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Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in Fashion, Lifestyle, Pump Therapy, Technology

With Omnipod, I’m Free as a Bird!

With Omnipod, I’m Free as a Bird!

tubeless insulin pumpLook, I can pirouette around the bedroom naked!  I can jump in the pool without a care. I don’t have to buy clothes with pockets.  I don’t have to juggle and hold something between my teeth or under my chin when I use the toilet!

So what am I talking about? My Omnipod insulin pump WITH NO TUBING!

If you are new to pumping, coming from multiple daily injections (MDI), then you might not appreciate my exhilaration, or that of my friends who’ve just switched to Omnipod.  But … if you’ve been using the “traditional” insulin pump, then you KNOW.  No matter where you go, you are tethered by tubing that can get twisted and knotted and caught on doorknobs.

Now, don’t get me wrong … I’m always grateful for the technology that allows me to use an insulin pump. Allowing me freedom from multiple shots, eating to cover the long-acting insulin and watching the clock to stay up and take my nighttime shot.  This is all great stuff!

But … NO TUBING?!  What a quantum leap into freedom and a touch of carefree!

When I shower, I don’t have to disconnect and stop my insulin delivery, remember to reconnect and then try to figure out how much insulin I missed (depending on how long and luxuriating my shower time was). Same goes for swimming…no worries. I just swim and stay connected.  No concerns, no calculating, no missed insulin, no time constraints on my playtime!

And can we talk about sleeping?!  With tubing, you either hide your pump awkwardly in a pajama pocket or safety-pinned to your underwear in a baby sock.  OR … the pump roams around the bed, as you toss and turn, getting all wrapped up in tubing.  And what happens when you make that middle-of-the-night trip to the bathroom? Don’t forget to grab your pump or it goes flying to the end of its tubing length, with the possibility of pulling out the infusion set (which you must then change in the darkness and sleepiness).

But with a pod, no problem!  It’s just happily riding along on your tummy, arm, leg, hip, or wherever you’ve decided to wear it.

Don’t just take it just from me.  From a 45-year T1 veteran, “I’m pleasantly surprised by how flat the Pod is and that it really doesn’t stick out under my clothes.  Honestly I’m still trying to figure out all the places I can stick these things … and NO TUBING!”

Omnipod … not a worry, not a hassle … FREEDOM!

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Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Fashion, Fashion Corner

Cold Weather Fashion

Cold Weather Fashion

Brrrr, is everyone ready for the chilly weather? I know I am! I love summer but towards the end I start to miss the smell of burning wood/leaves, changing autumn colors of oranges, browns and reds, pretty much everything in cinnamon, pumpkin, vanilla, apple or a mix of all four.

Cold weather 3However, what I love MOST about fall is the change in clothing! Can we say “Hallelujah” for leggings, boots and cozy sweaters?! As I’ve mentioned before, I am all about camouflaging my Omnipod® pump and Dexcom when I need to, but there is such little effort I put into this in the fall and winter seasons. I can wear the pump anywhere and nobody will ever know. Do you want to wear your pump on your stomach, lower back, thigh, upper buttocks, arms? No problem! Nothing a chunky sweater can’t fix! I can’t even tell you how many over-sized sweaters I own. And they are still in style and look great on almost every body type. The secret to wearing the big sweater well is to go light on the bottom, meaning leggings or skinny jeans or (weather allowing) black tights and shorts.

You will see me mostly in these three options pretty much once it gets below 60 degrees. I live in Chicago, so I’ll be donning these staples for a while. Let us know what you wear in the chilly season that keeps you warm, comfy and fashionable! 🙂

Cold weather 2               Cold weather

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Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Fashion, Fashion Corner, Lifestyle

Summer Fashion Secrets of a T1D

Summer Fashion Secrets of a T1D

Ahh, summer time. Short shorts, tank tops, bikinis, hot sun and cool drinks. That all sounds great right? Well, unless you’re a novice T1D’r OR you’re new to insulin pump therapy. No worries! Olga is here to save the day!

I know, I know…. You’re thinking, “how am I ever going to cover up this thing while wearing all these cute summer clothes?!” The pump all of a sudden went from a size of half an egg to a full blown cantaloupe right? Listen, it’s easy, believe me! I’ve been living with T1D for 20 years now and have been the master of the covert pump-wearer since 2010. Plus, once you get used to having it on you and you realize how great you feel, you realize WHO CARES?! But, until you get to that point, I am here to help you out!

