Navigation Menu+

LATEST PONDERS

Time Flies… 5 Months with Type 1

Posted by on 7:50 pm in Carb Counting, Events, Insulin, Lifestyle | Comments Off on Time Flies… 5 Months with Type 1

Time Flies… 5 Months with Type 1

Well, I have been slacking on keeping up with my blog lately. And not because I don’t have anything to write about – I come up with Diabetes thoughts all the time! Like when I was at Marshall’s the other day and they asked me at check-out if I wanted to donate to help Juvenile Diabetes and JDRF? Heck, yeah! They had me at JDRF. Which led me wonder, when a store supports a certain cause, are you more likely to donate if the matter is close to your heart, or even more, if you have it? You may think that’s a silly question… but seriously, I wonder how much more likely you are to donate to a cause that you’re more familiar with. Anyways, Marshalls got an extra $5 from me that day… and I got an extra pep in my step! And maybe some new pumps : ) It’s been about 5 months since I was diagnosed with Type 1, and a lot has happened! I’m still trying to stick to a lower carb diet, so I don’t have to take a lot of insulin at mealtime. Typically, I give myself 2-3 units. I can tell that my honeymoon phase is changing though, as I need more and more insulin at mealtime to prevent my glucose levels from nearing 200.  Wah, wah. I used to eat an apple with 1-2 units; now it’s almost 4. Or, maybe the apples are getting bigger? Jk. My ankle is doing a lot better, which has allowed me to start exercising again. Thank goodness – I REALLY missed those endorphins! This has also been a learning curve for me too, as my blood sugar levels drop drastically during my cardio work-outs. Last night, I dropped 80 points in 20 minutes on the elliptical. Yikes! Therefore, I try to be at 175 – 190 before my work-outs, and bring sugar tablets with me if they surpass 40 minutes. It used to really bother me that I had to get high in order to work-out; now I just accept what it is. Having higher blood sugar for 30 minutes isn’t going to kill you – especially since the goal is to work-out. I continue to take my Lantus in the morning, even though my doctor advised that I start taking it at night – because I’m still experiencing the Dawn Phenomenon. If I’m at 130 or higher before bed, I take a unit of Humalog and I will wake in the morning around 100. If I have wine before bed, then my numbers will decline overnight, so being at 120 means that I will wake up around 70-80. My sister got the Dexcom-4 this week and I’m OBSESSED! I really want to ask my doctor about getting one during my appointment in October. Until then, I can follow Amy’s numbers and compare them with mine. (Just kidding! Maybe…) My husband Sean and I attended the JDRF One Walk Kick-Off in the beginning of August at Angel’s Stadium. It was really motivating and supportive to be around so many Type Ones, and after the kick-off, I was really motivated to start a team. However, as time has passed, I have become less and less motivated to join the walk. Not because I don’t believe...

read more

Chocolate, Just For Fun.

Posted by on 11:28 pm in Carb Counting, Eats, Insulin, Lifestyle, Stories | Comments Off on Chocolate, Just For Fun.

Chocolate, Just For Fun.

The other night, I caught my beautiful wife grabbing some chocolate out of the refrigerator. I asked if she was feeling okay and she said, yes, “I just wanted some chocolate.” Her nonchalant and genuine response warmed my heart and put a big smile on my face. As a spouse of someone with Type 1 Diabetes, I’m used to my loved one politely passing on sweets or baked goods at social events, because she may be required to test her levels and take insulin to offset the carbohydrate intake. I feel for all of the other Type 1 Diabetes who run into these similar situations at picnics, birthday parties, or other social functions. It just plain sucks. Yes, it S-U-C-K-S. Even for people without Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, life doesn’t always have to be about watching your figure. Sometimes, it’s fun to splurge for special occasions and enjoy a piece of cake or chocolate with friends. I know one day when the medical treatments for Type 1 have advanced and there is a cure, hopefully we can all enjoy a piece of cake together, without checking any levels. Until then, I’ll settle for her having a piece of chocolate, just for...

