Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Toronto to Panama City

In only six hours I will be heading to the Toronto Airport to board a plane to Panama City. I am looking forward to this trip - it barely has sunk in that I am actually going away! Today was my last day at the daycare and it was definitely sad, but I know that I will be visiting the daycare any chance I get!

Tonight I have been packing and trying to make sure that I don't forget a thing. My carry on is basically all supplies from sites to batteries. I have one book in there and hopefully I can throw a couple more things in my mom's carry on. I want to make sure that my most important things are with me at all times.

I am excited to go away and know that any obstacle that I may go through with the pump is just part of the fun of life. We all go through challenges and obstacles and I am sure the pump will throw the odd one at me and I am fully ready to take it on.

I cannot be scared!

I will be back next Wednesday, so there likely will be no posts between now!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Pump Trip

I made it through my first vacation with a pump to Darien Lake! It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. At first I was a little unsure about how it was going to be and when my Dad first asked if I wanted to go on some rides I knew that I had to think about what I was going to do with my pump.

Since I cannot wear my pump on rides because of the magnetic force - I decided that taking it off for an hour or so wouldn't be too bad. First I tested my blood sugar which I believe was in the 7's - then I bolused two units because I had a feeling I would be gone for possibly longer than an hour and then I disconnected.

Once I got back approximately two hours later, my sugar remained in the 7's which was perfect. I did this several times while on vacation including when I went in the water in the water park. I didn't even notice the site on my stomach and I didn't even notice any strange stares.

I noticed by the end of my three day trip that my site was just about ready to come off. I guess from the wear and tear of camping it was ready to be changed. I had great blood sugars throughout my trip and only went low once - which I then ate an enormous marshmallow.

Even though my insulin pump can be completely annoying having to wear it with certain clothes - over all it has been excellent as far as keeping my blood sugars under control. It isn't the end of the world - it's definitely workable.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

On the Road

I am now getting ready to pack for my trip to Darien Lake. I am a little bit nervous to travel with my pump, but I know that I will able to do it. I plan to change my site tomorrow morning before we leave so that I have a fresh one for the three days that I am away. It will be a lot easier to change my site here than there.

I am bringing extra sites/reservoirs and strips just in case I need to change my site! I am hoping that swimming is going to be okay with my site. I know I will have to take off my pump while playing around in the water park and hopefully my site will stay on through the water slides, lazy river and wave pool.

I am looking forward to this vacation and once I get back I will be going to Panama, so I've got even more to look forward to!

I know that I can do this and that there is nothing to be scared of. I can't fear it - I just have to work with it.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Failed Batt Test

Sometimes I wonder if things happen to me, so that I can write about it! Today was a pretty average day until I had to change my site aswell as my battery. The site change went well and I actually put the tubing in smoothly unlike any other time. When I went to put in a new battery that Medtronic had sent me with my pump the 'failed batt test' appeared. I was familiar with this because when I had first recieved my pump and put in a new battery (that Medtronic had also given me) I was alerted the same message; however, once I took the battery out and then back in it started to work fine and lasted me month.

I kept trying the same battery hoping that it was doing the same thing as before, but after several tries I realized that I better get new batteries soon or get on the phone with Medtronic. So instead of going through the proccess of calling I decided to just drive to Canadian Tire and buy some AAA batteries.

I knew that I could be an hour off my pump without any problems, so I wasn't too worried. I even suspended my pump for three hour once and went into a low sugar (which is the opposite of what is supposed to happen) so I figured I could manage without my pump for a little while. What was most on my mind was "what if my pump is defective?" I really didn't want to have to go through the process of getting a new pump especially because I am going away this Friday to the states. I just hoped it was the batteries.

Thankfully after running through the isles and purchasing a pack of 8 AAA batteries. I quickly put a battery in my pump while in the parking lot. Soon as it turned on and was working fine I knew that it was okay!

Unfortuanly though this really makes me upset with Medtronic because not only did they send me bad batteries, but I also recieved a bad meter from them that gave me wrong readings. I know that mistakes happen and that things can go wrong, but the pump and my meter are very important to me and my health. I need to be able to trust them.


Monday, August 16, 2010


I can hardly believe that today I turned twenty years old. I have now exited my teen years and started a new chapter in my life into adulthood. I know that even though I feel the same inside the twenty years that have past have been little stepping stones to who I am today.

I know that throughout those twenty years I have had people come in and out of my life. All those people have made a huge impact on my life and sometimes those who have left I wish I could let them see where I am now and who I am today. I have learned to live with no regrets and to make the best out of every day.

