Mother Nature, I’d like to return your gift please. Diabetes doesn’t get along with this gift.

Mother Nature, I’d like to take a rain check.

If you are not quite comfortable with reading or talking about the “Time of the Month,” gift from mother nature- AKA period. Then… this post might not be for you- I won’t be “graphic.”

and sorry for any typos- will fix later if I find some!

I remember a DSMA chat where one of the questions was about acceptance- all in all- I feel like I have pretty much accepted Diabetes (to a point and as much as you can)– then I realized- I do not accept the combination of Diabetes and my period- and to be honest- I really don’t plan on it. 

Each month, I think I have it figured it out. I got the hang of this. I know it’s coming. I know what usually happens. I’ve been doing this for years. I make the needed changes- cross my fingers- hope for the best. But then, I realize- NOPE- let’s play guess and check all over again. 


(it’s like Type 1 Diabetes Memes KNEW I was writing this post today)

Here’s what I know-

First of all- one of my former primary care doctors back in 2006 didn’t want me on Birth Control (BC) because it was all my Diabetes’ fault- ummm- bye- I switched to a different doctor of course- at least they didn’t blame my sprained ankle on Diabetes (still my favorite blame game…)

Why did I want BC?

Two reasons; the excruciating-hospital-inducing-visit-pain-that-wasn’t-regular and the fact that my blood sugar was a complete mess.

How could I plan blood sugar wise if I had no idea when to know when that gift (I would like to return) would come?

My insurance also didn’t want to cover it (back in 2006- but I still battle them on payment and type)….

So now, that the pain is out of the way (for the most part), and I know when it’s coming…

About one day before my period, my blood sugar wants to spike to the 400’s+++. But watch out- I got that temp basal and increased long acting insulin dosage coming for ya the day before because I have it marked on my calendar.

Oh, but you want to make my body more resistant to insulin while running high? That’s what my mega pattern is for aka my Sick/Period Pattern in my pump. My basal rates are higher; carb ratios more heavy duty; and you don’t stand a chance against that correction factor. (at some points it is almost double my usual). BOOM.

Then, as the days go on, I take a little less lantus each day until I get to my normal routine. At the end of it all I return to my normal pattern.

I also check my ketones about 4 times each day because I’ve noticed I’m more prone to them.

All handy-dandy right? Nope. Because each time I think I have it figured out- my body tells me “tricked ya”; I run lower or higher or the roller coaster arrives. So I guess and check again. But at least I’m not awkward 14 year old me who doesn’t like to talk about her period chilling at the hospital because of the pain. 

But wait, I haven’t even acknowledged the “normal” period things. Like my uncontrollable hunger and need for sweets. My overwhelming laziness and exhaustion. My increased anxiety. The pain. It hurts to work out. (those are my usual’s). My mood a few days before is not anywhere near charming (and that’s being polite).

Which, of course, adds to the blood sugar.

And one time the male endo looks at me and goes- so you got that handled now, right? You’ll keep your blood sugars in line during that week. You’re hilarious.

I still remember my family and I thought we had Diabetes all figured out. Then hormones happened and it was back the dry-erase board- I’m still chilling there. Trying to find something that works.

Diabetes, plus my period, plus the teen years- I would say I want to apologize now- but truth be told not really- because the ball isn’t truly in my court.

Part of me thinks that I won’t find the magic button to make Diabetes and my period a-okay. But that’s okay with me. But… I’ll still try to figure it out.

Sorry (not sorry) healthcare providers- I’m most likely not going to work out the first few days of my period. You’ll find me on the couch with Netflix  and Pinterest. Accompanied with  a cupcake or something sweet plus some popcorn and diet-coke. While in my hand, a phone with texts to rant to my friends with Diabetes who get that whole period and Diabetes thing. With my CGM looking like a roller coaster one day, or a mountain the next, or maybe an occasional flat line. While I also want to throw the CGM across the room.

While thinking to myself that I don’t think kids are for me sooo… why? and at the same time so glad that when I studied abroad I got myself a “Moon-cup.”

I can remember the days when I wouldn’t dare talk about my period- those days are long gone.

