Renza from Diabetogenic wrote this piece on "fudging" our bg numbers in our blood glucose diaries and it fuelled my fire. It’s such a coincidence that we both attended conferences where the “Fake” blood glucose diary of a person with diabetes was held as an example of a “bad” patient! Renza’s piece is well worth a read on how she handled the situation and spoke up for all of us. She rocks!! My experience was more of the sitting quietly at the back in disbelief that this was how this conference was beginning. The conference I attended focused on changing the way care is delivered to young adults with diabetes.
I was diagnosed as a young adult - age 20. The instant I saw that photo and heard those words I had vivid flashbacks. I remember doing that! I even remember why! I remember that every out of range blood glucose number in my diary was questioned, I felt interrogated and I never knew the answer. Back then, there was no carb counting and no one told me that if I ate more food but still took the same amount of insulin that my blood glucose levels would be higher. It wasn’t bad behaviour or poor choices - it was ignorance. I remembered being lost, feeling so isolated and not knowing anything about diabetes, let alone how to manage it. I remember that I never felt I could ask for help with my diabetes from my health care team.
I did it because I didn’t want to be judged or reprimanded for something I thought had no control over. I was letting my diabetes team down.
This conference, supposedly, about health care professionals finding a better way to deliver care but this made me feel like the reason young people with diabetes were not doing well was their own fault.
What should have been said, and said clearly, was that if a person with diabetes feels they have to hide their blood glucose numbers from their diabetes team the patient is the one being failed. That the diabetes team are to ones letting the patient down. That your reaction to people’s blood glucose diarys need some work. That the fact that a patient has actually written down their blood glucose numbers at all is an achievement to be celebrated. That you, despite your best intentions, are being judgemental.
Thankfully, these days, I am much older and wiser and more assertive these days. And of course, there's the fact that I don't care very much what other people think of me. I do ask for help - it's not always available but I keep asking. I also have a team that seem to be a bit more open to conversation about what I need. But I am a little perturbed that 20+ years later, young people with diabetes STILL feel that they have to cheat to pass their diabetes test?
Oh and BTW, I ALWAYS use the same pen to write down my BG numbers cos I keep the same pen in the case with my bg meter!! So this is not an effective way to flush out or prove a diary is being faked.
How many people actually use a written diary these days not anyway? Aren’t we all uploading to software programmes or using Apps?