I am happy with who I am today and happy to say that being twenty isn't a big deal at all! I know that the next twenty years are going to be just as fun and vibrant! Each year I will continue to make new memories and make new friends, but never forget the friends that I have made from year to year.

Diabetes may have snuck up on me in those twenty years, butI know that it's been a part of who I am today. I am just going to keep on fighting and no matter how old I am I will never slow down!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pumpin' at the Bar

Last night was the first night I went out drinking with the pump. I was also staying over night at a hotel, so it was truly going to be a test of many things. I brought extra supplies with me to the room and I wasn't too worried about how it was all going to work out.

Before we went out we went out for dinner, my sugar was in the 5 range which was perfect. I gave myself the exact amount of insulin and later on I was 17! My carb counting could have been off, but I simply corrected. Once I started drinking and dancing my sugar went down accordingly and by 2 a.m I was in the 7 range and stayed in that range up until we ate breakfast at 11 a.m.

Wearing a pump with my dress was not as bad as I thought. I had picked a dress to wear that hid it well which was great. No one knew I was wearing a pump - including my roommates who haven't seen me in four months! The only disadvantage was that it was hot and would vibrate for me to check my sugar and because it was in such an awkward place I never ended up turning it off!

Overall the experience was easier than I thought and not having to take my 10:30 needle of Lantus was nice. My tubing however, had a little red tinge to it at the end of the night from my dress - I thought that was a little odd!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Left in the Dark

Lately I have been having problems with my new meter. It has been giving me different readings when testing the exact same blood sample one after another. This is very concerning because I trust my meter to let me know how much insulin I can give myself. Also this meter is special because it talks to my pump - unlike any other meter I have.

I noticed this a couple times last week when I tested my sugar around 10:30 p.m and had a reading of 25. 25 is higher than when I was first diagnosed and I have never been this high before, but I definitely knew that I wasn't 25. When I re-tested I was 9.5. Major difference.

It's really frustrating to know that your meter is not working properly because I put 100% of my trust into the meter. If my sugar reads high then my pump will want me to correct with more insulin. This can lead me into low blood sugars. Without knowing my correct sugar I am left in the dark.

No matter how good technology is you have to always have you own opinion and let yourself be the final judge. I know that when I haven't ate in a few hours and my sugar is 16 - that there is something wrong. It could be a bad site, bad insulin etc. but it also could be the meter. Diabetes is very precise and if you aren't always thinking for yourself who knows where you could end up.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Not My Little Secret

It's so easy to look at someone and think that they must have the perfect life. Or think that they have no idea what struggle is, but the truth is that many of us are going through difficulties in our lives that cannot be seen by just looking at us. Having diabetes has given me a new perspective on life - I know that life isn't a walk in the park and that so many people, young and old are going through pain, heartache and sadness.

I love knowing that my openness about my diabetes has allowed others to let me know about their struggles. It gives me a great feeling of knowing I can be trusted and that I may have inspired them to not hide who they are and what they have gone through. A lot of people have let me know about the scars that mark their bodies that show the struggles they have under gone whether in the past or present.

With diabetes - no scars mark my body and when I am disconnected from my pump I appear to be your average person. Although I have gone through a lot due to living with type 1, to the public I am no different from anyone else.

I know that so many people hide their struggles and that is completely personal and understandable. I know that a lot of people hide their struggles because they are embarrassed or don't think people will understand, but the majority of people do and will understand.

I have been very open about my diabetes because I will not let diabetes be my little secret that I just live with. Instead I am taking my 'struggle' and helping others realize that we all have challenges to face and there is nothing embarrassing about that!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Secret Agent

Dressing up with the pump can be incredibly frustrating. I love wearing dresses and skirts and the only problem I had previous to the pump with wearing those items was that I would have to go into the bathroom to give myself a needle since I inject in my stomach. Now however, I don't even know where the best place to put my pump is.

Yesterday I tried on various of my dresses and tried to figure out where to put my pump. Unfortunately putting the pump in my bra only makes it look like I have a square between my chest or if the dress is low cut you can see the pump.

I bought a leg strap to put on under my dress so that my pump can rest on my leg. It is a very awkward contraption, but I am sure I can eventually get used to it. I feel like a secret agent and know that if I ever were to try and cross the border with it it would cause quite the commotion.

Like the problem with the low cut dress - some of my dresses are too short to wear the leg contraption. So far this has been one of the biggest frustrations with the pump, since I would love to wear one of my dresses every now and then. Maybe I will be looking forward to fall/winter more then ever this year!


