17 May 2012

Diabetes Blog Week: The Ditsy Diabetic

Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at.  Today let’s look at the flip-side.  We probably all have one thing we could try to do better.  Why not make today the day we start working on it.  No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!

Trying to choose just one thing might prove rather difficult, so I may have to bend the rules just slightly! To be honest, there are a gazillion things I could do better, but to do all of them is easier said than done; after all, there's being 'good' and then there's having NO life! I think probably the thing that I should do more (inspired by a post I read yesterday on changing lancets), is to change my lancets more often for my Blood Sugar checks. My poor fingers are completely wrecked now, and I've still got (hopefully...!) another 50+ years to go. So, yes, to avoid my fingers making me look like a cave-woman, I will try to remember to change my lancets. I think the trouble is that I test so much (about 10+ times a day when not on CGM). And that's another thing I think I could do better. Sounds a bit bizarre really - I was always taught test every two hours! And I've done that religiously since day 1. Now I think though, I've become a bit obsessive to the point where, if it's high or low, I'll constantly test to see if it's moving (this also makes my data look really bad when I go to see my DSN!) So No. 1 - change lancets more often! No. 2 - test less! The good thing is that my posting the above photo it had made me feel rather ashamed and therefore should motivate me into doing something! I never had a problem with injection needles or anything, but this just slips my mind so easily.

Oh and another BG thing is also washing my hands before testing. Often when I test it is a spur of the moment I don't feel quite right. I tested about 4 times during my English exam today (it was low twice.. thanks diabetes!) for example, when I'd been eating gluco tabs to correct the lows, and obviously my hands will then be coated in gluco-tab powder. So, starting from today, I'm going to put hand wipes in my bag so my hands are always sugar-free for testing! I do get a lot of spurious readings, and don't think it's fair to take it all out on my meter (he does take a lot of slack!) Oh, and then there's the mess! I'm naturally a messy person, and it drives my family (especially my sister!) crazy. So couple a natural ditziness with having all my medication: needles, set changes and strips... yeah, the inside of my drawers and BG kit can look a bit like a building site! (The picture on the left of my BG kit is a 'tidy' day, as I've been trying harder since my exams started - still got a way to go by the looks of things! Right is my set drawer - that one my mum finds particularly frustrating... should probably tidy it tomorrow before she sees!)

Hmm... I think that's the main ones! I guess though, one thing I would like (which links to the testing less) is just to chill a bit. Now that I'm about to apply for Uni, and starting to take full control of my medication. I think one of my failings is not giving myself enough credit, as I mentioned yesterday. I beat myself up over the tiniest things, like today in the exam. I felt so mad with myself, even though I'd underdone my lunchtime bolus thinking that, if it was slightly high, at least I could fix that easily. A low can just completely knock you. It dipped down to 3.3 (59) about half way through (the exam was two hours), so I quickly got two gluco-tabs down my neck, and carried on. And at the end, I was so angry that this had happened, but then I realised that it was over, I had gotten through the exam and stayed calm. And I wasn't going to beat myself up about it because diabetes does just sometimes have a mind of its own - I often see it as the rebellious teenager (in place of me and my 'goody-two-shoes', controlled life, funnily enough as a result of being diabetic!) So I'm going to work really hard to try and just stay calm, and learn when my best will have to be good enough. At the end of the day and can't do anymore, and it isn't fair to punish myself for something which is out of my control.

So that was more than 1! But maybe I'll give an update in a month's time on my progress, not that I have high expectations! I'm sought of there with the testing less, thanks to having used the CGM last week, but as for the others - most of them are habits I've had for several years now, so doubt they're going any time soon (and it's not helped by the fact I'm unbelievably forgetful).... I am going to try though! :D



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