Today is International Diabetes Day.
It’s a day for awareness. And it’s a day those living with the disease really can reflect (though, to be fair, that is something one should do daily). For me, it’s a day to look back over the past few months to see where I’ve come since my last bout of “rock bottom.”
The last A1C reading I had went up quite a bit to the point where my primary physician said I need to start figuring this out or I might have to think about the “I” word. And that is not somewhere I want to go – now or ever. On another note, there are things now that can work in lieu of it, but I don’t even want to do that. I need to work on improving this without adding more medication.
In a perfect world, I’d like to subtract.
One thing he noted at my last checkup was that as we get older, sometimes it’s not what you do – it’s just your body. Still, I know there’s a lot I can do before that is the decision that has to be made. For one, taking care of myself better and I think I am doing just that.
Since that last checkup in August, I’ve done a lot more:
Watching numbers: I’ve been diligent about checking my blood sugars, and have made a Google Sheets setup to be able to keep everything together. I have color-coded number so I know when I’ve been in range, closely out of it, and way out of it. This is something I’ll be able to print out and bring to my next appointment.
I know I have to do better with keeping a food journal as I think that will help me look back and reflect on why my numbers may have gone up or down.
Exercise: I’ve kept up with walking. Though my goal is to do a couple of dedicated walks each day, that doesn’t always happen. I always get one and always make sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise. The Apple Watch has been a huge addition to me. To some it may sound silly, but closing those three rings each day is big to me and I am doing what I can to keep it up. That has helped immensely.
With this, I also keep several Google Sheet files so I can track my walking and steps each month and see where I’ve gone up and down.
Eating habits: This is still an area to keep improving, but I’m getting better. I watch my portions. I watch what goes into my body. From the end of July until the end of October I didn’t have a piece of candy, and even since then, I’ve only had a couple. When I do it, I make sure it’s small, and that I haven’t already been eating a ton of carbs. I usually also try and do it when I am going for a walk right after.
The thing is – these items I have worked on have shown improvements. My numbers have come down over time. I still have some numbers that go up , but now I can usually figure out what made my blood sugar jump. Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means perfect. But I do think I’m truly moving in the right direction and hopefully it will continue.
Speaking of that, what kind of things can I do to keep moving in the right direction?
Things to keep working on:
Exercise. I can’t lax off, even when it gets cold. If I stop, that’s when things go wonky. It takes time to get yourself going right and I can’t lose my months-long work over laziness. And hey, I know I’m not getting any younger. I have aches and pains like anybody else. But, eventually. I want to jog/run a bit more. I know I can get down to a 13-15 minute mile (I’m at 18-19 when I’m just walking) if I push myself and that’s my goal. I’d like to actually run in a few 5Ks and know I didn’t walk it all. The couch-to-5K program is something I am looking into.
Food journal: Now that I feel I have gotten things better in regard to eating habits, it’s probably time to keep a food journal. But here’s the thing – I’m not sure how I will be with watching calories and things like that. Some things are hard to find the nutritional info, so I just need to be smart. But, a general food journal (this is what I had for dinner etc.) will be helpful with different things.
Apple Health: Being an iPhone and Apple Watch user, I’ve really gotten into the Apple Health things. But the main app is pretty in-depth and intense and I want to do more with it. There are other apps I looked into, but some just didn’t have what I wanted to see. There are a few I want to revisit as I continue along this journey to become healthier and I think they will help. As I check them out, I might blog about them as well.
Apple, at their stores, hold free classes to help with some of these items. I might look to see if I can get into one or two of them over the holiday season when I have some time off. I always have said I want to try and find a way to keep things on one app.
Start utilizing other apps: This seems like so 2019 – but I have several apps that I think can work well with my battle. The key is getting my glucose reader to actually sync up with my phone (which, for some reason, it’s not doing even though my Bluetooth says it’s connected). One of the apps I want to use is mySugr, which helps you keep track of your sugars, which might allow me to get rid of the spread sheets eventually. Again, it would be nice if these apps all connect to one spot (a lot can connect with Apple Health) so I can see things in one spot.
I like the direction I am heading. My next blood test will be done the weekend before Thanksgiving, and I’ll have my next appointment a couple of days before Thanksgiving. Though I don’t know if my A1C will be a drastic improvement, I am confident it will be going down and an improvement. I’m excited to see it though and hope I can stay on the right path.
Thing is, when I was using that reader that stuck in my arm for 10 or so days, I did well because I had constant feedback. I’ve found with the Google Sheets I can check and see the color coordination to know where I’ve been and where I still need to go.
It’s a battle I continue to work at and hopefully I will keep going in the right direction!