Yesterday I listened to a number of people with type 1 diabetes share their personal tips for managing their diabetes. Above was the last tip recommended, to watch this video from Dr. Steven Edelman, founder ofTCOYD on “diabetes and drinking.” So while writing this, I did. You should too and have a laugh before we go on to more serious stuff.
The Patient Tips session was part of JDRF’s ONE Expo. A fairly new outreach program trying to bring – education, engagement and empowerment – to the type 1 community in New York City. JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of type 1 diabetes research.
The session was led by Zoe Heineman, who has started her own Ha!(Hypoglycemia Awareness) movement and is training first responders to recognize low blood sugar.
Here are some of the ‘Tips & Tricks for Daily Type 1 Management’ that were shared by the group including patients, a mom, a sibling and professional athlete:
• Train everyone around you what to do in case of emergency like for instance where you keep your insulin, glucose tabs.
• Give yourself a break. One blood sugar number does not make an A1C.
• A woman who’s had diabetes 53 years shared that she’s always had high A1Cs until she went on a low-fat, high-carb regimen that brought her A1C down from 8% to 6.5%.
• If you’re in school explain diabetes to your teachers and classmates. And tell your friends. They won’t treat you any differently and you’ll feel safer.
• This loving sister shared that she’s not annoyed to wait for dinner if her brother’s blood sugar is high and she’s more than happy to do speed walking down hotel corridors with him.
• This mom shared how important it is to accept the diagnosis. A family can’t create a positive nurturing environment until you do.
• If you have an office job, keep your desk as well stocked as a drugstore – with pump and test supplies and reserves of quick acting sugar.
• Diabetes doesn’t define you, it’s something you have. It needn’t stop you from doing almost anything.
• Diabetes is an art, not a science. You can’t always figure it out. You can’t be perfect at this. Try things out and don’t be defeated. It’s all learning.
• Use exercise to help maintain your blood sugar. No one ever felt worse after exercising – it helps keep weight off, feels good to move your body, have fun and make it social.
• Check your blood sugar, don’t guess. 95 mg/dl may feel different today than it did yesterday.
• When traveling, keep some supplies on you and some in checked luggage so if you lose some you have back up.
• HelpAround is a community of type 1s. You can register and always find someone nearby who can assist you if you need insulin or a question answered.
• If you’re drinking, check your blood sugar frequently and make sure your friends know you have diabetes.
• Don’t have your life revolve around your diabetes.
All good ideas. If I add my two cents I’d tell you to appreciate all the work you do managing your diabetes and find one positive thing diabetes has given you and remember it when you feel overwhelmed.