Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Top Ten

Today I met with Alexa, a 12 year old diabetic, who I have mentioned before.  I met with her and her father to talk about the insulin pump and of course topics surrounding diabetes came up.  Of course, my life with diabetes is similar to hers, yet in a completely different world, while she is bolusing for dunker-roos and having to manage diabetes in gym class, I am bolusing for a bowl of chips and managing diabetes for a night on the town.   As I shared my experience with diabetes with her and more particularly with an insulin pump, I started to think of the top ten things that I have learned about diabetes in the past three years.   So, here the list goes - and yes I was also inspired by David Letterman's top 10 lists.

1.  Expect the unexpected.  You may think you are fine with the site you're wearing, so why pack an extra - but no, if you don't prepare for the unexpected then everything will go wrong.   

2.  A number doesn't describe you.  If you have a high number , you're not a bad diabetic...and if you're low, you're not doing a good job.    Diabetes isn't stable, your numbers will go all over the place, but that doesn't make you who you are.

3.  Leave your meter, strips and poker out in the open.  If it is in your bag you're not going to go looking for it to get it out and check.  It's already annoying to have to test in the first place, so don't force yourself to play a game of hide and go prick.

4.  Get involved.  Not everyone is open about their diabetes - but trust me, helping one diabetic a day will make you feel good.  Join a group on Facebook for type 1 diabetics and give a tip or even just words of encouragement to someone who is in need.  It will make you feel like a professional diabetic as well as feel like you did a good deed.

5.  If your site rips out - keep calm and give yourself a break.   Don't fret when your site rips out even though it is a pain!  Give yourself some time pump free for a few minutes, then get ready to assemble the supplies.  Maybe your insulin pump really just wanted a break and that's why it took the plunge. 

6.  Don't let anyone stop you from doing what you want to do just because you have diabetes.  You know your own limits and know your diabetes, so when someone tells you you shouldn't or you can't  - PROVE THEM WRONG!

7. Eat what you love, just remember to bolus!   As we know people think that diabetics have to limit what they eat, but thankfully that train of thought is so pre 1922'    So, enjoy life, eat that piece of cake, just remember that one extra step before you indulge.

8.  Stock up your supplies - there is nothing like realizing you have one site left and a few units of insulin in a vial.  Having a decent supply of diabetes supplies gives you peace of mind!

9.  Have fun with your diabetes - think about pink sites, purple pumps, zebra skins and fun ways to keep your diabetes stylish, after all this isn't your grandparents diabetes.

10.  Give yourself credit for what you do every single day.  Reward yourself, smile at your achievements and kick diabetes butt! 

I'd love to hear everyone top 10! So what have you learned over the years of your diagnosis?


1 comment:

  1. Funny thing is that I also chose the "Letterman Top 10" format for my TELUS Walk page this year! Check it out at then put in Nadine Ahrens. Enjoy!