Do you love your pump?
I know I do.
I’m grateful for the diabetes technology and all of our insulin pump supplies that are out there.
Studies have shown that insulin pumps have overall improved the quality of life in patients who use them.
They drive me BANANAS.
For example: your site goes bad and you didn’t know the site went bad.
Or maybe the site was never good to begin with and now you’re chasing a ‘mysterious’ high.
Or your tubing kinks, or gets caught on the doorknob, or ______ fill in the blank.
Maybe the constant site changes are what drive you crazy the most.
You and I could probably make a whole list of things I love my pump, but sometimes I look at it like ‘cmon man!’
Who’s with me?
If you live with diabetes you can definitely relate to this….
Where you’re initial insulin source fails, and you’re going to scrounge up the backup pen that is hopefully is with you:
You may be going on vacation, but your diabetes is indeed going to come along for the adventure.
Do yourself a favor and be prepared for your trip-I guarantee you will enjoy yourself a whole lot more.
This is the stuff you need to remember when it comes to traveling with diabetes:
1. Bring 2-3 times the amount of pump supplies you think you need in case a site goes bad, you accidentally snag your tubbing on the restaurant door, or you accidentally knock your site off your body.
2. Bring an insulin pen and cartridge in case you use all of your pump sites. Bonus tip: wrap your pen in bubble wrap to keep it secure.
3. Blood sugar meter In case your CGM breaks. I know, this isn’t an idea situation. We are indeed slightly spoiled by the lack of finger sticks these days. But I don’t know about you, I wouldn’t want to go swimming with sharks or snorkeling with the turtles without knowing what my blood sugar was. You?
4. Backup insulin in case your current bottle...
An all too familiar story….
You’ve got normal school or work, family gatherings, parties, work events, if you have
kids, their events, your workouts, your date nights, social time with your friends.
To be honest, I’m overwhelmed writing that list.
Now, throw in diabetes on top of it.
You’re working to accomplish everything you want in your normal life WHILE managing a disease that doesn't let you take a break.
Ever. 24/7/365. There is no vacation.
Simply managing your Type 1 diabetes can result in diabetes burnout.
Unlike many things in the diabetes world that aren’t discussed enough, this is one topic that is….because it happens so frequently.
Neglect your blood sugars for a few hours and it will come back in full force to remind you that it is there.
It may come back in the form of a 350 blood sugar, zapping you of your energy, motivation, and your free will to do ANYTHING other than curl in a...
You’ve been warned!
Just eat the real thing.
I know that this may be an unpopular opinion.
However, devouring TONS of sugar-free foods normally means consuming a ton of sugar alcohols, which can lead to being on the porcelain throne for who knows how long.
Most sugar-free foods cause MASSIVE indigestion, and wreck your stomach and cause massive diarrhea.
They also taste pretty odd with significant aftertastes, so why eat them?
Those sugar alcohols also wipe out your good gut bacteria, and this can be detrimental to your immune system.
Gut bacteria is huge in the diabetes and auto-immune world, so it’s definitely not in your best interest to have the good ones wiped out.
It is also important to remember that some sugar-free foods actually do also contain carbs.
The phrase “sugar-free” is often misunderstood as a “free” pass.
Labeling a food sugar-free does...
The phrase diabetes and exercise either sounds like a match made in heaven or a nightmare.
Exercise can seem SUPER daunting for people living with diabetes.
However, it is important to remember that exercising is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy.
Sometimes you may feel as though you so much as LOOK at a treadmill and experience low blood sugars.
You start to get into the zone with a warm-up and then ‘your blood sugar tanks.
You are consuming calories you don’t want to be eating when you’re supposed to be burning them!
You’re frustrated while wasting time, effort, and energy.
One way to avoid that is to avoid having insulin on board before your workout.
This can mean using a temporary basal or suspending your pump.
The less insulin on board you have, the less likely there is to be blood sugar volatility in advance.
This can be absolutely critical if applied the right way to your diabetes.
Another way to...
