Category Archives: Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Silly & Unnecessary 

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Is there something repeatedly that you do, that’s silly and unnecessary, but you keep doing it anyway? For me, it’s when I’m in the shower. After I put shampoo in my hair, I rinse the shampoo off my hands before then using my hands to help rinse the shampoo out of my hair. I have no idea why I do it and I think to myself every morning “why are you doing this?!”.

I do a “silly” thing with my diabetes too. I associate the kitchen with juice. I know, crazy, right? When I have a low blood sugar, my brain makes me go to the kitchen. It has done this for 27 years. Why is it silly? Because there is a bottle of juice and a pack of fruit snacks on my nightstand (as well as a pack of gum to remove the sugar from my teeth..yes, I’m a dork). There’s also this great guy, my husband, usually asleep next to me, who would take care of me whenever I needed him.

As a teenager, low blood sugars would cause my hands to shake. In fact, if I couldn’t tell if my blood sugar was low or not, I would always hold out my hand and see if it was shaking. This resulted in quite a few broken glasses on the kitchen floor from either trying to pour juice into them or drink from them.

I changed my CGM sensor site last night before bed…I rarely do it at this time but oh well. I woke up in the middle of the night to test my blood sugar and realized I couldn’t read the display. After multiple tries, I could read it. It said 33. 33. Did I wake up my husband? No. Did I reach for my nice warm apple juice? No. I got up and walked down the stairs to the kitchen. I was sweating profusely and I’m lucky I didn’t trip over the cat, who was so excited to have someone else up in the middle of the night. I also had the nerve to make sure my Fitbit was on me so my steps to the kitchen would count. I’m ridiculously annoyed with myself.

Do any of you do something similar? Have you trained yourself to stop?

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Chuck It List Type 1 Diabetes

Chuck It List 

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Most people have bucket lists- whether they’re written down, on Pinterest, or just in your head- we all have things we want to do or see one day. 

A Chuck-It List, on the other hand, is comprised of things I have no interest in ever experiencing. Some I’ve tried and others I have no intention of trying. 

1) Pretzel M&M’s: my son asked me to try one of these a few weeks ago and I promise, I will never willingly eat one again. #PeanutButterM&MsForLife  

2) Drink a glass of milk: I haven’t had a glass of milk since I was ten, twenty-five years ago. That year I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, two weeks before I was supposed to go to France with my Mom, Grandmom, and cousin. My doctor said I could go on the trip but I’d have to follow my meal plan as closely as possible. My mother insisted I drink milk at every meal. Milk that was warm and tasted completely different than what I was used to in the United States. To this day, I have not had milk again and I never will! 

  
3) The Zipper: I rode the Zipper years ago in Ocean City, MD. I honestly thought I was dying. As someone who loves roller coasters, this is disappointing to admit, but never again. Never again. 
  
Stayed tuned for more items but in the meantime what is something you swear you’ll never experience again? 

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Type 1 Diabetes

It’s a Good Thing

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Good Things About Having Rheumatoid Arthritis

  1. Due to almost always having a low grade fever, my cheeks have a natural flush that people pay money to obtain through cosmetics.
  2. My pharmacy knows me- we’re BFFs. I never have to spell my last name and they know I’ll be annoying if my prescriptions aren’t ready so I’d like to think I get faster service than everyone else.
  3. I can nap on demand. It’s a wonderful talent and yes, you should be jealous.

Good Things About Having Type One Diabetes

  1. Needles are afraid of ME
  2. Sometimes it’s medically necessary for me to eat the last brownie. Sorry I’m not sorry.
  3. I’m basically a robot.
  4. I can bring food or a drink to almost any concert or event just because I’m diabetic.
  5. I get felt up every time I fly. Every. Single. Time.

What would you add to this list? 

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Type 1 Diabetes

Page None

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In hopes of finding something, that’s not in pill form, to help combat the pain and fatigue from my Rheumatoid Arthritis, I checked out a book. A bunch of books actually. I’ve been walking by the stack of them in my kitchen for the past few days, not really knowing where to start. I mean, obviously, I could do it the old fashioned way- pick up a book, open it, start reading the first page. But I don’t want to. I don’t want to waste my time, waste my hope to read a bunch of hocus pocus. 

Having Type 1 Diabetes has made me this way. I’ve had the disease for 27 years and if you aren’t familiar with it, in short, my pancreas doesn’t not work, will never work, and is just taking up space in my body. Over the years I’ve been told that cinnamon will cure me. I’ve been told that not eating gluten will cure me. Did I research any of these suggestions? NO! I have zero faith in the idea that adding cinnamon to my diet or sprinkling it directly on my pancreas, will cause my organ to come to life and allow me to throw my insulin pump into the wind. 

