KEDZ Covers™ Review

When Katrina reached out to me after seeing my feature on Lauren’s Hope, I knew I had to help share her story and mission. She is the proud creator and founder of KEDZ Covers™, a flourishing small business that sells polypropylene plastic, colorful and reusable covers for the Omnipod insulin pump. Being diagnosed with T1D at the age of 9, Katrina quickly switched from needles to the Omnipod and Dexcom G6. She felt embarrassed about the way the Omnipod looked, so with her creativity and the help of her dad, KEDZ Covers™ was born! They partnered with an engineering company to create 3D printed prototypes for an Invention Convention which later grew into a business. KEDZ Covers™ has been featured in publications like the Boston Business Journal, Diabetes Forecast and Diabetes Mine.

After hearing Katrina’s story, I was excited to try out her KEDZ Covers™. The moment I unpackaged my cover, I was impressed by the overall look and feel of it. It’s made from polypropylene plastic which is flexible and lightweight. The plastic won’t break when snapping the cover on and off, which means these bad boys are durable and will last you a long time. It was easy to attach to my Omnipod and I removed it when it was time to change my pod, so I wouldn’t accidentally take my Omnipod off with the cover. It is recommended that the cover be attached to the pod once the pod has adhered to the skin and the cannula has been inserted. You can view demonstration videos here.

I wore my KEDZ Covers™ to the gym as I went through an entire HIIT cardio circuit without it falling off or interfering with my clothes. This is a trusted product that I will continue to wear and support. I can’t wait for all of my upcoming summer vacations so I can wear these colorful and reusable covers to match my outfits!

 

To rock your very own KEDZ Covers™, click here! You won’t be disappointed.

Katrina is such a strong young lady who continues to find the positive in what is a difficult disease to manage day-to-day. She inspires me to keep my head up and to keep spreading awareness for the type one community. Continue reading my full interview with Katrina below.

Katrina Diel’s Q&A

1. Tell me your T1D story after your diagnosis at age 9.

Once I was diagnosed, I immediately was put on long-acting and short-acting injections. After a few months of extreme highs, my endo decided it would be a good time for me to switch to a pump. I chose the Omnipod because it’s tubeless, waterproof, and best fit my lifestyle. I dance, play the violin, and go to the beach a lot in the summer so it was the best option for me. About a year later I was still experiencing blood sugars ranging from 20-400, and my endo introduced the idea of a CGM. Having a Dexcom has changed my life because it’s made management so much easier. I remember the first time I got it; I kept looking at the number to watch it change because I couldn’t believe that technology was capable of doing what my Dexcom was doing.

2. What was your first reaction when you found out?

Honestly, I didn’t really have much of a first reaction! At the time, I didn’t quite understand what everything meant until it started requiring carb counting, shots, more doctor appointments, etc. I learned to just adapt it to my current lifestyle and make do with the circumstances.

3. What complications have you experienced?

I’ve developed insulin resistance, making daily control challenging. I also have other chronic autoimmune disorders that make managing my numbers more difficult.

4. What resources have been of help to you? (Blogs, social media, nutritionists, endocrinologists?)

My family and I attended the Children With Diabetes Friends For Life Conference in Orlando, Florida about a year after I was diagnosed. It’s a week-long program where T1D’s have the chance to meet other T1D’s, and caregivers can attend informational classes regarding management, research, awareness, etc. You can learn more about meters, pumps, CGM’s, meal planning, pump trials, and more! It was there I met 3 T1D girls from different places across the U.S., who I still keep in contact with every day by text. They have offered me so much support, whether it’s advice, low carb recipes, or even just making me laugh on days that my diabetes doesn’t treat me so great.

5. Any advice you have for new diabetics?

You know your body best! It’s important to know when to trust your own opinions over others because after all, it is YOUR diabetes. Sometimes we set unrealistic expectations based off of things we hear or see from the lives of other diabetics/social media. But everybody’s body is different! Even though it may seem as if every other type one diabetic has perfect numbers 24/7, they’re not! It’s important to maintain balance, and remember there will be good days and bad days.

6. What’s your go-to when you’re experiencing lows?

Gummies if I’m trending down with IOB, and either a Capri Sun or Glacier Freeze Gatorade when super low!

7. Does having diabetes and being a high school student make it tough at times? (school dances, lunchtime, curious students, tests)

Definitely! My entire schooling experience with diabetes has been about navigating the rocky waters, and remembering that not everyone will understand because they don’t have the disease. I’m always open to educating others because I believe the more curious people are, the better because it raises awareness and creates less stigma. Most recently, my parents and I had to apply for accommodations during standardized testing for college applications, which can be a very tedious process. I think the more people who are made aware of the difference between type one and type two, the more they will understand they are two entirely different diseases.

