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Routine with Type One Diabetes - When its good & when you need to break it.

For me I find that managing my diabetes is generally easier when theres a routine. Well, not ‘a’ routine, but several interwoven routines that all rotate round at their own pace, like the planets of the solar system…all perfectly individual but swirling together like clockwork.

One routine I have is having the the same or similar meals at similar times of the day…breakfast for example is typically the same most day, my routine at work is fairly similar most days, therefore my basal program can be similar most day & I‘m fairly confident that if i took the same bolus dose, with roughly the same prebolus time, then the outcome should be fairly similar most days too.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not an exact science and there are definitely days where I do the same thing but get wildly different results…sometimes these days can be explained by a leaky pump, an oversight in calculations or sometimes i just can’t fathom out the cause and have to chalk it down to the stars being out of alignment!

So in summary, most of the time theres some sort of routine happening, and I think it’s also fair to say that its not necessarily a diabetes thing, because I was frequently a creature of habit well before diabetes was on the scene. I think its also fair to say that many of us live in habits, its how our brains work, the things we do regularly require less brain power to process if they habitual,

If you don’t believe me, take something you use regular in your kitchen, say the kettle. Now go & put it in a completly different place and see how many times you go to its original home before you rewire brain to its new location!

So habit is not a bad thing in itself, in fact if can be very useful - want to get healthier? Simple, make going to the gym regularly a habit! (Ok I know its not that easy, but you get my drift! - I cover changing habits in other post).

But what happens when we need, or want to break a routine?

Heres an example - Last weekend, my wife & went away for a few days with friends, sounds great doesn’t it…a few days with no work, no kids, good company & maybe a beer or two - we even went to a show!

Here’s the bit thats not so fun; almost every single routine was knocked off its axis!

The times I ate were different, what I ate was (very) different, my non-exercise activity levels were different - even quite extreme, a brisk walk to the train station carrying luggage, then 2 hours sat on a train, followed by a walk to the hotel…nothing too exotic, but certainly not something I do regularly enough to build up & practice an insulin strategy behind!

My exercise routine was different, I usually do a couple of training sessions over the weekend, but I only had time to do a run up the canal near our hotel…first thing in the morning, so fasted as I didn’t want to run with an insulin on board.

Having said all that, I certainly don’t want to avoid doing things for the sake of keeping a routine. I I I really looked forward to this weekend, but whether its a weekend away with friends, or something else, planned or unplanned that breaks the routine, just know that its going to happen.

Something at some point is going to interrupt a routine.

So the key is to accept it and work with it, not fight against it.

I don’t want to get into nitty gritty of the various strategies for a weekend like this, the point I’d rather make here is that yes routine is good most of the time, but don’t be afraid to take a slightly different path sometimes, and when you do, don’t sweat it - you will get through it. There maybe the odd high or low along the way, but nothing you haven‘t managed before.

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