The Art of Control
We now have a very important new weapon in the war to control our BG. One that requires new strategies and tactics, and a new mind set to use it to its fullest potential. So without further ado, Wil Print Tzu brings you: The Art of Control.
The first principal: Watch the flow of the water, not the stones in the stream. Don’t think about BG numbers; think rather about the motion of BG. Direction. Speed. Duration.
The second principal: Know that your house is built on sand. There is no true BG. It cannot really be measured and doesn’t need to be. BG does not matter. Only changes in BG matter.
The third principal: Use the crystal ball. Be proactive in your thinking. You can watch the flow. Now, you can think ahead. Plan ahead. Be ahead. Avoid surprises.
The fourth principal: Be a red state. In this case, it really is better red than dead. Use conservative alert thresholds. An alert means to listen. It does not mean you have to act. This means a high low and a low high. You’ll need to read that twice to get it, but you will.
The fifth principal: Calibrate in safe harbor so your readings are accurate in rough seas. Don’t calibrate your monitor when you are way out of your normal range or when your BG is shifting rapidly. For one thing, your test strips aren’t as good here, and for another the delays between you finger stick, your entry, and the calibration process all add up.
The sixth principal: Think deeply sometimes, think shallowly always. You should always be alert to your BG, but do not obsess 24/7. In your daily life stay aware but don’t micro manage. By the same token, set aside a hour or two per week to sit down and really study all the information that is available to you. Think about it deeply. Learn from it.
The seventh principal: Celebrate defeat. Even with the best technology has to offer, bad days will happen. We count carbs wrong. The infusion tubing tangles. The wind is from the west and the moon is in Leo and your BG does a mystery dance. Don’t be angry, sad, or frustrated. Take joy in being human with all our frailties and uncertainties. This is a game of averages, a bad day that doesn’t end in a coma is not the end of the world, and it won’t even screw with your A1C. Be right most of the time and you get to keep your toes and eyes.
The eighth principal: In this modern warfare we need fewer soldiers. In the new world order there are only three uses for test strips: Test strips are for insulin. Test strips are for emergency sugar. Test strips are for calibration. Other than these three times, they have no further use and are otherwise obsolete.
The ninth principal: Walk the field of battle after the fighting ends. Be the Monday Morning Quarterback. If you keep good records you have a great opportunity to learn from both your victories and your mistakes. Review battles lost and won. Read the map. Look at your traces. Search for patterns and connections. Use that information to plan for the battles ahead, for this is a never ending war.
The final principal: Be the lion tamer, not the lion. Control your D. Don’t let D control you. We’ve been managing our condition in a knee jerk fashion. We are reactive. Now we have the opportunity to take the reigns. To be proactive. To see what is coming, to plan, to manage. The Guardian is more than a Watcher. It is a Seerer. It can let you put two and two together. You eat the Egg McMuffin. You take the insulin. You watch the BG, first slowly snaking upwards, then suddenly shooting towards the sky like a rocket to the moon, now leveling off, begging for more insulin....With continuous, real time feedback you can see what is happening as it happens, take action with the flow of information, and stay on top.
A final note. This new technology, this new way of thinking about BG, this new way of treating ourselves: it will be a revolution. We stand at a moment in time where everything is about to change. And change for the better. I believe that in twenty five years most diabetics will carry some sort of advanced descendant of the Guardian, just as most of us carry our little BG meters today. The technology is good now and will only get better; and it carries a promise of a whole new approach to managing diabetes. Not just to treat, but to truly manage and control it. Short of a cure, what more could we want?