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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Testing Etiquette

Once newly diagnosed diabetics have started using Jennifer's Test, Test, Test advice, and they've learnt to do it with painless pricks , the next question is usually something like "how can I test in public without embarrassing myself or upsetting others".

Well, I learnt fairly early that my health was more important than their sensibilities. That doesn't mean I make a spectacle of testing, or that I get aggressively "in-your-face" about it, and I do use a little tact and discretion, but I normally test anytime and anywhere I need to. I treat it as no different to blowing my nose or clearing my throat.

In my Newly Diagnosed period I tested publicly quite often. I found my peak timing by testing up to a dozen times daily; I would set my watch count-down timer to alert me at that peak timing at the end of a meal or snack and when it went off I tested - no matter where I was or who I was with. Of course, I don't test so much these days because I can predict most results - but I still use that timer when I need to and still test whenever it goes off.

No-one seeing me test has ever fainted, or become upset in any way. In fact I occasionally met other diabetics that way and had some interesting chats - Accu-chek as a conversation piece (read the detail:-)

If your friends have a problem with it, change your friends; if your relatives have a problem with it, you can be a little blunter and drop some unsubtle hints about the genetic component of type 2. A few times relatives have said something and I offered to test them too (with a fresh lancet of course). For one of them that may have been a preliminary to their own diagnosis. If it's your workplace - then, of course, don't jeopardise employment; you'll need to use your own judgement of the effect on employers and peers there. Sadly, ignorance will always exist and you must cater to it occasionally.

The only places I will NEVER test is in places full of possible infection - a public restroom or toilet, or a doctor's waiting room. And of course, there are certain exceptions where a tactful delay is appropriate - but not a lot.

It's your life. Literally. Test when and where you need to.

Cheers, Alan
Everything in Moderation - Except laughter

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