A few weeks ago, we were in Venice and I almost walked right into the canal because I saw a lady with an insulin pump on her waist and a CGM sensor on her arm, speaking Italian to the shopkeeper and casually wearing her pancreas on her hip.
The flurried rush of emotions – excitement, understanding, the urge to shout “one of us!” – flooded me. I grabbed my husband’s arm and said, “Hey DID YOU SEE HER PUMP?!” and he was all, “No, where?” and I pointed my finger while trying to make it look like I was itching my nose.
And my daughter said, “Yeah mom, I saw her! And her pump! Do you know her? Don’t you all know each other?”
(You know, I wish we did.)
And even though we don’t all know one another yet, we can contribute to the growth and collective power of our diabetes community by participating in Diabetes Blog Week. Sign-up details are on Karen’s blog – this is the 8th year! – and topics will be provided throughout the week. And if you’re not into running a blog, you’re welcome to guest post here on some of the topics, if you’d like. (Email me! kerri (at) sixuntilme (dot) com. ) Also, you can shape-shift the topics to fit into 140 characters on Twitter, or through Instagram, or other social sharing platforms. Don’t let the “blog” in blog week keep you from sharing your story. All voices are welcomed!
Tips and Tricks: Let’s round out the week by sharing our best diabetes tips and diabetes tricks. From how you organize supplies to how you manage gear on the go/vacation (beach, or skiing, or whatever). From how you keep track of prescription numbers to how you remember to get your orders refilled. How about any “unconventional” diabetes practices, or ways to make diabetes work for YOU (not necessarily how the doctors say to do it!). There’s always something we can learn from each other. (Remember though, please no medical advice or dangerous suggestions.)
(And for more on the topics of Diabetes Blog Week 2016, click here.)
Let’s jump right in and say that every suggestion I have is borderline dangerous. Why? Because I am someone without a medical degree writing about my personal diabetes best practices on the Internet. That said, anything you read here that’s considered a “tip” or a “trick” is not something you should try without talking to your doctor. Because I am not a doctor, nor am I your doctor. And this morning I let the coffee pot run without a coffee cup underneath the spout thing. Consider your source(s).
That also said, I have close to thirty years of experience with type 1 diabetes, so there is more than a shred of validity to my scope of experience. If something resonates, party on. But don’t take any of this stuff as medical advice. Please. For the love of god.
KERRI STOP WITH THE CAVEATING OKAY FINE.
Tips and tricks. Here’s a bulleted list of weird shit I do to make diabetes less intrusive and more malleable:
- I put Toughpads underneath my Dexcom sensors to keep my allergic reaction to the adhesive at bay. This works reasonably well – the blistering welts have stopped, but long-standing patches of scaly, raised skin remain for weeks, if not months, at a time.
- Re: the scaly skin bit, I sprayed anti-fungal spray on the most irritated patch of skin this morning. Mostly out of frustration, but also because I read somewhere that it might help. If it does anything useful for healing my skin, I will share that information. For now, please don’t judge me because I off-labeled the shit out of athlete’s foot spray.
- Out of pockets? Wear your insulin pump in your bra (but beware those pesky disco boobs).
- YOU GUYS THIS t:slim CLIP IS THE BEST.
- During all three pregnancies (and most notably the two that made it past the first trimester), I downloaded my diabetes devices and examined the data. This is cumbersome and annoying and one of my least favorite diabetes to-do tasks but it HELPS. Citing it as a trick or
treat tip feels goofy because I should be doing this anyway, but I usually don’t. And now I do. And it helps.
- I charge my devices when I shower. And since I am a hygeine-freak, I shower very regularly. I charge my t:slim every three days or so (usually not letting the percentage of charge fall below 50%), and my Dexcom receiver (using the G4, per my doctor’s preference, until I deliver the baby) once or twice a week. I charge my Verio Sync meter once a week, at best. A full battery is exciting to me. Which illustrates how much I need to leave my house today.
- I keep a charger thing in my car. And Tandem provides a snazzy one with their pump, which I keep in my glove compartment. (Hey, disclosure.) Seems like overkill when you don’t need it, but when you do need a power boost, it’s beyond handy.
- I also keep a few slips of Opsite Flexifix tape in my wallet. Has been busted out as necessary on dozens of occasions.
- And while they are most noted for keeping cans of beer … safe?, I guess? … I have an insulin bottle rubber sleeve to protect the vials. Has kept more than a few bottles safe from the bathroom tile.
Do you feel tipsy now? All full of tricksies? There you go.
I missed the end of Diabetes Blog Week, but I loved the prompts and still have ideas trickling in here and there. So better late than never!
I don’t like catch phrases. (Forgiiiiiiiive me, especially since I just used a trite turn of phrase up there with the whole “better late than never” thing. Turn the other cheek, please.) I especially don’t like catch phrases that rhyme because I immediately lose focus on the meaning of the words and instead say “Rhyme time, rhyme time” over and over in my head, which is distracting. (However, I do have a soft spot for “Test, don’t Guess” because it’s both good advice and fun to yell.)
But this still works for me:
It’s not my favorite sentence or blog post, but it is a sentiment that still applies, a decade after blogging and almost three decades after diagnosis. Contrary to how my blog might portray my life, I don’t think about diabetes every moment of the day. But diabetes does influence many of the decisions I make throughout the day, like what giant purse I bring, or what kind of breakfast I have, or what sort of exercise I do. Or how I feel about certain things at certain times.
It’s not a back burner, but more like a crock pot that’s always on simmer. So long as it doesn’t burn the house down, I’m fine with that.
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Today‘s (well, technically last week’s) prompt: If you have been blogging for a while, what is your favorite sentence or blogpost that you have ever written? Is it diabetes related or just life related? If you are a new blogger and don’t have a favorite yet, tell us what motivated you to start sharing your story by writing a blog? (Thank you Laddie of Test Guess and Go for suggesting this topic.) Be sure to check out the posts from Diabetes Blog Week!