In high school particularly, everybody is just starting to figure out who they are and find their own voice and sometimes diabetes can clash with that. As much as I want to go to a sleepover or have a smoothie at the mall with my friends, I have to remember there are some things I just can’t do because of my own personal health. For me, that’s often hard to come to grips with, but it’s helped me figure out who my true friends are. The ones that don’t mind sitting out with you while you drink a juice at a school dance with low blood sugar, or are willing to eat at a different restaurant you can enjoy something at, or who even help you tape up a site falling off at the pool, are the ones who you know will be by your side through thick and thin.

8. What does “living diabetter” mean to you?

I think “living diabetter” is about living a lifestyle where you don’t let your diabetes dictate every single one of your choices. Managing can be very exhausting, and it’s important to reward yourself with that ice cream sundae or an extra bowl of pasta and meatballs, but it’s also important to take care of yourself and try to stay active and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.

9. How do you balance dancing and diabetes?

I think for me it’s about knowing there will be times I can control my diabetes and times I cannot. I usually try to keep water and Gatorade in the studio with me so that I can stay hydrated and have easy access to juice if I notice my BG trending down from my workout or a previous bolus. I wear my Apple Watch for every class since my Dexcom connects to it, allowing me to keep an eye on my trends with a quick glance. Usually, if I’m low I take a few sips of juice and keep up with dance class, but if my blood sugar reaches below 65 or above 300 I usually sit out because at that point it isn’t safe for me to continue. It’s often hard because I just want to continue on with class and improve my technique but I have to sometimes stop and listen to what my body is telling me.

10. Are you apart of any diabetes organizations? Participated in any walks, raised money?

I’ve participated in JDRF walks in both Providence, RI and Tampa, FL with family and friends. My family and I were the ambassador family for Omnipod at the 2014 CWD FFL conference. We sat in the Omnipod booth and answered questions from families, talked to other reps, and represented the entire Omnipod team. It was such a rewarding experience! I’ve also been featured in the Boston Business Journal, Diabetes Forecast, Rhode Island Monthly, the Rhode Island Patch, and more. Having those interviews gave me the opportunity to raise awareness of this disease.

14. How did you come up with KEDZ Covers™? What’s the story behind your company?

When I was in the 5th grade my class was required to come up with an invention for my school’s annual Invention Convention. Having been disappointed and somewhat embarrassed of the plain, white looking outside of my Omnipod, I put my thinking cap on, trying to figure out what I could do to change its boring appearance. I made a small cover to fit over my site with clay, and spray painted it. With the help of my dad, we took my model to somebody who created a scale drawing, and then later printed a 3D design made out of polypropylene plastic. We later had covers manufactured in 4 colors, and KEDZ Covers™ was created. “KEDZ” stands for my full name: Katrina Elisabeth Diel.

15. Anything else you would like to add/comment on.

Just a little thing I try to remember when I’m having a bad day: We always move forward. Tomorrow is a new day, and we can’t go backward and change the past. What we can do, however, is take the life we have been given and make the best of every single second we have.

MediPeds®: Let Your Feet Do the Talking

 

For those of you living with type one or type two diabetes, you should be taking extra care of your feet. Did you know? Diabetes can cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes can also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or infection.

I know, I know… another unchecked box you probably have never thought of before, but we have to add this to our list. In order to avoid the serious complications mentioned above, keep your blood sugars under control!

I partnered with MediPeds® to help raise awareness on promoting healthy feet. MediPeds® socks focus on improving leg fatigue, swelling, blisters, and dry skin, which are symptoms caused by diabetes.

Although I have never experienced nerve damage or neuropathy, I have gotten blisters from wearing small shoes and high heels. Ladies, we’re all guilty of squishing our feet to fit in those cute pumps because they were the only size left on the shelf (I mean… one size too small won’t hurt, right?!) They may look good on your feet, but as soon as you take them off, you’re feet get to talking. They feel like they’re on fire and about to fall off. I can’t be the only one here! 🙋🏽

I admit that I choose cute and stylish over comfortability, but living with type one diabetes, I have to balance the two and listen to my feet. After a hard workout at the gym, my feet are sweaty and need to air out. I ‘m mindful of that, and immediately take my socks and shoes off when I get home. During date nights and GNO’s, I wear my wedges or heels, but the next day I wear comfortable shoes so my feet can recover. The same at the office, I  switch off between heels and fashionable sneakers. I have to pay close attention to what my feet are telling me so they can remain healthy.

I have been wearing my MediPeds® socks this whole summer and I am LOVING them! They seriously feel like I’m walking on clouds. Read how cool this is…the socks have COOLMAX® fibers that keep your feet dry and allow breathability during your active lifestyles. I wanted to test this feature out so I went to the gym, I wore MediPeds® on one foot and a generic sock brand on the other. After 60 minutes of HIIT cardio and upper body, I checked my socks and the generic sock brand was damp and the MediPeds® sock was dry! Y’all being the sweaty person I am, I have never experienced dry feet after working out. It was a miracle! 🙌🏾

Another cool feature is their non-binding top which is designed to improve blood circulation in the feet and legs. You know how after a long day, your feet feel tired and sore? Well, I put the low cut MediPeds® socks on and I immediately felt a soothing sensation. These socks feel like cotton balls surrounding my feet. ☁

The cushioned sole is another one of my favorite features because it helps keep my feet warm. I’m anemic and my feet and hands stay cold. I can wear the socks to bed and the extra padding warms them up without them feeling sweaty or clammy.

