh. Here we go. Then she said, “Uh if you have diabetes, I’m pretty sure you aren’t supposed to be eating all that crap.”

To which I responded, “I wear an insulin pump and am in excellent control, so it’s ok to indulge occasionally.”

She said, “I’m pretty sure that wearing an insulin pump doesn’t give you cart blanch to eat whatever crap you want. I have known plenty of diabetics in my life, and I know what I’m talking about.”

Oh boy …

So I replied with, “Well, I’ve lived with it for 24 years, over half of my life, and I’m pretty sure that I also know what I’m talking about.”

Then she says, “Wait – do you have juvenile diabetes? Aren’t you a little old to have been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes?”


I realize some people are ignorant and just don’t know better … but it’s the ones that are ignorant and act like they know it all that drive me bonkers. #steppingoffmysoapboxnow

Happy Halloween! Excuse me while I go eat a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

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