Accurate Blood Sugar Testing is Key


If you know me personally, then you’re probably aware that I am a professional at panicking and ac certified worrywart. You might think I’m too young to be so overly anxious, but what can I say, it’s in my nature.

Accurate Blood Sugar Testing - The False Low... (1)So as you might be able to imagine, I didn’t react well when I woke up one recent morning to a blood sugar reading of 33 mg/dL.

33? It seemed impossible! Mere moments before testing, I was begrudgingly waking up to my alarm blaring. The thought of getting ready for work made me want to hide under the blankets for the remainder of the morning. I knew this wasn’t a viable option, though, so I got out of bed to test my blood sugar as I do every morning.

Five seconds later, that scary number was glaring at me in black and white. I was momentarily dumb-founded and found myself reflexively reaching for my tube of glucose, which I always keep near me when I go to bed. I chewed four tabs furiously as I contemplated how this could have happened. If I was that dangerously low, then how come I didn’t hear my CGM? I sleep lightly enough that I almost always wake up when it vibrates to call my attention to a high or a low.

Accurate Blood Sugar Testing - The true reading...That’s when I started thinking more rationally and reached for my CGM. The screen showed that I was in the 70s, with an arrow pointing to the right – this means that the blood sugar wasn’t going up or down, it was steady. I cursed myself for my rash actions and hastily grabbed my vial of test strips so I could use a new one to test one more time. I did and, voila, my meter informed me that my blood sugar was 78 – what a difference!

After learning what my true number was, I knew I could proceed with getting ready. As I went about my routine, I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to cause a false first reading. My hands had been clean. My lancet was relatively new. Could it have been an issue with the test strip? The meter itself?

Unfortunately, I can’t be sure of what caused the error, but it did make me realize a few important things. Technology may be great, but it’s not always accurate. In situations like these, accuracy obviously matters more than anything. That being said, maybe I should learn to trust my body and what it might be trying to tell me instead of depending solely on my meter.

It also showed me that sometimes I need to stop and evaluate a situation before I act. A blood glucose reading of 78 almost will never require me to use four glucose tablets to correct it, but it was too late by the time I did my second test. I was fortunate enough to avoid a horribly high blood sugar later on in the morning, but I did have to wait for my blood sugar to level out before I could eat my breakfast – definitely irksome.

This incident showed me that sometimes, certain circumstances may call for me to second guess what technology tells me and read my body’s signs more carefully in order to care for it optimally. Accuracy is invaluable, especially to someone with diabetes.

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Father of Teenage Daughter
Father of Teenage Daughter
7 years ago

I am the father of a 15 yr. old girl that has had Type I since 11 months old.
Do you know any good resources such as blogs that might help her? She had been in pretty good control until this year, is now having some burnout/rebellion.

Thank you.

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