Planning a wedding is stressful, that’s just how it goes! Although it is the most amazing and exciting time in a lot of people’s lives (including mine), there are also a million people to please and details to plan. For those of us who live with a chronic illness, we know that even the smallest of events or tasks often require a lot of planning. Should I eat before or after? What do I need to bring? Do I have enough medication? Am I feeling well enough? The list goes on and on.
As a person living with a chronic illness, I consider myself a master planner. So when it comes to something as major as your wedding, it is important to put those planning skills to good use so that you can enjoy your special day. Here are some of the steps that I took to ensure that I would be able to enjoy my wedding day while living with Type 1 diabetes.
First, I made sure that my day-of coordinator was totally in the loop with my diabetes and what I could potentially need (like back-up sugar in case of a low blood glucose and my glucometer to check my glucose levels). She and I have walked through every part of the venue together and discussed where there will be juice and glucose tabs throughout the day. In addition, she will have glucose gel on her at all times, as well as my glucometer for when I need to test.
Picking my dress was one of the most fun experiences of the entire wedding process, but I was fairly nervous about what I was going to do with my insulin pump during the big day. I decided during my alterations to have a pocket sewn into the petticoat that goes under the dress so that wearing my pump would be comfortable, accessible, and practical. (It was just an added bonus that the seamstress happened to also have a daughter who has T1D and she measured my pump and added the perfect pocket for me with such a big smile on her face).
Consider All Care Options
When it came to planning for my day, I briefly considered taking my insulin pump off for the day and switching to multiple daily injections (MDI) – which means giving myself a shot for meals and one long-acting shot to keep me coasting at good blood glucose levels throughout the day. However, I have been under such great control/management with my pump and did not want to take it off. It is apart of me and how I function, and it deserves to party on the big day with me!
Once I decided to keep my pump on for the wedding day, I discussed with my doctor how I should handle my insulin rates. Generally when I am stressed and excited my blood sugar can go all out of whack and I tend to need more insulin. She let me know that I could do a higher temporary basal rate (the minimum amount of insulin required to manage normal daily blood glucose fluctuations) for the weekend if I felt comfortable, but it was not necessary. I am lucky to have health care providers that trust that I am able to monitor myself and make adjustments based on my lifestyle, rather than letting diabetes run my life.
View as a Learning Experience
As most people with a chronic illness have seen, every new experience is often an opportunity for education. I have had to educate many people on my bridal team, including the photographer, videographer, coordinator, and catering about my illness in order for them to help me facilitate having a great day and enjoy the wedding. I believe that situations like this are opportunities to teach people about my illness.
Knowledge is Key
Giving up control on any aspect of your wedding can be hard. You want everything to be perfect so it is important that you have a say in the flowers, music, centerpieces, cake – everything! But putting into place a knowledgeable care team that can help you out on your wedding day is not giving up control. It is allowing other people to help. Put a plan into place and let people take some of the burden off of your shoulders! I did, so I can enjoy the day not just as Carrie the diabetic, but as Carrie the bride!
–Carrie Lane is a multifaceted starlet who has made a name for herself in the music, modeling, and blogging world by keeping her self-care and body-positive mindset at the forefront of her career. Lane, a Type 1 Diabetic since 2002, is an advocate for people with mental and chronic illnesses and continues to spread her message of loving yourself inside and out.
Find more wedding dress inspiration at 8 Sexy Wedding Gowns for Curvy Brides.