Diabetes Awareness Month

diabetes awareness monthIf you haven’t yet noticed, it’s November. Which for many of you, thoughts of Thanksgiving and Charlie Brown cross your mind. However, this is also World Diabetes Awareness Month. November 14 is World Diabetes Day. No, we don’t have a huge movement behind us. The NFL does not wear pink and go bananas to raise awareness. No, diabetes is not life threatening when treated.

Diabetes is a personal disease. It is a daily battle. It’s about waking up at 3am to check your blood sugar (or having your parents do it for you). It’s about giving yourself shots or infusions sets. It’s about counting carbohydrates and compensating with insulin every single time you eat. And that’s only a fraction of what is involved when it comes to living a life with type one diabetes.

However, out of all people who live with diabetes, only five percent of them have type one diabetes (American Diabetes Association). Here’s some food for thought:

Almost 30 million people in the United States live with diabetes (American Diabetes Association).
In 2010, diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.
The total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the US in 2012 was an average of $245 billion.
In 2008—2009, the annual incidence of diagnosed diabetes in youth was estimated at 18,436 with type 1 diabetes.

Usually, I’ve been too busy to acknowledge that World Diabetes Awareness Month is even happening. Diabetes deserves to have recognition. I hope you learned a little something and will share the message: diabetes is not a faceless disease.

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery

All facts and statistics come from the American Diabetes Association.diabetes

Stem Cell Research Plus a Cure

beta_cells_for_webSo today I ran across all of these articles saying that a Harvard researcher and scientist who has a son and daughter with type 1 diabetes has had a breakthrough in stem cell research in which stem cells are a starting point for beta cell transplantation and ultimately insulin produced from the body itself.

Wow.

Granted, we still are a few years off from human tests, so don’t get your hopes up to astronomical levels yet. My mom wants to know where I can sign up for the human trials.

As for the animal test subjects, on behalf of the diabetic community, we thank you for your sacrifice.

I really don’t know what to say about this. I haven’t really ever thought about the fact that diabetes may be cured in a serious manner before. It didn’t really seem like something that would happen in my lifetime. If I was cured with of my type 1 diabetes, how wou998ld I feel? I probably would be experiencing a lack of something, I guess. Hold on, how many carbs are in this… Oh right, I don’t need to count carbs anymore. Times the four billion other things type 1 diabetics think about daily.

What would you do if you woke up one day and found out that a cure had been found for the disease you’ve been living with for years? I find myself wondering that.

Well, guys, homework is calling. Ciao for now!

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Mary PoppinsI sat down to write a blog post and put Pandora on, and of course Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious came on. And then, zam! topic change. I’m rolling with the punches here. (Disclaimer: no diabetes talk here. But I still like to think that I’m an interesting person.)

I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t fall into the range of seriously enjoying or loving Mary Poppins. I may be about to be proved wrong with this blog post, but I really don’t care. I will always love Mary Poppins.

(Side note — my word processor thinks that ‘Poppins’ is spelled wrong. That’s irritating.)

I loved Mary Poppins when I was a kid. When we drove to the mountains, my parents would put show tunes on the stereo, and Mary Poppins was one of the favorites (the other being The Sound of Music, but honestly, who can go wrong with Julie Andrews?)

Mary Poppins came to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and my mother bought tickets. I’ve seen a ton of shows there, including The Lion King, and I’ve never been so transported as I’ve been with Mary Poppins. The music was wonderful, the actors were excellent, and she flew out into the audience. I’m writing about it now, and I’m getting goosebumps.

Saving Mr BanksAnd then I went to high school and took a lot of history classes and Mary Poppins took on a whole new meaning. For example, (“one night I said it to me girl, and now me girl’s me wife.” Just kidding. And you’re a champ if you get that reference.) Anyways, I understand why Mrs. Banks had time to be a suffragette, why she would do such a thing anyways, what economic and social class the Banks were in, etc. It’s even more fun to watch Mary Poppins now because I understand it on a whole different level. What a great movie.

About sixish months ago I saw Saving Mr. Banks when it came out in theaters with my grandmother and mom and I just about died when hearing the the Mary Poppins melodies used as the music score. I mean it. Dead.Mary Poppins Musical

And now my school has announced that out school musical this year is Mary Poppins. Oh. My. God. (Sorry, Mom. “Gosh.”) And we even outfitted our auditorium with aerial stuff so Mary can fly and Bert can walk on the ceiling. I’m dying over here of excitement. Holy cow!!

For the past two years I’ve participated in the pit orchestra for the school musicals (and that is a whole story unto itself, so I’ll tell you later) and now I am incredibly excited to try out this year. Mary Poppins here I come!

