Wednesday, April 9, 2008

LIttle Rituals

  • 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?


Jillian said...

I'm the exact opposite on the meter in my bed thing. I used to keep it in the kitchen, but then I would just wake up know I was low, do nothing about it because I didn't feel like getting up. Not a good idea.

Unknown said...

I keep my meter by my bed along with juice, glucagon kit and glucose tablets. I have had lows so bad that I was aware of it but I couldn't force myself to get up out of bed so now it is always within reach of me in bed. I bought a palm pilot and that is how I keep track of my blood sugar, use the task to make notes to ask all my doctors and makes notes of what they tell me. I also have an excel print out of all my medications as well as them listed in my palm pilot. I use the program glucose one to track my log sugars in my palm pilot. I like the fact I can set up an alarm to remind me to check with this program after I have just had a low or a high.

Donna said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one that has these little rituals that must be followed. (I'm big on the color-coding, too!)

Cara said...

In the past few years it has been the meter by the bed. And a test as soon as I wake up. And right before I go to bed.
I also, almost always, have to psych myself up when inserting a new pump site of cgms sensor. It's the pop of the inserter. It freaks me out. But still much better than trying to do it manually.

Lili said...

I am totally OCD - I always keep my meter in my purse (not next to the bed) and I only use one meter (at a time) because I want to have all the data in one place. I keep low treatments in my purse or in my cabinet and ignore the juice in the fridge, because I get confused by all the options otherwise. I never lose used strips, because they all stay in my purse until I empty it. I put them in empty strip containers first, which I only throw away in my home trash (no idea why). I use my PDA to calculate carbs for me and track my food, as well as to remember everything else for me.

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k2 said...

I don't keep a meter next to my bed, but I do keep an emergency can of ginger-ale & or a couple of juice boxes under the bed.
I just reach under and grab a can or box when needed.

As far as rituals, I always take a deep breath before I insert a new infusion set and I prefer lancing on my left hand (Even if though I'm left handed) and I prefer my infusion set on my left side.

Go figure?