Molly Johannes was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1997 at the age of four. She controls her diabetes with an OmniPod insulin pump, Dexcom continuous glucose monitor, and daily exercise. Molly graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in December 2014 with a degree in English. Currently, she works fulltime as an associate editor for a financial company. In her spare time, Molly enjoys spending time with her loved ones, reading books, watching movies, and playing games. She’s an avid fan of Disney, dark chocolate, wine, Harry Potter, and fun times. While Molly does not know a life without diabetes, she is determined to defy the daily obstacles the disease presents. Read full bio

A Year in the Making: An OmniPod Review

My OmniPod makes me happy. And yes, that's a needle and lancet smiley face.

You know what’s kind of crazy to me? A year ago this month, I started using my OmniPod insulin pump. It marked my abandonment of injections for the first time in 17 years of having diabetes.

In the past year, I learned a lot about the OmniPod and pumping in general. There are some major advantages of using a pump, including:

  • This is probably the best thing about pumping. Gone are the days where I would have to whip out a needle, pinch up some skin, and jab myself in public in order for me to eat my food. I can bolus literally anywhere I want without feeling self-conscious about it.
  • Intelligence. I freaking love that my OmniPod is smart. It’s programmed to know what my insulin to carb ratios are, how much basal insulin I need, how much insulin on board (IOB) I have, and so much more. It makes bolusing a more streamlined process.
  • I can control whether I want to increase, decrease, or suspend my insulin at any given point using my OmniPod PDM. This comes in handy in a number of circumstances, including when I’m working out and when I’m sick.
  • Usability. Prior to my pump, bolusing involved locating an insulin pen, screwing a needle onto it, priming the pen, dialing up the amount of insulin to inject, and piercing my skin with the needle. Now, bolusing means pushing a few buttons. And it’s virtually pain-free.
  • Improved A1c. Okay, just kidding, THIS is what makes a pump worth it. My A1c has gone down practically a whole point compared to where I was a year ago. That’s unbelievable! I know that I deserve some credit for making a real effort to improve, but there’s no doubt that my pump has immensely helped me accomplish this.

Of course, there are also a number of disadvantages, some of which I wish I had given more thought to before going on the pump:

  • It’s relatively rare for my pods to fail…but when they do, boy, it’s infuriating and inconvenient. There really is never a warning as to when it could happen, and the device doesn’t care if you’re showering, working, or sleeping. It’ll fail and it’ll WAIL when it happens, meaning that it makes a merciless, high-pitched beeping sound when it ceases to function. As a result, you’re forced to deal with a broken pod that won’t shut up until you rip it off your body and throw it into the freezer—yes, this is a real coping tactic. Others include sticking a paperclip into the manual alarm shut-off port (usually ineffective) or smashing the pod into smithereens with a hammer (very effective).
  • Self-consciousness. I didn’t think I’d have an issue with wearing a device on my body 24/7; after all, I already use a Dexcom CGM. But the fact that I now have TWO things permanently attached to me doesn’t do any favors for my body confidence, especially during the summer months.
  • My pump is disruptive on a daily basis, with all the beeping and ticking sounds it makes. When I first started wearing it, I found the ticking sound that goes off every couple minutes incredibly distracting. It didn’t take long for me to tune it out, particularly when it emits loud beeps that are more obnoxious. The pod will chirp a number and range of beeps when you administer a bolus, when the bolus is done, when you change your basal rate, when you suspend or resume insulin delivery, four hours before it expires, the moment it actually does expire…and during meetings at work, when you have to get up and embarrassedly leave the room momentarily to fetch your PDM and put an end to the beeping.
  • Adhesiveness. This is a minor negative associated with the pump, but I wish it had a stronger adhesive. And before you ask, yes, I do use skin-prep wipes that are designed to encourage medical devices to stay stuck on longer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work as well as it should. I’ve had a handful of pods that needed to be replaced because they prematurely fell off my body.
  • Yes, I enjoy the functionality of the OmniPod, but I don’t like the finicky nature of the system. This is nitpicky of me, but I find it odd that I have to suspend insulin delivery in order to change information on the PDM like the date or time. Speaking of, it’s also bizarre that when changing my pod, it must be placed as close as possible and to the right of my PDM. Weirdly specific and I’m not sure why this is necessary, but it’s the way I was taught.

