Top Tips for a T1S 4th of July

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY🇺🇸

Today and this weekend I know so many of us will be celebrating the holiday!  To help stay on track during today’s festivities here are my best tips:

🎉Workout FIRST THING!

🎉Stay hydrated. If you do drink alcohol, alternate between water and your drink of choice. Avoid drinks with mixers. Remember, alcohol can actually lower blood sugar in some cases. Stay on top of it. Watch the mixers bc they usually have LOTS of sugar.

🎉If you’re going to a cookout, take something that YOU CAN EAT! This is a good idea if you’re adopting a new lifestyle or not. How many times have you gone to an event and had to guess at what you’re eating and how to dose for it? Better to know so you can carb count accurately!

🎉Want sweets? Go with the berries and melons OR us this opportunity to bake something with almond or coconut flour for a lower carb count.

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🎉Don’t show up to an event super hungry.

🎉If you slip up, DON’T GIVE UP! Your next decision can put you back on track.

❌Remember that heat can impact blood sugar AND make sure to keep your insulin COOL so it doesn’t spoil.

What are your plans to celebrate the 4th?!?

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T1D Thrive Program Launching Soon

I feel like we are the forgotten ones.

I remember when I had graduated from college, stopped playing soccer, gotten into my 8-5 job (then tack on the commute) and before I realized it, I had gained 12lbs.

I also remember S E A R C H I N G like it was my freaking job to find a program that would fit my individual needs as a type 1 diabetic and you know what I found?

NADA.

I felt like I was always trying to manipulate programs to work for my t1 but nothing ever worked 100%.  I hired a trainer, I did the Beachbody programs, I did the YouTube videos, I bought every copy of Women’s Health and scoured Bodybuilding.com for the latest plans that had me eating like a gazillion carbs and every 2 hours on the hour, til I felt like I’d pop.

Have you been there my t1 sister? Feeling like you’re trying everything to lose weight, to manage your blood sugar, to reduce stress, to live your life in some kind of balance to create a LIFESTYLE that’s maintainable? Me too.

I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I got tired of trying to make everyone else’s plan (who didn’t have t1) fit me, with t1!

I took what worked, left what didn’t, and came up with new strategies that DO work with type 1.

I reduced my a1c to 5.4%, lost weight, boosted my confidence, reduced my stress, got stronger (mentally and physically), kicked the depression meds, and started living a lifestyle, NOT a diet.

On June 17th, I’m launching T1D THRIVE! A 6 week program for type 1 diabetic women geared towards better blood sugars, reducing inflammation, more energy, workouts that are quick and effective, plus lifestyle tips, sample meal plans, group coaching, daily education and much more!

If this is something you’d like to be a part of email me at dorothyboothcoaching@gmail.com and I’ll be in touch! I decided for this first round, I want to keep it small and intimate so I’ll only be working with TEN women who are COMMITTED to themselves, the process and making progress.

Can’t wait to get started with you!

xo,

Dorothy

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Omnipod 2 Week Review

Eeeekkk it’s been a full two weeks since I started the Omnipod Dash!

Choosing to go back to an insulin pump was a big deal for me. I’m the anti insulin pump gal and I’ve openly shared about that. I pumped for 13 years straight then went to MDI for years following by a few stints pumping around pregnancy. After going back to MDI I never lasted long on a pump. I hated being tethered. I felt like I altered many things that I do, my clothing choices (everything must have pockets), how I worked out, swimming, showering, so many things. So MDI worked better for my lifestyle.

I decided to wear a demo pod for a few days in April, just to see how I’d like another device being attached to me. Honestly, I forgot it was there most of the time so I decided to go for it after finding out my insurance was going to cover it 100%. I mean why not, right?

Within a week I had the Dash system, which was just released by Omnipod.  This system is a little different than the last version. The PDM (personal diabetes manager) looks exactly like an android phone. The glucometer is no longer integrated with the PDM, instead you receive the contour next meter that will communicate via blue tooth to the PDM.

The first site I decided to try was on my arm. Insertion was basically painless and I forgot it was there the majority of the time. IT WAS SO FREAKING NICE! Yes, I looked like the bionic woman, GGM on one arm and Omnipod on the other but I didn’t care one bit!

My second site I tried on my outer thigh. I will say because I have muscular legs, I don’t feel like that site worked the best for me because of the cannula length (6.5mm) and 45 degree. My toddler also decided he could use my pod like he was rock climbing and would grab a hold of it because it was at his eye level. OUCH!

