Reviews and Giveaways!**

**Hello friends, the time has come. Head on over to The Diabetic Mommy Facebook page for an exciting GIVEAWAY sponsored by Sugar Medical. It is going on now through Monday, August 7th, TWO winners will be chosen at random and announced Tuesday, August 8th, at 1:00 p.m eastern time.  Good luck everyone. And thank you once again for all of the love and support you have shown this blog and Facebook page.**

Recently I had the opportunity to partner with the phenomenal Sugar Medical to do a review and giveaway. I wanted to share my thanks and gratitude for all of the awesome people who have helped make this site, and The Diabetic Mommy Facebook page, such an incredible community of like minded individuals. What better way to share the love than to give away really fantastic goodies. More on that later. For now, the review.

Disclaimer: I would like it to be noted that I am in no way being compensated by Sugar medical for purpose of this review. However, they are sponsoring the giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my very own and are not influenced in any way by the company or individuals affiliated with said company.


Living with diabetes comes with a lot of worry; blood sugar levels and ways to treat them if need be, A1c’s and doctors appointments, complications that may or my not occur, and just the overall mental, physical, and emotional game you have to play when dealing with this illness. It is a stressful beast nipping at our heels, but we manage.

That being said, the last thing I want to worry about is where to keep all of my necessary supplies when traveling, and not just across states or countries, but to the grocery store or amusement parks. I don’t want to be fumbling around in my purse for my pump or dexcom. For you gentlemen out there it’s possibly even worse because you don’t carry bags lot of the time. The frustration is real, friends.

I  have been a long time user of sugar medical products, I find their bags to be quite functional and stylish enough to fit my funky personality. They have just about everything you could think of to help make living with diabetes just a little less crazy.

Recently the site introduced their newest bag, The Omnipod Plus Bag, it seemed cute and practical which was exactly what I had been looking into for awhile. Once I had actually received it I knew it was just what I needed. Pictured below is the one I was given for review, The Landon Plus bag. It is truly phenomenal and I’ll tell you why…

 

Not only does my Dexcom fit in the outside pocket perfectly but this bag features a see through window so I can view my numbers where ever I am with ease. This colorful bag comes with a strap for carrying it around my wrist or securing it to my purse. In the pictures above that is the thickness of the bag with all of my things inside…

 

Inside is roomier than a Cadillac. There is a zipper side for either an extra pod or syringes and lancets. There are loops to secure your insulin vial, test strips, batteries, and lancing device. But even better than that? There is now a velcro feature for your pump. You simply place the 3m sticker on the back of your PDM, let sit for 24 hours before placing on velcro in the bag, and bam…you have a secured device tucked away nicely. The very last picture is something I love even more, it is a trash compartment for your test strips. Inside is a plastic like material that is easily wiped out if you were to get blood in there. How amazing is that?

 

You can also purchase new gel skins. I went with purple but there are plenty of colors to choose from to fit your personality. Just because we have diabetes doesn’t mean we can’t be fashionable. Gentlemen, you aren’t left out either because there are color combos and themes to meet your needs as well.

Over all I am beyond impressed with these newer bags. The regular omnipod ones are great as well but if you are looking for just a little extra something then the plus is for you. It serves every need I have in regards to carrying my supplies.

Interested in purchasing one for yourself?

Check out the website linked above for more info.


 

If you liked this review then head on over to The Diabetic Mommy Facebook page and show us some love. Also a huge thank you to the Sugar medical team for partnering with me on this amazing giveaway. Stay tuned for more details.

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With or without you.

India ink on paper 11" x 14" 2009

I hadn’t realized how fast time was flying by. I will have been on my insulin pump and CGM dexcom for about a year and a half now. I have loved and hated every second with these devices. At first the pump was amazing. I thought often about how I had been doing this diabetes thing all wrong. I was doing myself a disservice by not investigating these things sooner. The CGM helped me sleep through the nights with ease, unless I was high/low then it was a bit annoying, but I felt confident in myself and in my diabetes management. Having these tools made me feel almost invincible. I could be discreet and still manage to care for myself properly. My numbers were great and all through out my pregnancy I knew that I was doing everything in my power to keep not only myself happy and healthy but also my little man, too.

Until suddenly these once amazing gadgets started feeling like a burden. Until suddenly I felt annoyed with having these pods and sensors constantly stuck to my body. I was loathing site changes and overall I noticed myself ignoring the beeps and warnings which meant I was also ignoring my diabetes. So I took a step back, which has actually ended up being a step forward..funny how that works, and I am back on MDI (manual daily injections) and guess what it didn’t blow up the space time continuum. I am still standing and still going strong.

