Sometimes the simplest tools make a big difference in successfully managing diabetes. Grab a marker from your desk or kitchen drawer. Yes, a marker. Any color is fine, but permanent is best. Get going with the following ideas.
Check with your doctor about the right diet for you.
Who wants to squint at the small print on the Nutrition Facts panel when hunger pangs hit? Go through your pantry and write meal-plan essentials on the sides of boxes and cans. Note calories and fat grams per serving if you're intent on losing weight, and keep track of carbs if you count them.
To make sure you adequately rotate lancing sites, outline your hand on a piece of paper. Place a dot on the outline to mark your most recent lancing site. The next time you lance, choose a different spot. One strategy you might try is hitting two or three spots on the outside of a finger, then two or three on the inside before moving to the next finger.
Whether your workout is a walk around the mall or a 5K, keep your spirits up and acknowledge the effort you've put into getting some movement each day. Try inspirational words like these: Go for It!, Check Out My Moves or Just One More Step.
Doctors suggest treating hypoglycemia, a blood sugar reading under 70 mg/dl, with about 15 grams of rapidly absorbed carbohydrate. When glucose gel or tabs aren't handy, consider 4 ounces of fruit juice or sugary soda. It's easy to overdo it, so mark a small plastic cup ahead of time and save for any low blood sugar events at home. If your blood sugar is under 70 mg/dl, drink 15 grams of carbohydrate, wait 15 minutes and retest to make sure your blood sugar has returned to the comfort zone of 70-120 mg/dl.
Walking is a favorite activity of many people who are adding movement to their day to manage their diabetes. To set a challenging goal for yourself, decide to walk across your city or state—but you needn't leave the neighborhood. Simply mark your miles on a map and celebrate all those steps.
Copy this diagram onto a paper plate to remind yourself what a healthful meal looks like. Not every meal you choose may be as rich in vegetables, but aiming for this type of ratio helps ensure an eating plan that can benefit your heart and your diabetes.
Set aside a puncture-resistant plastic (unbreakable) container for used lancets and syringes: a rigid and opaque empty detergent bottle. Mark it with the word "sharps" so family members know what's inside and know not to recycle it or throw it in the trash (if that's not allowed in your area). Store the container out of reach of small children. Securely fasten and seal the cap with heavy-duty adhesive tape (such as duct tape) when the container is nearly full. Check with your local public works department about proper disposal of medical waste in your area.
Choose a slogan that celebrates the effort you put into living well while controlling your diabetes. You can keep a slogan T-shirt to yourself (put it on when you clean house or ride your exercise bike) or show it off to the world.