Saturday, August 17, 2013

Strip Safely (and carry a BIG stick)

In the beginning of my diabetes journey, a blood glucose reading was a thing written in stone, the Gospel truth.

"What's your number?" "What's your number?"

I had no reason to doubt the number, to doubt the archaic brick of mid-90's technology that took a whopping 45 seconds to spit out that number. I was good, I was bad,that number ruled my life.(as well as my parents)

And then came the day when my blood glucose dropped from 77 to 33 in the space of about 10 minutes. As a good little PWD who actually was listening when the CDE taught Hypo 101, I drank juice & eagerly awaited the sensations of this, my first low blood sugar. (this was about a month post dx) Those sensations were not long in coming. Shakes, blurry vision,heart racing, numb face & tongue...I was convinced that I was dying. As my blood sugar continued to drop, my brother gave glucagon & sure enough, I was in the land of the 400's in double quick order.(thankfully.Woohoo for freaked out family members.)

I think that was the day that the seeds of doubt as to the accuracy of said meter(and strips in general) were first planted in my mind. The years (and circumstances) have set the mind set of double checking every extreme high, & taking the other numbers in the context of "this is X. It could be right but it's likely 20% off in either direction & I'm going to take that into account if I correct it." It ain't the lab draw,people.

But it shouldn't be that way, not for me or for anyone else. Lots of people base major insulin decisions off that one blood glucose, they cannot afford strips with better accuracy, cannot afford to test more then 2(or so) tests a day. At the very least, those strips should meet the minimum 20% guidelines by the FDA. Because their lives depend on it.

Where does the "big stick" part come in? Well, this is where YOU, the people, get to go (get off your rear end) & exercise your citizen rights(or even legal resident, because this issue pertains to you, if you live in America. And even in other countries like New Zealand, this is a big concern) Go here to get started.(gives you the sample letter and everything) I'm not a big political activist, the last time I contacted my representive in Congress it took a full two months to here back from them, but they DID respond.(I was impressed-a personal letter and everything.) They know who vote them into power.

Because you,& the lives of millions of people are at stake here. We need strips to be held to a standard, however loose that standard may be.(20% is bad enough, but It's better then nothing) And that's a cause I believe in.



Bennet said...

Great post.


StripSafely has a new Sample Letter and a refines ask of Congress. We are asking our representatives to, well represent us. Send a staffer to the September 9. 2013 Diabetes Technology Society meeting in Bethesda, MD.

Find the sample Letter here:

It makes a great Stick.

Bennet / StripSafely

Bennet said...

OH and Look for a Special Edition Strip Safely of Diabetes Art Day August 26. Start saving strips!