Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tools of the Trade: Blood Glucose Monitor

The more I interact with people the more I realize I'm in an educator role when it comes to diabetes. Nothing new for me. Being a homeschool mom I've had to "educate" others about our schooling choices. Having 5 kids also brings in a lot of comments that require a bit of educating. So, yeah....nothing new....

As I settle into the new diabetes educator role I thought I'd begin with Tools of the Trade!! What do we use in our everyday lives living with diabetes. I'll begin with the Glucose Monitor:

Glucose Monitor
One Touch Ultra2 Monitor

This little amazing invention really changed a lot of lives!!! It reads how much glucose is floating around J.J.'s bloodstream at any particular moment. It's somewhat accurate, but not completely...I forget the error range, but it's better than nothing at all!! We check J.J.'s blood anywhere from 6-12 times a day right now. The number we get from this helps us determine our treatment plan at any given time. Right now "normal" for J.J. is between 100-200 mg/dL(don't ask me what "mg/dL" means!!) will change as he gets older, but for now the endo wants us to aim for this magic range!! How often do we hit it....right now it seems like NEVER!! But it is our goal.

This little gadget requires test strips. This is where the cost really adds up. We push in the test strip then get a drop of blood using the lancet. The amount of blood for this monitor can be pretty small....but to make it easier we like to make sure we have enough so we don't waste a strip. Sometimes it wicks the blood easily, other times not so's a trial and error process for sure!!

This particular monitor gives us a reading in 5 seconds. It also can record notes if I choose to put them in if the recording was before or after a meal, or whether it was associated with exercise or not, etc. I haven't used these features much yet. We can also hook it up to our computer and see graphs, charts etc of all the readings that it has stored. Jason hasn't had time to hook that up yet.

If you are here wondering if your child has diabetes and have access to a monitor, then by all means check.....our friends found out their daughter had diabetes this way!! Our endo said any number 200 or above is a confirmation of diabetes. Normal ranges, for "normal" people range from 70-160....but he said 200 is a sure sign of diabetes.

So there you have the Glucose Monitor....right now it's THE TOOL!!! What a marvelous invention!! As a side note....the latest Reader's Digest had a glucose monitoring system that looked like a more finger pokes!!! I know there are other glucose monitoring systems being used without the constant finger poking....don't know much about for now this is what we use....and it is a nice little gadget!!

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