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Living with Diabetes: Problem Solving Guide

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Living with Diabetes: Problem Solving Guide

As diabetes can be a fluid and dynamic condition, it's crucial to troubleshoot and solve the problems that arise over time. Here is a three-step guide to put this into practice.

11/06/2020

When we think about the tools we need to help manage diabetes, we think about the medications we take, the food we eat, the exercise we undertake or the monitor of our blood sugar. Often overlooked is the other skills we need, like problem-solving. It's natural for challenges to pop up. No matter the challenge faced, problem-solving is an essential skillset you need in your tool kit to ensure proper health management. As diabetes can be a fluid and dynamic condition, it's crucial to troubleshoot and solve the problems that arise over time. Here is a three-step guide to put this into practice.   

Step 1: Name the problem 

  • Has something changed? Schedule, medication, food availability, illness, living situation?  

  • If so, name the problem. Doing this will allow for clarity and focus, thus making steps 2 & 3 easier. 

Step 2: Find possible solutions 

  • Gather information.   

  • Have you experienced something like this before? If so, use that experience to help you formulate a plan.   

  • If not, ask questions and dig a bit deeper to make sure you have a complete understanding of your treatment plan. This includes medications, how to and how often to monitor your blood sugar, how to manage high and low blood sugars, and ways to balance your plate. 

  • Use this knowledge to come up with some ideas about how to address the problem at hand.   

Step 3: Put a plan in action   

  • Once you have named the problem and gathered information, you can formulate 2-3 ways to address the challenge.   

  • Be realistic about your action plan. Is this something you can realistically do? 

  • Put one of your solutions into action and see if it helps address the problem. If so, great. If not, try changing it a bit or move on to the next idea on your list.     

  • Enlist your family, friends, or other people who support your health goals and ask for help as needed.   

  • Seek professional guidance from your care team. At APCNY, our Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists and Certified Diabetes Care Education Specialist are here and ready to help.

 

For Example: 

 

Step 1: Name the problem 

I often forget to take my medication and am not as consistent I should be with taking it.     

 

Step 2: Find possible solutions 

Are there specific days this happens, or is it more random? 

Is there a way I can remind myself or that someone can help remind me each day? 

 

Step 3: Put a plan in action   

I can create an alarm on my phone each morning at 8am to remind me to take my medication to be more consistent with taking my prescriptions.   

or 

I can put my prescription bottle right next to the coffee machine since I have a cup of coffee each day. This could help remind me that I need to also take my medications.   

 

If your initial plan doesn't work out, don't give up. Try a different option. It can take a bit of trial and error to get the right answer for you. Using this three-step process over time will help you gain the confidence to handle future challenges that may arise. Your care team is here to support and guide you, help you build your knowledge and skills, and help you set goals that may make this process easier.    

 

Need help with problem solving or any other diabetes management related challenges? Schedule an appointment with one of ACPNY's Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists or Certified Diabetes Care Education Specialists.   

  

 

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