My Diabetes Regimen: Tests, Monitors, and Stopping the Bleeding
Diabetes weaves itself into our daily lives in the most odd and interesting ways. People with diabetes and their loved ones recognize that this disease requires regimented maintenance, all of the time. It's always with us. Because of this consistent presence, diabetes and the little habits and activities that accompany it, beyond basic boluses, blood glucose tests, and carbohydrate counting, because ingrained in our lives.
Lately, I've been especially aware of the beeping sounds that occur when I test my blood. My meter beeps when it accepts the strip, again when the blood sample registers, and then does a series of three beeps as the result appears. This pattern is deeply familiar to me. What I keep thinking is how odd those noises must sound to my coworkers, family, and friends, compared to how "normal" they sound to me.
Another diabetes activity that seems perfectly normal to me, but often shocks non-diabetics is when I stick my finger in my mouth after testing my blood. I've talked to many other diabetics who do this, so I can admit it without shame. Although it might not be the most sanitary practices, it's the easiest way to stop the bleeding and keep blood from getting on my clothes or anything else. Plus, I figure my hands need to be clean in order to obtain an accurate blood glucose result, so they should be clean enough to be in my mouth.
Diabetes also impacts my life in annoying little ways. On a weekly basis, I become convinced that I've left my "kit" (containing my glucose monitor; lancing device, and vial of test strips) back at work or somewhere else. The problem is that my kit is black; as are the interiors of all my purses and bags. Therefore, I have to find the kit by touch, since I can't actually look in the bag and find it easily. When I'm in a rush (when am I not?!) I don't take the time to carefully feel through each compartment of my purse or bag before the feat strikes me that I've somehow lost my kit! When this happens, I have to take a deep breathe and tell myself to slowly check through each part of the bag.
Inevitably I find my kit and relief floods over me. I don't know why I continue to get so worked up when this happens so regularly!
Why to purses come with so many compartments anyway? I also have the most difficult time finding my keys in the bottom of my purse. It's becoming a joke when we all get to the car: how long will it take Kelsey to find the keys?! But, with the keys I know there in my purse somewhere, they're just small and buried underneath all my stuff. My kit seems like it should be easily located since it's one of the larger things in my bag; thus the panic sets in quickly when I can't find it quickly.
What about you? How has diabetes ingrained itself into your habits and routines?