When I first was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and then full-on Type 2 Diabetes, I was obsessed with testing my blood glucose. I was testing it a minimum of five times a day and could not imagine doing otherwise.
How quickly things changed! I had an excellent checkup and report from both my endocrinologist and cardiologist in May. And then I just kinda slowed down… and then kinda stopped. When I had a terrible bout of poison oak my blood glucose soared because of the prednisone I was taking. I was supposed to be testing a lot during that period but I HATED seeing those high numbers. So I pretty much stopped.
A friend with diabetes came to visit over the weekend. I got the picture that he pretty much doesn’t test his own blood sugars very regularly. Another friend told me that her mother (who died of diabetes at age 63) did not test at ALL.
How did I get to this point? By being complacent. By either assuming it’s “good news” so I don’t have to test, or assuming it’s “bad news” and making me reluctant to test. I can’t believe it’s only taken a few short months for me to fall into this lazy attitude.
How dumb is that.
So I’ve made a resolution to test a MINIMUM of 3x a day, starting… today. I woke up to a good 97. Now I’m going to go test again, post-lunch.
August 19, 2009 at 8:27 pm
I already responded a little via twitter, but thought it would be useful here, too.
Like you, I was religious about it when first diagnosed, testing more than my caregivers’ recommendation, but I really wanted the data. (I found myself really wanting something more like a continuous glucose monitor! Still would love to hook myself up for a week and see the data.) Per my CDE and primary care physician, I test twice daily: once fasting, once 1-2 hours after a meal, varying the meal each day. I still usually stick to this, but sometimes I skip, especially if I’m running low on strips or am eating the same things over & over again and already have data about.
That said, sometimes I test *more* often, especially when eating food I usually don’t or am doing something different exercise-wise. I also check if I’m feeling low, but “feeling low” has never been below 80 for me, so I don’t get the true “lows” of someone managing via insulin.
For me, the using the blood glucose meter vs. relying only on the a1c is like weighing myself daily vs. weighing every three months. I don’t *need* to step on the scale every day, but it doing so helps me see when I’m veering off the path and help me get back in check now vs. 10 pounds from now. Because I can be oblivious like that. 😉
August 20, 2009 at 6:30 am
By the way I just wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog and for the awesome kind words of encouragement. I feel that we do get were re are at this comfortable zone and maybe a bit in denial as well. One thing though, and I am glad you realized this, is that you do need to test at least 3 times a day. My entire family are diabetics and I know they test themselves religiously and I feel it’s that testing that is keeping them healthy and aware of what there body needs.
August 20, 2009 at 9:41 am
I have the feeling I am pre-diabetes but have yet to be told that. I know my symptoms pretty much define it.
August 20, 2009 at 10:05 am
It’s really brave to admit to the slippery slope, and to the fact that (I think for so many diabetics) it’s harder to keep up the routine when/if you’re getting numbers you don’t like. It’s something that sort of takes reminding every so often to prevent. You’re doing great!
August 20, 2009 at 12:41 pm
I’m so glad that you have come to this decision now and not later on down the road when it might be too late. It’s going to take some time to get into the habit of doing it, but soon it will be something you could do in your sleep
August 20, 2009 at 4:27 pm
Thanks, everyone. This is realllllllllly helpful!
August 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm
I know I’m behind on the commenters, but I just wanted to chime in and tell you keep up the good work. It reminds me of what I hear in my weight loss classes all the time, the slippery slope of having some success and being engaged, and then being tempted to slack up.
August 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm
this is also true of weight management, but the truth is numbers don’t lie. truth is painful sometimes, but we all gotta face it. good luck!
August 20, 2009 at 6:06 pm
It’s a little scary to think about. I was reluctant to be tested at all for it knowing that many overweight people are diabetic, and having what I believed to be symptoms. I didn’t want the diagnosis so I ignored it for a long time. I was one of the lucky ones, turns out the symptoms were in my head when I did finally test and my results were well within the “normal” range. So I understand about not wanting to test your blood sugar daily, but if you don’t test, you just don’t know where you are, you could be pleasantly surprised.
Plus, losing weight, exercising, and eating more carefully has been known to bring your diabetes back into control and get rid of it entirely. So, keep up the 3x a day testing, and all the other things you do to get healthier, and soon you may not have to test at all.