Molly Johannes was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1997 at the age of four. Molly controls her diabetes with a combination of insulin shots, daily exercise, and a healthy diet. She utilizes a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor to remain aware of her blood sugars throughout her busy days at school. Molly is a sophomore English major at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Read full bio

Accurate Blood Sugar Testing is Key

If you know me personally, then you’re probably aware that I am a professional at panicking and ac certified worrywart. You might think I’m too young to be so overly anxious, but what can I say, it’s in my nature.

Accurate Blood Sugar Testing - The False Low... (1)So as you might be able to imagine, I didn’t react well when I woke up one recent morning to a blood sugar reading of 33 mg/dL.

33? It seemed impossible! Mere moments before testing, I was begrudgingly waking up to my alarm blaring. The thought of getting ready for work made me want to hide under the blankets for the remainder of the morning. I knew this wasn’t a viable option, though, so I got out of bed to test my blood sugar as I do every morning.

Five seconds later, that scary number was glaring at me in black and white. I was momentarily dumb-founded and found myself reflexively reaching for my tube of glucose, which I always keep near me when I go to bed. I chewed four tabs furiously as I contemplated how this could have happened. If I was that dangerously low, then how come I didn’t hear my CGM? I sleep lightly enough that I almost always wake up when it vibrates to call my attention to a high or a low.

Accurate Blood Sugar Testing - The true reading...That’s when I started thinking more rationally and reached for my CGM. The screen showed that I was in the 70s, with an arrow pointing to the right – this means that the blood sugar wasn’t going up or down, it was steady. I cursed myself for my rash actions and hastily grabbed my vial of test strips so I could use a new one to test one more time. I did and, voila, my meter informed me that my blood sugar was 78 – what a difference!

After learning what my true number was, I knew I could proceed with getting ready. As I went about my routine, I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to cause a false first reading. My hands had been clean. My lancet was relatively new. Could it have been an issue with the test strip? The meter itself?

Unfortunately, I can’t be sure of what caused the error, but it did make me realize a few important things. Technology may be great, but it’s not always accurate. In situations like these, accuracy obviously matters more than anything. That being said, maybe I should learn to trust my body and what it might be trying to tell me instead of depending solely on my meter.

It also showed me that sometimes I need to stop and evaluate a situation before I act. A blood glucose reading of 78 almost will never require me to use four glucose tablets to correct it, but it was too late by the time I did my second test. I was fortunate enough to avoid a horribly high blood sugar later on in the morning, but I did have to wait for my blood sugar to level out before I could eat my breakfast – definitely irksome.

This incident showed me that sometimes, certain circumstances may call for me to second guess what technology tells me and read my body’s signs more carefully in order to care for it optimally. Accuracy is invaluable, especially to someone with diabetes.

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Diabetes on the Road

Diabetes on the Road

When my boyfriend asked me to accompany him on an 8+ hour drive to Virginia this past weekend, I didn’t give it a second thought before saying yes. He will be moving there soon to pursue a new career, so I wanted to support him in this endeavor and help him find a new place to live.

Upon reflection, maybe I should have given it just a little more thought before agreeing to go. To elaborate, I didn’t really consider how this would affect my diabetes. We’d be on a fairly hectic and unpredictable schedule between actually driving down there and visiting the half dozen apartments my boyfriend scouted out. I know that most people don’t bother to worry about when they would be able to eat on such a trip, but this was my first pressing concern.

I addressed this matter using two methods. First, I made sure to buy a variety of snacks for the trip. I bought some low carb beef jerky for when I wanted something to eat that wouldn’t spike my blood sugar, as well as some yogurt covered raisins and applesauce-on-the-go to fix any lows I might encounter in a way that wouldn’t be totally unhealthy. I also brought a few different diet drinks, granola bars, and trail mix (an entirely appropriate snack choice for a road trip!) to add some variety. My food preparation turned out to be a smart call. As the weekend went on, both my boyfriend and I turned to the snack stash whenever we were feeling peckish but didn’t have quite enough time to make a stop anywhere.

Speaking of food stops, there was a second way that I handled being on the road this past weekend. My boyfriend and I were all over the place to the degree that it made the most sense to grab quick meals in fast food places. Normally, I try to avoid fast food because of the unhealthy stigma and my preference for fresh fare, but I knew I didn’t have much of a choice given the circumstances. That being said, I made menu selections at places like Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera Bread, and Five Guys using a couple of criteria: availability of nutritional information and, from there, choosing what would work best with my blood sugar at the current mealtime.

