Blood glucose. It’s front and center when it comes to diabetes. It is how we get diagnosed and it is what we are trying to manage. An important tool we use to manage our blood glucose is our meter and its strips. But what happens if our meters aren’t giving reliable information? Let’s explore that this month as we discuss a topic from the June 26th chat Fill in the Blank. Weigh in on the following statement:
Test strip accuracy is important to me because______.
…because if they are not accurate then we are screwed!
Testing my blood sugars gives me a window into my health. It gives me an empirical/numerical value in which I can judge, and over time the blood sugar values can ultimately tell me how healthy I have been. Now certainly a high blood sugar every once in a while is nothing to stress about but it is still something I take note of and try to figure out what I did to make it high so I can log it into my mental diabetes database. I essentially like to keep track of a rough A1C day to day (CGM is wonderful for this). So of course having accurate testing devices is super important for me to have an accurate picture of my health.
One of the main things that frightens me is the knowledge that at some point in my life I could go blind or lose some fingers/toes or, hell, even lose a limb all because of diabetes. This really scares me. And because of this fear I try to always have complete control of my blood sugars. Its actually weird that high blood sugars upset me more then low blood sugars which are immediately dangerous. So having accurate test strips and glucose meters are crucial for me to know that I won’t have serious health complications due to diabetes or can at least prolong the diabetic health complications until I am way old and have health problems any way.
Since my diagnosis I have been using diabetes as a tool to live a more healthy life. Its my way of “looking on the bright side” of having diabetes. Pre-diagmonsis: I was very unhealthy. Never working out, eating too much crap, smoking cigarettes, and drinking too much too often; pretty much just being a stereotypical college guy. Post-diagnosis: I work out every other day, I heavily limit my sugar/carb intake, I don’t smoke, I rarely drink (and even more rarely over indulge); basically a complete 360 from where I was. And because I believe that my blood sugar testing equipment is accurate (or as accurate as possible) I know that the effort into being more healthy and controlling my blood sugars is not in vain.
So a simple answer to the original question: Test strip accuracy is important to me because I want to stay healthy.
“This post is my July entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/july-dsma-blog-carnival-3/“
Better late then never!
The prompt for the May DSMA Blog Carnival:
What do you consider to be your Diabetes Strengths? What do you think are your Diabetes Weaknesses?
Well I will begin with my weaknesses. Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is that I have zero weaknesses and am the perfect diabetic/person/diabetic person. Ha! Hardly! I think at this stage in my life with diabetes, one of my biggest weaknesses is the lack of knowledge I have. And maybe I don’t actually have a severe lack of knowledge pertaining to diabetes, but I FEEL like I do and that makes me just as ‘weak’ as actually lacking in knowledge. I think in actuality I probably know about the same as your average diabetic but I just have this huge feeling that I am missing out on some important piece of information vital to life with diabetes. Though I am probably not.
This early on into diabetes, I am still very much overwhelmed with everything (insulin shots, finger sticks, dieting etc.) which is also a weakness of mine. I am definitely starting feel in control and probably portray control/seem fairly underwhelmed to my family and friends, but that is not the case. It getting there but not yet. And maybe the portrayal of control/acting is more of a weakness then the actual feeling of being overwhelmed. Either way both should pass in due time.
On the other hand, one of my biggest strengths would be how seriously I am taking my new life with diabetes. I have been dropped into a new world full of change and I have tried hard to be as responsible as possible to become a healthy diabetic (via taking insulin, watching what I eat, checking blood sugars, getting into the D-tech, etc.). I have heard many stories about people with diabetes (both type 1 and 2) who go into denial or do not take the disease seriously and end up either dying or becoming super unhealthy/having lots of medical problems. Those stories scare me and inspire me to be a ‘good diabetic’ and not be like them. And my hope for the future is that I can continue to take this seriously and maintain my health.
What is the ideal diabetes service animal? Think beyond the obvious and be creative in explaining why your choice is a good one. For example, maybe a seal would make a good service animal – it flaps its flippers and barks every time you get a good blood sugar reading!
