Part-3 about testing in them olden days..... work!

Part-3 of my 50-years of diabetes type-1.

Well now. Part-3 already! I used to really prepare for these postings but now, I just sit down and try to remember what did happen at different point in my stories. Not as good as before because it is easy to skip things this way.

We came from the hospital and Johanna my wife of 60 years now at that time received a paper thin booklet with the values of different foods. This was all the advice we received about diabetes in 1960. She was 28 years young then and suddenly she was faced with the unknown called a diabetic husband. Our education about diabetes was limited to “no sugar in your tea.” She had a very difficult time to cook the right foods. There were no groups to advice us on what to do about diabetes like you have now. In fact the idea of having a computer was totally foreign to most people. I don’t remember computers being offered for sale.

Now the fun started… Testing, this was the way we had to test for blood sugar. Yes, really! We had a little test tube standing upright in which I had to put 5 drops of urine and 10 drops of water with a dropper. In that we had to drop a tablet called “clinetest” coming from a roll I believe like a roll of candies, maybe in a box. It was not advisible to put them in your mouth for it would burn out your mouth and your stomach. Pure chemicals showing 4 colors, yellow the worst and blue good with two colors in between. The result was indicated by the color that would be created by the burning of the tablet in the mix in the test tube. This result would tell you where you were with the sugar in your blood about four hours ago! Big help right? Not so! I used to state that doing it that way was like driving your car by looking in the rear view mirror. My doctor Leibel said to me, "When in doubt, assume that you are low and eat something to bring you back up. Safety first! Yellow results of the test would indicate 4-plus. ( One to four plus.)

This was the highest sugar content in your blood. That could be even worst when the liquid in yellow turned into what seemed like cement. Most of the time I showed yellow on my tests, which was of course very unhealthy. I just loved mocha cakes with lovely icing on top ( with that heavenly coffee taste) and of course my doctor had told me when you feel strange, eat! So eating mocha cake was ordered by the doctor, right? I had to, to stay alive! Never found a better excuse than that but it wasn’t right of course. Gradually I became a bit wiser. The yellow got to me and I really tried to get control, which was almost impossible to do as you saw.

I will continue next time (if you like me to) with the needle business.


John, JB, JOHNBEN. all of us!

Ah yes… That takes me back!!! I remember those test tubes and tablets!!! Boiling syringes and keeping them in a medical type of meths. My parents weren’t allowed to hit me in case I went into shock…No sports allowed, completely wrapped in cotton wool… By the time I was a teenager, my diabetes was completely out of control!!!

Thank you Sally, it is hard to know if people like to see my stuff. I don’t want to pester them with my stories if they are not interested.


Johnben, Take a look at my photo’s. I have my old set and other stuff from way back. Those good ol’ days were great expecially the 26 1/2 gage needles. lol

Hey JB you and Sally are bring back long supprest memories for me!! LOL! Oh boy do I remember all that you both said. One more thing my dr told me MANY years ago…I would NEVER get a good job being a Type 1 b/c there was always the urine testing. OMG memories…

Yes I remember my sister using the tablets (1950’s) and when I was diagnosed (1979), we had progessed to the testapes no more testube just pee on the strip and look at the color. However neither measured blood sugar, They measured glucose in the urine. Different people spill glucose into the urine at different levels, but if I remember correctly, most people spill at 225 to 250, So a good test might be a 50 and might be a 250, If your sugar was bad, you could differientate between a little bit bad or a lot bad - Thats all.

I also remember the licking chart. All of the kids except my sister were on it, My Grandma said whats wrong w her is she too good to get a licking? Actually the licking chart was for who was next to lick out the cookie dough bowl or the frosting bowl, Being diabetic she was not allowed the sugar. Unfortunately the diabetes got her before the first home glucose monitoring was available. Its good to reflect back and we should say a prayer of thanks that we have so many wonderful things to help us manage our diabetes. Hopefully the improvements will continue until a cure or a really effective treatment is available!

Nice to see the replies. My Part-4 is in the make. Have a lot more to tell about.


Are you sure that you are type ! have you had a C- Peptide done - I wish I could have your treatment regimine Never heard of a t 1 on such a treatment

Congrats on the results!!!