We all need reminders to help us achieve everything we want in a day. Living with diabetes adds another level of things to remember to do too. It can add up enough that we “forget” or “put off” doing some things as regularly as we should (change your lancet recently? – yes, I need to as well!)
It’s great when there are tips or tools that help us remember when to do something or products that make carrying all our “stuff” a bit easier. Little things can helps us balance diabetes a bit better. The following are some tips and tricks from people with diabetes as well as products that can really help us to stay on top of the assortment of items that accompany us through the day. Hope you find one that helps keep you on top of your diabetes management!
- Remember to change the Lancet – For those who use the typical lancing device that only has one lancet, this tip might help you remember to change it a bit more regularly. In your test strip container, place one lancet (new). When you finish all the test strips in the container, the only thing left will be the lancet and it’s a reminder to change out the one you have been using….for a while!
- Remember to change the Infusion site – For those who use an insulin pump it is important to change out the infusion site every 2-3 days. This helps to prevent damage to the skin and ensures proper absorption of insulin. A great tool to use is the GoVenture Insulin Pump Timer It reminds you when to refill insulin, change infusion sets and do other repetitive tasks when living with diabetes.
- Emergency Supplies – We might pack extra products when traveling, but on a daily basis, do you have extra supplies along in case of a pump failure, kinked cannula, lost syringe or pen needle? Get a small bright colored pencil bag from a retail store. Add a bottle of test strips, pen needle, syringe, an infusion set/reservoir/Pod, band aids, alcohol pads, extra lancet and glucose tablets or powder/raisins (compact low treatment of choice). Add a note on the outside of the bag that tells you not to dip into this unless it is an EMERGENCY. Stash one of these in your gym bag, your desk at work, your purse or briefcase and you’ll never be “without” again. Set a reminder (using the Insulin Pump timer app mentioned above) to change out the products and use them once a month so none will be expired when you do need to use them.
- Carrying supplies – Women with diabetes are constantly wondering where to put all the “stuff” for diabetes. It floats around in a purse with business cards (which often have their own little case), lip gloss, a comb, a wallet, cell phone, a bottle of water and whatever else is “needed” to get you through the day. Unfortunately, when it comes to diabetes, we need to access our products quickly (treatment for lows), or we don’t want test strips collecting at the bottom of our purse only to tumble out at an inopportune time (ever try picking up those little strips from a tile floor!?) A wonderful solution is here! Little Luxuries for Life with Diabetes – by Monica Vesci. This bag is not only a sleek and beautiful purse, but inside this is what you’ll find:
- Handheld Bag with Zipper, Interior Round Zip Pocket Includes Removable 50ml Sharps Container with Screw Lid
- Interior Insulin Penholder Sleeve
- Two Interior Slip Pockets for Meters, Test Strips, Lancets, Glucose Tabs, CGM or Other Supplies
- Interior Zippered Pocket with Two Slots, One for Credit Card another for Small Supplies like Batteries, Lancets and Insulin Pen Needle Heads
- Change your basal pattern: I have several basal patterns because during my 7 day week I have a different schedule – some days follow one pattern and other days another pattern. I have a reminder set on my phone to go off in the morning to change my pattern to the one needed for that day of the week. It has made a major difference for my BG control when I’m using the right program! Omnipod® allows up to 7 basal profiles to be programmed which means you can have a lot of options for your daily needs.
- Exercise with diabetes “stuff” – On the quest for good control, exercise is one of those things we need to do regularly. How do we carry all the stuff needed without running/biking/yoga-ing with a suitcase? Many options are available, but a few really work well for keeping things contained in a small package.
- Myabetic has a wonderful arm case. This dual-compartment athletic armband (myabetic.com/shop/dexcom-g4/armband) features a front zipper pocket custom designed for the Dexcom CGM receiver. A clear plastic window provides screen visibility and cutouts allow for easy access to receiver buttons. The larger, back pocket can be used to hold a phone, iPod, MP3 player or other exercise needs. This main compartment also features a slot for your ID and/or credit cards and reinforced holes for earphone wires. An elastic loop sewn on the size-adjustable armband provides a place to store glucose gel or tabs.
- Spibelt - When I started using Spibelt there was not a version made specifically for diabetes. Their latest products provide a small opening in the pocket to allow an infusion set to pop through the pocket. This product is a wonder – it keeps things secure against the body without bouncing, and can hold not only your pump, but a cell phone as well as test strip bottle and lancing device.
- Temp basal and extended bolus: Have you found the perfect temp basal for an activity or perhaps an extended bolus that worked great for the last time you had pizza? Make a notecard of commonly used boluses, carb counts and temp basals and keep this in your BG monitor pouch for easy access. This is especially helpful for kids and teens who may be away from parents when bolusing for food or adjusting for exercise. Omnipod® also allows you to save temp basal programs so you can choose them (and name them) for your set activity.
- Travel: Make a packing list that includes all the diabetes supplies you’ll need OR keep a travel bag packed with diabetes supplies that you refill after each vacation. Check each item off the list as it is put in the bag.
- Monthly supplies: Order all supplies on the same day of the month. If you have mail order, it makes it easy to remember when items will arrive so you won’t leave sensitive supplies out in the freezing cold or blistering heat. Write the date on the calendar or set a reminder on a phone calendar to remind you when to call for all the supplies and one for reminding you when they will arrive.