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

It Takes More Than One Touch To Get A New Verio IQ Meter

Sending off the last faulty One Touch Verio IQ replacement. Buh-bye!

A few weeks ago, I blogged about my frustrations with One Touch and their lack of customer service when it came to some problems I was having with my Verio IQ meter.

Here’s the short version of the story: more than a year ago, I heard about a recall on the Verio IQ meter. I reported my meter to One Touch, and they assured me I’d receive a replacement one in the mail. At the time, Verio IQ meters were on backorder, so I was sent an Ultra Mini meter to use in the meantime. However, I never received a new Verio. When I told my endocrinologist about this, she said it was fine for me to continue using my old one. I did, but when it began to malfunction sporadically, I realized I needed to give One Touch another call, which rapidly turned into three phone calls over a short period of time. They sent me replacement meters a total of three times that were not up to par. Each replacement meter was covered with scratches and looked like they had been previously used.

Naturally, this alarmed me. I still don’t have an explanation for why the replacement meters came in less than perfect condition, but I did receive a phone call from a manager at One Touch that alleviated many of my concerns.

What made this phone call different from the others is that I felt like someone was actually listening to me. I was able to explain the full story to a sympathetic ear, and we were able to clarify a major point of confusion that arose in my case: the meters I was receiving in the mail had not been previously used or refurbished. They were new meters, and it still remains unclear as to why they were flawed. I was very glad to hear this. While I was fairly certain before that the meters had not been touched and that it was a simple aesthetic issue, I still felt comfort knowing that I wasn’t being sent someone’s old meter.

At the phone call’s conclusion, the manager assured me that my feedback wouldn’t fall on deaf ears. They’d look into my complaints, and they would also send me a brand new meter in a box (like the ones sold in pharmacies) that week for my trouble. Finally, the request I had put in from the beginning was fulfilled. Within a couple days, my mom called me and told me that my new Verio IQ would be waiting for me the next time I came home.

Although it was an irritating experience, I’m content with its outcome. I feel better about customer service from this particular company, and I really appreciate the manager for taking the time to call me and listen to me tell my story in extensive detail. In this case, all’s well that ends well!

 

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Purple with a Purpose

Alzheimer's Walk Family Photo

Blue is an important color to me because it represents the fight against diabetes. But others close to me probably know that purple is another color that is just as significant.

Purple is the color of the Alzheimer’s Association. A week ago, my family and I proudly donned purple and participated in our fourth consecutive Walk to End Alzheimer’s in my grandmother’s memory.

On the day of the Walk, I was reminded of how powerful it is when I saw just how many people were there – well over 1,000! Each person was there as either a caregiver, loved one, or a supporter of an individual affected by Alzheimer’s. Despite it being fairly early on a Sunday morning, spirits were high as everyone reflected on the reasons why they were there. There was an amazing sense of community, much like the diabetes one, as we listened to other people’s stories.

The most beautiful part happened during the pre-Walk ceremony. Each participant got to design a flower pinwheel however they saw fit. When prompted, we would lift them in the air and have a moment of silence to remember our loved ones. My family’s team name is Mary’s Little Lambs, named after my grandmother. It was quite a sight to gaze at our little group’s flowers, adorned with messages of love for Grammy, spin in the wind and catch the light of the sun.

It almost felt like she (and my Grandpa) was with us as we set on our walk. The day was bright and warm, without a trace of humidity. As we walked the three miles, my family joked around and sang silly songs to keep our energy up. It’s been indescribably difficult to deal with losing a family member to Alzheimer’s, and it was also our first Walk without my Grandpa around. Instead of dwelling on our sadness, we were able to make it a positive experience and honor Grammy (as well as Grandpa!) by participating in an event that truly makes a difference.

This Walk is a reminder to me that you don’t have to be a bystander when it comes to something like Alzheimer’s or diabetes. You can make the easy and often fun choice to play an active role and support a cause you believe in. Whether it’s through writing a blog like this, having a bake sale fundraiser, or simply talking to others about your cause, you can join a fight to find a cure for these diseases.

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Date Night: Diabetes and Drinking …Oh My!

Sounds disastrous, doesn’t it? Diabetes is tough to manage. Throw in factors like drinking alcohol and spending a night out with your partner and you could have a bit of a meltdown in the process of maintaining a good blood sugar.

When my boyfriend said he was coming to visit me this past Sunday, I was pretty excited. He doesn’t live too far away from my school, but the distance is just enough to be annoying. We visit each other when we can, but we both have busy schedules between school, work, and other miscellaneous obligations. So I was happy to spend a day with him and planned for us to do a few fun things.

