Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Wedding Day

Over the years the question, "which day would you choose to not be diabetic" comes up.  For the longest time I would always answer, "wedding day" for the following reasons: 
  • Having a low, or worse, a really, really bad low while standing on an altar in front of 200 people would be humiliating
  • Your nerves and emotions are ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE. that day and diabetes does not tolerate that well
  • I was worried something would happen (e.g., broken pump, super high blood sugar, etc.) that would force me to delay the start of something or make me miss out on the day
  • It angered me that non-diabetic brides got to just be happy and excited on their wedding day, instead of worrying about getting blood on their wedding dress or stuffing glucose tabs down their throat right before they walked down the aisle 
In hindsight, I didn't need to say "wedding day" all these years because by the time I reached my wedding day I had come to realize that if any of the above happened it really didn't matter.  Even better, I’d learned enough about me, my diabetes, and how my body reacts to crazy, high stress situations, that I knew how to prepare for it.  Sure, non-diabetic brides don’t have to create contingencies for low or high blood sugar, strategically place glucose throughout the church, or have their groom carry their DexCom receiver all day, but with diabetes, you can only spend so much energy on being angry at what other people don’t have to do.  All I could do is what I already do so well every single day, and that was to plan for the worst, hope for the best, and handle whatever ended up happening.  

My Wedding Day Diabetes Plan

Mitigating and Dealing with Low Blood Sugar
  • Modified target blood sugar within pump settings to only correct if above 130 instead of my normal 95
  • Increased DexCom low alarm to 90 (normally set at 75) so I would catch the low faster
  • Both father and brother carried a roll of glucose tabs in their tux pockets
  • A jar of glucose tabs sat next to my brother in the front pew of church (he is also T1D so we were killing two birds with one stone)
  • A roll of glucose tabs was discretely placed on the table next to me on the altar
Mitigating DexCom Alarms Going Off at Inopportune Times
  • Increased high threshold on my DexCom receiver to 220 (you could also remove the high alarm all together, but I still wanted to know if I went above 220)
Hiding My Pod and Sensor Under My Wedding Dress

I dare you to find the OmniPod and DexCom sensor.
What I refused to do:
  • Wear a big puffy dress just so it would be easier to hide my OmniPod and DexCom sensor
  • Go back to MDI for just 1 day to avoid hiding a pump under a dress
This is just one of a million reasons why I love not having a tubed pump.  Throughout my dress
fittings I had the pod on my back, stomach, and side and it NEVER once was seen through the dress. I ultimately wore it on my right side where my waist naturally curves in.
  • DexCom was simple, I just stuck it a little lower on my left thigh (right where the dress started to flair out), so the fabric wasn’t tight against my leg and viola, no outline visible
  • The OmniPod also allowed me to dance like crazy and never once did I worry about the pump falling off or coming loose and suddenly dangling between my legs (this used to happen to me all the time when I used tubed pumps)
  • I was able to use the restroom on my own because I didn’t need someone to hold my dress while I dealt with pump nonsense.
What I did with my DexCom Receiver

There was nowhere to sew in a pocket, unless I did it at the very bottom down by my calves and that would have looked stupid reaching down under my dress all night to check the receiver. 

What I ended up doing:
  • Tom held on to it prior to Mass while we were taking all the pictures
  • Dad put it in his pocket the 30 minutes prior to Mass (because we were hiding together up in the balcony as guests got seated)
  • As we walked down the aisle he had it in his closed fist and then he handed it to Tom, who then put it in his tux pocket
  • This all happened seamlessly; no one in the congregation knew what was going on (we practiced the hand off during the rehearsal!)
  • Once Dad handed the DexCom to Tom, it was his responsibility the entire evening. We were never more than 20 feet away from each other (all the activities happened in the same ballroom), and had it gone off, he would have felt the vibration and then just let me know
  • It was actually such an awesome feeling to not be “in charge” of the receiver for once.  In a very small way it felt like I was giving my blood sugar monitoring responsibility over to Tom and that break felt really good.  I think I will find more ways to have him help with this over the years.
  • I also kept my meter in my purse under the head table.  Once or twice during the night I went over to test
In the end, my diabetes was very well behaved throughout the entire day (until I manhandled a plate of mac 'n cheese and fries with my cousin at midnight).  My numbers hovered between 140-180 all day, which I was very happy with.

I'm proud of all the planning my family and I did to ensure diabetes wouldn't ruin the day.  It turned out to be the best day of my life and once it was underway I didn't waste a single moment worrying about or thinking about diabetes.  It was our day, not my diseases day.
Mr. & Mrs.


  1. Love this post Katie-thanks for being so real with your experience. Very happy for you & Tom. You made a very beautiful bride. Cheers!

  2. Katie, you win the prize for being the most well prepared, in every way, and the most beautiful bride that I have ever seen.

  3. You know what I found? On my wedding day I was so pre-occupied with other stuff that I didn't pay as close attention to my diabetes as I ordinarily (obsessively) do ... and it worked out great. I wasn't pumping or CGMing yet at the time, but I was typically testing hourly and trying to correct every little deviation (to whole-unit precision) with no concept of trends or IOB. The distraction of the wedding let me not obsess and let things calm down for me.

    But -- if something "wrong" were to happen, that would make it memorable. I must've been to a dozen weddings in a 3-year span when all of my friends were getting married. You know which ones I remember clearly? One where a cell-phone rang during the vows, and another where the bride's limo arrived late - after the groom was already up at the altar. The rest, sadly, tend to blend into one another in my mind.

    Great pictures, by the way! Glad it all worked out according to plan.

  4. Katie, I think you just wrote a how-to guide for Brides With Diabetes (BWDs). Great post! Super photos.

  5. What a beautiful couple!

    It's lovely how your family can turn diabetes into just an additional opportunity to adore you. Am I romanticizing this too much? Husband with Dexcom in pocket. Sigh and swooooon

  6. Congratulations! You look beautiful. Great post and glad to hear everything went smoothly :).