It’s the little things. The little frustrations. The lost meter. The miscalculated insulin injections. The quiet feelings of loneliness and burnout. That’s what sometimes feels like the hardest part of diabetes management.
What we need is a few tips. 14 of them, maybe, that could help us work around those little, everyday grievances.
1. Keep your glucose meter in the same place
Nobody wants to be diving under the sofa looking for a blood glucose meter. Particularly when their blood sugars might be running low. So keep your meter in the same place all the time, and remember to replace it there. A kitchen cabinet can be a good place, for example.
2. Keep your meter in a brightly-coloured case, rather than the standard one.
Bright green things tend to be easier to find*. And the standard colour glucose meter case has a stealthy habit of blending into its surroundings.
*Doesn’t have to be bright green.
3. Exercise in the morning
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have talked yourself out of exercise by the time you get out of that half-awake, bleary-eyed state. So don’t give yourself time.
4. If you use two insulin pens, mark one of them very clearly.
Attach something to it, draw a picture on it, something – using the wrong insulin pen can land you in hospital.
5. Don’t be a perfectionist.
Be realistic. Aim for good diabetes management, not perfect. And every time it doesn’t go right, consider it an experiment.
6. Clear a path in your room when you go to sleep.
That way, if you have to have a wee in the night, you won’t break your foot on a piece of Lego or anything like that.
7. Use lettuce as a scoop for dips rather than crisps or crackers for an easily-manageable, ultra-low carb option.
Don’t make that face.
8. Make sure you have a sugary drink on you all the time.
At work, at home, while doing whatever it is you do in your own time – don’t leave yourself without something to perk your blood sugars back up in case of a hypo.
9. You could always ask your doctor to prescribe your medication at twice the dose you need, then cut them in half.
It’s thrifty, but a little bit sneaky.
10. Try low-carb.
11. Always test right before bed.
Better to sort things out before you hit the hay then having to correct in the night. Nobody needs that.
12. Make sure you know where to find your back-up supplies.
Like tip #1: know where your back-up supplies are. And if you don’t have any back-up supplies, buy some.
13. Keep a log of all your hospital/GP visits so you know when to go back.
Hospital/doctor visits are overly-familiar to people with diabetes. Keep track of things by making a note of when you had your last appointment, and never get mixed-up again.
14. Join a support forum.
You’ll meet people who have had diabetes for years, and their experiences can be invaluable. People who use support forums increase their diabetes management both through practical advice and emotional support.
What works for you? Got any tips to share with your fellow diabetics? Let us know, in comments or on the forum.