Testing Your Blood-
Testing your blood is one of the main ways to keep your diabetes under control. It is NOT optional and must be done.
- I find it easier to use a pricker, (lancing device) rather than poking the needle into my finger. (Lancing devices come with all blood testers.)
- Always test your blood before you eat and 2 hours after you eat.
- Test it if you are feeling weird, it might be high or low blood sugar.
- If you are sick, test every 2 or 3 hours to keep your blood sugar in check.
- Test wherever you want to; unless someone requests that you go somewhere else to do it, stay put!
- You may feel like testing your blood is awkward around your friends and wastes time, but in reality it only takes one minute and you can also explain to them why you have to do this.
High Blood Sugar-
When you have high blood sugar you just feel bad. It can affect your performance in school and even make you throw up!
Some symptoms of high blood sugar are:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Increased hunger
- Lack of interest and concentration
- Vomiting and stomach pain (often mistaken as the flu)
- A tingling sensation or numbness in the hands or feet
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing wounds
Once you test your blood and see that your blood sugar is high, cover it with insulin immediately.
Low Blood Sugar-
When you have low blood sugar, you feel hungry, tired, and maybe even dizzy. If you don’t treat a low immediately, you can go into a diabetic coma.
Some symptoms of low blood sugar are:
- Extreme hunger
- Feeling nervous or jittery
- Cold, clammy, wet skin and/or excessive sweating not caused by exercise
- A rapid heartbeat
- Numbness or tingling of the fingertips or lips
- Mood changes, such as irritability, anxiety, restlessness, or anger
- Confusion, difficulty in thinking, or inability to concentrate
- Blurred vision, dizziness, or headache
- Weakness, lack of energy.
- Poor coordination.
- Difficulty walking or talking, such as staggering or slurred speech.
- Fatigue, lethargy, or drowsiness
If you are low, treat it immediately! Eat 15g of sugar. Four glucose tabs, a juice box, four pieces of small candies, or even 1 tablespoon of sugar will bring your blood sugar up. Test again after 15 minutes since you ate; if you are still low, eat 15 more grams of sugar. If you are low for more 45 minutes, call your doctor.
Giving Yourself Insulin-
You have to give yourself insulin, or your blood sugar will always be high. It can be annoying to give yourself shots, but you will get used to it eventually.
When to give yourself insulin:
- After you eat
- If your blood sugar is high
When giving yourself insulin, you have an insulin to carb ratio for after meals, and a correction factor for high blood sugar. If you don’t know what these are or what to do with them, call your doctor.
There are 3 methods of getting insulin:
○ This is the most commonly known way of getting insulin. It looks like a shot you would get from a doctor, but it is really small, and barley hurts.
- Insulin Pens
○ These are things that look like large pens, but actually have insulin already in them! You attach small needles to them, give yourself insulin, and then dispose of the needle. Once you use all of the insulin you have to throw them away. They last 28 days after being taken out of the fridge.
- Insulin Pump
○ These are devices that look like pagers and have cartridges with insulin in them. You have to refill the cartridge every three days and put in a new canula every three days, as well. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_pump)
If you are on shots, you should know how to draw up insulin and give yourself a shot; here is a quick refresher: (http://diabetes.webmd.com/give-yourself-insulin-shot)
If you are on an insulin pen, here is a PDF guide on how to give a shot with an insulin pen: (http://www.bd.com/resource.aspx?IDX=10256)
If you are on a pump, you should know how to give yourself insulin with the press of a few buttons. If you don’t know how to deliver insulin from your pump ask your doctor.
Going to the Doctor-
People with diabetes must go to the doctor every three months for a routine checkup, A1C test, and just to help with your diabetes care. If you don’t go to an endocrinologist, talk to your parents about it.
What to expect at the doctor:
- Having your blood drawn, to test your A1C, the average blood sugar from the last 3 months. (Talk to your doctor about what they recommend your A1C to be.)
- Needing your blood sugar to be charted, so the doctors can change your insulin dosage as needed.
Living with Diabetes-
Yeah, diabetes does stink sometimes, but you have to live with it, so here’s how.
- Diabetes goes before everything else.
○ If you have high or low blood sugar, tell your friends you have to wait. If they refuse to understand that your health is more important than going shopping, they aren’t your friends.
- Diabetes can make you prone to more illnesses and weaken you immune system, so you need to get your yearly shots and a yearly dose of all flu shots.
- Start a blog about your life with diabetes. (I wouldn’t make a tumblr, because it is more complaining about their lives than anything else. Try Blogger or Wordpress.) Many people have them, and we are a tight-knit group of people called the DOC. (Diabetes Online Community) It lets you know that there are, in fact, other people just like you! (I have a blog, here’s the link: http://insulinpensink.blogspot.com/)
- Going to a camp for diabetic kids is tons of fun and helps you learn how to manage your diabetes, while having a fun camp experience. Here is a link to a list of all camps in every state, Canada, and Latin America: (http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/camps/)
- Don’t think that you can’t do something because you are diabetic! You can, it just might require more effort. C:
- Tons of people will ask, “Why do you have to give yourself a shot?” “What’s Diabetes?” So, you need to have a simple answer that people can understand. Say something like, “It is something where my body doesn’t process food right, so I have to give myself medicine to keep the food working.”
Here are some diabetes blogs I love:
- http://insulinpensink.blogspot.com/ (my blog)
These include fun blood tester cases, pancreas stuffed animals, and more!
- Blood Tester Cases: (http://sugarmedicalsupply.com/)
- Medical ID Bracelets:
- Stuffed Pancreas/ Other Pancreas Stuff: (http://iheartguts.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=8)
- Medtronic Pump Skins: (http://medtronic.skinit.com/)