Category Archives: Tips on Living with Diabetes

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

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Girls and Pumps: Fashion

Girls and Pumps: Fashion

I recently received a letter from a girl named Sam who had a pump wearing tip for girls.

Hi! I’m a diabetic too! I read your post about wearing your insulin pump on your boot while you wear a dress, and I have a tip. It’s sort of strange and not to everyone’s liking, but I love it! I wear my pumpinsulin_pump in my shirt on an everyday basis. If I’m wearing a sports bra I just stick my pump in it. I rarely feel it there! Also, you can buy thigh bands for when you wear dresses that have pump pockets. These are ways that don’t make wearing a dress uncomfortable, and that also make it less “awkward” when taking your pump out. Take care!!

I’ve heard putting your pump on your bra, but I’ve never tried it. I guess that’s something I’m going to have to go do.

However, I’ve never heard of thigh bands, and that would be awesome to try out. I’ve always worn shorts under my dresses, and I have mastered the “how to take your pump off under your dress without anyone noticing” technique. It’s really handy.

Thanks for the tip, Sam!

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery

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Fan Mail: Amanda

Thanks for sending me mail! I love it. :)

Hi Claire! It’s Amanda from school :).  Although I could just tell you this in person on Tuesday, I figured that I know you love fan mail, so I may as well send you a message :D

I came across your blog from the link you put on Facebook, and although I don’t have diabetes, I clicked on it anyways and read several of your posts. I know we sort of know each other through school, but I’m glad I got to see this side of you through your blog. You are such a strong and inspirational girl and I think it’s wonderful how you’re not afraid to talk about diabetes both on this blog and in everyday life.

I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to exaggerate bad things that happen to me and make them seem like my life is so terrible. I have a bad hip that sometimes causes me a lot of pain. I have seasonal affective disorder and am in therapy for it. And a lot of times I convince myself that living like this is so awful. “I hate having to miss dance class because my hip is hurting” or “what will my roommates in college say when I have to do half an hour of light therapy each morning?” get me down easily. Hearing about what you deal with and how you keep a positive attitude helps remind me that I need to keep my mind off the little things and focus on what makes my life good. Really, dealing with things like a hurting hip or SAD isn’t nearly like dealing with diabetes, and I need to remember that more often.

So the bottom line: you are such an inspiration and I am blessed to know you :)

Thanks so much, Amanda, for taking the time to write me a note. It really means a lot to me.

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Diabetes Supplies in Mexico

I received a comment on one of my previous posts that reads:

Hi. I have a question. I see you have lived in Mexico. I am having horrible issues finding pump supplies here you have any ideas?

So I thought I would answer the question. images

When I lived in Mexico, I knew that I was only going to be there for ten months, so I brought all of the pump supplies that I was going to need with me. To do that, I had to go to my doctor and get a special prescription that said I could order more pump supplies then I usually needed.

I don’t know if that helps, because my circumstances were different then people who live in Mexico all year round.

Hope that helps!

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery

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Give Me The Candy!

Halloween and Diabetes

One of the biggest misconceptions about diabetes is that diabetics can’t eat sugar. Which, quite plainly, is wrong. Diabetics can eat sugar, and really, as much of it as they want, as long as you manage your insulin and blood sugars.

So basically, it’s okay to go Trick-o-Treat. And it’s okay to eat candy. I have had diabetes for going on six years now, and every year I’ve gone Trick-o-Treating. All you have to do is to think about diabetes and give  yourself insulin for everything that you eat. I might even go as far to say that you should bolus or take an injection fifteen minutes ahead of time, but really, eat the candy. You wont die.

If you’re still skeptical, then sell your candy to your parents. Quite a few of my friends have gotten rich over that prospect. You can also save your candy for low blood sugars.

Bottom line: It’s okay to eat candy, as long as you manage your diabetes along with it. Eating candy wont make you a “bad diabetic”. But above all, have fun!

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery

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Interview

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a guy who runs a diabetes website based in Iran. Which is totally cool. He asked me if I would be willing to do an interview with them. And I couldn’t say no, so I answered a few questions. How many chances like that do people usually get? So of course I went for it. I now have the link, and also the interview, which I will post below.

http://dayere-abi.org/index.php/1391-04-05-15-08-48

Check out the link! It looks so cool to see my answers translated into Arabic!

1-Dear Claire, first of all, please introduce yourself (i.e. the date of your birth, the year that you found out you have diabetes, where you live, and what you are doing etc).

