Sunday, April 17, 2011

A brand new blog and already I'm slacking..

Alright, it's been over a week, I KNOW - almost TWO weeks since I have written.  Gee, what will all TWO of my followers think of me..?!  (...Since one is my dad, I'm really not worried, hehe).

It's been a busy two weeks adjusting to my pump (still yet to be named, which is a big issue for me.. I'll have to give myself a deadline since my mom nixed the name "Bernard"... Any ideas?) and hosting my dad for the weekend and writing down recipes and shopping for Easter foods and returning to the gym after my long hiatus (booyah, Sweatbetes! Take that!).  Anyway, no more excuses.  Here are some updates.

I won't bore you with all the details of my New York trip with my dad, or as he so affectionately calls it, the "Diabetes Tour 2011" (hehe), but I will let you all in on a little secret.  We ate junk food ALL DAY.  From 10:20 AM to 8:40 PM I ate three donuts (!!!!!!!), three macarons, chicken fingers, french fries, a cup of coffee and a granola bar.  Alright, I guess the granola bar isn't really junk food. 

Here are some pictures from the day. (Notice most of them are of food).

Dad also took some pictures of our "martching BGs" (but sadly I do not have those photos to share with you!).  From about noon until the end of the day, our BGs were within 10 points of each other! (I don't think the correct word is "points" it would be "within 10 mg/dl of each other"  but I like to say points. Bear with me. Hehe).  I know you will all be thrilled to hear that aside from my basal injection (which I was still taking then as this was during my Saline trial on the pump), I didn't take a single unit of insulin all day!! ...I guess walking 9 miles will do that to you and your bg!

I don't have too much else to fill everyone in on except for the fact that I have now been pumping insulin for five days now and everything is going great! I've been coming a little lower than I expect after meals, but I think that it's a mixture of the pump being so precise (I'm used to 1 or 2 units. Not 1.45 units, etc) and my basal maybe needing fine tuning.  But I want a bit to get used to the pump before I dive back into basal testing. (Call me crazy).  Otherwise, no serious lows, no crazy highs, life is good in the insulin pump hood.

On the other hand, I saw this little gem while food shopping today:

I'm sorry, but I just have to say... What idiots.  On the other hand, what a nice suggestion - I think I WILL have cookies tonight, armed with nothing but a clear conscious and my handy dandy little insulin pump. <3

Alright, off to continue researching Easter recipes.  My first grown up Easter in my apartment instead of driving 6 hours home to be fed by my family!! Will be SURE to update everyone on my cooking (disasters). Hehe.

PS - Easter outfit. Ready. Set. Go. (I'm going to cut little holes in the pocket bag so my pump can rest cosily in there while the tube can continue right through to my body! Will be sure to post pics of that as well!)

Happy Sunday night and have a Happy Monday!! See you Wednesday at #DSMA perhaps! :)


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Readers Digest

So, if you haven't heard about how Readers Digest thinks you can reverse Diabetes, here's the quick scoop:

Does this make you mad? It makes me mad.  Do what you can to help in sending a letter to RD.  Here's a copy of the letter I sent.

To Whom It May Concern,

I was recently made aware of a future issue that Readers Digest is planning to run with the focus of "reversing Diabetes".  While I think this would be well worth the few dollars an issue of Reader's Digest is worth SHOULD IT BE VALID, anyone with access to Google can tell you there is no cure for Diabetes, thus making it irreversible - and thus making your title FALSE.

I sincerely hope that this topic will be scrapped unless this is some funny joke where the headlines say "Reversing Diabetes" and the tagline says "is impossible.  Which sucks." Now THAT could be a GREAT lead in to an article which actually spreads KNOWLEDGE about the Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and LADA instead of spreading another horrible misconception that my peers and myself spend so much time trying to dispel.  For the record, there is no known cure for Diabetes.  It is a chronic illness.  Those diagnosed with Diabetes will have Diabetes for the rest of their lives.

Please consider partnering with the Diabetic Community in spreading truth and knowledge by publishing accurate information regarding this disease.  I'm sure your help in doing so would be much appreciated!

Should you like to contact me regarding truths about Diabetes, you can contact me at xxxx or email me at xxxx or call me at xxxx.

Thank you for your time.



So go send some angry emails to Readers Digest! Don't let them lie to those silly people who think we can't eat sweets because we're diabetic!! Don't add to the stupid ideas that people have!! Ugh. This is frustrating, non??


