by Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL
This is Part One of a two part blog on monitoring blood glucose. This week we will look at the Top Ten Reasons something so easy….becomes such a big deal. In Part Two, we will look at overcoming these common barriers. So here we go… The Top Ten Reasons to Avoid Testing Your Blood Glucose:
Reason #1: Your meter makes you feel bad about yourself – Do you judge yourself based on your results? Do you think of blood glucose monitoring as a “test”, and the resulting number a grade? You begin to think of high numbers as a failing grade. Naturally, the meter ends up in a drawer.
Reason #2: Monitoring seems pointless – Do you ever think to yourself, “why bother testing, how is testing going to change the fact that I have diabetes?” It is frustrating to work hard to manage your blood glucose, and continue to get results that don’t make any sense. And so the meter ends up in a drawer.
Reason #3: Monitoring reminds you that you have diabetes – Who needs to be reminded that they have diabetes? Testing can be seen as an irritating, annoying reminder that you have a disease that isn’t going away, that you will have to deal with the rest of your life. Back in the drawer with the meter.
Reason #4: Your meter seems to control your life – If you constantly feel you are being pushed around by your meter, and view your meter as a bully; naturally you are going to stop monitoring. High readings might be telling you not to eat so much, low readings might be telling you to wait before you drive or exercise. The monitor starts to control your life and limit your freedom. Who needs a puny machine telling you what to do – so you put it in a drawer upside down.
Reason #5: Monitoring gives friends and family an opportunity to bother you – “What was your sugar?” “You wouldn’t be that high if you hadn’t eaten that pasta for lunch” “My friend at work who has diabetes never eats….” Suddenly everyone is an authority on diabetes, and this time the meter goes in the drawer and the drawer is slammed shut.
Reason #6: Your healthcare team is indifferent to the results – You spend hours making a beautiful spreadsheet, with circles and arrows, and a paragraph describing what you ate and how you felt, and what your blood glucose test results were. It’s in color. You make multiple copies. And your doctor gives it a superficial glance and says “let’s just keep observing your sugars over the next few months and see what happens”. You feel like your time was wasted. “Why bother” you say to yourself? Now the glucometer is in the back of the drawer and the pretty spreadsheet is deleted.
Reason #7: It hurts for goodness sakes! Sticking yourself should be relatively painless, but let’s be honest – you are sticking yourself and sometimes you may hit a tender spot. Your fingers get irritated, sore, and sometimes bruised. So you decide to “take a break” from monitoring, and the meter is covered with papers and other stuff in the back of the drawer.
Reason #8: Monitoring can be inconvenient – You are going out to dinner….don’t forget your meter. You are going on a trip….don’t forget your meter. You are going hiking, biking, swimming, fishing…..don’t forget your meter. It takes time, and it interrupts what you are doing. So the meter gets left behind (in a drawer covered with stuff) while you go out and about.
Reason #9 Monitoring can be expensive – If you don’t have good insurance, or if you are uninsured, you know that test strips can be costly, especially if you are testing several times a day. Once again, the meter is tossed aside.
Reason #10 Life is too busy and demanding to take the time for regular monitoring – At first, we start out with good intentions. Testing regularly isn’t a big deal. Until you are running late for work, or having to get dinner on the table before running the kids to practices and getting the grocery shopping done, and don’t forget to get your 30 minutes of exercise in. Testing gets pushed to the bottom of the list and doesn’t get done as frequently as it should, or doesn’t get done at all because life gets in the way. Before you know it, the meter is completely forgotten in the back of the drawer, covered with stuff. You don’t even remember what drawer it is in!
Tune in next time for Part Two….Overcoming Avoiding Testing Your Blood Sugar!
Diabetes Self Management