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Your diabetes to-do list might be extensive, staying organised can help and provide some relief! Follow these strategies to tackle each day with less stress.
There are so many things to remember when managing diabetes - it can be a juggling act! From counting carbohydrates, testing blood glucose levels, taking medication and insulin, it’s no easy feat living with diabetes. Being mindful about self-care and staying organised will help you to stay on top of it and feel good.
If your medicine cabinet is overflowing with diabetes supplies, or you have diabetes supplies scattered around the house, it may be a time for you to find a better organisation method. Here are some practical tips to organise your diabetes management.
1. Create a supply checklist
Checklists are a great way to keep track of your diabetes supplies and medication. You can use checklists as a tool to stay on top of the quantities of your supplies and medications. You can create master checklists for everyday items and then smaller checklists for when you’re on the go or for when you’re at work.
You can write these checklists either on a notepad that you keep in your kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, or you can use your smartphone. If you are using your smartphone to create a checklist, you can either use the notes section on your phone or a checklist app. The checklist will help you be aware of which supplies are running low.
To help you closely monitor your supple inventory whilst avoiding unnecessary duplicate purchases, you can set a reminder on your smartphone. This reminder will act as a cue for you to update your checklists. This checklist system will help you to save time and money!
2. Make taking medication easy
Leaving oral medication in plain view, or a highly visible area will remind you to take your medication every day. If you can’t see your medication it is easier to forget to take it. This could be keeping it on your bedside table or by the bathroom sink.
Wherever you choose to place your medication, make sure it is somewhere safe. Keep it in childproof containers or in pillboxes. Don’t leave it in a place that is easily accessible for children or pets.
If you are unable to leave your medication in plain sight, use a pill reminder app! Technology is helping to make a lot of things easier. A medication reminder app is a useful tool that will help you manage your medications. They are fairly simple to install and use.
3. Sort your supplies
Sort your supplies into categories and group similar products. This will help you to find what you need quickly and minimise some of the daily stress associated with managing diabetes. For example, store your meter, test strips and lancets together as these as used the most frequently.
You can use a diabetes organiser case to help keep your supplies in one location. Diabetes organising cases have several compartments to organise your daily diabetes supplies and emergency extras (such as Glucagon, snacks and backup insulin). This can allow for peace of mind.
Having a diabetes case prepared can be responsible for a “just in case” attitude. With unforeseen events and unprecedented times, this can reduce stress and help you to be ready for anything. By having all your crucial supplies in one location it prepares you in case of an emergency.
4. Label, label, label
Have you ever looked at some of your diabetes supplies and medications and wondered when you bought it and why? Most of us definitely have. Investing in a label maker or making handmade labels with masking tape and a marker can resolve this.
Clearly labelling all your supplies will help prevent confusion as it will act as a visual check of what is inside, or when you bought it. You can label containers filled with diabetes supplies and medication so that it notifies you of what is inside so you can specific items easily and put them back where they belong. You can also include expiration dates, so you know when supplies need to be used or replaced. Simply labelling your diabetes supplies will help put your mind at ease.
5. Frequently replace needles and lancets
It is crucial to frequently update and replace needles and lancets, to guard against painful pricks, changes in the skin and infection. Needles that are used multiple times will become dull and require more force. It’s not always convenient to change lancets after use however, you should still change them frequently to prevent infection.
If you choose to change your lancet over once a day, set a reminder on your phone. This way you won’t forget or lose track of how frequently you are swapping them over. Remember to safely dispose of lancets and needles in a sharps container.
6. Do a self-check
Put aside a few minutes each night for a quick health check. This will help you to stay on top of any potential complications, illnesses or injuries. Start by monitoring your blood glucose levels regularly and meaningfully. This way you can work with your healthcare professional to create targets to work towards. This also means making sure your food and blood sugar logs are complete. Check your mouth every day for signs of swelling, tenderness or bleeding gums. See your dentist if you notice any problems.
Examine your feet daily for cracks, cuts and skin quality. Look for any swelling, redness, skin breaks or signs of infection. See your podiatrist if there are any problems.