Diabetes Tips and Tricks in Photos

Laddie_Head SquareIt’s Day 5 of Diabetes Blog Week and we survived! There are no blue ribbons or trophies to be awarded today. Instead we can be satisfied with having touched base with old friends, creating new online friendships, and gaining new insights into diabetes. Not a bad payoff! Certainly there were a few laughs and tears along the way and I for one am exhausted. For the fifth time this week I thank Karen Graffeo of Bitter-Sweet™ for having created DBW 7 years ago and for continuing to inspire and organize the D-troops every year.

Today’s Topic:  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 am a little bummed that I’m not allowed to give dangerous medical advice today. Rather than get thrown off the DBW island, I will not share tips on calibrating your CGM while BASE jumping in the Grand Canyon. I will not divulge the rules of used-syringe Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey. I will not confess that I can test my BG and do a correction bolus before the traffic light turns green. I won’t describe how one of my D-friends has extended the life of an infusion set for 28 days. Just know that it is related to poor health insurance and that she says it quits itching after 5 days.

No, I will not tell you stuff like that. Instead I will share a couple of Fitbit tricks along with a travel tip.

My most original trick is that I attach my Fitbit One to the tubing of my insulin pump. Both devices live in my pocket with the tubing running through a hole in the pocket to the infusion set. Since I have begun linking my Fitbit with the pump, I have neither forgotten to wear it nor sent it to Fitbit death in the washing machine. Please note that I played golf yesterday so I had a lot of steps for the photo!


Another tip related to Fitbit is that if you use Diasend, you can link your Fitibit to that website. When you open the Compilation Report, you are able to see your step and calorie averages along with your pump, CGM, and meter data. I do not enter food data into Fitbit, so the calorie number in the photo below is meaningless.

Diasend Compilation with Fitbit_2

My final tip is that I use empty prescription medicine bottles for used test strips and sharps when I travel. I keep it in my combined cosmetic/D-supply bag. It helps ensure that grandchildren, hotel maid service personnel, etc. are protected from blood and gore contamination and don’t get stuck by anything. I used to use old test strip bottles, but they were too small and not see-through.


That’s it’s for today!


To read other blogposts on this topic, click here.

Consistent Inconsistency

Laddie_Head SquareIt’s now Day 4 of Diabetes Blog Week and the homestretch is in sight. I am starting to fade a bit when it comes to daily writing and reading about diabetes. Fortunately I’ve read some great blogposts this week and am inspired to make it to the finish line. Today the subject is healthcare and our fearless DBW leader, Karen Graffeo of Bitter-Sweet™, has given us permission to get grouchy. Right now I have good doctors and good insurance. Not everyone else is as lucky.

Today’s Topic:  Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What’s your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!

Wow. I think that those of us with diabetes could write an encyclopedia on this topic. The thing that bothers me the most about the healthcare system in the United States is the consistent inconsistency of it.

New year ==> New Insurance plan ==> Used Humalog last year. Forced to switch to Novolog.

New job ==> Different insurance company ==> Current endocrinologist is now out-of-network.

Same year ==> Same insurance plan ==> Won’t cover my brand of pump anymore.

Next-door neighbors with Type 2 diabetes  ==> My insurance reimburses diabetes education ==> Yours doesn’t.

Next-door neighbors with same income ==> You work for a large corporation and pay $500/month for health insurance ==> I am self-employed and pay $1000/month for similar insurance.

An insurance company pays my dentist $75 for an office visit ==> I don’t have dental coverage and must pay $135 for the same visit.

I have my 65th birthday ==> When I was 64 I had full insurance coverage for a CGM ==> Now it is considered “precautionary” and not reimbursable.

I could go on and on but it would drive me crazy. What worries me most about our healthcare system is that it is going to get worse before it gets better:-(


To read more posts on this topic, click here.

Language and Diabetes

Laddie_Head SquareToday is hump day and we are halfway through 2016 Diabetes Blog Week. DBW used to last for seven days and I am happy that it has been reduced to five days. Although the topics were handed out ahead of time this year, I wasn’t motivated organized enough to get a head start. By Friday I will be crying “Uncle!”  with sore typing fingers and a brain devoid of ideas. Despite my enjoyment of the international camaraderie of diabetes, I will be ready to get back to popcorn and cable TV. Once again, thanks to Karen Graffeo of Bitter-Sweet™ for abandoning her knitting and cat to run the DBW show.

