Diabetes decisions are a big part of self-managing diabetes and they are not discussed enough.
Research from Stanford University in 2014 found that people living with type 1 diabetes make an extra 180 health-related decisions a day than someone without diabetes.
That’s an extraordinary amount of extra decisions to be made – about once every 5 minutes you are awake. And diabetes doesn’t go away when you’re in bed. Those early morning hypo-alert reaction decisions need to be made despite your brain still being half-asleep.
This extra pressure on people with diabetes is still not widely recognised. General understanding among people without diabetes is that insulin solved the problem of diabetes. Even the medical industry seems to believe carb counting and the right carb ratio algorithms is good enough. If only they would listen to more people with diabetes, they’d know it’s not that simple.
Diabetes decisions: All day, every day
You’re making diabetes decisions from the moment you wake up:
- Do I get the kids ready first or do I have time to take my long acting insulin now?
- Can I eat breakfast yet or do I need to wait for my blood sugar to go down?
- Do I need less short acting insulin because I’m going to have a hot shower?
until the time you go to bed:
- Should I have a low carb dinner so I’m not high too late?
- What time should I check my blood sugar before bed?
- Did I take my long acting insulin this evening or should I double check?
and into the night:
- How much of my hypo treatment do I need at 2:30am that isn’t too much?
- Do I go back to sleep or wait until my blood sugar is a bit higher?
These are the decisions most commonly associated with living with diabetes. There are a huge number of diabetes decisions which are less obvious to people without the condition:
- Can I go for a walk with my family if I’m heading low?
- Will I be judged for injecting in public?
- What will my friends think if I ask the waiter about the carb content of this meal?
- Can I record my insulin on my phone at work with my boss watching?
- What do I have to change about my plans because it’s hot and sunny today?
- How do I adjust my diet and insulin today because I was low this morning?
- Do I eat more this morning because I went cycling yesterday afternoon?
- Should I apply for this job or are they going to discriminate against me?
- How will this cold or illness or puberty or menstrual cycle or lack of sleep or allergies affect me differently today than it did yesterday?
All of these decisions need to be made because of diabetes. Nobody wants to make these decisions, and the dream remains a cure, but until that day, the health industry should support you with your own decision-making and not tell you what to do.
The importance of raising awareness
It’s important to acknowledge that diabetes decisions are a major part of living with diabetes. Without this acceptance, we can’t move on to solving the challenge of improving the overall quality of life with diabetes.
The health industry has done the big first step – it can keep people alive. But none of us just want to survive. We want to live. Experience all that life has to offer. We want to focus on the things that matter – friends, family, work, art, sport, entertainment – whatever life means to you.
-“Diabetes decisions should not be holding you back.
This is the challenge that Quin is taking up. We don’t want you looking at the past. We want you thinking about your present and future and able to plan your day without worry. We want to replace the stress and anxiety and depression associated with diabetes with comfort and confidence and happiness. We know this isn’t easy but why should people with diabetes settle for any less?
The Quin app remembers your past for you and shows your future so that you can make diabetes decisions quicker and get back to living your life. We have big plans for pushing out new features each month to add more support for your diabetes decision. None of them involve telling you what to do. We trust you to know what’s best for your life.
Download the Quin app from the Apple App Store if you want support with making quicker diabetes decisions.
Enjoyed this post? Click here to read about The 5 Whys of Carb Counting
or check out Barry’s previous post on 7 Reasons why you’ll love the Quin app here.