I've got my game face on - Donky Kong„JPGWe spent the afternoon eating lunch at the dining hall, strolling around campus, and relaxing with a couple of books and some music. Later in the evening, we decided to go to a sports bar and indulge in some beer and wings. Oh, and a platter of onion rings. Honestly, who can say no to a delicious Southern Tier Pumking with a cinnamon sugar rim? And I mean, it totally makes sense to get a greasy glut of appetizers to accompany it…

However, I started to panic a bit when our food arrived and I saw just how enormous those onion rings were and the thick layer of honey barbeque sauce covering those wings. How on earth would I know how much insulin to take to cover the meal? Just as I was about to freak, I realized I had to take a chill pill. I knew it wouldn’t be worth it to agonize over the carb count while my boyfriend dug into the meal because I knew it would just make me anxious for the rest of the night. So I did my best to add everything up, took my shot, and enjoyed the moment.

It was the best thing I could have done. An hour later, we were at another bar, this one catering to lovers of old arcade games. We enthusiastically played classics like Tetris, Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Paperboy. In between games, I snuck a glance at my CGM to see how I was doing and was elated to learn I was not only sitting pretty at 120, but that I was also steady. No shaky lows or thirsty highs for this girl!

And this beautiful pattern continued as we started phase 3 of date night: wine and a movie. Again, I was a bit concerned about the affect the alcohol might have on my blood sugar. But thanks to a little research on low carb wines and careful monitoring, I was doing just as well as I had been earlier. I almost chalked it up to some wonderful sorcery, but I would have been selling myself short. I was responsible for doing the right thing in my diabetes care, despite a few potentially scary obstacles thrown in my path. It felt great and I know my boyfriend was just as glad as I was to see my success.

My Sunday of diabetes, drinking, and date night is a reminder to me to celebrate the victories, big and small, where my diabetes management is concerned.

 

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One Touch Verio IQ: The Replacement’s Replacement…Replaced.

I’ve called customer service over at One Touch not once, not twice, but THREE times this week. Why? It all started with a minor problem my Verio IQ was experiencing…

I wasn’t troubled by it at first. You see, when I would put a strip into my meter and apply a drop of blood to it, my machine would randomly shut down. I would have to pull the strip out, hold down the “ok” button to power it back on, and reset the date and time. When I first had this issue, I freaked out because I assumed that the meter erased all of my data. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. But this continued to occur sporadically and seemingly without any trigger. Around the fifth time that the meter powered down, I decided it was time to give One Touch a call.

Last time I called them, it was about the Verio IQ recall in early 2013. At the time, I was told that new Verio IQs were on backorder. I was sent a One Touch Ultra Mini along with a six month supply of test strips to use while I waited for One Touch to send me my new Verio. They never did.

I remember asking my endocrinologist if it was okay to use my old Verio until I got the new one. I had grown accustomed to it and favored it over the Mini. She said it would be fine, so I continued to use my Verio and eventually forgot that a new one was supposed to be sent to me.

This incident came flooding back to me as I was on the phone with a One Touch representative earlier this week. I was told I’d get a new Verio within a matter of days. Once I got it, all I had to do was ship back my old one. Simple enough, right?

Wrong. When I opened up my replacement Verio, I was not pleased with how it looked. There were bizarre etches along the meter, and it felt oddly sticky. Immediately, I gave One Touch another call. The girl on the phone seemed mildly horrified about my situation, but was super nice and told me they would send me another one within two days. She asked for me to send both the “contaminated” meter and my old one back to them once I got the replacement’s replacement.

I was irritated when I opened up the second meter and saw that it was in the exact same condition as the first. I knew I had to call One Touch again and I hoped that a patient but firm explanation of my problem would convince them to send me a brand new one. Much to my dismay, the woman could not have been colder to me. She said that she didn’t truly understand what I was saying, and reassured me that One Touch was not sending me meters that have been previously used. I told her that I knew that, that it was a matter of how the meters looked. She pretty much blew me off, and since I didn’t have the energy or desire to fight with a stranger over the phone, I agreed to let her send me a replacement for the replacement’s replacement. Confused? Me too.

I shouldn’t have to deal with this, and I’m very disappointed that my problem isn’t being resolved in a more timely manner. I’ve had great experience with this company in the past and I hope that they stay true to their word and send me a pristine meter this week. In the meantime, I have not one, not two, but three Verio IQs in my possession.