That may sound tricky, but it really wasn’t difficult at all, thanks to the apps that I have on my phone that allows me to quickly look up nutrition facts. Prior to ordering my meal, I could look it up within seconds on my phone to view the carbohydrate counts. Then, all I had to do was input that into my PDM and my pump would deliver the bolus. That reminds me, I was particularly grateful for my pump this weekend. I was giving myself the majority of my boluses in the car. Before, this would mean whipping out an insulin pen and attempting to poke myself with a needle in a moving vehicle – not the brightest idea. Now, this merely means programming my blood sugar and carb information into my PDM and hitting the “continue” button. How much easier could it get?

Cumulatively, we spent something like 20 hours in the car this weekend. It was a total departure from my usual schedule and a bit tough to adjust to since I like to be more active when I have time off from work. However, I’m glad I went because I helped my boyfriend find a new place to live, accomplishing our goal. I also reassured myself by taking the situation in stride. Despite having an abnormal diet and being far more sentient than normal, I managed to maintain pretty good blood sugars. Plus, I was able to add another pro to the growing list of positive things I have to say about my new pump. As such, the weekend was a win all around for me.

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My Big Improvements with OmniPod

Big Improvements with OmniPod

A little more than a month ago, I started using an OmniPod insulin pump. Overall, the transition process (which is still ongoing as I make minor adjustments to my regimen) has been much different than I expected it to be. Prior to starting the pump, I was mentally preparing myself for all sorts of terrible scenarios. I was a reluctant and anxious about changing my diabetes care plan after relying on an injection method for 17-plus years, but I was motivated by a desire to obtain a better A1c result. So I took the plunge despite my concerns and let me tell you, I do not regret it whatsoever.

I realized that I made the right decision when I saw my endocrinologist for an appointment last week. While I waited for her to download data from my meter and CGM, I kept my fingers crossed in the hope that she would see genuine improvement in the short time I had the pump. As she re-entered the exam room with a smile on her face, I knew the news was good.

She completely gushed for a few solid minutes over how my progress was, in a word, incredible. When she first started seeing me about four or five years ago, my A1cs were not good. It was a struggle I dealt with in the first couple years of college as I straddled my diabetes with getting adjusted to being a more independent adult and successful student. Even during the last half of my college career, I still fought hard to improve my A1c, which scarcely budged. While I did not get the chance to get an updated A1c reading at this appointment, she informed me that she was confident that it would show at least a full-point drop: incredible, indeed.

Despite all this positive feedback, I still have to get more accustomed with the pump and its capabilities. Specifically, I’d like to see what kind of impact increasing and decreasing my basal rate for certain occasions will have. A few weeks ago, I wish I had played around with this when I went shopping with my friend.

The mall we went to was huge and I should’ve known to be prepared for all the walking we were to do over the course of three hours. It didn’t take too long for my blood sugar to start dropping, at which point I decided to treat with a 15 gram granola bar. That seemed to level it out, but not for long – within the next half hour, I was falling again. We decided it would be a good time to grab some frozen yogurt to help give me a boost. I was about to bolus for it when I learned after a quick nutrition fact check that I was only eating about 20 grams of carb. Normally, I would give myself a full dose for that, but held back because I was in the 60s and still planned on shopping for an hour or two more.

Big Improvements with OmniPod  - Data from my shopping trip

Fortunately, things seemed to work out okay in the long run. I’m missing two hours’ worth of data because I had to change my sensor, so I’m left to assume that my blood sugar didn’t skyrocket much in that time. But the point of this story is that I could have prevented a low and a ton of uncertainty if I had decreased my basal rate for the duration of my shopping trip. Maybe then, I could have been able to shop without having to stop for snacks. Trust me, I love snacking, but I like to do it by choice and not when my blood sugar forces me to.

So here’s to being optimistic upon learning the outcome of my first pump progress report, but also acknowledging that I still have some learning to do as I utilize all of the features my pump has to offer.


Diabetes Paranoia, Am I Too Dependent on my CGM?

Lunchtime is probably regarded as the most coveted part of my day at work. Whenever 12 o’clock rolls around, I excitedly jump out of my chair and head over to the office refrigerator to snag my lunch bag, filled with delicious (and usually nutritious) goodies that I packed for myself the night before.

