Living with diabetes gives us a massive list of things to do, more than is possible to keep up with sometimes, but if you do any 3 things living with diabetes (aside from taking insulin, checking your blood sugar before eating and calculating carbs) do these. They will save you more energy in the long run and contribute to a better sense of happiness and wellbeing.
Be Kind to Yourself
Before anything else, be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about unexpected (or even expected) highs or lows. This will only cause more stress which could ultimately lead to more unwanted numbers. Sometimes when I am harsh on myself I try to imagine how I would advise someone else if they were living in my shoes. For example, if my friend had diabetes and she felt bad / guilty about a hyper I would tell her how much of a great job she was doing and that acting like an organ in the body is not an easy task. I would also try to bring her focus to the last time she had a great blood sugar which would show her that it is possible. This is much better than calling her efforts poor. So, if I can treat someone else with such care and understanding, I should be treating myself with the same kindness. So should you. You do a fantastic job every single day.
Don’t try to guess, just check.
We’ve all been there… sitting down or doing something, and then along comes dry mouth, the shakes or a banging head ache; a feeling that is a clear indication that we are either high or low. We sit and question it for about 10 minutes, trying to guess what is happening before doing anything about it.
I’m guilty of it myself and want to stop it because it’s a waste of energy trying to analyse the symptoms when the meter can give me the answer. If we remove the deliberation as soon as symptoms becomes apparent we can move on quicker which helps us to think less about diabetes.
I don’t want to sound like a broken record because I know you probably hear this from your doctors (and everyone who thinks they know what diabetes is), but working out will help you with your management so much. It will be difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it you will find your way. You don’t have to go the gym if you hate the gym. Do something you love to do and you are more likely to stick to it.
Lots of people email me on a weekly basis talking about their fear of hypos and exercise. It seems to be a very common barrier amongst people living with diabetes who want to take part in exercise. Here is the advice I would offer them.