Bonus post: Papa Bear, Momma Bear, and Baby Bear
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.
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."
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?
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.