Tutorial Tuesday: How To Protect My Dexcom Screen

I know it’s been a bit since I posted a Tutorial Tuesday, but since starting on the Dexcom, the protective screen they ship it with was starting to peel off…and I felt like I should show you how I re-used the peel-off cover to cut out a new Zagg Invisible Shield for my Dexcom! Even if you don’t have that anymore, this will still work!  So here goes! 

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STEP 1: Gather Supplies

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  • Zagg Invisible Shield Universal Screen Protector Kit
    (I bought mine from BestBuy, there 2-packs at the time, so I’m not sure what they sell now, but that way, theres no cut outs for iPhone speakers in the Universal Versions) 😉
    —includes:
           -cleaning cloth
           -Zagg Screen Protector
           -Surface Smoother, (name?) similar to a credit card.
           -Application spray
           
  • Dexcom G4 Platinum Receiver 
  • Scissors
    (not pictured)

STEP 2: In my case, I peeled off the cover that Dexcom comes shipped with to use for a template. See pictured –>

curemoll-How To Protect The Dexcom Screen

STEP 3: Trace, mark, and cut the invisible shield to size. You can mark the side of the Invisble Shield that has “REMOVE” writing all over it, this gets thrown away later. So don’t worry about the marks! For the center, the trace i made was not quite small enough, so you might need to cut it when you stick it to the Dexcom. (More on that later)

curemoll-How to Protect The Dexcom Screen

STEP 4: Before going on, make sure you have the Dexcom cleaned, I used a damp alcohol pad and made sure there were no streaks with the cleaning cloth. 

STEP 5: After lightly spraying your fingers with the Application Spray  that comes in the Zagg Invisible Shield Kit, to prevent finger prints, peel back the Invisible Shield Cover. curemoll- How to protect the Dexcom Screen

STEP 6: (Not pictured) Place the Invisible Shield film over the Dexcom and make sure the middle buttons are not covered by the film, you might need to cut those edges during this application….

STEP 7: Flatten the film over the Dexcom and then use the cleaning cloth to smooth everything over and make sure there are no air bubbles. In my opinion, Invisible Shield is my favorite to unprotect my Dexcom and Pump Screen, just because once you apply this, it doesn’t peel back when putting it in cases and on a belt clip…this will stay on FOREVER and bubbles never come back! curemoll- How to Protect The Dexcom Screen

STEP 8: After everything is smooth, tah-dah! There you go! Be careful putting this is in a case for a few hours, but you should be all good and covered for a long time to come! 

Here is the finished product: 

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See this also on Pinterest, feel free to like and re-pin! 

Do you have any tips and tricks or tutorials you’d like to see?

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dBlogWeek: Lighting Up the Bayer Contour Next Link Meter!

As part of #DblogWeek, Day 5: Diabetes Life Hacks, I wanted to post this picture, which is about the coolest thing I have ever discovered about my new tester (meter) the Bayer Contour Next Link. Tutorial Below!

image

  1. With meter off, double tap the power or menu button on the top [see the light icon on the picture] and the light will come on. It’s orange 
  2. Then, insert the strip.
  3. Wait for the meter to turn on and go through it’s menu.
  4. [To TURN OFF LIGHT:] simply double tap again. But it will go off when your meter goes off.

That’s it! So cool  right??!!

So, you might know, but I used to LOVE the Freestyle Lite meter because of the amazing light button and I was pretty attached to it…and my old meter that synced to my Medtronic Insulin Pump never had a light and I have always had so much trouble testing in the dark…[it’s hard to hold a flashlight or your phone and poke your finger at the same time] so when I discovered this, I was so excited I showed everyone I know and thought I should share it you!! 🙂

Let me know if this is helpful! It’ll be up on Pinterest and Instagram (@mj2molliej) too! 

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My 18th Diabetic Anniversary and CNN!

Hi everyone! So as I’m typing this, a CNN camera crew is standing right in front of me videotaping Jackie and I blogging and working on the Diabetic Angels website right now! The four of us, MJ2, are being featured on CNN/HLN’s special segment called “Breakthrough Women” and they have been interviewing us about our music and advocacy throughout the years and talking about how we founded the Diabetic Angels. Today has been amazing so far and we will keep you updated!  

[updated on september 8, 2011]

Wow.

This is really cool! 

So, the reason why I am CELEBRATING the anniversary of having diabetes for 18 years is because I am grateful that I am healthy and complication free, and it’s a “normal" way to reward myself, only I get to do it once a year! 🙂
As you can see, we are enjoying the World Famous Pazookie Trio that Jackie said I had to have and has been researching for quite some time now…she had my dessert extravaganza all planned out! 🙂 That was so sweet of her and it SO worth the insulin! We both thoroughly enjoyed it!

