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From Abby: Brrrrring on Winter!

Every time Chris and I go to Maine, we think, "Holy crap; it is so much colder up here than it is in Rhode Island."  So when the temperature started to drop this winter here in Rhody, I thought of Abby up in Vermont and immediately pictured her as a snowman.  (Sorry, Abby, but it's true.  I gave you a mental carrot nose and corn cob pipe and two eyes made out of coal. Hang on ... where's my Photoshop?)  And today, Abby is writing about the benefits of living with diabetes in the Vermont arctic tundra. 

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It's getting cold and white here in Vermont. Like REALLY COLD AND SNOWY. More than two feet of snow all over everything with temperatures in the single digits can really get a girl down. Instead of succumbing to Seasonal Depression, I've decided to think of some positives about winter. And then that lead me to thinking about the positives of diabetes in wintertime. So ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you:

Abby's (Very Short) List of Diabetes Things That Are Easier In The North Pole aka Vermont aka the Coldest Place on Earth:

Pockets: So many more pockets to store all my diabetes stuff in. I also found a tube of glucose gel and a four pack of Dex4 glucose tabs in my winter coat. It's like a free treat from last year!

Sticky-ness: Nothing gets slimy and sweaty in the winter. My Dexcom sensors stay on like glue for a full five days before I need OptSite FlexiFix. Except when they fall off in yoga. (But that doesn't fit in my list.)

Thin Air: I can hear my Dexcom beeps so much better in this thin freezing air. In the parking lot of my building it actually echoes when I'm outside now. Borderline creepy, but extra extra safe!

Refrigerator Nature: I use mail order for my insulin, and now that it's sub-zero out there I'm not worried about it boiling if the mail man can't figure out how to get inside my building. "But insulin can freeze," you might say - and I know. I like to go with, "Not if you just don't acknowledge that as a possibility it won't." [Editor's note:  If you see crystals or a discoloration in your insulin, it might be time to acknowledge the possibility.]

Lack-o-Dia-Tan-Lines: This is self explanatory. Now that my skin is sufficiently winter- see-through white, I have no Dexcom or pump site tan lines. Or any tan lines at all for that matter. Hmpph.

That's it. I want summer back.

The New England SnowBird, in the wild.  Rarely spotted in nature, but often heard asking for hot chocolate.

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Having boiled a bottle of insulin in my car once during the summer, I do like the refrigeration factor in the winter.  Do you have any diabetes positives found in the freezing cold of winter?


As a Canadian on the east coast, I commiserate with this. I guess I enjoy always having a pocket and no more sweaty devices/infusion sets.

I can't say I like winter though. I think that be cray.

Also, I await Kerri's Photoshop.

First time commenter here- from Maine no less! My D-positive is how incredibly quickly cleaning off a snowy car and shoveling out a parking spot can bring down a sticky high blood sugar. Brushing off my car when it has 8" of snow on it will bring down my blood sugar by 40 points without blinking.

This is a great list, Abby!

One note on the insulin piece: When I lived in Northern Japan once-upon-a-long-time-ago, I only had one room that was heated (with a kerosene heater), so I had to keep my insulin in the fridge to keep it from freezing! (My olive oil wasn't as lucky, however. It was solid for five months) Also had to keep my pump in the pocket closest to my body to keep it warm enough. crazy stuff - glad you enjoy the cold!

Nope, I got nothing. ;)

Love this list! Ditto on the "shoveling snow drops your high BG" comment above.

Maybe needing to wear gloves in order to keep my fingers warm enough to get ANY blood out of them and then needing to take off my gloves to test?

Oh, wait, that's a bad thing. I guess I've got nothing! :-)

I do like winter, though. Maybe it's just not as bad in NY?

does daydreaming about owning a beach house in Maui to stay in for the winter count for a D positive ?

@ Ellen above, only a Maine-iac would use the phrase "brushing off" to describe what you do with a full 8" of snow.

Hello from balmy Georgia. Please keep your snow north of the Mason Dixon line where it belongs. The only people who like it here are the school children who get a spontaneous day off when there is a dusting on the ground.

Oh, hey! I got one! Since the circulation in my extremities isn't what it used to be, my feet don't feel as cold as much as they used to. And I had a great excuse to buy shearling boots. And gloves.

Did I miss something? I thought Abby was in Boston…!

My favorite part of cold weather is more hiding spots for diabetes devices/pump sites. Everything is covered way better in sweater weather!

Clearly you've never been to Houghton (MI). Cold, winter, snow, etc. ALL of the things.

To echo many others, diabetes becomes a little bit invisible winter fashion. Winter clothing is also less likely to constrict a site or pull a sensor like my warm-weather clothing does.

D- Positive for winter: Thicker clothing that hides the bumps from my 'external organs' ! :)

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