I’ve been trying to think of a good way to close to this- and I don’t really have one?

besides-Diabetes and my period will probably forever remain something I will never truly accept. (not in the bad kind of way more of the WTF kind of way).

Pump-Site Sagas: It’s the doorknob’s fault.

For those days you’re walking out the door on the way to work or class, and you feel the tug…

It’s the doorknob’s fault.  

When you take a standardized test in elementary school and wonder why you can’t get your BG down. Then a smell fills the air, and you look down to see your pocket covered in insulin.

It’s the cat-who-likes-to-chew-on-everything’s fault.

When you jump up in excitement for who knows why, and the chair just doesn’t want to let go.

It’s the chair cushion’s fault.

When you get out of the car and sprint because of the rain then notice you are not only pump-less, but now site-less.

It’s the the seat-belt or the car door’s fault.

When you are finally doing the dishes and cooking, but the cabinet has claimed a part of you.

It’s the cabinet’s fault.

When you are having some kind of crazy dream, and wake up to the tubing wrapped around your body.

It’s dreamland’s fault.

When you are jamming on your walk to the train, to class, or to work and you want to repeat the song, and your headphones and tubing are all tangled up.

It’s the iPod’s fault.

When you are running at the speed of life, lifting weights like there is no tomorrow, or biking like the store is about to close, and the robot part of you can’t keep up.

It’s the fitness’ fault.

When clothing doesn’t have pockets or it’s not study enough for “the weight of the world”.

It’s the again-I-repeat-Where-are-my-pockets??’s fault.

When your head is no longer the perfect height, but instead the perfect height is now where the tubing is or where the site is… and you collide.

It’s the corner of the table, the wall, the furniture, or counter’s fault.

When you change clothes and forget your site is in a different location.

It’s clothing’s fault.

When it’s hot as all get out and you sweat like no other,

It’s the weather’s fault.

When you have to enter somewhere

It’s the turnstile or revolving door’s fault.

When the site kinks.

It’s the muscle, nerve, scar tissue, or whatever got in the way’s fault.

When the insulin goes bad,

It’s time and weather’s fault.

When you are clumsy, and tend to fall and trip and run into things,

It’s “that is not where that should be” or gravity’s fault.

When a kid who hasn’t been taught to not touch things that don’t belong to them reaches out and yank your site out.

It’s the kid’s fault. 

The Saga… the tragedy… of when a site is done before its time.

So, I’m not one for blame-games… Truth be told- they usually annoy me. BUT… when it comes to pump-sites… that is an entirely different story. I have no problem changing my site when it’s time. But there is something about changing your site before you are supposed to… As a kid, I fought with the higher BG’s in order to avoid changing my site even if I knew it wasn’t working well. If it rips out before its time, sometimes I switch to shots until later that day or until my “time” is up. No matter what I do, a pump-site change before its time, bothers me to no end.

Clumsy and I know it- cue an awkward dance here.


is this also where I ask for sites I don’t have to change as often can live?

I just forget.

I understand that I really have to take my ADHD medication between 5:30PM and 6:30PM.

If I take it before 5:30, there’s a little too much in my system at that time, and it wears off way before I go to bed.

If I take it after 6:30, it will keep me up after I want to go to sleep.

And more often than not, I forget until at least 7:30- even with an alarm and an event on my calendar– because I’m usually in the middle of something or I just- forget (usually I forget).


(I have an alarm for Lantus/ADHD at 8:45AM, 1PM, and 5:30PM)

And every time I’m reminded I should have taken my meds- but it isn’t as simple as “taking your meds.”

Before I started medication back in April, I thought insomnia and your mind racing and tossing and turning was just a part of my sleep routine I couldn’t escape– I have struggled with sleep since I was a child- and we have tried everything to help with my sleep patterns.

My mind likes to race- I tend to think about what happened that day or week and plan for the next day or week. I think about things I shouldn’t think about or that don’t matter- or that thing I have to do right now (but it could actually wait). And so much more- I tried to journal at night or plan the next day before bed. I tried teas. And baths and routines and books. And black out curtains. And no electronics- and so much more.

Nothing really worked well.

