I hope I never lose my OneTouch UltraLink meter — and not just because I need it to survive. Instead, I fear that some unsuspecting citizen will unzip that little microfiber satchel, take a peek inside, and assume that it’s a device used to slaughter small animals and bleed them dry.
I am a wiper, and the evidence is all over my test kit.
The blood sugar testing instructions laid out by the American Diabetes Association — and most other responsible health professionals — would have us treat testing like a hallowed ritual. First, the washing of the hands. Then, the changing of the lancet. The wipe of the alcohol swab, the test, and another alcohol wipe to cleanse the blood from your poor pricked fingertip.
But here’s how I check my blood sugar:
1. Shake test strip vial, just to get a good idea of how many are left in there.
2. Open vial and stick a strip into the meter.
3. Locate least-calloused finger.
4. Stab finger with months-old lancet.
5. Apply drop of blood to test strip.
Here’s where it gets really shameful:
6. Smear excess blood on cloth of test kit.
I don’t usually even think about it. Unless, for instance, I’m in my office and someone is nearby. I’m sure my habit is a lot more off-putting to people who aren’t accustomed to making themselves bleed at least 5 times a day.
I’m not sure when I got into this habit — or out of the habit of using a piece of tissue or an alcohol swab to clean the blood off of my finger. At some point, the very dark and very absorbent material around the zipper and on one of the pockets started to seem like a good wiping option, and now I can’t seem to stop.
Every once in a while, my husband will try to “clean” the inside of my case — because he’s nice and far more obsessed with cleanliness than I am. For a few days, I’m left with a case that’s a little less crusty and discolored than usual, but then laziness kicks in and I’m back to my wiping ways.
I guess it’s just what happens when you get so used to doing something so many times each day. My blood sugar checks aren’t rare moments of wonder and magic. They’re a necessary evil, and I’m all about exerting the least amount of effort to keep tabs on my blood sugar. The way I see it, the more times per day I inconvenience myself with checking, the more I earn the right to turn my kit into a portable biohazard.
I just hope I never have to claim it from the lost and found.
Image via nataliedee.com