January 19, 2006

Impatient patient

I've been reading a lot lately about the continue glucose monitors, and I'm really wishing I could get one pronto. In my mind, I can imagine myself keeping my blood sugar in near perfect control because I would constantly know my blood sugar. "Do I really need an extra serving at dinner? Why no! My blood sugar will go too high!" This would be opposed to my current thinking "I won't be testing for another 3 hours, so that'll give it enough time to get back down.." Flawed thinking, I realize, but this keeps me sane most days.

When I was first diagnosed, I would test at random throughout the day and would be appalled if I saw a number above 180, certain that I was slowly killing myself with each out of range number. Now, if I see a post-prad. under 180 I bust a move and applaud myself on my stellar carb counting/insulin management. Unfortunately, these dances don't occur on a regular basis for two reasons: 1 - I can be lazy with my carb counting and 2 - I'm horrible about testing 2-3 hours after a meal. Hence, my need for the continuous glucose monitor... so that I can perpetuate my laziness.

My first meter was a One Touch Basic, which took 45 seconds for a test result. 45 seconds... I always felt as if it was a count down to my death, I honestly took the results that seriously. And in retrospect, it might be good if I still had that strong sense of doom with each blood sugar reading. Maybe I've become too laissez faire? My current meter, One Touch Ultra Smart, gives me readings in 5 seconds, which gives me just enough time to suck on my finger to stop the bleeding (gross, but effective!). However, my current claim for why I do not test more is because I don't have time when I'm teaching to break out my meter and test my blood sugar. The real reason - I think I'm just too damn lazy and impatient. I have a million things going on in the average day at school, and the last thing I want to think about it what my blood sugar is doing, especially if I've just had to ream out a student! But the truth is, I would probably be a better teacher if I kept my diabetes in really tight control. Lord knows I've had some days where I was swinging from high to low, and I was just happy that I could talk in complete sentences, let along lead a discussion about the symbolism used by James Hurst in "The Scarlet Ibis." But I digress...

I think my main problems with testing are that I'm impatient and I hate bad news. To a normal person, five seconds is nothing; but to me, five seconds to test my blood sugar seems like an eternity and a real annoyance. Also, I hate bad news. I hate seeing high blood sugars or unexplained lows at inconvenient times (not that there's ever a great time for either...). As I write in this blog, I'm beginning to see that even though I've had diabetes for four years, I still have a lot of issues I need to address if I ever want to have tight control. I need to accept that diabetes is a part of my life, I need to take time (albeit, 5 -10 seconds) to check my blood sugar.... So... without further delay, I'm going to check my blood sugar... :)


Blogger Allison said...

Hey LaLa,

I saw your posting at the Talkfest message board. I'm the Dictator of the Diabetes O.C. and I'll be adding your blog in my next update (which will most likely take place sometime over the weekend).

Something I learned when I was growing up is Don't ever take your blood sugar as a judgement. It's not. Think of it more as... advice? A friendly tip or reminder? It's great to be pleased with your blood sugar reading, but they fluctuate so much that you'll drive yourself absolutely insane if you take that as a Self-Esteem Meter.

It's not even a very accurate way to measure how well you are doing. Imagine Diabetes is a class in college or in high school. You bomb a 10 pt. quiz. Obviously, it does affect your Overall Grade, but that doesn't mean you're going to fail and you should drop the class while you still can! It just means you need to study a little harder and you'll do fabulous on the Exam (the A1C).

Does that make any sense? Sometimes I go a little overboard with my analogies.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Kerri. said...

I remember the Old Days of the Accucheck meter where you put a liter of blood on the pad, wiped it after 60 seconds, stuck the strip in the machine for another full minute, and were finally awarded a result.

This was after, of course, the peeing in the test tubes and dropping in what looked like Paas Easter Egg Dye tablets.


And hello, by the way. Nice blog. I'll add you to my blogroll tomorrow.


12:05 AM  
Blogger mytime79 said...

Congrats on your engagement! I have just recently picked out a new meter, I refused to get the 10 second countdown, it take too damn long to get the results. I think I may be a 7 seconder, free style flash.

So is it bad to be really excited about sugars under 180, I'm always really happy too.

I wish I had some advice about the infrequent testing. I'm the opposite, a compulsive tester. If I ever got lost somewhere someone could probably track me down by following all the teststrips that I drop on the floor.

Keep working at it. It's no fun feeling bad and not knowing why.

11:03 PM  

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