Posted by Mike K on Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Walking the line (or why I don't like Mondays)
The other day I was reading on a forum where a fellow type 1 diabetic was struggling with a GP who was unhappy that they were testing too often.
Testing too often...
Someone else's GP had made a suggestion that anything more than two or three times a day was really a bit much. Actually I think they had talked their GP up from a prescription of 50 strips for 2 months. That's not much more than once a day. And certainly doesn't seem to acknowledge the DVLA guidelines for testing before (and every two hours during) any driven journey.
Sometimes it seems GPs just don't understand what it's like to live with diabetes day to day. Here's how it feels:
In the southwest of the UK there is the busy 'North Devon Link Road', for much of its length overtaking is forbidden by a pair of white lines down the middle just a few inches apart. Being a diabetic is like being asked to walk along that line. Blindfold. And backwards. As it twists and turns you'll have to avoid straying into the surging hypo-traffic rushing up on you from behind, or the thundering diabetic-complication lorries bearing down on you from ahead. A few times a day you are allowed to peep out from under the blindfold to see where you are and make a correction. Though if you look more than 6 or 7 times a day your GP may well say that you are looking a bit too often, and they have read a report that said it makes your walk more difficult. You just need to try a bit harder. Or you are trying a bit too hard. You should try walking a bit more towards the lorry side for a while. In fact what you really want to be able to do is to cut some little holes in the blindfold. But unfortunately those CGMS scissors are far too expensive. If you are lucky you might get one for a week, but if it's an old pair the doctor would look though the holes at the end of the week, then sew them up again.
Sometimes for all of us the road is wigglier than others. The traffic is especially heavy. The strategies and methods you usually rely on don't seem to work at all. Or work way too much. The road-walking equivalent of a dizzy spell.
The current cloud on my weekly horizon is Mondays. I seem to need a different set of insulin:carb ratios to avoid drifting teen-wards all day. Especially bad in the mornings, by evening meal while trying to correct I can overdo it and then drift low. Monday is the day furthest from a usual gym session, which might have something to do with it - exercise has a knock on effect for me for quite some time. I'm still having a tricky time of things working out what the current Monday ratio needs to be. I could tell you what it was a few months ago, but that doesn't work at the moment.
And that dear GPs is why we need to test so often. Very sorry if that is slightly financially inconvenient for you.