DIABETES AND MINDFULNESS

I believe that living with a chronic disease makes me a more mindful person. This includes estimating the carbohydrate count of every snack and double-checking each time I order diet soda in a restaurant. It includes a second glance at my CGM when I become suddenly thirsty and a good amount of math. I need to remember when to reorder supplies and when to schedule follow up appointments with my healthcare team. Despite all of these elements (and many others), I still find it amusing when I forget about the little diabetes-related things. For example…

– Have you ever touched your meter test strip to the blood drop you squeezed from your finger before the meter was ready? Curses! It wastes the test strip and requires you to start all over again.

– Have you ever tried inserting an infusion set without actually taking off the adhesive backing? I didn’t realize this until I pulled the needle (and cannula) out, and at that point what could I do besides laugh at myself?

– Have you ever forgotten whether or not you bolused – or whether or not you took your long-acting insulin? This was a big problem for me when I was on MDI via insulin pens.

– Have you ever inserted a CGM sensor and pulled the whole thing out rather than simply the needle? I’m still not sure how I did that, but when I did, I realized that I hadn’t been paying attention to anything I was doing.

– Have you ever forgotten how long ago you put in that CGM sensor or infusion set? I’m getting better about this, but I know there have been times when I would re-start a sensor and wonder if it was week two or three or even four.

– Have you ever woken up with high blood sugar only to find that while you’d brought your pump into bed with you, you had neglected to slip it into the infusion site? (Yeah, this has happened to me once and only once. I felt really dumb when I woke up).

– Have you ever forgotten when your infusion site was and, when you really had to pee, ripped out your site while pulling down your pants? (Again, it’s only happened once, but the memory has stuck with me – that was over 12 years ago!)

Maybe it’s just me, but I find these incidents of forgetfulness a little bit funny. Of all the things I will remember and include in my daily thought process, some of the smaller things just slip though. And all I can do is smile at the fact that I’m human – and be thankful that these really were just relatively small things.