Hacking Diabetes

I can’t make my pancreas work again, but I can make functioning in its place a little easier. Today’s all about diabetes hacks for DBlog Week. I’m happy that I wasn’t the only one who recommended the subject! I think that sharing our individual tips and tricks can help each other make diabetes a little easier.

Here are some of my diabetes life hacks:

1. Dexcom in a glass. This trick is widely known among Dexcom users, I first read about it from Kerri. Keeping my Dexcom receiver in a glass glass (as opposed to a plastic glass) when I sleep amplifies its sound when it alarms so I no longer sleep through it.

2. DIY utility garter. Need to carry an insulin pump, Dexcom receiver or glucose with you in a dress, but can’t carry a purse? (Translation: Are you a bridesmaid with diabetes?) Here’s instructions for my easy DIY garter made out of a thigh-high stocking. Unfortunately my dress for the wedding tomorrow doesn’t allow for carrying things on my leg, but fortunately, Brad will be in the front row.

3. Serving size. I eat most of my snacks out of little one-cup custard cups, they make measuring a serving size even easier. In a pinch, eat your snack straight out of the measuring cup! Bonus: It saves on the number of dishes that need washed. 

4. Reduce injection pain. Whenever I have to do a manual injection (like the time I left my PDM at home when I left for a lunch date with my husband!) I found it hurts lot less if the skin is warm and I of course pinch up. When I was on multiple daily injections and had to take Lantus, I was one of the small percentage of patients who felt it burn. The best advice I got through the grapevine (Brad’s coworker’s partner had type 1 and took Lantus) was to take the shot in my butt whenever possible.

5. Obviously, exercise is a part of my diabetes management and it can be hard to fit it in, so I track my steps and stairs climbed. Here are my secrets to sneaking extra steps into my days.

Write on the bag before you put stuff in it… unlike me!

6. Travel: Like many others in the DOC do, I place all of my diabetes stuff, my letter of medical necessity and a printout of TSA’s policy for medical things in a large, clear plastic bag, clearly labeled “Diabetes Supplies.” I put this in the bin outside of my carry on bag when I get to the point in security when my shoes come off and my laptop comes out. I’ve never had to pull out the letter or TSA’s policy, but I feel better knowing they’re with me. It also makes pat downs a lot easier when I travel in shorts and a t-shirt or tank top with my pod and sensor visible.

7. If you have trouble remembering to take medication (this isn’t diabetes-specific) set a phone alarm to remind you. It can also be tough to remember to wear a medical ID, I worked putting mine on every morning into my daily routine by keeping it with my watch.

Click here to read others’ diabetes hacks.

If you’d like to revisit some of my past DBlog Week posts, you can find them here.


10 thoughts on “Hacking Diabetes

  1. I knew you’d have a bunch of great hacks to share!! I put all my d-supplies in a ziploc when traveling but never thought to label it or to put the TSA sheet inside. I’m definitely doing that next time I fly though!

    • The letter is from my endocrinologist explaining that I need the supplies. I’ve never needed to show it but I I run into trouble carrying sharps or wearing my pods and sensors I can show it and they can call her office if they need more info. It makes me feel more confident traveling.

  2. I’ve also heard you can/should carry a current Rx for your insulin with you when you travel – like, the label from the box that shows it’s for you, etc. That serves 2 purposes….proof you need insulin and are diabetic, AND in case something happens to your insulin while you’re traveling, you have that handy to take to a local pharmacy in a pinch. GREAT post about hacks! 🙂

  3. Great list! Your medication tip reminded me of another tip I use which is I write in my calendar when it’s an infusion set site or CGM site change…otherwise I’d go days without remembering! 😛

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