#DBlogWeek 2014 Day 5 – Diabetes Life Hacks

dblog week 2014Friday’s topic:Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes. Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen. Please remember to give non-medical advice only!

Crikey, this is a difficult, ‘tips and tricks’ would imply we know what we’re doing! If only we had Dexcom with its own received we could have Dexcom-in-a-glass, sadly we don’t.

spibeltI suppose the purchase of a non-diabetes-related SPIbelt for Amy has worked well for carrying her insulin pump, whenever she hasn’t got a pocket or somewhere to clip it.
When going swimming straight after our second pump training session, which taught us about adjusting for exercise, we realised we had nowhere for her to clip her pump. A quick dash around the shops later the hurriedly-purchased girl’s waist-cinching belt worked a treat and looked pretty cool too.
Both these products go to prove that you don’t always need to purchase specially made/designed diabetes products to make life easier, there’s things available everywhere.

On certain items of clothing we’ve done a little snip of a seam or rear or inside of a pocket to enable the pump’s tube to be fed through, but everyone does this right?

There’s a hack I want to know about: for those pumping insulin how do you avoid those untanned circles where cannulas once sat when returning from a beach holiday? Do you revert to MDI? Do you change set every day? Or something else?

The best ‘hack’ I’ll save for last and I’d like to thank UnderstudyPancreas‘s Annie for what I believe to have initiated a major change in Amy’s life with diabetes. Let me explain: Amy disliked going to clinic appointments, not because of the appointment itself which was always fine, but because we tried to keep her out of school for the minimum time. That meant picking her up from school with just enough time to rush to the hospital, park, run up the stairs, book in, do the clinic and reverse the steps all the way back to school. I heard that Annie’s daughter’s clinic were a lot more relaxed so on the next clinic we changed our ways. Now Amy has the whole day of school, she wakes up later than normal, has a leisurely breakfast, we drive to the park&ride with ample time to get to the hospital and book into the clinic, we spend as long at the clinic as we need and then head off into Winchester. There we’ll have a leisurely lunch, mooch around the shops and maybe at some point think about going home. Now before anyone jumps up and says it’s wrong to do this let me just share that at school she’s in the top 20 in her year of 300, something which has improved since treating her clinics as days off. Now couple that with Amy’s attitude towards clinic days: she loves them and looks forward to them*. Enough said I think.



* obviously she doesn’t like the annual check up where they extract what seems like gallons of blood from her. Who would?

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5 Responses to #DBlogWeek 2014 Day 5 – Diabetes Life Hacks

  1. nldiabetic says:

    Yay another SPIbelter! I fully agree with the idea of clinic days. If you make it stressful, who would want to go.

    On the topic of cannula sites and tanning, I wear it as a badge of honor, but then again my tanning is atrocious and I never do it intentionally (I’m not a beach person) – cycling short tan lines, helmet strap tan lines, etc. Embrace the non-uniformity. Changing care regime isn’t worth it! Or, you could get a temporary sticker tattoo and put it there. :p

  2. Karen says:

    Oh I love the idea of turning clinic days into a special and kind of fun day!! I think that is the perfect hack – finding a way to take the stress out of those appointments. I know I dreaded them when I was younger (and actually I still kind of do).

  3. Kelley says:

    I just recently learned of the Spibelt and I want to get it! :)

  4. type1dmom says:

    Love these! Spibelt is pretty great except my daughter hates not having a window to see the pump screen without opening it. As for clinic days, her appointments are always in the afternoon so she gets half a day at school. I usually pick her up half hour before appointment (clinic is 10 minutes from school) and take our time getting there, then usually go out for a treat after. Ice cream is usually her treat of choice on clinic days. :D

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