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Friday, 20 May 2016

Blog Week Day 5: Tips & 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.) 

I have to apologise for the lack of blog yesterday. I wasn't feeling it, and I don't like to force myself to write if I really cannot get into it. So there will be a double upload today. You can check out yesterdays blog, uploaded today here.

So without further ado: Tips & Tricks Time!

Diabetes Supply Overflow

A few weeks ago, I uploaded the meme I had created on leaving the house before and after diabetes, which was inspired by the fact that I have to take a mini-pharmacy everywhere with me. I have been trying lately to take some of the weight off my shoulders and try to use a small(er) handbag. I can leave the house now with a juice or pee-jar full of jellybeans, meter, strips, lancing device & pen. Of course it does depend on how far I'm going, ability to quickly procure more supplies & hypo treatment if needed, and how long I will be gone. Using CGM full-times means that sometimes I can even leave without meter, strips & lancing device. The hypo treatment & quick-acting insulin pen & 2 to 3 pen tips are the most important things I might need when out. I frequently run out of insulin throughout the day (I'm not good at looking ahead for my insulin needs). If I run out completely and there's nothing at all in my reservoir, I use the pen to inject insulin into the reservoir. No need to take a reservoir connector. If I am mostly out but have enough for basal but no boluses, I inject the boluses - but do it straight into my canula so I don't have to feel the needle. If you look at where the hypodermic needle goes through a canula (Medtronic Mios are particularly good for this) to insert it into your body, once you remove this needl there is still a small pin-prick sized hole that you can inject into to avoid having to stick an actual needle in your skin. Yes, I hate needles this much.

MINE (food)
I have a co-worker who likes to eat my jellybeans. I have begun to counter this in 2 different ways. Firstly I keep my jellybeans in a urine sample jar (those things are sterile) because no one wants to touch that. I have also recently begun stocking some Bertie Botts every flavor beans. They legitimately mean every flavor. There is a vomit flavour, one, and yeah it tastes as stated. I can't stomach them. So I put them on the top of my larger jar of jellybeans, with all the acceptable flavours way way down the bottom. My jellybean jar has remained untouched by anyone but me of late.

Girly BGL patterns
How many other people get warned against using parts of your body that aren't your stomach as canula sites? I'm sure my educator sighs internally when I tell her about the newest part of my body that I have decided to try with my canulas. Something about different absorbency rates. I've made that work for me. Previously I have given TMI when it comes to how badly my menstrual cycle fucks things up in the land of good glycaemic control. But no more! I have now worked out when my BGL is running higher, lower and holding steady over my menstrual cycle, and I plan my set insertion sites around this. During the few days when I am running higher, I place a Sure-T set in my leg, because the constant movement and more muscle gives me better sensitivity, helping to lower my BGLs. When I am running low, I place Mio sets in my hips, where I have the most fat and seem to have the worst sensitivity, to raise my BGLs. All that fat. Doesn't really move much. And when I'm pretty even I place Mio sets in my back and arms. I never use my stomach - that is CGM only territory, so is constantly in use by sensors. 

I'm sure I have many more tips, but nothing that my exhausted brain can remember, which brings Diabetes Blog Week to an end.

You can read the final responses at this link here.

Once again, Thank you to Karen at BitterSweet for hosting a week full of fun, creativity, personal reflections and no sleep.

I am looking forward to a weekend of blog catch-ups where I can finish reading the blogs (I think I got through roughly a quarter of all posts during my exceptionally busy week), and clicking the sign-up buttons on a bunch of them so I can continue to follow them. I also want to try to get into a few more of the online support platforms if I have time (I can find the DOC overwhelming in the sheer volume of support sometimes) and might even give that twitter thing a go (I think I have one, lying completely dormant somewhere).


  1. Interesting point you make about your hips! I had to move from my stomach to my hips because my belly was getting too stretched out (darn baby) and I noticed insulin resistance but I figured it was because where I was in my pregnancy, but I wonder if it also has to do with the new site area.

    1. I guess the only way to test is to wait until you've had the baby, or try your legs, back or arms & see if there is a difference.

  2. For years I inserted in my legs, I had wonderful results until I did not. there is good science about using legs, especially if walking or exercising. I may have to try it once again.

    I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes blog page for the week of May 16, 2016.

    1. I love using my legs for this reason. But if I use them when I'm exercising too much it causes so many lows.

  3. Interesting trick about the legs and sensitivity. I imagine the tubing would be out of the way of the upper body, too. I've enjoyed reading your blog this week, and particularly finding another Aussie. :)

    1. We're a rare few, the aussies :)

      Thanks, I really enjoyed your blog too & added it to my notifications.

      Weirdly, the best place for keeping tubing out of the way is your upper arms. You can thread it through your shirt and it doesn't get caught on anything.

  4. THANK YOU for talking about the dodgy period/hormone thing! I'll be keeping those site ideas in mind

    1. Haha no worries Bec. It's not a very talked-about aspect of life for us D-women, but with so many of us I wish it was talked about more. Periods and diabetes are not friends.