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top 9 T1D rituals & preferences

When living with T1D for a while, you tend to develop some quirky preferences and routines to help you find a balance in managing its demands. We own many more than nine quirks in our D world, but observe us out in the wild and you’ll see that these are the ones on which we rely without fail.

9. I insist on clean data sheets. My current version has tables for two days’ worth of data, and I’m a little particular about the way it is documented. I get a little kick out of starting a new sheet… you know, kind of like the kick some people get out of buying new shoes.

8. I keep a Rubbermaid storage box in the main area of our home, where basic supplies are stored. Extra stashes go down in the basement, in collapsible fabric boxes. I get a little cranky when I run out of something in my main box… there always has to be one box of everything in there.

7. Madeline and I are meticulous about the arrangement of supplies in her daily D-bag. Keeping it tidy means that it only takes a quick glance for me to know what needs to be replenished. It also makes it easier for Madeline to test independently, as everything she needs is easy to find.

6. Speaking of the D-bag, well, we’re selective about that too. Every trip to TJ Maxx invariably lands us in the luggage aisles to check out bags that might work for her D needs. We’ve used several different kinds of bags in the last three years, upgrading as her needs and preferences change. This school year, we picked out a functional Sherpani bag that works more like a purse for her, but still has enough compartments to keep everything organized.

5. More about the D-bag… it has designated spots in our house. In the daytime, it lives in our dining room, while at night there is a spot on the counter in the upstairs bathroom. There are no deviations to this routine, as it’s essential that we can find what we need, when we need it—especially for the dimly lit, dull-brained 2 a.m. BG check.

4. We keep a travel pack of tissues in Madeline’s D-bag, but it’s not just any old pack of tissues. We like these; ample size, easy to slide into the bag, and easy to remove from packaging, especially when we’ve got a gusher. It’s a standing item on our Target list.

3. Juice boxes… the “right” ones are worth gold here. Juicy Juice makes a 4 ounce juice box that allows us to treat moderate lows without over-carbing. Since I absolutely HATE using carbs to manage T1D, this little juice box is an important staple in our treatment arsenal. For us, grape juice seems much more potent than any other kind, so we save that for treatment of much more stubborn overnight lows.

2. The placement of Madeline’s infusion sets is wholly dependent on her set of criteria. First preference is to locate the set on the backish part of her hip, lower than her waistband. Now and then she’ll tolerate a set on the back of her upper arm or on her belly, but convincing her to use those spots takes quite the sales pitch from me. Because she’s afraid of the pain of insertion, she’s developed a routine for preparing and inserting the set… it’s a little on the OCD side, but it works for her and makes the process tolerable for both of us.

1. I’ve learned the hard way that we have to take along an arsenal of supplies whenever we leave the house. We live out in the middle of nowhere, so we travel a good distance to do just about anything—there’s no quick-run-home-and-get-stuff option in our lives. Our medium-sized tote bag tags along wherever we go, containing all sorts of supplies. There’s the D-bag. Then there’s a separate smallish cosmetics bag filled with items for a full infusion set change. Juice boxes, water and snacks are crammed in all available spaces. Our favorite snacks include small packs of pistachios or pumpkin seeds, granola bars, and slices of homemade banana or pumpkin bread.


About Heather Garcia Queen

I am… a mother of 3 spectacular children. A wife of an architect extraordinaire. An MSW. A psychologist in an elementary school. A (wishful) writer. A protector of family and spirit. A worshipper of the natural world. A seeker of knowledge. A lover of the arts. An introvert. A silver-lining kind of girl.


2 thoughts on “top 9 T1D rituals & preferences

  1. I would love to see pictures of your systems. I need help. I often assume back-ups of key components will be in our D-bag when they aren’t

    Posted by Katy | 04/27/2014, 8:40 pm
  2. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me..allowing me to chuckle at myself and not feel so alone! Kaylah’s pump and some supplies came in the mail on Saturday in a big huge box..my immediate thoughts were..”where the heck am I gonna put all this stuff!!” Back to the drawing board with the tote, bags and the cubbies in the living room! Thanks Heather for reminding me that sometimes that having OCD isn’t a bad thing and I’m not the only one!

    Posted by Becky | 04/28/2014, 6:21 pm

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This work by Heather Garcia Queen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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