Update: The third meter arrived yesterday, just as sticky and scratched as the other two. However, it is functions just as well as my old one, so I’ll keep it for now. Has anyone else ever experienced something like this?

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College and Diabetes: Hello, Senior Year!

And goodbye, normalcy! My return back to school was nothing short of crazy, which means my diabetes has been a bit wild as well.

On Labor Day, my family and I packed up two cars (!) worth of my belongings to bring back to school with me. Honestly, I didn’t realize how much stuff I had until it came to loading it all in. Luckily, with their help, everything was put in its place by mid-afternoon – an impressive feat, considering it’s taken us much longer in years past.

The rest of the day was bittersweet. My parents, brother, and I went out to eat and then went our separate ways. I couldn’t help but cry, just a little, when it was time for them to go. Granted, this was in part due to the fact my brother pulled me into a crushing hug that irritated my hip, but it was mainly because it dawned on me that it signified the beginning of my senior year. Where did time go?

The rest of the week was tiring, to say the least. I was running all over the place, attending classes, decorating my apartment, buying books, reuniting with my friends, and paying close attention to nutty blood sugars. So far, I’ve had to deal with lows. Thanks to my CGM, I’ve been able to catch them fairly early on. But what’s been frustrating is that I’ve had a few instances where I have to keep eating small snacks in order to keep my blood sugar up. I love food, but I don’t particularly enjoy it when I’m not hungry because I just finished a full meal not too long before indulging into yet another snack.

This means that I’ll have to adjust my ratio. I’m not going to like this process. When I’m at home, I have a standard insulin to carb ratio for each meal I consume. At school, though, it seems like I need to take less insulin in the morning and be a bit more aggressive in the afternoon and evening. With this in mind, hopefully I can figure out what works best for me.

I’m also presented with an interesting challenge, one that I haven’t had to deal with yet: food being forbidden in classrooms. Two professors made a point of stating this at the beginning of class. I understand that my classes are taking place in some brand new buildings, and that professors want to encourage their students to respect the property and not make a mess. I also understand that there may be allergy concerns. But what I’m unsure of is whether or not they’ll call me out in the middle of lecture for chewing glucose tablets to fix a low blood sugar. I took the initiative to e-mail one professor about this, and I’ll have to sit face-to-face with the other professor because she doesn’t accept student e-mails. I’m oddly excited to do this because I’ve never explicitly discussed my diabetes with a professor. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the conversation goes well. So that’s where I’ll be on Wednesday, in between my Human & Animal Alternative Medicine seminar and my English 494: Dystopian Games, Media, and Comics class. And I know you’re probably a little jealous that these are real classes.

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Tales of Molly’s Diabetes Adventures in Disney

Once upon a time, a young woman named Molly was bound for the magical Disney World for a week’s worth of fun and frolicking. Her tale does not involve hallmarks like evil witches, poisonous apples, fairy godmothers, spontaneous singing, or charming woodland critters capable of human speech. Rather, it is a story about balancing diabetes while trying to make the most of a much-needed vacation with her handsome prince – erm, boyfriend.

 

We first meet Molly in the airport on a sunny Saturday afternoon. She is exhausted but elated, considering she’s mere hours away from her destination! Molly settled in for a long wait for her flight with her boyfriend and his parents. She felt somewhat defeated by a string of high blood sugars that haunted her all afternoon, but she attributed this to a build-up of stress. It’s not easy to travel when you have diabetes, you see. Molly frantically searched her bags at least a dozen times to confirm that she had any and every medical supply she might need on her trip. Despite feeling reassured about her preparedness, Molly felt a rising panic as time to board the plane drew nearer. The pit in her stomach and the yellow hyperglycemic dots on her CGM did not dissipate on an unpleasantly turbulent flight. Our heroine was very happy when her feet touched solid ground again, and once she was settled in the castle – ahem, resort – she was ready for the fun to begin.

It wasn’t easy for Molly at first. She struggled to get her sugar to return to normal after the long day of traveling, but managed to do so by the time her head hit her pillow. When she awoke from her slumber the next morning, she was pleased to see an on-target blood sugar reading. She took this as a good omen as she set off on her first adventure in Epcot.

