Wayback Wednesday – Test Less?

Picture of my hand with a BG line chart in the backgroundCourtesy of the “Wayback Machine“, I bring you the early entries I made in my online diabetes journal.  This was back before Blogger made things easy, and I had to write the entries in HTML.  The journal is no longer available, but thanks to the wonderful tools available on the internet, I was able to find much of my old stuff.  I’d like to share one of the old entries with you.

He really did tell me to test less often.  The lesson here is about applying the energy towards beneficial results and avoiding burnout.

10 Nov 2000

I had my “team visit” appointments yesterday. For the most part it was the same BS as usual. There is just not enough time with the health care professionals. You sit and wait forever in the lobby and office, then only get 15-30 minutes with each member of your care team. The time spent is so short, that some of the team don’t remember meeting you before, and you have to spend the time you have with them re-acquainting them with your background and history.

I end up leaving there feeling that it was not as useful as it should have been, and it really does not boost my motivation at all. I think part of this is my fault. When I started working for USWest (now Qwest) back in June of ’99, I had to change my insurance as well. I thought this might be a good thing. I was still seeing my pediatrician diabetes specialist – and had been for well over 10 years. It was a very tough decision, but I figured I could not stay with a pediatrician forever. I am really missing all of the history I had established with that doctor. I suppose that if I spend enough time with these new doctors, I will build a history with them as well, but it is an uncomfortable process.

Anyway, like I said above, I have been struggling with the emotional and mental aspects of this disease. One of the beneficial items that came out of my appointments yesterday was “focus”. See, I had been doing *so* much work, and spending *so* much energy, that it was literally draining me. However, pretty much none of my work was focused at the right things. I was doing more than 10 tests a day, but not at key times. I had too much data, and erratic test timings, that made all the data very very hard to make any sense of.

The doctor actually told me to back off a little bit. To simplify things. He instructed me to do only 5 tests per day. All of my pre-meal tests, as well as one post-meal test. The one post-meal test would be for whichever meal I want to focus on. For example, I’ve been having trouble with my breakfasts. So, I would focus on breakfast until I figure it out, and do my one post-meal test then.

I think basically I was being too hard on myself, and trying to do the whole puzzle at once. Not taking time to determine where each piece went, but rather trying to force all the pieces together – and in the process burning myself out. The doctor helped me see that I need to slow things down for a while. I have a lot of time to figure this out. There is no real deadline for me, health permitting I mean…

I’m starting today – and boy does it feel weird not testing so much. Kind of crazy. Usually the docs
want you to test more. We’ll see how it works. I am willing to try any suggestions they have right now.


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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate, and Senior Community Manager at Blue Circle Health. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent my employer’s position. Read more…

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