They say if you do something 36 times, it becomes a habit. In that case, BG testing ought to be hard-wired by now. But it isn't... Why do I still have to force myself to do it?

I mean, before meals I'm like Pavlov's dogs: trained to take a certain action in order to get my treat.  And the physical motions of glucose testing have certainly become habitual. I could do it with my eyes closed! (Not really, but you know what I mean.)

It's just that I ought be testing A LOT MORE. There's that busy, busy patch between breakfast and lunch when I'm buzzing around and just can't be bothered to stop for anything, unless I'm feeling low. And then there's that horrendously long stretch between lunch and dinner, which is my complete downfall. The hours just seem to melt away; suddenly it's 4:45pm, and I haven't tested in, what...? 4.5 hours? Gads!

Then there are Tuesdays. Last time my endo looked over my records, she said: "What the heck is happening on Tuesdays?" I could almost feel my cheeks turning red. "Um, you mean that string of 200-300's?" {I cleared my throat}

"Well, I usually work out pretty hard Tuesday mornings and I'm a bit low after. And I'm S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G. But I'm also afraid to dose too high after all that exercise."

Innovation 2015

"Well, you need to do it," she said.

Yeah, just do it.

What a great slogan! Someone ought to use that commercially!  Oh, right...

Anyway, I guess what we're all struggling with is how to turn "the right diabetes moves" into simple habits, that we'll do constantly without needing reminders.  Meanwhile, we're pushing away the normal habitual human behaviors, like snacking on salty and sweet and spending our time on activities we enjoy instead of those that make us bleed. Go figure.

During a recent video shoot I did for Stanford (promo for their upcoming Medicine 2.0 event), the camera crew wanted to film me doing a glucose test, "just to show what that's like." The room got very quiet as I unpacked my test strip and lancet — as if there were some mysterious medical procedure about to happen, for which everyone needed to hush. When the blood drop appeared, they all leaned in. I don't mind admitting that I felt like a complete freak. The stupid test strip seemed to take forever to absorb enough to get a beep. It was pure agony, with everyone holding their breath.

"That was fast!" said a young student. I had the urge to punch her in the nose, although I know that was totally uncalled-for and completely uncouth for me to even think.

Instead I said: "Naw, that one was slow.  You should see me at a stoplight!"

Awkward laughter.

A bad habit, testing in the car? Who's to judge? At least I'm making an effort.


Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.