The rides! The sights! The blazing heat! There was so much to look at and to do that it was overwhelming. Molly had a blast journeying through time on Spaceship Earth and touring countries like Germany, Norway, and Italy. And the foods she enjoyed! Molly was a little worried considering her options were limited to gargantuan burgers, crispy chicken nuggets, and greasy French fries. But she was smart and cut her carb intake by eating only half her fries and part of the buns. She had small snacks like mini 45-calorie boxes of raisins (11 grams of carbs) to keep her on track as needed, and she found herself cruising through the afternoon and evening with good blood sugars. 

The week flew by in a similar pattern for Molly. She was up by 7 most mornings and consumed smaller breakfasts of yogurt, bananas, or granola bars before embarking to the lands of Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. She stayed very active even on non-park days spent by the pool or playing shuffleboard with her boyfriend, his brother, and his brother’s wife. Molly was sure to have a meal plan in place that let her consume salads for every other meal, indulging in some scarier carb-monsters on the alternates. One of Molly’s favorite moments from the trip in terms of fun, fantasy, and food is when she stepped into her childhood and visited Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley from the universe of Harry Potter. Molly was in awe when a dragon – no correction necessary here – breathed fire upon her entrance into the cobblestoned streets of the wizarding world. Her eyes filled with tears of joy as she explored stores like Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and Ollivander’s with her boyfriend. They ate in The Leaky Cauldron, a charming pub where she was mercifully allowed to swap French fries for a side salad to go with her chicken sandwich. The wondrous day ended with fireworks and wizard’s brew, a delightful little stout she obtained before leaving Diagon Alley.

Before she knew it, Molly’s vacation was drawing to a close. She was sad to go but excited to return home to her anxiously awaiting parents and puppy. Her purse was considerably lighter by the trip’s conclusion, but her heart was made fuller by happy memories and many laughs shared over the course of the journey. Plus, she was pleased by her careful control of her diabetes, despite the many obstacles and temptations thrown in her path. And so, Molly and her boyfriend made the trek home on their horse-drawn carriage – I mean, plane! – and they lived happily ever after.

 

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A Delay in Pumping (Going on a Disney Vacation)

A few weeks ago, I shared my excitement over starting the process to go on an insulin pump regimen. At my endocrinologist’s office, there are many steps to take before you can actually start using the pump. I crossed off the first two: an initial conversation with my endocrinologist and a consultation with my diabetes educator. The next step was to sit down with my nutritionist, which I did this past Wednesday. The appointment went well, but at its conclusion I realized that the pump will not be happening for me until December.

It was a disappointing discovery, but it makes the most sense for me at this time. I’m leaving for a much-anticipated Disney vacation in a few short days. Say I received the pump in the mail this week: what am I supposed to do, get it started a day or two before I’m set to board the plane and deal with potential major stress on my trip? No, thank you! And when I get home from Disney, I have two weeks to get ready for going back to school. It’s the same sort of deal where I would be concerned about problems arising and not being able to visit my endocrinologist in a timely manner to resolve them. So after conferring with my parents, endocrinologist, diabetes educator, and nutritionist, we agreed that I can start the pump in December. That’s when I graduate college and move back home, so my endocrinologist will be much more accessible. So for now, I’ll take a hiatus on pump talk and focus on what’s happening now: packing for Disney!

 Packing for my Disney vacation

As anyone with diabetes knows, packing for a trip is STRESSFUL. I keep thinking about how last time I went to Disney, it was for a conference for people with diabetes. That really changed the game for me because I felt more secure. This time around, I’m going with my boyfriend and his family. I’m really excited to share this experience with them, but I’m also nervous about how my diabetes might affect things.

So I’m taking as many preventive measures as possible. This means I started packing about a week ago. I handwrote a list of everything I’ll need so I can check it off as I pack it. I plan on taking double of everything to err on the side of caution. I’ll throw everything pertaining to my diabetes in a large plastic bag to show security when I go through it to make the process go smoothly. I also bought a Frio cooling wallet for my Humalog and Lantus. This neat little invention keeps insulin at safe temperatures for up to 45 hours. After that point, it needs to be topped off in cold water for 10-12 minutes to ensure it’s in working order. I thought that this purchase was wise considering how humid Florida tends to get in the summer months.

I also bought a large bottle of glucose tablets. I know I’ll be getting plenty of exercise by walking all over the theme parks, so I’ll feel better knowing I have an excess of what I need to fix any lows that might happen.

I’m going to be bringing both my Verio IQ charger and my CGM charger. I know my CGM will definitely need to be charged more than once, but my Verio typically lasts a couple weeks before it needs another recharge. However, I’d rather have it and not need it than leave it at home and need it. But here’s what I’d like to know, do other people with diabetes ever bring a spare meter with them? I’m debating whether or not this is necessary and I’d like to hear feedback.