Friday, August 6, 2010


There isn't a day that I don't think about my diabetes and there isn't a day that I ever could. Diabetes is a 24 hour disease that makes sure I take the time to think about it no matter what the occasion. After experiencing every occasion in the past year with diabetes I learned first hand that no matter what I want to do, diabetes is going to tag along and let me know it's present.

I try to be as normal as I can be. I know that when the chip bowl is being passed around along with the sour cream dip I am not thinking what everyone else is thinking about, rather I am calculating carbs and thinking about how much insulin I would need. For someone who absolutely hates math, I do a lot of counting during the day.

It's funny how much time I spend dealing with my diabetes and thinking about my diabetes, yet there are times when all of a sudden I feel like I just found out. I look down at my pump and cannot believe it's attached to me.

Only a short time ago I didn't have diabetes at all and now look where I am. I never had to visit so many doctors/nurses in my life and before entering the E.R when I was diagnosed I hadn't been there since August 16th 1990 - which was in fact when I was born.

My entire lifestyle was changed and overall the change brought a lot of inspiration, accomplishments and success. I now truly understand what it means to live life to the fullest. Even though I am constantly having to be aware of my diabetes the whole concept of it can slip away from me - which I am sure is a good thing.

I am not just a diabetic - I am Kayla and always will be.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

43 inches

The whole process of changing a site can be a complicated. Since there are so many things to do it's easy to forget. Fortunately I haven't forgotten a step yet but, there has been a couple mishaps along the way.

Yesterday I changed my site and located it a little too close to my belly button. I didn't realize until I sealed the adhesive down. It isn't causing any problems with the site, but it is a little uncomfortable and awkward. I also grabbed the 42 inch tubing that Medtronic had sent me with the pump - which is incredibly long. I have been using the 23 inch tubing. I feel like I have a never ending tube coming out of my body. I have to stuff the tube all into my pants - it's awkward.

Another issue is that somehow when I put the insulin into the reservoir it all came out of the bottom - therefore I lost 100 units of insulin on the kitchen table. I am so glad once again that I have benefits because if not I would have been very, very disappointed!

After those little incidents I didn't have any problems. I am actually looking forward to changing my site again because this one is way to awkward and I hate the long tube. If I were to drop my pump I am sure that the tubing would reach down to the floor and beyond.

So far living with the pump has been interesting - yet not completely life changing. I am still getting used to it being on me, but haven't thought about it too much. I don't really want to think about it too much just in case I make myself upset. The more you think about it - the more foreign it feels and the more you begin to wonder why me?

For now I am giving it fair chance. It has been nice having days off of needles and being able to enjoy any meal that comes my way. There are always going to be obstacles whether you are on the pump or needles - even people without diabetes face obstacles! Bring them on!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Everyday People

I am sure many people wonder where my ambition and inspiration comes from when dealing with my diabetes. Truth is most of my inspiration comes from the people that read my blogs. I know that for some people I have helped them get through a hard time or showed them that nothing is impossible. There is no better way to get inspired.

I genuinely want to show not only diabetics, but everyone that you can do whatever you set your mind too. I know that so many people say that - and usually those people have over come something - so that's where they get their logic from. But truth is once you accomplish something you are so much more dedicated to defeating the next challenge life has to bring.

Since being diagnosed at eighteen I have showed that no matter what the occasion or issue I can not only get by being diabetic, but go beyond. There is nothing handicap about being diabetic - there is no reason to quit or to give up. My sugar can be unpredictable, but you just have to trust yourself and be brave and know that no matter what you will just be okay.

Inspiration comes from every day people all around the world. We can all get inspired and do what makes us happy.


Sunday, August 1, 2010


With a lot of things - we put trust in the unknown. With technology especially we just assume that our messages send or that our credit card number will remain private. For me, I put trust in technology every single day - so much that my life is on the line.

A few times I have had the conversation about how amazing it is that we just trust that the pump is doing its job. We trust that this device will save our lives. The amount of insulin that saves my life is unbelievable - it's like maybe a little more than a teaspoon and I trust that the pump will deliver that amount through a 24 hour time span.

I trust my meter to give me accurate results - however last night it said I was 25.8 mmol/L and when I tested again very much doubting that number I was a 9.5 mmol/L. I trust that in most cases it will be accurate and help me determine whether or not I have to treat a high or low and how much insulin I should give myself depending on the carbs in my meal.

I have to trust myself. I have to know that I can properly set up my pump and change sites. I have to make sure that I do everything that needs to be done to make sure that the pump is in correctly and able to deliver insulin.

Trust is a huge thing when it comes to my diabetes because even if I cannot 100% know if everything is working correctly beyond the bells and whistles it sounds when the pump definitely knows that it's not working - I just have to trust it.