Please join me on the journey to healthy and happy feet by following these simple steps:

1. Inspect your feet daily. Check for cuts, blisters, redness, or swelling.

2. Moisturize your feet daily.

3. Pedicures, please! It’s okay to live your best life. 💅🏽

4. Always wear clean, dry socks. 🧦

5. Get periodic foot exams by your physician or endocrinologist. 👣

6. Buy you a pair of MediPeds® to help with this process.

MediPeds® are made specifically for a person with diabetes, circulatory problems, and someone who enjoys relaxing at home.

Here are my thoughts on the products I’ve tried:

• Style No. 8617 – MediPeds 3PP White NanoGlide Liner – I wear these liners with my converse and flats to work. They have a no-slip feature on the heels so they don’t fall down and have you walking on folded socks by the end of the day.

• Style No. 8587 – MediPeds 4PP White COOLMAX Wide Crew– These are my favorite socks! They keep my feet cool, dry, and comfortable. They fit perfectly on my feet without feeling smushed or claustrophobic.

• Style No. 1000 – MediPeds 4PP White XS Low Cut– I like to wear the low cut socks to the gym because they hug my feet perfectly but at the same time allow my feet to breathe.

• Style No. 1000 – MediPeds 4PP Black XS Low Cut- The low cut also stretches as I move. For example, after running on the treadmill, normally my socks get stuck in between my toes and I feel them scrunch up in my shoe. Wearing the low cut sock allows my feet to stretch and move around with comfort. The toe seam reduces pressure points. It’s pretty much like a built-in massage for your feet.

I would recommend people with diabetes and other medical conditions to add MediPeds® to their sock drawers. It’s like these socks can predict how your feet will feel and prevent it from happening. After a long night, I can trust my COOLMAX wide crew to repair my fatigued feet.

Take care of your diabetes. Keep your BG’s under control. Your soles will thank me later! 👟 👠

Find your perfect pair here: http://www.medipeds.com

Follow Medipeds® on social media!

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Q&A with Matt Collins, Co-Founder of SizeSlim Supplements

Video courtesy of SizeSlimTV

1. Tell me your T1D story when you were diagnosed in 1997.

I was diagnosed during my freshman year in high school in 1997. I was the JV football quarterback, and during a game, my mom noticed how thin I looked. She mentioned to a friend of hers (who happened to be a physician) all of my symptoms. I was exhibiting the classic symptoms: weight loss, blurry vision, sweet-smelling breath, etc. The physician/mom’s friend told my mom in a very stern voice: “after the game go directly to the drug store. Buy Keto-Diastix and use them. If they turn color head straight to the ER. I’ll call them and let them know you’re coming.” Sure enough, they turned dark brown. Next thing I knew I was the first name at the top of the ER chart with a blood sugar reading of 680mg/dl! The doctors at the hospital said I was so lucky someone was there to recognize the symptoms…otherwise, I may not have made it through the night.

2. What was your first reaction when you found out?

I was bummed out for sure. I had a lot of things going for me, and I remember thinking “but I was so close to having everything lined up perfectly…why me?” Luckily I have an amazingly supportive group of friends and family who helped me take on a somewhat competitive spirit with diabetes and always helped me move in the right direction.

3. What complications have you experienced?

None so far. I’ve been extremely diligent with my routines…for 20 years. I’ve never had to deal with any complications thus far, thank God.

4. What resources have been of help to you?

For me, the number #1 resource is technology. The more information I can get about my blood sugars throughout the day, the easier it is for me to maintain quality sugar levels for extended periods of time. This and the online diabetic community has been extremely helpful.

5. Any advice you have for new diabetics?

My advice is to never be ashamed of your condition. It is what it is, and unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do (at the moment) to cure it. But, it’s really important that you know this “hard lesson” as well. This condition is NOT your fault. But it IS your responsibility. Take it day by day. Learn something new every day. And, have an open mind about new technologies, techniques, or tricks to help you along the way. Success does not happen overnight. It happens by learning from your failures and utilizing all of your resources.

6. What’s your go-to meal?

Breakfast: 2 eggs with avocado toast 🙂 Lunch: Chicken and salad. Dinner: Sashimi…I could eat raw fish every day of the week.

7. How do you manage diabetes with your active lifestyle?

I manage my situation by staying 1 step ahead of every low and every high. That means being prepared at all times with insulin, CGM’s, food, and meters. No matter what, we always have to stay 1 step ahead of whatever activity comes throughout the day. For Example, big meeting at 1:00pm? Check, correct, and fix BG’s no later than 12:30pm.

