This article was in The Washington Post several days ago but I just stumbled across it. Don’t know if she will be at the Joslin meeting!
PS - who hear remembers having to boil urine? I think the “technology” had advanced a bit by the time I got a Clinitest kit😀.
The clinitest tablet still counts as boiling urine. The tablet contained copper sulfate (the color detection system) and lye and citric acid which would heat (boil) the urine when it dissolved. Totally cool bit of chemistry there, but a terrible tool for “controlling “ blood sugar.
I’m recalling the “chemistry set” in my bathroom - it was a wooden holder with holes for a few test tubes. I’m sure it would be considered hazardous today and definitely to be kept out of reach of children (I think I tested my own urine at the time and may have handled the tablets with my bare hands!).
Glad to hear you did not actually have to put the urine on the stove to boil it - that’s a relief! It was bad enough when we had to do the 24 how urine catch, and keep the collection chilled in the fridge:rofl:)!
Certainly, I boiled the urine / water mixture, both at home with Clinitest and in a “pot” when in hospital. The “chemistry set” I used at home with Clinitest when I was young wasn’t anything fancy - just an eyedropper leftover from drugest eye-drops, a test tube that was lying about and a small cup.
Interesting, just yesterday during a diabetes coaching session I was conducting, the mention of urine-testing came up when discussing low BG awareness. I explained that the “desired color” for urine test is Blue, which meant that blood sugar could be anywhere from 0 mg/dl to 130 mg/dl; we were talking of the necessity to train ourselves to be constantly aware of our own body.
Catching samples was always easier for guys than gals. My mother commandered the mixing bowl that came with my Easy Bake Oven for the purpose.
When I had to do 24 hour urine catches for my annual kidney function test ages ago I realized one of those would have come in handy, but as far as I’m concerned tools used in the kitchen or bathroom should never switch places so I made due as best I could:wink:.
I was in a doctor’s office one time when a woman was given a collection bottle as she was checking out. You should have seen the look on her face as they told her what it was for!
Alas, as is often the case - like the great philosopher Sophia Petrillo, I digress; so let me stop this madness now. I hope our newer Type1 friends have enjoyed a little history, even if they have to Google it to see what the heck we’re taking about .
@wadawabbit Dorie - Thank you for sharing that article! This is amazing considering insulin was discovered in 1921 and she was diagnosed just 20 years later. It’s always good to get a bit of that long perspective. Found this cool video about the test with the tablets and boiling urine: Testing for Diabetes, 1950's - Film 6415 - YouTube – Sheesh! It looks like it took forever!
@Juggernautical - isn’t it though! I was diagnosed in 1963 and used pork insulin until I got to college. Don’t groan, but in college people starting talking about how pork is one of the foods that is considered Biblically unclean) and I stopped eating it and switched to beef insulin. Both were long-acting and there was nothing to take as a bolus for meals, so I took a shot in the morning and that was it. I was first introduced to the new find of multiple daily injections shortly after college, adding on Regular insulin and an evening injection of beef. By then I’d had diabetes for nearly 20 years, and “measured” my control by testing my urine in the mornings (and not even regularly!).
I thought it was amazing how well we long-timers did but this lady tops us!
I can only imagine being active helped. Diagnosed at age 3 I was your typically rambunctious toddler, and child; an active teen and young person. I know people of that description are diagnosed now and their experience until insulin starts working is very different. But our bodies now are subject to much more than they were in the past - decline in health from generation to generation; exposure to chemicals we are not always aware of; environmental influences. Maybe in the past some of us had a longer honeymoon period (much longer) and fewer outside factors, perhaps combined with good genes.
I’m no scientist (just ask my teachers!) so I’m just spouting theories here. I would love to know what her “secret” truly was!
I remember using the kit to drop the tablet in the urine and compare the colors. And, having to go once prior and then test within 30 minutes with fresh urine.
Yes, that is what I thought of it as, a chemistry set. Mine were plastic containers with a tube holder, the tablets, and a dropper to get the 10 drops of water and 5 drops of urine. I don’t think I ever touched the tablets, but dumped it in the test tube from the tablet container.
I thought the average BG for the urine test to no be blue was anything below 180, not 130. I knew at the time it was not great at indicating blood sugars. Mine were always blue.
@ksannie, when young, and for my first 10 years, my results were NOT blue very often.
The point where the test results would be blue was when sugar was not present in the urine and that is governed by an individual’s renal threshold - the point where the kidneys would filter sugar from the blood. The renal threshold varies from person to person.
I remember being told to test my urine twice a day… I actually did regularly for at least a week or 2. Rarely blue though. Then came the dipsticks with a patch for glucose and a patch for ketones. Much more convenient but still didn’t get used as much (by me) as they were supposed to. Even the first home blood sugar machine (glucometer I think) was inconvenient enough that it didn’t get used too often. You had to put a drop of blood on a strip start a timer wait either 1 or 2 minutes (don’t remember) wash it off with water blot dry and place in machine. Things are definitely different today
I remember a device at summer camp when I was young. It wasn’t portable - you had to use it on a tabletop - but it was used to test your blood sugar. High tech at the time and campers were fascinated - we would get in line to have our finger pricked, then wait several minutes for the result. You definitely wanted to be at the front of the line…
As I recall the first home meters came out in the early 80s - at least that’s when I got mine - even though the pharmacist tried to dissuade me from getting one, saying it was too technical for non-professionals🤨! Somehow we managed - blotting and wiping a large drop of blood, and counting down. How times have changed!