Ladies and Gentlemen... I would like to introduce you to my new BFF.  He has no name (YET) but will be my constant companion for the next four years (knock on wood).

I can't believe I'm typing this with a PUMP on my hip!! I feel so modern.  And advanced.  And high-tech.  And sort of like I can conquer anything.

I got to sleep in until 7 AM this morning before getting dressed and heading to the hospital.  My BG was 119 so I wasn't too worried about the fact that I was too anxious to eat breakfast.  I wanted to be at the hospital by 7:40 for my 8:00 appointment and walked in to the lobby at 7:46 (not surprising).  Luckily, my trainer had just walked in the door right before me so I didn't feel bad about making her wait (since I hadn't).

We made our way to an exam room and spread out over the seats.  The exam table was covered in pumps, meters, charts, graphs, cartridges, infusion sets and Elmo (did you know Elmo wears a pump? I wish I had taken a picture of THAT!).   We set up a saline cartridge, loaded the pump and "infused" a pillow.  (What is it called when you insert an infusion set? Is it called "inserting an infusion set"? DUH? I like "infused" better).  We walked through every single screen on the pump and on the meter.  We covered 3 hours of information in an hour and a half (I believe I had the best trainer EVER and she DID mention I might have been her easiest trainee in history).  Finally- my turn.

I removed the saline cartridge from the pump.  I filled a second cartridge with saline.  I rewound.  I loaded. I primed. And then it came time.  I sat with my infusion set cocked in my hand, listening to my trainer talk about why you need to change the cartridge every time you change the site.  I looked down and before I could think "GO", I had inserted the infusion set.  My trainer stopped in the middle of her sentence, looked through my tiny window to make sure my cannula was properly inserted and then said "Perfect! So we'll meet again next Tuesday?".

Sometimes you just have to pull the trigger before you have time to think about the prick I guess.  What was I so worried about?  This silly infusion set thing made such a noise that I didn't even notice the little needle going into my skin! It was just in and ready to go, just like that!!

Now off to bed to see how sleeping on this lumpy box will feel.  BG now: 121. Not bad, not bad!

PS, I'm a day late (because yesterday my Dad didn't know this blog existed) but Happy Birthday to my Dad, my biggest inspiration in diabetes and in life. I can't wait to take a trip to New York City with him this weekend to celebrate his 32nd D-Versary!! <3


Monday, April 4, 2011

Tomorrow is the big day...

When I was diagnosed in November, the doctors in the hospital told me in "maybe six months or so" I could start on an insulin pump, MAYBE.   A week later, at my first appointment with my own Endo, he said "The paperwork takes about six weeks.  Start it today and begin the pump next month if you want."  So I sort of let the idea of a pump float around the back of my head for a while without giving it much serious thought.  At that point I knew it was more important to learn to get the job done (manage this disease) than to over think what tools I'm using to do my job.

Managing my diabetes started getting easier for me.  Don't get me wrong - managing diabetes is never "easy", but I made it from having panic attacks in my bedroom every time I had to bolus inject in November to quietly (and quickly)  pulling out, assembling, and using my pen all underneath the table in a crowded restaurant like it's nothing in January.  I was starting to think that maybe I would just stick with daily injections.  It was working, I was doing alright, and I was starting to (almost) get used to it.  Then came  "the bad bruise". 

It was a Saturday afternoon and I was sitting down to eat lunch.  I tested my BG, screwed on my needle tip, dialed up my pen and injected.  The second the needle passed my skin I felt a pinch and watched as a HUGE bruise formed (before my very eyes!!) under my skin.  I almost cried!!  That was the exact moment I decided I was fed up with injecting. I was sick of pricks. (Ha, Ha, funny I know!).

I began seriously researching different brands of insulin pumps.  I sent my name and address to all of them and read all of their promotional pamphlets that I received in the mail.  I learned which pumps hold how much insulin (I pray I never need 300 units in 3 days.. Honeymoon, please never end), which ones you can get wet (...the Animas One Touch. Really, that's about it), how long the tubing can be (43" if you want to hang it over the shower rod while you bathe.   ....REALLY?), etc.  So much information!!

I started calling my insurance company and (surprise) was told that I had a $500 deductible before they would pay 70% of the pump price (so my price was $500+30% of cost).  After hearing that I knew it would have to wait until after Tax Season.  I'm a 22 year old fresh out of college paying rent, health insurance (please don't sky rocket, please), car insurance, gas money and A BOAT LOAD OF STUDENT LOANS... How was I going to afford an insulin pump?? ...So I waited.