In an amazing reality check I realized that I can still manage my diabetes with or with out the fancy stuff. My numbers have been surprisingly exceptional and I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to the pump. Who knows though. I’ve learned that if you aren’t willing to try new ways to take care of this disease it will consume you, this mundane beast will make you lock it in a closet until you just don’t care anymore. I don’t want that to happen because it’ll mean I don’t care about myself. So, for now, I am doing MDI and using my CGM to help me through the days and nights.

If we’re being honest with one another I am happy with this decision. Hopefully I continue to feel this way for awhile.

Someone asked me if I recommended an insulin pump and I said that in the beginning I would have but now I say, really evaluate the decision. Consider every option and understand exactly what you are getting into. I feel like insulin pumps are amazing, wonderful tools, when used correctly. The only device I will continuously stand behind is the CGM, that is truly a life saver, insulin I can get either way I choose, but the piece of mind that comes with wearing the dexcom is undeniable.

Are you an insulin pumper? Do you CGM?

Ever just need a break? or are you someone considering a pump? I hope I haven’t given you the wrong message, if you decide the pump is for you, trust me, you’ll go far. My only advice in writing this is to make sure you figure out if it really suits you and I hope you’ll consider all your options. At the end of the day it is your health that matters the most.

Now, don’t forget to smile. It’s a beautiful day.

Vacationing with diabetes.

As I plan itineraries and sight seeing for our trip to Florida in a few months I can’t help but think about how stressful it could end up being because despite my pleading and begging diabetes has decided to tag along for my first family vacation.

I asked nicely.

I’ve even been babying it in hopes that it might let me slide this one time but my hopes were shattered when diabetes decided that I couldn’t escape it’s grimy, disgusting grip on my life.

So included in my planning for all the exciting events I have to also plan for diabetes. I have to make sure I bring with me enough supplies and game plan for anything that may go wrong.

Here’s a quick list of things I will need:

  1. Insulin.
  2. At least three pods, not including one that I’ll be wearing. (I’ll be away from home for a total of four days) Pods can be fickle little beasts sometimes.
  3. Test strips and my meter.
  4. Triple A batteries for my PDM which controls the whole pump/insulin system. With out that I couldn’t bolus.
  5. An extra Dexcom just in case mine craps out.
  6. Syringes. Because pods could die and then what would I do.
  7. Charger for my Dexcom.
  8. Water and snacks for low blood sugars.
  9. Locating pharmacies in case of extreme emergency.

Truthfully I have to have back up plans for my back up plans. You never know what could happen. Because the thing about diabetes is that if you don’t have an idea of what to do in an emergency, or if you miss even the tiniest detail in planning, you could be screwed. Just in case is something I mumble a lot to myself even when I’m not going on vacation. Just walking out the door to the grocery store gets a plan A,B and C. “Well, I should bring this/do this just in case…” I can’t leave things up to chance. I can’t afford to blow caution to the wind because my life literally depends on it. That;s a scary thought, am I right?

It’s frustrating but manageable. It’s annoying and tedious but I can do it. I just wish I didn’t have to. I wish I could go on our vacation with little to worry about.

I plan on having a magnificent time despite certain hassles, I plan on enjoying myself fully. Because not even diabetes will ruin my vacation! I just have to be sure to plan accordingly.

Have you been on long vacations with diabetes tagging along?How did you manage and what are your tips for traveling?

In the wild.

“Oh, my wife’s a type one diabetic!”

My husband has said this phrase more times than I can truly count. He has come in contact with so many diabetics through work, or just being out and about, and it is so amazing. The problem is that I haven’t met a single one. Not in person anyway. All my interactions with diabetics has been strictly online. Which I won’t complain about because I have met some wonderful people through this outlet. I just wish I knew more in real life.

I had one friend in college who was a type one on an insulin pump. We became friends fast but while I was curious about how she managed this tedious disease she was dealing with that dreaded burn out and wanted absolutely nothing to do with diabetes and all that it entailed.

Other than that there aren’t many that I have come across and truthfully it can be a bit depressing sometimes.

This past weekend changed that for me. My brother in law was getting married and his beautiful new wife has a best friend who just so happens to be a type one diabetic. My husband found this out through conversation and just had to let me know. I wanted so badly to run over an ask her about it but I felt awkward. What if she didn’t want everyone to know. What if me walking up to her and asking made her feel self conscious. I kept thinking about how I would feel. Right when I had decided that maybe it wouldn’t be the best thing to do I see her making her way towards me. She sat right down and just started chatting away with me about insulin pumps, and CGM’s. It was the coolest thing.

