My father battled diabetes for the last ten years of his life. When he became too ill to care for himself, I stepped into the roll of primary caregiver. I drove him to his doctor appointments, cooked his meals, helped him with his insulin and other medications, as well as other day-to-day tasks necessary to keep him as healthy and happy as possible.
Everyone who lives with diabetes or helps care for a diabetic knows about the daily routine of checking glucose levels. But there are other tasks that need to be done on a regular basis. Here’s a Diabetes Checklist that I found to be helpful.
Once a Year:
- Schedule an annual checkup. Your doctor will probably want to see you more often. A yearly physical exam is the bare minimum.
- Request a microalbumin urine test to check your kidney function. Type 2 diabetes puts you at higher risk for kidney disease.
- Request a dilated eye exam to check for retinopathy.
- Schedule a foot exam. Diabetics often have reduced blood flow or nerve damage that can inhibit sensation in the feet.
- Get a flu shot. Diabetics are at risk of developing a secondary infection (like pneumonia) when they come down with the flu.
Twice a Year:
- Get your A1c levels checked. This blood test shows your average glucose level over the prior two or three months and will help to show you and your doctor how well you are controlling your sugar levels.
- Schedule a dentist appointment. Regular cleanings and exams are a must. Always remind your dentist that you’re diabetic.
- Keep a three-day food log. This will help to remind you to stay on top of good eating habits.
- Download glucose readings from your meter. This habit will help to show you any patterns of high or low readings. For example, if your blood sugar is always high at bedtime, maybe you’re eating too much for dinner or the wrong kinds of snacks.
Managing this condition takes a great deal of commitment and perseverance. I hope this printable diabetes checklist is helpful. Are there any tasks you would add to the above list? If so, let’s share the information so we can all be more informed.
My thanks to Dr. Gary Beste, MD for the above information.
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