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An Amazing Race With The Help Of A Diabetes Educator

An Amazing Race With The Help Of A Diabetes Educator | The LOOP Blog

Meet the inspirational Natalie Strand, winner of the Amazing Race 17. Natalie proved to millions of viewers that diabetes does not have to hold you back from anything! A while back, Natalie gave a great interview to Diabetes Mine about her reality TV experience. Today, she talks to The LOOP about the important role her certified diabetes educator (CDE) plays in her diabetes management.

Q. You’ve previously mentioned that you worked closely with your diabetes educator, Carolyn Robertson, during your time on the Amazing Race. Can you describe your relationship with Carolyn?

A. I have a very close relationship with Carolyn. I feel like I can be completely honest with her. I never feel like a “bad diabetic”, which is important because so many of us tend to be very hard on ourselves when it comes to blood sugar control.

Q. What would you like to tell our readers about why it is important to work closely with an educator?

A. Educators have the benefit of working with lots of people with diabetes. They can share what has worked for others. This way, you don’t have to “re-invent the wheel” every time you come up against a new challenge.

Q. Why do you believe CDE’s play such an important and unique role in the treatment of diabetes?

A. For me, CDE’s are a catalyst to attaining your goals. I find that Carolyn always has great ideas, wonderful teaching points, and words of support for me.

Q. What were your initial concerns when first applying/selected to be a part of the Amazing Race?

A. I had lots of concerns! How would I keep my insulin cold? How would I adjust my pump for ever-changing time zones? How much glucose would I need to pack? How would I handle unexpected activity without getting low? Would customs allow me to bring syringes and medications in to certain countries? What would happen if I lost my back pack? How would I keep my insulin pump dry for water challenges?

Q. How did your CDE help you prepare for the show?

A. She helped me with everything from what to pack to tips on how to most efficiently save space with my diabetic supplies. She helped me decide what to bring. She told me about the Frio pack to store my insulin in and keep it cold.

Q. Do you have any advice for people with diabetes who want to follow in your footsteps, challenging themselves mentally and physically the way you did?

A. Don’t be afraid of the extra work it takes to follow your dreams. Diabetes is definitely a challenge, but not a limitation! Get creative. Want to cycle? Attach a glucometer to your handlebars. Want to run? Find ways to carry snacks with you in your iPod armband. Love to scuba dive? Get gluco-gels that won’t dissolve in water in case you need to treat before you get back on the boat. Just don’t be afraid!

Q. What’s next for you? What challenge do you want to take on next?

A. Right now I am focusing on growing my practice and caring for my patients in the best possible way. I’ve always wanted to do a triathlon. I think that may be next on my list of crazy adventures!


– Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
– Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps

– Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
– Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems

– The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
– Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

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