Just before the close of November, Susan Weiner was kind enough to guest post about tips and tricks on getting diabetes organized – and keeping it that way – throughout the hectic holiday season.* In the comments section of that post, there were some awesome tricks, tips, and suggestions on keeping diabetes from tipping over your Christmas tree, spilling eggnog on the couch cushions you’ve already flipped over once, and tracking snow through the house.
I wanted to share a few of them here, because they’re handy as eff:
“My best tip is to bring a dish that you not only enjoy but that you know will treat your blood sugar nicely.” - Rachel
“I try to enter as much info into my pump as possible so that I have a full logbook when I download the info. For example I tell my pump when I have a low–even if I don’t need a bolus. That way it shows up in my records without having to write anything down.” – Katie S.
“Holiday time is also the end of the year and time to order prescriptions, pump supplies, test strips, etc., especially if your deductible and out of pocket max have been met for the year.” – Lisa
“I’m going to dust off the CGM and use that graph to remind/add incentive to stay in moderation.” - Heather
“My best tip is to keep extra supplies at different locations. Grandmas house, daddy’s bag and mama’s bag. That way you can stay spontaneous and never leave your supplies behind!!” - Leigh Fickling
“When I’m making a plate at a party, I try to load up on the low carb/no carb options, and then really portion control the rest. I also try to bolus early and eat my low carb/no carb options first — that way when I get to the carb-y stuff, my insulin is already starting to work. Most importantly, I make doubly sure to pack extra supplies when I’m at holiday parties and gatherings. There’s nothing worse than a bad pump set (and no backups) when you carpooled with four other people and just scarfed down two brownies. I’m not a fan of being the center of attention for diabetes stuff!” - Carlyn
“If you’re on a pump, dual wave and square wave boluses are your best friends for high carb, high fat, large holiday meals and parties. Especially if you don’t follow a lot of the above tips about portion control and healthier grazing.” - John
“When I know I will be eating at a holiday party I will drink a glass of water before I eat. This way it fills me and then I chew gum. With my jaw moving it tricks my brain I guess and think I am eating. I will say I do eat just a couple of cookies to satisfy myself. Hey no one is perfect. With diabetes type 2 I just try and eat all in moderation and test with my meter.” - Larry
“I have named all my robot parts (meters, pump, CGM). Not only does it help me keep things straight, but also helps my family understand what item I’m talking about, or asking for. It is so much easier to say, ‘Hey, could you bring me Charlie, please?’ instead of “My meter, in the black case, on the kitchen counter.. yes the thing I test my blood sugar with.. could you bring it to me please?’” – Jenn
“Most important tip: Enjoy the holiday season. Don’t let diabetes ruin it with overly complicated checking, rechecking and reorganizing everything. Of course big meals need to be bolused appropriately – but if you guess the carbs wrong you’ll notice next test and can correct them down. Go ahead and actually eat a bit more than is sensible, enjoy an additional glass of wine or champagne and make sure the holidays are holidays. As long as it’s only a few days a year (and it is only a few days in the grand scheme of things), this won’t hurt you much.” - Floh
Good advice indeed. And now, with a week’s worth of blog posts about organizing and hacking diabetes, now is probably a smart time to upload my glucose meter.
* Her publisher also offered to giveaway five copies of her book – the winners were Eileen B, Ellen, Steph, Annie, and Kelli (you will be contacted by one of the Spry Publishers team members, if you haven’t been already).