This glorious span of time would be impeccable if it weren’t for the fact that I pretty much have to inhale my food each day. This is because I work as a client services associate, meaning that I spend the vast majority of my workday on the phone. I also have a designated one-hour break at 2 in the afternoon each day, leaving me with two choices: either starve myself until 2 o’clock, thereby allowing my break and my lunch to peacefully coexist, or quell my hunger with a hasty lunch at noon leaving me free to answer phone calls as they are coming in. In other words, I rush to eat because I worry about getting stuck on a long phone call and the possibility of my blood sugar dropping too low due to my lunchtime bolus/not being able to eat right after administering said bolus.

With all that in mind, lunch can be a little more stressful than I’d like it to be – and it was only aggravated by my buzzing CGM this past Friday.

BG 77 and dropping, oh joy

I had just tested and was pleased to see 83 come up on my meter. I input the number and used my PDM to give myself my bolus (it still feels weird to say that – I guess I’m not used to pumping language yet!). Not two minutes and two bites of my lunch after this did I hear three concise buzzes emitting from my CGM. The screen reported I was 77 and dropping.

The next several minutes consisted of me devouring my meal and popping a couple of glucose tablets to expedite the rate at which my blood sugar would rise to a more stable level. I think my panic stemmed from the fact that I was dropping fairly fast just after giving myself more insulin. But approximately 20 minutes later, I was doing much better, as my CGM showed that I was starting to come up a bit post-meal.

However, this little incident made me wonder: should I have reacted so strongly? It wasn’t like I was feeling the whole slew of low symptoms, I only felt hungry, which is normal because breakfast had been hours ago. Maybe if I had just ignored the CGM, I wouldn’t have been so concerned about going super low. In theory, if I hadn’t been wearing it, I would have eaten my lunch knowing that my insulin would kick in about an hour after I gave it to myself. I wouldn’t have been anxious for that period of time, and I probably wouldn’t have felt the urge to give myself a boost with two glucose tablets. In turn, maybe I would have had a less noticeable spike after lunch and maintained a more stable, in-range blood sugar.

While all this speculation doesn’t do much for me now, it does beg the question of whether or not I’m overly dependent on my CGM’s reports. The rational part of me knows to use it as a mere guide, and I never, ever use it to calculate boluses. But I do think that I rely far too much on those trend arrows. Again, I know very well that there is a delay in the information the CGM generates, but I can’t help but succumb to paranoia whenever any “extreme” readings come up on the screen.

I’m wondering now that I’m on the pump and things are going (mostly) well, perhaps I should take a break from the CGM and see how I fare with one less device. After all, I spent much of my life with a sole machine – my meter – dictating how I treated my diabetes. I did a good job then, so why not now?


My First Week on the OmniPod

My first week using the OmniPod insulin pump is officially complete! I still have much to learn about the pump and its functions, but I feel comfortable making a few solid judgments about it so far.

The OmniPod consists of two components: the PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) and the pod itself. The PDM is a handheld device with a color screen reminiscent of a smartphone. It is operated by the push of a button and is capable of many tasks, such as delivering boluses, tracking blood glucose and carbohydrate intake, and so much more. The pod itself contains a reservoir that is filled with fast-acting insulin. It can hold a minimum of 85 units and a maximum of 200. This means that the pod needs to be changed every three days.

OmniPod insulin pump - This little blue cannula ensures delivery of my insulin.

Speaking of, I’ve had to change my pod twice now (I will change it again later today) and there’s a few interesting things I’ve noticed about this process. For instance, I’m amazed by how easy it is. The PDM itself walks you through every step in the process – all you have to do is let it know you’re about to change your pod, and approximately five minutes later, you’re set up with a new one. I will say that it’s kind of frightening each time the cannula gets inserted, but I think this is only because the pod makes a loud clicking sound when it does so. The actual sensation itself is remarkably painless, making it stand in contrast to the stinging of a fresh Dexcom sensor application. However, I can’t quite seem to restrain myself from shrieking slightly any time I do insert a new pod, at the amusement and bewilderment of my parents.

An hour or so post-pod change, I find myself being very wary of my blood sugars. I look for any signs that my pod is working properly or failing, and this close monitoring can be a bit disruptive to my routine.

Moreover, every few minutes, I can’t help but hear a ticking sound from my pod. Tick, tick, tick…while it’s reassuring to me that my pod is dispensing insulin, it’s something that I’d like to tune out. It’s not like it’s a super loud noise or that it’s disruptive, it’s just a smaller detail that I’ve noticed.

