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I See Blood Sugars

AUGUST 19,2011

I See Blood Sugars

Math and I are not close friends.  As an English major, I’m much more comfortable with the written word than those pesky numbers.  (Which is why diabetes is such a cruel joke at times, requiring so much math from me!)

I’ve been living with diabetes for just about 25 years, and for the last quarter-century, I’ve been testing my blood sugar every single day.  Most often, I test about nine times a day, capping out 20 times per day when I was pregnant.  Numbers are a big part of my life, whether I like it or not. 

I see blood sugars everywhere.  Any mention of a number makes me go into a diabetes version of The Sixth Sense mode.  Here’s what I mean:  

When the massive heat wave hit New England earlier this summer, I’d hear of people talking about temperatures of 106 and 118 Fahrenheit and my diabetes nerd brain would automatically think, “Blood sugar.”  Same for when the lady at the coffee shop tells me my total is “Two thirty six.”  (Nerd brain thinks:  “Bolus that one down.”)  And same when I see birthday party invitations for my uncle:  “Celebrate his 45th birthday!”  (Nerd brain:  “I will bring you juice for your birthday, Uncle Brian.”)

Temperatures are usually in range or hypoglycemic.  The full price of anything at the grocery store is often in the diabetic ketoacidosis range.  The digital clock in our bedroom is all over the map (333?  102?  1209 – holy cow!).  Things get tangled in my brain, though, as I mentally categorize numbers.  It’s like a knee-jerk reaction, despite my attempts to control it.  Numbers that have nothing to do with diabetes suddenly become part of a global and bizarre A1C level.   I can’t help it – this thought process takes place at least a dozen times a day. 

It’s gotten to the point where, on road trips, my husband and I call exit signs as “Juice” or “No Juice,” depending on their exit numbers. 

Posted by Kerri Morone Sparling at 11:30 AM  |  Permalink  |  Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to RSS feed

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Meet Kerri Sparling

Kerri Sparling

Passions: Diabetes advocacy, social media, health 2.0, the Red Sox, books, cats


Daily mantra: “Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me.”

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1986 when she was six years old, Kerri gets her diabetes game on every day.
One of today’s most passionate advocates for diabetes awareness, Kerri is the author and creator of  “Six Until Me” one of the first and most widely read diabetes blogs, read by patients, medical professionals and those living with chronic illness. Her blog has been spotlighted on WebMD, The Lancet, AOL, US News and World Report and CNBC.  A firm believer in the power of social media to promote diabetes awareness, she is a popular speaker at new media conferences nationwide.

But there’s a LOT more to Kerri than the “diabetes stuff.”  Besides being a natural-born communicator, she’s also a new mom to her baby daughter (BSparl), photographer (passionate dabbler), book club leader (avid reader of other people’s dog-eared favorites) and cat lover (big time!).  She roots for the Red Sox (there ARE no other teams), is married to a “brilliant man” (her words) and does cardio and resistance training five days a week (really!).  A  self-confessed coffee “addict,” Kerri appreciates her coffee more now after taking nine months of pregnancy off from caffeine.  Decaf or not, Kerri’s living proof that diabetes doesn’t have to slow you down.

Kerri Sparling is sponsored by Animas and is a paid contributor to

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