Did your Doctor or your diabetic educator give you instructions for testing? Often the minimum is to test your fasting blood sugar when you first get up and then test two hours after breakfast. Then write down these numbers so your Doctor can see how your meds are working when you return for follow up.
I'm assuming you are relatively recently diagnosed though, so testing is also an opportunity to learn more about your own particular version of this disease. You can test to see how different foods affect your blood sugar (two hours after a meal). This gives you valuable information about what does and doesn't work well for you. You can also test if you think your blood sugar might be low. For me, my initial symptoms of hypoglycemia were very subtle; I would just feel more tired and kind of cranky. Then I would take my blood sugar and it was 48! You need to know what being low feels like for you and if you are low (below 70 to some people, below 60 to others) you need to do something to immediately raise your blood sugar as hypoglycemia can be dangerous. You need to keep glucose tablets with you or drink some OJ or eat fruit. Testing also gives you an idea of what eating schedule you need to be on. If you are going low after five hours from your meal that tells you that you need to eat within that time frame or sooner.
Many people test more often when they are newly diagnosed or change their medication regime. I have been on Insulin for two weeks and am testing constantly because my blood sugar is affected very differently than it was by oral meds. Then, once you get stable and have learned what you need to know about diet and hypoglycemia, then you can go back to the twice daily schedule or whatever your doctor suggests.
What on earth are you taking Gabapentin for?
Generally, for at least a couple of days or weeks, you should take multiple sugar sticks every day until you have a good idea of how the medications are affecting your blood sugar levels.
If your meals are regular, and always the same, at the same time, and in the same quantity, with the same caloric value, there is no reason to subject yourself to expensive blood sticks every day.
(1) The key is to test until you have your sugars under control. This period involves extensive blood sugar readings. Then, you can test once a week, or even once a month, providing you eat exactly the same quantities of food at the same time.
It is my opinion that the recommendations for testing suggest too many blood sticks.
If your sugar is under control, extra sticks are meaningless.
The key words are "under control". You can't vary the meals. You have to have a firm idea of the calories you take in and be consistant in your meal regimin.
You have to pay meticulous attention to what goes in your mouth. And what time it goes into your mouth.
And how much exercise you take.
After a while you should be able to "guess" if you need extra insulin or metforman.
You might think about asking your physician to prescribe a 24 hour insulin (injectable) such as glargine.
I don't think one way is right and one wrong, but caregiver and I seem to have a different approach. For me I would find it utterly crazy-making to eat exactly the same food in the same quantities at the same time. I eat very healthy and maintain my stability but I don't do so with a rigidly controlled diet, but rather a wide variety of foods. So for me the "extra" blood sticks are well worth the cost to give me information about the foods I am eating.
Both my previous diabetic educator and my current doctor require me to test the two times, first thing in the morning and two hours after breakfast. Aside from respecting their advice as professionals I also think regular testing is a way to see patterns and changes. This disease, unfortunately is progressive. If I was testing once a week let alone once a month I would not have seen the gradual but persistent rise that led to me having to begin Insulin. Also, my understanding is that once you do begin Insulin injections it is even more important to test regularly. Everything I've read advises frequent and regular testing.
This is my opinion and my experience, since none of us are doctors all we can do is share what we've learned by reading and by our own experience.
You are absolutely positively right Zoelula.
I am not suggesting "exactly the same meal".
I am suggesting that if you obtain experience with a particuliar meal combination, you pretty much know how your blood sugar is going to react. It also depends upon the stage you are at. If your diabetes is controlled by Metforman, you can see if you have a meal with a certain number of calories, you will or will not have a blood sugar under control.
No matter how appropriate, most diabetics refrain from taking blood sticks. Ideally, you are one-hundred percent right. And your recommendation to test regularly to see patterns is also on the money.
What I was trying to get across is that there are two extremes. One extreme is testing before and after every meal. And in-between. The other is "sampling". A thorough test once a week or once every two weeks.
I am just suggesting, if you maintain portion control, and do moderate exercise of the same kind, and find your blood sugar levels are controlled, you needn't be paranoid about taking sugar levels.
Every time you blood sugar goes out of control there is some damage done. And the damage is cumulative.
That being said, non-compliance with optimal blood sugar testing is the norm, rather than the exception.
My point is that the key to control is consistancy in exercise and the quantity and caloric content of meals, and the time you take those meals. If you find ytour sugar is controlled with a certain quantity of medication and a certain food and exercise regimin, I fail to see the point of excessive blood samples being taken.
The blood sticks are a "means to an end". The disease is progressive, but the progression is not so fast as to have to be monitered every hour of every day.
If your sticks show your blood sugar is under control, you can redeuce the incidence of sampling.
If the sugar levels are not under control, than sampling is indicated until it is under control.
I am certainly NOT suggesting you take your sugar sticks any fewer times than recommended by your physician.