My third site was an abdomen site. This one worked well, but I did feel itchy by day three. That typically happened to me using regular insulin pumps as well, so I wasn’t surprised.

My fourth site was my other arm. I did notice this one more because I tend to sleep on that side & carry my son on that side (he also found it). I also could feel the weight of it while running but it wasn’t horrible, just noticeable. My arms have worked GREAT!IMG_8726

My most recent site I’m using is on my lower back. That’s also going well, but I did feel kind of awkward driving and feeling it pressed between me and the seat.

I have loved the ability to use temp basals again. That was THE biggest reason that I even ventured back to the pump arena. I also love being able to set different basal profiles to combat the dawn phenomenon. I was setting a few alarms through the night to deal with this, so now I’m only setting one just to double check my cgm.

The only negative I’ve had is sometimes I have to retry boluses because the PDM/pump communication takes too long and it times out and I’ve had one pod malfunction but Omnipod took care of it overnight. So all in all not a big deal. I will say that Omnipod customer service is ON IT, especially with this being a new system and investigating anything that’s happening so it can be fixed ASAP.

On my Omnipod wish list would be the ability to have different canals based on our preference. 45 and 90 degree would be nice and having 6.5mm and 8mm lengths for cannulas, since different things work for different people. Maybe in the future???

I know many other diabetics are anxious about starting to LOOP and I will say the Omnipod Dash does NOT loop! If you have the previous system, you can do the DIY loop but if you upgrade to the DASH, looping is about a year away and will be called “Horizon.” Looping wasn’t important to me (right now anyway), so that didn’t play into my decision.

I’d say, if you’ve been looking at Omnipod as an option, get a demo pod, wear it, see how you like it!

Right now I’m happy and plan to ride this out until I feel like I want another pump break…which inevitably will happen, I’m sure. For now, the Omnipod gives me the best of both worlds, the tubing free lifestyle of MDI and the ability to change and suspend dosages with the press of a button like a pump.  I think it’s a win-win.

Done With Diabetes?

IMG_4756When are you going to be done dealing with your diabetes?”
That’s what a basketball coach asked me when I was dealing with my 2nd low in one day during summer practice.

DONE. When will I be DONE? I remember the anger bubbling up inside me but I was too exhausted to tell that uneducated coach how incredibly insensitive she was being just because she wanted me back on the court. But after that day I refused to play for someone who obviously didn’t care.

I’ll never be “DONE,” with diabetes.
Well, Ok, there’s a chance of a cure “someday,” but I’ve been waiting 23 years so, until then, I’ll be here.

Exercise with diabetes can be TOUGH! I envy my friends that only have to worry about grabbing their water and a towel. Getting ready to exercise is part of the game with diabetes.

When’s the last time I ate?
What’s my blood sugar?
Where’s it trending, up or down or stable?
How much insulin is onboard?
Do I have emergency 🚨 glucose/snacks?
Do I have enough emergency stuff Incase this goes really bad?
Is my CGM charged?
Where’s my glucagon?
Wearing a medic alert?
How hot or cold is it? (Yes temperatures impact insulin and glucose levels).
What type of exercise will I be doing and for how long? (That impacts rising or falling).
Do I need to set a temp basal?
Do I need a small bolus?
Do I need a snack before?

I’m probably missing something, (let me know below what that might be😂) but ya get the point. It’s never as easy as just “going and doing.”

If you’re another exhausted t1d like me reading that list, I feel you! It’s long enough to make you wanna skip the workout all together, right??

But even with allllll the hoops we have to jump through, exercise is SO vital for our insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control!

Are you a t1 friend and you wanna learn HOW to exercise safely and effectively? 🖐
As a fellow t1d that’s also a personal trainer, certified health coach & associate CDE, I’m here to tell you, YOU CAN and I want to be your guide.

I’m currently taking on *NEW* clients and the best part is, it doesn’t matter where you live! Thank you internet! 🙏🏻 Group coaching and 1:1 coaching available.

Schedule a free call using the “work with me” tab on the top menu.

Chat soon, friend.

My Diagnosis Story: Type 1 Diabetes

💙November is Diabetes Awareness Month!💙

It’s my goal everyday this month to bring awareness and share my story with this disease.

