13 August 2009

My Greatest Diabetic Tool

One of the greatest finds in my diabetic life was really not a diabetic product at all. One of the main problems with having diabetes is needing to keep the amount of sugar in your blood within a very narrow window. There are a hundred factors you have to balance and calculate. And most of the time, you’re really just estimating. There is no number for how hard you pushed on your last swim or the quality of sleep last night. No stress number or hormone level number. The numbers we do have are not much better either. My blood glucose meter is allowed to be off by at least 20%. TWENTY PERCENT! So let’s do some math. Your meter says 400. And with a few expletive flying out of your math, you start to calculate. 400 equals 6 units of insulin to drive that sugar out of your blood and into the muscle. And so you coast back to your window of 80-120. But what if really you were 320, 20% lower than your meter said. So now you are sailing 80 points lower than you expected. Let’s see…80-80 =0. That 20% puts you at zero sugar in your blood. Absolutely none. And I’m sure you can figure out what zero sugar would do to a person. Just like zero gas in your car, you aren’t going anywhere for a long time, or really ever again.
With estimating being so unsure, you need to have a Plan B. Plan B usually consists of some easy to eat, easy to carry, easy to digest sugar source. When I was first diagnosed, I followed my doctors