I had been meeting regularly with my Diabetes Educator and she told me it was time to meet with the Insulin Pump Educator.  I arrived at my appointment and met a very nice woman who seemed to tell me everything the informational pamphlets sent to me by the pump companies had said.  I told her I was worried about cost so she put me in touch with a company that helps negate Diabetes care costs.  Three days later my representative from that company called me.  We went back and forth for two days before I was put in touch with Animas (which was my final decision for many reasons).  After talking to Matt from Animas for a day or two, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that  my insurance would cover much more than I was originally told.  I was told to get my A1C tested (but I was two steps ahead - it was already scheduled for that Friday) and then we'd talk about my options.

I got my A1C tested on Friday, March 18th.  On Wednesday, March 23rd, Matt from Animas called me to tell me my pump would be arriving at my house on Friday.  I got to pick lots of options (that I had already decided about a month ago- like silver pump, pink infusion sets, 23" tubing, etc) and then we hung up.

... Wait, that's it? That's all I had to do to get this pump??

My pump arrived on Friday, March 25th and I was told that someone from Animas training team would be in contact with me soon.  On Thursday, March 31st, my trainer called me.  We talked last night (Sunday) about trying to schedule something for Tuesday, April 5th.  At 6:15 PM tonight I was given confirmation that we will be meeting at 8 AM tomorrow to begin pump training.


I guess so.  So far, the organizing part has been not as scary as I was expecting.  Tomorrow starts my marriage with my new baby pancreas (I'm naming my pump, any ideas?) and I can only hope it's as un-scary as the process has been so far.

I can't believe tomorrow is the day.  It happened so fast!! Everything I have done today, I've thought "this will be the last time I try on clothes without an insulin pump" or "this will be the last time I sleep in my bed without an insulin pump!".  WHERE DID THE TIME GO? 

Cross your fingers, say a prayer, welcome me to the world of pumpers (alright, not yet, I still have 9 more hours before I'm "connected").   No turning back now!!

PS. I'm a little nervous! Is that weird? Is this going to hurt? Am I going to be sore all the time? Am I going to cry all morning tomorrow at the doctors?

PSS. Why does Animas say you can "WEAR" your pump when swimming or bathing?  Who is wearing clothes when they bathe that they can clip their pump to?? Am I doing showers the wrong way?? ...Maybe I should've gotten that longer tubing to toss the pump over the shower rod... hehe.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

And so it begins...

Alright, here we go... A blog.  A Diabetes blog.   I don't know the first thing about blogging, so I guess I'll start with the basics.

My name is Chelsey and I am 22 years old (almost 23!).  I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on November 27th, 2010 - yes, that means I'm a new player in this game.  My father was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1979 and he has always handled his diagnosis with dignity and pride.  I look up to him every day.  Although I would never say I'm HAPPY that he has Diabetes, I realize that it has made my own diagnosis much easier on me having already learned so much about this disease from him my entire life!

When I was first diagnosed four months ago, I felt a little alone.  Yes, my dad has Diabetes as well, but he had already spent almost 32 years learning to live with it and learning how his body reacts to different things.  He knew what worked for him but I knew I would need to find more resources to learn what options I had and what might work for me.

I spent the first few days fresh from my diagnosis googling everything I could think of in relation to Type 1 Diabetes.  I read about Lantus, Humolog, Apidra, the OmniPod, JDRF, Joslin, Eli Lilly company, best injection sites... My head was swimming!

Although Google turned up a lot of information related to Diabetes, it also turned up a lot of blogs and thread chains and communities all based around Diabetes.  It was the Diabetes Online Community.  I watched silently for a few months, reading blogs and twitter posts and everything I could find.  It amazed me that I could learn so much about this disease from other people "just like me".    I loved the DOC from the moment I learned about it and couldn't wait to be a part of it in some way.

I have been managing my Diabetes with multiple daily injections for the past four months, but had always been looking into the pump.  Very recently I've learned that I'll be able to move forward with the pump in the near future.  So I figured what better time to start a blog and test out the DOC waters.  It'll be a learning process (in many ways) but a great process to document.

Anybody else out here in blog world new to the game? Or not so new to the game but loving the DOC?  I guess we'll see how it goes!