read more

New Technology for a Promising Future

Posted by on 3:27 pm in Lifestyle, News, Stories | Comments Off on New Technology for a Promising Future

New Technology for a Promising Future

About my First Type 1 Diabetes Research Study About a month ago, I participated in a paid Type 1 Diabetes Research Study to give my opinion about new technology that’s in development. I signed a NDA agreement, so unfortunately, I can’t go into details about this technology – what it is, what it does, who is making it – but the study itself was very promising in regards to new hardware and software that’s in the works for Juvenile Diabetes. I’ll give you some hints though – (1) it wasn’t an artificial pancreas, (2) a component of it was an app for your phone, and (3) the technology is being developed by a well-known medical device company for Type 1 Diabetes. Now, I’m not writing this blog entry to tease any Type 1 Diabetics, but merely to inform (and excite you!) about new technology that <hopefully!> we can take advantage of soon! Another bonus was that in the beginning of the study, I got to chat with a Type 1 expert and my personal experiences with it. She was SO knowledgeable about Type 1 and even let me bounce some ideas off of her: the dawn phenomenon, my family history, symptoms leading up to my diagnosis, etc. She even informed me that I shouldn’t be pricking the middle of my fingers, as they’re the most tender part (um, news to me!). However, the most instrumental and memorable thing she said was that she was confident that an artificial pancreas would be released in her lifetime. Granite, she wasn’t that old, but the comment itself was very reassuring – to say the least. : ) Happy Wednesday,...

read more

Did you SEE my A1C?!

Posted by on 7:35 pm in Carb Counting, Events, Insulin, Lifestyle, Stories | Comments Off on Did you SEE my A1C?!

Did you SEE my A1C?!

My First A1C Test On Bolus & Basal Insulin A couple of weeks ago, I had my first 3-month A1C check-up with my Endocrinologist since being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 29 years old. In April 2015, my A1C average was 11%, which meant that my blood sugar levels were averaging 270. Hello cloudy vision, extreme thirst, sugar cravings, and weight loss! The weight loss was the only side effect that I actually enjoyed. It was the first time in my life I could eat whatever I wanted and lose weight, but I guess a 500 blood sugar level is not the way to go about it. : ) So, a few weeks ago, I fasted and had my blood taken for my new A1C test, which is a 3-month average of your blood sugar levels. As a new Type 1 Diabetic, I’m now on insulin, taking 3-4 shots a day of Humalog at mealtime, 1 shot of Lantus in the morning, and averaging about 8 finger pricks a day. Coupled with a lower carb diet, I was pretty hopeful going into the appointment. The results? My new A1C average was 5.7, and my doctor was ecstatic. He’s like, “Did you see your new number?!” when he walked into the room. A big smile across his face, he assured me 5.7 was great – better yet, it’s a number comparable to a “normal” person. By that, he meant someone who has working beta cells. Nevertheless, I’d still like to bring that number down a tad, being on the high side of the “normal” person spectrum. This doctor’s appointment was not only reassuring that my constant type A control over my sugar levels was paying off, it was SO motivating! Since then, I have diligent to keep my sugar levels between 80 – 140. Plus, I’m now able to exercise to bring down my sugar levels naturally – instead of an easy shot in the tummy. A 30-minute cardio session typically brings me down about 50 points – which is a great feeling – a long with those greatly missed endorphins! Cheers to the next 3 months! Xo,...

read more

#FlashbackFriday: Over 6 Years Ago…

Posted by on 5:04 pm in Events, Lifestyle, Stories | Comments Off on #FlashbackFriday: Over 6 Years Ago…