Today’s Topic:  There is an old saying that states “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I’m willing to bet we’ve all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes. Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don’t care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let’s explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.

The problem with words, especially when writing on the Internet and not talking face-to-face, is that what one person hears might not be what the other person thinks she is saying. The hole gets deeper as one person criticizes, the other gets defensive, more words are exchanged, and other people chime in from the sidelines. World wars have been ignited over less.

I do my best to think about what I am writing. For the most part I stay out of arguments. Some people are adamant that right and wrong are polar opposites and easily distinguishable as black and white. I am comfortable living in a the world of gray where most issues are neither completely right nor completely wrong.

That being said, I do have one pet peeve.I am a Person

I hate being called a diabetic (noun). I hate being called diabetic (adjective). I hate being referred to as that old diabetic bag in Room 3. That hasn’t happened…yet.

It is a cumbersome phrase to write, but I am a person with diabetes.

I don’t buy diabetic socks because they are unnecessarily expensive. Socks don’t get diabetes anyway. I don’t buy diabetic foot creams or vitamins for diabetics. Rip-offs for sure. I do however own diabetic pants. These are LLBean cargo pants that have enough pockets to carry my pump, CGM receiver, phone, glucose tabs, Fitbit, and car keys. I revel in the tackiness of calling them diabetic pants and I own a boatload of these slacks. Some have been cropped and hemmed to be capris.

Many people are comfortable being called diabetic. Their decision, not mine. If I edit the writing of a friend or co-blogger, I will flag “diabetic” and suggest substituting “person with diabetes.” But life is too short to go ballistic when someone doesn’t phrase things the way I would.

Call me wishy-washy if you like. I am a person with diabetes who happens to wear diabetic pants.


To read other Diabetes Blog Week posts on this topic, click here.

Joslin Medalists: Rx for the Soul

Laddie_Head SquareWelcome to Day 2 of Diabetes Blog Week. I started writing today’s post by describing the mental baggage that comes along with diabetes. In a roundabout fashion, my post didn’t end up where I had planned to go. So I began again. I hope that a profile of the Joslin 50-year Medalists qualifies as a discussion of mental health and diabetes. As always, thanks to DBW organizer Karen Graffeo of Bitter-Sweet™ for her hard work harnessing the 2016 voices of diabetes.

Today’s Topic: We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk?

This week I have been revisiting articles and videos about the Joslin 50-year Medalists. Elliott P. Joslin, M.D. believed that proper self-care would lead to a healthier life for people with diabetes. Following his vision, the Joslin Diabetes Center began awarding medals in 1948 to people who had lived with diabetes for 25 years. In 1970 the program expanded to award 50-year bronze medals. Since then 4,000 people have received 50-year medals along with 65 recipients of 75-year medals.

In 2005 the Joslin Diabetes Center began the 50-year Medalist study to investigate why this group of people had managed to thrive despite longterm Type 1 diabetes. Surveys along with physical exams, genetic tests, and lab work found that over 40% of the medalists did not have serious eye disease, 39% were free of nerve damage, 52% did not have cardiovascular disease, and fewer than 15% had kidney disease. And amazingly, 66% of these T1’s still had measurable insulin production. What made them special?

It also emerged from this study that most of the Medalists were optimists. Multiple articles and videos highlight Medalists attributing some of their longterm success to positivity, a good attitude, and a sense of humor. Does that mean that they never had bad days and never got stuck under black clouds of diabetes burnout? I doubt it. In my opinion it  means that they persevered and lived what they considered a successful and happy life despite diabetes.

Some memorable quotes:

“Like so many of the other Medalists, my story is one of good attitude, good doctoring, and good parenting.”          -Amy Schneider *

“But I tell everybody the two miracle drugs that God gave me: insulin and a sense of humor.”          -Annette Richardson **

“The fun part of life just took on a different perspective.”          -Louise Jesserer *

“Attitude, especially a positive attitude is important. You can’t be perfect.”  Kathryn Ham *

“I feel that if it doesn’t work so well today, tomorrow is another day. We should get up and think it’s going to work better.”          -Judith Ball *

“If I can do that, you can do anything…. It’s all possible.”          -Joel Bernstein *

My favorite takeaway from the Joslin profiles of the Medalists is that “one of the most common attributes, apparently is that Medalists like to dance!”

