Fit 5 on Friday: Spring Cleaning for your Diabetes

April 4, 2014By 2 Comments


It’s that time of year when we all get the itch.  We’ve been cooped up inside, too lazy and filled with comfort food to do anything besides count down the days until the snow melts.  Well, here we are!  We all get that ‘bug’, sort of that nesting instinct to go through our closets, buy new bed linens, let the light in and dust until you find yourself dusting the cat because there is nothing left to dust!

What about trying something a little different this year?  When you go to clean out your diabetes cabinet/drawer, make it a bigger project for yourself.  Here is a list of 5 things you can do this Spring to clean out your diabetes baggage, in more ways then one.

  1. Donate your old un-used supplies: Depending on the organization and the condition of your supplies, you may be able to take that unopened box of syringes that has never been touched or that free meter that is still in the box that you got from a diabetes expo and donate those goods to a very important cause.  AYUDA supports, educates and helps to keep hope alive in youth with T1D all around the world.  Check out their site for more info. Ifyou have carb counting books lying around or other diabetes education tools, try calling your area diabetes camp to see if they could use them.  Same goes for any gently used electronics or sporting equipment that may be able to be used at a summer camp for kids with diabetes.  There are many other resources out there, so just Google ‘donate diabetes supplies’ and find an organization that best fits what you may have to offer, or if you know of one please leave it in the comments section of this post.
  2. While your deciding on what to donate, take a good look and decide what you should have to keep!  Do you have an extra meter in case yours kicks the bucket?  Do you have an old extra pump laying around and your not sure it even still works?  Put batteries in these things and make sure they are still functioning so that when you do go to reach in and use them during a diabetes black-out (all systems breakdown), you’ll know you have a reliable back up option.  If your devices are totally ancient, it’s always fun to just keep them and show your great grandkids how you defied the odds…even with archaic machinery!
  3. Check those expiration dates!  If you walk around my house right now you would find probably about 4 vials of opened insulin bottles in various places that I stop and change my site depending on where my daughter decides to scoot off to these days as I follow her around the house to keep her out of trouble.  Now, I could probably guess that at least a couple of them have been at room temp for more then 30 days and I need to organize that and throw them out.  Go through your fridge and check the dates on your insulin vials.  While your at it, do you have a vial or pen of long acting insulin in there for emergencies and pump-breakdowns?  You should!  Make a note to get a script from your Endo the next time you see him so that you can always keep a vial of long acting insulin on hand if you are a pumper.  While your at it, make sure he gives you a script for a new Glucagon pen… I’m betting right now yours is expired and actually you probably don’t know where it is!
  4. Doctor appts:  Have you put off your annual eye exam?  Do you keep canceling your Endo appt because you don’t want to get a hand slap for a crappy A1c?  Well, cut it out!  Get going would you!  I’ve canceled my last two Endo appts for that very reason, afraid of the scolding I’m gonna get.  So instead, I decided to just make an effort to check my BGs even more frequently and make sure I am entering them all in my pump.  That way, when he see’s that my A1c is undoubtedly going to be high, he can at least have lot’s of data to work with when he downloads my pump.  Therefore I will get the most out of my visit with him.  I also finally realized I had been putting off seeing my eye doctor because I didn’t want to make the commute back home to go to my usual guy.  So I made the effort to find a specialist closer to where I live now, and got that appt out of the way.  Stop procrastinating!
  5. One final thing; you also need to spring-clean your BLOOD SUGARS!  I’m talking about no longer being lazy about changing your pump site, or rotating it for that matter, when you have had a string of highs that you can’t seem to explain.  I’m also saying put sticky notes all over the house to remind you to BOLUS and not to wait until you realize you didn’t bolus and end up chasing a high all day.  Whatever it takes.  I simply asked my husband to help me to remember to do this by telling me to just ‘bolus’ every time he sees me eating anything (that includes a couple Cadbury eggs you Easter candy hoarders!).  He saw me drinking a juice box the other day and he yelled ‘BOLUS!’…come on man, I’m low! But at least he’s trying to help me.

Whatever you need to do to clean out your diabetes this Spring, it will only help you to enjoy a healthier and happier summer!

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Comments (2)

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  1. Elizabeth Shapiro says:

    Spring cleaning is always a great idea! And it sounds like the hubby is taking the bolus-reminding duties to a new level!

  2. Veronica says:

    So much to keep track of ! Great article, Regina.

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