8. What devices do you have?

I use the Dexcom G5 CGM (love it) connected to my iPhone which connects to my Apple Watch…this is a home run combination. Makes my life sooooo easy 🙂 I also use insulin pens – Dexcom and Apidra.

9. You find yourself “low” when…

If I over bolus for a meal. I will get immediately frustrated for no apparent reason. I’ll look down at my watch and sure enough, I’ll be dropping and on my way to being low.

10. You find yourself “high” when…

If I don’t workout throughout the week and am super stressed, I’ll for sure run a bit high. I find myself aggravated very easily. Basically, I’ll go from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Jackass. LOL.

11. What does “living diabetter” mean to you?

It means giving myself every fighting chance to live a “normal” life. I would LOVE to know what it’s like to have perfect sugars for an entire year. We’re not quite there, but living diabetter is me finding my way to living the best life possible given my t1d situation.

12. Does it ever get easier? Are you used to it?

Oh, yeah! 100%. With all of the new technology and resources we have, t1d is 10,000 times easier than when I was in high school or college. Did I get used to it? I suppose so. It’s a way of life now. Still a pain sometimes. But I’m not ashamed, nor do I care what other people think about me. For others it’s probably harder to get used to. For us, it has to be 2nd nature.

13. Are you apart of any diabetes organizations?

Yes, indeed! I’m involved with JDRF. These guys are GREAT! I’ve actually been invited to be a guest speaker at the largest JDRF event which is on May 12 in Oakland County, Michigan. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there! Also, I’m proud to say that my company (SizeSlim Supplements) donates 1% of our sales to JDRF each year. More information can be found on our website at www.sizeslim.com.

14. Anything else you would like to add.

Please feel free to reach out with any particular questions you have about T1D. I can best be found on Instagram at @matt_t1d. I want to give a big thanks to Amshi at Living Diabetter for all of the work she does. I think this resource should be used by all T1Ds as a means to learn more from each other.

Remember: together we are MUCH stronger than dealing with this alone.

LifeSeasons 90-day Review

 

Over the past few months, I’ve been trying out 3 supplements from LifeSeasons: Mobili-T, Glucose Stabili-T, and Rest-ZZZ. The time has come where I share with you my 90-day journey with the all-natural products. After reading all of the great reviews, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity, I had to try these products out for myself!

Mobili-T

This all-natural supplement has helped tremendously with my shoulder and knee pains I have suffered from playing volleyball. I used to take 2 Advil or Aleve a day, but for the past 90-days I have traded them in for Mobili-T. I have noticed an improvement in the range of motion in my joints, especially when working out. Mobili-T lasts the whole day (if taken correctly) and I can tell the difference if I miss a dose. Take 2 with breakfast and 2 with dinner and you’re set!

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Glucose Stabili-T  

Being a type one diabetic, I was skeptical to sample this product at first. I didn’t know if it would mess with my blood sugars or not. My primary reason for sampling Glucose Stabili-T was to support my eye health. Throughout the 90-day trial, I scheduled an eye appointment and come to find out my vision isn’t that bad after all, lol! Eye health is extremely important for diabetics because if you don’t take care of your diabetes you will have to live with potential complications like glaucoma, cataracts, and even blindness. So stay in control of your diabetes, folks!

*Glucose-Stabili-T is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Disclaimer: Glucose-Stabili-T did not give me 20/25 vision.

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Rest-ZZZ

This supplement was my favorite of the 3. I’m always on the go and I love me some sleep. Some nights are harder to fall asleep than others. Some nights I stay up staring at the ceiling and other nights I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. My sleep schedule is not consistent and it is rare to get 8 hours of sleep. After the 90-day period, I have enjoyed restless-free nights. Just pop 2 Rest-ZZZ pills 30 minutes before bed and you won’t have to count sheep anymore!

My experience with LifeSeasons all natural health supplements has been a positive one. I would recommend these products to any and everyone looking to get formulated for life.

To read more about my favorite supplement, Rest-ZZZ click here.

Find the right formula for you! Get 20% off plus free shipping on your first order.

 

Disclaimer: These supplements were sent to me to review by LifeSeasons. This review is 100% my own honest opinion and it has not been influenced by any individual or organization in any way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Resolution: Get More Sleep!

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Happy New Year’s Eve!!

How are you spending your last day of 2017?

As you reflect on 2017 and the new year, what is on your vision board? What are your New Year’s resolutions? Now you might be apart of the cliche brigade and want to lose 50 pounds and workout every day and eat healthily and live a stress-free life…. but we all know that’s not going to happen. I mean sorry to burst your bubble but you’re going to go strong for the first few months, maybe, and then give in and eventually your long-term goal is now a short-term goal.

