Experience is a great teacher, but sometimes it’s not the best way to learn, especially when it comes to your medical needs. Smart people learn from their mistakes, but wise people learn from other people’s mistakes. In my ten years with diabetes, I have found that to eliminate problems, you need to anticipate your needs. A few moments of preparation can ensure a great afternoon of fun with your friends, a better grade on a test, or participation in a sporting competition without any complications.
As people with diabetes, we don’t have the option of forgetting about our disease if we want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So here are ten things that I’ve learned we should all do to protect ourselves from complications as we go through our daily routine.
1. Have glucose tablets on you at all times.
2. Always check your blood glucose before any type of physical activity.
3. Have some type of sugary drink with you during any type of exercise or sport. Orange juice is the best by far.
4. Have a small bag to contain all of your supplies.
5. Check your blood sugar, and, if needed, try to have a snack 15 minutes prior to a test.
6. When playing school sports, check your blood glucose and adjust during halftime.
7. Take a Kwick pen with you whenever you are playing sports, in case you need a fast adjustment.
8. Always listen to your body. If you are thirsty all the time and have to urinate frequently, you definitely need to check your blood glucose.
9. Never be afraid to tell a coach or a teacher that your blood sugar is low because the problem will not go away.
10. When your blood sugar is low, have a snack that has protein and carbohydrates. The carbohydrates will get your blood sugar up, and the protein will prevent you from dropping as fast.