Diabetes Show and Tell: Cara Richardson
Cara Richardson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of four, and started on insulin pump therapy in 2006. When she’s not working to support her insulin needs, she is blogging at CountryGirlDiabetic. Read on to see what essentials this blogger carries in her bag, interesting diabetes experiences she has encountered, and some insight into her personal life with diabetes.
Q. What diabetes items do you typically carry in your bag?
I have a BUNCH of things I carry in my bag. More than I probably need, but I think diabetes has made me an over packer. First off, I always have my meter in my bag. For snacks/low treatments, I carry a snack sized baggie full of QuickSticks glucose (I love that stuff!), juice box, granola bar, apple sauce, and baggie of powdered drink mix (not really D-related, but they ARE sugar free!). Finally, there’s my ever ironic chocolate covered strawberry bag that has the rest of my stuff - two extra infusions sets, an extra reservoir, my Quick-serter, some insulin, an extra bottle of test strips, medical tape and Tegaderm tape (in case my sensor site comes lose), a penny for changing the battery in my pump (I just realized I need to replace my spare battery!), glucose tabs, alcohol swabs, and Band-Aids. Thrown in for good measure, I carry a hair tie, some lip gloss, and some eye glasses swabs. Yes, my purse is huge.
Q. What is your favorite awkward diabetes moment?
My favorite story happened right before I got my first CGM from MiniMed. It had already been approved by insurance, but I didn’t have it yet. I was at a friend’s house and had a really bad low. Her parents, sister, and brother were there. It’s quite the lengthy story, but the awkward part was when I started crying hysterically when my friend’s sister walked into the room. When they all asked me why I was crying, all I could say was I was crying because I didn’t want her sister to see me cry. Makes perfect sense, right???
Q. Tell us about the most memorable time explaining your diabetes to a new friend, significant other, or colleague
Recently, I had a new friend that I went on a road trip with. She knew I had diabetes, but didn’t know much about it. I had changed my infusion set that morning, but apparently it ended up with a kinked cannula and I didn’t realize it because it was still delivering a little bit and my brand new sensor hadn’t started up yet. By the time the three-hour road trip was over, I realized what was happening and used the stuff in my emergency back to change my site, but not before getting sick in the bathroom and realizing I was spilling ketones in my urine. I was lucky that I figured it out when I did, but explaining why I was sick to a new friend was interesting. Crash course in Diabetes 101 for SURE.
Q. How do you reward yourself for practicing good diabetes management?
I don’t know that I really DO reward myself. There’s a cupcake place near my doctor’s office that I like to visit on days I have an Endo appointment, but I tend to avoid it if my A1c is less than stellar. So maybe that’s my reward, cupcakes.
Q. Who is your diabetes superhero and why?
I think anyone living successfully with diabetes is a superhero. We see them online a lot, but there are also many, many more people that just live their lives every day with diabetes and they do it well. They do the best they can and they lead successful, fulfilling lives. We are ALL diabetes superhero’s, in my opinion.