The Book of Beetus? Nope.

Posted: June 20, 2012 in diabetes, Stubby the Wonder Toe, technology, The Beetus

The bane of my existence is being stuck with the Beetus. Having to treat myself like a human pincushion is not on my list of fun activity. The insulin injections are annoying enough, but it’s the testing that I detest.

Diabetes sucks, but this is pretty cool tech.

I admit, when I got my first test kit, it was kind of cool. Make yourself bleed a little, watch a drop of blood get drawn up the test strip, and viola, you have a blood glucose reading. It’s like diabetic sorcery! However, when you have to do it multiple times a day, well, it starts to suck. Since you’re pricking your finger, you have the worry about getting blood smear on your clothes, not to mention going too deep and hitting a nerve. I also found that tech has recently invaded the world of diabetes. Pharmaceutical giant sanofi-aventis has created the iBGStar glucometer which connects directly to a iPhone or iPod touch and uses an integrated app to import and track all glucometer readings. It’s actually kind of cool and I wonder if my insurance company would pay for it.

This is also what you run into when you are on insulin, especially by injection. Sure, the syringes aren’t too long, but there are certain spots where you bleed or other spots that sting a bit. Unless you’ve a masochistic streak, most people don’t enjoy that kind of stuff.

The other thing to consider is the actual measurements themselves. The measurement the handy-dandy meter gives you is calibrated in milligrams per deciliter. Normally speaking, a healthy human’s blood glucose reading should be between 70-130 mg/dL before meals. For me, this is a problem. I usually find myself chasing a reading and that’s not good. It’s not good to be outside the target range, but a low reading is worse than a high reading. For me, if I dip into the 80s, I can feel my hands start to shake and I generally feel lousy. Lower than that, the cold sweats and double vision. NOT fun.

There’s normally some variations in the readings. This can depend on many factors, some dietetic, some environmental, and some mental. I was guilty of chasing the readings, trying to figure out why some readings were higher than others and I didn’t have anything to eat. Luckily, my new primary care provider, Rachel Ho, was able to shine some light on why this happens. Seems that when you don’t eat, your body starts to use stored fuel (aka fat cells) and this can boost your glucose levels. It was the first time anyone ever really took the time to answer those questions in real words, not medical jargon. I must say that I’m pleased with this change in caregivers… Rachel isn’t an MD, but has a refreshing, no-nonsense air about her that just lets you know that if I don’t keep on the straight and narrow, she’ll give me a kick in the ass. In fact, Rachel impressed us so much that The Management made an appointment to see her, which she chronicles here.

Please, don’t take anything I’ve written here as the gospel truth. This is not the Book of Beetus, Chapter 1. Diabetes is a terrible disease and if you can do anything to avoid it, do it. The human pincushion impression sucks, it’s expensive and it will really make your life miserable. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, take it seriously and make sure you see a doctor who takes it even more seriously. If you don’t, well, I lost part of a toe. It could’ve been much worse. Take your meds and if they are causing you problems, talk to your doctor. If he/she won’t listen or pooh-poohs your concerns, find another doctor. If you have children, make sure they eat properly. It’s not a bad thing for them to have a treat now and then, but make the treat the exception, rather than the rule. If you think that diabetes is a joke, I have some post-operative pictures of my toe I can share.


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