A Dose of My Own Discipline
From test strips to carrot sticks, a mother heeds her own advice.
By Deanna Glick
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
April 2012 — Test strips are everywhere, just like the dog hair and dust. My daughter has started pointing them out to me, picking them up off of the rug, the car seats, the bed. "Here you go, Mommy," she'll say. I haven't had the heart to tell her they're trash. Her helpfulness is too adorable.
"Mommy, you keep losing these!" she scolded the other day as she picked up more discarded test strips that escaped from my meter case.
The strips are evidence of a messy life. I don't like it this way. I don't like my meter case full of used test strips and boxes of pump supplies that need to be put away scattered around my office. I don't like that I'm way overdue for my eye exam. I don't like that I have to work to get back into shape, and have decent blood sugars again, after four months of intense work and personal life drama. But this is the life of a busy and soon-to-be single parent with diabetes.
My daughter's scolding got me thinking, though. Maybe I need a dose of the discipline I dish out to her each day. I should probably clean the test strips out of my meter case just as I tell her to pick her dirty clothes up off the floor and put them in the hamper. And I probably need to heed my own advice when I tell her she needs to finish all her vegetables and go run around outside instead of watching TV. Or eat only one piece of candy instead of five. Or drink water instead of juice, or what I like to call "mommy drinks," aka alcoholic concoctions.
I like to think that I've been a good model for practicing the healthy lifestyle tidbits I preach to my kid, at least most of the time. She knows what healthy eating is, largely due to my influence. She will choose carrot sticks or apple slices as her side at certain fast food establishments because that's what Mommy does. And she boasts with pride upon making such choices that she'll be able to "run faster tomorrow" because of them. She knows what exercise is and knows that Mommy does it. She knows that Mommy wears a pump for her diabetes and that it gives her insulin and "keeps Mommy healthy."
Thankfully she doesn't know when Mommy isn't taking the best care of herself. Actually, no one does. People with diabetes such as myself can usually stumble merrily along our way, suffering the consequences of self-discipline gone by the wayside without anyone having much of a clue. It's all up to us to recommit ourselves to do what we need to do and let others know we're not doing so well and ask for help.
So as 2010 comes to a close, I'm going to clean up my act again, after falling from blood glucose grace, as I have so many times in the 18 years I've had this disease. In fact, I'll start right now by throwing all my used test strips in the trash.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...