Monday, November 18, 2013

accountability.

ac·count·a·ble. adjective [əˈkountəbəl/]: 1. required or expected to justify actions or decisions; responsible.

when it comes to managing my diabetes, there's only one person that holds all the power in determining how well it's managed. me. 

dr. awesome can talk to me about food choices. go over insulin to carb ratios. review exercise options. discuss not over-correcting lows and being patient to wait for those lows to come back up. tell me how many times a day to check my blood sugar and watch the dexcom ... but it's in my hands. 

i have to make the right food choices, not just the carb-loaded delicious ones that i want. do the math to figure out the correct insulin dose (i'm not a big math person). get off my lazy butt and exercise, not just pin all the great workout plans. make myself sit and wait after drinking a juice box or eating glucose tabs, instead of inhaling everything in the pantry in a desperate moment of wanting that low feeling to go away. take the 30 seconds to get out my meter, check my blood sugar, and enter the number in my dexcom. WEAR the dexcom.

my responsibility.

it's not always easy. it gets old. sometimes it's a hassle. and i slack. and then, i pay the price. i am fully aware of how much better i feel and how much better i function when i have really good control over my blood sugars. 

this isn't something i chose, i didn't do anything to cause my diabetes ... but i have it. i have to keep it under control, because if not, there are consequences. 

i'm the only one that's accountable for my diabetes. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

i've been bad ...about blogging.

i was going to just make the title 'i've been bad' but i had a feeling that might lead to lots of spam comments ifyouknowwhatimean.

i haven't blogged since september. that's awful. i'm not even sure how i go from regular posting to none at all.

excuses, excuses. work's been busy, other things have been going on, etc.

but with all the reasons i may have for not opening up this blog and posting ... diabetes is still there. the blog might fall to the wayside, but diabetes can't. it's always there. i can't take a break from that.

i'm still checking blood sugar, watching my dexcom, counting carbs, drinking juice boxes, trying to say no to halloween candy and sweet treats, trying to make good food choices, changing pump sites, the smell of insulin ... it's always around.

i want to try my best to not neglect my blog, it's led me to a lot of awesome people, a great online community and is a great resource and support when i need it.

prepare yourselves, i'm back just in time for THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

our UofL/UK tree is up!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

just got back from a JOG!

yesterday i didn't exercise. well, not officially, but i did walk a lot to distribute some posters for a work event, so that kind of counts.

BUT, this morning, i went for a JOG! i used my brain and didn't run up the first hill that is my only access to the rest of the neighborhood, because that one ALWAYS makes my legs hurt. i walked up, stopped to stretch, and was on my way.

i did stop to walk and stretch a few times, but that's ok. and my legs weren't hard as rocks and tight in the same place they always have been. my calves were tight, so i stretched.

it wasn't a super long run or anything, i was gone about 40 minutes and trust me it wasn't 4 miles or anything, but it's a start!

my bloodsugar was weird after a late night meal, a little on the high side, but was a steady downtrend while i was running. and it has settled and isn't going too low. improvements all around!

now, ice. :)

ps - GO CARDS! 


Thursday, September 12, 2013

quick summary

my legs weren't too sore at work after yesterday. i wore tennis shoes to be safe, i was worried about them hurting.

i went to bootcamp, convinced that they'd start hurting during the workout. and guess what, totally right. it was kind of hard to do some stuff, but i did as much as i could without being in pain.

and then i had to stop about 10 minutes early because my blood sugar was dropping fast. thanks diabetes.

and now, ice. yay!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

nice ice

long post alert. 

what i'm doing right now.

hey meredith, why are you sitting with ice on your legs?

good question. i'm glad you asked.

tonight i met with a sports therapist who was recommended by the guy who owns the gym where i'm going to bootcamp (we actually met AT the gym). he said he thought he might be able to help with my compartment syndrome, so i was up for it. (that means RUNNING. if it works, i can RUN. and JUMP. WITHOUT PAIN!)

basically i laid on a table and had my legs stretched out. and then some pressure on certain points of my sore muscles.

long story kind of short, the following things were discovered (in bullet point form!):

  • my right leg is weaker than the left. likely because of an injury i had a few years ago when i sprained my ankle really bad and had some stress fractures in that leg (all at once. that was fun.).
  • i land on the outsides of my feet. when i walk, run, etc. i balance on the outsides. this has made my muscles on the outsides of my legs overwork and the muscles are bigger, making them - tah-dah - too big for their compartments.
  • the stretching HELPED! he explained how my legs will be sore for the next few days, and the soreness might be in different places than i'm used to (um, fact. my right ankle was hurting for a little bit when he was teaching me some stretches, and by the time we were done, the back of my knee hurt. so, yeah.)
  • i ran around the parking lot. to test the stretching. and guess what, the outsides of my legs didn't hurt, the INSIDES did. because i was focusing on landing on the insides of my feet and taking the pressure off the outsides of my legs.
  • we'll see how i feel from here. i'm hopeful, it was pretty awesome to have to stop running because i was tired (weird to say), not because of pain in my legs. 


back to the ice ... i was told to ice them as if i have an injury. so i'm doing that. AND IT'S FREEZING BY THE WAY.

so, ya know, i'm excited about seeing how it feels tomorrow. ;)

OH - my workout tonight was the the stretching and muscle rubbing and learning exercises on the stairs and running around the parking lot once.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

check in and dexcom

after work tonight, i went to bootcamp. there's a good little group of people that are there every time, it's pretty painful fun!

that's my workout check-in. WOOP WOOP! i will admit, there are times that i am lazy and don't want to exercise, but i feel great afterwards, i have to remind myself of that when i'm feeling blah.

also, i have my current dexcom (last one sweated off after being outside all day friday) a little bit lower on the back of my arm. i think that one thing that was causing the top edge to peel off was that it was right at the level where my short sleeved shirts hit, causing it to rub off and lose the sticky.

we'll see if that helps. so far, so good!

