Call your diabetes team when you have problems. Choose members of the team with whom you feel comfortable.
Try to accept that you have diabetes.
As soon as you can, tell your friends that you have diabetes.
Carry your diabetes supplies and use them whenever you need to.
Tell your diabetes team the things you like to do. They will help you find a way to keep doing them.
Wear an ID bracelet or necklace-it could save your life.
Never wait to treat a low blood sugar.
Do not use the fact that you have diabetes to get attention.
Never skip meals or snacks.
Never skip a bedtime snack.
Always include protein (eggs, cheese, meat, peanut butter, etc. ) in your bedtime snack.
Do not skip insulin shots.
Tell your diabetes team if you are concerned about your weight. They can help you.
Ask your parents to help you. You do not have to do everything on your own.
Do not get discouraged. Some days are not your days and your blood glucose may be difficult to control. The important thing is that you are trying.
Do not drink alcohol. If you drink, always eat. If you drink, do not drive.
Check your ketones periodically. Know what to do-ask your team, it may save you a trip to the emergency room.
Check your blood glucose at least four times per day and use the information to make insulin dose adjustments.
Learn to count the grams of carbohydrates in food and get good at it. It could be fun.
Learn how much insulin you need to control blood glucose after eating each food that you like to eat.
Tell your diabetes team you want to learn how to adjust your insulin doses.
Study your blood glucose at least once a week and learn from it.
Once in a while, know your blood glucose at 2 or 3 a.m. It will help you understand your and make the right decisions.
Once in a while, check your blood glucose two hours after a meal.
Do anything that you have to do to control your blood glucose. Then go and do what you love to do.
Make sure you believe that the closer to normal your blood glucose is, the healthier you are and will be in the future.
If you do not believe #26, ask your diabetes team about the DCCT study or look it up by yourself.
Know your hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) and what it means (average blood glucose during the last two to three months). Try to have a HbA1c between 7 and 8 % or less, if possible, (BG 150 to 180 mg/dl) with less than 4 episodes of low blood glucose per week.
Always try to learn if there is anything else you could do to control your blood glucose.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!
Always write down questions for your diabetes team before you go to the appointment. Make the visit worth it.
Tell your diabetes team that you are available to talk to children with newly diagnosed diabetes.
Go to a diabetes support group. It can help you.
Get organized and control your blood glucose. It will help you in many other aspects of your life.
Find out how an insulin pump works. Even if you do not want to use one, it will help you understand diabetes.
Go to a diabetes camp at least once in your life.
Always have a snack for exercise, unless you just had a meal.
Remember that any improvement in your blood glucose is worth it, no matter how small it is.
Greetings from Nadia
A few facts about me in case you are new to my column and site.
My life in the diabetes community started at a young age as the secret keeper of my maternal and paternal Grandmothers. They both had type 2 diabetes and my days spent alone with them exposed me to their misunderstanding of how their diabetes really affected them. Eating candy bars, hiding the candy wrappers and smoking cigarettes seemed innocent enough to them. A decade later I married a type 1 person living with diabetes and experienced the full court of the diabetes spectrum with my type 2 family members and type 1 husband of almost 20 years.
My grandmothers, the type 2 have struggled with their diabetes as long as I could remember. Later my mother followed in her mother’s footsteps. Sadly, my brother followed in my mother’s footsteps and experienced an early passing at the age of 53. My brother Jamal’s passing had the greatest impact on me. Probably because were the Irish twins; eleven months apart and his departure devastated me.
As I tell most people, diabetes is not a glamorous profession. Most people that work in the industry have a personal connection. This is why I am still here publishing after 26 years.
On the flip side of the coin, helping and inspiring people is my mission. I understand the daily challenges you face regardless of your education, IQ and economic circumstance. I am not a healthcare professional. Simply a lay person who has lived with a Type 1 and Type 2 family member who struggled with their disease. My former Type 1 husband was a role model in how to manage your diabetes, while my intelligent family members were role models on how an invisible disease can be misunderstood, devastating the quality of their life while leaving heart broken family members behind.
The perils of my experience have taught me to never judge anyone. As knowledgeable as I am, I also realize that I have no idea of the strings that pull at each person heart.
What I love about the diabetes community?
Once I meet someone and we share that we have a common experience; their diabetes and my life long experience as a care taker, we tend to have an instant bond. Think about it. How many people do you meet who you feel really get you right after your introduction? The conversations that follow tend to be very personal. Not a common experience with all strangers.
I started this column because where ever I go, people tend to ask me a lot of diabetes questions.
My answers are my opinions and it is not to be replaced by your healthcare professional’s opinion. The answers to your question in most cases will include research and other links to give you a borader perspective on your question.