Forgetting about diabetes self-management

In daily practice, many people with diabetes say that they ‘forget’ about specific parts of diabetes self-management. They forget to monitor glucose, or forget to inject insulin before meals, or forget to take their tablets, or forget to count carbs or to exercise. It is not that they are not motivated, or that they don’t want to take care of themselves, but it is just no automatic response (yet). That is understandable! Diabetes is a complex disease with many things to do, so it is logical that people forget about some things every now and then. Don’t worry. These occasional ‘missings’ don’t influence your average glucose values (HbA1c) a lot.

However, when the ‘missings’ are not occasional, but more regular, you might think about why this happens and how to solve it. The first thing to ask yourself is whether you really ‘’did not think of doing it at all’’. E.g. have you really NOT thought about injecting your insulin, monitoring your glucose etc? No? That is the easy-to-change-part!
You could:

  • Create a (n extra) cue to make sure you won’t forget the plan: make a reminder in your phone/computer, put a note/post-it on a place that you see most of the day
  • Make sure that your plan is explained/mentioned to at least one person who is close to you. He/she could simply ask how you are doing, and whether your plan worked out.

However, many people do think injecting insulin, monitoring glucose etc. for a second, but then immediately afterwards, think: ‘’I will first finish…..[whatever you are doing] and then inject my insulin/monitor my glucose etc. a little later…’’ Technically speaking, this is NOT really a matter of forgetting, but more of postponing. You WERE thinking about it for a second/minute, but did not want to/could not stop the other activity you were performing.
That is something you could (gradually) change. You are not really forgetting to self-manage, but you will have to try to postpone less, or do it immediately when you think about it.
Practice with : ‘’postponing less’’ first, in stead of ‘’’not forgetting’’ or ‘’doing it immediately’’. For instance: if you sometimes only would inject insulin an hour after your dinner, try to practice with ‘’injecting earlier after dinner’’ in stead of doing it immediately at the dinner table. You are successful in behaviour change, with every minute that you postpone less. You might e.g. create a cue around the dishwasher, so that you are reminded of ‘’postponing less’’ shortly after dinner. This reduce in time can make a significant contribution to optimizing your blood sugar.