One of my 2018 resolutions is simple: get more sleep! We all live busy lives, working our 9-5 jobs, balancing work life with our personal life, extracurricular activities, you may have kids, spouses, family, etc. After all the hustle and bustle of life, what more could you possibly want besides SLEEP? I have the solution to getting a good nights rest. The answer is Rest-ZZZ of LifeSeasons.

What it is: Rest-ZZZ aids in relieving muscle tension, restlessness, and nerve-related sleeplessness. It helps calm the nervous system and promotes natural sleep cycles.

My mind races at nighttime because  I’m always thinking about what I have to do for tomorrow. The only time I go straight to sleep is if I workout right before bed, but what if I don’t make it to the gym? Rest-ZZZ is basically my hero. I take 2 right before bed and I’m  good to go.

Rest-ZZZ Ingredients: Chamomile, GABA, Melatonin, Passion Flower, Valerian Root

I challenge you this new year to treat yourself to more sleep! You deserve to feel refreshed every morning you wake up.

Treat yo’self TODAY! 

Get 20% off plus free shipping on your first order.

Life Seasons Logo

Low Carb Coke Float

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

A diabetic sat craving, something sweet for Mr. Claus.

The fridge and pantry were empty and bare

In hopes that Saint Nick would put healthy goodies there.

While she sat and pondered what could she possibly make

No flour or sugar, cookies for Santa were going to be impossible to bake.

But with a blink of an eye and a wish on a star

Two magical ingredients appeared on the bar.

She in her onesie and coke float in hand

Taking sips of the tasty dessert that was not planned.

As she left one for Santa and checked her BG ‘fore bed

A sound echoed in the chimney and down came someone in red.

Saint Nicholas answered all of her wishes

and filled up the fridge and pantry with low carb dishes.

He gulped down the coke float and flew out of sight

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!

Keto Friendly Coke Float Recipe

2 ingredients:

1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

1 3/4 Cup of Diet Soda

Do-It-Yourself:

  1. Pour the Heaving Whipping Cream into your glass of choice.
  2. Slowly pour your favorite diet soda into the glass.
  3. Enjoy!

For the holidays or a little kick add Vanilla Crown Royal to the mix! It pairs great with my diet soda of choice, Vanilla Coke or regular Coca-Cola.

(Please drink responsibly)

Thank you Hey Keto Mama for the delicious recipe!

Follow all of her Keto friendly recipes on Pinterest.

Dear Diabetes, Thank You.

6th Diaversary!

Today marks my 6th year living with type one diabetes. As I reflect on how much type one has played a major role in my life and how much it’s impacted me, I’m forever grateful God has chosen me to take on this challenge. Instead of writing about how much I hate being a diabetic and how inconvenient it can be at times, I would like to celebrate my 6th diaversary with a personal thank you note to Diabetes.

Dear Diabetes,

You can’t control me. After putting up with you for 6 years, I feel like we have a special bond and an understanding that I can tell you anything. Now what I’m going to say next may shock you, but I would like to take this time to say thank you.

Thank you for being there 24/7 and never leaving my side even when I wanted to take a break from you. The late nights and early mornings never get old… because we’re bonding right? Knowing I can count on you to wake me up at 3:00am with a welcoming sweaty pillow, makes it all worthwhile. We spend more time together than I do with my fiance and family. We have formed a special bond no one can break, not even my endocrinologist, dietician or doctor.

Remember when you thought you were going to take control of me 6 years ago? I was a freshman in college, running to the bathroom 15-20 times a day, drinking a 24-pack of water that lasted every 2 days, feeling burned out during volleyball practice more frequently, and not knowing what was going on with me.

Well, guess what? I kept going because that’s the only thing I knew how to do. My athlete instinct kicked in and I pushed through the weird experiences I was going through. I blamed my 10-pound weight loss on the tough workouts and the constant urination on all the Gatorade and water I was consuming. I made excuses for something I didn’t know I had for 3 months.

No more excuses. After my diagnosis, you changed my life forever and I have accepted it. I have accepted the challenge.

I thought I was the healthiest I could be at 18 years old, but you fooled me. I am now more aware of what goes into my body. I can look at any type of food and automatically tell you how many carbs it has. I can tell you that Mexican food and pizza will raise my blood sugar 2 hours after I eat because it’s a higher carb meal. With carb loaded meals like those, I know to extend my bolus on my Omnipod to prevent bedtime highs. This has become second nature. Now at 24 years old, I’m the healthiest I’ve been with a 6.7% a1c. So I thank you.

You had me think I was in the best shape of my life, but you constantly remind me that I have to workout daily to keep my numbers in a normal range. But you have to make things difficult. I have to run a temp basal and monitor my numbers throughout my workout to prevent lows because having lows suck. Lows suck especially at the gym when you’re killing leg day and all of a sudden the squat rack feels 20 times heavier. You have to stop in between reps and go to the locker room to squeeze a juice box down your throat hoping you don’t pass out. You’re already sweating from being there an hour so you don’t know you’re THAT low until the room looks blurry, your walk becomes wobbly and your hands are shaky. Besides that Diabetes, you’ve held me accountable and made sure I stay in the best shape of my life.

