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Six Little Habits: The Bad Ones.

I WILL be good!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.  :)


I need way more than six. I have a long way to go but I am on the way.

Great post! Very intriguing inside look on the struggles and triumphs of Diabetes. Keep up the good work.

excellent post, I would have to say I feel ya on every single one of these except #4...I'm a pump flasher with the trenchcoat wide open ;-)

Great reminders! :)

You might be interested in this PowerPoint presentation about "bolus on board" that I just discovered: http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_presentations/bolusdifferencebypump.html.ppt

It might help you with your bolus stacking habit. I hope it helps me with mine. :^)

Bolus stacking is my biggest one...ugh. I just want to see the numbers from my CGM start dropping as soon as I bolus...I wish the MM pump showed insulin on board without going through the bolus wizard. It would help so much!

Uh wow I think I have all of these and then more too . I am so bad .Thanks for a great blog .

The conclusion from #6 is something we all often forget.

Thanks for joining in this "meme" of sorts. :)

All of these are mine!

Under-bolusing right before bed to avoid lows in the middle of the night. Always backfires, and I wake up with having to pee and with sweater teeth.

Great post! We are kindred spirits when it comes to logging. I'm hoping to get into a new endo and I've GOT to get my act together on this one. It does make such a difference, but is so darn hard. I'm also not that great on the bolus before the meal.

My bad is one you didn't mention and that is grazing without a bolus. Doesn't happen often but it bites me when it does. Just a bite here, a few minutes later another handful here....pretty soon you are talking some serious carbs. I'm slender, sensitive to insulin, etc., which also means I'm sensitive to carbs. A few can make an impact on the BG.

I'm putting all three of these on my "gotta do better" list. Thanks!

I don't know if this would interest you, but I've found a wonderful workout/running sort of top at Lululemon that has a little pocket on the back that works perfectly for an insulin pump (it's supposed to be for an MP3 player)!

It is so nice to see that I am not alone. I do all these things - and a couple more but we don't need to talk about that right now.

Thanks for sharing your "issues" to reminder me I'm not alone in struggling with issues.

You've summed up my bad habits quite nicely! I'm a definite SWAGger, and I revenge bolus like nobody's business. And if I'm still high after it, I'll add a few more tenths of a unit and then do some form of exercise, which causes me to crash within 30 minutes, thus leading me to the "face full of frosting" that you so adeptly described! :)

I am with you on 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. I'm working on all 5 as I plan for a family as well. Tough but rewarding when it pays off!

Great Post Boy can I relate to the SWAGer bit as well as Rage Bolusing...I hate seeing those higher numbers which are now caused by adjusting my basal/bolus ratios to 40/60 and then being off on amount of carbs. So bad...have to change that soon. Good luck Kerri!! Still hard for me to believe that 18 years ago I had a baby with none of this being taught to me. Thank God he is healthy and happy but I would have appreciated the help.

I do #3 all the time, but didn't realize it was an issue. I better watch that! I'm still pretty new to the pump. One thing I've done a couple of times is to decide to not wear the pump for a day or night between changing, but the shots just don't work enough...so I gotta break that habit.

All right Kerri. You've motivated me. Only my bad habits have a very interesting twist to yours. Check it out!


Quote from you... "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."
Listen, I'm not sure how long you've had diabetes but you sound like a first year sufferer, not a decade year warrior. "Diabetes isn't fair"??? Are you kidding me>? Diabetes is the most fun disease you can have... as long as you tame it. I Love my Diabetes. I Love the fact that my digestive system will become dormant if I don't eat anything... Diabetes allows your body to be controlled by it's user: YOU
It's natures way of allowing you to run your life... and I hate to be a typical guy but please allow the automobile scenario to work here... All your life you've lived driving an automatic car, no shifting, just driving. but something happened (you lost your job/diabetes) and now you have to drive a shitty manual car... and now you have to question why all those people who love driving manual transmission cars... IT'S BECAUSE THEY LOVE THE CONTROL OF THEIR CAR/BODY. Having diabetes is a gift to have one part of your body shut-off and have another part fully active. (basically what i'm trying to say is... In your positiveness... you whine too much about having a disease... DIABETES is not a disease to be mourned after... because no-one can feel your low-blood sugar for you... no-one can quench a high-blood sugar thirst for you. At the end of the day... you are the one that posts things that people should learn for themselves.

HERE'S DIABETES IN A NUTSHELL... If you do something that makes you feel like shit... DON'T DO IT AGAIN. end of lesson.
It's not a magic trick... it's life... grow up and make diabetes your bitch. OWN IT. don't listen to people that make money off of their diabetes like MS. sixuntilme does.

I understand if you don't want to post my last comment... but you know it's the truth... and maybe, just maybe someone else will feel that way. So just post it and be my personal hero... because i've had diabetes much long then you and I don't even think about it on a daily basis... you sound more obsessive than in control... check yourself girl.

Hey there, "Jess." Of course I posted your comment. You weren't overly rude.

I've been diabetic for 23 years. And your comments are appreciated, but your opinion doesn't matter to me in the slightest. Do your own thing, my friend, and I'll do mine. And if you aren't digging what you're reading here, I invite you to check yourself, "girl," and stop reading.

I'm out of graceful responses. I don't need to justify my actions or my words to you. But that seems to work out great, because you seem out of tact.

Glad to hear you enjoyed ├ćon Flux.


Great post! I think it's awesome to show you can be a diabetic, have habits and enjoy life. I learned some new terms from your post:) I am working on 6. If and when you figure it out let me know.

Hey Kerri,

Great post! I think these six could be on every diabetic's list of bad habits... they're really easy ones to fall into. You'll definitely find that bolusing before meals (even 30-45 minutes early when you're pregnant) will make a huge difference in keeping those post prandials under control.

Oh, and I loved your response to Jess... you struck the perfect balance between classy and sassy! :)

Congratulations on the A1c!!!

This is so great! My husband and I are thinking of getting pregnant and we just met with my endo who said, "We've got to get your A1C down from 7% to 6%." I left feelins as if she had said, "you have to loose 20lbs." It sounded that difficult to me. Anyways, I love your 6 bad habits, because I totally have 5 out of the 6, some of which I hadn't thought of but am guilty of doing. So Thank You for giving me a start to lowering my A1C and for giving me someone to empathize with.

Jess has a very interesting way of dealing with his diabetes. I wonder how long he has been having fun with it. I have been a consciencous diabetic for over 27 years. I made sure to take good care of myself, so I could take care of my kids... however...now they are grown and gone and I am really wishing I could have a holiday from the disease. So, I have the 6 bad habits, and the guilt that goes along with that. I constantly try to come up with reasons to keep up with the endless task of staying in control. There are many... I want to see my golf ball when I hit a nice drive... be able to take my dog for walks...it is a struggle some days, but I never want to deal with the "complications" for not taking care, and I especially don't want my loved ones to have to worry about me. Kerri, your new little girl will keep you strong and motivated. Jess, I am glad you have found a way to have fun contolling your "car". There aren't many men who would do that!

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