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Daylight Savings Ends & Free Stuff Friday Begins!


What's better than Friday? Free Stuff Friday, of course!

Free Stuff FridayWhat's even better than a Free Stuff Friday? Free Stuff Friday with awesome T1D blogger Karen Graffeo of Bitter~Sweet (Bitter~Sweet ... because life with diabetes isn't all bad)!

And even better than THAT? Free Stuff Friday with awesome T1D blogger Karen Graffeo on the first day of Diabetes Awareness Month

So... yes, today you can win a $50 Lauren's Hope Gift Certificate AND you get some terrific tips from the lady behind  the annual awesomeness that is Diabetes Blog Week

Today's Free Stuff Friday entry instructions are at the end of this post. 


The challenge of the changing seasons

and diabetes

A guest post from Karen Graffeo

karengraffeoI’ve lived in New England all my life and one of the things I love is that we always have four distinct seasons.  Right now autumn is everywhere.  Suddenly the air outside is as crisp as the apples that load the tree branches.  All around leaves in bright shades of crimson and fiery orange are wafting to the ground.  Pumpkins and bundles of corn stalks are on display and fresh cider is readily available.

Although I love experiencing a new season every few months, the downside is that the change of seasons can be challenging to diabetes management.  Over the years I’ve figured out the major things to look out for and the adjustments that seem to work best for me.  Here are a few challenges that top my list:

  • Medical ID tagsDifferent activity levels – Spring and summer definitely find me outside getting plenty of exercise, while during the fall and winter you’re more likely to find me lounging under a blanket.  More exercise makes my insulin needs go down and usually has me fighting lots of low blood sugars.  Less exercise brings just the opposite, lots of high blood sugars and a need for more insulin.  I’ve tried to adjust my insulin and snacks to head off these highs and lows as best I can.
  • Changes in temperatures - For me, warm weather is trickier to navigate than cool seasons.  A hot day can make me more sensitive to insulin, so I try to reduce the amount of insulin I take.  On the other hand, extreme heat can spoil the insulin in my insulin pump.  I found this out when, after a day at Disneyworld in Florida’s hot July sun, I woke up halfway through the night with a dangerously high blood because the insulin in my pump no longer held its potency.  The next day I bought a cooling pack to protect my pump, and its insulin, on hot summer days
  • Holidays, or more specifically, holiday food - Holidays are a part of every season, and many holidays include traditional feasts or revolve around chocolate.  Indulging in more food than usual, many with higher fat content and more carbohydrates than I usually eat, can definitely throw off my blood sugars.  I try my best to make it work by using some advanced features of my insulin pump that can deliver more insulin over longer periods of time than my usual meal doses.  I also try hard to remember that moderation is our friend, whether we have diabetes or not.
  • Daylight Savings time – Tomorrow we push the clocks back an hour and it usually takes my body, and diabetes, several days to adjust.  This is because throughout the day my insulin needs change and my insulin pump has basal insulin ratios that are fine tuned to deliver the proper amount at the proper time.  Changing the clock an hour one way or the other can throw everything off until my body settles into the new time and routine, so I try to adjust as best I can and remember that everything will calm down in a day or so.

There are so many factors that affect diabetes management, both during the different seasons and just during normal everyday life.  For me, the key is to do my best to be proactive and remember not to let anything ruin my celebrations.


And now.... to enter this week's Free Stuff Friday, here's the deal:

Leave us a comment with your tips for (or challenges in) managing your health care -- be it diabetes, allergies, asthma, or any other condition -- as the seasons change. How do you adjust your health care routine with the weather (and the clocks!) changing?

The Rules & All That Jazz: As usual, the rules are boring. Basically, one winner per household every 6 months. Prize is distributed via email gift certificate, which has no cash value and must be claimed within 72 hours. The winner will be announced here (below, in this post) on Monday, November 4th, 2013. We'll post to Facebook when the winner has been announced, so follow us on Facebook to stay in the loop! The full rules and regs, for those of you looking for help for your insomnia, are here

Lauren's Hope on FacebookAaaand the winner of this week's Free Stuff Friday is....


who entered with this comment:

"Come Thanksgiving weekend, we will have successfully lived with T1D for an entire year. Our 7-year old was diagnosed the same day we were supposed to pick up our puppy! I have no tips or tricks to offer, as he's still honeymooning with crazy ups and downs. But here (also in New England) the weather's been so crazy (yesterday 30s and rain, today in the 70s) that we test more often as a means of calibrating the way his body feels against the actual meter. I think the weather's affecting his readings."

