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Carling Answers Your T1D Health and Family Questions

MiniMed Ambassador Carling is an awe-inspiring woman.  She balances work and family while providing support and education newly diagnosed people with Type 1 diabetes! Here she answers questions from our community members about how they can do the same.

Q: What is your advice caring for another human being on top of my own diabetes? What advice do you have from your own experience on how to “do it all?”

A: How to “do it all?” I have to giggle because I’ve had my share of clumsy mom moments! But, as a mother and wife who works full-time and has type 1, it’s important to stay organized. Before the baby came, I organized all my diabetes supplies in a closet, and I had blood sugar machines/snacks in special places throughout the house. I also kept organized bins of diapers, wipes, and baby clothes in different places throughout the house too. If everything I needed was within reach, I was able to get everything done!

Q: How difficult was it maintaining in-range glucose levels after you gave birth? If you are breastfeeding, did that make it easier or harder to control BG levels?

A: Controlling my blood sugars after having a baby was difficult, but I tried to go easy on myself in the beginning. My priority was this precious child I just brought into the world, and my body had just gone through a huge transition! I tried to focus on simple diabetes tasks in the beginning, like testing my blood sugar and bolusing for meals. If I happened to eat three slices of pizza during a 2 a.m. baby feeding but remembered to bolus for the meal I considered it a win. I slowly became more diligent as my son started to get older.  Breastfeeding made it easier to control my blood sugars. I required less insulin and was still able to eat a lot of carbohydrates without blood sugar spikes. That was very important because breastfeeding makes me incredibly hungry!

Q:  What do you do on days when you’ve had it up to here with diabetes and just really need a mini-break from all the mental load of type I?

A: I can absolutely relate to this question! After 28 years with type 1, I’ve had my “up to here” moments. I think it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. When I’m stressed out about diabetes, my husband steps in and helps even more. He does everything he can to make my life easier without pressuring me to “snap out of it”. Soon enough, I’m back to my normal self. Before I was married, it helped to talk it out with fellow type 1’s because they understood what I was going through. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local diabetes organizations like JDRF, ADA, Beyond Type 1, Medtronic Ambassadors, or Facebook groups to get the support you need.

Q: I’d like to know some ideas for after workout snacks?

There’s nothing better than a rewarding snack after a workout! It’s important to find out how exercise affects your blood sugars, and eat the best way you can to refuel yourself. I do a lot of cardio exercises, so I mix protein with carbohydrates after I work out to keep my BG steady. If you don’t drop low after working out, then keep it low carb, high protein! My go-to snacks include:

  • natural peanut butter and apple slices,
  • cheese and whole grain crackers,
  • 1 slice of whole grain bread with turkey,
  • Greek yogurt with sliced fruit,
  • hummus with pita or carrots.

Q: My sugar goes low after walking and I have to eat. What’s the use? What’s the best thing to eat that is low calorie?

A: There is nothing more frustrating than a great workout followed by a low blood sugar and high-calorie foods! I use a couple of strategies when I’m watching my calories. First, I use a temp basal rate on my pump and set it one hour before I work out. I also schedule my workouts right before meals, so I can fix a low with a meal that I’d already planned instead of adding correction snacks. If I happen to go low in between meals, I always correct with juice. It gets my blood sugar up with the quickest without having to drink too much. Plus, I personally feel like liquid options don’t affect my weight as much as actual snacks—even if they have the same number of calories.

If you have more questions for Carling, you can reach her on her Ambassador profile here.


– 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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