Monday, September 9, 2013

not slacking

workout summary

friday = about 8 hours outside lifting, moving, setting up, assembling in the 90 degree heat and humity

saturday = about 9 hours outside setting up, lifting, running, planning, talking, assembling, moving in the same weather

sunday = FOOTBALL! break.

monday = 3-4 hours outside lifting, moving, taking down, disassembling in the 90+ degree heat and humidity.

tomorrow ... bootcamp!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

bootcamp!

last night i had my first one on one, and tonight was my first bootcamp. it feels good to be back!

tomorrow my workout will be setting up for a big event we have at work on saturday ... and saturday will be that event. i'll be running around for hours, burning some calories!

sunday ... FOOTBALL! (rest day)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

one on one

last month, there was an event at work and i won a raffle and got a basket that contained a bunch of exercise related stuff. month memberships to a few local gyms, giftcards to healthy food places, a sporting goods store...

today i cashed in on one membership. it's a one month membership to a bootcamp and two one-on-one training sessions.

my bloodsugar was being a jerk this afternoon so i grabbed a snack after work on the way to my first one-on-one and i was good to go.

i thought i did pretty well, my arms are definitely going to be sore (in a good way!) tomorrow.

tomorrow night, first bootcamp. i'm excited! they're my favorite workouts :)

yay for staying consistent with exercise!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

welcome fall!!

so, it's not officially fall. but in my house, september = fall. when we got back from chicago, fall decor went up all around us. LOVE IT!

our mantle. this is DEFINITELY not all of the decor.
and guess what's even better? the weather we got this evening = totally fall-like. cool, breezy, not humid, LOVE. so guess what else? i worked out OUTSIDE!

got in a little 40 minute walk/jog (my shins are now reminding me about that whole 'don't run' thing ... typing this with ice on my legs. I WISH I COULD RUN PAIN FREE!) and then i did a cool workout that i found on pinterest for a final burst at the end ... a quick routine to do to one song! this one was mackelmore's can't hold us, and i thought for sure when i started the exercises that there was no way i'd be able to finish by the time the song ended, but I WAS WRONG!

via pinterest


as i was standing up from the last burpee (i have a love/hate relationship with those. as do many people who do them.) ...BOOM. song over. WOOHOO!

feels good to be back on the move. yay for sweaty healthiness!

Monday, September 2, 2013

chicago and exercise

we went to chicago on friday and got home this morning. i said i was going to try to stick to exercise ...

the amount of walking we did in the three days we were there totally count as exercise! my legs are definitely reminding me how long it's been since i really walked long distances. (and i'm sure it made no impact since i ate delicious, wonderful junk while we were there!)

i gave myself the day off and i'll be back at it tomorrow.

and now, the fun pics:

arcade bar

the pawn shop from the show hardcore pawn chicago

garrett's: delicious

cub's game from a rooftop 

TOPS BEAT UK!

the bean

from the show the weiners circle ... it's totally how it is in the show

Thursday, August 29, 2013

jello legs ...and arms.

day two: DONE.

i've decided to make good use of my pinterest board and actually do some of the exercises and videos i've pinned.

tonight i thought i'd try some of the fitsugar videos ... and i like them! they're only 10 minutes each, so i picked three high intensity workouts.

all qued up

the victoria's secret model full body blasting circuit (do the VS models actually do this? who knows.)

the 10-minute arm workout from kelly ripa's trainer (omg. my arms. jello.)

and the 10-minute total-body bikini workout (ya know, since it's about to be fall...)

i'm gonna keep it real. during the last video there was one exercise that is in the circuit twice that i just couldn't do. i thought i was going to puke after the move prior to it, so instead i just did some squats and took deep breaths during those. and it made me consider going back to exercising before dinner ... which is better? before you eat? after you eat? i'm sure there's a correct answer or different opinions.

but i thought i hung out pretty well during the first two! i didn't stop at all, and i'm DEFINITELY sweaty and i feel like i worked hard. i pushed myself. i didn't half-ass it.

the next three days we'll be out of town so i'm going to try my best to get some exercise in!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

sweatbetes is back.

remember when i used to go to bootcamp? and workout? like, regularly? and then i'd stop ... and then i'd start again ... and then stop ... rinse, repeat.

well, i need to get back into a routine. actually, i've been needing to for a while. i have been saying it in my head for months weeks (that sounds less slacker-y), pinning workout stuff, trying to make better choices when eating ... all the things i should ALWAYS be doing.

and like many people, i always come up with excuses. too tired, too busy, too hot, too humid, too lazy... time to get it together. and i need to hold myself accountable. i'm not trying to bust my butt and do too much and get burnt out, just get moving.

it's time to tighten bloodsugars, waistlines, shoestrings (for working out, GET IT?) and make better food choices ... and i'm putting it out here because that means i know that at least the 2 people who read this will call me out if i'm making an excuse or being lazy.

i got my new kicks (that i needed anyway, but i told myself if i was getting them, i need to actually wear them while exercising, not just because they're cute ... but they are cute!)


my husband asked what i'm going to do when we go out of town (long weekend staying with my friend and her man coming up) ... i'm going to try to at least do a short workout each day at some point. she'll probably hold me accountable after reading this anyway. :) 

tonight, i did the first day of jillian michael's 30 day shred. i don't know that i'm going to stick to the same workout every night (meaning, i don't know if i'm going to do her video for 30 days, i might mix it up), but i want to do SOMETHING. i've done her video before and after about a week i was burnt out because i get bored doing the same workout every day (part of the reason i end up quitting...)

and jillian isn't kidding around. my arms are already sore.

day one: done! i'll be back to hold myself accountable tomorrow.

Monday, August 26, 2013

drumroll please!

fundraising for this year's JDRF walk was a huge success! my goal was to raise $1000. the total came in at $1075! i love busting through a goal. :)


thanks to everyone who supported me and donated this year!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

i love good customer service.

remember the sensor issue?

bad peeler.

i called dexcom, and the customer service representative i talked to named samantha was very pleasant and helpful. they're going to replace the sensors i haven't used out of the crap box i have because she understands the hassle of putting one on, having it calibrate only to peel off. how nice!!

AND, i don't have to return the non-awesome sensors; she said i can still try those and see if they'll stay - although i'm kind of hesitant to do that because it will not be stellar if they fall off again.

but yay for the nice people at dexcom who understand what it's like to work with technology that sometimes doesn't agree with you.

bravo, dexcom! thanks for being my friend. :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

the walk is coming!

TWO DAYS. there are just TWO days until the JDRF walk in louisville! i'm THISCLOSE to my goal, i just know i can push past it! i've raised $855 - my goal is $1000! just $145 away.

won't you help? every dollar counts! just go here.

and a sensor follow up: the second sensor i put on out of the same box - the sticky came off within a DAY and the whole thing came off my arm. sigh. i'm thinking this box is a dud. dexcom replaced the first sensor with a fresh new one - and i'm wearing it. day five, going strong. i need to call them and let them know about the second sensor and see if they'll exchange the last two sensors from the box because it is a big pain in the rump to put a sensor in, wait the calibration period, start using it - only for it to come out. wamp waaaamp.

Friday, August 9, 2013

sensor fail.

well i just got my new sensors yesterday and after not wearing them for a while ... i only had it on for the calibration period and when I felt it - one side has no sticky and is peeling back. i know that right when i get in the shower water is going to get it in or something.

sigh.  time to call dexcom.

