Living with Diabetes

mySugr Sarah and her diabetes toolkit

11/22/2016 by Scott Johnson

It's great to learn how other people with diabetes take care of their diabetes.

With that in mind, we're asking some of the people at mySugr with diabetes to share what's in their diabetes toolkit, and why. You've already heard from Marlis & Lukas, and today we have one of our awesome Customer Support Angels, Sarah. You may already know her from Twitter or her awesome blog, Sugabetic.

When were you diagnosed?

11/22/1988. Cool date, huh? I find numbers interesting, so having repetitive numbers in my diagnosis date is weirdly awesome to me. I was 4 years old. I had been showing signs for a while - frequent urination, wetting the bed, drinking a lot. When it came down to having lots of stomach pain, my mom and dad decided it was time to take me to the doctor. They tested my urine and it was showing over 250. My mom heard the nurse tell the doctor, “Looks like we’ve got another one!” So, it seems it was a popular day to be diagnosed. I spent a week in the hospital after that day. It’s crazy to me to think parents now are just sent home with their kids now after just a 1-2 hour appointment. I learned to inject saline into an orange and check my sugar before leaving. Then, we were on our own… armed with insulin, needles, and a meter that took 2 minutes to show my blood sugar. My, how far we’ve come! [caption id="attachment_9091" width="768"]

Woman smiling with a small boy and small girl
Sarah and her beautiful kids

Sarah and her beautiful kids[/caption]

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

I have an array of meters, but I tend to stick to my Accu-Chek® Guide meter or my OneTouch Verio Flex meters. I love those because they connect to my iPhone, so there are no cables to plug in. I connect these meters to Apple Health, which then sends my data to mySugr. I go back in later and fill in the carbs and insulin for my meals. It helps me save a lot of time since I test 10-15 times a day! [caption id="attachment_9108" width="1024"]

Blinged out diabetes stuff from Sarah
Dexcom receiver, Tandem t:slim insulin pump, and OneTouch Verio Flex meter

Dexcom receiver, Tandem t:slim insulin pump, and OneTouch Verio Flex meter[/caption]

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

I use the Tandem t:slim insulin pump! I’ve used it for four years now, and I plan on upgrading to the t:slim X2 insulin pump next month. I like the touch-screen interface because it makes delivering insulin much faster than other pumps (and I’ve tried them all!), and being a mom to two kids, I need devices that will help me live my life without much interference from managing diabetes. I do take “pump breaks” occasionally, so I’ll use insulin pens instead of syringes just for convenience. This is when I depend on my logbook more than ever since I don’t have a pump record to fall back on for keeping accurate records.

How do you usually treat your lows? Why?

I use glucose tabs sometimes, but most of the time, I try to find candy that has been made with dextrose as it’s main component (my favorite being Smarties!) to keep with me for lows since they react the fastest. I will, however, also use fruit snacks (gummies) or the occasional Pop-Tart. Usually, whatever I can fit into the pocket of a diaper bag is what I grab and take with me! [caption id="attachment_9092" width="1024"]

Myabetic diabetes supply bag
Sarah's supplies in a cool Myabetic bag

Sarah's supplies in a cool Myabetic bag[/caption]

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

My pricker and my used strip container. I don’t like most prickers on the market, so I keep a pretty short leash on my Accu-Chek FastClix lancing device. I like that it can hold 6 lancets in the drum, which means it takes up less space in my Myabetic case to carry more drums. It’s also the most comfortable to use since it’s shaped like a pen, and it doesn’t hurt like some others (even though they claim they don’t). It’s my absolute favorite! And my used strip container. If there’s anything that bugs me most, it’s finding used test strips floating in my bag or on the floor. Plus, having a little one at home, it’s essential to keep those things out of reach. So, I have an old, used Tic-Tac canister that I’ve decorated with tape and stickers (I’m a bit of a child at heart!), and I keep it in my bag to put my strips in. Then, when I need to empty it, I just take the top off, dump it out, and put it back together and in my bag again! Super easy and super neat! [caption id="attachment_9123" width="490"]

Sarah's mySugr Monster
Sarah's mySugr Monster

Sarah's mySugr Monster[/caption]

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.