Overall, I take the bad with the good and embrace the OmniPod for its various eccentricities. I don’t regret swallowing my pride and making the decision to switch from injections to pumping. In my case, it was the tool I needed to help me obtain my best A1c reading in years.

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And the Lucky Winner is…Me?!

The outside of my new case

The outside of my new case

I’m not very lucky when it comes to winning contests.

I’ve never won more than $20 on a scratch ticket. I’ve bought countless raffle tickets for vacations and goodie baskets and fancy jewelry, to no avail. I’ve tried guessing how many jelly beans are in the jar in the hopes of getting the exciting prize, but I always fail to come up with a winning number.

I guess I’m an optimist, though, because I keep on entering these contests. After all, it doesn’t hurt to try, right? And, much to my pleasant surprise, it actually recently paid off!

I found out via Twitter that two organizations, Diabetes Sisters and Myabetic, were jointly hosting a giveaway during Diabetes Awareness Month. Myabetic makes a variety of fashionable and functional diabetes supply cases, which four lucky people had the chance to win throughout November. Diabetes Sisters provides support, resources, and education to women with diabetes.

The rules were simple: You’re allowed to enter via social media (Facebook, Twitter, and the Diabetes Sisters website) once a day. Your post could have said anything, as long as you remembered to use the hashtag “MyabeticGiveawayDS”. It couldn’t have been easier, so I decided to give it a shot—ha ha, diabetes humor—using my Twitter account.

Week 1 of the contest came…and went. I didn’t win. Week 2 passed uneventfully. By the time Week 3 rolled around, I was feeling less hopeful about my chances in the giveaway. I’d been getting excited about the prospect of winning a new supplies bag; after all, my current one was looking a little rough around the edges. One of the zippers on it no longer worked and the exterior was tattered. It could still hold my stuff, but I was definitely on the fast track to needing a replacement.

The inside of my new case

The inside of my new case

So at the start of Week 3, I posted my tweet with cautious optimism and crossed my fingers. Soon after that, I received notification that I’d actually WON! I eagerly sent an email to Heather from Diabetes Sisters (who is a wonderful human being and blogger—check out www.unexpectedblues.com) to see what I needed to do next.

The following step was fun for me because it meant it was time for some online shopping. As a giveaway winner, I was allowed to choose ANY bag I wanted from the Myabetic website. Some preliminary browsing showed me that this wouldn’t be easy. There were more styles and colors to choose from than I’d imagined, so I had to work on narrowing it down.

I wound up choosing the classically styled Banting supply case in black leather. It measured the same as my old case, so I knew it would fit into my purse. I also had the advantage of knowing what the inside of the case looked like, due to the product photos featured on the Myabetic website. After reading about the case’s specs, I was sure that it would be a suitable replacement.

When it arrived in the mail mere days later, I was more than pleased with it. It didn’t come across as a medical supply case; rather, it was sleek, well-designed, and inconspicuous. There were a bunch of small compartments within the case that I could use to store virtually any item I wanted, and I loved that there were multiple banded loops sewn in the case for tubular items such as test strip vials and insulin pens.

A few weeks later, I’m still loving my new supply case. I feel more organized and stylish, seeing as the case perfectly matches my purse. I have to give a huge thank you to Diabetes Sisters and Myabetic for sponsoring a terrific giveaway and providing me with a much-needed new case!

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Your Diabetes May Vary (YDMV)

Your Diabetes May Vary (YDMV)Within the Diabetic Online Community (DOC), there are many abbreviations tossed around. Because why use formal language like “Insulin On Board” or “Continuous Glucose Monitor” when those terms can be boiled down to three or four-letter acronyms?