Monday, August 5, 2013

dexcom-less

i've been sans dexcom since before we went to puerto rico ... for almost three weeks.

it's funny how something becomes habit. i still feel like i'm forgetting something when my self-named dexcom pocket in my purse is empty. when i'm walking around at work and don't grab it off my desk to take with me. when i go to the pool and have it in my bag. when i change clothes and make sure i don't snag fabric and yank it (ouch). when i go to bed and put it on my nightstand. it's become a tool that i really appreciate having, and i don't like to go too long without it.

i kept forgetting to order sensors, so i tried to do that last night... but apparently my prescription is up so i have to call dr. awesome today and have a new one sent over. oye vey. his office staff are really quick and helpful so hopefully i'll get them ordered tonight.

i am so much better about controlling my blood sugar when i'm wearing it, i can't wait til they get here!


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

guest posting at lauren's hope!

you should probably head on over to the lauren's hope blog today where i am guest posting. it's pretty fancy, i even used capital lettes and everything! :)

go check it out by clicking here!

Monday, July 29, 2013

diabetes funnies through your eyes

as you might know, i design comics over at diabetesmine once a month (here's a few of my latest).

sometimes i wonder if other people with diabetes have a funny idea that they'd love to see as a sunday funny!

so here's your chance, and my question to you ... what do you think would make a really awesome sunday funny about diabetes? let me know in the comments! :)


ps - it's the last day to order pampered chef to support my jdrf team! just visit http://www.pamperedchef.biz/rhondascorner and shop online by going to the "our products" section. you can order no matter where you live and have products shipped to you!

when you select the products you'd like to purchase, enter my first and last name (meredith pack) in the fields provided.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

JDRF walk fundraiser!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS IN JULY! 

i hope you enjoyed getting to know some of my friends who live with diabetes. (instead of sharing a week's worth of links, just go to my blog by clicking the header at the top of the page and scroll through the last posts!) 

i'm in the midst of a fun fundraiser for my JDRF walk team. a pampered chef party! i love to do different things to raise money besides just asking friends and family for donations (although i love those and will take them!). pampered chef donates 30% of sales to JDRF, which is pretty awesome!


i'm doing my best to spread the word about the fundraiser and support JDRF as much as i possibly can. so far i've raised $715 for the walk and i want to KEEP GOING!! do you want to help? do you LOVE pampered chef? or, maybe you've never ordered anything from them. they're pretty great if you ask me. they have some cool gadgets (ya know, for making cupcakes) and delicious mixes, etc.

time is limited! i should have posted sooner but my husband and i went on a long weekend trip to san juan; it was lovely :)  ...orders are due on MONDAY and no matter where you live, you can place an order through this party!! share it with your friends, family, best friend's brother's barber ... ANYONE you can think of who might be interested and wants to support JDRF.

just visit http://www.pamperedchef.biz/rhondascorner and shop online by going to the "our products" section.

when you select the products you'd like to purchase, enter my first and last name (meredith pack) in the fields provided.

if you have any questions, leave a comment or send me an email (address  in the sidebar). thanks for supporting our JDRF team!

tell me, what's your favorite way to raise money for your JDRF fundraisers?



oh yeah, here's a few vacation pictures just for fun...



Friday, July 19, 2013

my diabetes real life community: meet me!

i'm introducing my friends who i know in 'real life' that have diabetes.

you've met everyone, so it's only fair that i answer the questions i asked all of them to answer (although i've probably answered them in some fashion or another on this blog before). i hope you enjoyed getting to know a few more people who live with diabetes and learned a few more perspectives of what it's like to have this disease.


i'm a manager of marketing, pr and creative design at a non-profit in louisville. my husband and i have been married for almost nine months and we have two ridiculous cats, bella and penny.

penny on the left, bella on the right. she is not that angry.

what type of diabetes do you have?
type 1

how long have you had it/when were you diagnosed? 
i was 17; 13 years.

can you tell us a quick summary of your diagnosis story?
long story short, i had a pre-college physical and it was discovered. you can read the whole long version here.

how do you treat it (shots, pump, pen, etc)? do you use any other technologies (CGM, etc)? 
i've been using a pump since about six weeks after my diagnosis, so 13 years. i have been using a dexcom for almost two years.

what are some of your daily concerns, worries or considerations?
lows. i don't have them all the time or anything but i always think about them. or being high for loo long because you don't see immediate affects of those. i am always taking my blood sugar into consideration ... whether it's deciding what to eat or if i'm going to exercise, etc. it's always on my mind in some fashion.

what do you wish people without diabetes understood?
that type 1 is not 'the bad kind' and that we get really annoyed when you give us a sad face and act like we have a death sentence. obviously i'm healthy and here talking to you when you're asking me about diabetes. use common sense.

how do you describe the feeling and symptoms of lows and to people who don't have diabetes?
shaky, hot, light headed ... sometimes i get confused or it takes my brain a few seconds longer to process things if it's a low that dropped really fast or is being stubborn and doesn't want to come back up. 

what about the feeling and symptoms of highs?
horrible headache, exhausted, totally dry mouth. ugh. they suck and it takes WAY longer to fix highs than lows.

what's your go-to treatment for lows?
juice 'boxes' ... the capri sun-like bags though. or glucose tabs, glucose gels and in the summer, i've been choosing fruit. yum.

what's your meal plan? do you follow a special diet? do you enjoy the same treats that 'everyone else' does?
when i was diagnosed, dr awesome told me that my diet should be one of every healthy person, well balanced - the way everyone should eat. so, i do my best to eat healthy. that's not to say that i don't get mcdonalds or have cupcakes and ice cream. i just don't eat those things every day of my life.

what diabetes myth do you wish would get busted?
type 1 is not 'the bad kind.' i didn't get this because i ate too much candy. i can eat sugar and whatever i want.

what would you tell someone who was just diagnosed with diabetes? 
it's hard at first but you'll do just fine. there's a huge community of people with the disease that can help you along the way - don't let it take over, once you get control and have a routine, you'll feel much better.

what's your favorite flavor cupcake?
red velvet with cream cheese frosting.  :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

my diabetes real life community: meet amanda

i'm introducing my friends who i know in 'real life' that have diabetes.

today, you get to meet amanda. we met through twitter and the doc. but we met in real life when she came to visit me!!


amanda is Assistant Director of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences-North Central, Master Certified Health Education Specialist, and health scientist. she and her husband jonny moved to their current city four years ago and they love it! they have two fur-babies named baby-dog and daisy-dog.

what type of diabetes do you have?
I do not have diabetes, yet, but I live with hypoglycemia every day.

how long have you had it/when were you diagnosed?
I was diagnosed on September 16, 2011. However, I have been living with this since I was 10 years old.

can you tell us a quick summary of your diagnosis story?
I started following the happenings of a little group on Twitter called the DOC, or Diabetes Online Community, in early 2011. After meeting my online friends in REAL LIFE I realized that I had the same hypoglycemic symptoms that they all experienced. I could not shake the feeling that I needed to see a doctor and make sure I was healthy. I saw a great endocrinologist, was tested, and determined to be hypoglycemic! What a life-saver! I started on metformin, decreased my glucose consumption, and increased my intense physical activity levels. My A1c went from 4.0 up to 5.0 in a year and I finally felt alive! I never had enough energy to run before, but have completed many 5Ks and am training for a 10K and half-marathon. I am no longer lost in a fog or have headaches that last for a month! 

