Well, it's January, so my conscience is telling me that it is time to set some New Year's resolutions! This year (just like every other year) I will squeeze my post-holiday self into my pre-holiday jeans, which will result in the usual "get in shape" goal. Believe it or not, this often works well for me, but it depends on the year. So this time around, I'm reflecting back on previous years when I really nailed this goal and asking myself what made the biggest difference? Honestly, I feel most like I'm attaining my goals when I take pains to keep track of my progress. I literally have to write down what I eat and when and how much I exercise. For some reason, the visual aspect of seeing what I did for the day makes me feel more accountable for it. I'm sure a group of exercise scientists, nutritionists and therapists are all sitting around somewhere applauding my major discovery.
Managing Kaitlyn's type 1 diabetes has also made its way onto my list of goals. I really would like to fine-tune her regimen, so I have decided that I will use the same method that I'm using for my exercise and diet plan. I'm going to go back to square one and keep track of everything in a logbook. I haven't used a logbook since the first few months of Kaitlyn's diagnosis, instead, rationalizing to myself that since everything is kept in the "logbook" on her meter, I didn't need to continue writing it down. What I have found though, is that I rarely look back at the meter, unless I need to make a big change in her insulin ratios. I think it will be super helpful to keep track of how often I check her and what her numbers are, as well as keep better track of what she's eating. Why? It will make me accountable for making good food choices and will help me better predict what effect certain foods will have on her blood glucose levels.
You might wonder why I'm going to such lengths when Kaitlyn already has a really good routine and excellent average blood glucose results. The way I see it, I certainly don't want to wait until I'm 50 pounds overweight to get in shape, so why would I wait to try to improve the health of my Kaitlyn? There's always room for improvement, and I won't have this much control over her diabetes care forever, so I'm hoping to establish really good routines now. That way when she's on her own, she'll have some really excellent patterns to follow!
About the author: My name is Kim. My daughter Kaitlyn (the third of our five children) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few years after my nephew James was diagnosed with the same disease. I'm excited to pair up with my sister-in-law, Jen, to share our story with you!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.