Then I started meds in April- and when I figured out timing and what worked for me. I found myself going to sleep shortly after my head hit the pillow- almost always. A foreign but welcomed concept to me.

So now, I can really tell the difference if I don’t take meds. Basically my evening will be completely shot productivity wise, and my to do list goes out the window- I find myself stressing out more about things- and if my blood sugar rises- all bets are off. Anxious to the max.

For instance last night, I forgot to take medication because I went shopping after work and I got consumed by taking the green line to my destination. Luckily, I was running around until almost 10PM so being productive or thinking about life and getting anxious wasn’t a part of my evening- but when I got back home- and I got into bed- I became obsessive with the bug bites that are still healing on my legs and that my skin was a little dry. I couldn’t remember if I had put anything on them- so I decided I needed to- usually I make myself just put on Neosporin all over the spots on my leg- but last night- I HAD to use a Q-tip with a certain amount of Neosporin to each and every single spot on my leg- and for people who have seen the bites- it is A LOT. That took time-then I HAD to put on lotion and I kept rubbing it in and adding more until I felt satisfied. I tried to reason with myself that I didn’t need to do that much. (I also struggle with mindlessly picking at my skin when it is healing- which I learned was part of OCD. So it takes even longer to heal- and it is too hot for jeans.) I could have been in bed at certain time, but I lost about two hours of sleep because I wouldn’t let it go. I desperately tried to reason with myself to go to bed, but I couldn’t fall asleep until I felt satisfied. 

I should have taken my meds, but it’s not that simple– and it’s not an “I don’t want to take them” or “I don’t need them”- there isn’t some hidden meaning- I just forget. I’m sure (and have heard) people say there is some hidden meaning to this- (similar to Diabetes)- but sorry folks- I just forget.

My hopes that are eventually it just clicks as a part of my routine like my morning and afternoon reminders or maybe I will learn and not want the evening impact of forgetting.

#docBurnout2015- self-care addition

First of all, anyone who puts themselves out there, you are BRAVE– your voice matters and adds value to the discussion. Whether you are (writing or tweeting or anything in between) doing this to get your voice out there, wanting to be a part of a community and not feel alone, educating the world around, etc, etc- GO YOU– whatever your goals may be.

DOC- thanks for the laughs, the feels when I don’t even realize I need to let it out, the OVERWHELMING support I constantly feel, creating a community for some people who don’t have access to it, getting the discussion and information out there, and talking about what some people don’t want to talk about. (that’s exhausting and so much- so thank goodness the work is divided- am I right?)

Growing up, I felt that everyone around me was telling me what I needed or wanted, what I should do, what to advocate for, and so much more. I had to push my way into the conversation or find ways to make sure I was heard. I was also wondering, where are the other loud PWD’s? The outspoken? The ones with an opinion? Because the people I went to school with who had Type 1- wanted to hide- didn’t want to be a part of it (which I totally understand). And the local diabetes community I was a part of didn’t meet all the time- camp only once year and I didn’t live close to a lot of stuff going on. When I entered the DOC and heard (figuratively and literally) others, I was like there are other people with Diabetes out there talking (but all voices matter!)!!!!

When I started writing about DOC Burnout and seeing some of the discussion online….and no offense to any of the writers (because it is good stuff and it needs to be talked about),  I felt my head nodding in agreement with many of them and could feel the triggers of burnout that I recognize in myself- so I will quickly go over DOC, Social Media/Blogging, Burnout- and then move onto self-care.

Basically though, if I feel burned out- I step away- I stop– I do not force myself to be involved or to write. I do what feels most natural. If I feel like I’ve already a little too much Diabetes, Mental Health, or even life for the day… I step back- I don’t participate in that online chat on twitter or scan social media or write a blog post. and guess what? That is PERFECTLY okay.

I mostly feel DOC Burnout in conjunction with a rough day (not just diabetes). I especially felt DOC Burnout when I was in the middle of Diabetes Burnout myself- my blog was silent, twitter nothing- all went with my general feelings of burnout. Not to say I don’t feel it in general, but I don’t have a specific trigger I would say- it depends on the day.