One of these acronyms, YDMV (which stands for “Your Diabetes May Vary”), has stood out to me lately. Let me state the obvious: We are all different. We have different genetic makeups, different beliefs, and different preferences, to name a few. The point is we, as human beings, ought to bear in mind these differences and respect them (the world would be a much more harmonious place if we did).

Following this logic, all people with diabetes are different. If you have diabetes and are reading this, there are likely multiple differences between me and you. Here are just few diabetes-specific ways that could make us different from each other:

  • Sometimes, I start to feel low at 80 mg/dL. You might not feel low until you are in the 60s, or you might not recognize your lows at all.
  • When I’m low, I feel dizzy, shaky, and sweaty. When I’m high, my mood is terrible and I’m thirsty. You might not have these same set of hypo/hyper symptoms.
  • I might need a large bolus to cover the cheeseburger I just ordered at a restaurant. You might need less insulin, the same amount of insulin, or more than me.
  • I use Humalog. You might take Lantus, Novolog, or some other form of insulin.
  • I like to use my CGM, and generally get excited about new diabetes technology. You might prefer to not use a CGM.

I could go on and on with that list, but these are just a few of the things that may set us apart. The point is, your diabetes may vary from mine. The treatments I use for a low may starkly contrast your methods, but what matters the most—for both of us—is that it works. The fact that we can manage our diabetes to the best of our abilities, using tried-and-true techniques that work for our respective bodies, is wonderful! We should recognize this, and embrace the fact that your diabetes may (and WILL) vary.

As National Diabetes Awareness Month draws to a close, I think it’s important to remember the YDMV concept. Next time you see a person with diabetes (whether you also have it or not) doing something you think is “wrong”, please try not to question them or shame them. They know their body and their diabetes best, so it just might be what’s right for them.

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Three People with Diabetes Go to a Zumba Class…

Geez, the title of this blog post sounds like the start of a ridiculously cheesy joke, doesn’t it? But it’s true—my mom, my aunt, and I go to a Zumba class every Wednesday night to get some exercise in the middle of our busy workweeks. And it just so happens that we each have type one diabetes.

If you don’t know what Zumba is, then I’d highly recommend trying out a class at some point to find out for yourself. Words can’t exactly do it justice, but I’ll take a stab at it. Basically, one Zumba class is an hour-long session that blends Latin dance moves with strength and conditioning exercises. The instructor plays high energy music and shows you the choreography for each song.

It’s a lot of fun, even if you do have two left feet—which I certainly do. Sometimes, I have to fake my way through a song if I can’t quite comprehend the steps involved, which makes me feel a little goofy. At the same time, though, it’s good for a laugh as well as dynamic exercise.

Speaking of exercise, have you heard about the Big Blue Test? It’s an initiative launched by the Diabetes Hands Foundation that encourages those with diabetes to exercise 14-20 minutes daily. The idea is that you test your blood sugar before and after the physical activity and see how it affects your blood sugar. According to their website (bigbluetest.org), those who partake in the Big Blue Test notice an average blood sugar drop of 20%.

After you’ve completed your blood sugar tests and exercise, visit either the website or the mobile app to share your results. By doing this, the Diabetes Hands Foundation grants $1 for every Big Blue Test logged. This money helps support people in need who are affected by diabetes around the world.

This year, the Diabetes Hands Foundation hopes to reach 110,000 Big Blue Test entries by the end of November. Seeing as November is also Diabetes Awareness Month, it’s a great time to blend advocacy with fitness by taking as many Big Blue Tests as possible. It doesn’t hurt that my weekly Zumba classes extend through the month, so you can bet that I’ll be logging my blood sugars after each one.

So even though my mom, my aunt, and I aren’t the most coordinated people, we are definitely motivated to stay in shape and keep our blood sugars in check with this exercise. Whether you work out on your own or with others (T1D or nonT1D!), be sure to think about the benefits it can have individually AND collectively by making it a Big Blue Test!

