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

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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.


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!


Harry Potter is Awesome

rowlingI love Harry Potter, in case any of you were wondering. I can quote the first line of the first book word for word. I have read them a million bazillion times. I can trump anyone at a Harry Potter quiz. (Ask me something. I dare you.) My number in lacrosse is 7 because according to the Harry Potter books, seven is the most magical and powerful number. I am so obsessed that I am writing a fan fiction of what happens after the seventh Harry Potter book but before the epilogue.

(Fan fiction is where you write in the world that the author has created (ex. Harry Potter, Twilight, Star Trek, etc) and use their characters and make your own plot. There are multiple websites hosting fan fiction. I waste many hours of my life reading fan fiction. Look it up. It’s worth it.)

So one day I was looking for another interesting Harry Potter fan fiction to read, and I came across this really interesting one in which Harry had type 1 diabetes. Wow. So of course I had to read it. It was really interesting. This was a long time ago now, and I haven’t reread it or anything, but I remember Harry fainting a lot from low blood sugars and thinking that was weird because I’ve never fainted from a low or anything like that.

So while I didn’t exclusively enjoy the story, we’ll say, it did get me to thinking. So if Harry really did have diabetes, wouldn’t the magical world of Harry Potter be able to cure him, like, instantly?

Actually, when I was younger, I used to wish that I would get a Hogwarts letter and that I would show up and then Madame Pomfrey would say, “Hey, Claire, come here so I can cure your diabetes really fast,” and then I would never have to worry again.

So I was wondering how it would feel to be cured of diabetes instantly. I don’t think I would know what to do with myself. I feel like I manage myself relatively well so it wouldn’t be strange to just go eat and eat and eat. Though I would escape the whole exercise deal (managing your blood sugars seems like an impossible task while exercising). I don’t know. How would you feel if you had diabetes and then all of the sudden, alakazam, you didn’t anymore! What would you do?

Oh, and if you are interested in any good Harry Potter fan fiction to try out, comment and I will give you a suggestion!

Have a good day! And may all be well with your diabetes!

Claire Montgomery

Being a Teenager Sucks

I’m not joking. I hate hormones and having to adjust insulin and how I’m never steady even if I count carbs perfectly and take insulin ahead of time (like a good diabetic should, even though apparently that isn’t me) and exercise.

And maybe this happens to every diabetic, but I’m a teenager and thus haven’t been an adult yet so I don’t have anything to base it off of. But it sure is dang annoying.

But being a teenager is stressful. I’m not joking. Like right now the first thing that people ask me when I tell them that I’m a junior in high school is, “What colleges are you thinking about?” Or at least some variation of the above question. And this is super stressful and annoying to a girl who hasn’t mapped out her life plan and has no earthly idea what to do with the next six years of her life, give or take a few, unlike what seems to be the rest of my grade. I don’t know how they do it. And then there are ACT and SAT tests coming up, AP exams are in May, and this year is my first opportunity to go to prom. And lacrosse season has just started, and I was voted captain, and that is sort of stressful because I don’t feel like the greatest girl on the team, even though I may be the oldest. Plus I’m going to have to miss a lot of practices and games because of band rehearsals and things like that, even though the coaches say, “School first, lacrosse second.” Sorry, but lacrosse is not the highest thing on my list of TO DO.

Second semester junior year is wonderful. (Notice the sarcasm.) I even considered quitting lacrosse so I would have more time, but I’m glad I didn’t because it is a ton of fun, even though coaches can get pretty serious.

Plus the whole managing diabetes thing aspect of my life. Kind of a big deal.

On the plus side, I may be getting a new pump sometime soon! And if I ever need a hug, my dog is always and my dog

Adios for now, and may your blood sugars be ever in your favor!


Claire Montgomery

Battling Blood Sugars

Exercise is going to kill me. I mean, it’s good for you and everything, but it’s still out to bite me in the butt because blood sugars are so hard to manage, and I can’t ever seem to find a pattern.

So my school is on a block schedule, and therefore every other day I have dance class for an hour and a half. I love dance class. I am not exactly what you would call coordinated and it takes me a million practices to get something right, but it is a really really fun class. Right now we are learning the choreography to a swing dance that we are performing in a couple of weeks, and earlier this week I was low in the middle of class.

Oh, and one quick thing! It’s really hard for me to tell if I’m low when I exercise, so when lacrosse season started again I put my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) back so I could get an idea of when I was going low. Usually the CGM doesn’t get readings fast enough, especially when I’m dropping quickly, but something is better than nothing.

So I was low earlier in dance class this week. I realized I was low when it was taking me longer than usual to get the steps down, so I tested, and sure enough, I was 56 mg/dl.

So today I had dance class again and I didn’t go low during, but I went low immediately after class had ended. So I was sitting in AP Lang eating my lunch and waiting for break so we could go to lunch, and of course I forgot to bolus, so when I tested after I felt crappy near the end of class I was 286 mg/dl. Lovely.

I pretty much rode at that blood sugar during the whole last period of the day and it was with that blood sugar that I started lacrosse practice. I gradually went down to levels within range throughout the practice (I checked my CGM practically every five minutes) and then, of course, at the end of practice I was low. I wasn’t feeling low (the whole exercise and can’t feel your blood sugars thing), but I knew something wasn’t right. But I was already late for my clarinet lesson so I just jumped in the car and drove and stuffed a granola bar and some oreos into my mouth on the way there. Just a basic assumption that I probably needed to dose. BTW, I wouldn’t follow the example I set.

By the time I got to my clarinet lesson (rush hour is a killer) I actually felt low so I drank some juice and ran inside. And then at the end of the lesson my CGM alarmed telling me that I was 179 mg/dl. Sigh. When I got home I was in the mid 200’s mg/dl. So I dosed and then waited until 9:00 to eat dinner.

I wonder what people who don’t have diabetes worry about.

Oh, and I found this really funny picture on Facebook so I thought I would share it.

Random picture that I think is funny so I thought I would share it. I like Facebook.
Random picture that I think is funny so I thought I would share it. I like Facebook.



Claire Montgomery

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