Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sick of Pricks

Me wearing a CGM. 
Checking your blood sugar is probably one of the most annoying things about diabetes - with insulin pumps now, we are only a few button pushes away from being treated; however, still having to pull out the three amigos, [meter, strips and poker] is the biggest hassle next to having to change a site.  Some people religiously check their blood sugar with the mindset that they want to know their blood sugar at all times; while others hardly ever pull out their meter.

I think this goes in phases - sometimes I like to keep on track with my blood sugar, checking frequently, while other days I could care less if I knew what I was at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm.   Of course it is important to check your blood sugar  to make sure your insulin ratios are accurate and to make sure you're avoiding as many high/low blood sugars, but when does it become too much?

When I first got my insulin pump I was checking A LOT. By A LOT I mean, around 15 times a day. Of course my fingers were taking a beating and they could bleed on demand, but to me, I felt like I wanted optimal control and this I thought, meant over-checking.

Over-checking . . . I am not sure if that is exactly a true term to describe it, but I really do think that this is something that can happen.  Of course the majority of us are under checking (the prescribed 4 times a day) but, out there, people are checking onwards of 15+ times.  Their control must be great - but at what point has diabetes taken over.

We all know that diabetes is a 24/7 disease and just like a newborn baby it takes a lot of energy and time out of us, but there are ways to enjoy life with diabetes - of course.  Compulsive checking isn't exactly ideal nor fun, especially for your fingers - but is it as easy as it seems to cut back a couple pricks?

After being on the pump and checking compulsively, my nurses told me to cut back. [Note now they are telling me to check more...] For me, I learned that even though I do not know my blood sugar always - my body is a pretty good indicator of where my numbers stand.   Under 5 [90 mg/dl], I am a feeling a little loopy and weak, above 14 [252 mg/dl] I am feeling foggy and annoyed.  It's different for everyone, but let's give ourselves some slack and let our bodies do some work at least...

Now, with CGM's (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) diabetics can allow the machine to check their blood sugar. Of course, we still have to prick our fingers - just not as often.   As time goes on, I am sure the finger pricking will get better and more advanced. Soon - I hope, we will never have to see blood draw from our finger tips again.


1 comment:

  1. I test 7-10 times a day, and I encourage others to test this often as well. I don't test at regular intervals or anything. I just test to know what my blood sugar is when I DON'T know what it is. If I feel high, I always test so that I know how high and inject accordingly. I don't always test when I'm low, I'll just treat. Also, sometimes I'll trend my sugars to see if it's on its way up or down, and how quickly. It may be annoying, BUT, I have to say, a blood sugar of 252, for me, would be very, very, vary rare. My blood sugar feels high at 120. And that's because I test often and keep my sugars down.

    Admittedly, though, I've been diabetic for over 20 years, and I was not always like this. I actually didn't begin to have a devotion to very tight control until I went vegan and began to think of my body holistically. There were years in my young life when I never, ever tested, at all. See, back then, I was on the same amount of insulin no matter what, so it didn't seem to matter what my sugar was. I was in high school when I learned about counting carbs and adjusting my insulin accordingly.