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OmniPod Failure and Frustration

Omnipod - When it works, it's great. But when it doesn't...The pod was applied and my PDM’s “start” button was pressed. My body tensed in anticipation of the cannula inserting itself into my skin. It doesn’t cause excruciating pain, but the sensation isn’t exactly pleasant. I waited, listening to the pod tick as the mechanism inside it started to work. I closed my eyes, knowing the pinch would come soon, and waited a bit longer. My grip on the chair tightened. Why was it taking so long? I waited some more. Beep! My PDM chirped at me. I looked down at the screen, which bore the following message:

“Pod is active. ‘basal 1’ has been programmed. Check infusion site and cannula. Is cannula properly inserted?”

I should have hit the “no” option, but my bemusement with the situation prompted me to hit “yes”. I still hadn’t felt the cannula insert itself.

“Ugh! Mom, it happened again…” My mom, who was in the kitchen with me, came over. I explained to her that the cannula failed to insert itself for the second time in a one-month span.

Neither of us had a clue what was going on the first time it happened. I followed the typical pod-change routine like usual and braced myself for the cannula insertion. It didn’t happen, but the “active pod” message appeared. We exchanged confused looks and I began to second guess myself. Did the cannula go in, and I just couldn’t feel it? Did this mean I was becoming invulnerable in the face of the cannula’s prick?

Just as these thoughts were coursing through my mind, my mom and I both heard a loud *click* that made me yelp in surprise. The cannula pierced my skin at last, after an inexplicable lapse of time. Normally, you feel the cannula go in once it has been successfully primed with insulin. This is followed by the “active pod” message on the PDM. This time, though, the PDM message deployed while the cannula failed to until a solid three minutes later.

We didn’t know if it was okay for me to continue using the pod, so we got on the phone with OmniPod to get confirmation. Sure enough, the delay in cannula insertion is a known “needle mechanism failure” that apparently affects pods once in a blue moon. We were told that I would receive a pod to replace the faulty one, and that was pretty much the extent of the conversation.

I hoped the incident would be a one-time thing; obviously, a second occurrence within a month proved me wrong and also sets me on edge. So far, things have been awesome with my OmniPod. When it works, and it usually does, it’s incredibly convenient. But when the unpredictable strikes and a pod fails or the needle mechanism itself fails, pricy pods and insulin are wasted and I become very frustrated.

On the bright side, I removed the second pod blighted by needle mechanism failure before I had to experience the shock of it pricking me unawares. And I can say with certainty that after these two nettlesome (needle-some?) episodes, I’ll be very happy about every successful pod change going forward.

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My Newfound Devotion to #DSMA

My Newfound Devotion to #DSMAMost Wednesday nights from 9-10 P.M., you’ll find me glued to my phone as I participate in DSMA.

DSMA stands for Diabetes Social Media Advocacy and is one of the primary reasons why I decided to rejoin Twitter. I had an account that I maintained throughout college, but I deleted it last January because it had no meaning left to me. It existed as a mere narration of the awkward encounters, strange observances, and many musings that occurred to me in this specific period of my life. It was, in short, diary entries consisting of 140 characters (or less) that I no longer felt comfortable sharing with my followers despite having a private account.

However, I changed my mind this past June when I re-evaluated how I could use Twitter in a more fulfilling way. After all, I enjoy how social media connects me with others. I decided to invent an entirely new account that is focused on my diabetes, much like this blog. I would say that 80% of it pertains to my diabetes, whereas the remaining 20% is little snippets about my other interests (including, but not limited to, soap operas, Harry Potter, and chocolate).

After creating my diabetes-concentrated account, I discovered that a solid portion of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) participates in weekly chats hosted by DSMA. These tweet sessions last one hour and revolve around a different, pre-selected topic each week. The DSMA account tweets out an average of five or six questions over the course of the hour, giving you ample time to respond to each one and look at, reply to, and re-tweet what other people have to say. And once you participate in one DSMA conversation, it totally becomes an addiction. You bond with others over shared experiences and feelings, despite the fact that you might not have met them in person.

Since June, I’ve looked forward to these Wednesday night virtual hang-outs. It’s always interesting to speculate on the subject for the night—some of my favorites have been about burnout, exercise, exploring the past/future with diabetes, and the always-amusing fill-in-the-blank prompts.