By the way, incase you were wondering what a Pazookie is, [I also had no idea before Jackie discovered this] but Jackie says it’s "an abnormally large cookie with vanilla "bean” ice cream trio with three little baby samples…chocolate, peanut butter, and oatmeal cookies.“ :] 

It was SO gooood. 🙂 We had heard from a few friends on Facebook how good the Pazookie was, and they were right! 🙂 

Thank you everyone for all of the thoughtful Facebook comments on my 18th Diabetic Anniversary. I love reading them, and am so happy that this day was memorable in so many ways, right down to CNN documenting it! 🙂

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Insulin Pens or Insulin Pumps?

When I was 10, my mom and I were used to shots, we knew the perfect amount of insulin for everything, from a small piece of pizza and cake at a birthday party to simply cereal for breakfast. Yep, we had it all down to a science. Then came the big Fed-Ex Box. It had been sitting in my room for months. I was scared. I’m not into “change." 

It was my first insulin pump. The thought of having something attached to me to replace all of the shots was overwhelming. No more [10-15 (why did I write that before? I must have been so tired, I wrote how many time I test)]  4-6 shots a day…just a site change every 2-3 days. That sounds nice. But how does it work? Programming this thing was a mystery. Basal Rates? WHAT?  What are basal rates? What is a BOLUS? Spell check still wants to say "blouse.”  I could tell this was going to take a lot of getting used to. 

We had been through “Pump Training” already and had programmed my new pump. At the time, we were doing a Video Diary series about what it’s like to live with Diabetes for ABC’s Good Morning America. During the first try of using the insulin pump, my blood sugar had dropped down to 19, and although I was dangerously low, I think the site went in ok. It either wasn’t a good memory or I was too low to remember, but I do recall it hurt too much to keep the site in and I had to go back to shots for a while.

A few months later, we tried the pump again. I didn’t give up. I knew this would help give me some freedom. I don’t know about you, but I remember exactly when I put my insulin infusion site in and successfully started using the pump. I was ten years old. It was January 1st, 2000 at 3:00 in the afternoon. My mom and I used the scary big blue inserter that to this day, creeps me out. Then, we took a picture (of course) and I joined my sister and friends at the Restaurant called, “Rubio’s” where my friends always ordered cheeros. (I’ve never had one so I’m not even sure if that is how you spell it, and I don’t know why I remember that.)

We all were SO happy that the pump finally worked!!!!!

Fast forward to now. 2011. I don’t think I have EVER taken my pump off and given my sites a break. So in eleven years, all of my favorite places to put my infusion sets are practically bruised forever. (I’m still trying to get the bruising to go away….Arnica Gel? Yes, pleeease!)

I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, please let me know if you do, but I can’t put my sites into my stomach. They hurt so much and are incredibly uncomfortable. So I don’t exactly have the whole switch site from the stomach, to the back, other side, back to the other side of my stomach, and start over. No way. Just my backside and sometimes the leg, but that is not my favorite spot either.

Any way, I need to stay focused here. What was I saying…?
Oh right! So in May, I went to my endocrinologist appointment, they synced my insulin pump and tested my HbA1c and went over my blood work. ((yaaaaayyy!))

No.

I hate getting my A1c tested. (I wonder how many times I’ve said that?)

Fortunately, it had come down 0.7 points and my other blood work came back with really good results! Wooohooo! 

Any way, my sister, Jackie, and I asked my doctor about the insulin pen. Again. 
She thinks the pen is the coolest thing around by the way. haha. Why? They are still shots! 

I agreed to “take a break from the pump” and go on the Insulin Pen for a few days to let my sites heal. Well, they needed more than a few days. More like a month, and even though the bruises still aren’t healed, they look a lot better…Suggestions anyone?  

During this vacation from my pump, a new Minimed Paradigm Revel (mine is clear!) was approved and arrived in the mail! Going through the pump instructional book and programming the new pump with all of my settings was quite a process. The little beeping noises were getting annoying! Haha, but it’s all good. The new pump is really nice and it’s good to have an updated pump with a lot of new features! It’s cool how you can put in an event, such as exercise! I like that. 🙂 

Any way, with the pens, at least from my experience, (I’m not a doctor and what I’m saying here is what helped me and whatever phrase is in quotes is from my Diabetic Educator, and in no way am I trying to tell you, the reader, what to do. With the insulin pens, I basically needed to learn how to use them, which sounds really weird, but I didn’t know you could split the doses, or there was a better time to take levemir, or that “since I’m lean, I don’t need to pinch my skin like I’m used to” to give myself a shot with the tiny tiny needles, or that when I get a bruise from a shot, it was because I needed to insert it in an area with enough fat, (for example, NOT the top of my thigh but the upper side). And for me, re-learning how to calculate my insulin to carb ratios and the blood sugar Correction Bolus Ratio, and eventually downloaded the “Insulin Calc” app for my iPhone. Best app ever! 

After a month of Levemir (Basal) and Humolog Pens, I couldn’t take another shot. They hurt SO much. Shots are a pain. Literally. 

