Old School Diabetes: Meters.
A few weeks ago, when I was poking through some old photos, I found my first teaching manual from Joslin. (The big, red book.) And tucked inside of that book were some old advertisements for glucose meters.
Like this brick from Accu-Chek:
This thing was huge, took two minutes to produce a result, and it was heavy enough to double as a hurricaine doorstop. It's remarkable how much this technology has changed in the last twenty-two years. Here's another oldie:
I love the instructions - they're a freaking mile long! Blood glucose monitoring has come a very long way since my own diagnosis - from urine testing to blood testing to the Dexcom that reads me every five minutes - but I'm not as impressed as I'd like to be. I heard a few months back that the accuracy requirements for today's meters are the same as they were back in the late 1970's. (Is that true?!) Color options are great and shorter instruction manuals are also nifty, but I'd like this thing to give me results that are SPOT freaking ON.
Like this morning.
I tested and got 77 mg/dl on my meter.
The Dexcom said I was 39 mg/dl.
I tested again and saw 101 mg/dl.
How can I respond to a number that doesn't sit still for even a second? How is a diabetic supposed to aim for that moving target?
Most days, diabetes doesn't get into my head and scratch around. Most of the time, I feel emotionally and mentally equipped to handle the disease management and "life" management. It's never fun, and never simple, but it's something I feel at peace with. But this morning, I couldn't even get a sense of what blood sugar number to react to. And when I peeled off the Dexcom sensor to replace it, a ripe, red dot of infection had brewed up underneath. My blood sugar, when I arrived at work, was 123 mg/dl but after I ate my snack, it crested up to 234 mg/dl for some ungodly reason. I don't know which end is up. And technology isn't doing anything to make type 1 diabetes any easier.
Today, I'm spent.