Sometimes diabetes interrupts my life in the most aggravating ways. Case in point: yesterday I started to test my blood sugar at the beginning of church and discovered that I only had one test strip left. Sigh.
Our church is near the center of the city and we now live in the suburbs. So, our plan for the day was to play in Balboa Park for the afternoon- it’s this great park right near our church. The decision I had to make was whether we drive the 40 minute roundtrip to our house to get more test strips or just get through most of the day without testing. I chose the latter.
Putting the lone test strip back in its vial, I opted to test when we started our walk (knowing we’d be trekking around the park with the stroller). I was skeptical that my blood sugar was a little high but didn’t want to bolus without being sure. So, I waited.
When we were standing in line at Starbucks for coffee (and chocolate milk for the kids) just before noon, I tested my blood: 280 mg/dl. Oops, definitely should have corrected earlier Instead I bolused 2.5 units knowing that all the walking would help bring my blood sugar down quickly and then I could have a snack.
I enjoyed my iced coffee and skipped any food. We had a great time at the park, but not having anymore test strips with me, the entire afternoon I kept wondering if I was dropping too quickly and trying to gauge how many carbs I needed to consume. Since I wasn’t hungry, I opted for glucose tablets and had 5 of them over an hour.
Finally, I got to test again when we got home. My blood sugar was 168 mg/dl, which seemed reasonable. However, about 30 minutes later I felt like it was dropping and confirmed it with a test of 86 mg/dl. Ah, I thought, that makes sense because the glucose tablets just spiked my glucose level without any protein or fat for staying power.
In hindsight, maybe it would have been worth it to make the trip home for strips when I realized I was out. I would have enjoyed the park more without the nagging doubt of whether my blood sugar was dropping too fast. Then again, the inconvenience would have annoyed me too. There’s not a great solution other than making sure I had enough strips before leaving the house!
Has this happened to you? How do you handle these diabetes related inconveniences?
Kelsey wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Diabetes.