With that being said, I’m skeptical. Rheumatoid Arthritis isn’t as cut and dry as Type 1 Diabetes is. With diabetes, you take insulin..a fast acting one, a long acting one, or both. The insulin goes in and lowers your blood sugar. Sometimes it’s spot on, sometimes your blood sugars get wonky. But even then, guess what the solution is? Insulin. Yep, more insulin. There is no other option (at least for now). RA is different. There are a multitude of drugs and ways to take them: pill, injection, infusion. I could be diagnosed at the same time a someone else and we will each react completely different to the same medication. This is not a one size fits all disease.

So for now, I think I’ll let these books sit in my kitchen until they’re due back at the library. I’ll glance at their pages in the meantime and come across one like this:  

 

As someone who spends thousands of dollars on medications & doctors visits, I’m really not in the position to ensure that I’m showering with “toxin-free water”. And if my shower is really a “huge burden on my immune system,” why doesn’t my doctor or insurance company demand that I get filters? 

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Type 1 Diabetes

Get used to it

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It’s hard to pinpoint when I got used to being a diabetic. I’ve had this disease for 27 years now and I’ve accepted it as part of who I am. Does it bother me if my pump looks funny in my clothes? Sometimes. Do I enjoy high or low blood sugars? Nope, not one bit. But I’m used to it. I’m used to the fact that eating a box of raisins today may not change my blood sugar but tomorrow it will. I’m used to the unpredictability of Type 1 Diabetes and I’ve accepted it. 

What I am not used to is my Rheumatoid Arthritis, but I think I’m getting there. When I was diagnosed three years ago, I was a mess. Fast forward 6-9 months later, thanks to Humira and methotrexate, I was basically in remission (or how I imagine it to be). I very quickly got used to less pain, more energy, and feeling more like myself. 

Fast forward a few months from there..I got sick and taken off of my miracle meds. I’ve been fighting since. But this time, I know my sense of remission will be different. My doctor, and various imaging and tests, has confirmed that I have permanent damage to my elbow, knee, hands, and feet. This was confirmed prior to spending nine months on Orencia with things getting worse. Permanent. Permanent damage. Permanent stiffness. Permanent pain. 

Up until this week, I viewed a lot of things as bandaids. I would often say “once my biologic works, I won’t need these compression gloves/knee braces/elbow supports”. “Once my biologic works, I won’t have trouble sleeping or need pain meds anymore.”

The goal of my RA medications is to stop or at least slow down the progression of my disease..to reduce inflammation. They simply won’t change what’s already happened to my bones and joints. I’ve known this for awhile now but it never really sank in until yesterday. I caught myself telling my doctor that “as soon as my Enbrel started working, I’d be able to run, sleep well, and wouldn’t need any more pain medications”. As much as I would love for this to be true, I have to start being honest with myself and look for ways to improve my quality of life amongst the pain and fatigue. 

To start, I’m vowing to realize that exercising for a few minutes is better than nothing. Just because I can’t go for a long time like I used to, is no reason to stop trying. I am not going to put myself down and/or think about when the day will finally come that I feel great enough to exercise for hours. I’m going to do what I can, as often as I can, and leave it at that. I just have to get used to it

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Type 1 Diabetes

Disservice 

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Today I realized that I am often doing a disservice to the Type One Diabetes community. How? By publicly acting like everything is ok, all the time. 

I went out to dinner with my husband Saturday night. I faced a common problem, where to put my pump when I’m wearing a dress, without a belt. I decided to clip it to my bra, towards my back, under my arm. I had a cardigan on, so I could easily access it but wouldn’t have such a noticeable lump. 

As most Type One diabetics know, going out to eat can sometimes present a problem. Dining out for me means unpredictable eating times, foods that raise my blood sugar unexpectedly, etc. Because of this, I was checking what my blood sugar was, on my CGM, often. Each time I had to pull my bra strap a little to get the pump’s display into view. If I needed to use the buttons, I had to pull it completely out of my dress. Putting it back was another story..basically had to reach down by dress (via the armhole) to clip it back into place. Add on that my Rheumatoid Arthritis had me so stuff it was difficult to turn my neck. I was so self conscious. God forbid anyone saw me using an insulin pump! 

At the table next to me, a few feet away, was a young man in a wheelchair. I couldn’t stop noticing him. Why? Because he was so relaxed, having a great time, while I was going to ridiculous lengths to hide my disease. 

Type One Diabetes isn’t something to be ashamed of. I didn’t cause it, I definitely don’t want it, but it’s part of who I am. It’s been part of my life for over 26 years. I shared what else I hide in my post for Diabetes Blog Week. I have to make a conscious effort to stop hiding. I love seeing someone with an insulin pump on and now they’ll be able to spot me too. 

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Type 1 Diabetes

Friday Foods

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Taking a cue from Adam Brown’s recent post, write a post documenting what you eat in a day!  Feel free to add links to recommended recipes/shops/whatever.  Make it an ideal day or a come-as-you-are day – no judgments either way.  (Thank you, Katy of  Bigfoot Child Have Diabetes for this topic.)
Well..this is definitely not an ideal day for a diabetic! I worked from home today, which I don’t normally do. And my husband was off work which isn’t normal either! Typically I pack pretty good food for work, lots of little meals- banana, slice of cheese, yogurt, FiberOne bar, etc. 

