Taking a cue from Rachel and Cherise, I wanted to post my diabetes “bad habits.” (Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to come up with six.) But thankfully, after months and months of extreme tweaking, my bad habits aren’t nearly as bad as they used to be.
1. Bolus-Stacking. (See also: rage bolusing) I have a very, very bad habit of stacking boluses when my blood sugar is high. You know … test and see that 212 mg/dl, take two units to correct it back to 100 … test again 45 minutes later to see 245 mg/dl staring back at you … freak out and take another unit for good measure … test one more time an hour later to see no real change … lace in two more units because you’re angry and frustrated and sick of the high … only to crash five hours later with a 45 mg/dl with your face mushed into a can of Pillsbury frosting. Not that I’ve done that. But if I were to do that, it might play out just like that.
2. Carb Winging It. Until recently, I’ve been an estimator. A SWAGger (scientific wild-ass guesser). Someone who kind of wings the whole carb-counting thing and hopes that there were only about 15 grapes in that snack bag or that the apple was really “small” instead of “medium.” With the little weeny doses of insulin I take, counting carbs with precision is crucial to making sure my numbers stay stable, so when I’m guessing as to the carb count, the blood sugar results go all over the place.
3. Shooting with a Mouthful. This is a bad habit pointing out by my endocrinologist a few months ago, and one that was wicked hard to break. And I have no idea how I ended up in this terrible habit to begin with, but it’s not good. I had a terrible tendency to start eating, then decide to bolus. Even if the carbs were counted perfectly and the insulin dose went in without issue, I wasn’t giving the insulin any time to act before introducing the carbs. Thus, making my numbers go berserk after meals. No more shooting while I’m eating. Now I need to shoot up before eating. Makes a big difference.
4. Self-Consious During Workouts. Another bad habit. When I go to the gym, I used to leave my insulin pump at home and then reconnect when I returned. It worked out to keep me from going low during workouts, yes, but it was also because I didn’t like having the device attached to me while I was wearing form-fitting workout clothes. Stupid Kerri. Sure, I was avoiding the lows, but I was also ending up close to 180 mg/dl by the end of my workout. With pre-pregnancy goals of 150 or lower, this is unacceptable. So I have to suck it up and wear the pump while I exercise and even sometimes go easier during a workout to avoid lows, instead of sacrificing blood sugar control for an extra mile on the treadmill.
5. Log Lagging. I have a good habit of starting logbooks, but a terrible time keeping up with them. This has been a hard habit to break (habit to break), but I’m close to turning it around. Logbooks are my diets – I am excellent at the outset, but then I fall apart. Thankfully, I’ve got a team at Joslin and a husband at home who are helping keep me accountable, and it’s making a world of difference.
6. Blame Game. And a sixth (but certainly not the last) bad diabetes habit that I have is my role in the blame game. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get things “right” and when the diabetes outcome isn’t what I’m hoping for, I tend to blame myself. I have to constantly remind myself that strong efforts and a decent attitude go a long way in this marathon, and I can’t beat myself up for every low or high that crops up randomly. Diabetes isn’t fair, and it isn’t easy, and it sure as hell isn’t my fault, so I just need to roll with the punches as gracefully as I can.
What are your diabetes bad habits? Or maybe it’s better to ask – what are your good diabetes habits? I’m going to have to concoct another “good” list soon – they’re way more fun.
*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*