Help Needed with Baby Steps

So how about some detailed instructions or a road map to show me how to get there from here? There being decent control, enough to give me some freedom at least, and here being, the pit of denial I am treading water in. I hear, what you wonderful OC peeps are saying about baby steps, but how? When I think of baby steps I get caught up in just how many baby steps it will take to get there. Which one do I start with? What do I do when I stumble and fall taking those first steps? How do I get back up again?

Please don’t think I am looking for an easy answer. I also realize that I will have to create my own mix of ways to do this. It’s just that I have tired, time and time again to make a fresh start, to take those first steps and I always seem to fail; never seem to make it very far. In my mind, I am perpeptually the kid with the skinned knees, scabs & scars from all failed attempts. I have no shame in admitting that I need help and lots of it.

What should be my first goal or step? When the emotional part of me is screaming “NO,” how do I trick my mind into thinking like a diabetic?

PS – Thanks for all the advice thus far & the support I know I will continue to get from the OC :)


Jonah said...

One time per day to check blood sugar (say, wake up time, preferably a before-meal time).

In fact, you might ask your coworker to remind you to check your bloodsugar every day at lunch time.

Allison said...

Whenever I talk to people who are trying to get under control, the first thing I always say is: test!

There are four times during the day when you really must test. Wake-up, lunch, dinner, bedtime. These are the essentials. Start with these.

At the end of every week, hit the memory button on your meter and write your blood sugars in a logbook (or download them). Look at trends. See anything? Make changes or ask someone on your medical team to make them for you.

Do that for a few weeks. When you have it down, up the ante.

Other good times to test: mid-morning, mid-afternoon (twice if you're having a funky day), and two/three hours after dinner if you are night owl like me.

Keep writing/downloading them.

Find new ways to channel your anger. Write about it. Talk about it. Reward yourself for doing what you need to do, even if the results aren't "perfect." There is no such thing as perfection in diabetes control. Honestly. And the people who say there is are lying. If you test four times a day for a week, go to dinner and a movie with friends. Make everything and anything a reason to celebrate. This is why I insist on celebrating my anniversaries. No, I'm not celebrating that I have it, but I do celebrate my little milestones. Each and every one of them. Because so much of diabetes drags you down, you have to invent ways for diabetes to lift you up.

Anonymous said...

I agree that more frequent testing is probably the best first baby step.
The second step I took has to do with food. With the pump I tend to think I can 'eat whatever I want' - which theoretically I can but shouldn't just like any other person shouldn't. I have decided to limit myself to having these temptations only on the weekends. If you feel like you are totally giving something up you are more likely to binge on it and eat too much. Knowing you can have a little somehow feels better. :)

Kerri. said...

I agree - testing may be the best first step towards grabbing control of this. Something about knowing the numbers heightens your own awareness and causes you to have to at least go, "Oh, okay" when you see those numbers. Make a first-thing-in-the-morning test priority, and see if you can convince yourself to grab some pre-meal numbers as well.

And lean on us. We're here for you! Keep us in the loop and let us know know how you're doing!

Scott K. Johnson said...

And good for you for asking for help! We can all be so damn stubborn sometimes - why do we always feel that we need to do it ourselves?!

I want to encourage you to put together a care team. Enlist the services of a CDE and a dietitian. They are so very valuable and can help you make some sense of the numbers you are recording from your tests.

Way to go for even looking at this stuff!

Minnesota Nice said...

Melissa - absolutely great comments behind me - things that I also needed to hear.
I guess I would say to just start logging. I know I feel a million unpleasant emotions when there are high numbers on the page, but, when they atart to trend down, it's so nice.
Remember that momentum is a very powerful force. Poor control builds on itself, as does good control. When we're headed south in a patch of self-destruction and apathy, it's very hard to moving in the other direction.
But, just look for a couple of favorable numbers on the logsheet - take pride in them and consider them the tiny spark that can be fanned into a powerful flame.

As far as asking for help goes, we have a woman in my office who used to constantly supply her candydish with these beautiful, foil-wrapped chocolates. The dish was always full and I would have several every day. I finally asked her to not do it. She said, "what a relief, this was getting expensive". I told her if people asked where the dish was, to blame it on me. A few days later a couple other people thanked her for removing the temptation.

cass said...

everyone said what i would say too. depending on how little you test now, if a babystep is just one test, i think that the one before bedtime is a good one to chose. if you are sleeping high, that is 8 hours of highs, and if you are sleeping too low... yeah, that would be my choice. second would be the waking up reading. i find that when i wake up with a good reading, my day tends to just go so much better, and motivates me to keep it in the good range.

i think though, that you may be surprised just how many people with type 1 have gone through what you are going through. hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I am struggling with this issue too. I am a 31-yr old female with T1 for 6 years. My control is Horrifying. Capital H. If you want to partner with me, maybe we can do e-mails a few times a week and support each other. Accountability, understanding and a person to vent with may be what we need! I can't find a way to contact you directly, so if you want to contact me, please post a response and I'll put my e-mail up.

Melissa said...

Thank you all for your help.
Anonymous - your offer e-mails sounds perfect. Here's mine:mellego@hotmail.com. Give me an idea of yours so I know what to look for.

LindsayS said...

I think through love and support we will accomplish these baby steps. We know that having a regimented schedule helps...lets keep with that momentum. I am happy that in the next few weeks you will start reaching your goals...while we are planning your 24 year celebration!

Kelsey said...

I'm a little late, but I echo everyone else's sentiment, start with testing! First thing in the morning is good, but before meals will really help your control a lot too.

I think Allison's four test times and reward system sounds like a great plan!

Maybe for the first couple weeks, don't even think too much about what the numbers "mean"- that way you won't get discouraged by any highs. Just make a commitment to test however many times a day until it becomes a habit.

Good luck Melissa, and let us know how things are going!!