I introduced her to the Dexcom system and spoke with her about why I loved the Omnipod. She talked about the pros and cons of being on Medtronic. We discussed how we’ve gone about teaching our little ones about this disease and just the day to day of living with diabetes. Being able to connect with someone about something so personal was the best feeling in the world. It makes me want to meet my online diabetic friends even more now. There is only so much my husband gets, but to be able to say so much with only a few words and have the other person instantly know what I mean, well, it’s awesome.

I’m not expecting the two of us to be life long buddies. (Though we are friends on Facebook now) It was just so nice being able to talk with someone else about this whole other side of me and have them understand completely. It was priceless.


On the baby front everything is continuing to go smoothly. Insulin resistance is real and it has hit hard. I am struggling a bit with it but as long as I keep on fighting I know I can overcome it.

I am currently 35 weeks and 5 days along. His growth scan from this morning weighs my little guy in at 7 pounds. I was shocked. He is in the 94th percentile and while my diabetic specialist doesn’t seem too concerned I can’t help but worry. There is so much up in the air at the moment that I am left feeling very overwhelmed.

They don’t think I will make it past 37 weeks and I am okay with that. We are discussing C-sections and what not. My doctor is still leaning towards a normal delivery and what not so I’ll just keep my fingers crossed.

Other than that my maternity leave starts this weekend. I have my last shift tomorrow and then it’s “relaxing” time. Easier said than done though. Every time I think I have everything in order I find something else to add to my list. I can’t help it. I like to be ahead of the game when I can be.

How are all my other pregnant mamas out there? Let me know how things are going in your neck of the woods. And don’t forget to keep wearing those smiles. :)

A tech-y generation.

 

Having to explain my diabetic tools to non medical people or non diabetics is always a hoot. But understandable. Having to explain my devices to the people at my diabetic specialists office was a strange experience.

There are three other pregnant women with pumps that see the same doctor. Two are the Animas Ping and one is on Medtronic. I’m the only one with an Omnipod and none of them carry a continuous glucose monitor. They simply do a finger stick every time and then the doctors assistants are able to download their pump/meter data into the computer before each visit. When I approached the desk with all my new gadgets the nurses/receptionists were amazed.

Like I was an alien life form introducing them to a whole new world…

“How does that pump work without tubing? Makes no sense!”

“Oh it’s like a satellite thing..?”

“How do you know it’s working?”

I explained that the Omnipod was a tubeless pump.

“I have a pod shaped  reservoir of insulin attached to me for three days, and then I change sites, it is controlled by a PDM where I am able to enter in carbohydrates, blood sugars, and insulin dosages. It then sends a signal to the pod. They talk to each other. It’s awesome.”

The looks on their faces were priceless.

Then I had to explain the Dexcom which got an even better reaction. It’s like they had never heard of such a thing.

The downside to all my fancy technology?

Since they can’t download anything from my gadgets I have to check the Dexcom before and after every meal and jot those numbers down for them. Not a huge hassle but I thought we were all up on the times. Ha.

I’m kidding of course.

I only recently became savvy to these things myself. I was just happy I got to educate and inform.

I’m thrilled at the opportunity to teach someone a little something about diabetes and all the cool things we can do in terms of management. A few people at work thought I was carrying around three cell phones. I’ve been asked if the Dexcom was an old ipod and why I wouldn’t just download my music to my phone. I’ve been asked so many weird questions and all I can do is laugh and explain what it is these things are/do.

Have any of you dealt with this before?

How have you handled it?

 

Just so you know..

 

It’s true.

You know what’s not awesome?

  1. Getting up super early when you could really use a few more minutes of sleep.
  2. Coffee but no coffee filters.
  3. Pod changes at 4 am are definitely not awesome.
  4. Having a Dexcom but still needing to do finger checks. Ugh.
  5. Low blood sugars at the grocery store.
  6. High blood sugars when all you want to do is sleep.
  7. Low blood sugars when all you want to do is sleep. (Interrupting my sleep is a trend, I see)
  8. Bad hair days.
  9. When someone erases your DVR’d show before you even got to watch it.
  10. Someone stealing your snack when you already did a bolus for it.

But to counteract that..here’s some awesome stuff..

  1. Morning snuggles from your kids/pets/pillow.
  2. Waking up to breakfast hot and waiting for you. (Hint, hint husband)
  3. Actually getting to sit and relax with your significant other.
  4. Smiles from strangers.
  5. Hugs.
  6. Being able to make people laugh.
  7. Free stuff. C’mon..free is awesome.
  8. When the barista gets the spelling of your name right.
  9. Long chats with your sister. (Insert favorite family member..you know you have one) :)
  10. A blanket right out of the dryer.

Those are my thoughts for today. I hope Wednesday is treating you well.

Smile, there’s always a reason to.