Two Life Hacks and a Story

Laddie_Head SquareGoing Home with an Animas Ping/Vibe:  I have been using an Animas Ping pump for over two years and still go crazy with the convoluted menu system. One of the most frustrating things is the lack of an Escape or Back button and I have b*tched about that more than once, twice, ten times, a hundred times. Many bloggers reviewing the just-released Animas Vibe complained about the same thing.

in the Animas Users Group at TuDiabetes, a Norwegian Vibe user with the screen name of Siri (not my iPhone Siri) told me about a shortcut to escape the endless menus of Animas pumps and return to the home screen. Just press the Audio Bolus button on the right side of the pump. Then press the OK button or any key on the front of the pump. You will be returned to the home screen. Siri learned this from her Animas Rep.

With this trick, I will probably save an inconsequential 5 minutes a year, but I will save myself oodles of frustration. Honestly I have to admit that in the last couple of months, I have become so adept with my Ping that I really don’t hate it anymore…. I am definitely looking forward to receiving my Vibe:-)

iPhone trick:  Younger readers of this blog who have grown up texting probably know about keyboard shortcuts. Even I knew about them and had seen the “omg” already programmed into my iPhone and iPad. Because I text like an “old person” and type out exactly what I want to say, I never bothered using shortcuts and never programmed any into my phone. A couple months ago after being annoyed about having to type my email address into so many online forms, it dawned on me that I could use a keyboard shortcut for my email address. Therefore I programmed “mgm” into my phone as a keyboard shortcut for my gmail account.  I set up “mcm” for an alternative Comcast email account. “tgg” enters my blog web address. These shortcuts work on most websites and blogs and save me a lot of error-filled typing.

To set up a keyboard shortcut, go to Settings/General/Keyboard/Shortcuts. Click on the + in the upper right hand corner. Enter your email address as the phrase and a series of letters for your shortcut. One glitch is that a space is automatically entered after your email address when you press the space bar to use your shortcut. That is great for emails and texts, but most website forms interpret this space as meaningful and will reject your address. So after the email populates itself, you may have to backspace before entering your password. Keyboard shortcuts entered on one device automatically show up on your other Apple devices.

If you decide to give this a try and like it, just remember that you learned this from a 62-year old woman. It is never too late for this old dog to learn new tricks!

A Story:  Last Wednesday I hiked in the morning with a group of friends. I came home, cleaned up a bit, and had lunch. The refrigerator was empty so I went to “town” to shop. In the winter I live in the boondocks of Arizona and have a 20+ minute drive to the grocery store. Although I had drunk a lot of water on my hike, I was still thirsty and grabbed a can of carbonated water for the road.

I went to the hardware store, took Abby the Black Lab to the dog park for tennis ball retrieving on grass, and went to Safeway to buy food (low carb of course!). I was still thirsty so stopped by the adjacent convenience store to buy an unsweetened iced tea to carry me through the afternoon.Bud Light Box I grabbed the almost empty can of carbonated water to throw away and gasped as I saw it was a can of Bud Light! I had been driving around town drinking beer. Arizona has no-tolerance laws for alcohol and driving and I think that I would have been thrown in jail had a policeman seen me chugging beer as I completed my errands.

Bud Light in cans is not our beer of choice. I think this can was 3-4 years old and a remnant of the last time my husband entertained Minnesota golfing buddies in our winter paradise. Because I try to avoid Diet Coke, I drink enough weirdly-flavored carbonated water and iced tea drinks that a flat, tasteless beer didn’t register as something I shouldn’t be drinking.

I’ve told this story to many of my local friends. Everyone proclaimed that I was the last person that they would have envisioned drinking and driving at lunchtime. They also swore that they would have visited me in jail. It is a funny story that is actually quite terrifying.

When I got home, I checked my refrigerator’s “canned water” bin and there were no other cans of beer. I wish that I had checked the date on the beer can to see how old it was. At the same time I am glad that this is just a funny story told from the safety of my living room. Because I was totally unaware of what was going on, I have no idea how I would have tried to explain this to a policeman.

Summary: One diabetes hint, one iPhone hint, and a story about drinking and driving. Sounds like a great blogpost to me:-)


Laddie_Head SquareToday’s post is a bullet point view of a few things that are relevant to my life these days.