I don’t think that there is a better image that I can leave with you today than visions of people with diabetes dancing.

Young, old, glass syringes, insulin pumps, urine tests, CGM’s


People from all over the world


Dancing with diabetes

Dancing to forget diabetes

Just dancing

Dancing with Diabetes


*These quotes are from the Joslin Medalist Stories videos.

**This quote is from Words of Wisdom from Joslin 50 Year Medalists, a 6/06/2011 video by Kerri Sparling-Six Until Me.


To read other Diabetes Blog Week posts on this topic, click here.

To learn about the application process for a Joslin 25-year certificate or a 50-year medal, click here.

Message Monday

Laddie_Head SquareWelcome to the 7th year of Diabetes Blog Week. This is my 3rd time participating and I swore I wasn’t going to do it again this year. Why? Because I get totally burned out by writing blogposts every day and trying to read the posts of 100+ participants. Somehow I am incapable of staying low-key during the week and always overdo it. So why am I here? Because Diabetes Blog Week links me to voices of diabetes from all over the world. At the end of the week I will feel exhilarated after meeting new bloggers and catching up with those whom I already “know”. I’ll learn more about myself and my diabetes as I tackle the topic list. On Friday I will be proud that once again I have survived Diabetes Blog Week! As always, thanks to Karen Graffeo of Bitter-Sweet™ for organizing everything.

Today’s Topic:  Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog?

When I started my blog in 2013, I wrote:

“The DOC (Diabetes Online Community) has become a family to me…. I think there is room for my voice in the DOC and I hope that I can help and inspire others  in the way that I have been helped and inspired by others…. I hope to use my blog to chronicle my journey through life with diabetes. Many of my posts will be reflections on the last 36 years as well as my opinions on current issues.”Blah Blah Blah2_DBW

That is typical blah for mission statements and I could easily write the same words again today. The main change is that it’s now been almost 40 years of diabetes.

I wrote one sentence in my first blogpost that seemed innocent at the time. It has morphed into one of the main reasons I continue to blog.

“The medical system in the United States is changing and I really wonder what the next years will bring for those of us with diabetes.”

Talk about the understatement of the year. I predicted that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would bring me lower premiums and worse coverage. Wrong! I still have good coverage for diabetes expenses, but my premiums have almost doubled and they were expensive to begin with. Many DOC friends have fared far worse with huge increases in premiums and deductibles along with difficulty obtaining needed supplies and medications. Insulin prices have soared and for each insurance company mandating Humalog, there is another one requiring Novolog. The recent UnitedHealthCare mandate for Medtronic pumps is symptomatic of a broken healthcare system that increasingly devalues patients and results in huge profits for insurance companies, pharmaceutical/durable medical companies, and middleman wholesalers.

I also mentioned Medicare in my first blogpost:

“And before I know it, I will be on Medicare with a new set of rules that will save me lots of money in some areas, but will try to dictate that I live with 3 test strips a day and throw away my CGM because it is not proven technology.”

I am now counting down the months until Medicare. I am proud of my gray hair and feel strongly that I would like Test Guess and Go to become an information and advocacy resource for seniors with Type 1 diabetes. CGM coverage is one of the most visible battles but it may be just the tip of the iceberg with programs like Competitive Bidding threatening choice and access to needed supplies.

In three years of blogging I have been learning how to advocate. I know that I am a better writer than speaker. I know that I prefer one-on-ones to larger advocacy forums, but I am trying to grow. Regardless of where my senior years take me, Type 1 diabetes will be there and there is no reason to fight that. I don’t know how long I will continue to blog, but I’m not ready to quit yet.


To read other Diabetes Blog Week posts on this topic, click here.

Continuing Connections: Pray for Caleb

6th Annual Diabetes Blog WeekToday’s Topic:  The very first inspiration for Diabetes Blog Week was to help connect our blogging community, and that continues to be the most important reason it’s held every year.  So let’s help foster and continue those connections as we wrap up another Dblog Week.  Share a link to a new blog you’ve found or a new friend you’ve made.  Or pick a random blog off of the Participant’s List, check it out and share it with us.  Let’s take some time today to make new friends. To read other posts on this topic, click here.

