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

A Side Effect of Diabetes

There are a lot of side effects of diabetes that no one ever seems to talk about… Today, I’d like to discuss one of them.

Diabetes is a 24/7 health condition that never lets up and requires a lot of attention. My type 1 diabetes is like a needy monster that needs checked, fed, exercised, watered and medicated. Aside from those things and exponentially more doctors and medical appointments than a regular, healthy-pancreas person (known as “normal” for the rest of this post) has, it requires one more thing. Countless hours of my life spent on the phone.

Do you know what normal people do on their lunch breaks?

They eat lunch.

Sometimes they go for a walk, exercise, run errands and maybe make a quick personal call.

Do you know what I do on my lunch break?

I make phone calls (and attempt to eat my lunch during hold times or quietly while the person on the other side pulls up my information).

Who am I calling you ask? Continue reading

10 Things. 10 Thoughts

I’m doing the 10 Things on Tuesday…err… thing again!

1. Yesterday, I replied to an email that didn’t require a response for the sole reason that the sender spelled my first name as “Rachael” when the email was in reply to my email and my name was right there in front of him as he typed. I have a long and complicated last name and I had a long and complicated maiden name… so I get it when those are misspelled, but of all my names, “Rachel” is so incredibly easy not to screw up. Don’t worry, I didn’t reply to correct him, just so that I could sign my name on the email correctly.

2. I like this picture. (Is that conceited because the picture is of me?)

3. Do you write down recipes that you make up even when they’re really simple? I whipped up a really easy dish and Brad insisted that I write it down in order to make it again. Continue reading

Why I Blog

Why I Blog

If you’ve read my About page, you know that ProbablyRachel was started when I received the advice in college: Write every day.

ProbablyRachel has grown and changed over the past few years (along with me), but at the end of the day, this little corner of the world is my hobby and I love to write, read, share and be inspired by the blogosphere.

That’s the “in-a-nutshell” answer to the question that Katie posed for her link up at He Calls Me Grace.

Why Do You Blog?

I decided to dig a little deeper though and finish an abandoned post on why I bother to blog about having diabetes. If you’re curious, read on…

Why I Blog About Diabetes Continue reading

Blood Draws for Total Babies (like me!)

I’m a total baby when it comes to having blood drawn. It goes back to long before diabetes, but my panic over having lab work was exacerbated when I was dehydrated and having hourly draws nearly two years ago.

On Friday, I needed to go in to get regular testing done, including losing giving 3 vials of blood and peeing in a cup (having diabetes is all fun and games, didn’t you know?). Because of Good Friday, I ended up with the afternoon off so I headed out to the lab. When I got there, I thought I’d have to wait for a long time because there were several people in the waiting area. I didn’t even wait 5 minutes, come to find out all of the waiting room people were waiting on people who were already being seen. I was the only one there on my own which was strange.

Anyway, Friday’s draw was by far the best experience I’ve had since I put into practice the things I’d learned from past bad experiences… and I thought I’d share my tips for anyone who might be a bit of a wimp when it comes to blood work… like me.

  1. If you are not required to fast for your blood work, don’t. Being low on energy then having blood drawn is a recipe for bad news. If your blood work is fasting, eat a snack before bedtime and go early in the morning. Take a snack along for directly after.
  2. Be well-hydrated. The more water I’ve had before a draw, the easier it’s gone. Dehydrated Rachel veins like to collapse and I end up getting poked more times than necessary. I gulped down 3 big glasses of water right before leaving on Friday and only had to be poked once. As a bonus, if you have to have a urine test as well, you’ll be prepared.
  3. Don’t think about it. When you know you have to go, think about something else beforehand. I have a horrible habit of psyching myself out beforehand. Listening to music on the way in and reading my Twitter feed in the waiting room helped a lot. Continue reading