This is what my good friend Lowell Lohman told me last Friday night as I shared a picture of my blood sugar level after I put on the Abbott Laboratories Libre FreeStyle, a Continuous Glucose Monitor device.
Growing up, I was very cognizant of diabetes. My father and grandmother were both diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when my Dad was 16. From there, I heard the stories of learning to give shots in oranges to practice, boiling syringes to prepare a shot to the technological breakthroughs like glucose lozenges!
My mom became a practical dietician always making two pies, measuring how much cheese was on Dad’s section of the pizza and having a large enough purse on vacation to carry a can of orange juice and graham crackers.
I was there when he experimented with the insulin pump the glucometer and more. I wanted to be like Dad, so much so that I asked him to prick my finger with the new pen that supposedly didn’t hurt. Well, I remember it like it was yesterday. We were visiting my grandparents and I got my courage up. The anticipation was intense. Would it hurt? I hyped myself up so much that when he let the spring go and the tiny lancet entered my finger tip I almost passed out! That was one time I pricked my finger, a person with diabetes may prick his or her finger 6 times a day. That put it into perspective what a wimp I was.
My dad passed away years ago, and I fell out of touch with the technology and struggle people with diabetes have every day. But Lowell and Nancy woke me up and opened my eyes to the uphill climb people with diabetes have on a daily basis. Now we are creating a Diabetes Center of Excellence at Halifax Health. I know my dad is looking down and proud.
Now, enter the commitment to see what the latest diabetes management technology looked like. With diabetes in my lineage, I wondered what my blood sugar was. Thanks to Abbott Laboratories there is a way for people with diabetes to constantly monitor their glucose for 2 weeks for free. I signed up here. Dr. Poonam Kapadia, Endocrinologist, helped me try it. So this is research for me to understand the tools a person with diabetes has to help manage their disease. I have been blown away watching my blood sugar levels with different foods and activities. Red wine doesn’t impact it, corn shoots it through the roof and the sugar in my coffee, well forget it.
My encouragement to everyone with diabetes is to try this Continuous Glucose Monitor tool and educate yourself on the impact different foods have on your body and how it functions.
If Dad was here today, he would have a huge smile on his face and say “check this out, can you believe it?”
Written by John Guthrie, March 9, 2021
John Guthrie is the Vice President, Communications Executive Dir. Healthy Communities at Halifax Health