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Question:

I am 12 years old, and have had diabetes since I was 7. It is no fun, but the worst thing is all the blood checks. I know this is necessary, but is there any other way that is/has come out on the market for testing blood? I hate to check at school, and around my friends, so I probably don't check as often as I should. Please let me know.

Answer:

It is understandable that you don't like to check your blood sugar, especially at school or around your friends. Many other teenagers feel the same way.

Right now checking your blood sugar with a meter is the best way to control your diabetes. Companies are working on developing more convenient ways to check the blood sugar, such as a watch that you can wear that will check your blood sugar automatically and store the results for you to read later on. It might be quite a while before these new products are available.

It is especially important that you test your blood sugar frequently at your age, as you may still be growing. As you grow you usually need more insulin and the high blood sugar readings will let you know when it is time to change your insulin (If you don't take enough insulin, you may not grow as well as you should and may wind up shorter as an adult than you should). Also, many 12 year olds have very active schedules that change every day, and frequent blood sugar testing will help you adjust your insulin and food as necessary to avoid annoying lows or highs.

Perhaps you could discuss with your Diabetes Team and family whether you are using a blood glucose meter which is the most convenient for you (different people prefer different meters). If the sound of the beep bothers you, you can get a meter where you can turn it off. If you don't want to test in front of your friends, perhaps there is a place that you can test in private. Do you have a meter and case that is convenient to carry in your knapsack? If it is hard to test every day at school, maybe you could discuss with someone on your Diabetes Team whether you could test only a few days a week if you are in good control. If your schedule is different each day, (for instance maybe you have gym only once or twice a week), you might need to test on different days to see how gym affects your blood sugar.

In the days before meters, teenagers had a much harder time controlling their blood sugars well enough so they could still do everything else their friends did. Although I know it seems like a pain in the neck to test, it is really helpful to help you control your diabetes so your diabetes doesn't get in the way of your doing everything else your friends do. Hopefully we'll have easier, more private ways to test soon.

TGL

Original posting 13 Oct 96

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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