oops! I forgot to check my blood sugar, now what?

Forgot to check your blood sugar level before eating? Even the best diabetes management can go crazy with a lapse in memory. And sometimes, let’s face it, we really don’t forget. We just wanted to get to the food without the delay of a try. It’s easy to just eat and then say, “Wow! I forgot to try!”

We could try to catch up with testing and tweaking later, but this just doesn’t work. You go above your average for the day because you don’t know what your blood sugar was or how much, if any, insulin was needed.

If you forget to check your blood sugar and suddenly remember after a bite or two, go ahead and take a rapid test right away. The reading will likely still be higher than if you had tested when you were supposed to, but at least you’ll have a better idea of ​​your pre-meal blood sugar than a blind guess. If you’re on a rapid-acting insulin, you might want to go ahead and take some if the reading is really good.

If it’s been more than a few bites or a few minutes, it’s probably useless to try it now. Wait one hour after eating to test, and again two hours after eating. You can make reasonable adjustments at the two-hour mark, but again, your average for the day will be more guesswork than proven accuracy.

Be sure to mark in your log book that you missed or delayed the test at the appropriate time. If you use a diary system to help you control and manage your diabetes, be sure to include it there as well. By making a record of it, you emphasize it as a mistake in your mind. This will help motivate you to try before you eat in the future, especially if it’s just saying to hell with testing, give me the food.

Of course, it’s best not to forget in the first place. Here are a couple of ideas to help you remember to taste before you eat. First, always have a test kit available. It seems obvious, but if your kit is at home while you’re dining out, then it can’t measure your blood sugar very well.

Therefore, I recommend having several test kits. Keep one or two at home, near the kitchen or dining room and by your bed, one in your purse if you carry one, maybe one in your lunch box or locker at work or school. Don’t keep one in your car, however, as temperatures will often be too hot or cold to get accurate readings. Insulin is also very sensitive to temperature.

Try to eat your meals around the same time every day. Not only is this a good idea to control your blood sugar, but having a regular routine creates and reinforces habits, like testing first and eating later.

If you have a fancy watch with timers and alarms, you can set reminder alarms for pre-meal and two-hour post-meal tests.

Use brightly colored “sticky notes” to remind yourself. Put them on the refrigerator and pantry doors, in cabinets, or wherever you see them when you start to prepare a meal or go to eat. A bright neon purple or hot pink note with a simple: DID YOU TRIED? is a quick and simple reminder.

If you wear reading glasses you can put the same message on your glasses case. When you go out to eat, you will be reminded when you take out your glasses to read the menu.

Think about the circumstances in which you forgot to test. If you had to do it over again, how could you have remembered? Bring all of these things together and make it part of your diabetes management, to keep it running smoothly.

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