So I’m the head chef in our house. I cook the meals, I make the snacks, I prep the food, I simmer, stir, and sautee all the time. I LOVE IT. I love to cook. My mom taught me, and since she passed away getting in the kitchen and measuring, mixing, smelling, and taste testing is my favorite way to keep her memory close.
I may be the Chef de Cuisine here at the Charming Diabetes maison (ooh la la), but by no means do I have it all under control. Yes, it’s relatively easy for me to whip up something yummy and cooking is another creative outlet for me. No arrogance in that, it’s just one of my gifts, I’m no Top Chef and I’m terrible at lots of other things.
I’m just relaying this so you understand that despite the fact that cooking food comes easily for me, I am very bad at everything else that goes along with meal time. I’m useless at clean up, awful at setting the table, I usually don’t have everything finished at the same time, and I’m always forgetting the drinks. Martha Stewart I am not.
It seems that between trying to keep the kids from killing each other or tearing the house apart while I cook, I get a little distracted. I never get around to any of the dinnertime set up that needs to happen beforehand so we can eat. So every night, after all kinds of mini interventions and referee calls with the kids, at some point, dinner is ready. And then I herd them all to the table like cats. Kid one, kid two, and husband. Kid one gets down, put her back, kid two cries, get her settled, ok now we’re all at the table. Oh wait, forgot the forks. So then I scramble to get forks and napkins and sippy cup refills because I have an inability to plan ahead. And of course I’ve gotta GET THE GREEN BEANS away from someone’s APPLESAUCE. Oh and did I mention that part of this chaos stems from the fact that I usually have two versions of dinner (one version is more toddler friendly. I’m not a fan of that, btw, it’s just a self preservation that I’m working on changing).
So THEN I sit down, usually without anything to drink, but who cares because the silence that comes over the table is so seductive….
The fork comes up to my mouth and….UGH!
UGH! I DIDN’T CHECK MY BLOOD SUGAR.
Every night. Right at dinnertime. Since I didn’t check it, there’s no way I can know if I need to correct it, plus I need insulin to cover the meal and now here I am ready to eat with no insulin on board. Super. So now I’m up searching for my meter and lancets and UGH. I suck at diabetes.
This is how things went for me for a long time until I decided something had to change. I have two toddlers. This season of my life will involve hectic mealtimes, certainly. I can accept that. But I couldn’t afford to completely ignore my blood sugar in the chaos.
So I made a Shrine. Here it is.
Let me break it down for you. My shrine is basically a cheap plate from target, with a cute bowl to hold my lancets, and that’s where I keep my meter, lancing device, test strips, etc.
I’m visual, so it was important to me to have it look a certain way, hence the cute bowl and the flowers nearby. It helps me feel happier about it. The medical devices themselves are less than inspiring, so the creative in me just has to spruce it up a bit to distract from the “meh” feelings they give off.
I love having it on a plate because I can just pick the whole thing up and move it; Over to my desk if I’m working, out of the way if we need more space one the counter, beside the couch if I’m having a sick day. I keep one downstairs on the kitchen counter, so that when I’m in the dinnertime trenches it’s close by, and I can check quickly and move on. I have a second one in my bedroom, so I don’t have to go downstairs at bedtime when I’ve inevitably forgotten to check it until I’m in bed.
Plus now that it’s all together, the random lancets and test strips floating around are greatly reduced. Nothing like a toddler finding a used lancet on the floor to make you feel like a good parent. The kids know this is my diabetes plate and not to touch it, and should they have a toddler moment and forget, I can easily grab it and get everything up out of their reach.
Here it is again, after I found some gold spray paint and a lost monkey and decided my shrine would need a mascot. I reeeealllly love gold spray paint.
The shrine (both with and without the monkey) has changed my life. It’s aesthetically appealing to me, which is the biggest deal, because I like how it looks. I’m bought in; I don’t dread searching for my meter, or wander around muttering curses to my faulty pancreas. I have a nice little spot set up and ready to go. I’m checking more often, and I feel less stressed about it. BOOM! Diabetes = Charmed!
All you really need to set up your own is a plate, and a container of some sort for the lancets. If your plate is big enough, you could even have a separate trash bowl on the plate to drop the used lancets and test strips in. The one in my bedroom consists of a bingo plate I liked and wasn’t using for anything else, and a short, clear plastic, party cup for the lancets. Easy. I got the extra meter FREE from the doctor’s office. Ask and you shall receive. Don’t buy a second one until you’ve checked with your doctor–odds are good they can hook you up with a freebie.
It works for me…I hope it works for you too! When you get yours set up, let me know!! Send me your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or share it on instagram and use the hashtag #charmingdiabetes
Want more tricks for charming your diabetes? Sign up to get my 6 most helpful tips here!