Another pro of DSMA live tweeting? Participation week-to-week is (obviously) completely voluntary. You can keep up with it for the full hour, join in late, or bow out early. That way, you can catch up with members of the DOC for as long as you like.

Needless to say, my current use of Twitter is drastically different compared to how I used it in the past. It’s still completely saturated with my personality, but now I feel much more positive when I tweet than I did before. And thanks to the existence of platforms like DSMA, I can open up and connect with others in a way unique from this blog.

So I encourage you to find me, DSMA, and the other members of DOC on Twitter and join in the next conversation!

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Saved by a Panda Button or Hypoglycemia at the Zoo

The Panda Button

Drenched, dazed, and donning a button with a panda picture on it—this is an accurate depiction of my appearance after venturing to Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo this past Friday.

How did I wind up in such a state of disarray? It all starts with my desire to go to the zoo with my boyfriend during my trip to see him. Slowly but surely, we’re making our way around to all the super cool museums and monuments within the nation’s capital and enjoying every experience.

But sometimes, diabetes leaves its mark in times like these. Not in a serious or unpredictable manner; rather, it plays mean little tricks at less convenient times.

This time, it happened towards the end of our zoo excursion. We spent four or five hours on a particularly hot September day wandering around the enormous space. Despite all the walking and the merciless heat, my blood sugars remained relatively stable—much to my relief, considering my CGM was out of commission. This made seeing the animals even more exciting. I wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun if my mind had been preoccupied by a low or a high. We loved the playful elephants, jungle cats, exotic birds, and the other various fauna we encountered (except for the bird-eating spider, yikes).

As we were walking out of the zoo, we realized it would probably be a smart idea to use the restrooms in the visitor’s center before hopping on the Metro to go back home. The moment we stepped into the air-conditioned facilities, it dawned on me that I was totally drenched in sweat…gross! We did our best to stay cool throughout the day, but the fact that I was wearing black in the blistering sun didn’t help my case. But I cared more about fashion over function by choosing to sport my new romper, a funky one-piece garment that baffled my boyfriend. He didn’t quite understand why it was trendy and questioned its practicality (“you have to pull the whole thing down to use the bathroom?!”), points that I thought were moot until I had a hell of a time freeing myself from the frock in the restroom stall. It seemed to cling to my sticky body, and the zippers were refusing to budge. In the middle of this struggle, I realized I was feeling somewhat dazed and disoriented. In tandem with my excessive sweatiness, these were surefire symptoms of a low.

I finally managed to go about my business in the stall, and hurriedly adjusted my romper so I could bust out of there, wash my hands, and test. In my haste, I knocked the zipper that shut the blouse part of my romper off its track. I stood there in disbelief for a few moments. Did I really just make it impossible to zip up my romper, exposing myself to the general public?

Yup, I sure did. So what did I do then? I pinched the front part of my romper together with my fingers to cover myself up and proceeded to wash my hands. I tested, found out that I was low, and pretty much stopped thinking from there. I walked out of the bathroom to my waiting boyfriend, and told him in panicked whispers about my wardrobe malfunction and low blood sugar. He became all business, telling me to go back into the bathroom, address my low, and try once more to fix the zipper. He told me that he would check the gift shop, which was conveniently right there, to see if he could find anything that might help me.

That’s how less than ten minutes later, I was walking out of the visitor’s center with some sugar in my system and a panda button pinning my blouse shut. Thanks to some quick thinking, my crises were averted and now I have a dorky souvenir to prove it.

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The Great Debate: Is it Fair to Punish a Hypoglycemic Child?

Katy Killilea recently wrote a feature article for ASweetLife in which she posed this thought-provoking question. It arose after a hypoglycemic experience with her son in which he wandered away from her when his blood sugar was low. His rebellious attitude during the incident prompted Katy to take his phone away from him. Even when his blood sugar came up and he apologized for his actions, Katy decided to stick with her decision in the hope that this would be a teaching moment for both her and her son.

