Feeling thirsty all the time? This can be a sign that you’re not drinking enough water, and that your body isn’t getting enough of the fluids it needs to function optimally and remain healthy. Below… More
March is 14 years that I have been a type 1 diabetic. In that timeframe, I have struggled. I didn’t always talk about the fact I had diabetes. But I didn’t hide it. There were times I did try to ignore it, but that didn’t work out. Then the times I worked hard, it would kick my butt. Also not having any health insurance did not help.
I was misdiagnosed in 2008 at 18 years old as a type 2 diabetic. I experienced extreme thirst, weight loss, urination, and fatigue. This went on for a few months. When I finally went to the urgent care, they asked me questions and did a finger poke to test my blood sugar. Only at that moment, I didn’t connect the dots. My blood sugar was in the 600’s.
I remember the nurse making the comment “Oh. That’s why you feel so sick.” and leaving the room. But no one said anything to me like “ Hey your blood sugar is high, looks like diabetes.” Again I was so very tired and not with it. They hooked me up with what I’m guessing, was an IV of fluids. Shortly after the dr came in and started talking about diet, lifestyle changes, medication, and testing my blood sugar as a type 2 . After that I got moved to a new room.
The next day the dietitian come up to my room and went over diet and carbs. I was told to keep meals under 60 carbs and a list of free foods that I know now, are not free. I spent a few more days in the hospital and was then sent on my way.
At the time I was working for Americorps NCCC, which is a ten-month commitment doing volunteer work across the U.S, where they fed, pay, and housed you. During that time they offered health insurance, but once it was time to go back home to WI I didn’t have any kind of health insurance anymore.
Sometime in 2009, I ended back in the hospital and DKA again. The first time was the year before when I was first diagnosed but we didn’t know it at the time. Diabetic ketoacidosis is when the body starts breaking down fat at a rate that is much too fast. The liver processes the fat into a fuel called ketones, which causes the blood to become acidic. My body was shutting down and was slowly dying.
Almost immediately after I was admitted they told me there was no way I was a type 2 and I was a type 1 diabetic and the first hospital misdiagnosed me. They gave me a slightly better education on diabetes but still gave me the same “free food “ list and to keep meals around 60 carbs and snacks at 15 carbs. They even helped me find a low-income clinic so I could get the insulin that I need to stay alive.
Sometimes the dr would be helpful but I did get a few that were just no help. There were times when my A1c, which is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar over the past 3 months, would be on the higher side and I would get a “lecture” on better blood sugar management but no actual help. Even when I was trying my hardest. Or I was simply burnt out and was not trying as hard. It was very frustrating at times.
I went to this clinic for about 10 years until I got married and my husband had a job that offered health insurance in 2018. During the 10 years that I went to a low-income clinic every month. They gave me everything I needed. Long and short-acting insulin pens, test strips, pen tips, and more. As great as the clinic was, there were too many hands. Paperwork would be missing and sometimes the commutation was not the best. I would also have a different dr every month.
But they did try their best. Every year they would help me apply for state insurance and every time single time I would be denied. But I had no problem getting forward health benefits for family planning, basically, I only qualified for birth control and nothing else.
Then in 2018, my husband qualified for the health insurance offered through his job. I was finally able to establish a primary dr, an endocrinologist, who specializes in the endocrine system and diabetes, and a diabetes educator/nutritionist. I now have a great team to help me manage my diabetes better.
In 2021 I finally moved from insulin pens and finger pokes to an insulin pump and cgm (continuous glucose monitor) which has been a game-changer for me. I did start on the Omnipod dash and Dexcom in March and April but after about 8 months I switched over to the Medtronic 770g System. The Medtronic’s 770g is a closed loop[ system where the guardian sensors talk to the insulin pump and make adjustments as needed. This time last year in march of 2021 my A1c was a 9.8 and right now it is a 6.6.
Since seeing my diabetes educator/nutritionist I have had updated education on diabetes. For example, coffee is NOT a free food. Caffeine can induce an adrenaline rush and can impact the blood sugar and make it rise. Or that fat and protein can also impact blood sugar. Those were a few things I didn’t know but only found out when I started using a CGM.
A lot has happened in the last 14 years for me and I have learned so much. Diabetes is a 24/7 job that you do not get to take a vacation from or get paid. At times it can be a lot and burnout is real. I hope you found this interesting or even helpful.
