Diabetes in the snow

For the first time in years, I had a chance to play in the snow. It’s been a few years since we had a real serious snow storm in Central PA, and since I’m a grown up it’s not always possible for me to play in it. However, thanks to a snow day last week I finally had a chance to roll around in the snow with my daughter and my dog.

Snow is one of those things that most people wouldn’t realize can be very difficult for someone with diabetes to deal with. We often have lots of electronic devices strapped to us that can’t get wet. Plus, all of the added activity involved with playing in the snow can make blood sugars do crazy and unexpected things. Oh, not to mention your meter can get so cold that it doesn’t work, and you have to protect your insulin from freezing! Whew. So much to think about!

Here’s what I did:

Before heading out I tested my blood sugar to make sure I wasn’t too low and to calibrate my Dexcom G4.
I put on my snow pants and tucked my pump into the waistband where it would stay nice and warm against my body and have some added protection from all my layers.
I put my Dexcom receiver in the zip up pocket of my snow pants where it wouldn’t slip out, but could still get all of the information from my transmitter.
After an hour or so, I took a break to take a look at my Dexcom receiver and make sure I wasn’t dropping too much. I double checked it with a finger prick, too!

Overall, this snow experience was a success! We made a snow man and lots of snow angels, threw a few snowballs, and ate a ton of snow (it’s zero carbs!).


So… how do you handle snow? Do you have blood sugar problems? How do you stay on top of them?

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World Diabetes Day 2014

by Colleen


Happy World Diabetes Day, camp family! We hope you’re wearing your blue today and spreading the word about your daily life with diabetes!

This week Colleen and Skippy had the chance to attend a World Diabetes Day event at the Pennsylvania State Capitol. Here are a few pictures:

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We got to meet former Pittsburgh Steelers Guard Kendall Simmons, who showed off his Medtronic insulin pump and talked about what it was like being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes while playing professional football.

We also saw a lot of familiar faces and friends from the local diabetes community. We chatted about ways to improve the lives of people with diabetes in Harrisburg and Pennsylvania in general. We also made some new friends!

We hope everyone is having a lovely day and has some time to celebrate! What are you doing for World Diabetes Day?

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Meeting Riva Greenberg and other inspirational people

by Colleen 


I heard at the last minute that Riva Greenberg (of Huffington Post fame) was coming to Lancaster General Hospital for a speaking engagement. The title of the presentation was called “Taking Control” and the description of the event focused on lowering your A1C. These topics didn’t really appeal to me all that much considering how well I’ve been doing with diabetes since my pregnancy began. But, since I admire Riva so much I decided to check it out anyway.

I walked in the room and was greeted with the latest edition of the Calorie King. Uh thanks, I guess? Before Skippy go there I was looking around and noticed that I was definitely the youngest person in the room. I immediately was concerned that this event was going to be geared more towards people with type 2 diabetes, than to people with type 1.

BOY was I wrong! Turns out, I was just the youngest person with type 1 in the room! How COOL is that? I don’t think that has happened to me since I was a kid. Not only that, but Riva’s presentation really struck a cord with me. It went beyond the “you have to do this and this and this” to get a better A1C. It wasn’t preachy. She spoke about the emotional aspects of living with diabetes and some ways to overcome them.

Here’s a picture of one of my favorite parts of the discussion:


Riva asked the crowd… Do you do things for diabetes because you HAVE to or because you CHOOSE to? Your first reaction is probably to say “because I have to.” But really think about it, no one is holding a gun to your head and telling you to test your blood sugar or bolus for your dinner. You do those things because you CHOOSE to live healthier with diabetes. Think about that. Doesn’t it just make you FEEL better? YOU are the one controlling your life. YOU are the one deciding how to live with diabetes. What an incredible, thought provoking, and RELIEVING thought!

After the presentation we stuck around and chatted with the others in the crowd. We got to meet a really cool lady named Deone. She is 81 years old and has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 50 years! She is involved in the Joslin Medalist Study and told us about how there are over 800 participants! So inspirational! Not only that, she talked about how many of them are STILL producing small amounts of insulin. That gives me so much hope for future advancements!

Overall, it was a very cool experience, and I’m so happy to have gone. We met some awesome people with diabetes, and learned a lot about putting diabetes in perspective. If you have a chance to see Riva speak, definitely do it!

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