Lots of love,

Claire MontgomeryMary Poppins

Back To School

Me and my bro and sis. Good times. I'm gonna miss them when I go to college!

Me and my bro and sis. Good times. I’m gonna miss them when I go to college!

So guys, I’m battling Senior Slump even though I haven’t even applied to college yet. It’s bad. Well, I’m actually doing all of my work on time (except for this really stupid thing for an online thing that I had a deadline for that I even went to my teacher for help – and then forgot to finish. Sad day.)

Senior year! I’m pretty excited about that – I’m so happy to be able to escape all of the mean girls and preppy gossip queens that I’ve been stuck with for the last few years. I only have until May! I realize that there will be mean girls in every place that I go, but at college it seems more likely to be able to escape them.

Side note: I have yet to get my senior pictures done. That’s been bugging me.

And I’m actually working on college applications. For like my first two years and maybe a little more of high school I would run away screaming whenever anybody brought up the subject of college, but now it’s actually here and I can hold down a conversation about what I’m thinking about doing in the future. At least I have something to say to people when they say, “Oh you’re a junior/senior – what are your plans for college?” That question used to make me so mad.

I hate how everybody seems to have a concrete idea of what they are doing already even though they are only sixteen and seventeen! My goodness.

So, I’m sure you’re wondering: My plans (extremely tentative as they are) are to apply to several schools (I don’t want to go in state but I’m going to apply to a few as a contingency plan) and then I plan to defer admission for a year. I want to take a gap year to figure out more of where my interests lie because I seem to change everyday in terms of what I want to major in. During the gap year, I am thinking of either enlisting in AmeriCorps for eleven months or just working and maybe doing an internship and save some money before I head off to college. Although college is definitely in the books eventually.

Well, tata for now! I hope all of you who are stressing about this will take some deep breaths with me. We are all in this together!

Tricking Out a CGM Sensor – MiniMed Enlite

Hey guys. I’ve said this recently, but I now am using Medtronic’s latest insulin pump – the MiniMed 530G with Enlite. The main reason that I got it was because my warranty had expired on my old pump, and also because this pump had a more accurate sensor.

To clarify, my old pump used the Sof-Sensor, and now this pump uses Enlite.

So with the Sof-Sensor, I got pretty good at tricking it out. For instance, it had only been approved by the FDA to wear for three days, which is not ideal when they are so freaking expensive. I found that I could get about a week of accurate number readings until I had to pull it out. I still hated the thing, mostly because of the RIDICULOUSLY HUGE NEEDLE. I’m not squeamish, but really?

Trying to remove the adhesive of the Enlite sensor.

Trying to remove the adhesive of the Enlite sensor.

Now that I’m on to the Enlite sensor, I’m trying to figure out if it is possible to trick out this one as well. I haven’t been successful yet. I know it is theoretically possible, but the battery of the clamshell portion of the sensor (the monitor that beams readings to the pump) is only supposed to last for a week and the whole thing is taped down so well and is so adhesive that in my attempts to remove the clamshell without ripping out the needle have so far been unsuccessful. The first time I tried I felt like I was doing aerobics that didn’t have the desired result.

The reason I haven’t just tricked it out without bothering to recharge the clamshell is because I’m worried that will have just as much as an undesired result by losing battery. But maybe I’ll try that next time anyways.

I’ve heard really good things about being able to trick out the Dexcom sensor for weeks while maintaining accurate readings, but I don’t have the Dexcom.

Tricking out the Enlite CGM

This is harder than I thought it would be!

Has anyone else been successful in tricking out the Enlite? If so, I would love to hear how you did it!

Thanks for reading!

MiniMed 530G With Enlite – The How I Learned To Use It Version

It’s been a while, but a little while ago I got the newest Medtronic insulin pump model. The biggest reason that I upgraded was that I wanted to use the new continuous glucose monitor sensor that came with the pump. Besides that, I don’t find the pump to be all that different from the previous Medtronic versions. But the sensor is totally worth it because you can keep it in (FDA approved, at least) for six days.

Barbara Davis Center logo

Barbara Davis Center logo

I took a training class to learn how to use the new sensor and insert it at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, the care and research facility in Denver, Colorado. In the training session with me there was an older guy, an older girl, a girl maybe a few years older than I am with her mom, and a boy who was maybe ten or eleven with his mom. I was with my dad.

So, great, we learned how to put in the sensor and turn it on. Even better, I can do it myself, unlike the last one. (That one had a needle so big that we called it The Harpoon.) But the class really was weird in that I was the only person who actually seemed to know what they were doing. The teacher would ask a question, such as, “How do you treat a low?” And then I would look around and no one would answer so I would answer. It was a very odd experience. At one point my dad even said, “Are the rest of you even diabetics?” He was joking, but that’s kind of how I felt. And later, the teacher said, “Great, you could be teaching this class!”