For this topic the obvious choice is a dog. I love dogs and am a self proclaimed “dog person.” They are smart and can be trained to do many things, medical service is just one of the many things they can be trained for. However, other then a dog, I think the ideal diabetes service animal would be just about any species of bird. For those of you who might oppose my opinion, I will list all the advantages of have a bird as a service animal.
- They can fly and get you help
- Flying is cool
- They can perch on your shoulder
- Some can actually talk
- You can feed them crackers (if you name it Polly)
- By eating crackers, they keep you from eating them, ergo lower blood sugars
- Did I mention they can fly?
Back by popular demand, let’s revisit this prompt from last year! Tell us what your fantasy diabetes device would be? Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc. The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?
Because I had so much fun writing for Diabetes Blog Week this past week, I figured I would continue the fun by writing on the wildcard topics during the next couple of days.
This topic is very interesting and I believe that this pretty much covers my fantasy diabetes device. And hopefully within the next couple of years this will move from fantasy to the realm of reality. The artificial pancreas will be a huge break through for the Diabetics of the world. The artificial pancreas will essentially automate the blood sugar testing and insulin administering, and pretty much take the place of all pumps and CGM’s. I cannot wait for this innovation and also cannot wait to see where science/technology takes Diabetes.
As another Diabetes Blog Week draws to a close, let’s reflect on some of the great bloggers we’ve found this week. Give some love to three blog posts you’ve read and loved during Diabetes Blog Week, and tell us why they’re worth reading. Or share three blogs you’ve found this week that are new to you.
3 Blogs I Love to Read (note: I love to read many more then 3):
- Life or Something Like it
- Sugar High Sugar Low
3 New Blogs I Found this Week (note: I found many more then 3):
- One little Prick
- The Piquant Storyteller
- Life One Unit at a Time
I had a blast this week reading and writing for Diabetes Blog Week. And I look forward to doing this again next year. It was really fun to read and meet new bloggers/diabetics, and it was also really fun to share my experiences. And because this was so much fun I will be on the two wildcard topic later in the week. So be on the look out for that!
Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?
I had to think about this prompt all day. Naturally the first answer that comes to my head is no diseases? I wish I had no chronic diseases. But that is also not the point of this topic. And also another easy answer would be: since I have type 1, I would want to swap with someone who had type 2 because I would already know how to manage it. But again, not the point of the prompt.
But more to the point, I don’t know if you would call this a disease, more of a disorder, but I would want to see what it is like to be Autistic. It would be very interesting to be able to see what goes on inside Autistic peoples brains, and be able to see/understand how they view/perceive the world. They are very unique individuals and are some of the least understood as well. As for an actual disease, I do not really know what I would swap with. In terms of manageable diseases, Diabetes is certainly up there as one of the most manageable. We can still live long, healthy, normal lives which cannot be said about people with some chronic diseases. I would never call someone with Diabetes lucky for having it, but it could be a worse disease. So we are lucky in a way.
As for the second part of the prompt about viewing other with diseases, I am not too sure if I know anyone with a chronic disease. I am not sure if I know another diabetic other then people I have met online. But I am sure, due to my interaction with the DOC, I will be much more understanding when/if I meet people with other diseases.
We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small – think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.).
Again today’s prompt is a tough one for me because I am limited in my accomplishments so far. Every day feels like a small accomplishment in itself. But I will list out both, things that have accomplished as well as things I hope to or am about to accomplish.
- Stayed out of the hospital
- No severe lows (like passing out or seizures or extreme confusion)
- No extreme highs
- Have not had a blood sugar reading over 200 in two weeks
- Quit smoking (way before I was diagnosed)
- Got control of and slowed down on drinking (college, bleh)
- Maintain my happiness and have not gotten depressed over my diabetes (most important)
Hope to/Soon to Accomplish:
- Get a new/first endo (have an appt next Monday, expect a write up)
- Potentially get a pump
- Begin to exercise more then dog walks (tennis, weights, biking, etc.)
- Study effects of an adult beverage
- Resume a relatively normal social life