Congratulations, Suzanne! Please email tara@laurenshope.com to claim your gift certificate by close of business Wednesday. Enjoy! 


With winter around the corner there are two things, first have to make sure not to leave any batteries or other accessories for my daughters implants in the car(we live in ND and temp can get -30) second is when my daughter is playing out side and all bundle up to make sure her implants dont get to hot because they are covered up with a hat..
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 9:19 AM by jessica
During summer and times when I exercise I test blood sugars more frequently-i.e. half way through an exercise session or before I leave the house to drive anywhere. 
Test, test, test...
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 9:38 AM by Sarah Sherman
For my Epilepsy, in the summertime, I try to take as many breaks when I'm outside as possible, because heat is one of the triggers.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 9:50 AM by Kayla Kidwell
Be prepared for severe weather. I keep crackers and peanut butter in the car during the winter. If I get stuck somewhere I have something to munch on if I feel my blood sugar doing weird things.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 11:02 AM by Debbie
Heat is a big problem in managing my daughter's seizures. She sits in a wheelchair with a neoprene vest, so its easy for her to get over heated. Lots of water, and shade, and breaks from the chair if at all possible! It has gotten harder as she has gotten older and bigger!
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 11:48 AM by Laura G.
My son is medically involved. he has high functioning autism, a dangerous and rare condition called Ectodermal Dysiplasia in the form of Hypohidrosis. (he does not sweat) Severe hearing loss, severe adhd anxiety and asthma. 
The heat and humidity \can be fatal for him! I have to keep him well hydrated and cool in ALL seasons. Even in the winter because the schools,buses and just about every where wuill blast heat! Humid days are also bad. Although he is high functioning and verbal. is communication skills are still very poo. He has a hard time explaining how is feeling. He is eight and has a lot of medical issues that make him feel sick. It is hard for me to even manage as an adult. It gets very scary when he starts to over heat! He looks so sick.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 12:04 PM by Dawnmarie Nasi
My daughter has a genetic condition which brings a host of issues including seizures and chronic upper respiratory infections during the fall and winter. So, i have to make sure that every winter before i turn the heat on, my furnace is blown out professionally to get rid of the collected dust. I also run an air purifier to trap dust and anything else that may be in the air. It doesnt stop her from.being sick, but it does seem to cut down on the frequency of severe illness.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 12:18 PM by Kim Sheene
I've been having challenging blood suge=ars over the last month. I am a pump user and it seems as though my basil isn't enough anymore. I test way more frequently and watch what I eat even more closely, and have a DR appt scheduled to go over my numbers and n get it right again...(also had blood work done checking for infections)
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 12:53 PM by Samantha Bowker
I think with diabetes you never know how the change in weather/seasons/time is going to affect you or your child and that makes it so tricky! Sometimes the cold can make my daughters BG plummet, and sometimes it's the opposite! I just try to stay on top of things and make sure I'm prepared in any situation!
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 1:03 PM by Joanne
For my daughter with Malignant Hyperthermia, we mainly have to worry more during the summer, as far as weather is concerned since "awake" symptoms are more common with heat and exercise.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 1:12 PM by cindy
With the changing weather comes fall allergies, asthma, the start of cold and flu season - you name it, we've got it in this house. ANd now, this year we've added Type 1 Diabetes to the mix (certainly NOT by choice). I think the biggest challenge this year is going to be learning how to manage all of my 10 y/o's conditions together and trying not to stress out too much. Because we all know that stress weakens our immune systems and nothing is worse than being sick when you're a mom trying to take care of your kid(s) and husband who will inevitably get sick and need to be babied.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 1:16 PM by Jessica
Living in Florida and having Lupus is a do able challenge. I need to stay out of the sun, so if we go somewhere outside I make sure I wear sunscreen, a hat, sometimes a long sleeve shirt and find shade. And of course there is always water by myside and my awesome and stylish bracelet on my wrist!
