I’ve been feeling pretty good about my diabetes management over the last few months since I started pulling myself out of my diabetes burnout hole. I’ve really been doing my best and not slacking off. While my day to day BGs are far from perfect, with regular rollercoaster profiles and unexplained highs and lows, what is consistent is the effort I’m putting in. So I really was delighted and relieved when I got my HbA1c result back last week and it was my lowest in four years!
Finger pricking good
The biggest change I’ve made in the last few months is significantly increasing the number of BG tests I’ve been doing. I usually do 6-7 a day, sometimes more:
- waking up
- before breakfast
- before lunch
- before/during/after walking the dog depending on the time
- before dinner
- any time I feel hypo
The first benefit of doing this is the completely obvious one – it helped me to keep track of my BGs better, correct as necessary, spot patterns and make tweaks to my insulin.
The second benefit is that by testing this often, it means I am much more visibly a person with diabetes, which has made more people in my personal and professional circles aware, and in turn made me less concerned than I used to be about whipping out the testing kit and getting on with it whenever I need to.
The third benefit is that by sticking consistently to testing on this schedule every day, it has become a habit that requires less active thought and effort, it is just something I do without thinking and my testing kit is always to hand. This is in stark contrast to the burnout days when I’d leave my testing kit in the bottom of my handbag and I wasn’t motivated enough to walk to the other side of the house to find it. Hard to believe that now.
How many carbs in that?
The other change I’ve made is to go back to basics with carb counting and avoid estimating whenever possible. The most helpful thing I’ve found is the Nutracheck app which has a barcode reader so you don’t even have to type in the description of what you’re eating. Breakfast and lunch are usually pretty easy to calculate using the app and my digital scales but dinner time is still a challenge because it’s a homecooked, ever changing menu that I don’t prepare. I’m lucky that I have a husband who cooks amazing food for me, and even luckier that he has volunteered to learn how to carb count so he can help me estimate what I’m eating at dinner time. Whatta man.
Where to from here?
I’ve learned a lot about my diabetes over the last few months and testing 6 or 7 times a day every day is giving me a lot of numbers to crunch. I’ve never aimed for a particular HbA1c level before but I’d like to try to improve on my latest result because I think I’ve still got some fine tuning to do. My bedtime readings are often high because my dinner time carb estimates seem off, so we’ll work on that and my lunchtime readings are all over the place because I don’t have a fixed routine at that time of day. I’m going to keep learning by doing, keep talking about it and getting support from my lovely family and hopefully the good results will continue.