Is it Worth the Time Diabetes Takes to Manage it?

Is it Worth the Time Diabetes Takes to Manage It?

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How would you answer this question: is it worth the time diabetes takes to manage it? First, let’s back up a minute and take a more big picture view. What is worth our time?

The Time it Takes to Manage Diabetes

The Time Diabetes Takes to Manage It

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and when we are diagnosed with diabetes we don’t typically have something in our life fall out of our schedule to make room for dealing with all that diabetes demands from us. It’s an “add on.” So what do we do?

A Bit of Background First

Here’s a bit of background about me first, in case we’ve not yet gotten acquainted. I’m a type A planner, personally. When it comes to time management, I practice calendar blocking. I have for years. In case you’re not familiar, calendar blocking is literally blocking time slots in your calendar for whatever you need to do at that time. I began this just using a simple Google calendar when I started freelancing to do graphic design 10 years ago.

The idea is that anything I do takes a certain amount of time, so plan I for it accordingly. When I schedule a call with a client, it goes on the calendar. Once I get content to design a booklet, the required design time goes on the calendar. I need to balance my business accounts at the end of each month, so it goes on the calendar. You get the idea.

The reason I choose to calendar block is that I can make decisions on what is most important to get done. If something urgent comes up, something else needs to shift. This helps me decide what is most worth my time compared to other things.

I also keep my work blocks, family members blocks, and personal blocks on the same calendar so I can see all of life’s priorities together in one snapshot. That way I’m not double blocking myself.

Calendar app opened on mobile phone

The Time Diabetes Takes to Manage

Ok, enough background. So what happens when it comes to diabetes? Let’s take that concept and put it into this calendar blocking idea. There are so many diabetes-related things that can take our time:

  • taking diabetes medicines
  • counting carbs
  • refilling prescriptions
  • dealing with insurance
  • changing insulin pump or continuous glucose monitor
  • lab visits for blood work
  • checking blood sugar levels
  • additional doctor visits
  • planning healthy foods to eat
  • correcting high and low blood sugar

The list goes on and on. It takes time for a high to come down. It takes time to pre-bolus and wait to eat. What else would you add to the list?

Diabetes and Calendar Blocking

Now, going back to the calendar idea, not everything here goes on the schedule. For example, I don’t list “counting carbs” on my calendar. I do it every day any time I eat. It’s automatic at this point. Same with checking my blood sugars. I just check my CGM readings throughout the day. And you can’t plan when you’ll have highs and lows, so that doesn’t go on the calendar either. But the other stuff that is plan-able (is that a word?) and predictable does.

I mark on my calendar in advance when I will need to refill my prescriptions — not because it takes tons of time, but so I won’t forget and fall behind or be without. My next endocrinology visit, which I make before I leave the office each time so I don’t forget, is always blocked. I list changing my pump site every three days, and changing my Dexcom every 10 days. Regular exercise for the day is blocked to make sure I get that in. I check my percentage of time in my target range each day on my CGM. Anything that is routine and ongoing like this gets blocked.

Once I’ve blocked for these things, nothing else can go in these time slots. They’re taken. So if other things are trying to get into the day, I either remove something else less critical, or I put that thing on another day.

This is the best way I have personally found to keep diabetes care as a priority. You may have another way, and I would love to hear about it. Please let me know what you do!

Priorities written on a pad of paper.


So the question today is: is it worth the time diabetes takes to manage it well? Perhaps a better question is: what does it cost us if we don’t take that time?

We don’t have to be a doctor to know the many increased risks associated with not taking the time to manage diabetes well. Poor management can lead to a host of ill effects, including long term diabetes complications and serious health issues: heart disease and heart attack, vision loss, nerve damage, and kidney disease or kidney failure.

We also want to manage diabetes well to avoid Diabetic Ketoacidosis. DKA is a potentially life threatening condition that can happen when blood glucose levels are too elevated. The American Diabetes Association lists several higher risk factors for complications of chronic high blood sugars as well, like neuropathy, hearing loss, and stroke. These things can drastically impact our quality of life. Ultimately, not taking the time to properly manage diabetes can lead to premature death.

Why Taking the Time is Hard

Those are some pretty awful effects of not managing diabetes well. So why is it hard?

Diabetes is an all day, every day chronic disease that we never get a break from. Isn’t it? It can really wear a person out. After 30+ years with this medical condition, I’m well aware of that. Unfortunately, fatigue from taking care of diabetes well every day can lead to diabetes burnout and distress.

That’s why taking the time is hard, if you ask me. Diabetes never takes a vacation. I write about that in Day 16 of my Devotions on Diabetes book. Here’s a quick excerpt from that day:

How can we, those of us who deal with diabetes day in and day out, keep our heads about ourselves when there is never a slowdown, let alone a break? Diabetes doesn’t go on vacation. It literally never stops — even when we sleep. How can we keep perspective in the face of something that needs constant attention and never goes away?

Devotions on Diabetes, Day 16

It’s relentless. But friend, we need to dig deep and be relentless right back. This is a chronic condition we’re dealing with, and we need to make diabetes care a priority. The better we care for ourselves and our health conditions, the better we will be for those around us as well.

