Don’t change that!

By | 16 May, 2011

Change is a funny thing. It frightens some people, excites others. I quite like it. I like trying new things, taking on new projects, working in different ways. In my blinkered, biased self image of myself, I am very much a fan of change.

One of the hardest things about diabetes is its inability to play by the rules which means that things are always changing. Just because you needed 1 unit of insulin to deal with an apple today, doesn’t necessarily mean that will be the case tomorrow. It’s like one of those computer games where you have to delicately build a tower out of virtual match sticks and then halfway through a bomb shakes the whole foundation of your elaborate construction. You think you’re just getting your head around the dodgy pancreas business and then everything get thrown into the air and you are left picking up the pieces.

I’ve got used to this over the years and in my mind, diabetes is a constantly morphing beast. I tweak my basal rates from week to week, depending on hormones, activity levels and everything else involved in life. I know how I react to some carbs seems to vary with the wind. And I know that just because something worked today, doesn’t mean it will necessarily work tomorrow. Constant change. And I’m ok with that, I just get on with it.

Sometimes I pro-actively change stuff about my diabetes. I’ve changed the type of insulin I use over the years to battle overnight hypos or post meal spikes. I decided that a pump and CGM were the way to go if I wanted tighter control, so I took the leap into the unknown. I don’t mind the big changes, they’re generally quite interesting. If I have an issue and changing treatment will probably sort that issue, it’s worth the effort.

So I accept the diabetes uncertainty and constant change, and I’m ok with big changes when I can see the benefit (and normally when they’re initiated by me!). Please stop reading here, up until this point I am perfect, from now on my flaws start to appear, I’d prefer it if you went and watched some rubbish on YouTube now.

I can’t really be bothered with little changes. Despite being at the forefront of diabetes tech when it comes to pumps and the like, I’m a bit of a luddite when it comes to meters. I started using my current Optium Xceed meter about 6 or 7 years ago, because it took 5 seconds to do a test and was less vampire-ific than my old one. It does the job and doesn’t offend me in any way so I stick with it. To motivate me to get a new meter, unwrap all the boxes and packaging they come with and then go through the hoops to get my GP to remember to prescribe the right test strips for it is going to need something special. I’m just not excited enough about it to be bothered.

And then there are the worst changes of all. The ones that weren’t my idea and don’t deliver any benefit to me. The really silly, insignificant things that in isolation are not even worth raising an eyebrow over. These are the things that invoke my seemingly overdramatic wrath and fury. For some reason, I’ve never chosen to rebel against my diabetes by not injecting or blood testing, I’ve always just got on with it. But I do seem to like to express my frustration through the medium of getting disproportionately irritated by the little stuff. Like when someone changes the HbA1c measurement that I was happy with, or someone stops making the beautiful Novopen I loved. Or someone makes the packaging for their fancy new CGM sensors bigger than the old ones so I need a new bathroom bag to stuff my overnight diabetes junk into. Or when they stopped making the little packs of Fruit Pastilles which were easier to fit into your pockets than the big tubes.

It seems I’m ok with this diabetes thing if I can convince myself I’m in control of it. Control freak? Me? I don’t mind the ongoing changes I have to make to my treatment or even choosing to disrupt my life for a while by changing that treatment completely. But don’t meddle with the small stuff for no good reason. That makes me really mad. Rrraahhh!

Category: Living with diabetes Tags: ,

About Alison

Diagnosed with Type One in 1983 at the age of four, Alison's been at this for a while now. She uses Humalog in a combined insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system and any blood glucose meter as long as it takes five seconds or less.

5 thoughts on “Don’t change that!

  1. Tim

    Tell you what – a computer game where you “build a tower out of virtual match sticks” sounds like pretty good fun to me! Where can I buy it?

  2. Mike

    and what about this fruit pastilles? I didn’t know they dished out smaller packets.. Not that I would be able to get them if they did still exist!! hehe

    As for the gamer, instead of sticks why not test strips?

  3. Lesley from

    I like a shiny new BG meter – it motivates me to test more often. Unfortunately, now that I have an otherwise very satisfactory Combo pump and meter, I can’t change to the latest, smallest, smartest or most discrete meter as it won’t talk to my pump.

    How about keeping fruit pastilles in a used GlucoTabs tube or ExtraMints tin? Keeps my jelly beans.soft, edible and fluff-free. Or even a BG test strip pot?

  4. Annette A

    @lesley1966 – yes, I like a new meter – more gadgets to play with 🙂 But alas, I too am now stuck in the Combo rut. It’s a very nice rut, but it is rather a large meter shaped rut.
    I keep Glucotabs in my used glucotabs tubes…Refills are available in bulk from Amazon cheaper than the official site (but come from the official site when you get them. huh?) But bg tubes for extra sweeties? I like that idea.


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