Despite being well-prepared, I know I’ll probably have a few moments of panic where I rummage through my bags to look for something insignificant like an alcohol swab. But I also know that I’m doing all the right things to avoid diabetes problems, so I’m looking forward to making the most out of my trip.

 

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Suck-Up

Hello, my name is Molly, and I am a human vacuum cleaner. I’ve drawn this conclusion because of how I eat my food when 1) it’s been 4+ hours since I last had anything to eat and 2) my blood sugar is below 100.

I’m writing this after sucking down my lunch at my internship. My routine Monday through Thursday is wake up at 7:20 A.M., eat my breakfast around 7:30, and then spend the next hour or so getting ready for work so I can be out the door by 8:35. I typically choose to eat my lunch at my desk when at work, so this means I can take my lunch break whenever.

During the first few weeks of my internship, I waited ‘til noon or 12:30 to eat lunch because I found myself having a quick snack rather than breakfast before leaving my house in the morning. This meant I was eating around 8:30, so I could afford to wait longer for my lunch break. Of course, I would be pretty ravenous when it was time for lunch because of the meager morning meal. So this habit quickly evolved to me eating an earlier, more substantial breakfast so I wouldn’t be so starving by lunchtime.

Now I’m eating lunch a little earlier, around 11:45. I’ve noticed a couple things about this change: that the gap in between meals is longer than before, and around 11 o’clock I start to feel as though my blood sugar is dropping. When I can’t quite shake the sensation because it’s distracting me from my work, I’ll check my CGM to see what it’s reporting my number to be and the accompanying trend arrow. More often than not, I’ll be steady in the 80s or 90s range. I’ll always congratulate myself on achieving a healthy pre-lunch blood sugar, but then I’ll scratch my head and wonder why I’m having low symptoms. And it doesn’t help that those low symptoms don’t subside until halfway through my meal. I’ll chow down on a portion, and then I’ll feel more comfortable about taking my shot. But waiting the extra time to shoot up might explain why I’ll spike a little after lunch before gradually falling down to a normal level. 

So, what’s a girl to do? I like being able to consume my lunch at a normal pace instead of feeling like a high-power vacuum cleaner. Could it be that this is my body’s way of simply telling me that it’s hungry and that I should eat soon? Do I just have the symptoms of an oncoming low earlier than other people with diabetes? Is this a sign that I need to do away with my current eating habits and try eating five smaller meals per day to curb hunger? Am I going crazy? Whether the answer is yes, no, or maybe to any or all of these questions, I’m hoping I can come up with a solution soon because being a human vacuum cleaner isn’t the most attractive thing, especially when I make all the crumbs instead of sucking them up.

 

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Show Me Your Pump!

A few days ago, I was mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed (a habitual pastime of mine) when a photo reappeared once, twice, and three-plus times. At first, I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it because it was just a smiling girl wearing a bathing suit. Since it’s summer time and all, pictures like that crop up several times a week – nothing unusual.

But I started to wonder who the girl was when I saw that same picture flash on my screen multiple times throughout the day. So I did a little detective work and immediately realized that my Facebook friends who shared the photo all had one thing in common: diabetes. I examined the picture more closely and I saw what looked like an insulin pump clipped onto the girl’s swimsuit. Moreover, it looked like she was walking on some sort of stage. What is this, I thought. A diabetes beauty pageant or something?

I was close enough! Some more investigation revealed that the girl in the picture is Sierra Sandison, a.k.a. the newly crowned Miss Idaho 2014. In the swimsuit portion of the pageant, Sierra walked onstage wearing more than just her bikini. When audience members and judges saw that she was attached to a small device with tubing, they had questions as to what its function was and why she was wearing it. Sierra bravely explained that she has type-one diabetes and that it was her insulin pump. Those with a background in diabetes care and management know how important an insulin pump is. It’s not something that can simply be removed whenever it needs to be hidden, so Sierra decided to showcase it with dignity, not shame or embarrassment, in her competition for the crown.

Sierra’s admirable fearlessness caused an internet sensation. I’m a member of multiple social media websites including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Across all three, the hashtag #showmeyourpump was trending on my newsfeeds. When I clicked the hashtag, a plethora of pictures and statuses showed up featuring people with diabetes and their insulin pumps. I was scrolling through so many of them that I’m sure I only saw a sampling of the ones posted, but I could practically feel the pride each person felt when taking those pictures as I viewed them.

