The Prick of a Thing About Blood Glucose Monitors

Do you check your blood glucose regularly? I don’t ask in judgement, because we are all different when it comes to diabetes – some of you will check your blood many times a day, others not at all. It all depends on your type and stage of diabetes, management and personal preference. I am asking because I have been thinking a lot about how dependent we are on the technology for managing diabetes and how that is both great and not so great.

As a teenager I rebelled against checking my blood, after this replaced urine testing. You would think I would have embraced it as it is far better than checking your pee. But for me it was one change too many in a short space of time. Another thing to learn. Another sign of my diabetes. Another moment of distress in each day. And in those days it was an enormous process! There were many steps and it took a lot longer than the quick machines we have today. It wasn’t the kind of thing you carried with you. I had a testing station in my bedroom and that was where my tests were done.

After a while I mostly stopped checking and made up my results for my parents and the doctors. I could not have cared less about what my blood sugar was doing. I cared far more about being a teenager and having a good time.

This lancet machine (which I still have!) may have been part of the reason I rebelled! It really actually bloody hurt!!

Image via

Image via

Oh how that has changed. Now I am the complete opposite! I carry my machine everywhere and check up to 20 times a day. We have 5 second machines and virtually painless prickers. If I do not check before driving, eating, exercising, sleeping…..I feel stressed, anxious. I learnt that knowing what my blood glucose is doing gives me power. Power to make adjustments and changes. Power to deal with highs and lows. And peace of mind.

this is the meter I had to use back in the day! Pic via Pinterest and originally via

this is the meter I had to use back in the day! Pic via Pinterest and originally via

I never go out without it but lately have had a few cases of losing my machine and it was very scary and stressful. I realised how much I rely on this little machine each and every day. The last time I lost one was a few weeks ago. I was an hour away from home and there was nobody to help me. I could not find it anywhere in my bag. I drove home totally stressed about not knowing what my levels were, made worse by the fact I had high levels on arrival at the person I was visiting and had a bolus of insulin, so needed to track the fall. I got home and pulled the house apart to find my back up machine. Later the person I was visiting found it on the road, fallen out from my car.

It was not a case of losing my machine but forgetting it, that caused me more stress this week. I was out for a lunch time run and went to check my levels… machine. I NEVER exercise without it and always check during my run as I can drop fast. My parents were away and my husband at work. There was nobody to bring my machine to me. I made the call to cut the run short and head home. Luckily, as I was 4 mmol on arrival at home. It was a stressful run back and it struck me how much it sucks to have type 1 diabetes and not even be able to do a simple thing like going for a run without all this stress…..

Don’t you hate it when diabetes stops you doing something so simple? And the reliance on that machine is both wonderful that we have them, and terrible that we have to be so dependent on them. That’s the prick of a thing about blood glucose monitors.

Have you had a similar experience? Would love to hear

I am off for a finger prick!




1 Comment

  1. helwild on September 25, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I hate that you lost one machine and then forgot another. 🙁 This is stress that is not needed. But oh the control of your diabetes that the bgl pricker & machine make possible! It’s funny too, because I too lost my bgl machine, & because my diabetes is different to yours, it didn’t matter that 3 weeks later, packing to go away, I found it buried on my desk when I packed up my laptop. I never test at my desk, but I must have, just that once. Of course I tested straight away: 6.2. And then when I did go away for a few days, it took me 3 days before I found my black cased bgl monitor inside my black lined cabin bag. Why do they make bgl covers black??? Why not a bright colour? Oh, & it was still 6.2. Mum