Friday, May 16, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week - Naturally Sweet Sisters T1D Hacks

Naturally Sweet Sisters is participating in Diabetes Blog Week with Bitter-Sweet.  Today's post for May 16th, 2014 is about Diabetes Life Hacks.  Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes. 

When both of our daughters were diagnosed, managing Type 1 Diabetes became a true family affair.  It happened almost instantly as we were able to diagnose our oldest daughter by using her younger sister's blood sugar meter.  This led to our first Diabetes Life Hack - see #1 below.  

I now have several tips and tricks.  In no particular order, here are five things that make our lives easier.

1.)  Meter Sharing:  No one would ever prescribe this and certainly, I am not advocating this, but in our family, there are times that meter sharing has completely helped our blood sugar management.  It also has helped the age-old situation of never changing lancets.  If you happen to have a sister, who happens to be living with Type 1 Diabetes, than her blood sugar meter is fair game, but only if you change the lancet.  Not advising this, but just saying that I am ever so thankful that we can do this.  Nothing like shopping mall-gate where one sister forgot her entire meter bag and the other saved the day!.  Now, that is sibling love! #shoppingismorefunwithgoodbg

2.)  Keeping Infusion Sites On:  Again, this is not something that comes from a medical textbook, but if you find yourself away from home without extra infusion sites and need to make it through another couple of hours, there are a few things you can do.  Bandaids, masking tape or Scotch tape all work wonders in temporarily holding an infusion site on.  So does Vetrap, the stuff that horses use to keep their own bandages on.  Vetrap is also cheap and waterproof, in case you find yourself at pool when this happens.  None of those things handy?  Than look around for things that you might have on or in your purse.  We once used a scarf to hold on an infusion site.  Just a quick knot around the arm and I swear, she even looked fashionable. #BesidestapleshowcanIkeepthisthingon

3.)  Medical Supply Organization:  When our youngest was diagnosed, we ran out to buy all sorts of cute boxes to store her supplies in.  After she started pumping insulin and wearing a CGM, we quickly discovered that none of her cute containers could hold the oodles of boxes that we received.  All bets were off after her older sister was diagnosed.  Nothing that we could buy would store any of these items in an organized fashion.  Low and behold, we already had something... a linen closet!  Bonus, it could hold EVERYTHING and become the command center for infusion set changes, medical paperwork and even general healthcare.  Linens are now stored in each of the bedrooms and our life is much more streamlined.  #linenclosetsshouldbecalleddiabetesclosets

4.)  Party candy is pretty much the most awesome thing to have.  I used to feel worried about handling the excessive amounts of Halloween, Valentine's Day, Christmas, Birthday, Parade candy until it occurred to me that by having all of these celebrations, I was actually able to boost my low-blood sugar supply box.  Today, I simply sort through the junk, send that off with my husband to his office and keep all of the wonderful things that my kids love and that also make those hypoglycemic moments a bit easier.  #freecandymakesbghappy

5.)  Cell phones are a gift to all families that live with Type 1 Diabetes.  I say this because it is really, really, really great.  So great that I actually think it might be one of the best things to ever happen.  Kids can have a bit of freedom, school staff can make better decisions and mom and dad can worry less.  This past week, our youngest daughter wanted to take off her CGM because it felt uncomfortable.  Instead of sitting at school for another four hours, she texted me and asked.  Without hesitation, I agreed, but was also able to remind her to carefully retain the sensor (a replacement cost of $500!) and place it in her zippered backpack.  All was well and daughter was able to go back to being a kid.  Same with my oldest daughter who during that same time frame, had a low that persisted about three hours, hovering right around 70mg/dl.  She tackled it with some Smarties (thank you parade candy!) but needed a bigger oompf to make it completely go away.  She texted me, we settled on a juice with no bolus, and in another 30 minutes she felt perfect.  Problem solved.  #cellphonesrock

Hope you enjoyed my imperfect list of Diabetes Life Hacks!  Feel free to add some of your own in the comment section or on our Facebook page.


Karen Joseph said...

Great tips! I especially like the linen closet idea! We have a spot in the spice cabinet, a big drawer in our tiny kitchen pantry, and a large bin plus overflow in our storage room -- not an ideal set up! I need to rethink that. Thanks for the idea.

Tips that come to mind -- When my 13 yo gets home, I try not to ask him about his BGs at school right off the bat (though it's definitely on my mind!). I ask him about his day and other things and then ask. Kids first, diabetes second… :-)

VERY silly but when my son was little, we used to guess carbs in some meals (where it was very hard to figure out) like we were at an auction. For example: chili "10 grams" "15 -- look at all the beans" "sold! at 13 grams!"

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

Those are GREAT tips! I especially love the auction voice for carb counting. :) Must use that for our next meal!