Confession: I don’t remember the last time I checked for ketones.

I still have those little urine sticks somewhere… I think… but they expired in '07 (if I remember correctly).

And I had one of the meters that tested ketone levels too, but that was ages and ages ago.

Honestly, I have no idea how often I have ketones. It’s probably a lot, considering my blood sugar goes over 300 almost every day. (as I stated in my last blog post).

I don’t remember why I stopped testing. Either because it was a hassle or I ran out of the urine sticks or I just got too darned depressed the 2 or 3 times I remember the stick turning dark purple.

I’m not sure when I’ll go see the endo. again, so I don’t know when I’ll get a prescription. The simplest solution, I’m sure, would be to stop having high blood sugars, but that’s easier said than done, unfortunately. I’m certainly working on it, though.

Kelsie, been there. I stopped testing for YEARS.

a) It was a hassle to keep the strips on hand before they expired. A tip I learned from a friend here on TuD was to buy the foil-wrapped individual sticks (they come in boxes of 20 or so and you can find them online at places like Edgepark) so that you would have them when you needed them and not waste a whole bottle just because you opened it. So that’s what I do now. And I only test for ketones when I’m above 250, but that’s fairly rare at this point in my life. Like you, it used to be daily for me. For over 15 years.

b) I stopped testing because, as I told my doc, I could feel when I have ketones. No doc ever took me by the shoulders and shook me and called me a complacent idiot, but I probably could have used it. Yes, I could often feel when I was sick with ketones, and yes, I knew that ketones could bring on DKA (I was diagnosed in a coma from DKA). But we can have ketones even when we’re not aware of it - such as when we’re ill, when we’re pre-menstrual, or when we’re unaware of a problem with our insulin. And people really do die of DKA - we’ve lost members here on TuD to DKA. That fact alone was sobering for me.

So while I know you’re not going to run out and pee on a stick right this second, is there a baby step you could take toward putting ketone testing back into your routine at all? Like the foil-wrapped strips? Or maybe just agreeing to test with your first morning bathroom trip as a new habit?

I don’t want you to feel chastised. I’ve just been there. It’s SO easy to backburner it. When it’s hard enough to deal with the blood sugar swings, the testing, the shots/pump, etc., peeing on a stick is just one more thing to tick you off and say “to hell with.” But you’re admitting you don’t do it and you know the risks. I hope you find a way to add it back into your lifestyle - even occasionally.

I ony test for ketones if I have been over 250. and then it is only if the blood sugar will not come down after infusion set changes, multiple corrections, all else I can think of has failed. This is usually after several hours ( 4-6); and is a very rare ocassion for me, maybe one to two times a year , if then… This high blood sugar condition is usually associated with a viral or antibacterial infection. I call the doctor if I am spilling anything over a trace amount, because I usually feel horrendous and I may need an antibiotic and/or IV rehydration to prevent DKA. I do not test after a random high or two every other week.or so . I do go get a new bottle on the rare times I need them ; or I send someone to get them for me. They can be purchased without a prescription in my state.

God Bless,

Brunetta, if I had really high blood sugars as infrequently as you do, then I would probably need to test less. However, I’m where Melissa used to be, having high blood sugars almost every day (6 days out of the past week, sadly), so I really should test more often. And I don’t feel chastised either, I really need to wake up and start taking care of myself. Which is why I’m here, because I know that I can get the support I need from people who have been in my shoes or similar situations. My parents, for example, don’t think it’s that big of a deal that my A1C is 7.3 (I hate that it’s not under 7) or that I never test for ketones, but then, they don’t have to personally and directly deal with it like I do.
And I can’t emphasize enough how blessed I feel to have everyone here to help me out and encourage me and even poke me a little bit to get moving. So thank you both for your advice and help. I’ll take it to heart and go searching for some ketone strips next time I hit the stores.