Category Archives: Milestones

Long Time No See.

Hi there.  Believe it or not, this blog here does still exist.  I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I’ve posted anything.  WordPress even looks different since the last time I’ve written!  To anyone that may care, I apologize (and I do not mean that in a snarky way!)  I feel that life gets in the way a lot of times.  Or it could just be something that I’ve realized about myself recently ….. I am lazy AF.


My friend George posted recently and maybe you can say he gave me a little motivation to post for the first time in a while as well.  I would have a lot to go over to update you on the past 14 months so I won’t go down that road.  I’ll just mention the big parts 🙂


I commemorated the 35th anniversary of my diabetes diagnosis on December 24th.  It’s truly hard to believe I’m old enough to have had type 1 for so long!  I didn’t necessarily do anything to “celebrate”.  Being that it’s on Christmas eve, that always steals the thunder 😉


Let’s see.  Most recently, I have been recovering from surgery to repair tennis elbow (or lateral epicondylitis).  Don’t ask me how I got that because I haven’t the slightest idea.  I first went to the doctor for it March of last year after it had been bothering me for a few months.  He tried a cortisone injection but sadly, there was no improvement.  I went back in September after the pain was getting worse and the doctor was straight with me that if it was lasting this long with no results from cortisone, it was highly unlikely any other treatment would work beside surgery.  This doctor had performed not one but two trigger finger surgeries on me in the past so if I had to have another surgery, I was glad it would be by him.  He sent me for an MRI just to verify the condition and it showed that not only were the tendons damaged, there was a tear as well.  No wonder it hurt so much!   So a bit over 6 weeks ago the surgery was done and recovery has been going well so far.  It’s been challenging at times since it was on my dominant arm, but the incision healed nicely and I hope to be using my arm again fully soon.


I’ve had some struggles on the blood sugar management front – my A1c was at its highest in years in the fall.  I’ve managed to get it back down some at my endo appointment last week but it still needs work.  I do attribute some of the rise to a change in birth control pills (TMI?) that occurred in the summer.  Man, did I have some awful insulin resistance!  My insulin was like water for quite a few weeks.  I am more independent when it comes to changing insulin rates and whatnot but it came to the point where I called my endo in desperation.  She could not believe how much insulin I was taking.  But I’m glad I thought of the new meds because other then raising my ratios, she didn’t offer much in terms of finding the root cause.  Things got more “normal” when I switched back to the pill I had been taking previously.  Thank goodness.


And back to my laziness.  In being a hermit for a few weeks recovering from surgery, it highlighted just how lazy I really am.  And that definitely plays a part in the work that my A1c needs.  I do not log.  Ever.  I almost never upload Dexcom or pump info.  I occasionally check the Clarity app to see what my estimated A1c is (which was spot on with my latest reading at the endo by the way) but don’t look at the trends really.  I don’t exercise like I should.  I don’t eat like I should.  I don’t pre-bolus like I should.  Yet I do bolus for every food I eat.  I do wear a medical ID bracelet.  I do carry some form of glucose with me.  I do not over treat lows.   Those things my endo always looks for makes me look like a super star.  But how do I get over my laziness and do the little things that will make the most difference?  I wish it were as simple as telling myself to just do it but I already hear in my head – I don’t feel like it.  Have you ever been faced with similar feelings?  Have you found something that gave yourself a good kick in the rear?  I’m open to suggestions 🙂  Being that I’ve had strong anxiety about something happening to me health-wise (more on that in another post), I’m surprised that hasn’t been the kick that I need.

Recap of 2013.

Hi friends!  It seems like I’ve had a lot going on this year and my posts have been sporadic. But I’m still around and I’d love to recap what my year was about.  When I DID post that is 🙂  I’d love to call them highlights but honestly a lot of them don’t seem so exciting to fall under that category!

December: 32 years ago today I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

November: Oops.

October: What I am very glad about is that I am an empowered patient and have the wisdom to make this sort of determination.

September: Have you ever felt that something in your life needed to be “recharged”?

August: This is a fairly new collaboration within the diabetes online community to spread knowledge about the fact that the glucose test strips we use today, yes in 2013, are not completely accurate.

July: Talking with a true inspiration.

June: This isn’t really diabetes related.  But it’s about a huge part of my life – my twin sister.

May: Like the past conferences, I had a wonderful time.

April: I am honored to be hosting the Best of The ‘Betes Blogs for the month of April.

