While the snow piles up outside, I’m busy aiming to hit a writing deadline this morning. So I talked with Abby the other day and it seems like she’s hit a patch of burnout, much like the one I’m going through. She’s offered to post today about “forgetting,” and how, even though it seems impossible, it’s sometimes too easy to forget about the whole diabetes thing.
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I’m 23 years old. I don’t have Alzheimer’s. I don’t have any kind of dementia. I’ve never lost my keys for more than three minutes. I remember my homework even though I have a planner that I write it in and never look at.
But yet yesterday I didn’t check my blood sugar until 5 pm. Seriously? My average number of checks in my pump is like seven. I habitually grab my test kit when my alarm goes off in the morning, but yesterday I didn’t set an alarm. It was my first day to sleep past 5:45am in a week (clinicals), so I just slept and slept and slept. Then I woke up and stuffed my face with cereal, bolused without measuring or checking first, then lay in my bed some more.
After some tedious errand running, it’s 5 pm and time for dinner (or “Dinner: Part One,” I guess, because sleeping until 11 am messes that whole meal title thing up) and I realize I hadn’t checked all day. A 157 mg/dl shows up on the tiny meter screen. I didn’t check again until bedtime (10:30pm – don’t judge me, I was seriously sleep deprived) and I saw an 87 mg/dl. Days like that make me think “I can forget about diabetes and things turn out just fine.
This is NOT a good mindset.
An even worse example: When I bolus first thing in the morning for breakfast, then proceed to get ready for school/work/wherever I’m going, and forget to eat breakfast until I’m walking out the door. I usually have bloused for toast on such occasions, or a half bagel or something I can bring with me, but if I forget to eat until I walk out the door, I’m extremely low (I don’t feel lows in the morning until the 40mg/dL area) halfway through my travels to my destination. Whoops.
Another “good” one: I wake up to a “Low Reservoir” alarm and a fun aqua-colored light on my pump in the morning, and I see something like 13 units of insulin left. Somehow, I forget to change my site before I leave for a 10 hour day at school/work. Running out of insulin halfway through my day with a whole extra site change but no extra insulin with me is the most interesting, and most frustrating, “forget.”
How do I simply forget that I’ve bolused, or forget to check my blood sugar, or forget to refill my insulin? How is it that I can forget about something so big, like diabetes?
I need like, a little creature on my shoulder to remind me of these things.
Except that would be weird.
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I know I’m not the only PWD who has left the house with 10u of insulin left in my pump and without a backup bottle for a refill. (Or dreamed of a “reminder creature,” only I can’t decide if I want it to be cute and snuggly-friendly or something with fangs. Still debating. /digression) How do you guys help remind yourself to bring and to do all the “stuff” that comes with maintaining diabetes care?