Step 1 – Planning is key!

Whenever I know that I will be wearing something tight or more revealing (aka a bathing suit), I plan ahead. “Let’s see, I put my pump on Wednesday and I know I will be changing it Saturday and I’m going to the beach on Sunday. So Saturday I will put it on my bum where my scrunchy bathing suit bottom will cover it nicely!” See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

Step 2 – Become master of disguise!

I’ll have to do a picture follow up for this one (coming in a future blog) where I will show you how easy it is to cover up the pump through clever, yet fashionable, ways. But for the summer season I usually wear it around my tummy, love handles and buttocks. Mostly because it is easy to hide under shorts, pants or tops. Since shorts are a staple of the hot season, I stay away from my legs. But keep in mind, rotation is IMPORTANT! I also don’t put the pump on my arms if I know that I’ll be in a crowded area (like a summer festival) where it is easier for someone to run by me or bump into me and potentially rip it off.

Step 3 – Flaunt it!

This is your health and your life! I have been asked if the Omnipod is a smoking patch or a BBQ dipping sauce container that accidentally got stuck on my skin. Both funny because I don’t smoke nor consume BBQ sauce. I sometimes respond with “it’s my life support” which in essence it is and that makes it extra cool and important to me. Sometimes I say “oh it’s just my insulin pump” and THAT is where I get most of my follow up questions. I love that! I get to share my story, answer questions about my health and why I chose pump therapy over shots. The best part of all the questions is when someone says “I will have to tell my daughter to look into this! We did not know how discreet it is!” or “I never knew how easy it is or how small these pumps are!” Through my experience, and my sharing my story, I am able to help someone else with T1D, and that is the best Fashion Secret!

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Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Fashion, Lifestyle

Fashion Week with Diabetes

Fashion Week with Diabetes

Attending New York Fashion Week is a completely crazy experience by itself. Add diabetes into the mix, and things get just a little more complicated. But just like managing diabetes in any situation, I had to find a way to work around any potential obstacles while covering several shows for my fashion blog, The Aisle of Style.  The more things you experience with diabetes, the more knowledge you gain to help with future endeavors. My big concerns for this new adventure included when I would be eating, bringing food into venues that didn’t allow it, and of course, storing all my medical supplies in a fashionable bag!

katie-at-fashion-week_small

A lot of venues don’t allow “outside food and drinks,” which as a diabetic, just isn’t reasonable.  I have found through past experiences that having a note from your doctor is very helpful in this situation.  If there is any hesitation at the door about whether or not you can bring in orange juice or snacks, just ask to speak to a manager. They are usually pretty good about it, and sometimes they have an employee who is a diabetic, so they get it. Honestly, there were no issues at Fashion Week and it was all smooth sailing, thankfully!

Another funny, but important concern to me was fashion and what I would be wearing. Fashion is obviously a huge part of the seven-day event, and I didn’t want to compromise that because I had a bag stuffed full of diabetes supplies and an insulin pump under my clothing.  Thankfully with the Omnipod’s small size, it was not even detectable underneath my sweater and coat, or any of the outfits that I wore inside the venues.

When it came to all of my testing supplies, emergency shots, and orange juice, I specifically picked out a cute and appropriate-sized bag for all of my stuff. I was carrying around a lot of things like passes, a notebook, and business cards, so my bag was fuller and more crowded than usual. I made sure everything I had was organized in my bag before going to each show, so I had a mental note of where my orange juice was located, along with anything else that I might need to find in a hurry.

Speaking of having to do things quickly, another advantage of the Omnipod was that I could test my blood sugar and give myself a bolus with just one device.  I didn’t have to dig a meter out of my bag to test, and then find a syringe to fill and inject my insulin. That would have been much too cumbersome and time-consuming for me.

I have to say that Fashion Week was not only a great experience, but it was an experience that went almost flawlessly, with no major “diabetes issues.” I really believe that you learn different things from every experience you have with diabetes, and my past trips had helped this one go smoothly. This time around I learned to keep higher carb snacks and more orange juice with me, because my blood sugar went low a few times due to all the running around.  Next time I will also cut my insulin ratio to prevent any unwanted lows. When it comes to supplies, I will carry a plastic bag with me to temporarily store test strips, trash, etc. so I can find things in my bag much quicker without granola bar wrappers getting in my way!

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