Cheryl and her husband are kept on their toes by three beautiful boys. Work and home are hectic, but today she shares one very valuable “aha moment” about managing her diabetes through it all.
I left my last endocrinologist appointment with a decent A1C, an overall good check-up and one pleading word of advice from my doctor: “Cheryl, can you please try and remember to bolus for dinner?” What?! Of course I bolus for dinner! But as I looked at my CareLink report, it was quite obvious that on most weeknights, I in fact did not bolus for dinner, resulting in elevated post-meal blood glucose (BG). “Huh,” I thought to myself, “what am I doing on those weeknights that makes taking my insulin slip my mind?” Then it dawned on me. As a working mom of three very busy boys, 5:00 pm marks the end of my “work day,” and the start of my much tougher job. Homework, sports practices, bedtime routines. All of these occur in those evening hours and sure enough, my doctor was right. I was regularly missing my dinner boluses.
Looking back on my years with type 1 diabetes, I can say, more often than not, my diabetes care was top of mind. While I went through periods of being less public about my diabetes, typically in the list of daily priorities, it ranked fairly high. As a child and teen, there was usually an adult nearby holding out a glucose monitor or equipping me with enough snacks for any possible scenario I could encounter. College was busy, but came with decent breaks in the day where a quick BG check and a snack were pretty easy.
Fast forward to a time where responsibilities come on gradually, but with new intensity, and now one can easily see how a work duty or family task can take center stage. In the increasing list of daily to-do’s, I am shocked how quickly a simple BG check or meal bolus can slip. It usually goes something like this:
9:54am: I have a meeting at 10, I need to check my BG and remember to take a granola bar with me
9:55am: Oh, I can’t forget to print the document I need for that meeting
9:56am: A co-worker stops to ask a question
9:59am:*enter meeting*- AH, I forgot to check my BG! Oh, that granola bar is at my desk!
Upon returning home from that doctor’s appointment, I thought to myself, what good am I to any of the responsibilities I am working so hard at if I am experiencing a low or high BG? A work meeting where I can’t focus isn’t a productive one. All those baseball practices I attend will seem insignificant if I am experiencing a secondary complication as a result of my diabetes.
That’s when my “oh-so-experienced pump wearing self” humbly took out my MiniMed® 530G pump and set a missed bolus reminder to sound anytime I miss a dinner bolus. I did a triple check of my High and Low Predictive Glucose alerts, making sure they are set to alarm at reasonable levels, and confirmed that the Threshold Suspend feature is turned ON—making sure that my pump will take action against lows if I fail to respond to alerts.1 This version of the exclusive SmartGuard technology from Medtronic has made a big difference in my life, giving me a lot of peace of mind. Because it does more than just show my sensor glucose numbers on my pump. It also gives me better protection against lows by stopping the delivery of insulin if my sensor hits a low limit. It’s just like the reminders on my phone. I rely on those to remind me of calendar updates and what items I need at the grocery store, so why not utilize my pump in the same way? In actuality, my pump is assisting on a much more important scale! Now I try to remember making diabetes a top priority means I care enough about my other priorities to make sure that I am functioning at my best.
The MiniMed 530G system with SmartGuard technology is the only integrated insulin pump system proven to reduce your risk of lows.1 Want to see if you qualify for a free trial? Visit https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/free-insulin-pump-trial/ for more information.
1. Bergenstal RM, et al. N Engl J Med 2013;369:224-232