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 😀

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.

Like me on Facebook!
Follow me on Twitter!

Fan Mail: Lily

I like fan mail. So I just have to share.

Hi Claire. My name is Lily, and I have read ALL your posts. First I thought it would be horrible to have a pump because it would be uncomfortable but because that you said its really good, I suddenly want one!!! Thank you for helping me like the pump with your awesome and funny posts!!

Writing this blog seems worthwhile to me when I am able to reach out to people and help them with their own journey with diabetes.

Related Posts:

Fan Mail: Sophie
Fan Mail: Leiren
Fan Mail: Aimee

Fan Mail: Sophie

I’ve said before that I really like it when people email me. This email is a little different because it comes from someone who isn’t a diabetic. But personally, it makes the email so much cooler. It’s actually nice to have people trying to learn about diabetes, instead on just assuming something and then taking their assumptions as gospel. Props to Sophie!

Hey, Claire!

I was just reading your blog and think it’s so cool that you are sharing with others what it is like to have diabetes. I love how you write from such an honest, relatable point of view.

I don’t have diabetes, and I can’t completely sympathize, but I realize the hardship of it, and how other people are so uneducated about the topic.

It’s really amazing how honest your point of view, and I think your stories and advice will help hundreds of thousands of kids. You are an inspiration to not only people with diabetes, but also people without diabetes. Your blog has opened my eyes to diabetes and all the experiences that come along with it…

You are an inspiration! Hope to talk to you soon. :)

-Sophie :)

Sophie, you are awesome, and thanks for emailing me!

Related Posts:

Fan Mail: Leiren
Fan Mail: Aimee

Fan Mail: Aimee

I got fan mail again! And as I’ve said before, I LOVE mail. I love it so much that I put it up onto my site. (That’s a hint.)

Many thanks to Aimee for sharing her story. 😀

Hi Clare! My name is Aimee! I’m 12 years old and obviously I’m and a type one diabetic! Some of my favorite things to do are rock climbing, acting, singing, playing my piano, and hanging out with my friends! I’m going to tell my story by months:

Finally its Spring Break and I’m super excited to go to the Dominican Republic! We finally land and boy is it hot! We go to the villa and get settled in. Each night I have a huge bottle of water next to bed, since we can’t drink tap water there, I stumble out of my room and walk to the kitchen. I get the water and head back to my room. Meanwhile about 6 times a night I get up to go to the bathroom. Later during the trip we go to the beach I’m one of my favorite bikinis and when I get out of the changing room my sister’s friend says: “Aimee, how are you skinny, its like your anorexic! I know you really aren’t but…” I seem sort of offended by it, not because she was being mean but because I didn’t realize how skinny I was getting, and I didn’t want to be 
“anorexic skinny”. By the time I’m back in school it’s April.

During gym and dance I’m extremely exhausted and feel like I can’t move anything after 5 minutes of exercising, but of course I can’t sit out because I don’t have an injury. Later in the month, our class takes a trip to the Guggenheim in NYC. While our tour guide is telling us about the museum, I start to drift off, almost fall asleep, and I can barely keep my eyes open. April 14, I go with my parents to see one of my favorite movies, Titanic. I drink probably 6 bottles of water during the movie and get up to use the bathroom, 6 or 7 times. At the end of the month my parents set up a doctor’s appointment for me in May.

My parents know there’s something wrong with me. I go the doctor’s Friday after my mom picks me up from school. Walking up the flight of stairs to the parking lot, I feel like I might collapse I get into the car and take a load off; just sitting down makes me feel better. We get to the doctors and they weigh me and tell me to pee in a cup. I’m sitting in the room waiting for my mom to say something Doctor Juan comes in speaking in a hushed tone so I can just understand what he’s saying. “Her blood glucose reading is 378 and we aren’t positive but we are 99.9% sure that she has type one diabetes. I start to cry, I can’t get a grip on what’s happening, what is this? Is it some sort of disease? Am I going to die? Will I still grow up like a normal girl? Can I eat my favorite foods? I would soon learn the answers to these questions. Doctor Juan sends us to the Yale New Haven Hospital ER. I sit and talk to the nurse for 30 min. or so, and one of them puts me on two of my IV drips, then I am taken to the ICU where I will stay for the night. The nurses are extremely kind and make me smile even though I’m still a little upset. The next day we are educated about type one diabetes and everything else we needed to know. Later in the afternoon I am removed from the ICU and taken to a regular hospital room. I stay there until Sunday and I learn about counting carbs and watch Soul Surfer maybe 10 times. Late Sunday morning I leave the hospital and go home. I know it will take some adjusting for me but I’m ready to go back to school.