So simply put, if I don’t feel it that day, I leave it for another day. 


So I recently wrote about boundaries and things I do because there is a lot of Diabetes in my life (I have it, DOC, work, blog, friends, etc).

So as a person with Social Work degree as well as my strong feelings about mental health and taking care of myself; mind, body, and soul- I would rather write about the self-care I do- which is helpful for me if I am ever feeling burnt out and truthfully, I think writing about DOC Burnout, might actually… burn me out a little if I write too much? Let the self-care train begin!


(something I craft-ed- YAY pinterest- sadly didn’t survive my multiple moves)

Self-care. Every. Single. Day. Even if it is just 5 minutes

Some of these things I do on a regular basis, on occasion, when I feel I need it (i.e. a rough day or feeling burned out), etc- it’s always changing. I have learned that self-care is needed…. the hard way…

  1. I thoroughly enjoy “The Little Things.” I laugh at them (and myself). I celebrate them. They add up!
  2. My regular Instagram posts (@mindy_bartleson).
    1. Almost daily, or a few times each day, I post a photo of travel (or other latergrams or other posts) with a quote.
    2. This is not for “more likes” or “more follows” but I’ll admit that these are a nice plus.
    3. How is this self-care? I enjoy pictures- so I get to look at pictures every day for this. I like travel; planning and past- I get to get into that. I LOVE quotes- so I get to read and type out a quote each day.
  3. I am ALWAYS listening to music. I even have different playlists for different moods or situations.
  4. I read a minimum of 20 minutes each day.
  5. I love to craft.
  6. If I am angry, I clean– so… watch out!
  7. I know this is looked at differently- and people think it is bad or not healthy… BUT. I like to binge watch TV so I can “turn my brain off.”
  8. I enjoy running. (and yoga).
  9. I “treat myself.”
    1. That can range from a yummy treat or something to buy.
  10. I talk with my support system.
  11. I enjoy popping bubble wrap.
  12. If I have a had a bad day- I watch “Legally Blonde.
    1. Depending on the “scope” of the bad day… I may have a movie marathon.
      1. “Legally Blonde” 1 and 2; “Perks of Being a Wallflower;” “Pitch Perfect;” and Disney movies.
  13. I let myself enjoy those few minutes (but let’s be honest- I extend it as long as possible) where I am changing my CGM and pumpsite… Where nothing is connected to me and for a few short moments… I am free. 
  14. (Plus the other things I mentioned in my boundaries blog.)

I’m sure there is more.


(not my photo)- but it gets the point across!

and remember- we all handle things differently because we are all so unique and have different perspectives on so much- Your Diabetes May Vary- right? 

Mother Nature is calling… again. Wait, on a regular basis.

I don’t know if you would call this embarrassing or scary or annoying (or all three plus other adjectives concerning this). Maybe even TMI….?

But first- let’s time travel.

I was in Kindergarten, age 5 or 6. Pre-diagnosis in 1st Grade.

As a child, there was something about asking to use the bathroom during a non-specified time, that I wouldn’t say terrified me, but I had no intention of asking. It wasn’t just needing to go the bathroom- I didn’t like asking for things or having all eyes on me (some things don’t change).

I remember being in our scheduled computer lab time.

I’m sure you know what I am about to say.

I realized I needed to go to the bathroom, but I didn’t want to ask… I realized I wouldn’t make it to our scheduled break…

Instead of asking my teachers to be excused… I peed my pants in the middle of the computer lab. I had NO intention of even telling anyone. I knew I would be going home soon, and I would rather go, not telling anyone.

Luckily, my teacher noticed. Luckily, everything was handled discretely. Luckily, I had a change of clothes at school.

I was told to let people know- thinking to myself- I have learned my lesson- not the asking when I need something lesson that I still struggle with- but the lesson that even if I didn’t need to use the bathroom at the time, if there was an opportunity (scheduled or the fact that there is one nearby), I would take it Therefore, I wouldn’t need to ask for help or have people watching me, but I wouldn’t have an accident either.

