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I can’t tell you how many times I have been out and about running errands and doing chores when I have realized I haven’t checked my sugar all day long. It’s not that I forget I have diabetes or that checking my glucose is so hard to remember. It’s just that sometimes it's easy to forget!
Life gets busy and most days I am running behind and my to-do list keeps getting longer. Between work, school, and taking care of little ones I am on the run all day. Here are a few tips that can help us all remember to test our glucose.
Set an Alarm on Your Phone or Watch
These days just about everyone has a smartphone or smartwatch. You may even be reading this from your phone right now. Try setting an alarm that alerts you regularly to test your glucose. I have an alarm that goes off three times a day that says “Time to eat, test, and rest.” This has been very successful for me because I often get caught up in tasks and hours will go by without me noticing. While you're at it check out some of the new apps available to keep track of your glucose readings.
Put a Glucose Monitor on Your Nightstand
If your doctor wants you to check your fasting sugar first thing in the morning it is probably a good idea to have a monitor right next to the bed. That way you can check it before you do anything else. You don’t want to remember halfway through your third cup of coffee and breakfast because thn it's not your fasting sugar. Having a monitor next to the bed is also great for checking your sugars in the middle of the night or just before bed.
Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat. I am shaking and barely able to function. My husband doesn’t have to go searching for a monitor around the house he can grab the one on my nightstand. He will not be able to help me if he has to go looking for it and I may not be able to communicate with him if my sugars are too low. It’s always good to have a monitor nearby. Spouses and parents of diabetics know firsthand how scary those 3-am wake-ups can be.
Add it to Your To-Do List Every Day
I learned early on from my type-A mom that you should make a list every day. Having a list helps keep you organized and productive. I'm pretty sure my mom makes lists for her lists. We won't get into all that, but I do think that most people use lists to keep them on point. If you do, I suggest you add “check sugar” to your daily lists. This will help you remember and give you something you can cross off.
Hang a Monitor on Your Fridge
My biggest problem is forgetting to check my glucose before meals. I usually cook and prepare all the meals and snacks for my family. This is a huge chore for me and taking care of a hungry toddler can be quite distracting. If you are in the same boat, I recommend hanging a glucose monitor on your fridge. I know it sounds silly, but you have to open the fridge to get the food, so have one handy and ready to go. I wouldn’t recommend adhesive because of the residue, but a shower curtain ring or hook works great. There are so many shower curtain hooks to choose from you are likely to find one to match your appliances and decor. Mine fits in the handle high enough that my son can't reach.
Use Post-it Notes
This is so old school, but probably one that most people can do and relate to. I use post-it notes all the time. I use them for my to-do lists and I put them around the house to remember the oddball tasks that come up. On a side note post-it’s are also great for making stick-figure cartoons. Not that I have the time for that silliness anymore.
Testing your sugar regularly is the only way for you to know what your glucose level is. You need to know your numbers if you want to maintain or reduce you A1c. For most people high blood sugar and low blood sugar have the same symptoms. You need to actually check your sugar to know if you are high, low, or awesome!
Let me know in the comments section if you have any other ideas for remembering to check your sugar.