#FlashbackFriday: Over 6 Years Ago…

July will always be an important month for me. On Monday, July 6th 2015, I celebrated my 6-year diaversary (AKA diabetic anniversary!). “Celebrated” is a strong word too; an evening workout class, Haggen’s salad-sampler, and some Monday night Bachelorette is my perfect kind of celebration these days. ; ) For my first few diaversaries, I treated myself to something special like a new Michael Korrs watch or a weekend away. As more years have come and gone, I’ve started neglecting these treats. It’s not that I am not proud of myself for tackling this disease every darn day; it’s more to due to the fact that I’ve come to learn that health struggles are everywhere, affecting many individuals. Whether it’s cancer, heart disease, or even addiction, internal battles come in all shapes and sizes. I am learning more and more that I am not really that unique and I don’t deserve pity parties. So on Monday, instead of buying myself something materialistic (my wallet loves this), I thought a little more about everything in my life I am especially thankful for. I think we should all to do this from time to time, not just waiting for that annual holiday referred to as Thanksgiving. My list made me happier than anything I could have purchased. And I believe your list will too… XO,...

read more

Parties & Alcohol

Posted by on 9:50 pm in Carb Counting, Eats, Insulin, Lifestyle, Stories | Comments Off on Parties & Alcohol

Parties & Alcohol

Avoiding High Sugar Levels When Celebrating Good Times    Over the last few weeks, I’ve struggled mentally with my blood sugar levels. I don’t like readings above 150, so when I surpass that number, I tend to beat myself up emotionally. It usually stems from eating at a restaurant or at a party, which is bound to happen. You can’t take away some of life’s greatest pleasures because it affects our firm control over glucose levels. However, what I have learned is that no one’s perfect. As a type 1 diabetic, our blood sugar levels are going to fluctuate, especially if you’re like me and like food. At home, we tend to know what’s exactly in our food and the appropriate amount of insulin to inject; however, when dining out, there are more hidden sugars that we may not be aware of. Plus, for those type ones who don’t have an insulin pump, whipping out a needle at a party may not be the friendliest thing to do, as some people have severe phobia of needles. Over the last few months, I’ve attended a number of parties and have learned and gathered the following tips and tricks when eating outside of my home. They are centered on what to eat, when you don’t want to elevate your blood sugar levels significantly or are self-conscious about giving yourself a shot in front of strangers. Personally, I wouldn’t worry about the latter. You’re only doing what’s best for you. : ) Assorted cheeses are great to munch on. They contain little carbs and are just easy to eat. Stay away from the breads, crackers, and chips. Yes, I love them too, but hold off as much as you can. Fuel up on proteins! Salami, miniature meatballs, chicken skewers, etc. will satisfy your appetite and won’t cause you to spike. Stay near the veggie tray. Broccoli, cauliflower, and celery have few carbs. Dessert? Don’t do it! If you must, just a few bites (…party pooper, I know!) For alcohol, choose a light white wine, like Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, or a light beer. The key here is: light, which ultimately means less carbs. A glass of red wine is fine too. If you want to indulge in hard alcohol, stick to a non-sugary mixer – like soda water – which has 0 carbs. However, straight alcohol tends to decrease blood sugar levels, so make sure you don’t get too low either. Happy Party Hopping!...

read more

Dexcom’s New Continuous Glucose Monitor: G4 Plantinum System w/ Share

Posted by on 4:27 pm in Insulin, Lifestyle, News | Comments Off on Dexcom’s New Continuous Glucose Monitor: G4 Plantinum System w/ Share

Dexcom’s New Continuous Glucose Monitor: G4 Plantinum System w/ Share

At the start of this year, the FDA approved Dexcom’s latest model of its continuous glucose monitor, the Dexcom G4® Plantinum System with Share™.  A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a device that uses a glucose sensor or tiny electrode to measure the body’s glucose levels. A CGM takes multiple readings of the body’s glucose reading through the hour, which helps type 1 diabetes patients regulate their glucose levels and adjust their insulin levels. At this point, CGMs do not replace finger pricking, as they still require calibrating about every 12 hours. Dexcom’s latest G4 looks promising, because of new features including: 5-minute readouts of glucose levels Ability to share data to an Apple iWatch and iPhone App via Bluetooth connectivity Ability to share data to 5 other people, such as a doctor or family member Imagine, if your glucose levels feel high and instead of pulling out a fingerstick to prick and test,  you can just look down on your wrist to see your current levels? With the latest G4 that is now possible! You could be playing soccer, relaxing on in a hammock, or in a business meeting and simply look down on your Apple Watch to see your glucose levels. Additionally, concerned parents could know their children’s current levels while they are away at school via the share functionality. The G4 still requires pricking every 12 hours to calibrate the device and replacing the sensor every week or so. However, Dexcom’s technology integration with smart devices is a big step forward for Type-1 Diabetes management. As Dexcom moves forward with future generations of G4 Devices, I wonder if they will call future models the G5 or the G6? If Dexcom does reach the G6 level, the brand may have to incorporate  the “Like a G6” lyrics into its efforts and hopefully more monumental advancements will be made.  ...

