I try to test my blood sugar about once an hour which for me, works out to 18 tests a day. With gastroparesis, I have no clue when my food will decide to digest. I try to match up my insulin and food, so I test frequently so I know when my blood sugar starts to go up. With each test, I decide if I should take insulin or if I should wait longer.
I always take a look at what happened yesterday when making decisions about what to do today, but that is not always a guaranteed fix. Every day is different and I laugh when I read people talking about trends. How can you have a trend when you do the exact same thing and end up going in two totally different directions?
I test my blood sugar before getting on the treadmill. I have to decide if I should have some glucose before actually getting on or if I am low enough, should I put off getting on until my blood sugar starts going up some. The unknown food factor also fits into that equation. The other day, I was in the 130s and ended up in the 160s by the time I got off my treadmill. This morning I started in the 130s and ended up about 115.
When I walk out the door, I have to decide what kind of stuff I will take with me. Will I be gone long enough that it is necessary to take insulin with me? Even if I take the dog for a short trip around the development where I live, I know that I need to take some sort of glucose, just in case. If I am going to the store and notice I am low on test strips in the opened container, I have to decide if should throw a new box in my purse or take my chances.
I started using Smarties to treat lows with over a year ago when a friend me that Dr. Bernstein recommended using things that have Dextrose first in the list of ingredients. Apparently the Dextrose will start working in your mouth without having to wait to get to your stomach. Prior to using Smarties, I always bought glucose tablets. I compared the ingredients of Smarties and glucose tablets and they were very similar. Why pay almost $5 for 50 glucose tablets when I can get a pound of Smarties for $2. Each pack of Smarties has 6 grams of carbs.
I really miss the directional arrows on the Dexcom because now I have to decide how many packs of Smarties I should eat without knowing how fast my blood sugar is dropping. Like everything else, sometimes you guess right and sometimes you don’t!
Fortunately for me, I have always been a boring eater. I tend to eat the exact same things every day. It does make dealing with the gastroparesis a little easier. I don’t have to decide, “I planned on eating X for dinner but my blood sugar is Y so should I eat.” My only decision with meals is my blood sugar is higher or lower than where I want, so should I have some Smarties before taking insulin or take insulin and wait to eat because I am higher than I would like to be.
“This post is my October 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/october-dsma-blog-carnival/