On my first day back my parents come in with me to talk to the school nurse, the head of my middle school, and my teachers about my condition. I have told only my friend about it so far and I am anxious but also scared to tell my other best friend. In gym later that day I am sitting out because my health care team wants me to get used to everything else I am doing before I start physical activity again. Another girl in my class named Lily is sitting out because of a sports injury. She asks why I’m sitting out so naturally I tell her the whole story. I feel like I might have overwhelmed her a bit but it felt good to tell someone else. On Wednesday I talk to my homeroom teacher about telling my homeroom and the rest of my grade. I decide to tell them both on Friday at different times. Friday morning my teacher and I gather my homeroom and I tell them everything not leaving a single detail out. I feel more comfortable about it now that more people know. In the afternoon we gather my whole grade and I tell them too, I feel like crying and when I look at their faces I notice some of them are crying too. Once I finish speaking everyone gets up and hugs me, I didn’t realize how loved I was until now.

I have been doing shots for almost 4 months now and I hate them so much. They are the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Sure they’re life saving, but I hate them. We have been trying to order my pump since July but the insurance company says we have to wait 6 months after the patient’s diagnosis that means I would have to wait until November but I really don’t want to do that. So together my diabetes team at Yale and my mom write letters to Aetna (insurance) on why I need the pump so desperately. And they agree! We order my pump Monday August 13th and it arrived just yesterday! (August 16) I got the One Touch Ping Pump by Animas: 
With the pump I get a meter remote the can tell my pump bolus and many other things. Unfortunately I have to wait to use it because the trainer needs to go to Yale and we need to be trained at Yale. But I still SUPER excited that its finally here and I can’t wait to use it!

I should go now because as I’m still on shots I have to eat my meals at a certain times and its BREAKFAST TIME!!! Yum my sister is making fried rice. I hope you enjoyed reading my letter and I hope to read some new blogs soon!

Aimee, Type 1 Diabetic, Injection User, Very Anxious to Use New Pump.

Related Posts;

Fan Mail: Leiren

Fan Mail: Leiren

As I’ve said in previous posts, I absolutely love it when my readers reach out to me. In this case it was via email, and I loved what Leiren said so much that I’ve decided to post it on my blog. Thanks Leiren!


Hi! My name is Leiren (pronounced “leer,” like a creeper, and “in,” like walking through a door). I’m 16 years old and I live in Kentucky. I’m obsessed with musical theater and perform in community theater shows nearly constantly. As a triple threat (an actor/singer/dancer), my dream is to study all three in college and then hopefully one day make it to the Broadway stage. I’m a straight A student at a little school, I have an oversized (and insane!) Yorkie named PJ, I wish J.K. Rowling wrote my life, I love Star Wars and LOTR, my brother is my best friend in the whole wide world… You get the picture. I lead the life of a completely normal theater kid (I know, the words “normal” and “theater kid” should never be used together, but that’s my life! :D).

That is, until three weeks ago.

I guess I should back up. In February, I had two really big auditions for projects that would happen over the summer. I kept my summer completely open, turning down camps, mission trips, vacation invitations from friends, and community theater auditions. I don’t want to sound cocky, but I’d never auditioned for something I hadn’t gotten before, so I kind of assumed I had a good shot at getting at least one of them. I was wrong. For the first time in my life, I nailed both auditions and didn’t get so much as a callback. I was devastated. Now, not only did I not have a big professional summer project to work on, I had turned down so many other opportunities and those deadlines were over. And so all I had to look forward to was a bleak summer of sitting behind a desk entering data; the only deadline I hadn’t missed was my summer job application! :/ “Something huge is coming for you this summer,” my mom told me. “That’s why nothing’s working out for you. I can feel it.”

Then came May. It was the end of the school year. I had finals, end of the year parties, teachers piling on tons of last minute homework, and, on top of that, I was the lead role in an extremely physically challenging show involving lots of tap dancing, singing my butt off, and moving furniture. I was exhausted, falling asleep in class every day, coming home and sleeping for my measly hour between school and rehearsal, collapsing in the car on the way home from rehearsal (not while driving, thankfully!), and just generally feeling very lackluster. Then there was the eating. I’ve always had a healthy appetite, especially for a petite girl of 4’10”), but I was getting hungrier all the time, so much so that near the end of May, people began to comment on how I was so lucky to be able to eat so much and still stay so thin. “You know, hollow leg!” I’d say, or, “Dancers need their energy.” I was laughing it off, but I began to worry that I was going to get fat. I couldn’t seem to control myself, though. I wasn’t gaining any weight, if anything the opposite, so I figured my body just really needed the extra food.

Well, you see where all this is going. For the next seven weeks, I began to feel worse and worse. I was waking up, eating as much as I could, drinking 6 glasses of water, grabbing food for my desk, going to work, practically crawling up the steps with my heart racing like I’d run a marathon, eating and drinking all day at work, coming home, passing out, waking up for dinner, stuffing my face, going back to bed, and doing it all over again. Through all of this I was having severe abdominal pain, sweet tastes in my mouth with a white film, leg cramps, blurry vision, frequent peeing, nausea, classic symptoms. Plus, I lost 14 pounds, which on a 110 pound girl is extremely noticeable. I was a (barely) walking skeleton.