Laddie_Head SquareI have met a lot of new people during the 2015 Diabetes Blog Week. I have added your blogs to my bookmarks and to my Feedly Reader content list. For sure if you keep writing, I will keep reading. I am going to briefly mention three blogs that I particularly enjoyed this week, all for different reasons. And then I am going to highlight one blogger from last year whom I believe all of you need to know about.

Completely new to me:  One new-to-me and relatively new-to-blogging writer whom I enjoyed getting to know this week is Frank of Type 1 Writes. Frank is a young man from Perth, Western Australia who is passionate about writing and even more passionate about diabetes advocacy. I think we will see a lot more of him in future years.

Not new to me but his blog is:  Brian (BSC) is super active at TuDiabetes and I have read his message board contributions for years. I was also pleased to meet him in person at the Diabetes Unconference in March. I didn’t know that he had a blog: The Trials of Type 2 Diabetes. To say Brian is a “know-it-all” is to trivialize his research and knowledge about diabetes, especially Type 2. I look forward to both reading his blog and using it as a resource to learn more about all kinds of diabetes.

New to me but not to the DOC:  When I read Marie Smith’s posts this week, I was blown away by her writing. Then I was blown away by her story. In addition to having diabetes, Marie lives with myasthenia gravis, has survived cancer, and deals with severe pain. Her writing acknowledges that pain but celebrates and affirms life. I will follow her blog Joy Benchmarks and have already started to read the first of her two books. Marie has been blogging for much longer than I have, so we have mostly just hung out in different corners of the DOC. But then I figured out we were following each other on Twitter (@cellobard).

What you all need to know when it comes to our diabetes community:  Last year during Diabetes Blog Week, I met a young blogger named Caleb. He was a well-spoken high schooler who was documenting his diabetes life interwoven with the stories of his two siblings who also have Type 1. Definitely wise beyond his years…. Fast forward to April of this year when Caleb saw a doctor for evaluation of severe shoulder pain. A mass was found and he is now facing an epic battle against Ewing’s Sarcoma. Ewing’s Sarcoma is an aggressive bone cancer that affects mainly children and adolescents.

Caleb needs the support and prayers of everyone in the diabetes online community. His blog is Type One Trio and there are occasional updates from Caleb and his family. Caleb is reassured that he will have the strength he needs because he is a Child of God. He recently quoted scripture that is giving him strength as he begins a battle that no one should have to face. Caleb is a child of our diabetes community and regardless of your religious beliefs, please pray for him.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 

 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”

 II Corinthians 1:3-5Type One Trio

My Most Favorite Ever

6th Annual Diabetes Blog WeekToday’s Topic:  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.) To read other posts on this topic, click here.

You probably noticed above that today’s topic was my!!! idea in response to Karen Graffeo’s request for help. I selfishly suggested this topic because I have a favorite sentence that I always read with astonishment that I wrote such a beautiful thought. The sentence has nothing to do with diabetes but it is part of a blogpost that celebrates all types of diabetes, dogs, cats, and DOC friends.

But look at me taking credit for this sentence! It was actually written by Abby the Black Lab whom many of you know as a guest author for Test Guess and Go. Abby is quite popular and her posts get more readership than mine. Basically who doesn’t like dogs more than diabetes? My favorite blogging sentence is part of my favorite post and was written by Abby. The sentence follows and you probably need to read the whole post to put it in context:

“It is a magical glimpse of heaven for a lucky black dog who is showered with love by a beautiful princess gray cat.”

The entire post as reprinted from 9/09/2013 follows:

The Great Divide in the DOC

Abby with Abby Crown_no backgroundI’m Abby the Black Lab and it has been a while since I have written a blog post.  Lately I have been utterly distressed by a great divide that I see in the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) and I think it is time to bring this to the attention of my readers.  You probably think I’m going to start talking about the Type 1 versus Type 2 wars that periodically surface on the Internet.  Are you kidding?  My subject is not nearly as trite as that.

No, it’s the dog people versus the cat people.  The canines versus the felines.  The lovable, loyal, goofy, tail-wagging dogs versus the slinky, aloof, meowing and menacing kitty cats.