I feel like I owe my renewed life to the DOC. Without their influence I would not have pursued my symptoms. I also know that I am at an increased risk for developing diabetes in the future. My endocrinologist is curious to see if I have Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, or LADA.

how do you treat it (shots, pump, pen, etc)? do you use any other technologies (CGM, etc)? 
I take metformin twice each day, am prudent about my glucose consumption, and test my blood sugar throughout the day. I do not use a CGM, but I am absolutely fascinated by the technology! (Can you tell I'm a scientist?)

what are some of your daily concerns, worries or considerations?
Every day I wonder if the metformin is going to be enough to keep me from having a low episode. Many people are unaware that metformin, which is typically given for hyperglycemia and Type-2 diabetes, is also a great tool for those with hypoglycemia. I worry that I may have a low while I am exercising and be alone. I tend to have difficulty with speaking and shaking when I go low, so I try to have a friend with me when I go running. Also, I have to be aware of everything I eat. Since my body dumps insulin quickly I try to limit my carbohydrate intake, hoping to fend off a hypoglycemic reaction.

what do you wish people without diabetes understood?
I would like for everyone to understand that diabetes is a life-changing condition. That isn't to say that one's quality of life decreases, not at all, but that staying healthy can involve so many decisions throughout the day and night. It isn't just having insulin shots.

how do you describe the feeling and symptoms of lows and to people who don't have diabetes?
I feel like I am in slow-motion, to be honest. I tend to stare off into space, then I start shaking hard. Sometimes the shakes are exhausting! I also have trouble speaking or making coherent sentences. There are also times when all I want to do is shut down and sleep, although it never makes me feel better.

amanda's trip to visit me!

what about the feeling and symptoms of highs?
At this point in my life, I do not typically have to worry about highs.

what's your go-to treatment for lows?
While I keep jelly beans close by, I typically reach for fruit. I need carbohydrates that break down slowly. That means it takes me longer to bring my blood sugar up, but I don't have a rebound low, either.


what's your meal plan? do you follow a special diet? do you enjoy the same treats that 'everyone else' does?
My meal plan consists of about seven small meals throughout the day. I avoid high fructose corn syrup above all else, as I know it is a trigger for my low blood sugars. I do not eat candy or drink sodas, either. I have never been much of a "sweets" eater. That being said, if I want to have a treat and I feel good, then I have a treat! 

what diabetes myth do you wish would get busted?
There is no such thing as a diabetic diet! Everyone benefits from limiting excessive carbohydrate intake, increasing nutrient-rich foods, and taking care of themselves.

what would you tell someone who was just diagnosed with diabetes? 
Prepare for a challenge! Diabetes can be such a booger, but it can also teach you more about yourself than many other challenges in life. There will be days when you feel great and others when you do not. Sometimes you will do the best you can and still have blood sugars that make you feel like you are on a roller coaster. Ultimately though, I would tell someone, whether newly diagnosed or not, to know that there are a lot of folks out there that are where you have been and are ready to help.

what's your favorite flavor cupcake? 
Carrot cake? Yeah, I like carrot cake… with cream cheese frosting!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

my diabetes real life community: meet juliet

i'm introducing my friends who i know in 'real life' that have diabetes.

today, you get to meet juliet. we met in high school through stephanie - the same stephanie who is angela's sister! we've stayed in touch through the years, i remember talking to her a lot when i was first diagnosed because she was one of the few people i knew who had diabetes.


juliet lives in louisville, ky, with her two kids, where she's been most of her life.

what type of diabetes do you have?
I have type 1 Diabetes

how long have you had it/when were you diagnosed?
I was diagnosed October 31, 1987. I was six years old and have had it 26 years.

can you tell us a quick summary of your diagnosis story?
I was constantly thirsty, sleeping all the time and just lethargic, also pale and began losing weight. The pediatrician we were going to at the time misdiagnosed it as the flu. Not once, but twice. By the time they checked blood sugar and sent me to an endocrinologist, I couldn't walk on my own and was minutes from a coma. I was rushed to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville. The biggest thing I remember from that week in the hospital? My dad eating a donut in front of me and I couldn't have one. And no one had explained WHY.

how do you treat it (shots, pump, pen, etc)? do you use any other technologies (CGM, etc)?
I am currently treating the old fashioned way with shots. It just works for me.

what are some of your daily concerns, worries or considerations?I have daily low blood sugars. I have a constant fear of complications and dying before my kids are grown, or complications that are so bad that I become a burden to my children when they are grown.

what do you wish people without diabetes understood?
I can eat sugar. I don't need insulin when my blood sugar is low. There is not always a clear answer for a low or high. My diabetes will never go away, even if I lose 50lbs. Unless I pay you to be my CERTIFIED DIETITIAN, don't tell me what to eat. I don't care if your Grandmother lost her leg and eyesight to uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. I have a different disease. Yes, that was sad for her. Steel Magnolias is a MOVIE. Nothing in the movie is scientifically correct. Yes, I can get pregnant have healthy kids. I did it twice. Please don't ask me questions when my blood sugar is low. I am having a hard enough time thinking as it is without being expected to have an intelligent conversation. I have to have carbohydrates. You are not my doctor, please don't tell me about an herb or some treatment you read about. You don't have a medical license! All carbohydrates turn to sugar. Just simple carbs spike your blood sugar faster.

how do you describe the feeling and symptoms of lows and to people who don't have diabetes?
I get shaky, can't focus, dizzy, and mean. Please don't ask me while I am having a low blood sugar. Also, I'm not going to pass out.

what about the feeling and symptoms of highs?
I get thirsty, lethargic, confused.

what's your go-to treatment for lows?
Juice and peanut butter

what's your meal plan? do you follow a special diet? do you enjoy the same treats that 'everyone else' does?
I just count my carbs. Yes, I still eat cupcakes. Haha

what diabetes myth do you wish would get busted?
Diabetes is NOT a death sentence or an immediate diagnosis of future health issues. Part of it is diabetes, how you take care of yourself and genetics.