In 1995 at 8 years old I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease and is NOT caused by any lifestyle choices.  My type of diabetes only represents 10% of the diabetic population and contrary to popular belief, you can be diagnosed with type 1 at ANY AGE although usually you see it in childhood.

The day I was diagnosed was a whirlwind. It was a Monday. My mom kept me home from school to take me to the doctor because she already suspected there was something happening. She wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything besides water after midnight.  I think in her gut she already thought diabetes, but no parent wants that.

I remember what I was wearing that day.  Black stirrup leggings (this was the 90s people ant that was popular) and a big white t-shirt with a GIANT 🌻 sunflower on the front.  I remember getting my blood sugar tested and I remember the doctor coming through the office door saying, “You’re right, your daughter has diabetes.” I remember my mom bursting into tears and I remember thinking, “I’m dying! If my mom is crying like that, I’m dying. I have some weird type of cancer called diabetes and I’m dying.”

At 8 years old usually we don’t know many diseases but I knew cancer was a bad one so that’s where my mind went.

I remember the doctor explaining what I could and couldn’t eat and before I knew it I was off to the hospital for a week stay. A week of poking and prodding and crying (both me and my mom). A week of learning and fears and feeling my childhood ripped from me.

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8 years old wearing those huge, hideous medicalerts 

After that one week, I spent another week at home adjusting to my new “life.”  Overtime the phone rang I secretly prayed it was the doctor saying they’d made a mistake and that I was fine.  That was something I never told my parents until years later.

My schoolmates made me cards and pooled money to buy me presents and to this day I still have some of those cards.  I missed Halloween that year.  I felt like I became an adult that year.  I also became a warrior that year.

Type one diabetes looks like me.  I have diabetes but diabetes doesn’t have me.  It’s something that I deal with 24/7/365. There are no sick days. There is no time off.  I’m functioning everyday as my pancreas. Some days it’s so tiring and frustrating but in the end, I know that I can use this trial for good and maybe one day I’ll be here to see a cure!

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THRIVING with type 1 for 23 years

GrifGrips Product Review

If you’ve ever worn an insulin pump or a CGM, you know the headache that comes along with trying to keep those things on your body!  It seems like the adhesive NEVER lasts as long as it should and our supplies are EXPENSIVE!  I know I’ve personally paid anywhere from $300 for a box of 4 Dexcom sensors (a typical month supply) to $75 for a box of 4, depending on what my insurance decided at that point in time and what mail order pharmacy I was “allowed” to use.

In an effort to get every last second of use out of my supplies and make that adhesive last as long as possible, I tried EVERYTHING.  First is was medical tape.  That was a horrendous disaster that resulted in the worst skin rash of my life!  I’m pretty sure the tape actually burned my skin. PASS.

Next up was using IV prep wipes which leaves the skin a little sticky and then placing clear plastic adhesive called IV3000 over the site or CGM sensor.  The issue with this one was having to cut holes in the IV3000 to fit just perfecting over the CGM sensor.  I wasted more IV3000 in the process than I actually used. PASS.

I tried bandaids when all else failed and I was out and about.  I’ve seen some people resort to duct tape! Ouch!

Finally, I found RockTape H20.  It was amazing because it was stretchy and water resistant and I used that for at least a solid year if not more.  However, it comes in one big roll, and I was always having to cut strips of it and perfectly position it around my sensor.  After a day or two it would start to peel, sometimes right after it was freshly applied it would get caught on my clothing and I’d have to start over again.  But at this point in my journey, this was the best I had found, so I assumed I’d just have to make due!

It wasn’t until recently that I found GrifGrips! I decided I had nothing to lose and at their LOW price point I ordered two different grips and anxiously awaited their arrival in my mailbox. When the pink and purple CGM cut out grips showed up I was too excited to wait for my hubby to come home to help me apply it BUT to my surprise I was able to apply it by myself, one handed without issue.  The hot pink grip definitely stood out! It was flexible and moving around I didn’t even notice it was there…unlike other products I’ve used.

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Typically even with my RockTape, I had to replace it at least 2x during the week of my sensor use. So far with this one GrifGrip, I’ve had no adhesive issues, no sticking to my clothes and it’s still holding SUPER STRONG.  I’m about a week into this one and I’ll make sure to update this blog as time passes to let you guys know just how long it holds on!

