What are the best resources you have used to help trouble shoot?
Sometimes I feel like we need to be CSI techs to figure out what is going on with our blood sugar. You do the same thing that you always do and then, boom, everything is out of whack.
I was fortunate and was diagnosed in 1984 when home glucose testing had already hit the market. I had a month or two of comparing the color on the strip to the color on the vial of test strips but then was able to get a meter. My doctor had to file an appeal with my insurance company to get a meter – now they hand them out like candy! There were plenty of people diagnosed before me that did not even have the colored strips to use.
Although I would say that having a meter and test strips is a good resource to help troubleshoot problems, it is also a double-edged sword. When I was having a lot of problems with gastroparesis, I was testing 10 times a day. I knew that I had a problem. I even knew what the problem was, but I did not know how to fix it. Then I found the DOC. The DOC is a wealth of information. No matter what problem you are having, there is someone else that has had the same problem. Even people that don’t have the same problem can offer tips that help. If you post a question and get 20 different answers, chances are pretty good that one of those tips will help you. The DOC is a lifesaver!
Learning how to do basal testing is a good thing to know how to do. By learning how to do basal testing, I at least know my basals are set right and can take that part out of the insulin factor. Although most people do their basal testing in 8 hour shifts, I do mine in 24 hour shifts (unless I have a problem and have to stop). I know for sure that my insulin is set right for a full 24 hours and if I am having a problem, it is not my basal insulin. It baffles me that doctors don’t teach people how to do that, but if they did, it would sure help people. I should add here that it was the DOC that taught me about basal testing.
The other important resource is having a CGMS. The Dexcom has been another lifesaver for me. I can set alarms on the Dexcom to alert me before I get too low or too high. I have my low alert set at 70 and my high alert at 120. With gastroparesis, when my blood sugar starts going up, the sooner I can get insulin into me, the better. The alarms alert me before things get too far in either direction.
Although it is extremely important to have tools like a meter or CGMS so you can try to figure out what is going on, you also have to know what to do with that data. If you don’t know what to do with the data, that is where the DOC can come in handy – they can point you in the right direction.
This post is my June entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/june-dsma-blog-carnival/“