Diaversary, henna, and pre-bolusing

Today is my diaversary. Today marks 17 years since my diagnosis. Seventeen years since I went in for my 12 year check-up, symptom free, seemingly healthy, and got the news that would forever change my life. I remember my diagnosis, the flood of information and emotions. I also remember the doctors saying, they’ll probably have a cure in 10-15 years from now. Seventeen years later, there is no cure. But there have been many improvements in the management of type 1 diabetes.

In my 17th year with diabetes, I am eagerly awaiting the most advanced insulin pump to date. It has the ability to self-adjust insulin automatically based on your blood sugar number, a feature that has the potential to be incredibly helpful to keep blood sugars in range. It’s not a cure, but it’s a big step forward towards a completely closed loop system.

But there have definitely been hurdles and setbacks on the way. And while talking to a diabetes educator about this new insulin pump, I found out a crucial piece of information about how the auto basal feature works. She said, in order for that new feature to work, you have to pre-bolus for your meals. That means giving your insulin 10-15 minutes before you eat. Otherwise, your blood sugar could rise too rapidly and the pump will kick you out of that feature. For most people, this probably isn’t a big deal, after all, you’re always supposed to be pre-bolusing your meals ideally. But for me, it’s been 17 years of NOT pre-bolusing.

So I here I am, with a few weeks to break a habit that is 17 years in the making. It’s not that I don’t bolus, I usually end up giving it half way through a meal or after I finish. But I’ve waited so long for this pump, I want to be able to successfully use the new feature. So how do you make yourself remember to do something? Well, I’ve been trying a few things.

  1. I’ve been telling people around me to remind me to prebolus. I want the help, I want people to bug me. I need the reminders. However, I’m finding that most people I’m with also forget so it hasn’t been that helpful.
  2. My mom tried to get me to associate eating with a small meditation or thanks before I eat and then associate that with bolusing. It’s a great idea, except it’s just another thing to remember, so that hasn’t been working either.
  3. Someone suggested setting an alarm. I do use alarms, however, I don’t eat at consistent times always so the alarm wouldn’t be helpful.

hennaI was stumped. Until about a week ago. I was at an art fair with my family and there was a booth with 2 women doing henna tattoos. I love the intricacy of the designs and got one on my arm. Henna tattoos can last anywhere from 1-2 weeks. I loved looking at it on my arm throughout the day. And that’s when it hit me! What about a visual reminder to prebolus? What if I write it with henna on my hand, so then I’ll see it when I’m about to eat and remember to give insulin?

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So that’s exactly what I did. I had my sister write “BOLUS” on the thumb of my dominant hand in henna. You definitely can’t miss it, I’ve even had strangers ask me what bolus means. Is it working? Ehh, kind of! About half the time I remember to prebolus, and the other half, I’ve at least remembered halfway through a meal and not after I’m done. Small steps. And the more I do it, I know it will eventually become a habit.

Seventeen years later and I’m writing words on my hand so I don’t forget. Yes, I wrote 17 not 70, although maybe this will be a trick I take into my old age 😉

 

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Sweet Sixteen

Today marks 16 years with type 1 diabetes, Sweet Sixteen.

In honor of this day, here are 16 of my favorite sweets from the past year. Yes, I can eat that.

1.This birthday cupcake from my birthday last week.

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2. This doughnut that looks like a pizza!

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3.  My first visit to Chick-fil-A with a delicious cookies and cream milkshake.image

4. Amazing doughnuts from a local bakery that I brought to my family’s Father’s  Day gathering yesterday.

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5.  A bacon glazed mini doughnut. Can’t go wrong with bacon.

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6. Bonuts (biscuit doughnuts) and a biscuit with chocolate gravy, peanut butter, banana jam, and pretzels from Biscuit Love in Nashville.

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7. Brown butter almond brittle and bramble berry crisp ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. I dream about this ice cream.

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8. A seven layer birthday cake. Layers of vanilla cake with whipped chocolate buttercream in between covered in more chocolate and frosting.

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9. These biscuits with jam from Loveless Cafe in Nashville.

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10. Holiday cookies that I decorated 🙂

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11. I hosted a popcorn potluck party and people brought the most amazing flavors including Oreo, white chocolate lemon, and puppy chow!

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12. Monstrous piece of chocolate cake! And plenty of people to help share!image

13. Delicious Thai ice tea flavored Popsicle!

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14. Went to a local tea shop for a full English tea and had the most amazing scones, macarons, and petit fours. image

15. For the Jewish holiday of Purim, my friend and I made cookie butter filled hamantashens with dark chocolate drizzle and sea salt.image

16. Delicious margarita. Cheers to 16 years. Although hopefully soon there will be a cure and I won’t have many more diaversaries to recognize.

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