I could really strangle you and curse your name for how expensive your supplies are, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll rearrange my entire budget and bite my tongue because I have to live. I’m very fortunate to be able to afford your expensiveness… test strips, insulin bottles, Omnipods, alcohol wipes, back up insulin injection needles, glucometers, ketone sticks, blood glucose meters, and batteries. At least you’ve provided me with a temporary survival kit until you are no more. So on that note, I say thank you.

Thank you for showing me how strong I truly am. When you decide to play those funny games in the early mornings, I get you under control and find myself up 3 hours later continuing my normal routine. It’s like I have 2 jobs, one that I get paid for, the other, well… I pay you. Thank you for teaching me that my appearance does not matter. All of the finger pricks, site changes and bruises that appear on my body, are constant reminders of you. I am greater than my highs and lows. I am not my disease. I am capable of the impossible. All because of you. I will not let you win. I’m a type one diabetic showing my gratitude for everything you’ve taught me about myself and with that, I say thank you.

After 6 years of our ups and downs, I can honestly say I’ve had enough and I pray for the day you are gone out of my life for good.

But until that day comes, I will continue inspiring others to push through their struggles and educate those who are unfamiliar with how cruel you really are. Even on my bad days, I will try to look for the positive. I have come too far to throw in the towel now. So on this day, after reflecting on how you’ve changed my life for the good (mostly bad), I’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t control me… you never will.

Yours truly.

 

New Partnership with LifeSeasons LLC

Okay… so I know I told you I had some exciting news to share with you. Well, here it is… *drumroll please* I partnered with LifeSeasons, a natural supplements company in Dallas, Texas. LifeSeasons creates natural formulas targeted toward specific everyday health concerns. I’m so excited to be given the opportunity to share with you my 90-day journey with the following all-natural supplements:

Mobili-T 

Rest-ZZZ

Glucose Stabili-T

Living with type one diabetes, it’s difficult to find supplements and/or medications that don’t interfere with your blood glucose levels. For example, I can’t take Tylenol because it raises my blood sugar drastically. Well, guess what? LifeSeasons is a healthy substitute which doesn’t affect your blood sugars! It makes it easy for you, blending all of the natural ingredients together in a safe formula. I knew I had to try these products out.

What it is:

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Mobili-T assists in the free movement of the joints and assists in moisturizing them to help support ease and range of motion. I’m a retired college volleyball athlete and I have accepted the fact that my joints and muscles will forever ache. I recently injured my shoulder, which has limited my range of motion. Depending on the day, the pain creeps up on me; so bad that I can’t sleep on it, put on clothes, or even shower. Any slight movement can be unbearable. With my luck, I also sprained my ankle recently in an alumni volleyball game, and now I’m experiencing stiffness and more pain. So basically, EVERYTHING HURTS!!! I will use Mobili-T twice a day (as suggested) as a daily Ibuprofen replacement.

Rest-ZZZ aids in relieving muscle tension, restlessness, and nerve-related sleeplessness. It helps calm the nervous system and promotes natural sleep cycles. Being the millennial I am, I work a 9-5 job with a few side hustles; life is tiring! My mind races at night and I’m constantly making to-do lists for myself. I’m grateful to try Rest-ZZZ to ease my racing mind and restless nights. Everyone deserves a great night sleep, right?

Glucose Stabili-T helps maintain healthy blood sugar, circulation, and vision. It also supports the body’s natural cellular metabolism. I will use Glucose Stabili-T to help with circulation and vision. Diabetics have to get frequent eye and foot exams. If you’re not in control of your diabetes, it can affect your eyes and feet the most. Eyes- Having high levels of sugar in your blood for a long period of time can harm the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. This can result in vision problems or even blindness. Feet- Diabetes can damage your body’s nerves. Nerve damage stops you from feeling pain or other problems in your feet. Poor blood circulation can also cause damage to your feet. A lack of blood flow can slow down the healing process for a sore or infection. IMPORTANT: Ladies and gentlemen, before getting a pedicure, make sure everything is sanitary! Watch the pedicurist clean the bowls and utensils before they touch your feet.

Mobili-T Ingredients: Glucosamine, Chicken Collagen, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), Chondroitin Sulfate, Turmeric Root Extract, Bromelain

Rest-ZZZ Ingredients: Chamomile, GABA, Melatonin, Passion Flower, Valerian Root

Glucose Stabili-T Ingredients: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Bilberry, Chromium, Cinnamon, Gymnema

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LifeSeasons conveniently ships the products directly to your home. If you sign up for the monthly subscription, not only do you save 15% on all of your orders, but you get FREE shipping! If online shopping is not for you, go to your local Whole Foods or Sprouts. LifeSeasons is found on the shelves of many health stores. Find a store nearest you Store Locator.

