Shortcuts to sanity in diabetes management

Tips and Tricks – Let’s round off the week by sharing our best diabetes tips and diabetes tricks. From how you organise supplies to how you manage gear on the go/holiday (beach, skiing, or whatever). From how you keep track of prescription numbers to how you remember to get your orders refilled. How about any “unconventional” diabetes proctices, or ways to make diabetes work for YOU (not necessarily how the doctors say to do it!). There’s always something we can learn from each other. (Remember though, please no medical advice or dangerous suggestions.)

I’m far too shambolic and haphazard to be able to offer any pearls of wisdom around organisation of prescriptions and managing supplies. There have been more than a few moments when I have realised somewhat late in the day that supplies are ludicrously low and that phone call to the pump company to replenish stocks should ideally have been made a month before the palpitation fuelled conversation actually occurred.

That said, and this will be very UK centric, one of the few things I do try to share with newly diagnosed families when they first start their journey in this land, is that the best thing to do with a day upon discharge from hospital is to make two appointments. The first with their GP, who will be issuing their repeat prescriptions. A face to face meeting so that you both understand the importance of these items and that the initial requests for quantities will be likely to change, is hugely beneficial. The GP needs to accommodate these requests with minimal or no resistance. If they understand you will not abuse the amounts of supplies on a script, they will respect any requests for a change in amounts.

The second appointment is with a pharmacist who is local and convenient for you to visit. Taking time to chat with them and build up a relationship with a good pharmacist will pay dividends. They will always ensure they have at least one of each of your regularly needed items in stock. This matters. Because there will be days when a repeat prescription has gone AWOL or youve simply forgotten to reorder because you were sure there was another bottle of insulin in the back of the fridge, lurking behind the mustard and other condiments. Upon finding its an empty box (true story), and in desperate need of more insulin, your pharmacist will be happy to let you have a bottle without a fuss and if you’re lucky, they’ll even stick in the request for the repeat prescription! Never underestimate the important role a good pharmacist can play in supporting you with the management of diabetes. As a customer, you are worth a lot of money to them, and they will invest time with you. If you need advise on how different medications may interact with one another, they’re probably the most clued up member of your health team to advise on such vagaries. They know medicine and crucially they know many patients taking a myriad of medicines. Theirs is a vast font of knowledge that is all too often overlooked.

Beyond these two tips, I would add that there is no such thing as a text book case of diabetes. This is a condition that resolutely refuses to adhere to any of the theories written in esteemed medical tomes. The only predictable thing about diabetes is its ability to be wildly unpredictable. But that is ok. Because you’ve got this. And if you accept that it doesn’t play pretty, it becomes that tiny bit less infuriating. Because then you have the upper hand. You know it doesn’t play fair and that there will just be times when it doesn’t make any sense at all. But rather than fret about what happened, you’ll be able to reason its not played fair and stick the emotion and stress about it in the f*ck it bucket.  Its done and can’t be changed. But you can recharge for the next challenge. Which you will do. And you’ll face it with amazing aplomb. Because thats what people who live with diabetes do. And I think you’re all utterly awesome for doing it!

Always something more important to consider than whether diabetes played pretty today

Thank you so much to Karen for such an enjoyable week – I’ve still got a tonne of reading to catch up on, but happily I have a quiet weekend with the girls and I’m looking forward to catching up on every post from the week.

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