Another great guest post and insight to life with type 2 diabetes from my good friend and dweller of my favorite city, Bob. Thanks so much, Bob!
“I just dropped in to see what condition my condition is in.”
Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, ‘I Just Dropped In’
The main duty of the Vice President of the United States, an old joke goes, is to call the President each day to see how he’s feeling.
I have a similar duty in regards to my pancreas.
On one recent day, my fasting reading was 128. The target is below 120, and I really like it to be below 100. I shared this on Twitter, and a good friend, a T1, responded to the effect that she’d be delighted with that reading. I responded that I’m just trying to monitor a pancreas, and she’s trying to be one.
Like many Type Twos treating my condition with medication, I’m asked by my doctor to do one blood glucose test a day – a fasting test, first thing in the morning. I often choose to do additional tests, for various reasons, but the fasting test is the main one.
For many diabetics, that first reading in the morning serves as the basis for important decisions about insulin, what to eat, and whether to exercise. In my disease’s current state, that’s not the case for me: basically, I test in the morning to call my pancreas and see how it’s feeling.
Type Two diabetes is a progressive disease. While I haven’t had the tests that would tell me for sure, it’s very likely that the ability of my pancreas to produce insulin had already been impaired.by
the time of my diagnosis. It’s probable that the degree of impairment will advance with time, and I might very well someday need more aggressive treatment for my diabetes. So, the main purpose of my fasting tests is to watch for evidence of that advancing impairment. One out-of-range reading is not a problem, although I don’t like to get one (and occasionally tweet it if I do). If out-of-range readings became the norm, it might be time to talk to my doctor.
When I get in-range readings, it’s not because I’m a “better diabetic” than anybody else, or smarter, or better-looking, or kinder to small animals. It’s because my current treatment plan is doing a good job of managing my blood glucose at the stage my disease is at right now. Down the road, I may also find myself pleased with a fasting reading of 128.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I want to go back to imagining Vice President Biden’s daily call. (“Hello, Barack? Joe here. You, uh, feeling okay? No fever or anything? OK, good. Well, uh, talk to you tomorrow.”)
* Yes, boys and girls, country music star Kenny Rogers once cut a psychedelic rock record, early in his career. It’s a bit iffy as a song, but just so awesome that he did it!