what would you tell someone who was just diagnosed with diabetes?
You can lead a normal life. There are also a million great things diabetes will bring to your life. You will understand the food labels, you will learn to measure a serving size by looking at it. You will have the sugar content of every food memorized. There will be times diabetes will get in the way. Your first day at your new job and you have a low blood sugar in the middle of a meeting. Having to do shots or bolus in front of new friends. That quiet moment in class when your insulin pump alarm starts going off and you realize you have leaked half a days worth of insulin all down the front of you. Crying when you realize your insulin costs a week's paycheck if you don't have insurance...

what's your favorite flavor cupcake?
Chocolate, strawberry, vanilla... you give me a cupcake, I'll eat it! Haha

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

my diabetes real life community: meet briley

i'm introducing my friends who i know in 'real life' that have diabetes.

today, you get to meet briley. you might know her, she's a member of the doc and has a blog. briley was the first doc friend that i met in real life. i'm happy to say that we're 'real life' friends!


briley lives in the greater boston area and is a nanny for two great kids. this is the second family she's worked for and she loves working with kids. every day she gets to laugh and has a great job!

what type of diabetes do you have?
I have type 1 diabetes.

how long have you had it/when were you diagnosed?
I have had it for 24 years. I was three years old and diagnosed on July 4, 1989.

can you tell us a quick summary of your diagnosis story?
My whole family was at my uncle's house on the river and I was throwing up. My mother kept giving me ginger ale and cranberry juice to settle my stomach. When I didn't get better, we went to the pediatrician's office, where we stayed for three hours while they figured out what was happening and from there we went to the hospital for a week while Mom & Dad learned how to take care of me. I had had my well-child visit just two weeks before, so it was a very sudden onset for me.

how do you treat it (shots, pump, pen, etc)? do you use any other technologies (CGM, etc)?
I take my insulin through an insulin pump, the Animas Ping. I chose this pump because of the remote bolus and it's waterproof. I also use the continuous glucose monitoring system Dexcom Seven+.

what are some of your daily concerns, worries or considerations?
The easiest and most consistent worry I have is that if I go low, it will be right before I need to drive somewhere. Being low while driving is never safe, but I always seem to over treat when I need to be getting in the car. I think the second would be, am I SWAGing correctly. If not, this will cause me to go low or high and I don't want the cause to be because my math was wrong.

what do you wish people without diabetes understood?
I wish that people with diabetes understood that getting to & staying at a healthy target level takes a lot of work. Just because someone isn't right where they want to be, doesn't mean they aren't working hard. This also means that even if they are, it doesn't mean they won't have a bad day or a bad number.

how do you describe the feeling and symptoms of lows and to people who don't have diabetes?Someone once described feeling low to me as being drunk. This made me delay drinking because why would I want to make myself feel low even if I wasn't. I don't believe that these two things feel the same way. I think if you picture a small child after a day of swimming, an amusement park, a field day, etc. They are dragging their feet because they are so tired. They are whiny and sweaty. There is no desire to move another muscle. That is what a low feels like to me.

what about the feeling and symptoms of highs?
A high can be easier to deal with (depending on the severity). I get really thirsty. That is usually the only symptom I get. If I go over 300 though, I will likely get a headache and become lethargic. If I have ketones, the only thing I want to do is vomit to get the feeling & sugar out of me.



what's your go-to treatment for lows?
My current go-to treatment for lows are airheads. They are easy to open and have 14g of carbs each (the recommended sugar intake for a low is 15g). If I am running though, or if I have a stubborn low, I like to have with liquid glucose or glucose gel. I feel much more confident with pure glucose in those situations.

what's your meal plan? do you follow a special diet? do you enjoy the same treats that 'everyone else' does?
I do not follow any one specific meal plan, but I do try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. I like to have a protein packed breakfast, usually nuts or yogurt post-run and a vegetable only lunch. This includes carby and not carby veggies. The rest of the day depends on the schedule, but a frequent snack is Ritz crackers with cream cheese, cheese and cucumbers. I believe that everything is okay in moderation, so I definitely enjoy treats. Cupcakes, ice cream, candy, etc. You name it and I would like to have it. I definitely take steps to limit how frequently I have them though.

what diabetes myth do you wish would get busted?
I think the myth I would most like busted is that we have done this to ourselves. Just because an organ in our body decided to stop working, does not mean that we deserve this.

what would you tell someone who was just diagnosed with diabetes?
First, I would ask, "what are your questions?" I would then tell them that they are not alone, and explain to them that they can call/email with any questions, stories, problems and successes. I would tell them about how the diabetes community lives both online and off, and that it's a common thread holding many groups together.

what's your favorite flavor cupcake?
I think my favorite go-to cupcake is Red Velvet. However, I also go for anything fruity or with caramel. :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

my diabetes real life community: meet megan

i'm introducing my friends who i know in 'real life' that have diabetes.

today, you get to meet megan. we met through her mom who i worked with at my previous job for more than two years.


Megan was born and raised in Louisville, KY…Go CARDS! She's 31 years old and has a master’s degree in social work. She currently works as the social worker of a large kidney dialysis clinic. She has three fur babies, one cat and two dogs, who she adores. She is passionate about photography, knitting, meditation, reading, running, social justice and animal rights issues. She had a unique Buddhist upbringing that has shaped who she is and how she responds to diabetes.


what type of diabetes do you have? 
Type 1

how long have you had it/when were you diagnosed?
I have had T1 for 20 years and my dia-versary is March 18, 1993.

can you tell us a quick summary of your diagnosis story? 
I was in 5th grade and I remember just having an overwhelming feeling that something was wrong with me. I couldn’t combat the feeling of BLAH. I was tired and thirsty ALL the time and was constantly making trips to the bathroom. My mom tells me that I had been telling her that I felt bad and didn’t like I could go to school but back then if you didn’t have a fever and weren’t puking…you were going! One evening after gymnastics my mom says I was begging her to stop so I can get something to drink. She told me we will be home in less than 10 mins but I told her I couldn’t wait that long. Later that evening I told her “Mom, I think you need to take me to the doctor”. The next evening, I had an appointment with my pediatrician. After they drew blood I could hear the nurses talking in the hallway with a sense of urgency and solemness in their voices. I told my mom they were talking about me…and they were. I had Type 1 diabetes.

how do you treat it (shots, pump, pen, etc)? do you use any other technologies (CGM, etc)? 
I began using an insulin pump at the age of 21 and it was love at first inset! (Hehehe) It gave me a sense of freedom I hadn’t experienced with T1 and not to mention improved my A1c dramatically. Also, I haven’t experienced another grand-mal seizure since being on an insulin pump. I am currently using a One Touch Ping Insulin Pump and waiting anxiously for my Dexcom CGM to come in the mail any day now!!


