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Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes Appointments: Then and Now

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Today I had my regular 3 month check-up with my endocrinologist. As I waited for the doctor to come in, I thought about how much these endocrinologist appointments have changed over the past (almost) twenty nine years for me.

The A1c

Today I had my finger pricked (ouch, why I can’t use my own lancet device is stupid) and within 5 minutes had my A1c result. And a quick, woohoo for my 6.6! Despite a pretty painful few weeks from RA and having crazy blood sugars from discontinuing Victoza, I was pleasantly surprised to see this number!

Back in the old days (like the 90s), you had your blood drawn and then a week later found out what your A1c was. At that point, I’d already seen my endocrinologist, made some tweaks from my logbook data. So the A1c wasn’t particularly mind blowing to me personally. My Dad though? It was everything (a fellow Type 1).

When I was a kid, I was constantly compared to what I “should be”. Now, I’m happy that my endo shows me the result, says “great job” and then looks at my data and we make changes from there.

The Logbook

Yes, I’m dating myself, but I’m only 38! Back when I was a kid with type 1, every insulin dose, every blood sugar, had to be written down in a tiny notebook, aka the logbook. During my teenage years, I wasn’t the greatest at documenting everything. But I was great at quickly filling in made-up numbers before we left for my endo appointment. Lucky for me (now, not then), my doctor would point out that I used too many even numbers and to work on having more of a variety the next time I filled it out. Oops.

I think that’s the only time I’ve been in trouble from diabetes. I can recall a nice lecture in our living room from my Dad. I’m thankful for my endo calling me out and my Dad enforcing the logbook- my teenage years could have really caused some damage to my body if they hadn’t been looking out for me.


From 9 to 16 years old, I had the standard A1c and kidney function labs done every few months.

When I was 17, I switched to an adult endo and she insisted on testing my thyroid function in addition to my A1c and kidney function. That proved to be invaluable as I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease shortly thereafter.

When I was in my 20s, another endo insisted on adding Celiac panel testing to my regular labs as the relationship between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes was a hot topic. Thankfully, I tested negative (and have been tested a few other times since).

Now, at the ripe old age of 38, I had Addison’s Disease labwork added to my list today. Although my endocrinologist agrees with my cardiologist’s diagnosis of dysautonomia, and specifically POTS, she also said there is a link between Addison’s and type 1 and she thinks it’s worth a lab draw.

Discussing Medications

Insulin is a given- and that’s always the main discussion topic. But now that I’m older and have had type 1 for almost 30 years, we often discuss adding some additional medications to help my organs stay as healthy as they can be despite the havoc diabetes can cause.

A few years ago we added Lisinopril to help protect my kidneys. I’m on a relatively low dose and don’t experience any side effects.

Today we discussed statins. Although my cholesterol is in the good range, my heart has still had to deal with diabetes for a long time. There’s some evidence that shows taking statins before age 40 could help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. We decided to see how my cholesterol looks at my next visit, see the results of my upcoming echo cardiogram (routine), and go from there.

I’d love to hear if you’ve had similar changes in your doctor’s visits over the years!

Type 1 Diabetes


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My father was 68 years old when he passed a few days ago. He had Type One Diabetes for almost 60 years. Sixty years of urine test strips, insulin injections, fingerpricks. Sixty years of low blood sugars and high blood sugars.

This is a portion of his death certificate.

Three little letters that mean so much. D. K. A. And why was my father, a diabetic who for years had his A1C never higher than 5.8, in DKA? Because nursing homes and even hospitals don’t know anything about insulin dependent diabetes. His nursing home didn’t get his insulin from the hospital when he was transferred there. They had him wait a day to get it. A day. An entire 24 hours without insulin. And no one batted an eye. Not a doctor, not a nurse, not a medical assistant. No one.

This has to change. It has to change starting with educating the public, medical school, with each other. As diabetics we have a responsibility to explain our disease every chance we get. I owe it to my dad to try to make sure those  three little letters aren’t on another person’s death certificate.

Family Type 1 Diabetes

You need insulin?

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My father has been in a rehab facility and was recently cleared to move into assisted living. When he arrived at the assisted living facility, he was told that they forgot to bring any diabetes supplies when they transferred him. Small problem. My father is a Type One diabetic and has been for over 60 years. He is managed on daily injections with multiple fingers sticks. They assured him they would have supplies by the next morning. Oh ok, the next morning! 

Thank goodness my father is able to speak for himself and insisted that at the very least he needed an insulin injection before dinner. What did they do? They shipped him off to the hospital. 

I have so many issues. One, my father is recovering and has an already compromised immune system so trips back and forth to the hospital should be avoided at all costs. Two, what the f? How in 2016 can health care staff, at any level, not know about diabetes? Well, they don’t and typically if they’re aware of diabetes, they only know about type 2 or just mash all of the types up into a convoluted mess.  

I feel incredibly helpless. It’s a situation where I want to take on the world. I want to educate every single person on this planet about diabetes. I want doctors, of any speciality, to all have basic knowledge of diabetes and appropriate treatment. From there, I want every nurse, every medical assistant, to understand. 

So I advocate. I share my story, my father’s story. I try to answer every question and clarify as many myths as I can. What can you do? Help me and the other 400 million diabetics worldwide. Take a minute to educate yourself and those around you. Share our stories. And please, ask questions. We love to talk about ourselves and our diabetes! 

Type 1 Diabetes

It isn’t the end of the world..

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I used up my last Enlite sensor last week. Due to an error in Minimed’s system, my order from weeks ago had been caught in limbo until tonight. (My order just shipped, huzzah!) Was I super annoyed with Minimed? Yes. Did I spend hours on the phone with them? Yes. Did I die without having CGM enabled? No. Not even close.

I truly thought the past few days would be horrendous. I considered not going to work, staying home to monitor my blood sugar behind closed doors. I seemed to have quickly forgotten that I spent the first 22 years or so of my Type 1 life relying on a blood glucose machine and the pricks of my fingers. I forgot that I used to go hours without a single finger stick. I relied on my long acting insulin and, more importantly, how I felt.

Over these past few days, I had a few nighttime lows- in the 60s, yet I woke up on my own and not to the sound of a screeching alarm. For the most part, every time I checked my blood sugar it was pretty much on point.

As convenient as an insulin pump and CGM are, I really need to stop relying on them. I need to be able to go an hour and not be constantly looking at my screen to see which way my arrows are going. I need to make a more conscious decision to not correct every little blood sugar because that usually results in a reading which is higher or lower than necessary. I need to realize that I am Molly not Molly, the Type 1 diabetic. I’m working on it 🙂

Daily Prompts Type 1 Diabetes


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I’m playing catch up! The Daily Prompt for January 7: Helpless

Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that- and what did you do about it?

I feel this way every day..I just wouldn’t call it helpless. As anyone who has had Type 1 Diabetes for quite some time (25 years for me) knows, you can do the exact same things 2 days in a row and have completely different blood sugars each day. Sometimes your blood sugar is low, no matter how many glucose tabs you eat, and how little insulin you take. I’m sure there’s an explanation- hormones, weather, who knows..but it happens. Every day, my little mechanical pancreas helps me hold the reins for the hopefully-not-so-bumpy day that lies ahead.