Personally, I think it helps us find the endurance we need in managing diabetes by identifying our “why” behind good diabetes care. I would challenge you to do that. Knowing the purpose and goal for taking the time to manage diabetes as best we can will keep us going.

There comes a time as well, when it’s wise to seek out the help of support groups or someone to help with the mental health load that comes with diabetes. Don’t dismiss it or brush it under the rug. Advocate for yourself and what you need to manage life with diabetes well. Get in touch with your doctors and come up with a treatment plan for success.

young women in a support group

How To Make the time diabetes takes to manage it

In the case that you’re new to diabetes, or you feel like you might need a kick start to shake some bad habits, here are some ideas to help you start prioritizing diabetes care better.

First, it might take some lifestyle changes. It’s super important for people with diabetes to practice healthy eating habits and get routine physical activity, regardless of the type of diabetes you have — type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes. That will help against insulin resistance, which also helps blood sugars. Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight with a healthy diet may be recommended by your healthcare provider as well. How are you doing in these areas?

Scheduling time with your health care provider and for lab work should be prioritized throughout the year. And not just an endocrinologist, but with a dentist and eye doctor and others regularly. You will need several providers as a part of your overall diabetes care team. What do you need to schedule on the calendar?

Here’s a good one, especially for my type 1 diabetes friends. How are you doing with pre-bolusing for a meal? I know it’s tricky at a restaurant, but at home it’s a lot easier. If you struggle with this, as I do from time to time myself, consider setting a timer as soon as you dose. Once that timer goes off, you’re good to eat and can avoid a blood sugar spike.

Consider your current diabetes care. What are you doing really well, and what would improve if you prioritized it better? To take the best care of yourself, diabetes needs to be a priority.

Something Else That Helps Me Manage Diabetes

There is something else that helps me manage diabetes, too. It took me a long time to realize it, but it helps me keep perspective. And that is my faith. This is another area of my life I block for because it’s super important to me. This world will try to distract me in a hundred different directions, so I have to be intentional in keeping this as an important part of my daily life.

It takes time to prioritize God. Church on Sunday takes time. Reading God’s Word each day also takes time. Praying, serving, giving — it all takes time. But it’s a priority in my life. I know being connected to God and abiding in Him, helps me to hear from Him. To use a diabetes term, it’s like “calibrating” my heart to Him.

Being in God’s Word was how this whole blog and my book came to be. I wasn’t planning to write a book on diabetes. I hadn’t even thought about it once. But one day, while reading God’s Word, He gave me an entirely new perspective that changed my view of diabetes entirely. And I will forever be grateful.

young woman reading the bible and praying

Why Christian Disciplines are Important

Why is it important to prioritize our faith? Let’s take a look at the early church, just after Jesus ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. This was really the first church, as described in Acts chapter 2. They did a lot of things very well, so they’re a good example to follow.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47

These very first Christians who started the first church were obviously focused on their faith. They were “devoted” according to verse 42. Are you devoted in the kinds of things the first Christians were devoted in?

  • Christian teaching
  • fellowship with others
  • sharing meals
  • prayer
  • generosity
  • gratitude
  • worship

Do you see the very last verse above? “The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” What a beautiful picture of the church in action, thriving while they connect with God and with others. And God’s Kingdom was growing.

group of people sharing a meal outside

Prioritizing Christian Disciplines

Often it’s when I’m with other believers to worship, or when I am reading the Bible or praying, that I sense the presence of the Lord. God’s Kingdom is grown through us believing and acting on our faith — making it a priority. While our faith is definitely personal, it should not be private. We should share it with others and celebrate it together.

Take a moment to think about your faith. How can you share it with others? How can you also be more intentional in your daily routine with the Lord through things like reading and prayer? What needs to be added to the calendar now? What things are you regularly doing well? Celebrate that, and give thanks to the Lord.

Dear God, thank You for the days You give us. Thank You for the opportunities we have to prioritize what is most important. Help us as we go through our days to keep You at the forefront of it all. Help us to also seek You in our diabetes management. I pray for endurance in this life-long illness that can be so draining of our energy. Fill us with Your strength, Lord. Keep us in step with You in all we do. Amen.


If you like the idea of tracking your daily habits, whether they be faith related or for diabetes management, you’re in luck! Here’s a free instant download of a habit tracker for each month of the year. Enjoy!


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The Time it Takes to Manage Diabetes


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Looking for more devotions? Devotions on Diabetes: A 30-Day Journey to Anchor Your Soul is on Amazon

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Kaycee - Devotions on Diabetes


Welcome to my Devotions on Diabetes website! Thanks for stopping by. I've lived with diabetes for 30+ years. And I'm here to provide you with a heaping helping of encouragement while you deal with diabetes and navigate this chronic illness with God by your side.

There are lots of goodies here: devotions, diabetic friendly recipes, Bible reading plans, and more. So grab your favorite (sugar-free) beverage and enjoy your stay.







Devotions on Diabetes: A 30-Day Journey to Anchor Your Soul is now available on Amazon.

Devotions on Diabetes: A 30-Day Journey to Anchor Your Soul by Kaycee Parker




Diabetic Recipes
Devotions on Diabetes: A 30-Day Journey to Anchor Your Soul
Bible Reading Plans - Instant Downloads - Printable
Devotions on Diabetes devotional blog