what are some of your daily concerns, worries or considerations? 
I just try my best each day to balance life with T1. It’s not going anywhere and neither am I so I choose to not worry, instead I try to outsmart it! Yes, It’s an additional stressor, concern and challenge but we are superheros, right?!!

what do you wish people without diabetes understood? 
The significant differences between causes and treatment methods between Type 1 and Type 2. There is nothing more frustrating than talking to someone who thinks they are an expert on diabetes because their mother’s boyfriend’s second cousin has Type 2 but I try to use these moments as opportunities to educate, answer questions and correct myths.

how do you describe the feeling and symptoms of lows and to people who don't have diabetes? 
Sweating and weakness like you just worked out + hunger like you haven’t eaten in days + racing heart = Low BS symptoms

what about the feeling and symptoms of highs? 
Unquenchable thirst + frequent trips to the potty + irritability + cloudy brain = HIGH BS symptoms

Side note: As my previous (had to switch, but not by choice) endo - aka Dr. Awesome - stated…”You have never experienced hunger like a person with T1 experiences hunger.” 


what's your go-to treatment for lows? 
HI-C juice boxes! My friends and family have often joked that I should be a spokesperson for HI-C and/or invest into the companies stock! Before juice boxes it was sweet-tarts. They were much easier to be concealed and didn’t bring as much attention to me during school.

what's your meal plan? do you follow a special diet? do you enjoy the same treats that 'everyone else' does? 
I am a vegetarian so other than not eating any meat/poultry I eat “normal” people food. I eat a lot of veggies, fruits, beans and whole grains but definitely treat myself to some junk foods and sugar!
what diabetes myth do you wish would get busted? 
That people with T1 can’t have any sugar! MODERATION is my middle name *wink*

what would you tell someone who was just diagnosed with diabetes? 
You are not your illness!

what's your favorite flavor cupcake? 
Really?! Must I pick one?! Carrot Cake or Red Velvet

Friday, July 12, 2013

my diabetes real life community: meet leah

i'm introducing my friends who i know in 'real life' that have diabetes. 

today, you get to meet leah. we met through social media and in person through events with our local jdrf chapter, where she works!

leah with her boyfriend

leah lives in louisville, ky is the development coordinator at the jdrf kentucky chapter. she has a boyfriend named dustin and they have a dog named sadie. she’s a beagle/collie mix.

what type of diabetes do you have?
I have type 1 diabetes (T1D).

how long have you had it/when were you diagnosed?
I have had T1D for almost 16 years. I was diagnosed when I was 9; a week before my 10th birthday.

can you tell us a quick summary of your diagnosis story?
I was very sick and even though I was so young, the other kids in my class could even see how sick I was. I lost a lot of weight and would vomit after eating often. I would sneak out of bed to get water in the middle of the night. Before I was diagnosed I had a lot of stomach issues and I believe my parents ignored the symptoms of T1D longer because of my stomach issues before the diagnosis.

I was admitted to the hospital on November 24, 1997 – just a few days before Thanksgiving and a week before my birthday. I stayed overnight and we were released fairly quickly.

how do you treat it (shots, pump, pen, etc)? do you use any other technologies (CGM, etc)? 
I use a Medtronic Insulin Pump, no CGM.

what are some of your daily concerns, worries or considerations?
Daily concerns are food and exercise. With a pump, they can make you gain weight which minimizes your insulin tolerance. So eating a good diet and getting enough exercise are big for me, especially because I’m on the road a lot, traveling around the state for outreach events.

what do you wish people without diabetes understood?
I try not to take people’s ignorance to the disease to heart. Most people don’t research a disease unless they are personally affected. Unfortunately I have been a victim of discrimination because of the disease many times, mostly within the school system as a kid (that’s an entire story in itself) more so than now. I think what I wish people understood most about the disease is that it’s harder than it looks. It’s not just changing your diet; it’s an entire lifestyle change. People see and hear stories about us dying and going blind but we can control it, we just need to be patient. They don’t understand that we become our own doctors, nurses, pharmacists, mathematicians, dietitians and therapists once we are diagnosed. The mental toll of the disease can be just as hard as the physical. 

Education is a big part of understanding the disease and that’s why I enjoy outreach so much. Like explaining to a person without diabetes how we are constantly trying to control our blood sugar levels when they need to be in a range of 70-120 mg/dl. Of course they don’t understand that, so then you put it in terms they can. Essentially an ideal blood sugar number is 100 mg/dl. You can explain that that is equivalent to ONE packet of sugar that you would put in your coffee. That’s it as far as how much sugar should be in your body. Once you explain this, and all that we have to do to maintain that, they’re (people without T1D) minds are blown.


how do you describe the feeling and symptoms of lows and to people who don't have diabetes?
I explain a low blood sugar feeling like you haven’t eaten all day. You are weak and disoriented. I tend to feel very hot and I tend to tear up/cry when my blood sugar is dropping. I also crave peanut butter.
what about the feeling and symptoms of highs?A high blood sugar feels like you are extremely hungover from a night of binge drinking. You are thirsty, you have a headache; I get the chills a lot too.

what's your go-to treatment for lows?
I’m still stuck on my old ways of treatment from 16 years ago, so I use Orange Juice and peanut butter crackers. It’s really funny because I’ve been treating the same way for so long, I can tell that my blood sugar is dropping because I crave peanut butter.

what's your meal plan? do you follow a special diet? do you enjoy the same treats that 'everyone else' does?
The interesting thing about diabetes is that we look at food the way EVERYONE should view food. We are constantly aware of what we put in our body and we learn to recognize how it affects us. Everyone is different, for some pizza is a huge issue while for others it isn’t. A lot of diabetics don’t like to use artificial sweeteners because it spikes their blood sugars, while other diabetics are affected by artificial sweeteners. Everyone is different, and we learn to read our bodies pretty quickly.

Personally, I try to only eat between 40-50 carbohydrates at every meal. I do not count calories. I am also very aware of my sodium intake as well.

Diabetics have a lot of heart problems as a complication of the disease so watching fat and sodium can help with this. I’ve read a few studies on the actual affects of insulin as well, which swells our arteries and veins, thus contributing to our heart complications. So food and exercise are things we can control to prevent problems.

