Thursday, 3 June 2010
Testing Testing 1, 2, 3............4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
OMG,I actually have marks on the ends of my fingers from the amount of testing I have been doing.......now that really is unheard of for me, never in my 19 years as a type 1 have I seen any marks from testing (The photo is a box of lancets which are the delightful little things responsible for finger pricking and causing the lovely "pepperpot" look to the end of my fingers!!!!)
Since Monday I have tested my blood sugars 23 times......Monday I did 6, yesterday I did 10 and today I have done 7.......so far. This is more than I used to do in an entire month (or sometimes 6 months!!!). In the last month or so since I made the decision to sort myself out I have tested on average 6 to 8 times per day, sometimes more - so why this sudden turnaround?? The promise of a pump can do funny things to a girl.
It's been a looooooong time coming but being told I can have an insulin pump has really made me pull my socks up and focus on what I need to do, i.e. learn to carb count and learn to see patterns in my sugar levels so I can get the insulin ratios correct. I'm still pretty new to all this and have only had one appointment / carb counting 'lesson' with my dietician (the aptly named Mrs. Crisp) so far. I have been told that once she is happy that I am an 'expert' carb counter I will be able to actually get the pump and have the training on how to use it with my pump nurse, so I am determined to get the hang of it all as quickly as physically possible.
In the past I have either not bothered testing or if I have, I have just tested, written the result down in my monitoring diary and then forgotten about it, now however, I am actually trying to see patterns in the results that I'm getting - not that there's often a clear pattern at the moment as things are still quite up and down but the basics are there. I'm thinking this may be something to do with the fact that my levels have been running so high for so long that it will take a while for things to settle down (I hope its as simple as that anyway).
Another major wake up call for me has been the diagnosis of proliferative retinopathy. ("Retinopathy affects the blood vessels supplying the retina – the seeing part of the eye. Blood vessels in the retina of the eye can become blocked, leaky or grow haphazardly. This damage gets in the way of the light passing through to the retina and if left untreated can damage vision" - http://www.diabetes.org.uk/ - more about this in a future post). Hearing the news that my eyesight is failing was the kick up the arse I so badly needed to finally make me do something about my diabetes instead of pretending it doesn't exist - obviously this includes actually testing my blood sugar levels and reacting to whatever the result may be rather than just testing for the sake of it (or not testing at all).
Ok, so back to testing itself......it's not exactly a fun pastime and it can make your fingers really quite sore at times, as I'm only just finding out, but it is such an important part of treating diabetes. I feel like a bit of a hypocrite writing that to be honest as I've not exactly been what you would call a "good diabetic" over the years. It's almost as if my eyes and ears have been closed for years and now all of a sudden I'm seeing the bigger picture and realising that this thing isn't going to go away no matter how much I try to ignore it. It is a serious condition and it needs a serious amount of commitment from those of us who have it. I know it may all sound a bit like it's too little to late in my case but I really do want to try and reverse some of the damage I have no doubt done to my body over the years and also keep any further complications as far off in the distant future as I possibly can.
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