Color Comparision Chart.
As I mentioned yesterday, I stumbled upon some diabetes relics at my dad's house the other day. Now I'm totally in memory lane mode. :) I found this staple of my early diabetes management:
The "Red Bible." This book was given to my parents by the Joslin Clinic when I was diagnosed, and it held the supposed answers to any diabetes questions. (You can see on the cover there where I was practicing spelling "restaurant" many years ago.) I thumbed through the book and found plenty of recipes and snack ideas, all using the old food exchange philosophy. Pages and pages of things I couldn't eat, and small sections of what my lunch options were. Half a cup of spinach, one sugar-free popsicle, rice cakes with peanut butter, those peanut butter nab things ... places to buy food scales and measuring cups ... countless pages focusing on food. I always hated that assumption that a healthy diabetes life was achieved solely through my dinner plate.
There were three pages on handling diabetes in school settings. No mention of 504 plans or testing in the classroom or anything about how my fellow students would react. A short description of the symptoms of low blood sugar and how to treat it, but that was about it.
The pages on blood sugar monitoring and management brought me back to my diagnosis days. When I first started testing my blood sugar back in 1986, we used a machine that took 120 seconds to produce a result and the strips were color-comparison ones that had to be wiped with a cotton ball and then plugged into the meter. The color comparison chart seems so remedial compared to the UltraLink on my desk or the Dexcom on my hip. Here's a screenshot of what we'd compare the color pads to:
Not much to go on. (And the numbers were too easy to manipulate. I remember wiping the color pads on the strip with rubbing alcohol to make the results seem lower. I wasn't the most responsible kid.)
The thing that kills me is the lack of focus on the emotions of diabetes. There were only TWO pages on "living with diabetes." How stress can affect blood sugar management. How important the impact of a support network is for acceptance and dedication. I want to rewrite this Red Bible and flesh out more of the parts that count. Support groups, diabetes blogs, communities ... this is the future of diabetes management. Meters have improved a little, insulin has improved a smidge, but our methods of support have leapt by such enormous margins that my future health is already brighter.
My Joslin appointment is next week. And believe me, I'll be talking about you guys there.