Learning how to put the new sensor in

Learning how to put the new sensor in

I guess this means that I’m a good little diabetic. Because I actually know a lot of the theoretical knowledge (although applying it is tricky). I just thought that it was very odd.

Ciao for now!

Of Prom and Pumps

Hi guys! Long time no see, err, write! So guess what! I finally finished AP exams, and I really only have two classes to worry about right now, except that I’m not worried because those classes are fine. It’s chemistry and Algebra II. Chemistry can be tricky, but I’m doing fine. But that’s really not what I want to talk about tonight (see title).

Prom was on Saturday! It was really cool to be able to go, because as I’m sure pretty much everyone knows, it’s like the iconic high school dance. But the whole question with prom was: How does managing diabetes fit in?

DSC05230I got a dress that is had some artful wrinkles so my pump would be hidden under my dress. I think I succceeded. My dad said you could only tell that it was there if you looked for it. I also wore shorts underneath my dress so I had something to clip my pump onto.

My group went to P.F. Chang’s for dinner. My plan was to go to the bathroom whenever I needed to bolus (because it’s pretty awkward to hike your floor-length gown up to your waist for any reason, no matter how good it is), and it worked because I didn’t have one high blood sugar. I’m actually pretty proud of that. Also, everyone knew what I was doing when I went to the bathroom, so everything worked out pretty nicely. Oh, and story! There was this three or four year old kid who was sitting at a table that was next to ours, and he kept on staring at us. We noticed but didn’t really say anything. But then his mom and him came up to us, and the mom told us that the little kid thought that we were princesses and to tell him that we were. So I told him, “Yes, we’re princesses, and these are the princes, and we’re going to the ball.” The kid’s face was priceless. His mouth was wide open and he stared at us in complete surprise and shock. He totally believed it, and his parents had to drag him away. He was so cute! He kept coming back to observe the “princesses.” It was awesome.

I did get low during prom, but they had a bar so instead of having the smarties that I brought, I got a Sprite. Haven’t had one of those in a while. Shame that I didn’t really get to enjoy it. DSC05241

And After Prom was a ton of fun too – my boyfriend and I basically just played Texas Hold’em the whole night and got Henna tattoos and ate smoothies and pizza. It turns out that it’s a thing to dress down for After Prom (like sweats and t-shirts dressed down) which Conner (my boyfriend) and I were unaware of, but we went home first and changed so we didn’t stick out. Good thing, too.

Well, that’s prom for your! I can’t wait until next year because it was a ton of fun! If you went to your prom, tell me your stories and how you managed diabetes with it! Either comment or email me.

Lots of love and talk to you soon!

Claire Montgomery

Related Posts:
Being a Teenager Sucks
Girls and Pumps: Fashion

Claire Does Italy, Italy Does Carbs

So this is the first time I’ve felt good in a while so I’m all jazzed up enough to write. Hi guys!

Me in front of The Arena in Verona. It was a stadium like the Coliseum, except older.

So recently I went on a performing arts trip with my school to, wait for it, ITALY!! Wow. It sure was fun and awesome to go on such a cool trip, and I had such a great time playing in the band and seeing all of the sights. It was amazing.

So one thing that I didn’t contemplate when going to Italy was the sheer amount of carbs they have in the food over there. I mean it makes sense when you think about it. Try eating cereal for breakfast, a pizza/sandwich variation for lunch, and then pasta for dinner every day for a week. It’s carb central, ladies and gentlemen. Oh, and don’t forget the gelato. (It’s darn good. ;) )

So I ran out of insulin pretty fast and ended up having to change my pump site earlier than I would otherwise. And when I changed it I filled my cartridge with more insulin than I would otherwise, so I was pretty much good for the rest of the trip.

So I’ve just realized that I’ve started every single paragraph with the word “so”. Hehe.

Pisa!

Pisa!

Anyways… Italy! It was so awesome. Like I said earlier, the performing arts department in my school toured there. We went to Venice, Florence, Pisa, Verona, and Lucca. My favorite part was going to Florence and seeing the David by Michelangelo. The trip was more about sightseeing than playing, but we performed four times as well. Our best performance was our second one, which was at a high school in Pisa. We performed for the students there, and they went absolutely berserk! They gave us a standing ovation after every piece we played. I can safely say that I have never received that kind of a reception before, and I probably wont again. But it was so cool to play for kids who are our ages, not to mention witnessing an Italian teenage selfie, and get such a great reception. It was so much fun.

My only beef is that my cheesy pictures with the Leaning Tower of Pisa didn’t turn out. Oh well.

Anyways, ARRIVEDERCI for now!

Claire