Because sometimes you have to laugh at life with diabetes

laugh at life with diabetes

Life with diabetes is stressful but often we can find humour in the most
interesting places! Here a few things that have made us all chuckle over
the years.

Who can forget this video….

Where is the strangest place you have ever found a test strip?

We all know that test strips are actually alive. They move on their own. They can be found in the most unique locations. Here are some of the interesting
places that we have heard of.  These ones made us laugh…a lot! Please feel free to share with us some of the strange places your test strips have ever been found.

test strip in coffeeThanks to Michael for sharing!!

“Somehow, a One Touch Ultra strip ended up in my coffee cup at work this morning. No idea how it got there, but probably involved a morning blood test of 211 that caused
me to cuss and toss my case across my desk. There must have been flailing test strips at hand, also. So, in the spirit, my Blood Meter decided to pose nearby the swimming test strip.”

Teresa I. found one in her daughter’s thick, curly hair after her daughter brushed it with a brush that was next to Teresa’s bed. The strip stayed in there through a full day of school!

Someone else found on that had been used as a bookmark in a school novel!

Test strips have also been found…

  • In the yard
  • Frozen in the ice
  • In a salad
  • In the washer and the dryer
  • Fishing tackle box
  • The teacher’s sweater pocket
  • On the back of the toilet tank
  • In a make up kit that was cleaned out on a weekly basis. How do they find their way to these places??
  • In a clean pair of underwear!

and of course…

test strip on the stoveOn the stove!

 

Strange infusion set locations!

Not to be outdone, we have also found infusion set sites in some very odd places. We have found them in the tub, by the garbage, in the car and even the bottom of my Swifter vac! Always something new.

Fun Diabetes Diddies

Here are some great diabetes poems and tunes that make us laugh and appreciate the creative people in the diabetes community!

Oh A1c

by Alissa

Oh A1c, Oh A1c, I raise my voice to heaven
Oh A1c, Oh A1c, in hopes it’s less than seven
The past three months we’ve had a slump
Despite corrections from the pump
Oh A1c, Oh A1c, just please don’t be eleven

Oh A1c, Oh A1c, we’ve tried to stay in range
Oh A1c, Oh A1c, so it seems very strange
That when I download from her Flash
I see the spikes and then the crash
Oh A1c, Oh A1c, you shall this Mom derange

Oh A1c, Oh A1c, I wake with such a fright
Oh A1c, Oh A1c, to my alarm’s delight
But one day when the Cure has come
I’ll beat that clock until it’s dumb
Oh A1c, Oh A1c, and sleep a silent night

Count the Carbs

by Alissa

Count the carbs with cups and scales
Fa la la la la la la la la
Guesstimate when all else fails
Fa la la la la la la la la
Hands and fists are quite a treasure
Fa la la la la la la la la
When without a one cup measure
Fa la la la la la la la la

Factored carbs are even greater
Fa la la la la la la la la
But require a calculator
Fa la la la la la la la la
Units you must designate
Fa la la la la la la la la
Don’t forget to tare the plate!
Fa la la la la la la la la

Candy canes are roughly twenty
Fa la la la la la la la la
You will have to fudge a-plenty
Fa la la la la la la la la
Guess them now and fix it after
Fa la la la la la la la la
Just correct and meet with laughter
Fa la la la la la la la la

Meter (Dreidel)

By Barbie Paulsen

I have a little meter
I use it through the day,
When finger’s done with bleeding
Then dreidel I can play

Chorus:
Oh, meter, meter, meter
I use it every day
And when I’m done with testing
I throw used strips away (Hah!)

I have a little meter,
It counts down really fast
And keeps a steady record
Of when I tested last

–Chorus–

I have a little meter
I take it everywhere
But when I need to use it
Sometimes it isn’t there

No More Lows!

by Alissa

(to the tune of “Let It Snow!”)

Oh the numbers at night are frightful
And the meter now seems spiteful
I’m exhausted and I think it knows
No more lows! No more lows! No more lows!

All this sugar shoving has me praying
That those teeth are not decaying
How much longer is this going to go?
No more lows! No more lows! No more lows!

For a while things worked out right
Numbers were steady till dawn
But now it seems every night
I’m thinking about Glucagon!

Now I’m thinking it would be nifty
If we could see one-fifty
‘Cause the glucose tabs are running low
No more lows! No more lows! No more lows!

rufus the bearRufus the Type 1 Brown Bear

by Alissa and Samantha

Rufus the Type 1 Brown Bear
Had to always prick his toes
And if you checked his sugar
You might come to find he’s low

All of the other brown bears
Thought that Rufus had Type 2
So when they had some candy,
They would tell him, “Not for you!”

Then one day a CDE
Helped him to explain,
“I take insulin, you see,
Sugar is just fine for me!”

Then all the brown bears nodded
As they came and shook his hand
“Rufus we’re really sorry,
Now we finally understand!”

Test Strips

by Alissa

(to the tune of “Latkes”)

Test strips, test strips, I see test strips
Not a little, but a lot of test strips
Test strips, test strips, I see test strips
Not a little, but a lot! Of test strips

Test strips are so useful when they show me my bg
But they turn up later, reproducing magically!

Test strips, test strips, I see test strips
Not a little, but a lot of test strips
Test strips, test strips, I see test strips
Not a little but a LOT!!

 

Six Tricks to Enjoy Halloween with diabetes.

trick or treating with diabetes
from Charles Schultz

It is that time of year again, time to get ready for the Great Pumpkin and all of the fun…and anxiety that Halloween can bring many parents. For those families dealing with diabetes for the first time, the stress of trick or treating with diabetes can be greater than dealing with the challenges of Christmas.

Children are invited to Halloween parties.  There are Halloween events at school and there is the inevitable night of trick or treating.  What do you do with all of that sugar?? Well here are a few things that have helped some parents get through.

Eat while they walk

Its okay to let your child eat candy while he/she is out trick or treating. In fact, go ahead and encourage it (as long as usual Halloween safety rules are applied of course–Mom/Dad checks candy or it is from the home of a good family friend).  All of the walking, running and general excitement will most likely lead to some serious low blood sugars.  You can help to avoid this by letting your child eat the bars, rockets (Smarties for my US friends) and other treats. Your child will feel “normal” and it will be a fun way to keep blood glucose levels in range.

Halloween treats are great from treating lows when you have diabetes

Halloween is the perfect time to stock up on low supplies. It offers fabulous 15-gram packs of sugar just perfect to carry in your bag and treat lows. In fact, even if your child doesn’t take part in Halloween events, you may want to head to the grocery store during this time to grab a few bags of low treats and save a few dollars! They tend to be a lot cheaper than buying glucose tablets from the grocery store.

halloween treats at mealsMake Halloween treats part of a meal

If you like to stick to a set meal plan, you can still add in some of your child’s Halloween treats. A bag of chips is equivalent to a bread exchange. A snack-sized chocolate bar is the equivalent of a fruit exchange.  For a treat, allow your child to have one of their Halloween items as part of a meal or snack.

Buy the candy back

Some families offer their children cash for their candy.  The children can then take the money that they earned collecting candy to purchase a book, game or favourite toy.  Mom and Dad can take the candy to work or save it to enjoy during some downtime when the kids are in bed!

The Great Pumpkin

Have the Great Pumpkin or Halloween witch come to visit.  Much like buying the candy, parents will exchange the candy while the child sleeps.  In place of their loot, the child will receive a movie pass, book or other treats that don’t involve food.

Donate it

Yet another way for our children to learn care and compassion is to take their candy to a local hospital or hostel. Have them share their candy with children who are unable to go out for Halloween.

Halloween is often a fun time for children. Remember that children with diabetes are children first.  Use some of the tips above to ensure that your child has a fun and memorable Halloween or let us know what works for you in the comments!

Tandem® t:slim X2™ is approved for use in Canada and we’re stoked

t:slimX2 approved for canadaTandem® t:slim X2™ insulin pump has been approved for sale in Canada and I am excited.  I know that this pump is not for everyone but for us…well, we have been waiting since it was first brought to the US market.

We were Cozmo users.  Actually Cozmo lovers.  Any pump after our beloved Cozmo was just not the same.  So many features were missing. It felt like we were going back in time.

When the Tandem® t:slim™ insulin pump came out in the US, I was jealous.  Many of our fellow Cozmo pumpers made the switch and were in love.  It wasn’t perfect. Some people have issues with certain features but overall most of them felt that one or two annoyances (some of which the company is working to change) were more than worth it.

Let’s face it, this pump looks cool. It has an iPhone phone look.  It also has some features that we have been missing and others that we are excited to see.

Here are a few of the features that the Tandem® t:slim X2™ have to offer Canadian insulin pumpers.

t:slim X2™ Features:

  • the smallest insulin pump currently available
  • has a 300 unit reservoir
  • does not use batteries but rather is recharged when you plug a USB cable into a regular AC current. You can go approximately 7 days between charges.
  • has a shatterproof, touchscreen
  • Dexcom integrated
  • Bolus by gram of carbs or units of insulin
  • Quick bolus option
  • Integrated calculator with numeric keypad
  •  6 personalized delivery profiles
  • 16 timed insulin delivery settings
  • Site change reminders
  • High and low blood glucose alerts
  • Missed meal bolus alerts
  • Remotely update software (no need to buy an entirely new pump!)
  • Waterproof for up to 3m for 30 minutes

For us, these are features that are worth getting excited about!  You can read the full Tandem announcement here. You can also sign up to learn when the new Tandem® t:slim X2™ will be available in your province here.

Now that we have shown you why we love this new pump, I am curious, what features are most important for you when choosing an insulin pump?

 

How to reduce diabetes waste

Whenever we have changed a site or try out a sensor, I have looked down at the pile of trash and feel incredible guilt. There seems to be so much “stuff” that we are putting in the garbage can. It can’t possibly be good for the environment. In an attempt to protect the world for my future grandchildren, I searched for some way to reduce our waste.  Here is what I found.

Buy in bulk

buy snacks for lows in bulk

If you are purchasing those travel sized packages of glucose tablets, you may want to consider buying the larger bottles.  You can also go to your local Bulk Barn or Walmart and purchase low blood sugar treats in bulk.  If you do this right after Halloween, you can usually score even more treats at a way lower price!

Once you get your glucose tablets or other low treats home, you can then break them down into properly portioned, travel sizes in reusable containers. Those old glucose tablet bottles can be great for this.

Recycle the cardboard

recycle your cardboard boxes

Test strips come in boxes. Insulin comes in boxes. Infusion sets come in boxes. You get the idea. There are a lot of boxes when you live with diabetes. The great news is that most boxes and paper inserts are recyclable. Simply break them down and place them in your cardboard recycling container.

Drop off electronic diabetes devices for recycling

recycle glucometers

Did you know that often your old glucometer and DexCom can be returned to a recycling depot? I didn’t! You no longer have to have a dead meter collection in your drawer because you worried about throwing them in the trash.  Most will be accepted by your local e-waste or e-cycling drop-off center.  If you aren’t sure of a location in your area, you can also go to Earth911.com for the nearest recycling location.

Reuse tubing and other “waste” materials

diabetes art

If you are using an insulin pump, you already have come up with some great ways to reuse your tubing.  Young children love it when you snip the ends off of infusion set tubing and then let them string beads. They can spend hours making cute bracelets and more!

If you don’t have littles around, don’t worry, for those of you who like to garden, tubing is perfect for holding up plants!

Test strip bottle and insulin vials have many uses in creative art projects. Test strip bottles can also be perfect storage containers for thumb-tacks and other small items. Think about all of those things that you used to store in film containers and now you can put them in test strip bottles!

Recycle

recycle diabetes products

After a bit of investigating, I did find that some diabetes supplies can be put in your household recycling bins.

Syringe caps can be recycled in areas that recycle bottle caps. The tops of the built-in inserters on inset®, insetII®s, mio®, Mio30®, Autosoft90® and Autosoft30® can also be recycled. Please ensure proper disposal of the insertion needles, however. If you use an OmniPod, you can take part in the Eco-pod program. It allows you to return pods to Diabetes Express for recycling.

If you are like me, you may still feel like there is a lot of waste in diabetes care but I was surprised to read a study that showed that there may not be as much as we think. A person consuming one soft drink or one beer in a can only every three days has a similar impact on the environment as eleven insulin pump patients using one infusion set each in the same time period. Let me repeat that….one beverage can every three days creates the same amount of waste as eleven pumpers who use one infusion set each!

A person using a tubed insulin pump in fact only produces the same amount of environmental waste as a person who purchases one cup of coffee per day. Mind-blowing.

As great as that makes me feel, by using the tips above, we can further reduce the environmental impact of diabetes waste.

What else do you do to reduce your diabetes waste?

The Signs of Diabetes. Do You Know Them?

I sat in the doctor’s office. It was a room that I had sat in many times before but this time was different. My son was laying lifelessly in my arms.  I was terrified.

We had been to the hospital for bloodwork and x-rays. He hadn’t stirred. I looked across the room and saw a poster that had probably been there for the past 10 years or more but I had never noticed it.  It showed the signs of diabetes.  I have never paid attention before.  It was a disease that happened to other people…until it didn’t.

As I waited I read….

Frequent urination

My son did nothing but soak his diapers for weeks. We were going through Pampers in record time and I had blankets on my couch because accidents were happening.

Constant thirst

We had been to the emergency room in the days before and they said that it was a good sign that he was drinking.  Even when he seemed too weak to get up, he could walk to the fridge and drink a carton of apple juice. They assured me that this was a positive thing.

Blurred vision

My son was 2 years old.  He spent most of his time in my arms. I had no idea if his vision was blurred.  He had no way to tell me either.

Fatigue

My son slept all of the time.  He was sick.  I knew that much.  Sleep was a good thing for a little boy who wasn’t feeling well.

Unexplained Weight-loss

My son had always been tiny.  He hadn’t been eating a lot. He was slight but that was to be expected.

Fruity breath

My son had sweet little boy breath.  I didn’t know that there was anything else that could possibly be going on.

Thrush or other yeast infections

This was a warning sign.  Why did a two-year-old have thrush? The emergency room doctor didn’t offer any explanation.  He simply gave us antibiotics.

I didn’t know the symptoms. I didn’t know that warning signs and neither did the ER doctor. It almost cost my son his life.

Know the signs.  Share them with others.  Together we can save lives. signs and symptoms of diabetes

How to manage airport security with an insulin pump and CGM

traveling with your insulin pump and CGMIn May of 2012, after reading about a friend having problems getting their insulin pump through security at a US airport, I did some research on the subject.  Should you put your pump through the x-ray machine? Can you wear your CGM through a full-body scanner? There were a lot of questions in 2012 and there still are in 2018 so I reached out to a few friends in the industry to see if things have changed at all.  Here is what you need to know when you are traveling with an insulin pump or CGM.

If you wear a Dexcom®

The Dexcom® G5 is cleared to take through metal detectors, be hand-wanded and be worn during flights. There are a few situations to be concerned about, however.

NEVER put your receiver or extra sensors through an x-ray machine.  Ask the security personnel to do a hand-check of the items to avoid permanent damage of these devices.

According to Dexcom®, the effects of full body scanners on CGM components have not been studied. It is therefore recommended that you do not take your Dexcom® through one.

Once you are through security and on your plane waiting for takeoff, make sure to set your app to airplane mode, keeping the bluetooth on and leave your receiver turned on.

If you use FreeStyle Libre

The Dream Big Travel Far blog contacted the people at FreeStyle and asked what the guidelines were for air travel with the Libre.  This is what they reported.

“We recommend the user notify security personnel when going through airport security screening. the user can go through X-ray machines while wearing a sensor. We recommend the reader be powered off during a flight and not used for scanning a sensor. However, the strip port on the reader can be used to take blood glucose or ketone readings during flight. Turning on the reader with the Home Button will activate the radio. The user must turn on the reader by inserting a test strip so as to not activate the radio.”

If you wear an Omnipod

Good news for Omnipod users! You can wear the pod through the metal detector, x-ray machines and full body scanners with no worry.  The PDM can also go through the X-ray. Insulet does recommend that if you are selected for a “pat down” you disclose that you are wearing the pod.

If you wear a Medtronic® insulin pump

Medtronic® insulin pumps can be worn through metal detectors and be wanded.  They should NOT be sent through x-ray machines however.

Medtronic® also notes that your sensor and transmitter must be removed if you are going through a full-body scanner. If you do not want to remove your sensor, you can ask to be pat down instead.

If you wear an Animas® insulin pump

A detailed list of where you can and cannot wear your Animas® pump can be found in my May 2012 post.

Animas® insulin pumps can be worn through metal detectors and can be wanded.  They should NOT be sent through x-ray machines.

Animas® pumps should not be worn through full-body scanners.

Click here for more tips on traveling with diabetes!

Summer Vacation and Shared Parenting

shared parentingIn June of 2011, I was stressing out. My son was finishing up the school year and preparing to head away for a few weeks with his father.  His care was notoriously lacking when he went away.  I was stressed to the max.His insulin needs were less and less. Despite my best efforts at reducing carb to insulin ratios and turning down basal rates, he was still going low.  I wasn’t sure how I would handle it.

You can read all about it here

But guess what? We survived. He did and I did.  He was 13.  The burden of care fell 80% to himself.  His father and brother helped out with site changes.  His father did some of the night-testing.  I worried and learned to live without diabetes for a few weeks but we survived!

Here are a few things that helped deal with shared parenting a child with diabetes.

Two types of calls

We had two types of conversations. “How are you? Are you having fun?”, was the first call. This was the start of all conversations.  Diabetes could not take a front seat unless there was an emergency.  He had to be a child first.

At a set time, however, was the second type of call.  This was a diabetes conversation.  This involved having a meter out,  sharing readings, what he was doing and why a high or low could have occurred. These were strategy sessions…and much shorter than a regular call.  My son didn’t want to be bothered by mom’s nagging or diabetes but he also knew that it had to be done. My concession was to make it short.  I gathered data quickly and offer suggestions.

Seven years later, parents can now get real-time data through sharing apps on the Dexcom and there are even a few hacked Libre sharing programs that can be used.  This can definitely help to ease a parent’s mind but remember not to become obsessed by the numbers. This leads us to another thing that can be hard to remember.

Different doesn’t mean bad

I think that this can be the greatest challenge when joint parenting a child with diabetes.  Whether you are divorced, separated or living in the same household, often there can be different opinions on diabetes care.  A reading that you feel is high and needs immediate attention may a number that someone else is okay with because they know that there is a very active afternoon planned.

Try not to freak out every time the other person does it differently.  Different means just that…not the same way you would handle it.  The biggest rule is “does different endanger the life of your child?” If not then bite your tongue, let your child enjoy their time with the other parent and say a quiet prayer of gratitude when your child comes home healthy and happy.

Adjust basals accordingly

When my son would spend time with his father, he would spend most of his time on the go.  He would be catching up with old friends. He would be on quad or spending the day at the beach. There would be late nights and later mornings.

Before he would go away, I would make small tweaks to his basal rate to allow for an increase in daily activity and a decrease in morning activity. I allowed him to run a little higher than I would if he was with me because I also knew that he wouldn’t test or correct as often as he would if Mom was there to ask “did you check lately?”

Take some time for you

As much as you will stress and worry, this is your time off.  Diabetes has left the building.  Allow yourself to rest and regroup.  Spend some time with yourself.  Enjoy restful nights.  Read a book.  Go out with friends.  Do anything that makes you truly happy because no matter how you feel about the child’s other parent…that parent loves your child as well.  They will do their best to take care of your child and leave he/she with great summer memories so make some awesome memories of your own.

When you are reunited with your child, you will both be ready and recharged for all that diabetes throws at you!

 

An Overview of BC’s New Insulin Pump Program

BC insulin pump program expandsThe internet has been abuzz. The provincial government of BC lived up to an election promise by removing the cap on its insulin pump program. There was celebrating in the streets…until the fine print of the new program was read.

You see, this program will be unlike any other program in the country.  It will be a two-tiered program that seems to favour one insulin pump company over the others.

The issue is complex and very emotionally charged. Let’s take a closer look and you can decide for yourself if this is a step in the right direction or a step on a new and slippery path.

No more age cap

This is big news.  Adults no longer have to pay for their insulin pump out of pocket if they don’t have private insurance.  One pumper I spoke with as spent almost $20,000 to purchase insulin pumps over the past 15 years.  That is a lot for an individual to come up with every 5 years.  It is not surprising that she sees this as a welcome relief!

A two-tiered program

This is the news that has some people scratching their heads and wondering if this is such a good program after all.

All residents with diabetes will be eligible for an Omnipod insulin pump and supplies under tier one.  There will be no deductible for this system.

If you do not want this insulin pump system and feel that a Medtronic insulin pump would be better suited for your needs, you will have to convince your doctor of this as well.  Under tier two, a portion of your insulin pump and supplies will be covered if your physician prescribes a tubed (Medtronic) insulin pump.  If you simply want to own a tubed pump but your doctor does not deem it medically necessary, you will have to pay all costs out of pocket.

You can read all of the details on the BC government website here.

A pump is better than no pump

There is a school of thought that any pump is better than no pump and I can agree with that.  If you want to use an insulin pump, then this is a fabulous option if you have no coverage. You can also work with your doctor to attempt to get some relief on a tubed insulin pump if that is your preference.

It’s a win for the little guy

Some people are claiming that this is a huge coup for the little guy.  The small insulin pump company Insulet is the preferred insulin pump for the province.  That is rather significant I will agree.

It’s a start

One thing that I always tell people who ask me for tips on advocacy is to think of their “ask” as a cookie.  Every piece of the cookie that you get is a step forward.  Often you don’t get the entire “ask” (cookie) at one go so you keep asking.  You keep enjoying each bite, knowing that you are working towards having that entire cookie.

Conclusion

For residents of BC, this is another step towards the ultimate cookie. There were pumps for kids. There were pumps for adults up to age 25 and now there are Omnipods for anyone who wants them and assistance on tier two, tubed pumps.  It another step towards the goal of coverage for everyone regardless of age who wishes to use a sensor-augmented insulin pump.

Congratulations BC residents on your new insulin pump program!

Why we need choice

choice is importantWhen I first decided to put my son on an insulin pump I was overwhelmed by the choices.  I wasn’t sure exactly what we needed in an insulin pump but I could get one from Roche or a different one from Animas.  There was one from Medtronic and there was a new pump in town, called Cozmo. Four choices to consider.

How was I going to decide?

With the help of friends! I was part of an incredible online email list that told me which pump they preferred.  I also talked sales reps who quickly became friends! They were all wonderful.  They guided me and told me which questions to ask…both of pump companies and of myself.

How much insulin did we need?

Well back then my son was only 5 and I was throwing out insulin on a regular basis so reservoir size wasn’t much of a concern. I would only fill as much as we would need between site changes.

Did we need reminders?

Heck yes! I had two young children and was very active in their lives.  There was no such thing as a continuous glucose monitor so I was up at all hours testing, correcting, and treating.  I had trouble remembering my name. I desperately needed a reminder of things like site changes and missed boluses.

Did we need more than one basal pattern?

Granted my son wasn’t working shifts at that point in his life but he was beginning his school career.  That meant gym days and sleep in days and hours upon hours of outside play days.  A pump that could switch gears and change patterns based on the day of the week was a definite benefit.

My son was 5 when I began researching his first insulin pump.  He needed a pump that would administer tiny amounts of insulin…much smaller than he would ever use now. That was 15 years ago however, now his needs have changed a lot.

Fifteen years later…

He still needs reminders. He hates carrying anything extra so the more compact the pump the better  He works shifts and is up at odd hours.  A pump that makes basal switches like his very first pump did would be ideal.  He uses a lot more insulin at 20 than he did when he was 5.  A 300 unit reservoir is a must.

This is 2018 however and not 2003.  He can no longer choose a Roche pump or even the AccuChek brand.  He can’t get a new Cozmo because they left the market one insulin pump life ago.  He likes his Animas pump but that is now out of warranty. He is left with two choices…sort of.

He could try an OmniPod but he really doesn’t like them. Yes, he has seen them.  He knows that they are much smaller but they aren’t for him.

That leaves him with a Medtronic pump.  He doesn’t want that either.  It also doesn’t work with the Dexcom that he plans to use for work.

Neither pump fits his lifestyle.  Neither of these insulin pumps have all of the features that he wants and needs.

What does this mean for my son?

It means that he waits.  He still has a working Animas pump and cartridges.  He has two old Cozmo insulin pumps and a few boxes of old cartridges for them.  He won’t rush to get a new insulin pump.  He will make do for the moment and wait for there to be more choices on the market,

Everyone who lives with diabetes deserves choice.

No two people with diabetes are the same.  Even the same person with diabetes will have different needs in an insulin pump over time,  This is why they need choice,  Diabetes is not a one size fits all disease. Every person needs to tailor their care to fit their life at that point in time.

As a wise person with diabetes once said…”Having diabetes is not my choice.  How to manage it should be.”

 

 

Fit with Diabetes eBook Review

Cristel OerumRecently I was given the privilege of being asked to review Christel Oerum’s new fitness book.  I was both honoured and excited.  My son has been big into fitness since he was in his early teens.  The idea of learning a few tips from this fitness guru that I could share with him led me to open up the book soon after it landed in my inbox!

In keeping with the book’s fitness theme, I read this book while on my treadmill.  It made me feel slightly better when I saw images of the toned and amazing Christel staring back at me.  I am nowhere near her fitness level but at least I was trying and her book tells you how to do just that…try…and succeed!

Christel offers amazing tips, tricks, and recipes that make you drool!  She shows you how to set achievable smart goals that lead you to your ultimate goal.  Smart goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

From the very beginning, Christel offers great advice like looking at why you are excited about your goal.  She reminds you not to focus on what you don’t like. Don’t focus on being out of shape or carrying around that extra weight but rather how great you are going to feel instead!

Fit with Diabetes also offers valuable, usable tips for people no matter what their fitness level who may be struggling to manage their diabetes care. 

As I said, my son has been big into fitness for years.  There is a huge collection of dumb bells in his room.  He heads over to the gym whenever he can.  I was, therefore, taking a lot of notes when Christel discussed weight training and how different exercises impact blood glucose levels differently. My son had told me something similar.

He saw different bg levels after leg day versus when he had an ab day for example.  Christel tells you how to use this information to your advantage!

One of the things that amazed me the most and made me go “Of course!” was the idea of using the dawn phenomenon to your advantage.  She gives you an effective way to deal with morning spikes through exercise.  You really want to check this out!

As I said,  Fit with Diabetes can easily be your personal trainer if you are not in the position to invest in one just yet.  Christel shows you real examples of how people on pumps and injections are managing their diabetes care while exercising.  She shows you exercises that you can do at home or at a gym and how to put them together into your own personal fitness routine.

I was equally impressed by Christel’s no-nonsense approach to diet and exercise in general.  She never gives you a “diet” to stick to.  She offers suggestions on what a healthy meal should contain.  In Fit with Diabetes, Christel provides formulas and apps for you to use to create the menu plan that fits you! I am the world’s pickiest eater but after looking at some of Christel’s prepared meals, I was drooling!

Finally, Christel reminds us of the reality of weight loss.  Many of us, myself included, get hung up on the numbers. We want our scale to say this weight or that.  Christel promotes a healthy body weight and a positive self-image.  Muscle weighs more than fat.  You may be getting toned and building beautiful muscle without seeing the scale heading the way you expect…and that is okay!

I loved this book. It was easy to read.  The concepts are easy to follow.  I was however starkly reminded how different it is for me to jump on my treadmill with my perfectly functioning pancreas than it is for my son to do the same with his flaked out pancreas.

This book gave me a renewed respect for everyone who is living with diabetes and working to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  It isn’t easy but Christel shows you that it is attainable with a little guidance and dedication!

To purchase your own copy of Christel Oerum’s Fit with Diabetes, you can go to her website at https://diabetesstrong.com/fit-with-diabetes/

Christel is a Los Angeles based blogger, certified personal trainer, and diabetes advocate. She has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1997 and at an early stage decided that it wasn’t going to slow her down. Her motto is “There is Nothing You Can’t do With Diabetes”. She writes about how to be Fit With Diabetes on DiabetesStrong.com. She also coaches people with diabetes from across the globe, online and in person, and supports them in meeting their health and fitness goals.
Christel holds an MBA in Finance & Strategy and an ISSA Personal Trainer certification with specialization in Fitness and Diabetes (Level 3 certified from the Diabetes Motion Academy). You can find her on Facebook  @DiabetesStrong and Instagram
@DiabetesStrong_IG /