Otherwise, I think the biggest relief for me since going onto the pump is that boluses are so much easier to me. I don’t have to worry about whipping out a needle and insulin pump before every meal. I’m now taking one kind of insulin instead of two. I’m delivering more accurate doses of insulin than before due to the calculations I have programmed into my PDM. As such, I’m more aware of how these seemingly small things are actually a bigger deal than I thought now that I’m dealing with them in a different manner.

Next week, I’m following up with my diabetes educator to see what kinds of adjustments, if any, need to be made to my basal rate or insulin to carb ratios. I’m greatly anticipating it, because now that I’m more comfortable with my pump, I want to improve my blood sugars as much as possible by utilizing any extra features of the pump that will help me accomplish that goal.

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Getting Started on my First Insulin Pump, The OmniPod

The Omnipod - My new PDM!

Today marks a new beginning for me. After seventeen years of taking insulin shots, I’ve made the move to a higher form of technology: the insulin pump! My pump of choice? The OmniPod, which appealed to me mainly because it is tubeless and my mother also uses it.

As the day went on, I experienced an array of emotions. I woke up feeling pumped (ha-ha, diabetic humor) because I realized I would be taking my last shot via insulin pen for the time being at breakfast. It was pretty anti-climatic, but a major moment for me nonetheless.

Some anxiety started settling in around midday. This was partly due to the fact I knew my visit with my diabetes educator would last roughly three hours in duration. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about having to spend a good chunk of my day off at the doctor’s office. I also had a few lingering questions. When would I take my first bolus? When would I be able to eat my next meal? Would it hurt when I inserted a new pod? I was driving myself nuts with my ceaseless stream of questions.

When it came time for me to actually leave for my appointment, I felt as ready as ever. I decided it would be best to just go with the flow and be patient as I listened to everything my diabetes educator needed to say to me.

The Omnipod - A box full of new supplies home

Much to my relief, the three hours flew by more rapidly than I thought they would. In that span of time, I learned not only the basics of my pump, but the finer points that I may not have necessarily understood or picked up on my own. And I was reassured when upon inserting my first pod, I learned that it’s painless – my Dexcom causes more of an unpleasant pinch than the OmniPod system.

By the time I left the office, I had three more follow-up appointments scheduled and a fully active pump stuck on my belly. I didn’t give it much more thought until dinnertime, where I tested (more diabetic humor!) its abilities. I was impressed with how simple the entire insulin delivery process was, and I liked that my PDM would beep periodically to inform me of the status of my bolus.

Post-dinner, though, brought some frustration. As I write, I am still higher than I would like to be. It could be due to anything, which makes it especially irritating. Maybe I miscalculated my carb intake, or maybe my basal rate or insulin-to-carb ratio needs tweaking. For now, all I can do is accept the fact that the beginning of this new regimen will bring lots of trial-and-error with it and monitor my blood sugars carefully – it means waking up a couple times during the night, but I know I just have to do it.

I am not looking forward to this start-up period, but I am hopeful for what it will bring and what I can learn from it. I do look forward to sharing my experiences along the way, so stay tuned for my next post about my transition!

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Mealtime = Math Time

“Okay, let’s do the math here. There’s 30 milliliters in 1/8 of a cup, so that means there’s 60 milliliters in 1/4 cup. This little container is filled with 45 milliliters of granola, and according to the nutritional information on the bag, there’s 38 grams of carbohydrate in 1/2 cup…”

Meal Time = Mathe TimeUgh, typing out that sentence was enough to give me another headache. But I was faced with solving this tricky little math problem the other night knowing that the solution would make lunchtime insulin calculations easier for me the next day. Since I’m not a particularly talented mathematician, I walked myself through the problem with my mom. It took us a few minutes, but eventually we determined that the mini vial of granola couldn’t contain more than approximately 12 grams of carbohydrates.

This scenario is the perfect example of something that I believe isn’t understood or realized by those lacking familiarity with diabetes. I think that people make the assumption that diabetes is more about managing a healthy diet and an exercise routine – which is true, to an extent – and less about calculating nutritional content or insulin dosages. In other words, if I elect to order a salad as opposed to a sandwich when dining out, my restaurant companion(s) might think it’s just in an effort to eat healthfully. They forget that it could be more due to the fact that salads are typically lower carb options and therefore easier to calculate when it comes to bolusing.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I find it really frustrating to do the math in more complicated situations such as this, and I’m kind of bitter that most other people I know don’t have to give the nutritional content of foods they consume a second thought. While I wouldn’t wish diabetes on anyone, I do wish for greater consciousness of some of the more complex aspects involved in daily care and management.