After reading the article, I felt thoroughly caught in the middle between Katy and her son. On the one hand, I sympathized with him because I recall plenty of hypoglycemic episodes in my childhood in which I acted unlike myself. Heck, even in my adulthood, some blood sugars have triggered irrational emotions or behavior. On the other hand, I know that blood sugar cannot justify or excuse behavior (unless it’s an emergency situation or other unique circumstance). I’m absolutely guilty of being a defiant elementary-age kid who was conveniently “too low” at a given moment in time to clean her room or help with the dishes. Obviously, I realize now that it was wrong to blame my laziness on my diabetes, and I don’t blame my parents for a second for being frustrated with me in those particular situations in which I was perfectly fine, albeit bratty. Even though I’m not a parent, I can understand Katy’s feelings about the alarming nature of the event and the fact that an important lesson about behavior can be gleaned from it.

I decided to ask my mom her opinion on the subject. I summarized Katy’s article and the subsequent debate it sparked. My mother’s response was succinct; frankly, she felt as though she should not judge. She thinks this could be a common occurrence for some children and that they need to learn how to pay attention to their blood sugars, seeing as it could be a lifelong issue. In general, my mom believes that each family is unique, with their own set of issues that they will deal with as they see fit. She ended by saying she does not think a child should be overly punished, though.

The more I thought about my mom’s answer, the more it made sense to me. Just like diabetes itself, the fairness of punishing a hypoglycemic child varies case to case. Some children’s behavior may be more affected by a low than others, which could necessitate a punishment to prevent serious consequences in future hypoglycemic circumstances. I can’t remember a time in my life where I received a punishment for a low blood sugar, but I also have a good track record for recognizing low symptoms and correcting it before they exacerbate. Speaking of my low symptoms, my mood usually isn’t affected by them—I have physical indicators like shakiness, dizziness, and sluggishness—quite unlike Katy’s son as described in her article.

That proves the point, though: that each person with diabetes is different. We have different treatment methods, different low/high symptoms, different ways of coping with it. It’s all about trial-and-error, finding what works best for you. With that in mind, I’m pretty sure my mom and I lie on the same side of debate, the one I call the judgment-free zone. Diabetes is constantly teaching me, and this time I learned that what isn’t fair is to judge how other individuals handle the challenges that diabetes presents.

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Making Diabetes Prettier With Pump Peelz

Pump Peelz for OmniPodWhen I think about all the supplies associated with diabetes, “glamorous” or “cute” aren’t the first words that come to mind. This all changed, though, when I discovered Pump Peelz.

I recently noticed some other members of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) excitedly talking about Pump Peelz on social media. They posted pictures of their insulin pumps, meters, and CGMs all decked out in pretty patterns with a shout-out to Pump Peelz in the captions. Intrigued, I did some online research to learn more about how I could accessorize my diabetes devices.

I discovered that Pump Peelz is a company that specializes in designing stickers that can fit a wide range of diabetes tools. The stickers are available in numerous patterns, from floral and geometric to more zany styles like watermelon prints or holiday themes. There’s even an option to create your own customized pump peel for the device of your choice.

I had fun scrolling through the different peelz available. Nearly all of them were eye-catching, making it tough for me to narrow down exactly which designs I wanted to try. Moreover, I had to decide which ones were worthy of being adorned. After some thought, I chose two peelz for my OmniPod (note: for the actual pods, not the PDM) and one for my Verio meter. My PDM is already in a protective case, and I got to choose what color I wanted (pink) for my CGM, so I didn’t feel compelled to get peelz for them at this time. All three peelz were a very reasonable price, just under $15 total after I applied a promotional code.

Pump Peelz Meme

Roughly one week later, a small parcel arrived in the mail for me. My Pump Peelz were here at last! I tore excitedly into the brown envelope and out fell a card that explained how to apply my peelz. Immediately, I rummaged through my purse for my meter so I could affix the peel on it. It was super easy to put on, and neat to see my meter transform from blah to beautiful.

