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15 Aug 2008 - Helpful Hints

Meal Time & Dining Out
~Use carb factors to figure carb counts. This is especially helpful for young children who don't eat full servings. They are also more accurate for foods such as cereal and fruit.

~Figuring dessert into the meal carb count, and serving dessert directly after the meal, will save your child from another injection later.

~Four grams of protien with the bedtime snack may help slow carb absorption and 'stabalize' blood sugars through the night.

~Make your own non-Nutrasweet, sugar free koolaid by mixing regular 'clear' koolaid with Splenda. Freeze for sugar free popsicles. 

~It may be helpful to post dose a picky eater, this way if they don't finish all of their food you aren't battling lows all night.

Finger Sticks
~For small children, make up silly names for injections so they seem less scary.

~Keep a ziplock bag with a variety of character bandaids and let your child choose on while you inject. This will distract them.

~Never let your child see you draw up the insulin or prepare a site to be changed. It is less stressful for the child, and for you, if you are prepared when you approach him or her and just get it over with quickly.

~If you don't get enough blood on a test strip, try blowing on the tip to make it 'go up'.

~Earlobes are good for testing blood sugar while your child sleeps, in cold weather, when fingers are water warped or when your child is too low to be cognitive and cooperative.

~Use toes for blood sugar testing. They are fine to use in children and give you ten extra places to test.

~Change lancets every time you test your child. Dull lancets may be more painful and leave bigger marks.

Travel & Outings
~Use Keto-diastix instead of regular ketostix so that when you are dining out you can use them to test the soda to make sure it is diet.

~Always carry all supplies with you.

~For carbohydrate information when at a restaurant, use Diet 1 (34381) texting service.

~Never leave meters in a hot or cold vehicle.

~A warm bath within 30 minutes of an injection or bolus will speed up the absorption of insulin and could cause a low blood sugar reaction.

~The nurses will always suggest "darting" the needle in. Don't. I found that I felt I had less control, and would bruise more often. Do it slower (not slow, just slower than a dart, and smooth.

~For larger boluses (eg over 6u), inject slowly. Just push the plunger steadily, but do it over about 3 seconds, not just in one go. It saves stinging.

~Warm the insulin in your hands first. It hurts a whole lot less when it is body temp, or close too, and it doesn't harm the insulin one bit.

~Shorter needles aren't necessarily better. Try different lengths and guages, and different brands. I found 8mm BD needles best for lantus, and 6mm Novopen needles best for rapids, but to each their own.

~If you start to inject and it hurts, stop, and move the needle somewhere else. Chances are you're on a blood vessel, and it'll bruise like nothing else if you are. Another reason not to use the darting technique. Really, a shot shouldn't hurt if you're doing it right.

~For arm shots, it can be hard to get the right spot. Bend your knee, place your upper arm on your knee, and roll your arm in toward you... you'll get a nice little spot perfect for a shot.

~If shots are hurting fairly often, try an icecube on the injection spot for 5 seconds immediately before injecting. Takes all the sting away.

~Watch for changes in insulin needs with changes in seasons. 

~When giving a correction through a syringe, disconnect the pump and run the correction bolus into the sink so that the pump retains the insulin on board.

~Small tubes of cake gel are 15 grams of carbs and easily squeezed into a baby or toddlers mouth.

~Keep copies of all your prescriptions.

~Never get married to one doctor's opinion. Research on your own and take your own decision on what is the best for your child, then discuss it with your doctor. Endos like well informed patients and are more apt to cooperate with you if you know what you are talking about.

~PDA plastic covering works over the pump screen to avoid scratches that can make the screen difficult to read, especially at night.

~A medical ID should always be worn! Bracelets on the right wrist will be noticed by any EMT in case of emergency because the right arm is used to check blood pressure.

~Keep a paper copy of your basals and the changes you make, even if you download the pump. If something happens to your computer, it's best to have a back up copy.

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