To find the supplements that are formulated for you, visit Formulas to Help You Rebalance.

I will share my experiences with you as I continue this journey to a healthy lifestyle.

For more information on these fabulous products, click HERE.

#FormulatedforLife

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At Home Workout Circuit

Alright, I’ve given you 3 months since we made our New Years pacts. Have you kept yours up? I know you’ve been busy, and you wish there was more time in the day (doesn’t everybody?), but make sure to make time for yourself. Being a diabetic, it’s especially important to focus on yourself to avoid complications down the road.

This 2017, I scratched “resolutions” and decided to focus on one goal this year: to lower my A1C. In January and February, I made a commitment to eat healthier by putting the oven to work and avoiding fast food. I suggest meal prepping every week, because it saves me a lot of time and comes in clutch when I have unhealthy cravings. The prepped food is staring at me in the refrigerator, so I have no choice but to eat it. All I have to do is pop that sucker in the microwave, and we’re good to go!

Now, I will tell you that living a diabetic lifestyle is not easy. When my sugar drops, I want to eat EVERYTHING in sight… forget the plastic containers filled with grilled chicken breast, broccoli and black beans. I choose the greasy potato chips, fruit snacks, cookie dough, goldfish after the juice box and glucose tablets! I know what you’re thinking; I should have healthier snack options. But when you go low, you’re not thinking, let alone thinking healthy. Self-discipline and low blood sugars are on opposite sides of the spectrum.  There’s no such thing as carb counting in the event of a hypo.

What I will tell you is eating healthy on a consistent basis has lowered my A1C to 7.0. For people without diabetes, the normal A1C range is 4-6%. I want to feel a sense of normalcy again, so I’m aiming for that  “normal” percentile.

This past week, I signed up for personal training. My mentality is if I can pair healthy eating and a guaranteed workout 3 times a week, my A1C is bound to decrease. I’m not saying in order to see results you have to invest in a trainer. Being a former athlete, I’m used to being pushed, and this is what works for me. Do what works for you. For those that don’t have a gym membership or personal trainer, I’m giving you one of my favorite at-home workouts.

This is a circuit. Each exercise is timed, 30-45 seconds for each one.
15-20 seconds rest in between. Rest more if needed. Each exercise has to have maximum effort! These exercises can easily be done at home with a couch or a chair. Use a couch or chair for reference to make sure you are getting low enough.

Jumping jacks

High knees

Squat jumps

Pulsating squats

Bulgarian split squat

Tricep dips

Inclined pushup

Declined push up

Suitcases

Mountain climbers

Russian twists

To increase the intensity of this workout, time each exercise for 1 min. +

Disclaimer:
Don’t forget to check your bg levels before you start any exercise. I run a temp basal for the duration of my workout so that my Omnipod gives me less insulin to avoid hypos. Always stretch before and after you exercise to avoid pulling muscles.

Follow me on the road to exercising better!

Sherry Davidson RN, CDE Educates Patients How to Live Diabetter

Q&A with Sherry Davidson RN, CDE


I interviewed Diabetes Educator, Sherry Davidson who was actually the first nurse I met after my diagnosis. Sherry has a passion for education and is full of information. She knew at a young age that she wanted to be a nurse and after occasional fill-ins at the hospital, Sherry earned her career as an educator full time. Sherry answers questions from the correlation between stress and diabetes to the do’s and don’ts of drinking alcohol. Read how my favorite nurse educates people on how to live diabetter!
I’m Sherry Davidson, I’m a Registered Nurse and a Diabetes Educator, I’m the Diabetes Coordinator here. So 70% of my job is diabetes education, mostly outpatient education, I do see patients in the hospital as well. The other 30% is checking in on in patients, I look at lab values and blood sugars and try to make sure we’re managing patients well.

