How test results can make or break your day

Testing glucose levels is an important aspect of my daily life. Being an insulin pump patient, knowing where I stand helps me manage my diabetes. My target level is 100, that is I want to stay as close to that number as possible. This target is both a blessing and a cruse. There is a great deal of satisfaction when I hit or beat my target, conversely I am disappointed when I exceed my target by a wide margin. When this happens I use it as motivation to better understand my diabetes.

I am not fanatical about my numbers however, this attitude has helped me. For example should my levels be higher than normal I search for possible reasons. This has helped me better understand how different meals affect my levels. The bottom line is the more I know about my diabetes the better job I can do controlling my diabetes and my normal blood sugar level.

Testing is my least favorite activity but I also know that without these numbers I would not be able to manage my diabetes effectively. Many complain about this daily ritual of finger sticks and it’s easy to understand why. Although finger sticks aren’t particularly painful, testing serves as constant reminder that I have diabetes. Not to mention that many blood stains on my clothes.

I once told a friend that people with diabetes sometimes feel like human pin cushions. I often joke with my friends that I’ve stuck myself so many times that I leak when I drink something. Hopefully one day there will be an easier method for measuring glucose levels. Until then I will continue to test daily because I would rather suffer a little inconvenience to maintain good control. I am all to aware of the many complications that can occur if I don’t. As the old saying goes; no pain, no gain.

The benefits of going low

Although I can’t say that I enjoy experiencing hypoglycemia there is at least one benefit, I get to eat things I would normally never eat. As hard as we all try at one time or another hypoglycemia is something we live with. I have tried to look at the bright side. I am not trying to make light of what can be a very serious situation instead I choose to look at the one benefit, eating a candy bar.

Thankfully, I am hypoglycemic aware, that is I know when this is happening to me. I pity the many people who are not hypoglycemic aware. For those who are not aware constant testing is the only way to avoid a serious situation.

Having the right tools

Obviously I am not giving up my day job to become a football prognositacator but the Super Bowl has brought something to my mind. My wife and I decided to fix up our house a little prior to our Super Bowl party. My wife, Debbie, has been doing some decorating and asked for my help. (Everyone should know that I am not the handy one in our family.)

While helping out I learned the value of having the right tools to get the job done. This got me thinking about managing my diabetes and the importance of having the right tools. No matter if your an insulin using diabetic or control your diabetes through diet and exercise, having the right tools can mean the difference between being in control or not being in control.

And the tools of diabetes go beyond which meter we use or which insulin we take. There is a vast amount of information available on diabetes, web sites, diabetes edcuators, books, magazines, blogs and don’t forget about your doctor.  Using these tools all of us can lead fuller lives and avoid the many complications associated with diabetes.

There’s also one more tool that can make a huge difference, your family and friends. My family is an active part of my life and has helped me deal with the many aspects of my diabetes. There support has been invaluable and greatly appreciated.

So take advantage of the tools that are out there.

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