I’ve always been a bit of a numbers nerd. I actually find maths quite beautiful – there are patterns to be found and I love how there is a solution to be found. I also love how we apply maths to many everyday activities. It’s something that I have revisited in the last few years with the kidlet, who unfortunately hasn’t inherited my love of maths. She’s actually really quite good at it all, but is clearly more drawn towards literary things rather than the numerical.
I learnt my times table as a kid and have never forgotten them, and it is possibly one of the reasons that I have never found the maths that comes with diabetes particularly bothersome.
However, today, I realised that whilst I know up to my 12 times tables without batting so much as an eyelid, I am lousy at my 18s. I can get up to 18 x 5 and then I need to start using an abacus or my fingers and toes to count. Or a calculator.
But I really need to learn them!
Why? Because today, this is happening:
Yes, my Apple Watch is finally doing what it was intended for. (By me. Probably not by the clever folk at Apple who invented it. I’m sure that their thought process was not exclusively ‘Let’s make this a tool for people with diabetes to see what their glucose levels are doing.’)
Anyway, I spent some time yesterday morning with a couple of very clever blokes, one of whom is possibly the smartest techy person I have ever met, and within the time it took to drink a couple of coffees, he had hooked me, and my Apple Watch, up to the US Dexcom app.
Of course, being an app for the US market, it is reading in mg/dL, instead of the far cuter sounding mmol/l so my head is slightly being done in when I look at it and see numbers that, in a diabetes sense, make no sense. Right now, I am at 91 and I know that I am fine, but I feel like I should be panicking and doing something. Anything!
I have no idea when the app will be launched in Australia – hopefully it will be very soon. But in the meantime, I am simply going to have to learn my 18 times tables. Which is probably going to be all okay until I am low and then I can’t even remember what one plus one equals. Actually, this could be a disaster!
The way that we manage diabetes is certainly changing. Wearable tech means that our diabetes management tools are integrated into our…well…living life tools. At the moment, I can check my glucose levels, my heart rate and see how many steps I have done for the day all on my watch.
Is this a good or a bad thing? Well, for me, I want my diabetes management to be as smooth sailing as possible and as unobtrusive as possible. Being able to quickly and quietly see how my glucose is tracking by simply looking at my wrist is brilliant. I love it! Integrating diabetes into life is wonderful and having to cart around fewer devices is a huge win as far as I am concerned!
While I have never had a problem ‘doing diabetes’ wherever I am, not everyone is comfortable pricking their fingers and drawing blood, or injecting themselves while there are others around. Perhaps they have been made to feel uncomfortable by others around them, or perhaps they feel self-conscious.
For those people, having discreet tools available – tools that are built into everyday technology such as phones and watches – may mean that the ease with which they are able to go about their diabetes tasks equals more doing of those tasks.
So, today, I am happily checking my watch every now and then to see how I am tracking and marvelling at the simplicity of it all. If only I didn’t need to be some sort of maths genius to interpret the number!