Injections are one thing when you are an insulin-dependant person with diabetes, but fingerprick testing is another thing entirely. Taking blood glucose measurements can hurt more than injections (in fact, it usually does – in my case, at least!), and you also tend to do it more frequently. I will test before every meal, then again if I am going for a run, and when I get back. I might also test if I want to know how a certain meal has affected my levels – did my blood sugar ‘spike’ and go high above ‘normal’ range? Then again, I might need to test if I feel my blood sugar levels are dropping low, so that I know whether, and to what degree, I need to treat myself to some jelly babies – and no, I don’t let it go low on purpose! Another time I might test is to ensure that my basal (slow-acting) insulin is at the correct dose and working correctly. This might occur in the middle of the night, or several times during the day if I am ‘basal testing’.
All this testing leads to one thing – a huge pile of used test strips! I throw them in the bin, but they still seem to occasionally find their way into my socks, which can be an uncomfortable shock, to say the least! So let’s just quantify the magnitude of all those test strips…
If all the test strips that I used
Were laid out tip to toe,
They’d stretch the length of England’s coast
From Kent to Plymouth Ho!
And if those strips were all piled up,
They’d climb into the sky
And form a constant hazard there
To pigeons flying by…!
Consider then, upon each strip
A drop of blood must fall.
There’d be enough, if gathered up
To fill the Albert Hall!
But what about the missing strips,
That give us sleepless nights?
You’ll find them hidden in the feet
Of socks and ladies tights!
How they get there, who can tell?
It’s one of life’s unknowns,
Perhaps transported on the waves
Emitted by our phones?
Or maybe in the quantum world
Where all dimensions meet,
They can’t resist the attractive force
Of diabetic feet!