Post­cards from the shed TV chip­pie Rob Palmer project man­ages his di­a­betes

Break your di­a­betes man­age­ment into sim­ple tasks and life gets eas­ier

Diabetic Living - - Contents -

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

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