“Type 1 Diabetes. Fasting.”

In times gone by, I would have hauled myself out of bed on a cold Winter’s morning much earlier than my liking. Blood sugar permitting, I would have dressed and made my way out the door while it was still dark outside. I would have started my car, and made the two minute drive down the road to my local Pathology centre. Despite walking in thirty minutes before collections begin, the first number available to me would likely have been a 4 or a 5.

I would have taken a seat and rolled my eyes at the table of ancient, frayed magazines. I would have pulled my phone out of my pocket and opened up Facebook. I would have checked the current temperature outside in my trusty Weatherzone app. I probably would have been distracted momentarily by the Sunrise Cash Cow on the TV in the waiting room. I would have returned to my phone, this time moving onto Twitter. I would likely have returned to the weather, refreshing to see if it were any warmer outside. Once again, the TV would likely grasp my attention at the sight of the weather man out and about doing something silly. Returning to my phone, I’d open up the next app.

By this point, I’d be bored out of my brains. My empty stomach would be growling like crazy. To add to the torture, the coffee bar that was thoughtfully placed in a waiting room of fasting patients, would have opened for the day. I’d watch on as people flocked to it in droves for their morning caffeine fix, and forcing their banter upon my poor ears. I’d be constantly looking at my watch, despite the time being right in front of me on my iPhone screen. I’d start taking note of how many people were in front of me. I’d start wondering if number 3 was in there, telling the nurse their whole life story while I was desperately wanting to get out of there and start my day.

Thankfully, today was not the case.

I stayed in my warm bed until an hour of my choosing. I got dressed, and walked out the door into brilliant grey daylight. I drove down to Pathology, walked in and made my way to the counter where I announced:

I’m here for a blood test. I have type 1 diabetes and I’m fasting.”

This morning there were no frayed mags, no coffee bar torture, no endless scrolling through Facebook, no stomach rumbling and no eye rolling at the Sunrise weather man. I walked straight through, waited for the two patients already in the room, and had my bloods done straight away.

I probably fed the attendant’s misconceptions about a diabetic needing to constantly eat to regulate his blood sugars. I probably felt a tinge of guilt for the other poor souls sitting there in the waiting room. 

But those people also didn’t have a broken pancreas to deal with. They weren’t course correcting a lower-than-they’d-like blood sugar before bed. They didn’t have to force themselves up to check their blood sugar when they stirred in their sleep at 4am this morning. They weren’t left scratching their head over why their blood sugar had risen from 5.4 to 8.8 in a few hours, when normally it sits stable.

I played the diabetes card today, and I’m not going to feel guilty for it.


  1. Rick Phillips

    I hate, I mean hate fasting blood sugars. It is hard to believe that was the one and only measure of progress for a person with diabetes. We did it every three months, and adjusted insulin based on how we felt and what our urine samples showed. But really we did on fasting blood sugar. Too high? Increase insulin. Too low, reduce insulin. Right on? Continue we wil see you in three.

    One measure, just one. It is no wonder I hate it.

  2. Recently, I’ve heard some interesting views from hcp’s about how irrelevant fasting is before bloods and how it doesn’t effect the accuracy of any of the labs at all. Except for the fasting blood glucose, but what does that particular number tells us about our type 1 diabetes anyway!?!

    • Interesting. In clinics I’ve had bloodwork done without fasting as well. It’s not like there’s any benefit of them knowing our fasting Glucose result. We already have diabetes…

Leave a Reply