Friday, June 27, 2014

This Is A Test

A few days ago, my wife was reorganizing her crafting supplies (quite a job between her own hobbies and Cub Scout supplies) when she showed me this box of empty canisters. We've saved these for use with the Scouts as possibly a small neckerchief slide/first aid kit, but we're still figuring out how to make it work, since these are so small and difficult to attach to a PVC ring or other slide.

These were originally blood glucose test strip containers. Each container held 25 to 50 test strips (mostly 50), which Andrew uses to test his blood glucose level. He does this before each meal, whenever he's not feeling quite right (low or high BG levels, usually), before recess or exercising outside, at least 2-3 times during the night - basically, anywhere from 6 to 12 times a day, and more whenever he's sick - the first time he had the stomach flu, we tested him at least every hour, if not more.

In short, each container symbolizes 25 to 50 times that my son has had a finger pricked and blood drawn. And, yes, we have more containers than this.

After three years with diabetes, finger pricks and drawing blood have become a fact of life, and it's usually done with little thought about the process, except to remind Andrew, "Don't always use the same finger!" When a container of strips is empty, we give it to my wife, who removes the label and puts it in the box, then open a new one. Out of sight, out of mind.

I guess that's why this box made me stop for a moment and think about what Andrew and other Type 1 diabetics go through each day. It's easy to forget the bigger picture when something become routine, even when it involves the health of a loved one.

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