In the grand scheme of things, not every mealtime carb count is going to yield a cut and dry computation. Bear this in mind whether or not you’re someone who’s directly affected by diabetes. That way, you’ll be more understanding when you need to break out the calculator before you break the bread. Just remember that in the end, it’ll be worth it when doing the math improves your accuracy and causes better blood sugars. You’ll be glad you took those extra steps, and whomever you share your meals with will be happy to see you benefiting from it.

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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…

Just a few of the sweets we have at my house

It is officially Christmas Eve, and if I’m being perfectly honest, I have far more than visions of sugarplums dancing in my head. Throw some cookies, cakes, and candies into the picture – oh, and some complex math formulas representing how I can possibly maintain good blood sugars while eating these foods – and you’ll have a better idea of what I’ll be thinking about in the hours before Santa Clause makes a stop at my house.

In the past, I’ve talked about how difficult it is for me to deal with my diabetes on holidays. I struggle with wanting to indulge in rich foods and needing to be concerned over how they might affect my blood sugar. For instance, I had to chase highs for most of the evening this past Thanksgiving, and I’d like to avoid having to do the same thing this Christmas Eve and Day.

The holidays are arriving just after I found out that my A1c dropped a half point since my last reading in June, which is spectacular news! It’s an especially huge accomplishment for me because I’ve been with an uncomfortable number of highs lately. Ever since I started my new job, I’ve noticed that remaining sedentary for several hours at a time has a negative impact on my blood sugar. As a result, it’s been really important to me lately to remain diligent and figure out how to address this between tweaking my insulin doses and incorporating an exercise routine into my weekdays.

That being said, I really want to prevent any additional highs so I can enjoy the holiday without having to sacrifice a few treats. So here’s my game plan:

  • Figure out what exactly will be served, from dinner to dessert to drinks. That way, I’ll be able to determine which foods I should definitely account for in my meal and which foods I don’t need to worry about. I’ll also know that I’m not missing out on anything – if I didn’t realize there would be desserts, for example, then I might either have to stack my insulin or forgo something that I would’ve really liked to eat.
  • Consume fewer carbs. I know for a fact that tonight (Christmas Eve) my family does Chinese food for the main meal. If I stick with higher protein meats and skimp out a bit on starchy fried rice, then I’ll be able to account for more carbs in the dessert portion of the night. The same concept applies vice versa or if I choose to not have dessert and fill up on the main course options.
  • Be prepared with Tupperware. If there’s a food item that I really want but choose not to eat due to either a high blood sugar or wanting to keep a steady blood sugar, then I can just save it for later. There’s bound to be leftovers anyways, and just because something is there does not mean that I have to eat it right away.

These steps sound fairly intuitive, but sometimes it’s nice to really think them through so the meanings behind them sink in. I feel better knowing that I’m actively trying to manage my diabetes on tricky holidays, and it makes any potential mistakes feel less aggravating.

With this positive mindset, I’m more apt to get the most out of the most important parts of this holiday: family, peace, joy, goodwill toward men. And so I wish the happiest of holidays to all – and to all a good night!

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Nifty Fifty

Nifty Fifty: Celebrating My 50th Post on ASweetLife

As I sat down to write a blog post for this week, I realized that it was my fiftieth post for ASweetLife (not including any of the feature articles that I have written). I’m pretty excited about this milestone. It’s a good feeling to know that I have accrued fifty pieces of my personal writing during a pivotal period of my life: college.

This past Wednesday, I officially completed my undergraduate career at UMass Amherst. My degree is in English, with a minor in Psychology. On Monday, I started a new full-time job with a company that I interned for over the summer.

When I combine these major milestones with the knowledge that my seventeenth diabetes anniversary is right around the corner, it’s kind of mind blowing.

I guess what I mean by this is that I feel like I should recognize how much I’ve accomplished over the years despite having diabetes. Often, it is assumed that diabetes slows those affected by it down, that it is so dramatically life-altering that it takes a serious toll on a person’s daily activities. On the contrary, I think the exact opposite is true. If anything, diabetes has been a huge motivating force for me. It’s pushed me to prove to myself and to others that I’m capable of anything.

Specifically, I went to college and succeeded. I was terrified to leave the comfort and safety of my home and live independently. But when it came time for move-in day my freshman year, my only option at that point was to make the most out of this new chapter in my life. Three and a half years later, I think I can say that I truly did.