My name is Claire Montgomery and I am fifteen years old. I was born on December 17, 1996. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was ten years old on March 6, 2007. I live in Denver, Colorado in the United States of America.

2-How do you find out that you have diabetes?

I was taking ski lessons and I threw up in the parking lot. My parents thought I had a stomache bug so my dad stayed with me while I slept at the place where we were staying. That night we went ice skating and I remember feeling really miserable because I had no energy to skate but I really wanted to. The next day I started to breathe really hard so I didn’t help with clean up at all but rather felt really bad. On the way home in the car I started to have mini hallucinations so we stopped along the way at a town and everyone got candy sticks. That was when my parents called the doctor. My dad dropped my brother and sister off with my mom at home and then we immediately left for the doctor. When I finally got into an examining room the doctor took one look at me and sent me to pee in a cup. Apparently she had guessed what I had at first glance. It was confirmed that I had diabetes and the doctor told me that I had to go to the emergency room immediately. I was a textbook case soo all of the other doctors in the office came in to look at me so they could see what diabetes looked like. The doctor called ahead to Children’s Hospital in Denver and my dad drove me there. Once I got there they took me in immediately and hooked me up to an IV. I spent the night in the Intensive Care Unit and was released from the hospital the next day. I spent the next two days in training with my parents.

3-What was your image about diabetes when you knew the first time about your diabetes and what was your feeling in that time?

At first I was really a little bit stunned and hadn’t really gotten what had happened. It had been a really busy couple of days and there wasn’t any time to think about what had happened. However once I actually had time to understand what had happened I cried.

4-How did you accept this fact and become a friend with your diabetes?

In all honesty, I am not really sure of how to answer this question. I don’t think that I have ever become friends with my diabetes. But have learned to live with it. It is a part of me, and no matter how much I complain, it will not just magically disappear.

5-What is your highest and lowest blood sugar experience till now, and what you did in these situations?

My lowest blood sugar yet has been was 39 mg/dL. I can’t really remember what happened because it happened so long ago, but I assume that I drank A LOT of juice, and waited and tested again. Actually, I have never been unconscious because of a low. The only experience I’ve had where I wasn’t able to concentrate or function was when I was at the beach with my family when we were on vacation. Everyone except my mom was in the ocean. I was probably 80 mg/dL, but I must’ve been going down really fast because I had no idea what was going on. Mom kept on giving me juice, but I kept on wandering down to the water (even though I couldn’t walk straight). Finally Mom made me sit down and drink. It turned out fine. My highest blood sugar was around 500 mg/dL. This was also a long time ago, so again I can’t really remember but I know that it was right before bed, and it was also back when I was still taking injections. My mom gave me a shot, and then I went to bed. I do remember feeling miserable though.

6-How much your diabetes affect your personal life, your family life, your education and your happiness, at the beginning and now.

My parents and I have actually had huge arguments about this. I would prefer not to tell my friends about diabetes and make it not a big deal, though my parents wanted to tell everyone on the face of the earth (or so it seemed). We still haven’t figured out a balance. I have gotten bad grades on tests and such because of high blood sugars, but other then that diabetes hasn’t really been a big deal concerning my education. Naturally the school nurse and I are best friends. My happiness? Well. There are times where I hate diabetes, and I can’t say that I necessary love it. But it just is, and I exist with it. It has become a part of my life, so I can’t really say that it affects my happiness. It’s only when I’m high that it affects my happiness, because I feel really bad.

7-If you are a member of association for diabetic patients, what is your activity in that association and what kind of activity that association do for his members?

I am not really involved in an association for diabetic patients. I mostly do outreach stuff, like my blog (www.clairemontgomery.com) and go to events that are hosted by associations. For example I have gone to diabetes camps that the American Diabetes Association puts on, and I also have gone to fundraisers and other things for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

8-You are living in U.S. and you are enjoy living in a developed country. I would like to know how such a country like U.S. helps people with type 1 diabetes.

Well. In the USA we have programs like support groups and things like that. There is also the American Diabetes Association, and they try to spread the word about diabetes and to help people with diabetes by giving information. There aren’t that many doctors offices that are purely dedicated to just diabetes, however. Many people go to their regular physician. I am lucky because I live in Colorado, home of one of the two best diabetes facilities in the country. It is called the Barbara Davis Center. When you are first diagnosed, many people reach out to you. I think almost every diabetic in America that is about my age has a bear named Rufus. Rufus is a bear that the JDRF donates to new diabetics. It has patches on its body for places where you can give yourself injections or get your fingers poked. There are also many outreach groups like blogs and websites that are focused on diabetes.

