Testing, 1, 2, 3

I follow a couple of diabetes-related groups on the internet, and if you’re so minded, it’s possible to have heated debates with people on the subject of how often you should test yourself. I mean, test yourself as often as you want, but bear in mind that for each test, you have to prick your finger, so you really have to ask yourself whether pricking yourself too frequently does it any harm. For example people who have pricked their fingers for many years often complain of poor circulation in their fingers and toes, but the Catch 22 is that diabetes itself causes poor circulation!

Anyway, I thought I’d describe my routine. Bear in mind that as I’ve blogged many times, I take insulin. Twice a day.

My daily testing regime, on top of that, is just to satisfy myself that I’m taking the right amount of insulin. To achieve this, I normally just check myself just once per day, before any food or meds, just to get an idea of what my baseline blood sugar is.

If the value is higher than I’d like, I make a note of it for future reference. I try and think back to yesterday – what did I eat which could have caused this? It’s invariably something high in carbs. A bag of crisps, maybe? Not necessarily anything sweet. Sugar is a carb, but it is a mistake to think that sugar is the only carb.

Following this, I’m very strict for a day or so. If the high value were due to food, then the test result should go down. If the test doesn’t go down, and it’s been that way for a number of days (I don’t have a fixed number of days), then I think about increasing my insulin. (In theory, if the number were consistently low, I’d do the opposite. But it doesn’t tend to happen in my case.)

If I do decide to increase my dose, I have a choice: to increase the morning dose (immediately pre-breakfast), or the evening dose (immediately pre-supper). To make that decision, I’m back to testing once again, so I can see how my sugar does at different times of the day. Once I have made a decision, I will increase the dose by a small amount at a time (maybe 5%). The process then starts over.

Daily tests I generally take at least 2 hours after food, just so that it doesn’t skew the result. Again from this forum, I’ve also heard that 90 minutes is an acceptable interval, and don’t really think it’s something I care enough about to argue the point.

One comment

  1. Reblogged this on Stroke Survivor and commented:

    Fandango posted about how he is getting ready to move house, so his WordPress activity will be hit and miss for the next few months. But he made it today and has posted his Friday Flashback.

    I have always liked the idea of his Friday Flashback, so shall also post my own. As much as anything, it reminds me of where I was. Hopefully, you will find it entertaining too. Whether he gets to post or not, I’ll continue to post under the Fandango’s Friday Flashback tag, just to stay consistent with my previous posts on the theme.

    I guess when I started the blog, I had a mission just to describe my life, and my Flashback post today talks about my regime toward testing my diabetes. It’s interesting to read the post, because my regime has now changed quite dramatically.

    As I mentioned in the post, a few times I have measured my sugar frequently, over a 24h period, just to build up a picture of how it varies during the day, and I knew from these plots that my sugar followed a curve. It tends to be at its lowest when I wake, and its highest around suppertime.

    I also noticed that a few times, I happened to measure my sugar levels at suppertime, and they were uncomfortably high. Despite the readings in the morning being good.

    So, I decided that I had to start testing myself not just in the morning, but in the eening too. This also allows me to directly regulate each dose of insulin.

    Of course, just testing myself more often didn’t change the numbers any. But it means I am now double-careful about what (in particular, how much) I eat for lunch. On days when I don’t have to go out, I’ve also found that splitting my morning insulin ito two has helped – just taking ½ of the dose with my breakfast, and the other ½ with my lunch. No more insulin than before, just more spread out.

    Anyway, safe in the knowledge that everything has now changed, I hope you enjoy my flashback!


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