Misdiagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic at 18

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.

Diabetes Tech Review: Omnipod Dash Insulin Pump

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.  

The Process

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

At times the design of the pods could be a little bulky. You only get one cannula length. Both Fat and protein hit me very hard, if I have a meal that’s high in both and end up with high blood sauger. The Omnipod Dash just couldn’t keep up with me and I would consistency be chasing high blood saugers.  

Final thoughts

 Its a great pump that’s for sure. I did exactly what it was programed to do, that is to delver  a constant supply of basel background of insulin 24/7. But since it does not talk to Dexcom it just doesn’t work for me. Now that the Omnipod 5 has been FDA approved and works with Dexcom it might work better for me.  But I have moved to a different system in November and LOVING it.  I will write more about that in another post. 
Omnipod Dash Insulin Pump

Nightly Skin Care Routine

It’s been a while since I wrote about my skin care routine. Which you can read My More Consistent Skincare Routine. My routine is much simpler now and easier than it was in the past. I find that this is working much better now for me. I try to keep it to 5 products and stuck to products that work and are affordable, but there is always that one product thats more and loved. Most of the items that I use and buy are under $20. Expect for the $39 moisturizer that came in my boxy charm box one month.

I use makeup wipes every night to wipe off any makeup. I really like any of the wipes from Yes To. I think the cucumber and grapefruit are my favorites. After I get all of the makeup off I use the Pacifica Beauty Sea Foam Complete Face Wash to wash my face with a Eco Tools Portable Facial Cleansing Brush, the brush sits so nicely in my hand and is perfect for traveling. For a toner I use the Thayers Rose Water Witch Hazel Toner and then after that dries I spray my face with the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater, I love how both of these smell and make my face feel. You can also use it to set your makeup, which i like doing. For the last step I have been using the It Cosmetics Confidence In A Jar, I got this in my boxy charm box and I love it, just not the price. I believe I received it in my March box and I have hardly made a dent, a little goes a very long way. I think after I’m done with this jar, I might purchase. Since you only need a very small amount to cover your face, even through it is a lot more than I normally spend on a moisturizer.

For breakouts I will ether add to my nightly routine as needed the Mario Badescu Buffing Lotion for cysts acne and the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion for normal whitehead acne. Lately I haven’t really had to reach for these since my skin has been behaving well, which I’m glad for. Also through out the week I do use other mud masks and peels that I have depending on what my skin is doing at that moment. 

I have started taking Evening Primrose every night since April and I have noticed a difference in my skin since starting. I have even less breakouts and the scarring from past breakouts have also faded a bit. I have also increased my water intake throughout the day.

4 Tips on washing your hair less

I use to be someone that had to wash my hair almost everyday, especially when I had long hair down to the middle of my back. Now for the past 5 years I have had short pixie like hair, which at the moment, is now a jawline length bob. I only wash my hair 2 times a week max. Normally during the weekend and some time in the of the week. It was pretty easy for me to go longer in between washes since it was so short when I first started. If you have longer hair it might take a little longer to transition to fewer washes but is doable.

START EXTENDING WASHES

If your someone who washes your hair every day, try to make the switch to every other day. As you extend the time between washes, your hair will slowly produce less and less oil as you are no longer stripping your strands of the natural oils your scalp produces. Wash your hair less and you’ll notice that you will be able to extend even longer between washes.

Here are a few tips that can help with the transition for washing less.

TIP #1: DRY SHAMPOO

Dry shampoo is great for days in between washes. You can also spray your roots before going to bed. Adding some dry shampoo to your hair at night before bed will help absorb oil sweat and odor while you’re sleeping, which is when your scalp produces the most oil.

TIP #2 APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Mix ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup water. Work it through your roots and rinse well with warm water. ACV helps to restore the scalp’s PH levels and removes buildup without stripping them from its natural oils.

TIP #3 DISTRIBUTING OIL

Gently brush through your hair with a real boar-bristle brush which will distribute the natural oils from your scalp through the length of your hair. Start at the roots and use fluid strokes to help the oil travel down the shaft of your hair. This is helpful before going to bed too. This will make your morning easier (less bedhead and knots), but it will also prevent the buildup of oil on the scalp overnight. The oil will wash away from the roots when you shower, it will prevent the buildup that can cause you to need to wash more frequently, and it will naturally conditioned

TIP #4 SHAMPOO

Stick to a gentle shampoo, that’s free of silicones, sulfate and paraben’s. Also don’t forget to brush before lathering up.

The first few weeks of training your hair may take some getting used to.

Holy Grail Health Favorites of 2018

Too continue my Holy Grails of 2018 I made list of health favorites that I really enjoyed and repurchased thought out 2018. You can read about my Holy Grail Skin Care Favorites,Holy Grail Home Favorites and Hair and Makeup Favorites.

Fitbit Flex 2 – For the longest time I wanted a fitbit. I use my Fitbit Flex 2 to track my steps, sleep, water, period, and fitness. I love tracking all of that on my fitbit. For the most point I reach my 10,000 steps 5 days out of the week. I just find it neat to see how many steps I take in a day. Or how much water I’m drinking for the day. Sleep is one that I need to work on more and I think Im getting better with it. Seems I don’t get enough sleep at night or I’m too restless. In time I would like to up date to one that tracks heart rate for when I work out. *Its seems the flex 2 is no longer offered on the Fitbit website and has been replaced with another model.*

Tone it up– I have tired so many fitness apps but I always go back to the Tone It Up. They have so many type of work outs to pick from. It has daily workouts, on demand workouts and studio classes that you sign up at a certain time and  can chat with before and after the class.  Every week they send emails of workouts for that week. This app does have a monthly fee of I believe $12.

Diva Cup– I started using one in March or April of last year and it has been life changing! I absolutely love mine. I hardly feel the cup, once I trimmed the stem and it settles in. Honesty I forget sometime I have my period. The best part, absolutely no leaks. I have also saved so much money since buying and switching from tampons and liners to my diva cup. You also save on creating zero waste for the environment, since it is reusable.

Zenni Optical– They offer so many affordable glasses its unreal. We no longer buy our glasses in store. I have 6 pairs of glasses from them. I don’t want to know how much I would spent in a store or at a Dr’s office for glasses between my husband and myself. Im so glad I found them. They also accept FSA/HSA.