Getting into new habits

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, along with lifestyle changes (diet, exercise), I also found that I had to get into the habit of testing my blood at various times during the day. Although some people think that if you have type 2 diabetes you don’t need to test as often, from my reading, and now from experience, I’ve found that testing really helps me to stay ‘on track’, and also helps to pin point when things are amiss. When I’m ill or coming down with something, my glucose levels are one of the first indicators. It also helps me to learn which foods make a difference to my numbers – in either direction. Settling into the habit of testing before and/or after meals is still something I struggle with, but most days I manage to test enough times to know what’s happening with my body.

Now that I’ve been diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, there are new habits to form. Several times a day I need to re-moisturise… this means artificial tears eye drops, nasal spray, a mouth lubricant and lotion for my skin. As well, today I’ve learned that I can’t take drinking fluids for granted. I was busy doing laundry most of the day and ended up with a horrendous headache that I think was partially due to dehydration – I hadn’t had my usual beverages during the day and it back fired on my big time.

Another habit that I’m working on is at bedtime. I’ve been using the CPAP for a couple months now, but am only just getting into a habit of putting the mask on and turning on the unit, then spending the next few minutes rubbing body balm into my feet and hands. The body balm isn’t something I’d want to use during the day because at first blush it’s a bit greasy feeling, but it absorbs into the skin well and lasts much longer in terms of moisturising than lotions. So using it at night just before going to sleep is a good idea. As a diabetic, making sure the skin on my feet is well moisturised is important – a lot of problems can arise with any foot sore, and dry skin can cause itching and cracks. It’s also a good idea to know what’s happening with your feet – so many people just forget about them, and hey, I need mine for walking. 🙂 So my new routine is good in many ways, but the other nice thing about it is that as I concentrate on rubbing in the balm, it helps me to relax and gives me something else rather than the days events to think about and with the mask on it’s not like I’m going anywhere. It’s really helped me get to sleep and stay asleep longer.

So here’s to building myself some ‘new’ ruts to be ‘stuck’ in… but in a good way.

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