Diabetes: Back to School Edition

What's on your list?

IleneBy Ilene Raymond Rush

Although it remains a sweltering summer on the East Coast, back-to-school sales pepper the malls, and pencils and composition books are stacked along supermarket aisles.

While the fall may not bring school buses to your door, it does prevent an opportunity to open a clean notebook on your diabetes care. With that in mind, I thought I'd list a few ways I'm thinking of going "back to school" on my care this fall:

1. I resolve to take my blood sugar more often and more regularly. Summer has been a vacation, and there have been occasions when I've gotten careless with testing. My motivations are always good, but I'm not always willing to drag my meter to the pool or open-air restaurants. My fall resolution will be never to be caught without my meter.

2. I will organize my diabetic supplies. A new wooden box on the kitchen table now holds all my supplies in one place: my Byetta pen, alcohol swabs and needles, and a pill case. It's so much easier to have everything in one place rather than running around twice a day screaming, "Where did I leave those needles?!"

3. I plan to stock up on low carb snacks. Summer has meant eating less, sometimes a lot less. Plagued with lows, I vow to making sure I have enough nuts and low carb veggies and fruits in the house to deal with Indian summer, when the heat can again make eating a bit of a chore.

4. I'm going to try something new. In the spirit of learning, I'm resolved to try a new vegetable a month. This month has been artichokes, which we've cooked and dipped in fresh lemon juice and made into dips. Next month, avocados. (To keep the school theme, I'm going alphabetically).

5. I'll spend a few days a month fine-tuning my diet. Writing down everything you eat is a good way to keep you responsible for your diet. For a few days this fall, I'm going to give it a whirl (in a new notebook, natch) to double check that I'm adhering to my nutrition plan.

6. I will look for patterns in behavior and care. So much of diabetes advice seems to be to take it one day at a time, but sometimes there are patterns over many days that teach you about the disease. For example, this summer I had a series of lows which seemed mysterious until I realized that in the awful heat, I had stopped eating as much as I do on a normal, cooler day. Backing up sometimes, and looking for trends, can give us clues on where to head next.

7. I am going to walk a marathon for a diabetes charity. This is one I've been meaning to try, and this fall will be my first. Walking for a cure will not only keep my blood sugar in check, it will raise funds to help research for all of us.

8. I plan to switch up my exercise plan. As any reader of this column knows, I'm an avid exerciser, but also a bit of a complacent one. This fall, I'm going to test something new — Zumba anyone? — to shake up my hips and my routine. Good for the muscles and the brain.

What's on your care list this back-to-school season?

Click here to read more of Ilene's Second Chances columns here.

Read Ilene's blog.

dLife's Daily Living columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: June 11, 2013

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

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by Brenda Bell
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...
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