I put the pump back in on Saturday and immediately got the tubing stuck on a door handle. Oops :-/

I know I sound like I don’t really know which is my favorite and it’s not the point in this post, but I just wanted to share with you my list of pros and cons for each! I realized during this pump vacation that I had forgotten how nice it was to wear a dress without my pump. To workout without my pump attached. To sleep on my stomach, comfortably. To take a shower without a pump site stuck in. But I really missed bolusing half units, turning down my basal rate, not NEEDING to EAT because there was always insulin on board, letting the Bolus Wizard figure everything out for me, remember exactly when I bolused and what I bolused (for some reason every time I would dial the pen and give myself the shot, I forgot how much I gave) and not having to pull up my shirt in public to give myself a shot every time I ate something or had to correct. (I know I could go to the restroom and give myself a shot, I did that too!) And the pain of the 4 to 6 shots each day, I don’t miss that. At all.

I still LOVE my pump [very very much] and I miss it when I’m on the insulin pen. If you asked me if I would ever stop using the pump, I would say it was one of the greatest things ever made and I can’t imagine living life without my insulin pump. But I will now welcome those little mini-pump-vacations each month when I give my poor sites a break for a few days. 🙂 

Well thanks for reading! Let me know what you think about pumps vs. pens! 🙂

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Dear Blood Sugars

Dear Blood Sugars,

You and me?

I thought we had a good pattern going on.

And then two mornings in a row,

you go ahead and mess up my morning.

I know I won’t always know what you’ll do…

but some warning would be nice.

Knowing and feeling my numbers are totally different.

Why can’t I feel lows anymore?

This morning I didn’t know I was 52 until I was 52. 

I lost all strength. 

I couldn’t even open up my juice bottle that was half open.

(thank you Jackie!)

I felt so sleepy, but had a busy busy day ahead.

Why these feelings? Why these lows? 

Can’t I just have the blood sugars of my 3 year old self before I was diagnosed with diabetes?

Maybe not, probably not for a while. 

But until then, please give me some signs of lows. and highs, if you don’t mind. : 

Love, me.

curemoll © 2010

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CUREmoll’s D-Blog Day: 6 Things I Want You Know About Diabetes

Bear, Mollie J., Jackie J., and Gracie with Medtronic Pump's Lenny The Lion!

Happy D-Blog Day everyone! I wanted to blog today and let you know the 6 things I want you to know about diabetes. And, yes, that is Lenny The Lion from Medtronic Minimed from the JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes on Saturday. 🙂 

1. No, I did not  catch diabetes in the air when I was 4 years old.  Diabetes is not a cold, we don’t “catch diabetes.” Type 1 Diabetes is not something you catch and it’s not contagious.

2. You can’t take a vacation from diabetes. It’s there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We can’t take a vacation from it, but I sure do dream about the cure an awful lot. 🙂 That day will be the BEST day in a lot of lives, not only in my life, but in the lives of a lot people, their families, and friends. 🙂

3.  Yes, as a diabetic, I CAN eat cake, and sugar, and bread, and pasta, and desserts. It is okay every once in a while (at least for me) because I know I don’t have a lot of desserts, but when I do, it’s not that often, and it’s a small amount, just enough to taste. I allow for what I eat with insulin, and LOVE my insulin pump. 🙂 

4. Insulin is not a cure.  Just because we all take insulin doesn’t mean we suddenly are cured of diabetes. I don’t know how the cure will be found, but if it’s ever in a shot, that’s when I’ll say I’m cured from my diabetes, and actually be happy about getting a shot. Insulin is a life line, it is not a cure; it’s what keeps us alive.

5. Diabetics are AWESOME people and there are a lot of resources out there now. When I was diagnosed 17 years ago, there was no one. I was the only one in my school who had diabetes. I was the only one in my area that had diabetes. That all changed when my sister, who is not a diabetic, and I and my mom and aunt, traveled to Washington, D.C. when we were 10, and met 100 other young people with diabetes at the first JDRF Children’s Congress where Jackie and I were the first delegates from Nevada, and that is when I met other people who were dealing with the same things I was and felt the same way. Today, there is a whole diabetes community online now and are blogging, vlogging, and talking to each other, and meeting up, like Keri, Allison, George, Chris from Diabetic Rockstar, Manny from TuDiabetes, Alexis, Elizabeth Edelman, Scott, Amy, Gina, and many, many more! 

6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s okay. I love when people ask me questions or ask if I am okay. I am very very grateful to people caring about me. There are no stupid questions, and people should know that if you’re worried about something a diabetic is eating, its better to ask them if what they’re eating will cause them trouble than it is to make a blatant statement like, “you shouldn’t be eating that.” The truth is, diabetics can eat many things, within reason, but they need to account for it with insulin.  

7. BONUS! Just for the record, my name is not “Did you test?” or “What’s your number?” 🙂 Growing up I had to bite my tongue because there were times those questions bothered me, but I also know that I am blessed and it’s much better to have people who care enough to ask about your health than it is to go through life knowing no one has your back.  

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