Diabetes Forecast

First Things

By Sara Sklaroff , ,

My endocrinologist is a lovely man—very smart, and also extremely kind. So when I showed up for an appointment and asked him to pretend that I was a new patient, he barely raised an eyebrow before handing me a slip of paper. It was one of those blood glucose worksheets I used to fill out so assiduously, charting my numbers by hand, several times a day, and obsessing over the resulting patterns and the glitches they revealed.

Truth is, though my diabetes is in good control, various aspects of my management were slipping. I had forgotten what we'd agreed about when and how to treat for hypoglycemia; my promises of regular exercise were long abandoned; I'd even left a prescription unfilled in the rush of work-life balance (that is, imbalance).

I was making mistakes. Not big ones, but mistakes that could make trouble down the road. The ritual of the sheet—even for just a week or two—was what I needed to get myself back on track. It not only helped me and my doctor make changes in my regimen, but also reminded me about what I'm doing well. Good or bad, the numbers don't lie.

That's what this issue of Diabetes Forecast is about: getting your tools in order so you can do the work you need to stay healthy, whether you are newly diagnosed or an old hand who's gotten rusty on the fundamentals. Some of those basics are outlined in the story that begins on page 54. Our departments editor, Katie Bunker, interviewed top experts to come up with 30 facts everyone should know about managing diabetes. Bunker also works on our "Reader Question," and this month, we'd like to hear what you would add to her list. I bet our experts could learn a lot from you, too.



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