Friday, 19 September 2014

Rewards.

Yesterday afternoon, I took part in a Tweetchat hosted by PharmaPhorum about "real-world diabetes" (a transcript of the chat can be seen here). I didn't really get into all of the chat, as I ended up talking "rewards" with a few people.

I was asked how I rewarded myself with regard to my diabetes management.

It took me a long time to answer, because, the truth is, I don't reward myself. 

I go to clinic, and if I see a decrease in my hba1c, I consider that a reward. Or if they tell me I've lost weight. But I knew that wasn't what they were getting it. They were talking more day-to-day things.

It got me thinking.

Am I the only one who doesn't reward myself? Is this a 'thing'? 

I'm genuinely intrigued! Rewards have never been a thing in my diabetes management, but I'm always open to new ideas to keep me on my toes, from trying new apps to keep me logging blood sugar levels to mixing up my exercise routine (which has been non-existent recently, but I'm getting it back. Kinda.)

I've always been the kind of person that goes through periods of being really motivated, keeping logs of things, exercising frequently, counting every single carb to wanting very little to do with diabetes. The motivation wears off, the thought of keeping detailed logs fills me with dread and exercise is the last thing I want to do (despite knowing how essential it has become in my diabetes management) As for counting carbs...well...that's probably where I'm weakest in this whole thing they call "diabetes management", so you can imagine what it's like when I'm not motivated ("I'm gonna call this dinner 60g of carb, and correct later if need be...")

A friend of my brother's has type one (14 years old) and his Mum offered to give him a £1 for everyday he took the diabetes-reigns and checked his blood sugar, remembered to take his blood test kit and insulin out with him and acted on the numbers his meter gave him. Lo and behold, he did it. There was an incentive there.

But he's a kid. I'm an adult (apparently). But there's nothing saying that I, that we, can't reward ourselves for putting up with this extremely uninteresting and, at times, very time-consuming disease that is type one diabetes, whatever age we are, whatever our connection to diabetes is.

So, here's my plan for the next week, starting from today: I'm going to log my blood sugars and insulin doses, and actually count my carbs, using my Carbs and Cals app and Cook and Count Carbs app for home-cooked meals. I'm also going to go out for at least three runs this week. As I really need to snap out of this funk I'm in, and I know that exercise is The Thing (capital letters for importance) that is going to help clear out those mental cobwebs. 

If I succeed (I have to now...I've blogged about it...that holds me accountable) I will allow myself an H&M purchase (they have so much nice stuff in at the moment!) It's not much, but it's a start. Besides, if this works out and becomes a regular thing, it's gonna need to be small purchases! Or a once-a-month type thing!

And if you're reading this, I'm assuming you also have a connection to diabetes. Make sure you reward yourself too. You deserve it. Trust me, I know.  

2 comments:

  1. I completely understand the dilemma you find yourself in Vicki. A month or so ago I found myself in the cycle too, checking BG levels, guesstimating carbs etc and my levels suffered because of it (I blogged about it here: http://the5thdiabetic.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/off-the-record/)

    As for treats, I don't give myself one if I hit a target or whatever either. I never deny myself a treat if I want one (cakes, chocolate and the like) and don't see the need to reward myself for good levels - feeling healthy is good enough for me.

    Hope you find your motivation again soon, we all have these periods!

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  2. I never reward myself... for diabetes or anything else. Rewarding oneself, in my opinion, is simply justifying an indulgence that a person wouldn't otherwise have. (Or, to look at it another way, not achieving a goal is simply punishment by denying something that a person otherwise WOULD have). But however you look at it, I don't see it as encouragement to do something right. There are things that people do -- like take care of one's health, pay taxes, be kind to others, raise their kids right -- simply because they are obligations that come with growing up and being part of society. If we start thinking that all good deeds should be rewarded, we won't appreciate simply the goodness of being good - and when the rewards stop, we stop being good. Just my thoughts, anyway.

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