Not only does #showmeyourpump bring a greater sense of unity to the diabetes online community, but it spreads diabetes awareness during what I think is a critical time. Despite the many resources available today, there still seems to be a great deal of confusion among the general public when it comes to differences between type one and type two diabetes, let alone how both are treated. Sierra’s simple choice to stride out wearing her pump has generated a buzz that will help clear up some of the questions people have, as well as provide tangibility to an otherwise invisible condition.

Moreover, I think it’s wonderful that the outlet for this is a beauty pageant. Generally, the word I think of when I hear “beauty pageant” is “perfect”. To some, any sort of flaw an individual may have (whether they can help it or not) makes them less beautiful. In my opinion, and I’m sure others would agree, I think any sort of “imperfection” is what makes someone special; therefore, beautiful. So there might be some people out there who see diabetes as a flaw, something that you can’t take pride in. But Sierra, other people with diabetes, and I know that isn’t true. It’s something to embrace, something that we can use to help make the world a better place by continuing to share personal stories to offer support and knowledge to others.  

I’m grateful for Sierra and her story for symbolizing all of these things. And I may not be on the pump yet, but when I am, I can’t wait to post a picture of me wearing it without hesitation or concern that I’ll be judged for it. 

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The Never-Ending Day

I am not the kind of person to pull an all-nighter. You might scoff at that, considering I’m a college student and 21 years old. I’m not saying this means I don’t procrastinate (trust me, I do) or that I don’t have a social life that sometimes makes me stay up later than I’d like (ugh, you want to go out to the bars at what time?!). I’m merely saying that I’m a girl who likes her sleep. Actually, “cherishes” is a more accurate word than “like” in this case. So when I found out I had to wake up at 3:30 A.M. this past Monday, I wasn’t pleased about it. I was downright pissed by the end of the day when I saw the toll it took on my diabetes.

But I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. My boyfriend was shipping off to a month-long army training exercise and needed someone to bring him to the airport for an early morning flight. Truthfully, I wasn’t all that put out when he asked me to do it because it meant I could say goodbye in person.

Plus, we had everything figured out: we would spend the day before hanging out together and get to bed by 9 P.M. to ensure we’d have a decent night of sleep. Sounds simple enough, but it was far too ambitious for a couple of night owls like us. At 8 P.M. we decided it was necessary to make a run to Dairy Queen to get a couple of blizzards that we could down while we finished watching Starship Troopers, a movie we had started to watch together a few days before.

I was a smidgen concerned about the affect ice cream would have on my blood sugar, but I did my homework by checking the amount of carbohydrates in a miniature-sized “strawberry cheesequake” blizzard (47 grams! The smallest size they offer! What the heck do they put in this ice cream?!). I assumed I was reasonably prepared for my snack until I actually received it. A friend who works at Dairy Queen gave my boyfriend and I our treats for free – and doubled the sizes. I stared at the monstrosity before me and began to protest, but our friend insisted. It was (literally) a sweet gesture, but how on earth would I be able to restrain myself from eating the entire cup?

As it turns out, I have far more self-control than I thought I did. I stopped after eating only a third of the delicious treat and put the rest in the freezer. My thoughts drifted away from blood sugars as we watched our movie and passed out sometime between 10 and 11 o’clock.

A few hours later, I woke up with a full bladder that I desperately needed to relieve. Before heading to the bathroom, I glanced at my CGM and was startled to see I had climbed to the upper 200s. After checking this on my meter, I took a small bolus and assumed that my Lantus would kick in at some point and aid in the effort to get back down to a better number. I stumbled back into bed dreading the alarm that was to come a mere hour later.

Expectedly, time sped up from that point. We were awake at 3:30 and on our way to the airport by 4:15. My blood sugar remained stagnant in the 250s. At 5:55, I was making the lonely trip home after bidding farewell to Patrick. I was back at my parents’ house at 7 with a blood sugar floating in the 200s. From 7 A.M. to 10 P.M., time trudged onward slowly as I battled higher blood sugars that stubbornly stuck in the 180-220 range the entire day. Looking back on it, I’m sure I can attribute it to a combination of the stress I felt from the ordeal, the lack of sleep, and my body’s confusion at being forced to function at such an early hour. It’s another lesson learned the hard way about factors other than food, exercise, or illness coming into play concerning my blood sugars. Needless to say, I’m now in recovery mode and relishing my return to a normal night of sleep.

 

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