Postcards from the shed TV chippie Rob Palmer project manages his diabetes
Break your diabetes management into simple tasks and life gets easier
Right now in my world of building stuff there’s a scaffold coming down on one job of windows, there’s a roof to open up across town, I’ve got a wall to rebuild around the corner and two tenders that are due for submission at 10 minutes to yesterday… oh, and of course, diabetes is not about to take a holiday!
I find that when things get busy, diabetes can often be left swinging in the wind as the job you’ll get to when you have the time and we all know what a mess that can make of things.
Project management seems to give me an edge when it comes to taking care of diabetes. Let’s just say that diabetes is a long-term job with a huge upside if well managed and a bloody miserable downside if neglected. Both results hinge around quality of life, which in my opinion is as important as anything else. I find that a great way to put the boot into diabetes
(and all the carry-on luggage that goes with it) is to think of it as a project.
I know that’s easy to say and at times there are mental hills that may be tough to climb but if I look at diabetes as a project rather than a disease it automatically puts me in the right frame of mind to beat it into the shape I want.
If years ago I’d taken the view that diabetes was in control I may still be wondering what hit me. The day-to-day continuous management is quite a thing to see running at you. Something my dad told me years ago really helps in managing a lifelong project like diabetes: “No matter how big the project is, you can always break it up into smaller manageable tasks that you can easily quantify and repeat if needed.”
He wasn’t talking about diabetes. But I find myself looking at it in the same way I’d consider a big building project: I cut it down and consider each task as an item. Collectively, a bunch of simple tasks done well turns into a great project. Diabetes can be seen the same way.
An HbA1c result is a good indicator of how the project is going but really that’s giving you a summary of the past three to six months’ work. It’s those day-to-day, hour-to-hour tasks that you can try to improve or continue to get right that ultimately give you the satisfaction of overall control.
No one is perfect and at times the scaffold truck may get a flat, or it might rain three hours before you manage to close the roof. In other words, you may wake with a blood glucose level reading that’s off the charts, or get to the second course at dinner before realising you haven’t had any insulin. But I reckon if you pay attention to the small jobs and take positives from the majority that go well you’re in a pretty good frame of mind to hit this diabetes project out of the park – no matter how long it runs. ■
Project management seems to give me an edge