Diabetes Doesn’t Give Holidays Off

Next week marks my 3rd year of using OmniPod to manage my type 1 diabetes. This isn’t really relevant to today’s story, but I wanted to point it out.

It’s sometimes hard to believe how much time has gone by since I was diagnosed with diabetes and since I started using an insulin pump. It’s an all-day, everyday condition that gives no time off for vacations, holidays or good behavior. In fact, I think that mine punishes me on vacation and during holidays!

I know it’s been a few weeks, but let me tell you about my very unthankful and unpleasant start to Thanksgiving. The evening before Thanksgiving Brad and I went down to his family’s house. We usually help prepare and cook the meal. My blood sugar was a little high, but I assumed it was from having lunch out with my coworkers. I took corrections and set temp basals, but got kind of wrapped up in the prep for the big dinner that I wasn’t as vigilant as I should have been.

I was over 200 before bed, so I corrected and set an alarm. I woke up to my alarm and was still high so I corrected again and set another alarm because no one really needs to sleep, right? I have no recollection of testing a second time but my PDM shows another reading and correction, it was lower but still too high. When I woke up the next morning and checked my Dexcom I almost had a heart attack, it read over 300. I immediate stuck my finger and sure enough, I was 302.

Its hard to be thankful when you start the day with a device failure, pod change and moderate ketones. #walkwithd

A photo posted by Rachel K (@probablyrachel) on

Something was clearly wrong so I took a manual injection from my brand new vial of insulin and started the pod change process, right there in my in-laws’ guest bed while Brad was just waking up. The old pod was starting day 3 and was the last of my previous vial of insulin, that coupled with the mystery food and my dysfunctional immune system created the perfect diabetes storm to threaten to ruin my Thanksgiving. Continue reading

What Invisible Illness Looks Like

Moreover… what my invisible illness looks like.

Nearly half of Americans live with some form of chronic health condition (at least according to this). In honor of Invisible Illness week this week, I’m shedding more light on my life with type 1 diabetes.

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You Might Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes (but you probably already knew that)

2. I was diagnosed with it in August 2011

3. But I had symptoms since July 2011

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: thinking about everything in my life with the question: How will this affect my diabetes? (food, exercise, travel, sleep, sex… everything.)

5. Most people assume: that I can’t eat various foods (cupcakes, cookies, bread, cheeseburgers) but the reality is that I can eat anything that I want to, I need to take the appropriate amount of insulin. I don’t eat a lot of things because they aren’t worth their effect on my health. I can’t eat fish because I’m allergic to it.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: waking up if I’ve had my sleep interrupted by high or low blood sugar during the night. Otherwise starting my day with stable numbers, which means having a smart breakfast, eaten over a period of time, because once I start a blood sugar bounce, it’s hard to stop.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey’s Anatomy (I also like House)

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my meter. I make every decision based on the numbers it gives me, which is why accuracy is so important.

Continue reading