read more

Traveling with Type 1 Diabetes

Posted by on 7:53 pm in Carb Counting, Eats, Insulin, Lifestyle | Comments Off on Traveling with Type 1 Diabetes

Traveling with Type 1 Diabetes

This past weekend was my first real vacation traveling with Type 1 Diabetes, and I discovered that it required more planning than my former, pancreas-working life. When you’re eating away from home, you don’t know exactly what’s in your food. I mean, you have a pretty good idea of the ingredients, but compared to actually making the food yourself, you’re not as precise on the carb count, which us diabetics are most concerned about. Coupled with vacation activities that aren’t the most needle-friendly, you can really go off target! I discovered this throughout my weekend away from home. On Saturday, we went for a hike and I was not prepared for a low (no sugar on me – nor a glucose tester). When I started to feel shaky and sweaty, I immediately decided to turn around, fearing an impending low spell. (I always carry sugar on me. Why didn’t I this time?) When I got home, I was at 70 and was glad I turned around when I did. On Sunday, I got low again on the way to the airport (54), but this time I had pretzels and gummy bears with me! Schwing! However, then we decided to go to Del Taco and I failed to give myself a shot. Blame it on the French fries, or the inconvenience of going through airport security, but I needed 2 units of Humalog! Finally, when I got on the plane, I tested myself and was at 212. Damn; I hadn’t been that high in months… Here are a few travel tips that I learned over the weekend: Always carry a fruit bar on you; it may prevent you from going home early. Traveling is not the most convenient for testing your glucose levels, but do it as much as you can. When you’re dining out, try to order things that are the most predictable to count carbs. That sautéed lamb may not be as easy to predict, compared to the grilled fish. Tell the people that you’re traveling with about your diabetes. They’ll be supportive of your testing and injections! Don’t be afraid to give yourself a shot in public. People will understand, and your body will thank you. Until next time, Ashley...

read more

Frozen Insulin & Many Tears.

Posted by on 3:13 pm in Insulin, Lifestyle, Stories | Comments Off on Frozen Insulin & Many Tears.

Frozen Insulin & Many Tears.

Frozen – The Movie Diabetic’s Nightmare   Last Thursday started out like any other day: I headed to the gym after work, picked up some of my prescriptions at my local pharmacy, and then stopped by Golden Spoon to get my boyfriend a tasty treat. Ok, I confess – I wanted a few bites too ; ) When I got home, I rushed to put things away along with accidently placing my insulin in the freezer with my frozen yogurt. It wasn’t until I took the yogurt out for my boyfriend and I realized my insulin was there too! On the bottle of Humalog, it clearly states “do NOT freeze.” I decided to Google the question and was presented with the same response online – freezing the insulin makes it ineffective and causes extremely high blood sugar in addition to dangerous keytones in urine. No, thank you. The next morning, I quickly called my pharmacy, explained to them my situation and requested to get the insulin refilled again. I even relayed to them that I had both bottles of my new insulin completely full and would be glad to turn those in as well. The pharmacist replied asking if I “wanted to pay out of pocket?” I knew immediately this was going to be expensive; each bottle of insulin was $550 for a total of $1,100 due. Getting weepy (I couldn’t help it!) – I asked if they had any form of “forgiveness policy” due to the fact that I had never requested a prescription before it was due. The answer was no. Next was to ask my insurance company on what to do. A Cigna agent by the name of Tim assisted me and said that he couldn’t do anything for me either and that I would have to wait until my next refill was due in 2 weeks. I couldn’t believe this! They would rather deny me of my need for insulin and have me end up in the ICU which would be much (much) more expensive to cover? My next call was to ask my #1 consultant – my Mother. Even weepier now, she first told me to breathe and calm down. (And I am sure she thought my tears meant something worse. Sorry again for the scare Mom.) She then advised that I should call my doctor and ask them if they could help me out. This was my last chance before I would have to shell out $1,100 for new meds. My doctor’s concerned nurse asked if I was covered with insulin for the upcoming weekend (which I was) because my doctor was out of the office for the day and she would need his approval; they would have 2 new bottles for me on Monday. Best. News. Ever. It’s not that fact that I (… or my helpful Parents) wouldn’t have paid the $1,100 to avoid me ending up in the ICU but that my insurance wouldn’t cover the extra insulin. In the almost 6 years since my Type One diagnosis, I had never requested an extra supply of anything. And with a bill of over $35K when I was firstly in the ICU during my initial diagnosis, they would really want to cover all of that AGAIN?  I didn’t have any control...