  1. Is there a correlation between anxiety/stress and diabetes?
    That’s a form of stress… anxiety, stress and being scared so any type of stress can make your blood sugar go up or down, most people they go up but a lot of people they go down. One of my patients was learning to drive and he was going for his test and he took his blood sugar before the test and he failed. He took his blood sugar after and it was way sky high, so the next time he went, he did better and didn’t fail. It showed immediately how that one little event really made his blood sugar skew.
  2. Can I reuse a syringe?
    That’s always a hard one, everything you read will say no. There’s a lot of literature that has looked at that just for cost and disposal and all those issues. They do say that technically you can, there’s no risk necessarily of infection to the person, which is what you would be concerned about. The needles are so fine that they do tend to get dull faster and when you look at some of the research that shows the actual needle, after one use it gets a little jagged. It certainly can if you’re using it too much can definitely irritate the skin, but as far as infection risk and everything there’s not really. So I don’t recommend it but I do tell people if you’re out somewhere and you forgot to bring an extra one or you’re over night somewhere and didn’t bring one, reuse it!
  3. Tips on drinking alcohol
    Always have food with alcohol because a lot of people think depending on the alcohol they’re drinking, it’s going to make my blood sugar go up so I better not eat as much. It’s actually the opposite because when you’re drinking alcohol your liver is metabolizing the alcohol and it can’t do anything else. So people actually run the risk of a low blood sugar because one of the functions of the liver is to also release sugar that’s stored and it can’t do that when you drink. The rule I have with that is, women 1 alcoholic beverage, men can have 2 and just always make sure you have food if you’re going to drink.
  4. What is diabetes burnout?
    One of the things I hear patients say is, “I just want a diabetes vacation” because it’s so much work and you’re thinking about it 24/7. I think there are ways to take breaks from certain parts occasionally depending on what your regimen is and maybe having another person be responsible for parts of it for two days so you can kind of have a little break.
  5. Is a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) necessary?
    A continuos glucose monitor is such a great tool, I don’t think it’s a “must” but I think they’re times when it’s helpful. I do think if people are having hard times managing their blood sugar or their a1c isn’t matching because you can’t test 24/7, then it might be necessary. I think the CGM for me is more meaningful to do spot checks. Some people do it all the time, but like you said it’s expensive. Maybe do it 3 days a couple of times a month, just to see where your baseline is and if there is an issue you’re not aware of.
  6. Tips on sick day management?
    One of the big things with sick day management is balancing the carbohydrate beverages with the non-carbohydrate beverages. There’s a difference between staying hydrated, you want to stay hydrated with the sugar-free gatorade, broth, sugar-free jello and water, just things that don’t have carbs in them. Drinking lots of sugar-free beverages to stay hydrated but balancing that with apple juice and ginger ale. So usually what I tell people to think about how many carbohydrates you normally have in a meal and have that same amount even though it might look very different. It might look like apple juice or sprite and alternating with the non-caloric and non-carb.
  7. Does insulin aid in weight gain?
    Insulin is a fat storage hormone and so it stores fat if you have extra you’re not using. I tend to see this with people who have type 2 diabetes more but it definitely can be with type 1 as well. You have insulin that’s not being used, it’s not causing low blood sugar, it’s sitting there so it does cause you to gain weight. So making sure you are using all that insulin and exercise is the best way to do that. Women tend to run their blood sugar higher to avoid weight gain because they know that if it’s high, they’re burning off the calories which is not good. Sometimes when people are first diagnosed, they’ve lost weight and they put it back on and they are like “uh oh, am I going to keep gaining weight?” No, it’s just initially it’s stabilizing, you shouldn’t continue to gain from that if so, we need to look at the ratio you’re using because you’re not using it all.
  8. How can someone manage diabetes without insurance coverage?
    Diabetes is definitely a tough disease if you don’t have insurance coverage. I would say that typically they would be on a different insulin regimen. Some of the newer insulins cost more but we have older insulins that still work fine. You can buy a bottle of insulin for $20 at Walmart if you’re on a generic brand. It can be reasonable but it can be the $200 bottle too. With glucose testing, you can buy name brand which the strips are $1 a piece or you can buy the others that are $15 for 50 strips, so they’re ways to help.
  9. Is it safe to use expired supplies?
    Technically yes we do say that you’re not supposed to use them, I don’t really know what happens. One of the things they say with insulin is that a bottle of insulin is good for a month, 28 days. If you go past that it’s not like it isn’t working, it’s probably now 98% effective. So it does lose its potency, I don’t think something bad is going to happen.
  10.  What is hypoglycemia unawareness?
    A lot of times after you’ve had diabetes for a long time you just aren’t as sensitive. Those nerves that usually warn you that you’re having a hypoglycemic event aren’t there. So people get really low, 20 before they would have any symptoms but then your brain can’t remember what to do and it can be very dangerous. People tend to run themselves higher so they avoid that. What they do say is that if you run yourself a little higher for a while, your body can reset itself. That’s not always true if you’ve had diabetes for a long time.
  11. Any advice for those battling diabetes?
    Staying focused on what the end result is. A quality life is so important and I think enjoying life too. So many people have diabetes controlling them instead of them controlling their diabetes and initially I totally understand because it is self-absorbing and trying to learn everything, but eventually we want to get people where it’s part of what they’re doing. Some people deal with that better than others, I think support systems make a big piece of that.
  12. Will there ever be a cure?
    I do think that sometime in the future. They say every 5 years they say, “Oh, in 5 years…” and they’ve been saying that for the last 30 years but we’ve learned so much. Treatments have definitely improved, so I don’t know that will be exciting one day if they can. I think we know why, we just have to figure out how to fix it.

Ms. Sherry is one of many who has encouraged me to turn my diagnosis into a positive by choosing to live diabetter every single day.

Who has helped you on your diabetic journey?

Do you have more questions you want  me to ask on my next doctor’s visit?

Leave a comment below 🙂