Creatures of Habit.

When I meet other dog owners, and we talk about our dogs, we always seem to share stories about something funny, or strange, or baffling that our dogs are up to. Whether we come up with a reason for these or not, I’m always fond of saying that dogs are creatures of habit. So if there’s something they like, even if it’s weird, they’ll keep doing it unless we give them something else to do.

You know what? People are creatures of habit too. And PWDs are sometimes the most habitual of the lot. I mean, we’re already addicted to insulin, right? No choice there. But sometimes we just get used to things that either make sense, or feel good to us.

I will disclaimer this list with the statement that I go out of my way to avoid superstition. I’ve been known to change my routines over and over again because I don’t like to do things the same way all the time. So here are a few of my D preferences, if you will:

– I like to get everything else out of the way in the morning before I test my BG. That means feed the dog, feed the cat, start the coffee, make my lunch for the day, get my breakfast together. Sometimes all of this can take half an hour or more. I don’t know why I do things in this order. It’s just the way my routine goes, and I haven’t changed it in a while. Look at that… blew my disclaimer right out of the water in the first bullet point.

– When I change my infusion set, I take everything out of the package (reservoir, set, IV prep) before I get started. Or actually, that is the start. I wait until the reservoir is filled before I remove the old set.

– If I do all of that just before a meal, I make sure to bolus from the old set before I insert the new one. But this just makes sense. Don’t want to waste good insulin remaining in the old reservoir, and the set near the end of its use is usually still more reliable than a new set that’s just getting started.

– Here’s a weird one: when I insert the cannula, I do a long five count before removing the needle (One… Two… Three… etc). I haven’t read anything anywhere that suggests you should do this. But I’ve generally had good luck with the set working properly early on in its use since I’ve been doing it. That kind of logic has got to be bogus, and I know it. But I still do it every time.

– I almost always tend to over-count the carb content in a meal when eating out. Partly, that’s because restaurants tend to guess low on carb counts, in my opinion. But I also think it’s because I feel a little guilty getting a sandwich and fries, or a crab cake and baked potato. And I don’t want a high glucose level to make me feel guilty all over again a few hours later.

– I don’t know how long it takes me to shower in the morning. But I always bolus 0.4 units of insulin before I jump in. Works like a charm too. So if you asked me how long it takes me to shower, I would say 0.4 units. Only I know what that really means.

What are your diabetes habits? Do you have any D habits? Maybe there’s something you’re doing that actually makes sense. Weird or not, feel free to share it here.

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  • Scott K. Johnson  On October 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    This list makes me smile! I’m sure I have my fair share of diabetes routines/habits too. In fact, diabetes management is ripe for habits, isn’t it? We find something that works (even if its just in our heads), and stick with it.


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