During my time in college, I made many new friends. I took some classes that I absolutely loved and some that I positively hated. I made my fair share of mistakes and I learned from them. I stepped out of my comfort zone on more than one occasion, and despite panicking each time, I was always proud of myself for doing so anyways. I started to pursue my interest in writing by blogging for ASweetLife. I became the chapter president of the UMass Amherst College Diabetes Network. I was crazy enough to take 18 credits during my last two semesters and still somehow managed to secure employment before I was done. And I did it all while managing my diabetes.

It didn’t really occur to me until just now – a week after finishing school – that I ought to congratulate myself for my success both academically and physically. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m aware that the arrival of Christmas Eve means that I’ve had diabetes for just over 80% of my life, or perhaps it’s knowing just how much I’ve done in the short span of seven semesters. Regardless, these numbers are more than mere statistics to me; they represent how I refuse to let diabetes get in my way. Fifty blog posts later and I’m feeling more secure than ever in terms of my diabetes care and consciousness as well as in my membership to the Diabetes Online Community.

As for right now, I’m looking forward to writing even more about my upcoming experiences (both diabetes-related and not!) in the so-called “real world” – definitely stay tuned!

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Thanksgiving Lessons Learned

Thanksgiving Lessons Learned

There’s nothing like a break from school during which time you’re surrounded by tempting foods and lack of exercise facilities to teach you a few diabetes dos-and-don’ts.

I’m approaching my seventeenth year with T1D, so you might consider me a diabetes veteran. But I’m constantly learning ways in which I can strengthen my diabetes care regimen, proving to myself and others that diabetes management is not a static thing.

The proof is in the pudding – or in this case, the turkey dinner. This year, my family gathered at my Aunt Paula’s house for an absolute feast. The selection of dishes included staples like mashed potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole, broccoli casserole, asparagus, stuffing, squash, cranberry sauce, and the turkey centerpiece. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the several different kinds of wine to wash it all down with.

When I scan that list of food, all the starches jump out at me and make me cringe. The fact that I indulged in a bit of all of them, however, makes me throw up a little. Don’t get me wrong, each and every one of them was positively delectable. What makes me nauseous is the amount of carb counting (or in my case this year, the lack thereof) that is involved in the process of consuming them. Needless to say, my carelessness resulted in some unwelcome hyperglycemia that lingered through dessert time. As a result, I found myself rage-bolusing to correct the high and to account for the slivers of pumpkin pie and blueberry pie that were calling my name. I waited about 45 minutes for the insulin to really take effect, then happily helped myself to some treats.

I’m proud to say that I exhibited impressive self-control when I went to cut my super-skinny slices of pie…but ashamed of my inability to resist adding a couple of fancy chocolates to my dessert plate. Before long, high blood sugars haunted me again. Luckily, upon returning home that evening I was able to get them level again in no time, but the misery of chasing self-induced highs all afternoon long really drove the point home that I need to be more careful.

Lesson 1, learned.

The second lesson is the story of my dependency on my CGM – and its apparent dependency on me. I’m trying to give myself some distance from my CGM. After all, its incessant buzzing and beeping drive me up the wall half the time. But it seems as though my CGM simply cannot bear to be away for me from long before it gives me the cold shoulder and refuses to report my blood sugars.

When I’m at work, visiting family, or hanging out with friends, it can be annoying to have my CGM clipped on my body at all times. So sometimes, I’ll leave it behind in my pocket or in my purse, never straying too far in case it needs to alert me to a blood sugar that I’m not fully aware of yet.

Usually, my CGM is great about picking up a number up to 20 feet away, letting me move into another room or up the stairs without there being an issue. But the other day, when I slipped my CGM into the pocket of the jacket I was wearing, it totally rebelled against me for being shunned into this location. For nearly an entire hour, my stubborn little CGM said it was out of range. I couldn’t understand why it was doing this to me. I felt betrayed. In an attempt to compromise with Mr. CGM’s needs, I clipped it onto my jeans so it could be as close to the chip as possible. This strategy worked, and my CGM gladly recommenced communication with me. I know, we have a complicated relationship, but we’re trying to work things out as we get to understand each other better.

Lesson 2, learned.

As you can see, there are issues faced on a daily basis – some big, some small – by people with diabetes. A little patience, good observational skills, and occasional cursing help us cope as well as prepare for the lessons the next day of diabetes has to teach us.

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