Getting mad at your blood sugar doesn’t help anything…even though you wish it would.
I’ve been here before and I’m sure you have as well. You look at your Dexcom.
You correct again.
You start cursing.
Stubborn high! Nothing happens.
You dose again.
“Treating blood sugar spikes is so fun”, said no one ever.
Then suddenly, it's like Wylie Coyote running off the side of a cliff and looking down: The bottom falls out.
Now, your blood sugar is TANKING and you're cursing as you drink a juice box.
SO MUCH RAGE IN THE BRAIN.
Instead of rage bolusing for periods of hyperglycemia, just be patient.
Rage bolusing is going to make your tank and then overcorrect.
Instead of cursing, which is more stressful than anything else, just let it be.
Stress = Higher blood sugar levels..
Skip that blood sugar rollercoaster - it’s a lousy, exhausting...
On your way to an A1c of 7.0 if you start at 9.5.
In order to get there, you have to pass through 8.0. Sure, 8 isn’t where you want to be.
But it’s a stop on the destination.
A lot of people will see their A1c higher and IMMEDIATELY compare to what they see on social media.
They see all the flat Dexcom lines and wonder “why not me?” The FIRST step to getting where you want to be with your blood sugar levels…
9.5 to 9.4.
9.4 to 9.3.
If you want to lose weight and drop 30lbs, you first have to drop 3lbs.
If you’re going to get to a 7.0 A1c from a 9.5, you have to first get to 9, then to 8, etc.
Enjoy the journey.
Enjoy the process.
That is where the beauty of everything is.
Quite frankly: that is how you get to the final destination. You take little, single steps every single day.
Suddenly, you’ll look up, and think...
Close your eyes for a second and image this:
You are sitting at your table in a restaurant and there is something on the menu you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe it's chicken alfredo from an authentic Italian restaurant or an epic Chinese dish. Maybe it's your ultimate comfort food.
Your blood sugar stays amazing.
Not just right afterwards, but also hours and hours later into the night. How awesome does that feel?!
Once upon a time, you may have been nervous to consume that food.
Once upon a time, it was out of your comfort zone to even TRY that food.
I would bet that somewhere along the way you were given a list titled “Diabetes Food to Eat” “Blood Sugar Foods.”
But, what happened?
You said, “Hey, I’m gonna figure out how to do this so my blood sugars can be amazing while I enjoy foods that I love.”
Each of us have...
I was a freshman in high school in a computer class when I heard a specific Ludacris song for the first time.
The entire song was meaningful, but one lyric in particular stopped me in my tracks.
“It’s not the hand that you're dealt but how you’re playing ya cards.”
This lyric has stuck with me ever since because of how it relates to diabetes and life. It’s amazing how a few words rocked me to my CORE then, and they still do today.
Mental health awareness has been a huge topic of conversation in recent years. In my humble opinion, mental health surrounding life with diabetes is not talked about enough.
We all know living with Type 1 diabetes can be tricky, sucks, and none of us asked for it.
How’s that for candid?
But, at the end of the day, it doesn’t have to slow you down from what you want to do. There are professional athletes with diabetes.
There are musicians with diabetes.
Actors and actresses who are well known for living with...
It’s no secret that your diabetes tech is likely to show at the beach.
Almost EVERY time I go, people always come up and ask me what my insulin pump is.
Or what my Dexcom is.
Or why I have oddly shaped tape on my body.
Or (fill in the blank with everything imaginable)
While I was in college, a kid came up to me and thought my pump was a video game.
I told him it was an automatic tattoo maker, since it left a nice tan line.
He fell for it.
Most of the time, I simply just say what it is: it’s my insulin pump for my diabetes.
This statement always seems to be taken as an invitation by other people to start listing all the stereotypical statements about diabetes:
“Well you don’t look like you have diabetes.”
“Wait, you’re not fat.”
“Only old people get diabetes.”
What does diabetes even look like?!
A friendly PSA: there is no definition.
I know many who would agree with me in suggesting that more people were aware of terms...