Here is a list of my favorite iPad accessories that I use daily and that I find to be worth mentioning.
2021 iPad 9th gen 256Gb– I recently upgraded to an iPad with more storage. I was using a 2016 iPad pro with 32GB. But even with paying for cloud storage, I didn’t have enough room for all of my artwork and apps. I’m glad I upgraded but I slightly wished I would have gone with the iPad Pro 11 inch screen. The 10.2-inch screen is an upgrade from 9.7inchs but it would be nice sometimes to have that little bit more when drawing. At the time my main concern was storage and price. Overall, I’m very pleased.
Zagg pro keyboard case– This is a great keyboard and case combo with an apple pencil holder. This case comes in two parts. The first part is a shell case that covers the back of your tablet. The second part of the case is the magnetic keyboard cover that protects the screen and can detach from the iPad if you are just wanting to use the shell case.
Paper-like screen protector– I have used many matte screen protectors in the past but nothing like Paper-like. It is textured like paper but at the same time smooth. It does not distort the screen like some that I have used in the past. I also noticed that I don’t hear that s scratchy noise if I’m scrolling through on my iPad.
Apple Pencil 1 gen– Yes I’m still using my first-generation Apple pencil with the 2021 9th gen iPad. I love using my apple pencil for drawing and in my digital planner. It is a must if you use Art apps like procreate or note-taking apps like good notes.
Silicone apple pencil cover– Thin and comfy enough for drawing or note-taking. It also comes in a variety of colors to choose from. I can also fit in the pencil holder of the Zagg pro case.
For 8 month or so I had been using the insulin pump, Omnipod Dash with Dexcom to manage my Type 1 Diabetes. I thought it was time to review this diabetes device. I have been a diabetic for 13 years soon to be 14 in March/April. Before going on a insulin pump I was using insulin pens for the longest time. That is another story its self.
What is Omnipod?
Omnipod Dash is a tubeless wearable insulin pump that send a consistent amount of basel (background) insulin for up to 3 days. The PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) is a dumb down android phone that only runs the software by Omnipod. The PDM then connects to the insulin pump pods by bluetooth. The pods are water proof, so that means no disconnecting for a shower or jumping in the pool. The PDM is NOT water proof. Also the Omnipod Dash does not commutate with a CGM, like Dexcom.
For me it was super simple. I had gone to a endocrinologist app and talked to my Dr about going on a pump and talked about some of the different options. I was given a list of insulin pumps and was told to research each one myself. I could ether tell him which one I was interested in, so he could start the paperwork. Or to go on the pumps website and fill out the contact forms and start the process that way.
By the end of the week I had filled out forms online for omnipod and was contacted within 3-4 days. I filled out eberything on a Friday and was contacted by Monday to go over questions, like for insurance and what not. By that Friday I was inform what the cost would be with my insurance. I gave them the go ahead and within a week my order was shipped. It was really quick and a easy process overall.
Shortly after I received my pump supplies I was then contacted my a Omnipod Rep/Trainer to setup training to setup my new pump. The pump trainer sat with me and set up the PDM with settings tailored to my insulin needs. Since then I have changed almost everything she had set, there was a lot of trial and error to find out what works better for me on the pump. Normally the dr sets you on the lower side on the pump when you start, to avoid low blood sauger. My appointment took about a hour since I read everything before hand in the handbook.
Things I liked
No tubing, I honestly would forget I had it on me, unless I placed it on my outer upper arm and hit every doorway. I loved that I could decorate the pods with different stickers. Very easy to use, basically fill the pod, confirm everything on the PDM and stick it on and go.
You can go swimming or shower without having to worry about disconnecting and remembering to reconnect. Your pods info shows on your phone as along as it nearby.
I never had a problem keeping the PDM with me, it was no different then carrying my phone with me. I hardly had a failed pod.
Things I did not liked
It’s not something I would always touch on much, but I’m a Type 1 Diabetic for the last 13 years. I found out at 18 in March of 2008. I have struggled so much since then and it has taken me until now to make peace with it. In those years I didn’t always have the best control but I would do the very basics, carb count-not always accurately, took insulin-not always on time, checked my blood sugar-only to eat and just winged it lot of times. It was a mess. My A1C was always high, were talking 8-9 when we should be under 7-6. Right now it’s a 9.4. Yikes.