Going Old School - No Testing!

It started out as I left my test strips at home, and didn’t have any on me, and frankly couldn’t be bothered riding home in a monsoon type weather to get them. Anyhooo decided that why do I need the things anyhow?! Back in the old days I never had them, they weren’t invented for the first 6 years of my dx so pfft, I’ll make do!

Also thought it might give a bit of a reminder that basically we can deal with all this without any tech at all if necessary and things like CGM, smart watches and the like are just fluff which in many places around the world they’ll never have access too. In many places they have a hard enough time getting insulin let alone test strips and a meter!

Throughout the day so far it’s been fine really. Felt a little low a couple of times but nothing major (I think) and it was close enough to a meal time not to worry about. Haven’t felt high but who knows how that’s been till I have a looksee again in about 4 hours time and my 24hrs are up. I haven’t been running as flexibly as I normally am and keeping diet to set portions like it used to be back in the old days to keep dosing easier (but I have skipped the old school 20g mid morning, mid afternoon, before bed snacks though). It really does make me remember how rigid things used to be back in the old days with inflexibility of meals. I decided to skip training today also so only about 10 miles on a bike so not to drain anything or set off much that will need recharging.

Am really trying to think of why I’m even telling people this. Guess more a case of it’s interesting to live for a short period of time in the shoes of those who don’t have access to the things we take for granted and the freedoms the access to tech we have gives us in choice of diet and exercise. It has been an interesting experiment and if anything reminds me of how I used to do things and that should I ever get stuck I guess it is possible to survive without my tech. But it has made me really feel thankful for what I do have access to.


OK, maybe in the spirit of a brief personal experiment and only if I am around other people – otherwise not testing is foolish.

Being grateful for the scientific developments that make a T1D’s life fairly normal – not to mention for having access to them (and I originally come from a much less developed country than the US, so am very aware of the privilege we have here) – is one thing, but willfully not taking advantage of them on a regular basis makes no sense to me. (I don’t think this is what the OP is advocating but if someone only reads the beginning paragraphs, they can definitely be left with the wrong impression.)

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Sometimes a chance of circumstance can give us a glimpse of what some people live with every day. Earlier this year an insurance clerk mistakenly told me that my insurance company would no longer pay for my CGM and supplies. I lived with that for a few hours and it let me get a peek at what most people in the world with diabetes face, life without a continuous stream of blood glucose data.

I would not willingly adopt that reality, however. Much of my current health and outlook on life depends on my access and use of these modern tools. My heart goes out to many on the third world that may not even have access to insulin. My life would have ended many years ago without insulin. I’m lucky.


Awesome… Please update once you do get home and test— I’m trying to force myself to test less and less because it’s become some sort of compulsion for me and I’m constantly testing even when I know I’m in range and therefore not informing any decisions with the results of those tests.

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Diabetics used to live without Insulin… for only a few weeks. Just saying. :smile:

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Well, yeah, that’s for sure. Back when I was on R/NPH I tested like twice a day (and occasionally not at all) because what was the point? I was taking two shots in the morning and they were going to do whatever they were going to do–it wasn’t like you could see what your BG was and adjust accordingly throughout the day. But it became a whole different thing when I finally got on lantus/novolog MDI because then I was shooting up for every meal and needed to have some idea what the heck I was doing. And with the pump it’s even more of a requirement. So yeah, I can see winging it for a day, partly just to remember what it used to be like, but as for day-after-day, like back in the bad old times, I don’t think so, not unless I really had to for some reason.

Yeah. Sure

After pondering a bit, I eventually came to the conclusion that this statement is probably a lot like someone saying, “Eye glasses, who needs 'em? pfft, I’ll make do!”

For some people, no doubt this is the case. For me not so much. Actually, very not so much in my case. :confounded:

I have absolutely no need to relive any part of my time before BG meters to remind me. I remember just fine waking up on that ER table in 1980 after someone found me unconscious in a bathroom stall from a hypo. I also remember the excitement I felt when I got my first BG meter. Big and clunky as it was, I always had it with me. Finally I had at least a clue as to what was actually going on. Finally I had something more to go than just guessing.

I lack words to describe how bizarre the suggestion seems to me. But maybe that’s just me … :expressionless:

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End result of a 24 hour period was a BG of 5.7 (that’s 103 in American money). Yes no idea what it’s done from then till now but this was one of those things to see if I could manage like those who don’t have. Yes this was voluntary and highly not recommended by anyone (normally I’m a strong advocate for testing for everything going), but I spent 6 years in the “old days” before BG meters became available so I had a bit of an idea beforehand.

What was mostly interesting was I began to pay much close attention to me. Was I tired due to being tired or being low. What was that yawn caused by. Why am I drinking, am I high now?! I guess it did make me a little paranoid about the slightest little thing. It was quiet interesting also how I instinctively went for my BG meter throughout the day, it became must test, why aren’t I testing, it was so ingrained into everything I do to test before and after that not testing didn’t feel right (but I’m betting my fingers are happier about it).

It was good for me to brush up on things I haven’t had to do for the last 30 years, and something I hopefully won’t need to do again. But also something that could prove handy should I get stuck somewhere when travelling or in a circumstance out of my control. It was nice to test it in a safe environment and learn again before possibly needing it. Back to putting the fingers through the mill again though now!


Thanks for sharing your ‘experiment’, seems it was more of a WTH I’ll just deal gig. I am glad you got through the day and really thought about your choices. But mainly I want to agree and say that I also really feel thankful for what we do have access to. I bet you will double check your tech from ow on :smile:

Haha. Me too. Need to chill out a bit. Fingers like pin cushions but seem to need to do to feel secure. Need to be careful because can become obsessed with the numbers. Mine are usually good and I can feel when they straying so trying to keep testing to 7 to 10 a day. Here in New Zealand you can get endless supply of strips so that doesn’t help healthy moderation.

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It’s part of the reason I buy my own… There has to be a mechanism of cost vs benefit in order to come to a reasonable amount of testing and usage… Without cost there is no balance to find.

Well in spite of some of the negative comments I think it was an interesting experiment, just for a day (not that I’m the least inclined to try it myself), maybe just a little whimsical, but gave rise to some provocative thoughts. So thanks for sharing it with us!


I’m completely hypo-unaware so not testing or using my CGM would eventually put me in a life threatening position…

When I received my first meter I would go for days without testing because the strips where very expensive and most insurance company’s would not cover them. Taking a couple of doses of Regular ( Lente) everyday was a lot different than the intensive insulin therapy’s most Type 1’s are on today. Based on what my TDD was back in the old days and the blood tests I remember, my fasting BG was almost never under 150mh/dL unless I skipped a meal…which almost always caused a Hypo.


It is a blessing to live in a country that has access to medical supplies that T1Ds NEED. It’s also a blessing to have really great insurance coverage. Shortly after I was diagnosed with T1D, I stopped taking insulin and checking BG. For almost 6 months I really did forget I had diabetes… Until I almost died. If you have access to diabetic supplies, please don’t take it for granted. Being hospitalized humbled me to appreciate what I have access to RIGHT NOW. When I feel overwhelmed or tired from T1D, I just remember that I was able to receive help, whereas, someone else with T1D in the world could not have the same luxury.

On a side note… Take care of yourself if you can because it’s not fun having hospital bills stacked on top of everything else!

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Horrible to think in some countries access to insulin is restricted never mind to testing equipment. Now on pump my blood sugar feels high over 15 (uk). Can’t imagine feeling like that all time as insulin so restricted or worse resulting in passing away. So terrible and needless.

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