Living with Diabetes

mySugr Lukas and his diabetes toolkit

7/1/2015 by Scott Johnson
mySugr Lukas smiling in front of his computer

It's great to learn how other people with diabetes take care of their diabetes monsters. Sometimes it opens up a world of possibilities that we would never have thought of otherwise. With that in mind, we're asking all of the people at mySugr with diabetes to share what's in their diabetes toolkit, and why. Here is Lukas Schuster, one of our awesome mySugr Developers.

When were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed kind of late – when I was about 17 to 18 years old. I suddenly started drinking like 7-9 bottles of water or juice in the morning and at first I was very afraid to go to the doctor. I knew he was going to tell me something was wrong, and as long as no one told me, I didn’t need to worry. Right? But I finally went to the hospital and got diagnosed. It was very hard to deal with until I stopped feeling ashamed about my diabetes and realized it was not my fault.
Lukas at his desk smiling at the camera

What device(s) do you use to check your blood sugar? Why did you choose that one/those ones?

I recently switched from taking shots with insulin pens to an insulin pump. It’s been about two months now since I started with my OmniPod. I use the built-in FreeStyle meter on my OmniPod PDM because I hate to carry so much stuff with me all the time! Using the OmniPod PDM means I don’t need to carry an extra meter. I’m also currently fighting with the local insurances to approve a Dexcom CGM and hope for the best. With luck, that will join the OmniPod PDM in my pockets soon, too! I wish the OmniPod PDM were smaller, but I don’t have much of a choice if I don’t want to carry another meter with me.

What do you use to deliver your insulin? Why did you choose that device or method?

I switched to the OmniPod because of my constant fear of injections. And I have to say I really made the right decision. Instead of many shots each day, I put on a new OmniPod pump every few days, which is only a single needle stick. My life is easier now! But it’s important to know that the fine-tuning and pump adjustments did take some time. Now I like to say that I tamed my pump, too!

How do you usually treat your lows? Why?

When it comes to treating my lows I try to stick to the classics, which means sugar-tabs, mostly dextro energy, BUT ONLY THE ONES WITH TASTE, preferably strawberry or lemon. I know some or maybe even the most diabadasses & monster tamers don’t like them, but I like them so much that I need to control myself to not eat them ALL THE TIME! Haha! There is one exception when I don’t like them, and that is for night hypos, but only because of the most disgusting taste in your mouth when you wake up the next morning! So at night I tend to use water with syrup or Coke (but Coke makes it hard for me to get back to sleep…).

Is there anything else you consider an important part of your diabetes toolkit?

There is the most important thing, my Holy Bag *tadaaaaaahhhh* (you hear Holy background noises while you read…)! I stumbled across this bag a couple of years ago in a cool urban tool store in Vienna while walking with a study colleague of mine. I was always struggling with all the stuff I needed to take with me, and even felt like I was trapped in a cage… a cage made up by my backpack, or laptop bag, because all the diabetes stuff won’t fit in my normal pockets. So, I found this bag and it’s exactly what I need! It has more than enough room for my pump, sugar-tabs, backup insulin, a backup insulin pen, backup needles, and backup test strips, and could even hold more! I know that’s more than I probably need, but I just want to be prepared for anything. And as long as I’m already carrying the bag, why not take all the stuff with me? I can wear it while riding my motorbike, and also when I’m out for a run. It’s waterproof so even rain and bad weather is no problem. I feel like it gives me back a piece of my freedom to go wherever I want without needing to think about what I’m going to do there and what I need. I just take the bag in the morning, and that’s it! That’s why I love the bag! <img src="https://assets.mysugr.com/website/mysugr.com-wordpress/uploads/2015/06/Blog_Lukas_bag-1024x768.jpg" alt="A cool urban carryall bag with some diabetes supplies around it" width="1024" height="768" srcset="https://assets.mysugr.com/website/mysugr.com-wordpress/uploads/2015/06/Blog_Lukas_bag-1024x768.jpg 1024w, https://assets.mysugr.com/website/mysugr.com-wordpress/uploads/2015/06/Blog_Lukas_bag-300x225 Click This Link.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" />
A red mySugr monster avatar
Thank you, Lukas! Your bag is awesome, and I will admit to being envious when I’m struggling to carry all of my stuff!

Scott Johnson

Almost famous for his addiction to Diet Coke, Scott has lived well with diabetes for almost forty years and is currently the Patient Success Manager, USA for mySugr. He's an active pioneer in the diabetes social media space and along with his work at mySugr, he manages his award-winning blog, scottsdiabetes.com when time allows.