Some might find it interesting, but there is a wad of dollar bills carefully tucked into the outside pocket of the pouch I use as my meter case. Each dollar represents a time I did a finger stick and my blood sugar was an even 100. I don’t remember exactly where or when I came across the notion of getting $1 for each 100, but I know I heard about it somewhere in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) several years ago. I told my husband Pete about it, and he agreed to play along with the game.
The rules are very simple. Each time my meter flashes 100, Pete gives me a dollar. He always makes me show it to him, and if he isn’t with me when I get the 100 I need to either show him my meter history or a picture with the time and date as proof. (Nope, he never just takes my word for it. I’m not sure why.) A 99 doesn’t count, and neither does a 101. He also won’t give me $2 if my blood sugar is 200. (I asked once but he shot that down quickly!) And a 100 on my Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) graph doesn’t get me anything either. The 100 has to be on a finger stick. (But when I see my CGM number nearing 100 I am more likely to check my sugar in hopes of earning another dollar!)
I suppose one could argue that “rewarding” a “good blood sugar” isn’t the right thing to do. And I would agree with that. I try hard not to look at blood sugar numbers as good or bad, but rather as information to help guide my diabetes management. But for us, the $1 for 100 is just a silly little game we play. I’ve earned $34 over the years, and I think Pete is a little bit sorry he agreed to play along. He tends to mutter a mild curse under his breath every time another 100 springs up. And I do the same when I see a 99 or a 101 – so close but yet so far. I don’t think either of us see the $1 as a big reward or a huge motivation. If that were the aim, I would be lobbying for $100 for each 100! Instead, our game is just a fun diversion from the drudgery of diabetes and from the negative emotions that the numbers on the meter sometimes bring me. That fun grows each time a friend of mine posts a picture of their 100 on my Facebook wall. We laugh that Pete owes them each a dollar! He has yet to pay up to anyone besides me, but I suppose that is his right.
I guess a day will come when we’ll need to end our $1 game. As diabetes technology advances those 100s on a meter might become less and less rare. But for now, I’ll giggle and claim those dollars for as long as I can. I’ll tuck them in my meter case and maybe some day I’ll spend them on something special.