Yesterday morning I was down to a handful of test strips. By a handful, I mean five.
I don't usually play it that close but I have Dexter now who tells me how I'm doing so I figured I'd be just fine with five test strips during an 8-hour workday and I'd head over to pick more up right after work.
I used the first one as soon as I woke up just to make sure Dex was on target. He was pretty close.
I did my cycling workout and then used my second one before breakfast just to make sure I was still calibrated after my workout. Again, Dex was pretty close to the target.
I watched Dex all morning but didn't do my midmorning calibration because I was rationing test strips.
I tested at lunch and he was off but not awful. I recalibrated him and had my lunch. If you do the math, we are not down to two test strips.
Two hours after lunch I was climbing quickly. Surprisingly quickly considering it was a pretty simple lunch that should have been easy to bolus for. Dexter told me I was 12 so I told my insulin pump I was 12 and took a correction bolus.
*set off first warning bell here*
At 3:30pm, Dex was still yelling at me that I was 12 so I took another correction. (Again with the warning bells please.) I left work and headed across town to pick up test strips and a few other prescriptions. Afterwards I headed to the grocery store and then I headed home. I checked Dex periodically and he assured me that I was coming down - steadily but not crazily.
I walked in the door of my kitchen at 5:15pm and he buzzed to tell me I was 3.9 and dropping fast. I dumped the groceries, tossed my coat down and told him to hold his horses while I rushed to the ladies room. I came out and he was buzzing again that I was 3.1 and dropping faster. So I grabbed a handful of glucose tablets and unloaded the groceries. He levelled out at 2.9 and began his slow climb back into the safety zone.
By the time dinner was ready, Dex said I was back up to 4.0. I used the second last test strip in the vial to double check. The first real blood test I had done since lunch. I was surprised to discover I was actually 9.4, not 4.0.
Did I just treat a non-existent low?
Or was my low real but now Dex couldn't keep up with how quickly I was climbing and he thought I was 4 but I had spiked to 9?
I grabbed my new box of test strips from the bag figuring I'd double check. Imagine my horror to discover that, for the first time ever, the pharmacy gave me the wrong box. I found myself holding a box of strips for my old Verio glucometer that I haven't used in almost a year. Which meant that I had one test strip left and a very uncalibrated, and slightly cranky, Dexter as a backup.
I ate my dinner, called the pharmacy, explained the problem and headed back across town before they closed at 7pm. They apologized. I left cradling my precious test strips and added yet another handful of lessons learned to my diabetes collection of lessons learned.
Lesson One: Dexter is there to help but he can't be left in charge of the ship for too long or she heads off course.
Lesson Two: Test strips are precious. Don't run yourself too low or you end up sacrificing good numbers.
Lesson Three: And for heaven's sake, check your pharmacy order before driving out of the parking lot.