Holiday Outfits Call for Holiday Pods

I’m not a big fan of getting diabetes-type things as gifts, but Pump Peelz for my diabetes devices make the list of d-gear I wouldn’t mind finding in my stocking. I like being able to dress up my pods and as a company, Pump Peelz has a lot of personality and heart. They offered to let me test out something from their holiday designs to review so I picked the Star Paper Pattern for the OmniPod.

I find myself wearing a variety of holiday outfits this time of year so it only makes sense to dress up my pod. It was hard to pick the design I wanted to try because the holiday options were all pretty great.

Peelz are pretty easy to apply and are forgiving if you need to reposition them. I find it way easier to place a peel on a pod before I activate it. I start at the window and smooth the peel on from there, locking everything in with the side flaps. Continue reading

How I got (and kept) my A1C under 7

Before I say anything… if you read only one blog post today read this one on Mashable: Diabetes Is Already Psychologically Demanding, So Cut the Stigma Too. I’m proud to have been a part of it. Hopefully you’ll come back and read this post too.

Everyone’s diabetes is different and they way that they manage it has to be different. The following should not be taken as medical advice, and you should talk to your healthcare team about making changes to your diabetes care.

I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 3 years now, and for the past 2 1/2 years I’ve been able to keep my A1C under 6.5%. It hasn’t been easy, but the hard work has been totally worth it.

For reference purposes, at diagnosis in the middle of August of 2011 my A1C was 11.9%, by the end of September of 2011 it was down to 8.3%. My A1C hit it’s lowest of 5.9% in February of 2012, but it wasn’t the best 5.9% it could be.  From August 2012 until now, I’ve been able to keep it steady between 6.1 and 6.3%. I keep saying “I” because the ins and outs of daily management are my responsibility, but a whole team of doctors and other healthcare professionals have been there for me and helped the process.

Here’s how I did it, and keep doing it (*spoiler alert* most of it has to do with attitude):

I got serious. And I did it right away.

The moment I was out of the woods after diagnosis, I started researching to understand the best that I could, what I needed to do. I followed all of my discharge instructions for taking insulin and how many carbs to eat per meal. Then I started looking at other options including insulin pumps and new doctors.

I ask for what I want and/or need. Continue reading

Managing Diabetes At Work

It’s sad that I have to say this, but completely necessary… I’m not a medical professional, this post (and all others) are not medical advice. I’m simply about to share with you about my experiences managing diabetes at work.

I observed a diabetes chat where readers submitted questions for a doctor and two people from diabetes nonprofits to answer. Someone asked for advice on managing diabetes at work because it is harder for them to manage at work than at home. I know there are no dumb questions when you’re trying to learn, but I couldn’t suppress my reflexive thought of well that’s a dumb question, just do it like you do at home. 

But after some self-scolding, I realized that for some it’s not so easy. To my relief one of the panelists said that management at work or school should be like management at home. Of course, I agree.

Making your health a priority can be tough for people, but the bottom line is that you need to do it. Your health and well being is important, both to you and your employer.

Me at work with my diabetes

I manage my type 1 diabetes at work exactly how I do at home, in this manner:

  • My diabetes bag is within arm’s reach
  • I check my blood sugar regularly and I check my Dexcom frequently
  • I eat when I need to
  • I bring my own healthy food to work (as opposed to going out)
  • I stay hydrated
  • I count carbs
  • I stop what I’m doing when diabetes must be handled

Sure there are extra hurdles to doing this at work instead of in the privacy of my own home, but you’ve got to do it. Continue reading

External Organs

Some of us have to wear our pancreases on the outside of our bodies.

This week, not just one… but three people shared an article about Miss Idaho wearing her insulin pump on stage with me.

I think Sierra Sandison is awesome for wearing her pump on stage and am sad that she was hesitant to get one sooner, especially since starting on my OmniPod insulin pump was the best decision that I made for my diabetes.

Like every conversation that incorporated diabetes, people said some rude things, but I’m so very happy to see that more people were asking questions and feeling inspired, empowered or comforted by the fact that Sierra was still beautiful wearing an insulin pump. If something you do helps just one person, it is worth doing. Continue reading