9-You said in your personal website that you are using insulin pump. How much of its expense is covered by the insurance.

I am honestly not sure how much, but about two thirds of the expense for the insulin pump was covered by insurance.

10- How many percentage of diabetics that you know are using insulin pump?

Well, I am not really sure, but according to Google there is more then 30 percent of diabetics using an insulin pump.

11-Diabetic people that do not use insulin pump, what kind of insulin do they use?

In the United States, there are two kinds of fast acting insulin: Novolog and Humalog. People on either pumps or injections can use either of these insulins. There are two other types of insulin that only people on injections use. The first is called NPH. This is an intermediate acting insulin which is given at breakfast so a shot doesn’t need to be taken at lunch. It starts working about five hours after it’s been injected. NPH is also optional because you can just as easily take a lunch injection. The last kind of insulin that people who take injections use is called Lantus. Lantus lasts about twenty four hours and compensates for the tiny trickle of insulin that your pancreas releases even with diabetes.
I only use one type of insulin and that is Novolog.

12-How many time you use to measure your blood sugar on daily basis?

I check my blood sugar anywhere from six to ten times a day. I check before meals, when I wake up, and before I go to bed.

13- In the school or in a party or in a hiking with friends, do you measure your blood sugar?

Of course I do. I would rather not, but I think stoping to test my bloodsugar is better then feeling miserable if I hadn’t tested.

14- Do you think if you do not have diabetes then Claire without diabetes is more successful and happier than Claire with diabetes?

What an interesting question! Diabetes is such a part of my life that if I suddenly woke up one day and didn’t have it I would probably be a little lost. I can imagine myself reaching down to give myself insulin, and then realizing that I wouldn’t have to do that.

15- Did you visit our website “dayere-abi.org”?

I just did. And it looks cool, but I can’t read it.

16- What was your feeling when you have received an email from dayere-abi.org, your Iranian friends?

I was thinking that it was an amazing offer and that I would be stupid not to take it.

17- We would like to hear your suggestion in order to improve our website?

Like I said before, it looks cool, but I can’t read it. Sorry that I can’t give you more suggestions.

18- Please tell your message to your Iranian friends who have diabetes.

Keep going! You aren’t alone. And know that you now have a diabetic friend living in the United States. I wish everyone the best of luck in controlling their diabetes.

 

So I now have new friends in Iran! It is so cool! Thanks to Masood Hasannejad for giving me this wonderful opportunity!

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery

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Insulin Pump Clips

broken insulin pump clip

Broken insulin pump clip.

Recently I’ve been investigating some handy ways to store your pump when you don’t have a clip. Mine broke. I was upset. What do you do with your pump when you don’t have pockets or a clip? (For some reason pockets that are actually usable doesn’t make sense with girl fashion. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know.)

The most obvious answer is to store it under your waistband. You think it would be strong and tight enough to hold the pump up. Or not.

Recently I’ve found that it’s best to store just under your underwear, but still in the waistband of your pants. For some reason that holds the pump up.

But you might not want to run or jump or really do any erratic movements while not having a clip. Or you might find yourself pump site-less. Not that it happened to me, which was pretty lucky.

Good luck!

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery
Type 1 diabetic, diabetes blogger, pump clip-less

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My Closet is a Pharmacy

Literally.

So before I had the pump we used to shove all of my diabetes supplies in this one cabinet in the kitchen. And it didn’t really work out to well because it was just messy and cramped and unorganized and you couldn’t find anything. It came to the point where I was finding my supplies, and then shutting the door real fast so nothing would fall out. Basically what I would call a mess.

So a while ago I got tired of having all of my diabetes supplies fall out of the cabinet whenever I needed anything, and also I couldn’t fit anything else into the cabinet anymore. So I decided to move everything into my closet. And it turned out to be a really good idea.

Now everything is organized, and I have enough space. And I also get to freak my friends out whenever we look at clothes. And now my closet is no longer a closet, it’s a pharmacy. Which is awesome. Not many people get bragging rights over having a real pharmacy (well, real in my mind) in their CLOSET. Nope. So far I am the only person I know who calls the location of where they keep diabetes stuff a pharmacy. And that makes me awesome. To me at least.

So how do you store your diabetes things? Share your thoughts by commenting.

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery
Type 1 Diabetic, Teenage Pharmacist

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