Managing Time in a Messy Mind

Investigating what we can do to take better care of ourselves.

DeannaBy 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 2009 — It has been said, many times, that patience is a virtue. I think time management skills can safely take a place on the list of virtuous traits as well.

I used to be really good at it. But I've decided those days didn't count, because it was easy then. What was I juggling? A full-time job and what I'd do with my time after waking up at 11 a.m. on weekends? Now, I find myself considering time in a span of several months or even a whole year, rather than minutes or days or weeks, even. When it comes to diabetes, this has apparently been my mistake.

I used to dutifully download my blood sugar readings from my meter every couple of weeks or so, analyze the data and what it meant for my diabetes management plan and subsequently adjust my boluses or basals or remind myself not to eat so much cold cereal in the morning or lay off dessert at night. I have always prided myself on testing my blood sugar more than the recommended four times a day. But would good is that if you aren't using the data to make changes that will lead to better blood sugars?

My doctor and I recently discussed that very question. And the answer is that the information you get at the time of the test definitely isn't as useful as when it's combined with additional information, such as what you ate, what you did, what you didn't do (bolus for that bite of cookie dough while baking with your kid). And where am I supposed to find the time for this now that I'm a mother and fitting work in between preschool and potty training?

Her answer: Can you sit down for five minutes each night right after she goes to bed? Hello, lightbulb over my head courtesy of Dr. Duh.

Actually, I don't even have to wait until bedtime. In the past week, I have been given the gift of more time via my daughter's continuing development. She has started going to preschool three days a week, giving me more time to work for money and do all the things I cannot, will not, or would have extreme difficulty doing when my daughter is around to play with the computer mouse or holler things about poop and pee in the background.

Still, that epiphany of a conversation with my doctor was more than a month ago and the habit has not been formed. At all.

Time management remains elusive. I find time to work and meet most of my deadlines. I shower most days. I sleep eight hours most days. I eat. I grocery shop. I mow the yard. Basically, I get it done, as they say. But I find my mind calendar to be pretty full and messy. The paper one is a scribbled mess too. I think motherhood fills our hearts and our heads until we are about to burst. But this is when we have to find what a new friend of mine recently described as "untapped wells." I must find that untapped well within my brain that allows me to take that five minutes each day to investigate what I can be doing to take better care of myself.

I'm giving myself a pass for having a two-week vacation to see our entire family across the country sandwiched in between my epiphany at the doctor's office and today.

So, today. I will start today.

Disclaimer
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.

Last Modified Date: May 31, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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