“Do You Use a Lot of Test Strips?”

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“Do you use a lot of test strips?” My pharmacist asked me, as I placed a handful on the counter to purchase.

I went silent, lost for words to answer his question.

“Yeah, I do,” I replied.

I was wondering if I was going to have to justify myself. Was this going to be another big dilemma where I would be told that I’m using too much? Was the computer going to tell him that I’d gone over the limits and couldn’t purchase any more?

“Do you see a diabetes educator?” He asked.

He sounded like he wanted to suggest something. That I needed to get help?

“We’ve actually got a little boy who comes in here. He’s got this little sensor that he wears on his arm that measures his fluid. He swipes over it, and it gives him his readings. He doesn’t have to prick his fingers so much. It even gives him a history of his readings.”

I smiled, because I knew exactly what he was talking about. “Yeah, that’s the Freestyle Libre,” I replied.

A little over a year ago, I wouldn’t have even known anything about this. I would have just stood there and politely nodded, but disinterested all the same. I’m so proud of the interest I’ve taken in diabetes over this past year. I love how passionate and how “in the know” I feel around the subject of diabetes. I loved that I was able to hold up that conversation and sound like a bloody expert. The happiness I felt for that little boy and his mother was so real.

I know that he was genuinely being nice, but I still felt I needed to justify myself before walking out.

“Just because I use a lot of test strips, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m struggling with my diabetes. That’s the common misconception among healthcare professionals. Regular testing is just something I do that helps me to manage my diabetes.”

“And just because I’m buying them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ve run out of them at home. You’ve gotta stock up, right?” I said, thinking fondly of this “Clean It Out” prompt from Diabetes Blog Week last year.

2 thoughts on ““Do You Use a Lot of Test Strips?”

  1. Oh my word the old “You’re using an awful lot of teststrips aren’t you?”. I struggle with this a couple of times a month actually, when ignorant pharmacists don’t get that more frequent testing helps me to stay on track. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve often snapped and pulled the “Are you diabetic? Thought not.” card more than once. (And then my sugar level has sky-rocketed from all the inner rage.)

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