March: It was a little after 1am when I woke up kind of suddenly.

February:  Lucky for me, the great people over at Sanofi Diabetes asked if I was willing to share some advice or tips if you will, on traveling with diabetes.

January: When I was growing up with diabetes, there weren’t many books around that I knew of on the topic.

I cannot believe that we are getting ready to say goodbye to another year.  Is it me or did this one just fly right by?? I want to wish all of you a very happy and healthy new year.  May 2014 be good to all of you 🙂


We Can Do This.

Happy Friday everyone!  And a happy Labor Day to my US friends too!  I’m not sure how it got to be the end of summer already but here we are … September is approaching and pumpkin is everywhere 🙂

I am taking Kerri’s lead today and posting about a very important issue.  The Strip Safely campaign is well under way.  But there is something else that is needed from us to ensure that the tools we use to manage our diabetes is taken very seriously by the FDA.  They are planning future patient meetings on various diseases and conditions to better understand them.  Don’t you think they need to get a better view of the challenges of living with diabetes and how the tools available play a huge role in that?  Don’t you think since the number of people being diagnosed with diabetes keeps growing and growing, a solid understanding of this disease from the people who have it would help?  I do.  And I’m sure many of you would agree.  So let’s get together and make our voices heard.  Take a few minutes to sign this petition, please.  And pass it along.  We need 5,000 signatures so get to it!

Please sign here.

Three Years Old.

The big three

The Girl with the Portable Pancreas turns 3 on Sunday.  I cannot believe how time flies.  It wasn’t my start at blogging, as I had already been blogging for my friends at ACT1, but I started my own three years ago.  I am very happy to be able to reach out to people sharing my own experiences and knowledge and be part of such a powerful community.  I hope you continue to read and know that together we can do this.

I will leave you with wishes for a wonderful weekend and some motivation to keep you going strong 🙂




Day Four of Diabetes Blog Week, 2013.


A day behind but here is my post for day four of Diabetes Blog Week.

We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small – think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.).

I’ve given this topic some thought over the past few days.  So much has changed over the past 31 years, mostly for the better, with accomplishments along the way.  I found it hard to pick just one thing.  The first thing that came to mind was my more recent A1c track record of being under 7%.  Then there is my retinopathy not progressing over the past 18 months.  Or walking about 3 miles with excruciating pain in your legs and numbness in your feet from neuropathy seems like quite an accomplishment at the moment.  Even exercising 4 times in one week can seem like something to be proud of for me.  There are even the graphs of 24 hour no hitters on my Dexcom.  I certainly celebrate all of those!

What I came to realize is that all of these things together is what my accomplishment truly is.  Living with diabetes for 11,452 days and doing pretty well.  Going through the motion of checking BG, dosing insulin, counting carbs multiple times a day, every single day.  Forcing juice down my throat when I feel like I’m going to puke to keep myself alive.  Moving along with my day when my blood sugar is high and all I want to do is drink, pee or sleep.  Keeping up with routine endocrinologist appointments.  CDE appointments.  Eye doctor appointments.  All the other diabetes health related appointments.  Picking up prescriptions every few weeks or month.  Keeping tabs on insurance coverage for said appointments and prescriptions.  And doing all these things for so long without losing my mind.  Even finding happiness between the lines.  Not to mention making tons of great friends along the way.  This is what I have accomplished and it feels pretty darn good.

My Diabetes is 31 Today.

31 years going strong.

On Christmas eve 31 years ago, my life changed forever.  And my family’s.  Instead of celebrating Christmas with family and gifts like planned, I was brought to the hospital by my parents for a type 1 diabetes diagnosis.  To this day, I am grateful that my parents recognized the symptoms of insatiable thirst and never ending trips to the bathroom as soon as they did.  They saved me from becoming seriously ill.

I dislike having to live with diabetes.  There are days or moments when I absolutely hate it.  I’m not going to hide it.  But as I am reading “Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle“, I cannot help but feel extremely thankful that I live in a time where there are treatment options.  Back in the early 1900’s, the prognosis of being diagnosed with diabetes was a death sentence.  And a short one.  In my first years of being a person with diabetes, we relied on urine testing and only 1-2 daily injections of insulin to manage blood sugar.  But it was still better than nothing at all.  And today, 31 years later, even though I have some mild complications, I am still overall a healthy person.

So happy birthday, Diabetes.  I’m sorry to be stuck with you but in a way I hope we get to celebrate many more together.

