Taking care of type 1 diabetes can be a full-time job in addition to all of the other responsibilities in your life. How can one person do it all? You can start by taking a step back and prioritizing what’s most important.
Designate a Day of the Week to Look Ahead
Start by looking at your schedule and obligations for the week. This will allow you to plan your time and diabetes care more efficiently. For example, what days will you need to do a site change for your pump or continuous glucose monitor? Plan to have your supplies with you so you don’t run out. In addition, when you are low, it’s easy to overtreat with too many carbs. Put together some pre-packaged 15 gram carb “low snacks”. These might be 4 glucose tabs, 4 lifesavers, or a mini-juice box. Pack them in your bag in the evening so you have them with you the next day.
Prioritize and Plan Your Diabetes Care
You know you have to fit your diabetes care into your routine. Try this! Write down all of your diabetes responsibilities for a total day. Figure out when you will fit them into your schedule. For example, taking insulin before eating lunch. Will you monitor glucose and give insulin for lunch in the bathroom on your way to meet friends at the lunch table at school? Will you do it as soon as you arrive at the table? Schedule at time to take care of all of your diabetes tasks into your day, and it’s more likely you will do them.
Schedule a Weekly Time to Talk about Diabetes
Understandably, you might not want to talk about diabetes every hour of every day. Plan a time to meet with your parents each week, review glucose data and trends, and look for what you’re doing well and where you can improve. You can ask your parents for more support or agree you’ve earned more independence. Work with your parents and diabetes care team if glucose levels are trending above or below target.
Once you’ve created a routine, managing your type 1 diabetes may not feel like such a chore, and you will find that you have more time to do the other things you enjoy!
This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.