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 1:29 PM by Katherine Lundy
I am still learning how to balance the desire for sweets and the reality of being diabetic. To remember the urgency, I have family support. I also break down meal choices and successes into one meal at a time. Get through one and face the next.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 2:36 PM by Linda
I suffer from mental illness and I become discouraged by its stigma and the lack of public awareness. 
I use your bracelet and wallet card to ease my mind because I can let others know about my prescriptions.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 2:54 PM by Linda Harner
My 11yro son suffers from Chronic Migraine with his biggest triggers being fluorescent lights and loud noises in small spaces (um... school, anyone?). We also think allergies may be a trigger, too. So, in order to try and prevent them, as well as minimize their impact, we try to make sure he takes his allergy medication, get plenty of sleep, and keep all his teachers informed. However, not everyone will know what's going on with him, so he actually NEEDS a new medic alert tag as his old one broke... :(
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 4:21 PM by Sara Westhead
This is our first Holiday Season with diabetes. Halloween was challenging becuase in past years, we allowed my daughter to eat all the candy she wanted the frist night after trick or treating. We tried to allow as much candy as her meal plan would allow this year, but despite our best efforts...she felt different than her peers on Halloween. We are hoping her new insulin pump she starts during Christmas break will solve some of these holiday problems. I imagaine pumpkin pie and appetizers are also going to be a problem at Thanksgiving. But we'll give extra doses, count carbs and do what we always do..smile.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 4:57 PM by Michelle McCann
With Halloween behind us,thanksgiving and Christmas are right behind and as a 20 year old college student I eat alot of food. What I do to not go crazy is to check often and take insulin,don't overdo it,and be prepared for anything. 😊
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 7:02 PM by Kiraina Young
I have been an insulin-dependent diabetic for 15 years. I find that no matter how much you think you know, it is important to always keep an open mind to learn new things.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 8:45 PM by Sara
Come Thanksgiving weekend, we will have successfully lived with T1D for an entire year. Our 7-year old was diagnosed the same day we were supposed to pick up our puppy! I have no tips or tricks to offer, as he's still honeymooning with crazy ups and downs. But here (also in New England) the weather's been so crazy (yesterday 30s and rain, today in the 70s) that we test more often as a means of calibrating the way his body feels against the actual meter. I think the weather's affecting his readings.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 9:09 PM by Suzanne
There are so many things that affect my daughters blood sugars that it is hard to pinpoint whether the weather is the culprit or not. I do try to be very conscious of her pump/insulin not getting too hot in the summer and also that she stays hydrated because I was told the body has to be hydrated to process the insulin well.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 10:08 PM by Karen
With my T1 diabetes, I have just switched pump manufacturers and I've been experimenting with a dual wave bolus that came in handy during a Halloween party, where snacking happened most of the night. Along with winter on its way, I make sure I have pump supplies and food readily available in case of being stranded.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 10:39 PM by Amy
With T1D, I need to turn my basal rates higher as the weather gets colder. Since I spend less time outdoors getting exercise, I need more insulin to keep my BG in check.
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 11:09 PM by Judi
I suffer from chronic hip/low back pain that results from a joint, nerve and muscle problem. I have 2 neurostimulator implants to help decrease the pain. The colder weather increases my pain level and make the mornings more difficult. It takes more time to get moving in the morning. Putting on several layers of clothes helps.
Posted @ Sunday, November 03, 2013 6:13 AM by Jan Chu
In my area, we often get power outages, so I make sure I'm stocked up on gluten-free, dairy-free (and all my other allergens-free) food that's non-perishable and plenty of water.
Posted @ Sunday, November 03, 2013 8:32 PM by Krysten H
Managing type 1 diabetes can be even trickier in the fall and winter. I have to be extra careful about keeping my blood sugar in range when I go outside to rake leaves or shovel snow. Unexpected exercise can really make my blood sugar plummet!
Posted @ Sunday, November 03, 2013 10:49 PM by Lizzie Poe
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