Testing Sugar levels

 

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I was sitting here thinking how testing for sugar in you body has changed over time. I can remember as a child in the 70’s, how I had to test urine with the old clinitest tablets using a test tube and an eye dropper. The clinitest tablet was corrosive. I had to urinate in a plastic bed pan on the bathroom floor, this made me feel angst every time I had to do it.  From my recollection I had to put 5 drops of water and 2 drops of water,  the drop the tablet in the test tube. I then had to wait for the fizzing to stop and shake the test tube,then compare the colour on a chart my parents has put on the inside of the medicine cabinet.

 

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If the sugar reading was high, I then had to use keto diastix to check for ketones. Which I only have recently found, they are still used to check diabetic dogs urine for sugar levels. I can remember trying to hide readings, from my parents as I would be yelled at and blamed for a high reading. If they had only known that stress raises sugar level readings, also that urine testing could only test sugar levels hours 4 to 6 hours earlier.

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Late in 1979, I got my first blood testing machine. It was the size of a lunch box, and had what reminded me of a windscreen wiper measurement screen. That was the start of stabbing my fingers 6 times a day, before and after meals even though my insulin dosage was not changed much that I can remember. Previously I had used the blood testing machine in Camperdown children’s Hospital, using a lancet to stab my fingers. The lancets then were as sharp as a scalpel, and left me with bruised finger tips as they went in deep (no adjustment of depth on the old lancet).

Now we have blood testing machines that don’t need calibration, they connect to mobile phones, measure ketones, wirelessly to pumps, also the cgm and now the freestyle libre that I’m looking into. (http://www.freestylelibre.com.au/)

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