This company is truly taking care of the diabetic community!  Not only did they manage to make a product that would help with my CGM sensor issue, but they have created products that run the gamut of every diabetic apparatus out there; omnipods, all 3 CGMs, and every infusion set created by all the different pump companies.  The lightweight, stretchy, breathable material will keep cgm/omnipod/infusion sets, safely in place while also allowing customized colors, patterns and shapes so long gone are the days of being  locked into the boring white or nude colors or medical tape/bandaids.

If you’re tired of losing your expensive sensors, pods and infusion sets check out GrifGrips AND because you’re my loyal reader, I’ve got something special for you! GrifGrips is offering 25% off to those of you that order and use the code ‘THRIVE’ at checkout!  So what are you waiting for? Head over there now and pick out your favorite color and shape and get fancy with your T1D and then let me know which ones you decide to get!!!

Hope this was super helpful!

XOXO,

Dorothy

 

**I was not compensated for this review and paid for the product I reviewed on my own.**

My Life In Needles: MDI vs Insulin Pumping

mylifeinneedlesWho would’ve thought my life would be defined by needles and vials?  Certainly wasn’t on my dream board at 8 years old, but we take the cards life deals us, make the best of the situation and soldier on.

Many of you know me personally or have followed my diabetes journey on FB or IG.  But for those of you just tuning in, I’ve been type 1 diabetic for 20 years. Of those 20 years, I spent 12 of them on the insulin pump and then a little over 3 years ago, after lots of intense research and knowing there was a better way for me to live, I went back to multiple daily injections or MDI.  I thrived on MDI and saw the best progress in my health that I’d experienced since childhood.  I was able to lower my A1c (average blood sugar over 3 months) from 7.4% down to 5.5% without lots of swings in my numbers.  I frequently had flatlines on my CGM (I wear a Dexcom) and my doctor was impressed with my progress since I went “backwards” as they say from pumping to injections.

 

In March of 2016, since my husband and I had talked repeatedly with my doctors about starting our family and finally had the green light  to try, my endocrinologist highly suggested that I go back to insulin pumping.  I was hesitant but agreed.  I scored the high tech Tandem T-Slim insulin pump, think of it as the Iphone of insulin pumps, touch screen and all.  All the basics were the same as my old insulin pump and I went on about my life, carb counting, extending boluses, using the temporary basal features and the integrated dexcom.

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To most people the idea of only having to stick themselves once every three days versus 10 times a day as is customary for tight control on MDI would be highly appealing but I’ll tell you, I hated infusion set change day.  I hated looking at my body for a “prime piece of real estate” that would be infused with insulin for three days.  My skin quickly began to look like pin cushion and lots of the issues I had in the 12 years of prior pumping came back.  Let me share them with you so that if you or someone you know has t1 and experiences these things on the pump, you’ll know you’re not alone and you’re not crazy…despite what your doctor’s try to convince you of.

Issues while pumping:

