Browsing through the latest issue of Wired magazine (my favorite print pub!), I stumbled upon a “reader rant” that stopped me in my tracks. A guy named Edward Aboufadel from Ada, Michigan, was responding to a recent article titled Living by Numbers, about our new data-driven lifestyles. He writes:
People who are really ‘living by numbers’ are type 1 diabetics, who struggle every day to keep their blood glucose in range with carbohydrate counts, insulin doses, and exercise. Given the rapid development of continuous glucose monitors, perhaps Nike and Apple could team up with Medtronic to develop a hardware/software/social networking system similar to Nike+ but for diabetics.
To prove Edward’s point I thought I’d keep a detailed log for a full day this week (yes – just one day!), and share it with you all here:
6:28am – 110 BG (blood glucose)
7:32 am – 3 units (insulin dose) for 45 gram carbs
9:26 am – 166 BG
10:51 am – 173 BG (after 0 carbs – sheesh!!) –>.85 units correction
11:48 am – 156 BG with .70 units IOB (insulin on board)
12:43 pm – 3.5 units for 55 gram carb –> with .50 IOB
3:12 pm – 130 BG
5:40 pm – 121 BG
7:22 pm – 107 BG + 3.65 U for 55 g carb
9:37 pm – 126 BG + .30 U correction
… and this was an “easy” day, since I didn’t work out (messes with the math) and I went to bed early.
So, if the numerical soup above means anything to you, then you are a bona fide insulin-toting type 1 diabetic. My condolences.
For those who are not, but assume that daily diabetes care is “like brushing your teeth,” think again. Maybe it would be — if your life depended on toothpaste and every gram of food you ate had to be matched per a precise ratio to the exact amount of toothpaste you ingested.
Editor’s Note: Just in case you’re one of those egghead types who actually enjoys living by numbers, check out these Wired guides: