A bunch of hacks.

Take a short cutIf you’ve never heard of Tim Ferriss, you’re not alone. But you may have heard of some of his books, with the enticing, too-good-to-be-true titles like “The Four Hour Body” and “The Four Hour Workweek.” The titles are a bit misleading, in that not everything he describes takes four hours, but the basic principal of his work is “life hacks.” A “hack,” as you may have seen floating around an internet meme before is a simply another word for “shortcut.” Tim Ferriss has spent his life finding shortcuts to everything from losing weight to making money to hitting a three pointer every time. What’s interesting about him is that he tries all of these things on himself first, and blogs candidly about his results, including his experiments that don’t work.

Some of them I find totally ridiculous (he claims her can function on about two hours total of sleep, if that sleep is stretched out into the appropriate number of naps, each for calculated lengths….that sounds horrible to me.) But others, like his use of the “slow carb diet” for weight loss makes total┬ásense to me (it’s actually the diet that many of us Type 1s have used for years – low to no carbs, lean meats, lots of veggies, no fruit. He also cuts out most dairy but allows for red wine…my kinda guy!). Overall his methodology is interesting and if you want to learn more about him just use the Google Machine. This post is not actually about Tim Ferriss, but this idea of “hacks.”

All of us with diabetes do things that make living with this disease easier, whether it’s concious or not. For example, the gross fact that I change the lancet like…twice a month…is a shortcut I didn’t intentionaly start out using. It’s just that it’s a pain in the neck to change the lancet and in 21 years with diabetes I’ve never had an infection or increased pain from re-using them. So it’s one thing I don’t do that often because in a way, I don’t find the recomended use of them to be efficient.

Other “diabetes hacks” could include re-upping your CGM sensor when it expires…same goes for infusion sites. These are ways to save a little money, save some time, avoid an annoying chore, or all three. “Diabetes hacks” are just the little shortcuts we take to “work more efficiently” in one way or another.

So my question is, what are YOUR diabetes hacks? What do you skip/manipulate/change SAFELY to make something about this disease easier?

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Comments

I love Tim Ferriss!

Some of my hacks:

- I only change my lancet with each new tube of test strips (seems like a small thing, but makes me willing to check more often).

- I have 3 meters lying around (at work, upstairs, and downstairs). It makes it easier to check your sugar more often, and most companies give their meters away for free if you look for promotions.

- I stash tubes of glucose tablets everywhere (night table, car glove compartment, stroller, work desk, laptop bag, suitcases, etc.). That way you don’t have to remember to bring glucose every time you leave the house and you’ll never be caught off guard.

- If I have a really high blood sugar, I’ll spread out my correction bolus over a dual wave (say, 50% now and 50% over the next 30 minutes). Not sure if it helps, but I feel it prevents a huge correction bolus from pooling up and slowing down absorption, as well as prevents the feeling of hypoglycemia by dropping too fast.

Definitely curious to hear what other “hacks” people use. Great post!

I chance lancet with each dexcom sensor change – and those I make last as long as possible!!! Typically they last only about every 7-10 days (insurance has been late or delayed shipment way too many times to not do this).

I also try to pack lunches and snacks ready in the fridge on Sunday for the week – that way I always have quick, yummy, healthy for me snacks at my fingertips and am not tempted to a bad-for-me snack. Does take time on Sundays but saves a LOT in time and carbs/health during the week.

I also have test meters and strips in multiple locations.

I am still on injections with a pen – and I have a pen in the kitchen, bedside, and purse – just makes it easier for me.

Sort of a “hack” – joining a gym that is less than a mile from my house. It was more expensive than other gyms but nicer and much closer. This makes it harder to make excuses to not go!

Joined a running group – I promise I run farther and faster with them than on my own!

Can’t wait to hear others!

I tend to use my lancets for slightly longer than recommended. And I optimized my workout times by cycling to work instead of being stuck in traffic. However, I suspect most of my life-hacks are so ingrained by now, I hardly recognized them as such any more.

Also .. I may possibly have broken your Email account with a lengthy attachment on the lancet thing. Sorry about that. Consider it fan-mail :)

The best I have is an excel spreadsheet for blood sugar logging on my desktop at work: Need a break from work? Why not log some blood sugars!

I last changed my lancet when I got the device…which was last may! It still works and doesn’t hurt. When they start to hurt I change them.

When I’m on injections, I inject through my jeans…did it for years in high school and college and never had problems. It made it much easier to give injections on the go, but I definitely got some weird looks!

I grabbed one of the Bayer Contour Next USB meters at TCOYD show – since it’s already a USB drive, makes it a no-brainer to plug it into the PC to upload blood glucose data. Also has an easy way of adding info (carb, time before.after meal/exercise) right in the meter, which also uploads. Not advertising, but it is easier and a small form-factor (also don’t have to think about finding the meter–>PC cable for the FreeStyle.

Great hacks everyone! These are interesting and inspiring, and I also find it hilarious that the majority of us are totally guilty of the whole grubby lancet thing. If we’re gross, I’m happy to be gross together!

I have never prepped an injection site with an alcohol swab (I do however scrub rescrub and basically take a bath in IPA before inserting my Dexcom sensor to make the adhesive last as long as possible).

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