Leah holding the Artificial Pancreas at a conference in Nashville.
"Tom Brobson passed it around and every diabetic in the room started to tear up,
even myself. One of the coolest moments ever."
what diabetes myth do you wish would get busted?
All of them. We CAN eat sweets. We CAN do anything a non-diabetic can do (except THREE JOBS – we cannot serve in the armed forces, we cannot be commercial pilots and we cannot be interstate truck drivers). I believe 2-3 people who have climbed Mount Everest have been diabetics. You CANNOT catch diabetes; it’s not contagious. We DO need help from time to time.

what would you tell someone who was just diagnosed with diabetes? 
Welcome to the family. We are all here to support one another and you will need a shoulder to cry on, someone to scream with and someone to know that you are doing your best. This disease is hard but we are here together.

what's your favorite flavor cupcake?
 I am actually not a big cake/cupcake fan. I am a lover of lemon meringue pie though.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

my diabetes real life community: meet michael

i'm introducing my friends who i know in 'real life' that have diabetes.

today, you get to meet michael. we met through mutual friends and stay 'in the know' about what's going on with each other via social media.


michael is a manager at a lowe's home improvement store in louisville, ky. he has a wonderful (wiggly) 16 month old son, alexander. no pets right now, maybe when the boy gets a bit older. he bought a house in taylorsville, ky last year and if he's not playing with his son or working, then he's doing yard work!

what type of diabetes do you have?
Type 1 ("the bad kind" as its more commonly known by the public)

how long have you had it/when were you diagnosed?
I was officially diagnosed June 17, 2003.

can you tell us a quick summary of your diagnosis story?
I was working at a country club and was veeeery dehydrated so I thought "I'll drink a bunch of slushies!" Went home after work and didn't feel well so I went to the hospital. They took my blood sugar twice because they couldn't believe the number (or the meter didn't go that high) and came back to tell me it was 960! Everybody was amazed and I was pretty popular to come look at, but that didn't really calm me down or anything. They were pretty sure it was diabetes at that point....

how do you treat it (shots, pump, pen, etc)? do you use any other technologies (CGM, etc)? 
I use the Novolog flex pen and Lantus at night. One touch meter, nice and simple... aka cheap (as far as diabetes supplies go).

what are some of your daily concerns, worries or considerations?
I have really tight control, so low sugars are my main concern, but I'm always (overly) prepared for them if they come.

what do you wish people without diabetes understood?
That its not a death sentence... if properly controlled... everybody always has a relative that "died from diabetes" even if it was a car wreck and they just happen to have diabetes.

how do you describe the feeling and symptoms of lows and to people who don't have diabetes?
I think everybody has had the feeling of low blood sugar. I had it occasionally when I was much younger. But I say jittery, confused, tingly, etc. it's not always the same feeling... at least for me.

what about the feeling and symptoms of highs? 
Highs... I hate highs! My ear pops on one side or the other, dry mouth, dehydrated, thirsty! It's terrible! Low blood sugar comes up fast, but high blood sugar takes forever to come down sometimes!

what's your go-to treatment for lows?
Root beer or PB crackers

what's your meal plan? do you follow a special diet? do you enjoy the same treats that 'everyone else' does?
No meal plan... I eat a healthy vegan diet now-a-days... it's not as hard as you would think, but I believe in limited meat in diets for health reasons (cholesterol)... plants don't have cholesterol!

what diabetes myth do you wish would get busted?
That everyone losses a leg or sight... I've been a diabetic for ten years and have no signs of complications in my eyes and have 20/20... maybe I'm just lucky... or it's all the hard work controlling it... either way I'm happy.

what would you tell someone who was just diagnosed with diabetes?
The same thing an older guy told me in the hospital elevator the day after diagnosis... "it's a very manageable disease if you take care of yourself... I'm doing great!"

what's your favorite flavor cupcake? 
I'm not a big sweet eater... never have been. So you don't get diabetes from eating too many cupcakes?! Weird!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

my diabetes real life community: meet elizabeth

i'm introducing my friends who i know in 'real life' that have diabetes.

today, you get to meet elizabeth. we met through a mutual acquaintance when she was diagnosed with diabetes and have stayed in touch thanks to social media even though she doesn't live near me anymore!


elizabeth is a marketing manager for a healthcare consulting company based out of tampa, fl. she recently  moved to nashville with the company and gets works from home. she has a dog, miss molly, and just started a new relationship with a man that is very supportive of her being involved in the diabetes community.

what type of diabetes do you have?
Type 1

how long have you had it/when were you diagnosed?
I was diagnosed in February of 2006

can you tell us a quick summary of your diagnosis story? 
I started feeling bad and lost a lot of weight, not to mention my hair started falling out. I went to my primary care physician to get checked out and she diagnosed me with Type 2 diabetes and put me on Metphorman. It wasn't until I saw an Endocrinologist a couple of months later that I found out I had Type 1. I actually cried over it because at least with Type 2 I could have exercised, eaten healthy and taken a pill. I was terrified of needles and I remember it took me months to get over the fear. I still sometimes take a few minutes when I switch out my infusion site or insert my CGM.

how do you treat it (shots, pump, pen, etc)? do you use any other technlogies (CGM, etc)?
I’ve been using a pump (Animas Onetouch Ping) now for almost three years and I love it. Recently I upgraded to the new Dexcom G4!

what are some of your daily concerns, worries or considerations? 
I still worry when my blood sugar stays high for a few days and I can’t keep it down. I do worry when I feel something wrong with me that it’s something related to side effects of the diabetes.

what do you wish people without diabetes understood?
That I didn't cause this on myself by eat tons of oreos. Also I wish they realized if I want an oreo I’ll eat an oreo ... they don’t need to point out that I’m diabetic and shouldn't eat it.

how do you describe the feeling and symptoms of lows and to people who don't have diabetes?
 I get really weak and sleepy and my right hand shakes. Not sure why the left doesn't. It’s odd. I also getting extremely hungry.

what about the feeling and symptoms of highs? 
I get sleepy, it feels different than the low sleepy but I can’t explain the difference. I also get a really weird taste in my mouth and I get extremely moody!

what's your go-to treatment for lows? 
Juice boxes. I've tried the glucose tablets and gel packs but a 15 carb juice box usually does the trick.

what's your meal plan? do you follow a special diet? do you enjoy the same treats that 'everyone else' does?
I don’t really have a meal plan. I just try to eat healthy all around and occasionally I let myself have a burger or nuggets from McDonalds! I do eat whatever anyone else would eat and I don’t feel guilty if I want a bite or ice cream... or two... or three!

what diabetes myth do you wish would get busted? 
The myth of what causes it! I really would like to know why me?

what would you tell someone who was just diagnosed with diabetes?
That life will be different but it’ll begin to feel normal. I don’t even pay attention to the fact that I’m diabetic half the time. It’s just normal now to check my blood sugar and take insulin when I eat. Also with a healthy lifestyle you can live a great life. I would also tell them to be open about how the people around you treat you and your diabetes. You need a support system not a policing unit.

what's your favorite flavor cupcake? 
Do I have to choose just one? Today I would have to say lemon.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

my diabetes real life community: meet angela

i'm introducing my friends who i know in 'real life' that have diabetes.

today, you get to meet angela. we met when i was a freshman in high school, her sister stephanie and i went to school together and are great friends!