What is the point of this flashback? If I find a restroom, even if I don’t need to go, I use it. Because who knows where the next one (or next time) will be.. Because who knows if it will fit my standards… Because who know what Diabetes will throw at me…

To this day-

  • Right before I leave for anywhere (from home, work, a location, etc); am about to be in class, a meeting, an appointment, or something scheduled; before I work out; I make sure to find the restroom.
  • If I had a low blood sugar and used juice to treat, if I know I have had more liquids, if I don’t feel well, ESPECIALLY if I am traveling (especially in a foreign country). Etc. Etc.

ESPECIALLY- After a high blood sugar–  I forgot (thirst and needing to use the restroom) this was all a part of a high blood sugar… How could I forget?

I can’t believe this didn’t click- at one point- I thought- is something wrong with me? Because after a high blood sugar, when I have to go- I HAVE TO GO.

Eventually it clicked. There isn’t necessarily something wrong with me.. just a part of Diabetes.

About 6 months ago- I made one of my many trips back and forth from Athens, GA to Atlanta, GA.

Drive from Atlanta to Athens… a normal day… I was about  halfway to ¾ of the way back  home on 316- for those of you who know 316, there is a stretch of “nothing.”- Of course, I passed all of the stores and restaurants and was in “nothing” land.

That’s when it hit me. I needed to go the bathroom- NOW- because of that high blood sugar earlier.

There were moments I thought

  • How will I explain that I peed my pants while I was driving?
  • Should I pull over?

It was touch and go for a while, but I made it to the nearby fast food restaurant- I went RUNNING in. Doing a dance as I went. I BARELY made it. Thank goodness there wasn’t any traffic.

Of course- I remembered Kindergarten me as well as the time I studied abroad- I learned quickly.


(photo from Studying Abroad in 2013 in Paris) 

I sadly (and laughing to myself a little bit because it’s kind of funny) don’t think it’s always avoidable.

In closing, as part of a pretty great quote says “laugh at the confusion…”

Now I have a kind-of-a-funny-story with a lesson thrown in to tell, right?

Anxiety, Lows, and College (but wait- I graduated?). so much to talk about in such a short amount of time.

Hello All! SO….

In place of writing another blog today (not saying I won’t write something here this week). Let me redirect you elsewhere, specifically posts I have written and a Diabetes podcast I was a part of (my first podcast!!).

Besides a few guest posts on the College Diabetes Network blog- I haven’t really guest blogged before– and BOY- what a (little over a) month it has been.

My first opportunity was with Lilly Diabetes, and I had a chance to write about the CDN Retreat! “My Diabetes Advocacy Journey.” This was posted about a month ago.

Diabetes Connections- The College Diabetes Network– Stacey Simms interviewed me, and I had the chance to talk about the College Diabetes Network! This was posted a few weeks ago.

and all within the past week- well from last Friday, August 21 – (Yesterday) August 25. WHAT A FEW DAYS.

So- the College Diabetes Network started mailing the “Off to College” hosting kits for events, and I wrote about it here! (so excited that we’ve started mailing these out!) I am super excited to treat myself to my (delayed by choice) Camp mani/pedi after the mailings are done. 

I am still SO honored that Kerri from Six Until Me asked me to write a guest post! Wait, what? This is real life. I guess my persistent lows last week were good for something? Check it out- “Kitty!! And Other Low Tales”

Most recently, my first post on Insulin Nation went out yesterday. “7 Tips for Supporting an Anxious Person with Type 1”and I cannot get over all of the overwhelming support from the Diabetes Community, DOC, and of course the people in my life. XOXO.

That’s all (for now).

Feel free to give this section of my blog a look over!

I really do appreciate all of the support and feedback I get from people in my life- it means THE WORLD to me.

As a reference to the Kitty Post- say hello the cat I torture with love and take selfies with- Until Next Time!

11828698_10155951129420533_1326596414246914314_n (1)

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence…”

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence,

it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” –Audre Lorde

As I’m writing this the theme song from “Girl Meets World”

is playing on my iPod- “Take on the World”- that’s the plan!

So. I work in a Diabetes non-profit. I have T1D. I’m an introvert. I have anxiety, OCD, and ADHD. I have perfectionist style and view-point tendencies. A large percentage of my friends have T1D. I’m involved in the DOC and write a T1D Blog.