Looking back, my mom and I don’t see how we didn’t realize what was happening, but honestly, the word diabetes never crossed my mind. The stomach pain was the most predominant, and I’d had mild stomach issues in the past, so we were so focused on treating that that we ignored the other symptoms that might’ve led us to a quicker correct diagnosis. The first doctor I saw put me on Prilosec and some other stomach medication. After several weeks of everything only worsening, my mom took me to a different doctor. She thought it was my gallbladder or maybe my thyroid, and she took blood to send off for a lab test, not to test my sugar specifically, but just to see what she could find. She scheduled a thyroid scan for two days later. I went and did the scan, came back home, and went to sleep. My mom came and woke me up an hour later. There was a hint of panic in her eyes. “Leiren,” she said, “we have to go to the hospital. Dr. Telle called.”

“Now?” I said groggily.

“Now. Your gallbladder function is a little low, but your blood tests came back and we have to go test your sugar.”

We went. I sat in the chair, they took my blood. “What’s a normal blood sugar?” I asked the lady taking my blood.

“Well,” she replied, “If you’ve had a really sugary lunch, it can be up to 140 or 160, but normal is around 120.”

“What was mine, Mom?”

It barely came out in a whisper: “400.”

The hospital told us to wait there until the results came back. About 20 minutes later, mom got a call from Dr. Telle. My sugar was 520.

We were rushed to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. I was immediately admitted to the ER, placed on an insulin drip, and given one of those breathing tube looking things to monitor my CO2 levels, which were dangerously low. 12 hours and tons of needles later, my sugar was down to 128 and I was officially told that I was a Type 1 diabetic. I had been in Diabetic Ketoacidosis for about 6 weeks. Most people last two before they crash or go into a coma. The doctors kept saying it was a miracle I had stayed up for so long.

The last three weeks have been a whirlwind of education, carb counting, doctor’s appointments, and some really, really bad blood sugar readings. I feel so grateful to know what’s wrong with me( an that it is manageable) and also to be a part of the awesome diabetic community, but at the same time I realize that life as it once was will never be again. I can’t just go to the fridge and eat anymore, I have to watch for lows at rehearsal and dance class (and everywhere else), and I’m about to have to do shots and test my blood at school for the first time. I’m not complaining, but I know things are going to be very different.

My family is on vacation in Florida right now, and on the way here, I was looking up diabetes blogs online. The first thing that popped up was your post about wearing your pump on your boot. I don’t have a pump yet, but I clicked on it because it seemed so like something this fashionista would do! I spent the next three hours reading your posts, some to myself, and some aloud to my whole family. We were dying laughing at your story about your girl scout camp experience (you poor thing!!) and when you told your Tae Kwan Do teacher about having diabetes. I was “amen, sister!!” all through your post about Type 2 and Randy Jackson. I can’t tell you how many people have said things like, “Well, when you learn how to take care of yourself” (excuse me, I’m 100% positive that I’m a healthier eater than you are), or “When you cut back on the sugar,” (I’ve NEVER had much of a sweet tooth, and mashed potatoes or a biscuit have way more carbs than one Hershey’s kiss, thank you!), or, worst of all, “If you don’t quit sweets now, the insulin will stop working in about 10 or 15 years.” (Huh?? That stupidity doesn’t even deserve a response.) Everyone assumes that I have Type 2, and that drives me crazy! I’m a thin, healthy, active girl, and there is no way to reverse the fact that my pancreas simply DOESN’T PRODUCE insulin. I’m glad there’s someone else out there who understands this.

Your tips about school have been extremely helpful as well! I’m about to go to school with diabetes for the first time, and your advice has definitely put me at ease. I definitely see some Smarties in a pencil bag in my near future. :) I want to go to a diabetes camp this summer!! It sounds like a blast.

Well, I guess I’d better wrap things up or I’ll go on forever. Mom was right, something huge was coming for me this summer, and that’s why nothing was working out for me as far as plans went. Of course, I hoped it would be something fabulous like a record deal or a better audition opportunity, but this diagnosis could be one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I’ve already met some amazing people and gotten the chance to educate some others on what Type 1 really is. I’ve come across your blog, which has given me hope that normalcy and an active life are extremely possible. God has placed me in the diabetic community for a reason, and I think great things will come from it.

Thanks for all the help and encouragement, and best of luck in all you do! I’ll be reading your posts and you’ll be in my prayers.

Your friend,

Leiren Jackson

Thanks again Leiren for sharing your story!

Related Posts:

Why the Continuous Glucose Monitor is Awesome

Diabetes Proverbs|A Beeping Pump Gets Basal Rates Adjusted

Welcome to Claire Montgomery’s all new “Diabetes Proverbs”! The whole concept is that I take a well know proverb, and turn it into a “diabetes proverb”. For example:

A squeaky wheel gets the grease

A beeping pump gets basal rates adjusted

This is a tribute to my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) for driving me crazy by doing things like beep. Beeping isn’t a bad thing, it just says that your numbers are off and maybe you should adjust. But the only way it can help is if you are a good diabetic and actually take the time to plug in your Carelink and send it off to your doctor. Which reminds me, because I need to do that.

All I’m saying is that when your CGM alarms, do something about it instead of ignore it. And because of that you will be all the more healthy and feel better.


Claire Montgomery
Type 1 Diabetic, Insulin Pumper, Proverb Changer