Ginger Vieira was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 13, celiac disease a year later, and fibromyalgia in 2014. Ginger provides great insights into life with multiple chronic illnesses, including how to make the most of your life despite your health setbacks.
If you've been in a diabetes burnout rut for too long, especially when it comes to checking your blood sugar regularly, making diabetes management a priority again can feel overwhelming. Too often, we expect ourselves to go from "diabetes burnout" to "perfect diabetic" overnight rather than easing back into diabetes management.
Here are 3 tips for checking your blood sugar more regularly:
1. Commit to one time of the day. If you've been going days and days without checking at all, pick just one time of the day to make your blood sugar a priority. For example, aim to check your pre-breakfast blood sugar regularly for 30 days before you add the expectation of checking at lunch and dinner, too. By focusing on just one time of day, you'll relieve yourself of that daunting pressure to check at least four times a day. Easing in gradually will also help get your head back in the mindset that checking your blood sugar daily is an important part of your life with diabetes.
2. Keep your meter front and center. If you tend to keep your meter hidden in a drawer, no wonder it's easy to forget to check your blood sugar! By keeping your meter sitting in a clean, safe spot on top of your kitchen counter or table, you'll rarely walk through the house without seeing it, giving you a gentle reminder that it might be time to check again. You could also get a second meter and keep the kit right next to your bed, making it hard to forget your morning or bedtime blood sugar checks.
3. Remember, it's just information. One of the biggest deterrents to checking your blood sugar more often might be the dread of seeing the number, especially if you've been struggling with overall control. Remind yourself that your meter is simply providing you with information, not a grade. An "in-range" number implies that what you're doing is working well for you, while a number that's too high or too low simply means that it might be time to ask for help from your healthcare team.
Remember, while checking your blood sugar regularly is absolutely a major goal and responsibility that we all face in life with diabetes, you don't have to do it perfectly every day. Once you remove that pressure to be perfect, you can begin to create a plan and routine that supports you.