Diabetes Blog Week 2014 – Diabetes Life Hacks

Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes.  Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only!

I’m not sure if this is a diabetes “hack”, and it’s likely only going to matter to people living in California, but if you live in the Golden State…

Did you know that Walgreens pharmacies will straight up give you a sharps container if you ask for one? I asked Google what was up with that and found this FAQ from calrecycle.ca.gov. And I quote:

SF Recycling & Disposal administers the program, which is funded through garbage rates paid by the residents of the City of San Francisco. The company buys the sharps containers, delivers them to participating Walgreens, and arranges for a medical waste company to pick up the full containers. More than 1,500 containers are distributed to the residents of San Francisco each month. After collection from Walgreens, the needles and other sharps are microwaved to sterilize them and then ground up and discarded at specially permitted landfills. When garbage collectors observe needles in the trash, the customer is contacted and told about the Safe Needle Disposal Program. For fiscal year 2007, the Safe Needle program costs were $231,395. Labor & related costs were $102,197, disposal costs were $96,754, and supplies were $32,444. As a percentage of total revenues, this works out to 0.25%. On a customer basis, for the ~151,800 residential/apartment customers it’s ~$1.52 per year or 13 cents per month.

I couldn’t find anything to suggest that CVS or other competitors have a similar program, but if you have a Walgreens nearby and you don’t want to use empty 2 liter soda bottles for your diabetes waste, give it a go.

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Diabetes Blog Week 2014 – Mantras and More

Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day.  Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day.  Is there something positive you tell yourself?  Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through?  Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we’ve done that and we can help others do it too?

I’ve noticed that I separate my frustrations with diabetes from the rest of my goings on through the lens of my camera. Some days, I really need to just go for a walk.

San Francisco has been kind in its feedback to this grand idea.

| Lands End

| Lands End

| Lands End

And yes, this includes the cats too.



By focusing on something other than diabetes, even if only for a moment, I can try to leave that 363 mg/dL behind. I think focusing through my camera lens is a good way to distract myself, particularly when diabetes demands a distraction.

// As prompted by Karen Graffeo, creator of Diabetes Blog Week.

Diabetes Blog Week 2014 – What Brings Me Down

May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?

I won’t lie and say living with diabetes is easy, but the tools and technology at my disposal certainly reduce a lot of the external stress and frustration that are often associated with this disease. When I talk about my own diabetes, I understand that control is largely within my grasp, and up to me to follow through on. When we’re talking about someone else’s diabetes, like say, the woman I’m going to marry. Keeping calm is a bit more difficult.

As I wrote 3 years ago:

I think I feel even more helpless when that low blood glucose registers on someone else’s meter. I can get a caprisun or glucose tabs for you, no problem, but then the waiting game starts. I hate waiting for the correction to kick in. I hate that I can’t do any more than what I’ve already done. I want to move mountains but have to settle for twiddling my thumbs. I literally know exactly what you are going through, but I can’t settle on the fact that I’ve done all that I can. I’m glad I can be around to help out, but seeing what diabetes can do to you is a thousand times worse than whatever it can do or has done to me. If I could take on twice the diabetes so you didn’t have to deal with any of this, I would. For now, I’ll keep a caprisun on standby.

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Diabetes Blog Week 2014 – Poetry Tuesday

This year, Diabetes Blog Week and TuDiabetes are teaming up to bring out the poet in you! Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes. After you’ve posted it on your blog, share it on the No Sugar Added® Poetry page on TuDiabetes, and read what others have shared there as well!

My poetic prowess prefers protection from perception of potential patrons of this platform. Truth be told, I’m not much for rhyming, counting syllables, or anything else that resembles writing with any sort of style. That said, I tried a haiku.

Two cupcakes for me.

(Perfect justification)

I’m medicating.

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Diabetes Blog Week 2014 – Change the World

Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you.

I think I’ve found my calling as a patient advocate in the form of storytelling. Specifically, helping others share their story. I believe that every patient (or in this specific case, person impacted with diabetes) deserves to have their voice heard, and their story told. I’m just one person, but I figure if I can build an audience and a following around the idea of story-sharing, that’s something I can hang my hat on at the end of the day.

Story-sharing is the basis of my podcast, Just Talking. While my platform isn’t tremendous, I see my podcast as a means to promote stories from new and sometimes familiar faces. It’s an opportunity to hear about the impact of the diabetes community in their own words.

Story-sharing is why I continue to experiment with Tumblr to connect with people living with diabetes and help share new stories from that community. I’m not sure what comes after My Diabetes Secret, but I’ll let you know if I figure something out.

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