  • I seem to be able to relate almost everything in my life to diabetes. A few weeks ago I was playing golf and needed to know the distance to the pin so that I could select the proper club. I used my laser range finder which measures the exact distance to the hole by zeroing in on a crystal receptor on the flagstick. Someone asked me what the distance was and I confidently answered 161 yards. One of my playing companions had also taken a measurement and indicated that her device read 125 yards. I took another reading and also measured in the 120’s. Had I use the erroneous reading and hit a good shot, my golf ball would have gone into the desert past the green and resulted in a double or triple bogey. My immediate thought was that this was just like a blood test with diabetes. If my meter gives an erroneous reading, I over- or under-dose my insulin and end up with an unexpected and undeserved high or low BG reading.Golf Desert
  • I write most of my blogposts on my iPad and find that I make the same typing mistakes and get the same crazy autocorrects over and over again.  My pinkie finger must not reach far enough for the “a”, so my most common mistake is to type “disbetes” instead of “diabetes”. Although I get a red line under disbetes, it does not autocorrect to diabetes. Some people would love to change the name of Type 1 diabetes, but I don’t think “disbetes” will have many supporters. A second mistake I often make with diabetes-centric writing is to write “lower card eating” instead of “lower carb eating”. One would think that I have an Ace of Spades on my plate instead of a piece of turkey. An email to Sue from New York after her sleep consultation ended up with two mentions of her “creep” consultation.  Good thing I corrected those mistakes before sending the email although Sue did think the sleep study was somewhat creepy.                                                                             Plate Turkey
  • Autocorrects also sabotage my writing.  “Bolusing” is often rejected by my iPad which insists on  a substitution of “blousing”. The statement that I bloused 3 units of Novolog with my lunch is somewhat nonsensical. This is the third blogpost in a row where I have mentioned the podiatrist/author Neil Scheffler. The rejection of “Scheffler” for “Scheduler” brings to mind James Bond and Batman villains.  Holy Guacamole, Batman, stay away from the The Scheduler!                                            The Scheduler
  • Olympics Trivia.  Late in January Abby the Black Lab’s sister was on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams in a feature about the threat of terrorism at the Sochi Olympics. Because black labs don’t have an aggressive bone in their bodies, that statement warrants an explanation. Abby’s littermate, Jackie, belongs to a Minnesota friend who is going to Sochi to watch her daughter compete in one of the skiing events. My friend was interviewed at her home about whether the terrorism threat was waylaying her family’s plans (it’s not) and the beginning of the clip showed Jackie bouncing and jumping up. “Not very good behavior” thought Abby who is jealous of her sister’s celebrity status.                                                                                                  Abby and Jackie Sister2                                                 
  • Super Bowl Trivia. Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks, lived down the street from us when he was a Defensive Backs Coach for the Minnesota Vikings in the late 80’s. His two oldest children are the same age as my boys and they went to school together. Extremely nice family and congratulations to Pete and the Seahawks for a job well done.                                                                                    Seahawks
  • My Arizona podiatrist is now my new best friend because the cortisone shot on Tuesday has returned my heel to A+ status. Hopefully this injury will not return.                                                                                                                                         Call the Podiatrist_2

That’s it for today, my friends.

Twelve Wishes

  1. Laddie_Head SquareI wish that foods that don’t need sweetening weren’t always loaded with sugar. Chicken salad used to be a friendly food for me but most restaurants now add various sweeteners to the dressing along with dried cherries or cranberries.
  2. On a related issue, I wish that Whole Foods and Panera Bread didn’t think that filling a food with honey makes it health food.
  3. I wish that my best was better than it is.
  4. I wish that when I was reading a book on my iPad that I didn’t keep switching to Candy Crush or to Pages to work on a blog post.
  5. I wish that I had a large house to live in and a small house to clean.
  6. Magic WandI wish that I had as much willpower as everyone thinks I do.
  7. I wish that I could be young again with the wisdom and happiness that being older has given me.
  8. I wish that I didn’t constantly miss the “a” on my iPad keyboard and keep typing “disbetes”.
  9. I wish that winters weren’t so cold in Minnesota.
  10. I wish that I enjoyed cooking because then I would have better meals to eat.
  11. I wish that I could be a guy every November and December and have Thanksgiving and Christmas magically appear.
  12. I wish that I could be friends with all of the people whom I’ve met through diabetes without any of us having diabetes.