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!).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bonus post: Papa Bear, Momma Bear, and Baby Bear

My little Type-3 is quite overweight, and this causes me some worry, given what I do for a living. When he was real little, he use to come to me and ask me to check his blood sugar all the time. Now that I actually want to check it, I can’t get near him with a lancing device.

It was my friend Fox who came to my rescue. When we had lunch together a month or two back she mentioned she had a limited number of Presto meters in colors other than blue. I got quite excited about this as both Deb and I use the Prestos so that the family has universal test strips; but we are always mixing up meters. For me, that doesn’t matter so much as I download the CGM stuff to see what’s going on with my Diabetes, but mixing some of my T-1 readings in with Debbie’s T-2 downloads gives her a heart attack.

So after a minimal amount of pleading, begging, groveling, and so-forth; Fox gave me a couple of Red meters so we could have his-and-hers meters. Yep, we are one big happy chronically ill family here.

A couple of weeks later it occurred to me that my son is a remarkably possessive person. He doesn’t share well, won’t ever throw anything away, and basically reminds me of a mythical dragon sitting on a hoard of gold coins and gems. I thought that maybe if he had a meter of his own, like ours, but different, he’d want to use it. Then I could keep an eye on his blood sugar now and a again and reassure myself that he isn’t developing diabetes.

I emailed Fox with my dilemma. She had shown me a beautiful metallic white meter. It glowed like a giant pearl. Just what every fire-breathing dragon needs. Fox only had the one, and wasn’t really too interested in parting with it. In the end I applied a guilt trip that would have made a Jewish Grandmother proud. She caved and sent Rio the meter and the sweetest note. She told him she was a Type-1 like his Daddy and that this was one of the few White Prestos in the whole country. He loved it.

After dinner Rio brought me his shiny new White Presto. He got a strip out of the vial by himself, got it in the meter correctly and then asked for help with the "poker."

I set the lancing device to "1," kept gentle pressure, and lanced the side of this thumb. We got a nice size blood drop, more than needed.

Slurp!

1.....

2....

3....

GASP!!!! BGL 395!!

I don't think either Debbie or I could breathe for minutes.

Rio is asking "Is that a good number, Daddy?"

Well, that's a little high baby. Wash your hands really good and let's re-test.

Big frown from R.

"Can you use the other thumb? This one is still recovering."

You bet.

Snap. Squeeze. Damn. Drop is a little too small. Don't want the lance the kid a third time, but we HAVE to know.

I gently massage his finger, I know I'm mixing in interstitial fluid. Will the fancy hematocrit counting Presto meter compensate?

Slurp!

1.....

2....

3....

BGL 117. Thank God.

Debbie quickly crosses herself.

Daddy needs a drink. Maybe two.



So WTF? Where did the breath-takingly high number come from? I have a theory. Rio had just eaten a hamburger with ketchup. Seven-year-olds can be somewhat messy eaters. Ketchup is chock-full of sugar. I’m betting / guessing that he had ketchup on his thumb and the 395 reading was more about the amount of sugar in the ketchup than in his blood stream. Still. It was a hell of a moment, and lord only knows how many years it took off my life.

But it is a good reminder to us: a clean test is a good test. Failing all else, at least suck on your finger for a quick moment before testing; and any time you get a number that seems out of line, test again.

5 Comments:

Blogger CALpumper said...

Whoa you had me freakin' out too.
And yes, sugary stuff on your fingers can screw things up.

Nice photo of the patriotic Presto line up. ;-)

8:34 AM  
Blogger CookinsForMe said...

Wow, that had me gasping! It's good to know that the very high number was a false result. Whew! Love the prestos!

I do have a question though..isn't the 117 a little high?

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Since it was after dinner, the number can be higher in a Type-3. I (D-Mom) have seen my own be 135 after a meal. Glad to hear it was only the "dirty" finger syndrome making Rio appear to be T-1or T-2. He can't change his genes, but maybe his diet and exercise.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Whew! That had me very scared Wil. Something I worry about with my own kiddos from time to time.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Mary C. said...

Hey Wil, Thursday is take your kid to work day. Do you have and HbA1c machine in the office? Perhaps Rio would like to see how it works. It's not likely to be fooled by a little ketchup on the fingers like a home BG meter might be.

5:40 PM  

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