The cat aficionados have long been led by Kerri from Six Until Me whose cat Siah is a media star who poses in laundry baskets and attempts to dominate the DOC as an “internet celeb-kitty.”  The dog people are more decentralized in their leadership.  Canines have conceded Twitter to the cats, but think that we rule Facebook.  The blogosphere is probably a toss-up, but my opinion is that dogs are truly superior in their contribution to their PWDs (people with diabetes).  Duchess is a diabetes service dog who daily keeps her owner Tarra safe.  Meri’s boys are protected from the abyss of low blood sugars by Lawton the Yellow Lab.  All human hearts have melted seeing photos of Kim’s corgi watching over the new baby “Rabbit.”  Black labs like Riley owned by Mike Hoskins insist that their owners exercise by taking them for daily walks.

Cats meanwhile are tiptoeing across keyboards and writing meaningless blog posts with the tag line “zxzxzxdjjj.”  Pissed-off and non-sleeping kitties are considered newsworthy.  Oh yeah, Chris of @iam_spartacus fame has some feisty looking cats and @KarenBittrSweet claims to have the world’s cutest cat.  Videos of Grumpy Cat are ubiquitous, but if I want to see grumpy, I can look at my owner Laddie when her meter says 286.

Fortunately the DOC universe of cats and dogs has recently been in a state of equilibrium with only a few ripples of discord.  The dog people tried to sneak one under the rug in Twitter and Facebook with the purchase of a Scottish Terrier named Bella by Cherise.  Someone needs to tell Bella that if she wants to become an icon in the DOC Canine Hall of Fame, she should learn to walk on a leash.  Also tell her that if she’s going to be a supporter of people with diabetes, lancet devices should not be on the menu.  The cat people have lost some heroes as Kerri and Pancreassasin mourn their beloved friends who have gone to the scratching post in the sky. (RIP Prussia July/2013 and Pancreassasin 2week kitty August/2013).

But the calm has been shattered!  Earlier this month the cat people added a new Abby_Loopy2superhero to their roster in the guise of a young child named Birdie.  Smiles and cute Batman Princess costumes are not adequate to camouflage the chaotic schemes of this young and seemingly innocent feline-loving child.  With no attempts to disguise her evil intent, this child suggested that the family cat Siah was lonely and needed a friend called…. Loopy.

The Loopy hullabaloo has not been all.  Another scandal has been exposed in the DOC and I, Abby, a supporter of all people with diabetes, have been accused of consorting with the enemy.  A photo of a certain black lab being nuzzled by a gray feline has been splashed across the headlines.  I confess.  I am guilty.  I like cats and cats like me.

Abby Headlines

Every year I put “Kitten” at the top of my Christmas list.  Unfortunately my owner Laddie is allergic to cats, so no personal kitty is in my future.  I am extremely fortunate that when Laddie travels, I get to go to Linda’s house and visit my friend Nikki.  Nikki is a shy cat, but I have learned to approach her slowly and lay my head down acknowledging that cats are supreme.  She rewards me with purrs and caresses of her head against mine.  It is a magical glimpse of heaven for a lucky black dog who is showered with love by a beautiful princess gray cat.

My romance with Nikki has some important lessons for everyone.  Although you seemingly-civilized people with Type 1 diabetes sometimes argue with those who have Type 2 diabetes, you pancreatically-challenged doofuses should remember that you are stronger together than apart.  Diabetes in all of its evil forms is the enemy and you should join hands and conquer it together.

More importantly, we dogs and cats should toss aside our petty differences and stop the harassing hisses and barks.  With a united army of canines and felines, we can fight a cosmic battle against our common enemy.   A enemy who taunts and teases us in our own yards and through our own windows.  An adversary who seems to think that dominance is achieved through water-skiing videos.  We have seen the enemy and the enemy is……..SQUIRRELS!

Abby Crown Against Squirrels

Other Posts by Abby the Black Lab

Abby the Black Lab Discusses DSMA Live

Abby the Black Lab Discusses Nutrition

A Diabetes Poem by Abby the Black Lab

Abby the Black Lab Discusses Community

Zoodles, Vegetti, and Sweet Patoodles

6th Annual Diabetes Blog Week

Today’s Topic:  Taking a cue from Adam Brown’s recent post, write a post documenting what you eat in a day!  Feel free to add links to recommended recipes/shops/whatever.  Make it an ideal day or a come-as-you-are day – no judgments either way.  (Thank you, Katy of  Bigfoot Child Have Diabetes for this topic.) To see other posts in this category, click here.

