Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Testing, Testing...

Me writing to Dr. Banting - Blood sugar: unknown

It's time to write your exam, you are ready to go, you've been studying for the past two hours, I mean weeks, and you really just want a passing grade.  You sharpened all five of your pencils, and memorized your student number, you can hardly wait until you get that sheet so you can begin. You decide to do one last test before the real test, you pull out your meter, 17.6 [316.8 mg/d] ..what?

All of the preparation and now all you can think about is how badly you have to use the washroom and how you'd love to just grab the girl's water bottle beside you and begin chugging and now you are feeling nervous. Can anyone tell I am high? I mean.. I have high blood sugar?   You start twitching and your stomach feels sick and you start to forget who C.S Lewis is and what happened in Narnia.

This is what is happening in the minds of diabetic students.  We get prepared just like all the other students, yet something can so easily distract us and take away all that we have prepared for.  It's so easy to get distracted by numbers, and no, not the number of questions or the math equations, but our own numbers.  Our own blood sugars alter us and take things from us - it takes time, patience, control, and most of all it can take away our grades.

Imagine what the difference could be if we always wrote tests at a 5.5 [99 mg/d]... but then again would we be worried that we might scoop below that during the test from stress?  What would be the perfect writing number and how realistic is it to nail it every time?  Now, I am not aware of studies about this connection and I don't doubt they are out there, but I honestly wonder if I would have done better one some tests, had I had a better number.

I prefer not to test before a test.  I feel like I am that good at altering my body, that if I see a number, I will act like my number.  "You're totally acting like a 21.8 [394.4 mg/d] now, stop.."  I prefer to know what my blood sugar was about two hours previous to the test, and not check until it is over.  You may be able to get away with an excuse of high blood sugar in elementary or high school, but I highly doubt any professor is going to excuse you while you run up and down the stairs in the lecture hall to lower your blood sugar.

On the other hand, low blood sugars are extremely important to correct at anytime.  The point is, is that you know your body and if you aren't keen on knowing when you are low, then my method of not checking before the test is not for you. Running high for a bit is manageable, but going low during a test can be dangerous and chances are if you don't catch a low, someone will be catching you.  Keep sugar tabs or a treat with you and make sure your teacher or professor knows ahead of time that you are diabetic (this is key! Don't be shy!)

Until then, keep being smart diabetics in every which way!



  1. I'm totally with you Kayla! I always check my sugar now before a test/exam and usually take glucose tablets into the test also, along with my pencils and student card. I wrote a physics test last semester and felt a little odd while writing it, but I didn't have the usual symptoms of being low - shaky, hot, fast pulse, etc. I checked my sugar right after the test and it was 1.6! Yikes! I made a few mistakes on the test on questions I definitely knew the answers to and still wonder if it was due to the low BG clouding my thinking or maybe because I rushed through the test because I couldn't wait to check my sugar.
    Great blog Kayla! :)

  2. I am lucky to have it in writing from the doctor to the disability services that I test prior to exams and if I am over 250 mg/dl or under 70 mg/dl then I must treat before testing and if need be reschedule. Now everyone is like ohhh I bet that is so cool to have but I have used it one time out of 2 yrs at this university and that was a low I did not have prior to starting the exam but it became apparent to my professor that I had dropped and fast ( sneaky fast lows suck)

  3. All the best to you. I wish you healthy life to you.


  4. So, wait, Type1me -- are you not "allowed" to treat if your blood sugar is 200??? That's a very high sugar! I'd be immediately injecting 2 units of Novalog for that!