Friday, February 18, 2011

Ma'am, that isn't normal

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Mrs. Stick: "My blood sugars are always good. I check them 4 times every day."

Dr. Grumpy: "I didn't know you were a diabetic?"

Mrs. Stick: "I'm not, but my husband is. I use his lancets."

Dr. Grumpy: "Why on Earth do you do that?"

Mrs. Stick: "Just for fun."

22 comments:

Hannah said...

Oh, I totally get that. It's not that I do it four times a day, but it is fun to see how bloody good a healthy body is at keeping blood sugar in check after a whole bag of sweets. ;-) It really is fascinating, you should try it.

Not House said...

Ya, but when you only get a certain amount of lances per month, maybe it'd be better if the diabetic guy got to use all of his.

Krista said...

I've never gone to the extreme of 4 times a day, but when I was pregnant with ds I would use our office glucometer to check mine about once or twice a week.

And you only get a certain amount of lancets covered by insurance a month, but maybe she purchases her own refills out of pocket. Depending on their brand of glucometer, that may not be horribly expensive.

Moose said...

"Lancets" are just the things you use to poke yourself and draw blood. You can reuse them a good half dozen times. A box is about $10 for 250 lancets.

The testing strips, which is what she probably means here, are a one shot thing and BOY HOWDY are they expensive. The meter manufacturers will give their meters away because the charge around $1/strip. These days you can get cheap-o meters at Wallyworld where the strips are less, but it's still a LOT of money. The 'free' clinic I go to still has to charge $10/box for strips because they're so expensive.

You really take for granted the ability to stick yourself 4 times a day. These days if I get 12 times a week I'm lucky.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

It just reminded me of the old SNL skit where the 2 guys talk about things like hitting themselves with meat cleavers or rolling naked on a cactus, then say "I hate it when that happens".

Old MD Girl said...

Grump -- Your readers are as crazy as your patient today! ;--)

We had to prick our fingers for this glucose control lab we did in biology. So not fun! I would be a horribly non-compliant diabetic, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

That's just sick.

SuFu said...

Depending on her condition, can we arrange an even swap? I'll even throw in an insulin pump!

Kat's Kats said...

For fun?? Okey dokey... and how often is her husband testing?? We certainly couldn't afford that many test strips!

My diabetic husband just said, "Yeah, but when asked by people 'how can you stand to take a shot everyday?' my response was 'it sure beats the alternative!'" He's also on the pump now. He helped test the Bayer pump years ago. He was diagnosed in '72 at the age of 13.

Me? I pray that I don't get that added to my list of conditions. Needles and I don't get along... it's hard enough just doing Imitrex injections for migraines. ::shudder::

Anonymous said...

Rock On, Emo Lady!

Diana said...

I was gonna say how expensive those damned strips are! Lancets are noth ing by comparison. I don't check my level nearly as much as I should because my insurance demands a $50 co-pay on that and I just can't afford it. I'm also on an insulin pump and that ain't cheap, either. The Cleo 90's cost about $20-$25 each and you are supposed to change them out every 3 days. I stretch it out to 4-5 days if the site is ok and working.

Texas Pharmacy Chica said...

No kidding? I guess it is cheaper than smoking, but huh? Munchhausen?

Diana - check which strips are preferred by your ins. Unless, of course, your pump demands a particular kind. Or you could do fingersticks anyways, using whatever meter.

Yeah. Meters are nothing, Moose, but from my little stand I see patients getting all kinds of meters from well-meaning clinics, but the strips are not covered/marginally covered. If you need a meter, research which kinds you like, then check which strips are covered by your insurance and pick one that falls in both categories. Don't fall for the 'Get a free meter' deal at local drugstore. Everybody has the option to pay cash for strips not covered, but few of us have the money to do so.

pharmacychick said...

Interesting. I had a lady whose husband had passed away leaving her some diabetic supplies. since she too was borderline she would buy strips from me occsionally. i asked her once. "Elizabeth, why dont you buy any lancets?". She repsonded that she used her husbands lancet. "Lancet?" she pulled it out of her purse and admitted to using the very same lancet for 5 years. NOT lancing device...the LANCET...OMG

vicki said...

i had to check my randomly for a week to rule out diabetes. but to do it for fun? she's gotta be your patient!!
nobody sticks themselves for fun. it hurts.

Anonymous said...

As then they come to the pharmacy complaining that they were shorted.

night tech said...

Could be stranger.....years ago we had a little lady who's husband of many years had recently passed. She came into the ER feeling shaky, dizzy and sweaty. Turns out she was using up the remaining insulin left by her now deceased hubby.

Didn't want it to go to waste.

Moose said...

Some of these comments are cracking me up.

When you have to test your blood in a class/lab situation, IF you get a spring-loaded device you get a one-size-fits-all, guaranteed to poke a hole the size of Montana in the thickest skin. In reality, Glucometers (usually) come with lancet devices that have a dial on top. You quickly learn what number gets through your skin with the least possible pain.

Also, at a Dr's office, or in a classroom, they always (or always tell you to) poke the mushy pad of your finger. Diabetics know better, and poke the sides of the fingers where there are less nerves. Sometimes it's a little more work to get the blood out, but with these modern newfangled glucometers you don't need so much blood these days.

One of the weird things about Imitrex that I've never understood is why people who use it believe the injections have to be JAMMED into themselves as hard as possible. It's just another sub-q drug. One of the things we teach people on my diabetes mailing list -- and newbies to insulin never believe it until they try it themselves -- is that *insulin shots should not hurt*. If you do it right (fresh needle, warmed up insulin), it will not hurt at all, and if it does hurt it's almost always less painful than the damned lancets! One trick we teach is to touch the needle to the skin. If it hurts at all, move to another site. When you don't feel the needle, inject. This rarely fails, and convinces even the most needle-phobic people that injections don't have to be painful, ever.

Aura said...

Once on nursing placement I felt a bit light headed so I tested my BGL out of curiosity.

My dad has Insulin dependent diabetes that came on in his 20s (and I have been known to abuse my pancreas) so it's possible I could develop diabetes.

But 4 times a day? That goes beyond curiosity or "fun", I bet she is disappointed when she gets a normal reading...

That is either hypochondria or a needle fixation...or both.

Kat's Kats said...

One trick we teach is to touch the needle to the skin. If it hurts at all, move to another site. When you don't feel the needle, inject. This rarely fails, and convinces even the most needle-phobic people that injections don't have to be painful, ever.

That's a great tip. I wish it work for me! My pain doc was going to give me a cortisone shot once and said, "With the spray you won't feel a thing." Then he used the spray and I darn near keeled over from the pain. He set the can down, "I take that back. I don't think giving you a shot is such a good idea given your reaction."

I've had around 20 surgeries/procedures requiring IVs (not even going into blood draws!). I always feel needles and I've had about three IVs where they didn't hurt so long as I kept my hand still. ::shrug:: For every rule there is an exception. Better me than someone else. But I will keep that tip in mind to let other people know!! It's a good one!

Anonymous said...

It could be worse. She could be into bowling.

prada nurse said...

I had a caller once that poked her KID for a blood sugar, and when it was a little high, wanted to take her to ED.....never mind that it was a RANDOM stick.... :(

lindylu44 said...

I'm type1 diabetic and I hate the needle sticks. Can't imagine doing it for fun

 
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