Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Test Strip Sightings

All diabetics test their blood sugar levels, or ‘BS’, as I like to call it. I also like to call it ‘Mashugana’. My friend, Elisa, made that up for me and it makes me feel all sassy when I say it.

I typically check my BS 10 times a day or more. I have to know what my BS is before I eat or drink anything other than water. This is the only way I know how to gauge how much insulin I need. So, I check before meal time. I check after meal time. I also check before I go to bed and when I wake up. I'll check it if I'm feeling a little 'off'. Stressed, really tired, thirsty, bitchy. Testing BS is what we do more than anything. It's essential if you want to achieve or maintain good control.

Needless to say, my fingerprints have permanent holes in them. They are slightly numb from being pricked repeatedly for 25 years. I can squeeze my fingertips on any given day and usually get blood to show. Sometimes I will prick, squeeze and 3 blood spots will appear.

Considering all the testing that's being done, I find test strips everywhere. I spent the last couple of weeks taking photos whenever I found a random test strip. I am fairly certain there are many more that I haven't run across yet. I'm not sure how they manage to end up in the craziest places, but they do. Hopefully, when I meet the man who rock my world, he won't mind the random test strip sightings.

~My work computer.

~My desk drawer.

~My car cup holder.

~My supply bag...of course.

~My closet, next to my scale & my bridesmaid dress! What??

What truly pisses me off about testing my BS is not the pain I purposely inflict on myself, no. It's when I get the dreaded Er. Er happens when you dont get enough blood on the strip. Grr...Errr....not only do you have to prick again to get more blood, but you've wasted a strip. These strips are not cheap by any means. I spent the better part of my diabetic life paying full price for strips. One Touch, the meter I use, charges about $55 for 50 test strips. I told you I test about 10 times a day. Do the math. Thankfully, the insurance I have now covers test strips. I get 400 test strips for $25. What a financial relief. If I had a dollar for every dollar diabetes took from me.......I'd be rich. :)


For the record, a normal BS range would be between 80 & 120. Personally, I start to feel like crap once it goes below 100. I get nervous, I start to worry, I feel a little shaky, a little weak and I know I have to eat. Soon. If I start to get about 180, I get cotton mouth and sleepy. It's a vicious cycle.

Like I said....testing BS is what we do. We are so aware of it that we post our BS on Twitter. #bgnow usually happens on Wednesdays. Some days we arrange simultaneous testing around the world. The most recent was called the Big Blue Test which was held on World Diabetes Day. We tested, worked out for 20 minutes and tested again. Interestingly enough, my BS dropped from 96 to 50 in just 20 minutes of exercise. I hate exercising. We typically set up these testing days & times throughout the year so we all can prick & post at the same time. It brings us together. I know I speak for all diabetics when I say I am truly sick of pricks.

My poor hands probably take the most abuse and I never say thank you. Thank you, hands. Even though you are scarred and starting to look old and wrinkly and worn. I appreciate your assistance in sustaining my life because my life is beautiful and you are strong. Now buck up...I have to prick.



  1. "Meshuggenah" (or "meshuggeh") is a Yiddish word which sort-of means "crazy". Usually it refers to someone who's a little bit "off" (not completely psychotic), though it can also refer to being asked to do something a bit crazy (which is how Elisa was using it). For most normal people, self-mutilation is a bit crazy (cross reference "body modification").

    Then again, optimal diabetes management requires demonstrably obsessive-compulsive behavior... which is a bit meshuggah.

  2. I love it!! And it's perfect! Thanks for the explanation. :)

  3. I have found a new challenge with those stinkin test strips: An 11 Month Old. She finds them EVERYWHERE. Good and bad: Good because it's great she's finding them for me. Bad because I have to take them from her before they head to her mouth. And yet, no matter how hard you try you just can't keep a handle on them!

  4. Test strips are going to take over the world one day....ok, not really an image I want to embrace.
    You have a blue OneTouch Mini. I didn't think I could love you anymore than I already do but....look at that, I can. ;-) Hee hee.

    I am SO sick of pricks too. TOtally.

  5. A few months ago I found a whole little nest of them stuck in the bathtub drain........and I always test in the kitchen ???????

  6. my fingers hate being pricked lol cool post!