Baby it's COLD outside...

Written by Quinn Nystrom

I was born and raised in northern Minnesota and if it's up to me, I hope to live here the rest of my life, God willing. This blog will probably touch people in the colder weather states, or perhaps if you happen to be traveling to a cooler place for the holidays. 

Today when I left my place for a doctor's appointment, I went out to my car where it harshly reminded me that the temperature, without wind chill, was -2 degrees out at 11am! With this comes some new reminders for myself as someone with diabetes. No longer are the days where it's ok if I leave my testing supplies or vial of insulin in the car while I go into an appointment or go to a yoga class (blood glucose machines as well as vials of insulin are supposed to be kept at room temperature at all times).

I was reminded of this last week when I left my blood glucose machine in the car. After my Spin Cycle class I came out to my car to test my blood sugar, and when I went to the put in the strip this is the error message I got on the screen: "Too Cold to Test". I had to warm up my machine before I could test. This can be problematic because I know when I'm finished exercising I'm sometimes not the best judge of what my blood sugar is so I like to test my glucose right away. I was so frustrated with my meter, but also myself for leaving it in the car knowing that we are now in the season of winter! I had to wait over 15 mintues before I could test. 

To be frank, there are days that I just get frustrated that I was one of the people chosen to have their pancreas stop working one day. I sometimes think it's just not fair that I always have to put in extra work if I want to just do normal activities like my other "healthy" friends. Can't I just show up to a spin class without any pre-planning of blood sugar levels and basal rates and outside temperatures?!?! But when I can snap myself out of it (sometimes it takes longer than others) I realize that with diabetes I get the choice to live or die. I try to consciously choose to live positively.

So for me that means that instead of being a carefree gym rat and just leaving my stuff in the car and running in with my car keys, I've started packing a small gym bag that I bring with me that has my glucose meter, blood sugar strips, lancet device, juice box, and a granola bar. I know that when I go to the gym and workout regularly I feel better and my blood sugars are in better control. For me, it comes down to a daily choice. Otherwise, if I make such lofty expectations for myself and my diabetes I'm often never able to meet those. 

I believe we can all have great health one baby step at a time. 

I want to hear from all of you....What are some great everyday tips that have worked for your diabetes management?