- After reading some blogs, I think I might be the only diabetes OC'er who doesn't keep my meter next to my bed. Why? Because when I'm low late at night, I need to exert myself. I must force my body upright and awake. Goad my shaky legs into moving. Propel myself into the room where both meter and juice await. I must do this, every time. It makes me think about my actions. It compels me to be conscious, alert, aware of what's happening to me. I am so afraid of the alternative: falling back to sleep, testing but forgetting to treat the low, or forgetting that I forgot. It's happened to me before. (But before you wonder...yes, I do keep the emergency stash of flavored sidewalk chalk--er, glucose tabs--at bedside. I'd rather treat and not test if it's a bad one.)
- I also never throw empty insulin bottles away anywhere but home. I've kept empties in my bag for weeks when traveling, just to avoid dumping them in foreign trash bins. Why? Don't know...I think it's my history of working in places where I've been a 'closeted' PWD. I'm pretty anal about hiding my test strip tracks, too. More than one horrified co-worker has seen dead strips and complained that "someone was leaving medical waste" in the office. (Sad, but true.)
- I also prefer to be in a calm, quiet moment when taking my daily Lantus dose. Because I sometimes have trouble with leakage, I like to relax and take my time injecting. I find myself looking forward to my noon shot each day, just for this little bit of stillness.
- In the olden days, I had to have juice to treat a low. I once refused a freshly peeled orange, because it was in the "incorrect format". Occasionally I still find myself ravenous at a vending machine, disregarding other fast-acting carbohydrates (like the sodas/juices RIGHT NEXT TO me), in search of my preferred Skittles.
- Lists, lists, lists. Lists for everything. For medications, for prescriptions. For my cat. For my family. For my itineraries when traveling, with expected times of arrival, departure, and contact information for every stop in between. Appointment lists. Things-to-buy lists. Lists of things toask my doctor about. Color-coded lists when my now-husband came on board. When I got my first PDA a couple of years ago, I nearly cried. (Speaking of lists, back when I kept manual logs of my blood sugars, I used different colors of ink for morning, daytime and evening tests. When did I have that much time...?!)
- And, finally, I must always wear my MedicAlert tag the same way: tucked just under my watchband, facing up and out, the symbol immediately recognizable to whomever may need to see it. I hope this is never necessary.
Oh, the OCD world of PWDs (:-) What are some of your rituals?