I started my day with a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Why? Because it looked delicious and it was. So. Good. Lunch was with my husband at Mission BBQ. Pulled pork with a side of fries. Delicious. Only complaint? I’m so used to my boring tuna or yogurt that I felt super dehydrated due to all of the salt! Husband picked up dinner from our favorite local pizzeria but my Rheumatoid Arthritis is making me feel pretty nauseous and in a bit of pain so I don’t really feel like eating yet. 

We don’t normally eat out much so I figured my blood sugars would go nuts. Nope. I’m running a 120 right now. I’m sure I could do the exact same things tomorrow and my blood sugar would be 250. Go figure! 

Want to see what more of my fellow diabetics ate today? Click here

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Type 1 Diabetes

Changes

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“Oh, you have diabetes? What type?”

“Type 1.” I reply.

“Oh, my cousin has Type 1 too. She lost a lot of weight and now she’s only on one pill every day. Maybe you’ll be able to get rid of your pump one day!”

Vomit. 

I can’t recall how many times I have had this conversation in some way, shape, or form. I hate this conversation. Why? Because by asking me which type I have, you’re implying that you know the difference between the two. But you don’t. I hate this conversation because it starts with me feeling like I’m going to connect with someone over their relationship to my type of diabetes and it ends with me feeling frustrated. 

Yes, diabetes is bad. It sucks. Will there ever be a cure? Maybe, I don’t really know. But what I do know is that no amount of miles run, weight lost, vitamins consumed, gluten avoided, cinnamon sprinkled, will bring my pancreas back to life. 

It. Won’t. Happen. 

I wouldn’t dare go up to someone with cancer and tell them how I think they should treat their disease. I wouldn’t go up to someone with an amputated leg and tell them that if they stopped consuming gluten, their leg will magically come back.

So what change do I want? I want people to be educated. To start, I want all health professionals to know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It should be in their “So You Want to be a Doctor” handbook. Every physician’s patients are impacted, if they are Type 1. Surgeon? Yep, longer time recovering/healing, risk of infection increased. OB? Yep, that’s a high risk pregnancy. Primary Care? Yep, how is that medicine you’re prescribing to me going to effect my blood sugar? Podiatry? Cardiology? Pediatrics? Yep. Yep. Yep. 

Vent over. 

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Type 1 Diabetes

Clean it Out

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I’m almost a hoarder. A hoarder of diabetic supplies that is. It only takes one crappy insurance plan and one time struggling to get supplies, for you to hold on to everything you can and to replenish as often as you can. 

  
Can I get rid of the big black Omnipod case? Maybe. I mean, I haven’t worn an Omnipod in almost two years… What about my Dexcom G4? I mean, the sensor is completely dead and, like the Omnipod, I haven’t used a dex in two years either. Minimed Paradigm? Yeah…that pump was exchanged for my current one *ahem* two years ago too…. I might need the instruction manuals, for all of these devices that I don’t use, one day..right? 

  
But these supplies I need! (Seriously!) Do I really need to re-order every 3 months? No. But should I? Of course! I pay a gazillion dollars for health insurance, not to mention copays. At the very least, I should have a fully stocked closet shelf in case the Diabetes Apocalypse ever hits. 

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Type 1 Diabetes

Keeping it to Yourself 

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I’ve been Type 1 Diabetic for 26 years, since I was 9  years old. Growing up, I was on MDI (Multiple Daily Injections). I don’t remember hiding my injections or finger sticks but also don’t remember doing them often at school (this was 26 years ago!).

I’ve been on Insulin Pump Therapy for almost fifteen years. I’ve never really kept it hidden but I try to keep my alarms low so they don’t go off during a meeting, which they always do inevitably. I talk openly about having Type 1 Diabetes and it helps that I work in a pediatric hospital where we have a diabetes program. I often refer to my “purple pancreas” on my side (aka my pump) and don’t make any real effort to hide it around people I know. 

So what do I keep to myself then? Treating low blood sugars. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I don’t want someone to know that I’ve allowed myself to get low (because Type 1 Diabetes is so predictable, right?!). Maybe I don’t want someone to offer to help. Maybe.. I just don’t really know why. When a low blood sugar comes on, I sneak a pack of fruit snacks. I’ve perfected opening the little pouch and pouring them into my hand, all while my hands are inside my purse. I sneak them when people aren’t looking. Same with juice. Just last week, while in the waiting room at my daughter’s doctor, I went to the restroom to drink a little bottle of juice.

I have no problem pricking my finger in the middle of an aisle at Target or pulling my insulin pump out of my dress to bolus. Yet, I’d rather not eat a pack of fruit snacks in front of anyone, let alone a stranger (this doesn’t count my family..they’re lucky enough to get all of me!).  
My secret stash: 

  

Click here to see what others are keeping to themselves! 

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