  • Bad absorption.  Most people are able to wear an infusion set for 72 hours.  My body seems to not like to absorb properly after 24-36 hours of use in one area leading to elevated blood sugars on the end of day 2 and into day 3 of use. Plus I also firmly believe that insulin in the pump loses it’s effectiveness after being heated by our bodies for days on end.
  • Slow healing.  After removing an infusion set, insulin would ooze back out, a lot of insulin usually. Nothing was ever infected but each “hole” left in my body from the cannula would scab over, leaving that pincushion look all over my body.
  • Adhesive.  I’ve always been sensitive to adhesives in things like bandaids, medical tape, etc.  My infusion sites would itch and drive me crazy.  This mostly happens with the skin on my legs and abdomen.  My arms seem to fare well…which is weird, however I hated wearing sites on my arms and weaving the tubing through my sleeves.
  • Infusion site FAILURES.  This is what makes me really upset.  You can have a bent cannula (the piece of plastic that stays under your skin to infuse the insulin) or you could have hit a vein and you usually DON’T have any way of knowing until you notice your blood sugar climbing and you can’t get it down after HOURS of fighting it.  Most of us don’t like to rip our newly inserted sites out…since they’re pricey to begin with, so we usually trouble shoot as much as we can until our last option is to remove and start over. 9x’s out of 10 I either had a bent cannula or had hit a vein with resulted in my bathroom looking like I just filmed an episode of CSI…blood everywhere. Yippe! Meanwhile let me remind you that blood sugars over 140mg/dl cause organ damage AND the purpose of me being on this technology was control for impending pregnancy. So imagine you’re growing a fetus that NEEDS steady blood sugars to thrive and avoid developmental complications!  You can see how this would be an issue!
  • Tethered.  Constantly being attached to SOMETHING.  Needing pockets to hide it in or clip the pump onto.  Choosing clothing based on the fact that I had to wear this medical equipment just plain sucks for me.  For 12 years I didn’t wear dresses or skirts except for a few occasions like prom and my wedding (which I had a pocket sewn into my dress).
  • Exercise.  “Where do I put this thing? Crap my clothes don’t have pockets. Eww not in my bra, there’s too much boob sweat there. Ugh my tank top straps aren’t sturdy enough to support this thing.  OMG we have to run and jump today, well I guess I’ll be holding it while I do box jumps or run that 300.”  That was me ALL the time at crossfit. Annoying. 
  • Time.  Let’s go back to site change day.  It never fails that you WILL run out of insulin at the most inopportune times, like when you’re already running late somewhere but your bionic pancreas is screaming at you to refill it.  And the amount of trash all the pieces parts make is ridiculous.
  • Free Pass.  OK, now this one might ruffle some feathers but I’ve worked with enough other t1’s in my coaching practice and with myself to know that (even outside of the diabetes community) we’ve ALL got issues around food!  We’re addicted. We LOVE to eat. We eat when we’re happy. We eat when we’re bored. We eat to be social. We eat when we’re lonely, sad, depressed. We’re emotional eaters. We abuse food. For me using an insulin pump is a crutch and for a lot of t1s it is for them as well.  When I was 13 years old the first thing the doctor said to me after I was hooked up to it was, “now you can FINALLY eat PIZZA and be like your friends!” and so it started, the idea that now I was “normal” and wearing this technology gave me a free pass to eat shit…yup I said it!  I’m going there. It should NEVER be advertised as a way to eat what you want.  But pumping offers a convenience factor.  It’s easy to say YES to food without thinking about it because we reach down, hit a button and insulin is delivered.  We don’t have to do the calculations for the carbs, find our insulin pen or syringe, wearing a pump means you just type in the info and the pump does the rest. Voila! Easy as the cherry pie you just took a bite of. However with injections it’s like an added layer of food protection.  You have to think through your actions more because you’ll have to complete more steps and use more brain power on your own.  Here’s an analogy: it’s 9pm, you’re not hungry but watching tv and decide you’re bored and there’s ice cream in the freezer and you MUST eat it so you go get it and a spoon and pile it into your mouth.  Great.  But what if you had the same thought about the ice cream but realized you didn’t have any and if you wanted it you’d have to get dressed, find your keys and drive to the store? You probably would skip the ice cream.  That’s what MDI helps me do.  Protects me from making bad food decisions because I have to think them through.

 

Now let me just say, this is my own personal account and the beauty, if you can call it that, of this disease is that we as t1’s have the ability to choose how we want to manage it.  Some of us swear by the pump and you’d have to pry it out of our hands to separate us from it. Others of us, like myself could care less about the technology factor of the pump and prefer the needles.  Both options are totally fine and it’s all about your individual preference.

 

I just wanted to write this post so that those of you out there asking WHY I went back to needles have answers, because I don’t think these reasons are really talked about!  I’m happy to be untethered, and to see my flatlines on my CGM coming back.  I want those of you that love MDI to know that it’s COOL to love MDI and don’t feel bullied or pressured by your doctor to change!  My theory is if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!  I wasn’t broken, so I really didn’t need fixing. And for those of you pumping that want to take a pump vacation or go back to MDI all together, don’t let your doctor tell you it can’t be done!  It can, I’m proof multiple times over! Find a doctor that supports what you want to do!

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MDI Bloodsugars

I will tell those of you considering MDI or a pump vacation that taking injections and maintaining tight control IS WORK!  I’m not going to stevia coat that (we don’t sugar coat things in diabetes land because we have to inject for that!)  But I will tell you the freedom has been 150% worth it for me!  I will write another blog post specifically about my regimen later on this month because the next slew of questions that usually follows is what kind of insulins I use, how I bolus, how I split my insulin etc, which all of those things are specific to me BUT I do believe that by sharing what works for us, it allows other t1s to see what’s possible for them. So if you want to make sure you’re notified when that blog comes out SUBSCRIBE and share with your t1 friends!

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So I want to hear below, are you MDI or a pumper? Are you considering taking a pump vacay at all??  What questions do you have for me?

 

Chat soon my diabtribe,

 

XOXO

Dorothy