read more

Happy 2 Months!

Posted by on 7:00 am in Carb Counting, Events, Insulin, Lifestyle, Stories | Comments Off on Happy 2 Months!

Happy 2 Months!

I promise I won’t do this every month; however, today is my 2-month anniversary from being officially diagnosed as Type 1! {Does that deserve an exclamation point? Am I excited about it? Well, no – but I need some positive vibes about this new life circumstance.} To be quite honest, I feel like I’ve had this disease a lot longer than 2 months. It’s become such a big part of my daily routine that it seems like a faint memory when I only counted carbs to look good for a wedding or tropical vacation. Now, I have my “survival pack” beside me at every breakfast, in which I test my blood sugar, give myself a Lantus shot, count the carbs I’m about to consume, give myself a Humalog shot, and then begin to chow. I do, sometimes, forget that I have the disease – even if it’s only for 2 minutes. This usually happens when I eat some carbs later in the day that requires insulin and I think to myself after indulging, “Oops! What’s my blood sugar at? Do I need a shot for this?” Lately, I’ve been getting a lot more lows than highs. In fact, I haven’t been over 160 during the last few weeks, which I’m pretty proud of. However, it’s challenging when I need insulin that’s not 1 or 2 units – meaning I need a ½ unit or 1.5 units for my blood sugar to truly be on “target”. With insulin pumps, you can give yourself insulin in these precise dosages, but with my Humalog pen, I can only give myself whole units right now. So, usually I end up giving myself that extra unit and hope I don’t go “low”. Below is a recap of my Type 1 journey to-date: 12 units of Lantus at 7 am every morning. 1-3 units of Humalog throughout the rest of the day. I’m still “honeymooning” – which means by body is producing a little but of insulin (according to my test results). If I’m very restrictive about my carb intake, I don’t need any meal-time insulin at all. I’m still experiencing the “Dawn Phenomenon”. I’ve tried taking vinegar tablets before bed, to reduce my blood sugar during the night, but I haven’t seen any consistent impact. Now, if I’m over 130 before bed, I give myself a shot of Humalog. This usually puts me right around 100 when I wake up. I don’t eat many sweets anymore. I used to indulge in sweets for company birthdays or at weddings, but now, I’m pretty careful about what sweets I have. If I do, it’s just a bite. As I’ve conveyed in prior posts, I suffered a grade 3 and grade 2 sprain 10 days after I was diagnosed with Type 1, which has been a lot more traumatic on me emotionally. I’m an avid exerciser, so not being able to run, let alone walk, is tough. I can now walk without crutches and continue to dream about running. {Who knew I liked it so much?!} I still get frustrated explaining to people what “Type 1 Diabetes is“. Most just think that it’s diet induced and that I can control it by “eating better”. I have a new appreciation for people who understand Type 1. My family and friends continue to provide wonderful support....

read more