From day one diabetics are constantly told what we should try to avoid if we want stable blood sugars. This could be fast food, sugary food, extreme temperatures, too much exercise, too little exercise, alcohol, smoking and so on. To be honest, if you always avoided everything on this never ending list you'd live a pretty boring life. So, in this post I'm going to steer clear of all that negativity and talk about the things that you should welcome with open arms. As a diabetic of 11 years now, I can wholeheartedly say that each of these seven things have genuinely helped me to live a happy life with diabetes. We all know it's not easy, but every little really does help!!
1. A Kit
I rave on about kits way too often but I can't stress enough how much they help. Stuffing your diabetes things into a pencil case is all well and good until you have to stab your finger with a pen needle because you've left the finger pricker behind- It's sore. When you have a kit you can clearly see if you have absolutely each and every one of the many things you need.
Have one kit in your bag and an emergency one in the place you spend the most time outside of home, whether that's the glove compartment of your car or at work. I use the ones from Sugar Medical and they really are my favourites. They have quirky designs with everything clearly laid out in front of you, so it’s so easy to see if you’re missing anything. You can use the code josiewilkins15 at checkout for 15% off.
2. Frío Bag
Now that you have your kit, you should invest in a Frío bag. These bags are essential if you're going on a sun holiday. I have genuinely found that the heat often leaves my insulin useless and these completely prevent that. They'll keep your insulin cool and are designed to suit all types of insulin pumps, pens and cartridges. You can click here to get one.
3. Hypo Treatment Stock
We all know that we need to carry a hypo treatment but my top tip is to buy them in bulk. Once a month I buy a six pack of Lucozade tablets which you can get on amazon here. Lucozade tablets are handy as they're fast acting, easily portable and nobody is ever going to ask you for one, unlike skittles. Buying them in bulk allows me to stash a packet in my most used bags and jacket pockets so I'm always covered if a hypo does happen.
4. Hyper Hypo Sports Bra
I genuinely can't express how glad I am that I came across the Hyper Hypo Sports Bra. I used to go for my morning runs wearing a bulky fanny pack. Thanks to this sports bra I can now run free!! It has a little pocket inside to fit the insulin pump but I use it for my glucose tablets, glucose monitor and finger pricker. All of these fit securely inside with ease. No more worrying about things falling out of pockets or having a hypo mid-run. Plus, they're stunning.
5. A Daily Planner
I'm not a fan of the sugar level journal that the hospital gives out. The notes section is far too simply divided into breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime. What about before I do exercise or when I randomly want a packet of crisps? I check my blood sugars far more than four times a day and need more space to document this. On the other hand, I've found that some other diabetes journals out there are a bit too micro-managing. I don't know nor do I care about the exact amount of glasses of water I have every day.
That is why I love this notebook by Bullet Keeper. You can see each day of the week on the page, so it's easy to notice trends in blood sugars. Also, the days aren't dated, so you can stop and start as you please. It also has a monthly planner where I note when I changed my insulin capsule so I know when it's time to change it again. In the empty notes section at the back I make notes of how much insulin I correctly took with a food I don't usually eat so I know what to do for next time.
6. Think Like a Pancreas
The book that I wish I had been given at diagnosis is Think Like a Pancreas which you can find here, by Gary Scheiner. It contains countless tips that took me years to figure out on my own and literally has all the information you need to help you learn how to live with Type 1! Gary also explains how far along medication and technology has come which really makes you appreciate everything that is available for Type 1 Diabetics today. If you’ve been recently diagnosed, thinking about getting a pump or just wanting to learn more about diabetes, this is a must-buy.
7. Quest Nutrition Pizza
Pizza is the most upsetting thing for my blood sugars. This is also the most upsetting thing for me. Or should I say it WAS, until I found Quest Nutrition. Cauliflower pizza crust is fine and all but to be honest, it's effort. When I want a pizza it's because I'm too lazy to cook and with the cauliflower pizza crusts you need to start making the whole thing from scratch. Quest nutrition's pizzas are ready to go, ridiculously low in carbohydrates and just simply the BEST THINGS EVER. They don't destroy my blood sugars and are so unbelievably satisfying. Quest nutrition pizzas are literally an essential part of a diabetics life.
There you have it! My top seven things that have helped me live with Type 1 and would truly recommend. Hope you enjoyed. x