All of us in the trucking industry as drivers know what a Pre Trip and Post Trip are and why we do them, at least I hope you know and I hope you do them. Not only are we required by DOT to perform the task we know that it is to our benefit to do so. As a driver I don't want to get caught off guard by something that I could have prevented. We all know that even though we do our best there are times it is beyond our control and yes things happen. Because of the cost involved of being broke down on the road and having to be towed or having a service truck come out, we as an owner operator try to keep up with the maintenance to keep the cost of repairs down. Not only the cost of repairs but the downtime of being in a shop can hurt, whether a company driver or owner operator.
When it comes to Diabetes we also have a Pre Trip and Post Trip, a Pre Prandial and Post Prandial or a Pre Meal and Post Meal. A Pre Prandial and Post Prandrial test, checking your blood sugar before meals and after meals, is extremely important to your Diabetes care as doing a Pre Trip and Post Trip on the truck and trailer.
The ACE/AACE (American College of Endocrinology/American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist) guidelines are as follows:
Fasting Blood Sugar 70 mg/dl - 100 mg/dl
Before Meals 70 mg/dl - 100 mg/dl
After Meals 140 mg/dl or less at 1 to 2 hours
These guidelines are for your benefit not your Doctors. This is where your blood sugar levels should be. Are they going to be in this range 100% of the time? NO. If you are newly diagnosed your blood sugar levels probably will not be but this is the goal for you and every person with diabetes. A goal that should be achieved sooner rather than later.
This is why checking your blood sugars is so important on a daily basis. By testing your blood sugar before and after meals you can see if your carbohydrate count for that meal needs to be adjusted. You have been told you can do 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal, but when you test you are over the 140 mark. So you reduce down to 45 and now you see that this made a difference in your post meal testing bringing you down to 135 after each meal. It may be that absolutely nothing you are doing is making a difference. You keep track of your foods, carbohydrates, exercise and blood sugar levels take to your Doctor's appointment and this will help your Doctor to see where you need help and can adjust your medications accordingly or your diet.
The whole idea of doing a Pre Trip and a Post Trip with our trucks and trailers is to identify and repair before it turns into something major or causes a hazard to others on the road. The same is true by doing a Pre-Prandial (Pre Meal) or a Post Prandial (Post Meal).
I have heard every excuse out there. Most of you don't test because you don't want to know what your blood sugar is. It is easier for you to eat what you want when you want. Testing can be very expensive when you don't have insurance or your insurance won't allow for very many test strips. Now Walmart has a meter the Prime Meter that the test strips are $9.00 for a count of a 100. No more excuses. Most of you shop at Walmart and most Walmart stores have truck parking. No more excuses.
Make testing a part of your daily routine. If you need a reminder, tape a message on your log book or Qualcomm. Set daily reminders on your phone. Have an accountability partner that will remind you and check in with you daily. Please do not ignore your Diabetes nor your blood sugar levels. You will only have regrets in the future.
Testing can be cumbersome and bothersome at times, but it is worth it. I have been testing my blood sugar for over 25 years now. I always use my fingers on my left hand, since I am right handed. I test everyday, 10 - 12 times a day.
If you test now and use this tool to help you manage your Diabetes by keeping your blood sugar levels in check, will the end result not be worth it ? By keeping your blood sugar levels within range now, in the future you can look back and be thankful you did. Take the time and money to take care of yourself NOW. You reduce the risk of complications greatly if you do.
I will tell you that when my blood sugar levels are within range I feel great. I don't like to be tired, I don't like to feel bad, especially when I am driving. There are definitely more benefits to taking care of yourself. The better you feel and the more alert you are, the safer you are.
Not only should you do this for you but also for your loved ones. As a truck driver it is your job to get from point A to point B in a timely and safe manner. If you ignore your diabetes and your blood sugar levels how can you be safe and alert on the road?
Each day you do a Pre Trip and Post Trip. Each meal do a Pre Meal and Post Meal. Make it a part of your daily routine.
Wishing you a healthy and safe future.
American Truck Drivers Diabetes Association, Inc.