Pleased with my first peel, I was eager to see how I would like the ones I purchased for my pods. I’ve only used one pod-specific peel so far, and I posted a picture of the outcome for my friends on Facebook to see. It was met with great amusement, so I was satisfied with my diabetes-humor-inspired choice.

Pump Peelz for VerioThe only critique I have about the peelz for the pods are that they are difficult to remove. After three days passed, it was time to change my pod. Upon removing it from my body, I spent a solid five minutes trying and failing to remove the peel without damaging it. I can still probably use it on one or two more future pods, but it won’t look as nice as it did the first time around.

Overall, I’m really happy that I tried Pump Peelz. Previously, I’ve only worn my pods on sites that you can’t see – my stomach and lower back. Now, I’m excited to try areas like the upper arm so I can stick a pump peel on the pod and make a fashion statement out of it. I highly recommend the products that Pump Peelz offers to anyone who is looking to jazz up boring diabetes devices by making them stylish and fun.

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My 10 Best Diabetes Triumphant Moments

10. Finding a new, yummy snack that doesn’t skew blood sugar

I love cheese, veggies, and deli meats, but sometimes I get sick of turning to them when I’m looking for a low-carb snack that won’t make me skyrocket. That’s why I love discovering new, lower-glycemic index foods that taste great without triggering any CGM alarms.

Perfect BG Meme9. CGM and meter matches

Twins! It may be trivial, but I find it reassuring when the blood sugar that my meter reports happens to be exactly the same as the one on my CGM. It’s all about that accuracy!

8. Treating well for…well, treats

Speaking of accuracy, it can be ~hella~ tough to bolus after devouring a giant plate of nachos or a generous slice of cake with ice cream. The mental carb calculator might go a little haywire in the process of figuring out just how many grams of carbohydrate are in a given amount of “bad” food, but when you get it right, it feels so damn good.

7. Joining the Century Club

When I was a little kid and my blood sugar was 100 mg/dL, I would draw little fireworks next to the result in my logbook as a sign of my success. While I may no longer do that, I still feel happy when I reach the 100 mg/dL reading that I find pretty perfect. Definitely worthy of a meter advertisement!

6. Painless site changes

Oh my gosh, CGM changes and pod insertions can HURT. In fact, almost every time I change my pod I let out a little squeal of agony, whether it really was painful or not. So whenever I hit a sweet spot with a site change, it’s pure relief and makes the process less stressful.

5. Correcting accurately for a hyper

It’s not fun to have a hyperglycemic blood sugar. For me, it affects my mood by taking me from glad to grouchy within seconds. And don’t get me started on all the water/diet coke I down, resulting in endless bathroom trips! When I reverse a high by delivering a correction bolus that takes me back down to a better reading like 108 mg/dL, I feel that much better mentally and physically.

4. Conversely, correcting accurately for a hypo

Along the same lines, low blood sugars are so disorienting. I can’t stand feeling shaky, dizzy, and sweaty all at once. And it can be irksome to be forced to eat when you don’t necessarily want to. That’s why I take great pleasure in fixing a low with the bare minimum of carbs, which usually results in a near-perfect blood sugar reading later.

3. Seeing a doctor who just gets it

Over the last 17 years, I’ve seen my fair share of doctors – some I’ve loved, some I’ve loathed. Currently, I’m fortunate to have an endo who truly understands me and my needs. She listens, she cares, she doesn’t blame me diabetes mistakes. While I still don’t love having to see a doctor every three months, she makes it much more bearable.

2. Meeting other T1Ds

Talk about people who “just get it”! The only T1Ds I knew growing up were two immediate family members. When I went off to college, this completely changed and I connected with many other T1Ds. Suddenly, it was normal to whip out my meter or a syringe whenever needed, and conversations about carbohydrates were common.

1. Improved A1c results

A1c MemeThis. One of the ultimate victories! I’ll never forget how good I felt when my A1c dropped a whole point, marking major personal progress. An improved A1c is a true sign of your effort being worth it when it comes to your diabetes management. #FTW!

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