Diabetes Life Hacks, Find Experts

The Diabetes Blog Week theme for today is Diabetes Life Hacks, and the topic we are to write about are the tips and tricks that help me in my day-to-day management of diabetes. And it’s interesting, despite the fact that my brother refers to me as the one he calls when he has a diabetes question (he says he does that because I’m the most up to date on what’s happening in the diabetes world!) I don’t actually have very many hacks that help me with my day-to-day diabetes.

Charlie and Mari's Brother Marty at the Tour de Cure Twin Cities
Charlie and Mari’s Brother Marty at the Tour de Cure Twin Cities

Well, maybe I do. What I do that I’m not sure everyone does is Find Experts. I have fired a number of endocrinologists that weren’t helpful. And I’ve traveled far to see an outstanding endocrinologist.  (For about a year, I flew from Denver to Chicago to see an outstanding endocrinologist who helped me figure out how to manage my diabetes during the 400 mile bike ride I did across the state of Colorado.) I’ve made sure that I have super smart, athletic diabetes educators and registered dietitians in my life that I can consult with about my diabetes challenges.

Jenny Smith, CDE & RD, one of the ones I can call when I have a question!
Jenny Smith, CDE & RD, one of the ones I can call when I have a question!

Along the lines of finding experts, I engage with really smart people who also have diabetes. It’s incredibly useful to have conversations with others who are super committed to understanding diabetes and how to most effectively manage it. For example, a few months ago, I had a wonderful conversation with fellow T1, Scott Johnson, the 2014 Keynote Speaker at the Tour de Cure Twin Cities Champions Dinner, about testing basal rates. The two of us agreed to support each other in doing some basal rate testing. It was incredibly helpful to have the support of another person who’s lived a long time with diabetes.

Scott & Mari, the night we met to plan basal testing!
Scott & Mari, the night we met to plan basal testing!

I am training for a 100 mile Tour de Cure bike ride in Coralville, Iowa that will be June 28, 2014. I’m doing the training with Terena Wilkens, a T2 gal, and we often talk about nutrition and how we’ll carry all the nutrition we will need for the big day. Plus we encourage each other to stay on track with the training!

An example of how awesome it is to be a part of such a big community of people with diabetes happened yesterday. I went to see an orthopedic physician because my shoulder has been hurting and getting tighter and tighter over the past 6 months. I had a sneaking suspicion it might be frozen shoulder, and sure enough, after x-rays and a number of manual manipulations and tests, I got an official diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis, the formal name for frozen shoulder.

I posted about the diagnosis on my Facebook wall and within a few minutes I had 10 comments, many from others with diabetes who had also had the challenge of frozen shoulder.  Within 24 hours, I had over 45 comments from many who had survived frozen shoulder. I got lots of great suggestions and insights, and I feel very hopeful about my recovery. In fact, I started the Home Exercise Program that the doctor gave me and while they are challenging to do, I can tell that already my range of motion is slightly improved. It’s helpful to know that many others with diabetes have survived frozen shoulder.

Mari, Kathy, Carla & Terena - Good friends, most with diabetes!
Mari, Kathy, Carla & Terena – Good friends, most with diabetes!

And my final diabetes hack, if it is a hack, is the diabetes record keeping app called mySugr. I love it! I’ve told about 10 people about it and at least 8 of them have become regular users of it. I love keeping track of my blood sugars, it’s extremely helpful to be able to make insulin adjustments. And using mySugr is just awesome. Plus I can email reports to my endocrinologist, which earns me big points!! Give it a try and keep doing what it takes to effectively manage your diabetes, or whatever life challenge you have! You are worth it!

And, along those lines, be sure to sign up for my newsletter! I will send you periodic, uplifting emails.

MySugr on an iPhone! Way Cool!
MySugr on an iPhone! Way Cool!


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6 thoughts on “Diabetes Life Hacks, Find Experts”

  1. Thanks for the great #DBlogWeek post, Mari! I love all of the hacks you shared, and really appreciate the shout out and mention of mySugr.

    I think surrounding ourselves with great people, offline and online, is one really great way to stay inspired.

    I can’t wait to hear about the super successful century ride for you and Terena! So exciting!

    • Scott,
      It’s been really fun to participate in the DBlog Week!! I heard you all on DSMA on Thursday evening too! You guys are so awesome! I am having so much success using mySugr!! I’m glad I’ve started using it. I’m going on 7 months with everyday record keeping!!

      And I agree, staying inspired is helped so much by having great people around us! Enjoy the rest of your time in Europe. We are all super excited to see you on May 30th!!!
      See you soon!

    • Lesley,
      You made me laugh out loud!! I’m glad you liked my hack!!! I hadn’t thought of my tendency to find experts as a hack until I was thinking about the question of making diabetes easier. That got me thinking about what I do. Then I figured, why not call it a hack!!
      I hope you’re having a great day!!

  2. Surrounding ourselves with experts is a great “hack” and the way to be an informed patient. Thanks for the reminder, and for sharing about your frozen shoulder. For quite a while I’ve been pretty sure I have it too but have been too chicken to go get diagnosed. You are helping me feel less scared.

    • Karen,
      I’m glad you are going to get some support for your shoulder!! I don’t think it’s something to be afraid of. The body wants to be whole and healed!!
      I’m sending you the worksheet of exercises I got yesterday!!
      Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!!

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