Another year forgotten
I’ve never been good at keeping records. I don’t mean the day-to-day blood sugars, but the records of real moments of significance.
Just before I started writing this post, I began a post (one of many posts still unfinished) titled “Reflections”, in which I chronicled the major advancements in diabetes, not over the past twelve months, but over the last 32 years.
You know what the problem was? I can’t really remember when I switched from NPH to Lantus, or when my A1C fell out of the teens and into the single-digits. I know the first electro-chemical meter I used – meaning the blood interacted with circuit boards and electrodes rather than color-changing chemicals and a little camera doohickey – was the Glucometer Elite. It was made by Ames, who invented the Glucometer and the Glucometer brand name (that name, like Kleenex and Jell-o, fell into generic use, so when Bayer bought the device, they renamed it Ascensia).
Come to think of it, I’ve probably only used five different types of meters, regularly, in over thirty years: the AccuChek that used color-changing Chemstrips, the Glucometer Elite, the OneTouch UltraMini/UltraLink, the BD ParadigmLink (now NovaMax), and the Bayer Contour NextLink. I remember when and why I switched to the BD meter — it was when I took the plunge and started using a pump — which was nine months before my son was born (not coincidentally). The rest are just fuzzy memories.
I have no log of my A1C history. I wish I did (I suppose I could try to track down my previous endocrinologists – the ones I’ve ceremoniously fired or just never rescheduled appointments with). Not too long ago, the Glu website started up, and the mobile app offered a place to store those A1Cs. So I did — I stored four or five of them, but then Glu changed and that A1C history vanished.
Which is too bad, because they’re among the best I ever had. I think. (My first six months on the pump yielded some pretty good A1Cs too).
I’d also like to see the high A1Cs. Was it during high school or college? I was pretty bad during both. But just how bad? And could there be some insight into how I got through college and LIVED? Because for the life of me (no pun intended), I can’t figure it out.
I remember when my doctor switched me from Humalog to Novolog. I remember his reason (related to the differences in the peaks between the two), and though I was a bit reluctant to agree with his reasoning — he was trying to be “safe” and avoid lows — it was a time when I didn’t question my doctors and just went along with it. In the end, was it better? Worse? The same? I really have no idea – but I’ve wondered if Humalog might be better for me for the same reason he switched me to Novolog (I want to be agressive and avoid highs). I wonder, but don’t know.
I feel like I’ve taken the exact same amount of insulin forever. When I was diagnosed, I was prescribed a total of 28 units of insulin per day (9 regular, 19 NPH). These days, I average about 30 units per day. Back then, I’m guessing I weighed about 50 pounds. These days, I’m about three times that amount, but my insulin needs have barely budged. Well, they have — I vaguely remember being down to something like 2 or 3 units per day during my “honeymoon phase”. I’d love to see that in writing, cause it’s kinda hard to believe.
How many times have I been hospitalized for a low blood sugar? What was the cause (was one known) and how did it all turn out? As a kid, it was a once-a-year “ritual”. But it’s been over ten years since that’s happened — unless you count the time when I got violently ill after Thanksgiving dinner, and I couldn’t keep the heavily bolusworthy meal in my system to feed the insulin I had just taken. But that was a voluntary, precautionary trip because I was afraid, if I didn’t get some sugar another way, that something bad would happen.
The point is, this year will be over in just about four hours, and I have no records of anything. In time, I’ll regret that.
Maybe I’ll make it a mission of mine, next year, to put it all together. For nostalgia’s sake.
Or, just maybe, for motivation’s and satisfaction’s sake. Because I can’t really appreciate how far I’ve come if I don’t remember where I’ve been.
I wish you and yours a very happy, healthy, and safe New Year.