New Friends – Thanks Diabetes

It’s 3:30 pm and I’m in the basement of the church in my bridesmaid dress trying to steam the wrinkles out of another bridesmaid’s dress. The room is really hot, but do I feel hotter than I did 5 minutes ago? Maybe. I glance at my Dexcom app, still no data. It’s been on the fritz since I arrived this morning to get my hair done for my friend’s wedding. Maybe it’s just the steam and the activity in the bridal room.

But my hand is shaking. Something isn’t right. I check my blood sugar. 43.

I pop open my tube of glucose tabs and eat the only 3 that are in there and curse myself for not refilling it. I don’t have any other fast-acting sugar with me. The bridesmaid whose dress I was steaming is a pediatric nurse and she sees me. “Are you okay?” she asks.

“I’m low, I’m 43,” I respond. By this point, everyone in the room has seen this. She asks if anyone has food in the room. Someone offers a bag of Sour Patch Kids, and I scarf down some candy and take a drink of water.

People ask me what I need now and I respond that I need just a minute.

The pastor knocks on the door and announces that we have five minutes before we have to go upstairs. The nurse slips on her dress that someone else has finished steaming and asks me how I feel. I can’t focus enough to respond right away and just awkwardly stare at her, but I can’t quite focus on her or figure out how to speak words. “I need another minute,” I finally manage to say. Then the pastor is at the door, “Okay ladies, it’s time to go upstairs.” We bustle around and I start to feel more stable, I slip on my ambitious heels and teeter up the stairs behind the other girls.

“Do you need more sugar? My uncle is type 1 and I’m sure he has something with him,” the nurse offers. I shake my head. We line up as the soloist finishes her song.

“Rach, are you okay?” my friend the bride asks. This is the absolute last thing I want my dear friend thinking about before walking down the aisle to marry the love of her life. Continue reading

New Job – Thanks Diabetes

A new “Are you diabetic?”

The girl I’d just met a couple of hours before on the dock of our rented lake house stepped just inside the door of my bedroom as I unpacked my duffel bag. I, along with 8 other girls, was spending the weekend at a lake in upstate New York to celebrate the upcoming wedding of our friend. I felt a little like an outsider in the group because I only really knew the bride and maid of honor before the trip. I’d met a couple of the other girls before and the rest were strangers.

My Dexcom sensor peeked out of the leg of my shorts from its site on my thigh. “Yes,” I responded simply.

“So do you wear a Dexcom?” she asked.  Continue reading

My Phone Pouch – a Solution when You Need a Pocket

Women’s and girls clothes need pockets. Real ones, you know that you can actually put things in. Right now pockets are being touted as special features in some women’s clothing, when in fact they should be standards. Until clothing designers catch up with that need  demand we’re stuck working around the problem by sewing pockets into our dresses, making pocket garters for under dresses, or using a handy invention like MyPhonePouch.

I had the opportunity to connect with Allison, the mother behind the brilliant invention call MyPhonePouch, and learn more about her product as well as give her feedback on ways that it could be used by people with diabetes. Allison gave me my very own pouches to try out – one in each size: small, medium and large.

The Pockets Continue reading

Climbing Everest – Type One Nation Summit 2018

I was able to attend JDRF NEO’s Type One Nation Summit this year and it was refreshing to be in rooms full of people who deal with the same things I do. I don’t have much in-person contact with other people who have type 1 so I often feel like the weird one in the room.

Climbing Everest

This year’s keynote speaker was mountain climber Will Cross. Will has climbed mountains on every continent, walked to the North Pole, walked to the South Pole and submitted Everest – all while living with type 1 diabetes. It was an inspiring speech. I tweeted some highlights from the DiabetesMine account.  Continue reading

Asking Questions and Giving Feedback

This post is sponsored by Op4G, the research partner that lets you use your opinion for good. They’ve established a research community for people with diabetes to have a voice in future diabetes treatment developments, make a little extra cash and support nonprofit organizations. Sign up to be part of the community.

You know how whenever your computer is acting up, the moment the IT guy comes to take a look at it, it starts working perfectly?

That’s kind of what it feels like when I go to the doctor. I know everything that’s going on, specifically what’s going wrong, and when I get into the appointment, it seems to fly right out of my head. Which is why the best thing I’ve done for my appointments is keep a running list of questions and thoughts on my phone to discuss at the appointment.

Asking questions and providing feedback are two critical parts of being an engaged patient. Continue reading