High Demand.

I have been a huge and loyal Dexcom fan since I started with my Seven system in November 2008, coming up on four years.  The first few months I had it I used it now and then to gather trend data but I didn’t feel like I was getting the whole continuous glucose data benefit so I started using it continuously.  (no pun intended)  For the past three years or so, I have not been without a sensor.  At all.  Call it dependence.  Call it addiction.  I call it peace of mind.

Talk of the next generation system from Dexcom has been in the works for some time.  And was approved in Europe March of last year.  Last year?!  This morning totally unexpected, to me anyway, they announced the FDA approval for the new G4 Platinum system.  I couldn’t be happier!!  Who doesn’t want a 19% more accurate glucose monitor?  Or 20 foot range for glucose signals?  Or customizable alerts with different tones?  And now to view your readings on a nice color screen on a nice color receiver?  Being a girly-girl, I love to accessorize my boring diabetes supplies with color.  This indeed is a huge plus in my book!

While I just got a new Seven Plus system in July (thinking the approval for the G4 would not happen anytime soon), I was happy to hear that Dexcom is offering customers who have purchased a Seven Plus so far this year, the eligibility to upgrade to the new system for a onetime payment of $399.  Since the product is hot-off-the-press-new, they are still working on a method in which they will be taking upgrade orders.  I put my name on the list to upgrade and will be contacted by Dexcom later today or tomorrow.  I suggest if you’re interested in an upgrade, giving them a call to get on the upgrade list.  Systems are expected to be shipped in a few weeks.

Other tidbits I was interested to find out from the CS rep on the phone – the old sensors will not work with the new system but the new sensors are smaller!  Also coming soon, a link to Amazon to purchase accessories!  Thank you Dexcom for creating an amazing product and also for your fantastic customer service at 6 in the morning, over in your neck of the woods 🙂

And now I wait for the call back from Dexcom to get my order going.  I.  Cannot.  Wait.

Check out Dexcom’s website to see the overview and features of their new G4 Platinum CGMS here.

*Just a quick clarification on the upgrade: if you’ve purchased a Seven Plus system between January 1 and August 31 of 2012 you are eligible for the $399 upgrade.  If you’ve purchased a Seven Plus between September 1 and today you are eligible for a free upgrade. If your current system is out of warranty, the order for the G4 Platinum will be processed like a new order and not eligible for an upgrade discount*

The Big 3 0.

It was Christmas eve, 1981. God had other plans for a little 5 year old that year, other than spending time with family, opening gifts, waiting and wishing for Santa to come and leave gifts for the next morning. Instead that little girl was taken to the hospital where she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. That little girl was me. Thirty years ago today.

Now that I can say that I have lived with diabetes for a full 30 years, I can’t quite explain what an achievement that feels like. I’ve carried out my life the way I would have otherwise. Despite the fact that I’ve poked my fingers over 65,000 times. That I’ve had over 32,000 injections. That I’ve had countless low and high blood glucose readings. I am a reasonably healthy adult. For that I am extremely thankful.

So much has changed since those days of learning how to give injections to an orange. Having my parents give me my shots. Having to use urine strips to determine glucose levels. Fighting with insurance to cover a blood glucose monitor for us to use at home (a gigantic, slow, super expensive one at that!) Taking only one or two injections a day. Not counting carbs but eating a restricted diet. Testing just once or twice a day. For the past five years, I have been using an insulin pump. For the past three, I have been using a continuous glucose monitor. These two things alone are something that I never would have imagined using growing up. Having diabetes, I am so appreciative to be around in the days that these things are available. That things like the artificial pancreas are in the works. These things have helped me get to where I am today.

I wish, with all of my soul sometimes, that I didn’t have this disease. I would give anything to not have to test my BG before everything I do. Everything I eat. Every time I am active. Each time I go to sleep. And in between. Even more so, I would give anything not to have fear about losing my vision. About having nerve damage in my legs or hands. About my food not digesting properly. About the functions of my kidneys and heart. But God had other plans for me. Thirty years ago today I was diagnosed with this disease. And I will make the best of it. I will test my BG frequently each day. I will force myself to exercise even when I really don’t want to (still working on this one). I will go to a myriad of doctors to be proactive about the complications that have begun in my body. And most of all, I will fight diabetes with every ounce of my being. No matter what is in store for me after 30 years, I will not let diabetes destroy me.