Laddie_Head SquareHere we are on Day 5 of 2015 Diabetes Blog Week. More than once this week I have strayed from the topic at hand and today is another one of those days. Rather than outline what I eat in a day, I am going to share one of my favorite cooking gadgets and highlight the most beautiful salad that I have ever made. Katy who submitted this topic won’t be mad at me because if she doesn’t already have a spiralizer, she will after she learns about zoodles and sees my beautiful salad.

Earlier this year on Facebook, my D-buddy Kate Cornell talked about fixing zoodles for dinner. I am not a very inspired cook, but this discussion interested me. Like what in the heck is a zoodle? Whenever I read what Kate is cooking, I always wish that her delicious low carb meals could beam through the Internet and land on my table. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet…

I was sufficiently intrigued with zoodles to find out from Kate that they are zucchini noodles that are made using a gadget called a spiralizer. Zoodles cook quickly and are an amazingly good substitute for noodles for those who want to eat low carb, increase the quantity of vegetables in their diet, or eat gluten-free. I asked Kate what brand of spiralizer she owns and ordered the same one (Gefu) from Amazon.

My spiralizer arrived and I spiralized zucchini (zoodles) and yellow squash (squoodles?) for dinner several times. They were delicious and so easy to prepare. Amazingly I have not yet served my zoodles with pasta sauce, but I will soon.

In early April I was having a friend over for supper and decided that I wanted to use my spiralizer to make either soup or a salad. I looked at photos online and found the most gorgeous vegan salad. You can find the photo and recipe here.Vegan Salad that

I do not follow a vegan diet and it is probably a sacrilege that I used this salad as a model for my chicken salad plate. But I did and I thought the result was great. (The other non-vegan part of the salad besides the chicken and probably the mayonnaise was that I used feta cheese instead of tofu.) Later on in April I had more friends over for dinner and once again plated the salad. I was universally complimented for the dinner and it was a great low-carb meal for me. I served bread both times with the salad and that is why the left side of the plate is empty in the photo.

My Salad with Spiralized

Since then I have purchased a spiralizer cookbook called Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci. Ironically she learned about the spiralizer from her mother who has Type 1 diabetes. I also follow Maffucci’s blog. You can also Google spiralizer recipes and find great meal ideas.

The Gefu spiralizer is fine and I left it at my Arizona house. I have just ordered a new spiralizer for Minnesota and decided to buy one with more blades because Maffucci talks about blades 1-4 in her recipes and the Gefu has only 2. You can find spiralizers priced from about $15 to $50. I am not experienced enough to provide any advice.

Random spiralizer fact:  According to Maffucci, one of her readers sent in a video with her child jumping rope with a zoodle.

Another fact: You can also use a spiralizer to make “rice” from vegetables or even spiraled buns.

Final fact: If I can do this, anyone can.

Stuff and More Stuff

6th Annual Diabetes Blog Week

Today’s Topic:  Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let’s clear stuff out.  What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out?  This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you’re mentally or emotionally hanging on to.  Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?  (Thank you Rick of RA Diabetes for this topic suggestion.) To read all of the other posts in this category, click here.

Laddie_Head SquareI think that I took the easy way out with this topic and never addressed how to get rid of diabetes stuff–physical or mental. I just took photos and wrote about diabetes paraphernalia of which I have a lot. I’ll enjoy my free pass today and look forward to reading the more-on-topic posts by my fellow D-bloggers….

I keep backup diabetes supplies in two places. The first is a large drawer in my bedroom where pump supplies, meter strips, glucose tabs, spare batteries, etc. are stored. It is neat and tidy and except for the fact that I have too many boxes of reservoirs, it contains supplies that I will use soon.

Drawer Diabetes supplies

Down the hall there is a closet where diabetes gadgets and supplies go to die. Occasionally I end up retrieving and using a couple of the devices, but mostly it’s stuff that sits there for years and is finally thrown away. I seem addicted to keeping boxes and I can’t quite figure out why. On one hand I wish that I had kept every meter and lancet device that I have ever used so that I could have a personal museum. But since I didn’t, I have to question why I need multiple Dexcom boxes and a bottle of expired control solution.