And the above statements (but other reasons too) are why I care about Self-Care and created Self-Made-Boundaries for myself- most of which stem from lessons I learned the hard way or statements that people keep throwing my way (out of concern and love). I’m also forcing myself to do this because I struggle with Self-Care and Boundaries, and I want to do it all.

Things that I am constantly reminding myself to do or push myself to do (or that I have finally gotten into a better habit of doing!

Number 1- Besides diabetes management (of course)…

the rest of my “diabetes life” is 8ish-6ish M-F.

What does that mean? If you wonder why I might be “MIA” or don’t respond right away, here’s why.

  • At CDN, typically I’m working from 9-5. But stuff comes up of course- conferences, the retreat, calls/meetings (which balance out).
  • That ADHD life gets me “in the zone” sometimes and I don’t want to stop working at 5. I have to remind myself that you can get back in the zone later.
  • Before 9 and after 5 is roughly when I am active on social media and work on my blog.
  • Because so much of my social media is Diabetes- I stay away from it after 6ish and avoid it on the weekends.
  • Of course there are exceptions.
  • I don’t blog on the weekends or late at night (unless I’m too inspired to focus on anything else).
  • If I get a text, phone call, or message on social media and it is diabetes related… I usually wait to respond until a workday- especially if it is CDN related. And I usually ask for an email in place of it.
  • I don’t read a lot of Diabetes related things outside of work.
  • I try and limit my Diabetes non-profit involvement to these hours as well.
  • Same goes for emails after hours- I do my best not to constantly check it.

Number 2 – I try and tune in and actually listen to my emotions.

  • DSMA Chats- I don’t participate if I feel like I’ve had too much Diabetes.
  • I stay away from blogging if I feel like I’ve had too much- Diabetes, Mental Health, and life wise. If I get an idea, I write it out and leave it for later.
  • If I need a brain break…. I take it.
  • I let myself feel.
  • If I feel overwhelmed I don’t “adult” or “real life.” Yes, I ignore my responsibilities (for a moment).

Number 3– I have a ton of T1D friends,

but we don’t actually constantly talk about Diabetes- shocker right?

Yes- T1D sparked the connections, but isn’t the center of our friendship.

Number 4- As an Introvert…

  • I do my best to avoid human contact for an entire day at least once per week- I have had some time spans where I can’t do this- and I definitely feel it- but I make sure to catch up later.
  • I also try my best to have minimal human contact for about 20 minutes per day.
  • Even though I am new to Boston and want to meet new people…. If I feel like I’ve had enough people time… I don’t socialize.

Number 5- SELF-CARE!!

I make sure I do stuff I enjoy and that make me feel rejuvenated.

Number 6- I’m getting better at setting boundaries, saying no, and asking for help.

Number 7- Ideas and goals are great- but I don’t have to tackle them all at once.

Things I still struggle with and why I force boundaries and self-care on my self.

Number 1- I struggle with the idea that I cannot do it all.

Number 2- It is okay if I don’t cross of everything on my to do list. And it is okay to move things on my calendar.

Number 3- I’m only 22 and just graduated from college- I shouldn’t expect myself to have my life together.

 Number 4- I feel guilty about saying no.

Number 5- I have a mental health diagnosis. I need to remember that.

Number 6- Diabetes can add a bump in the road-

it sucks sometimes.

It is okay for me to pause and say I don’t feel well.

Number 7- I actually hate asking for help.

Number 8- I am a perfectionist and don’t give myself enough credit.

I guess it’s important to recognize the things I struggle with? Only way to address and fix it. But you know what truly helps? Just about everyone in my life has been on board with my boundaries and self-care and how strict I am trying to stick with it. It also helps that I feel very secure where I am in life. Finally it most definitiely helps that I am no longer in college…. No more 7 days per week from 7AM-Midhmight because of school, work, internships, what I was involved, trying to be social, etc. (main reason why I am loving the “real world.”)

I’ve felt burned out before… and that feeling returning scares me.

So proactive is the plan, and I feel it’s going well.