angela works for humana, a company she's worked with for nine years. angela is married to her high school sweetheart, bo. they have three beautiful kids: nathan, emily and derek. they have two dogs and live in louisville, ky. she loves to get together with family and friends, she hates sitting still, she's always on the move and she loves to do crafts and stay busy! 

what type of diabetes do you have?
I have type 1 diabetes

how long have you had it/when were you diagnosed?
22 years

can you tell us a quick summary of your diagnosis story?
We were on a summer vacation in Florida, I was 13. I stayed thirsty and then was constantly in the bathroom. I thought I had a bladder infection which was common for me growing up ... Instead they found sugar in my urine and I spent 5 days at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville.

how do you treat it (shots, pump, pen, etc)? do you use any other technologies (CGM, etc)? 
I have been on a pump for over 12 years.

what are some of your daily concerns, worries or considerations?
I get very busy with the kids and work so I don't check my blood sugar like I should..

what do you wish people without diabetes understood?
I'm not dying! And please don't tell me what I should or should not eat!!!

how do you describe the feeling and symptoms of lows and to people who don't have diabetes?
It's a feeling like you haven't eaten in a week! You feel lifeless, shaky and have no energy.

what about the feeling and symptoms of highs?
The worst hangover ever! Lol, headaches, constantly in the bathroom and dehydrated..

what's your go-to treatment for lows?
SweeTarts... I keep them in my purse at all times

what's your meal plan? do you follow a special diet? do you enjoy the same treats that 'everyone else' does?
No I don't but I need to

what diabetes myth do you wish would get busted?
Everyone bases what they saw on Steel Magnolias... I'm not going to fall apart!

what would you tell someone who was just diagnosed with diabetes? 
Don't worry! It's not as bad as people make it out to be. You will survive.

what's your favorite flavor cupcake? 
White cake with chocolate icing :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

my diabetes real-life community: meet mandy

i discovered the doc (diabetes online community) a few years ago. it was a great thing that i stumbled upon, i met an unending number - it keeps growing - of people with diabetes, or who live with/take care of someone who has diabetes. i had a group that i could relate to, that understood exactly what i was saying and going through. i've met some great friends from the doc ... but, i don't just have them. i have friends in 'real life' who are diabetic. i thought i'd introduce you to some of them!

i asked each of them the same 13 questions (in honor of my 13th diaversary), which is cool because it tells us how different (and similar) living with diabetes can be for everyone. for the next week-ish, i hope you'll enjoy getting to know my diabetes real-life community.

up first, meet mandy. we met when we were in college. we had classes together and worked together. we became great friends and have ended up having way more in common than just a friendship!

mandy with her husband


mandy is the customer experience manager for banana republic in green hills, nashville, tn. she and her husband are both originally from kentucky and met while at western kentucky university (that's when i met them too!). they'll be celebrating their five year anniversary this october. they have a large, spoiled boxer named zoie. no children yet ... she says for now, her husband and the dog are enough work! eating great food is a huge passion of theirs. they enjoy experiencing new restaurants throughout the city and attending concerts and comedy shows anytime they can.

what type of diabetes do you have? 
Type 1

how long have you had it/when were you diagnosed?
I was diagnosed 6 years ago at age 26, but I'm fairly certain I had it starting in college. The symptoms were there.

can you tell us a quick summary of your diagnosis story? 
I was originally diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic and was put on 2 long-lasting insulin shots a day along with an oral medication. For 2 years, I never saw better A1C results and continued to feel terrible. I finally made the switch to a new endocrinologist here in Nashville, Dr. Weirum. I had also been diagnosed with Graves Disease at this point, so I was a large project for him. He saved me! Immediately, on my first visit he explained that I was certainly not a type 2 diabetic, but a type 1. He increased my insulin shots to 5-6 daily (this included fast-acting with meals). I underwent radio-active iodine therapy to "kill" my thyroid a few months later. I could feel the difference within days and will be forever grateful to Dr. Weirum for correcting my previous doctor's mistake. I worked with him over the next year and he gave me the all-clear for an insulin pump a year and a half-ago. My A1C is a work-in-progress, but I appreciate having a doctor who continuously works with me to achieve better results, without zero judgement.

how do you treat it (shots, pump, pen, etc)? do you use any other technologies (CGM, etc)? 
I wear an insulin pump now. I do wear a CGM every 3 months for a week long period to give my doctor a better glance at my sugars. It's also nice to try out different foods/restaurants to troubleshoot how much insulin I should be using.

what are some of your daily concerns, worries or considerations? 
How will I feel today and how will it affect my mood, energy, etc. I also worry about pregnancy in the future and how difficult the process will be.

what do you wish people without diabetes understood?
That I can wake up on any given day and feel like complete crap. I have a very understanding husband, family and work-family that are very concerned about my well-being. Some days, it's hard to function if my sugars have been out of whack for even just a day. 


how do you describe the feeling and symptoms of lows and to people who don't have diabetes? 
For me, it's a weird internal red-flag that I get. Luckily, my body still gives me those even when I'm in a deep sleep. I generally get very anxious and begin sweating. I also become very irritable and find it difficult to focus. When I do get that internal "catch," I immediately check my sugar, confirm the low and treat.

what about the feeling and symptoms of highs? 
Highs are the worst tired you will ever feel. I can work through them better now than before, but I use to not be able to get off the couch. My body feels like it weighs 500 pounds. I'm very groggy and irritable. I hate highs more than lows!

what's your go-to treatment for lows? 
Blueberry-Pomegranate Juice or regular soda. Sometimes, candy or chocolate, but I typically do not keep this around the house.

what's your meal plan? do you follow a special diet? do you enjoy the same treats that 'everyone else' does? 
I honestly don't have a meal plan, but probably should. I eat way too many carbs, because I love them! There are certain foods I will stay away from because of the highs they bring (pancakes). But for the most part, I have learned what foods require more insulin and I utilize my Dual Wave Bolus on my pump for foods like Pizza and Mexican.

what diabetes myth do you wish would get busted? 
Hmmm. This is a tough one. I actually haven't encountered anyone who seemed to be completely uneducated about the disease. Most people want to tell you who they know that has diabetes and their story. I did have someone tell me once that I couldn't allow diabetes to dictate my life. That is easy for you to say when you are a healthy individual. You try working a full-time job with sugars in the 400's and then we'll talk.

what would you tell someone who was just diagnosed with diabetes? 
Patience is key. I felt so awful, I wanted things to be fixed immediately. I had to work with the right team in order to find the best path for me. And it's always a work-in-progress. Don't let things frustrate you when/if you take a step backward. There's always room for improvement.

what's your favorite flavor cupcake? 
coconut