Closet Diabetes Supplies

In case you’re interested, here is the current inventory:

1 Animas Vibe box (at least I threw away the Ping box), 1 Medtronic Revel box (it contains an old, but working pump), 4 Verio IQ meters (two were used for a while and two have never been opened), 2 One Touch Ultra Mini meters, 1 One Touch Ping meter/remote (I no longer own the pump, so why do I have the meter?), 1 One Touch Ultra Link meter, 3 Dexcom Kit boxes (1 for current receiver and 2 containing old receivers), 2 Dexcom transmitter boxes (containing old non-functional transmitters), 1 Brookstone travel hair dryer (in the diabetes section because its case looks like a meter case), 1 Freestyle Lite case (empty), 1 Freestyle Lite box (empty), 1 box Medtronic Silhouettes (half-empty), 1 box Medtronic Reservoirs (half-empty), 1 One Touch UltraSmart meter (was considered “smart” in its day), plastic bags of various cases and clips, and 1 plastic bag with a lancet device, lancets, and expired control solution.

On one hand it’s obscene how much “stuff” I have when there are adults and children around the world dying because they lack insulin and supplies. #SpareARose. There are also many people in the US, Canada, and abroad who have no insurance coverage for insulin pumps and CGMs. So I am indeed fortunate. However I get to whine a little. Can you believe all the crapola it takes to stay healthy with diabetes?!?!?!

Keeping It to Myself

6th Annual Diabetes Blog WeekToday’s Topic:  Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see.  What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet?  Or from your family and friends?  Why is it important to keep it to yourself?  (This is not an attempt to get you out of your comfort zone.  There is no need to elaborate or tell personal stories related to these aspects.  Simply let us know what kinds of stories we will never hear you tell, and why you won’t tell them.) (Thank you Scott E of Rolling in the D for this topic.) To read all of the other posts in this category, click here.

Laddie_Head SquareI have always kept most of my diabetes self-care tasks private. My sister and I both have Type 1 diabetes. She always injected (and still does) in front of others—usually in the middle of the kitchen. I always went somewhere private—usually the bathroom. I have never changed nor become comfortable giving my shots in front of others. What has changed is that I went on a pump and for the most part injections disappeared from my life. I don’t insert infusion sets in public or in front of my family, so I basically keep this stuff to myself.

I used to do all of my blood glucose testing in private and have at least mellowed on that through the years. I try to be discreet and will test with my kit in my lap at a restaurant. But I don’t unpack everything and set up a BG station on the table. Does this mean I am mired in shame over diabetes? No. Well….maybe a little bit. At the same time I am comfortable with keeping most of my diabetes tasks private and don’t feel much need to justify what is my comfort zone. I am not critical of other people’s decisions on how they handle their public diabetes persona. Do what works for you and I am okay with what works for me.

There is one story where many of you will strongly disagree with me. A few years ago there was a discussion on a diabetes message board (probably ADA or TuDiabetes) that resulted in lots of responses and quite a few arguments. A cousin (or the mother?) was planning her wedding and asked the original poster to not test or give injections at the table at the wedding dinner. Many of the responses to that scenario expressed outrage at Insensitive Cousinthe idea that this cousin would dictate this and suggested that the person refuse to do this or maybe just skip the wedding.

I would argue that long term the cousin and her mother need education on diabetes and maybe an extended course on good manners and compassion. At the same time it is just not that big a deal to me. My view would be that my cousin is a pain-in-the-neck bride-to-be, but I would be willing to honor her request. It is her wedding day and it is a small thing to find an isolated spot to test and inject for one day. I am willing to extend her the courtesy of not offending anyone with blood and gore and evil diabetes germs although I think she is wrong in asking this of me.

Before you start screaming, I know that this is a slippery slope. What if she asked me not to come because I am in a wheelchair? What if she asked me to leave my mixed-race husband at home? What if she asked me to wear Spanx because I am slightly overweight? What about another forum post where the mother of an adult T1 screamed at her child to leave the kitchen and always test her blood and inject in the bathroom?

I keep a lot of things to myself. In recent years the DOC has taught me to be more open about my diabetes and not to hide what I need to do to stay healthy. I think that we all have to fight our battles when and where we choose. No one wants to feel like a second-class citizen or ashamed of their diabetes. At the same time, I am a fan of occasionally leaving my indignation at home.

For sure, I am a work in progress.