Living Diabetter in 2017

It’s day 6 of 2017 and many of us are still thinking about our New Year’s Resolutions. As we enter the new year and leave 2016 behind, we have to say goodbye to that long list of resolutions. Everyone knows that you will never keep them, so why waste the time and energy creating let-downs. That dreadful list is only holding you back from reaching your full potential this new year.


Let’s say your 2016 list looked like this:

1. Eat Healthy
2. Lose Weight
3. Be Less Stressed
4. Save Money
5. Quit Drinking

Like where do you even start? This looks like a homework assignment you forgot to do so you copied your friend’s work right before class. No thought, no meaning, vague, thrown together answers. You have a sense of relief upon completion but there’s a feeling of guilt after turning it in.
As a type one diabetic, I look at this list and cross through all five resolutions, not because I don’t think they’re doable… they’re just not realistic!

1. Eat Healthy– Overall I eat a healthy diet but when I get low, I just want to eat everything in the fridge. Am I the only diabetic that gets this way? I get hangry. Hungry because my body is going into survival mode while I’m shaky, sweaty and incoherent. Angry because I was correcting a high an hour ago and now I’m low and now I’m hungry and now my emotions are coming into play and now the whole world is over because I can’t go one full day without perfect numbers! This is a reminder that I fight this unpredictable disease on a daily basis.

treating-a-low
2. Lose Weight– I’ve never had weight issues prior to my diagnosis, but it seems like ever since the doctor said “Diabetes” I slowly started gaining unwanted weight in areas I never thought would be possible. My insulin injections and site changes leave my sides, inner thighs, back of arms with hard fatty tissue. So I guess losing those 15 pounds in 3 weeks before I was diagnosed will never happen again.
3. Be Less Stressed– This makes me LAUGH OUT LOUD. If you look up Diabetes in the Dictionary, right next to it will read “stressful.” I mean c’mon… checking BG’s, pricking your finger, counting carbs, changing your pump site, buying all the supplies, experiencing highs and lows, finding test strips in random places, eating snacks, wasting insulin on the floor, the list goes on and on. If this doesn’t sound stressful then I don’t know what does. But we’ve got this!
4. Save Money– Diabetes isn’t cheap. Period. Even if you do have insurance, some policies don’t cover everything.

save-money
5. Quit Drinking– I mean, can a girl have a cocktail or two every once and while? It is recommended that you don’t count the carbs in alcohol, but you should eat before consuming… so bolus with your meal.


Just looking at that long list gives me anxiety, which is why my 2017 tip to you is to figure out one goal you want to accomplish. One goal sounds more reassuring than a New Year’s Resolutions list doesn’t it?
Here are my tips to kick off 2017 living diabetter:

1. Figure out 1 goal– keep it simple and focused.
Are you making bad snacking choices?
2. Replace unhealthy snacks in your pantry with fruits and vegetables. It’s fine to splurge every once and awhile when you’re low but don’t make it a habit. Keep glucose tablets and juice boxes with you at all times.
Are you having trouble getting up in the morning after waking up in the middle of the night to a low?
3. Set your alarm clock across the room, so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

all-night
Are you not motivated to go to the gym?
4. Sleep in your gym clothes…. don’t forget to check your BG before exercising.
5. Write it down! Place that goal somewhere in your house as a constant reminder. Speak it into existence. 2017 is YOUR year!
6. Have an accountability partner… this can be a friend or family member who you will have weekly check-ins with to stay on the right track.

My goal for 2017 is to keep a low A1C. What’s yours?

Happy New Year!2017-is-your-year

Cheers,

Living Diabetter xoxo

Power to the Pump: No Need for Needles

If you ask someone their birth date, they can tell you. If you inquire about life changing moments they will describe them to you. Dates hold a special place in people’s hearts. Dates mark tragedies, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, heartbreaks, and celebrations in one’s life. Dates have become very important to me since I’ve been diagnosed with t1d. They’re the good, the bad and the ugly that shape up my life. I remember the exact date of graduation, my diagnosis, my first car and the date of my first job. On October 18, 2016, I became a “podder”…. One of the best decisions I’ve made.
Insulin pumps are small computerized devices that deliver insulin in two ways:
1. In a steady measured and continuous dose (“basal”)
2. As a surge dose around mealtime (“bolus”)
aka God’s gift to type 1 diabetics!
The American Diabetes Association explains it best, doses are delivered through a flexible plastic tube called a cannula. With the aid of a small needle, the cannula is inserted through the skin into the fatty tissue and is taped in place. The insulin pump is not an artificial pancreas… This delivery system most closely mimics the body’s normal release of insulin.
I’m new to this whole insulin pump thing but I’m loving it so far! For almost 5 years, I’ve been giving myself injections using the Novolog (during meals) and Levemir (bedtime) Flexpens.
That’s 12,698 insulin needle injections to be exact.
You can find your T1D Footprint at https://www.jdrf.org/t1dlookslikeme/
The injections were convenient starting out. I just did some carb counting and adjusted how many units of insulin I needed for my meals. Then before I went to bed I would inject 14-18 units (depending on ratio at the time) of insulin (Levemir).
Sounds easy right?
Not exactly.
As time past, I noticed fatty tissue began to build up on my injection sites. Yes, I changed site locations frequently but the fatty tissue was still there. I felt self conscious wearing certain clothing during the warmer months and injecting under the table at restaurants and/or in the bathroom when your pen cap rolls under the neighbors stall didn’t help matters either.
The result of injecting yourself 3-4 times a day, not including corrections and snacks can take a toll on your body’s physical appearance.

no-need-for-needles-2
After many discussions with my endocrinologist and nutritionist, I decided that the OmniPod was more compatible with my lifestyle and here is why:
– The OmniPod is tubeless and wireless (no plastic tubing) which is perfect for my active lifestyle… no stuffing tubes in sports bras during a workout or bulging dress shirts in business meetings.
– Patch-style adhesive allows discreet wearing and makes it easier to camouflage with seasonal clothing.
– PDM (controller unit) has a built-in fingerstick meter for checking BGs… no separate meter required = more purse space!
– The Pod (insulin unit) is waterproof up to 25 feet… Costa Rica here I come!
– PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) provides precise doses down to .25 units… regulates blood sugar = lower A1C levels!
– User friendly… if you are new to an insulin pump, the OmniPod comes with a quick and easy setup and site changes.

podder
I chose the Pod Life because of the fewer injections, discreet site locations and control of my insulin intake… I can set a “temp basal” when I exercise or “extend” the insulin during 1/2 price appetizers. Being on the OmniPod eliminates the need to guesstimate when I eat because there is a built in food library and it allows a more accurate dosage of insulin delivered throughout the day.

Although there are cons to the Pod Life like the alert beeping noises, higher risk of DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis), changing your site every 3 days or the fact that I could be allergic to the adhesive?? does not change all of my positive experiences I’ve had so far.
Please check with your endocrinologist before considering an insulin pump.

t1dlookslikeme