LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The rest of the story

Khaki attacks my feet with a four-pawed pounce, presumably under the mistaken assumption that mice are hiding under the comforter. Wind whistles through the crack in the window, the sun is up, but it is cold.

It must be morning. Thank you God for another day.

Eyes half open, I feel around under the covers for the Guardian. The ten units wasn’t nearly enough. I’m closing in on 400. I find my glasses, lying on the floor, untangle the covers and make my way barefoot to the kitchen. I uncap my grey, slip the needle sheath off, spin, pull and click-click- click-click- click-click- click-click- click-click my way up to ten units. I pull up my wrinkled sleep shirt and slide the needle into my skin and inject the dose with my thumb; I hold the pen like some kind of suicidal manic ninja about to commit hari-kari.

Still in my underwear and sleep shirt I wander into the library to check email and E-bay. To my own woe I’ve discovered that there are over 5,000 tobacco pipes on E-bay at the moment and at least 500 of them would find a very good home here. Now usually, when I get obsessed with looking at stuff on E-bay it’s cameras or something else I can’t really afford. The problem with pipes is you can afford to bid on them. Lots of them. Thank God for E-snipe which lets me treat buyer’s remorse proactively. I log on and delete all the late night bids I placed yesterday. No one is any the wiser.

Beep-beep-beep. Fall rate.

Have you even noticed that morning highs are more fragile? It takes less insulin to knock them down.

Beep-beep-beep. Fall rate.

Beep-beep-beep. Fall rate.

Beep-beep-beep. Fall rate.

This can’t end well.

Guardian now has me down to 128. Time for a finger stick. The drop is soooo steep that it doesn’t even graph as a line, more a series of disjointed dots.

I reach for the Abbott Precision Xtra meter that lives on my desk. I’m not necessarily partial to Abbott products, it’s just that they make about 68% of the stuff we use. The P-Xtra is an older meter that is under-rated. It’s actually one of the best T-1 meters on the planet. It is small, light, and ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in the hand (flaring outwards towards the top). The read out is LARGE. It has a backlight. It is fast, fast, fast. It does use a larger drop of blood, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. I’m always a bit paranoid by the itsey-tiney-bitty drop the Freestyle meters use. But most important of all, with a special test strip, it can test for blood ketones. If you are T-1 and you don’t use this meter, you should at least own one for that purpose.

It also downloads to Co-Pilot, the best D-software on the planet.

The only down side to the meter, for some folks, is that the test strips are indiviaully foil wrapped. While this does keep each one in prime fighting shape safe from moisture and makes them flat to carry; it does generate a lot more trash and I find it slow. That said, one of my Peer Educators who has peripheral neuropathy reports that he can’t fish a test strip out of a vial—he loves the foil wrapped strips. And I can’t count the number of times I’ve dumped an entire vial of test strips on the floor trying to get out just one.

The meter calibrates using a “stick” that comes with each box of strips, a Rosetta Stone that looks much like the test strips. I think that’s a good thing. The stick is there to remind you ya’ need to do it. The “enter the number” style calibrations on older Freestyle and One-touch meters don’t get changed with new vials more times than any of you can imagine. It is such a common problem that it is now the first thing we check when a patient comes in.

The meter clocks me in at 50 again. Crap.

I fetch the left-over yogurt covered raisins, and thoroughly disgusted, I start eating them while I write this. Even with the best of gear, being diabetic is never easy.


Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

You are very right brother! It is never easy.

In the big picture of things, the tools we have (as fancy and high tech as they are) are crude and unsuitable for mimicking the miracle of a non-diabetic body.

I hope the roller coaster comes to a halt for you soon.

2:31 PM  

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