Testing your BG is a normal part of the day for a person with diabetes. But the past 3 days I have been testing my BG twice as much. You see, I have not been satisfied with the readings from my BG meter. I mentioned this to my CDE at our appointment last week and she suggested I try a different one. That’s when my quest in comparing results began.
For all my BG tests since Tuesday evening, I have tested on both my One Touch Ping and the Freestyle Lite meters. Plus using my Dexcom CGM as an added measurement tool. (If we’re friends on Facebook, you’ve most likely seen my pictures) Now I am in no way trying to give any company a bad name or promote another. I am sharing my own personal experience with my own BG results. And looking for the accuracy that I (we all) desperately need to manage our diabetes effectively. But I have to admit, I’m not a happy camper.
Every single result from the One Touch meter has been lower than the Freestyle. And sometimes by a lot. Like 89 mg/dL vs. 169. Or 116 mg/dL vs. 261. I took the average of all the readings from the past 3 days from both meters. (Yes I’m keeping a spreadsheet logging all this information. And yes you may call me a nerd ;)) With those averages, I calculated the a1c equivalents for each. The difference? 1.1% A whole percent! The Ping meter warranted a 5.6 a1c while the Lite meter a 6.7. Rewind to 4 1/2 years ago when I first started pumping. Those first pre-CGM years, I saw an improvement in my BGs. But I would leave my endo appointments in tears, not understanding why my a1c wouldn’t budge below say 7.8ish even though according to my BG averages, it should have been lower than that. Well I think I may have found the answer. If my meter is giving me readings that are too low, of course it’s not going to tie into my a1c.
I did the recommended control solution test for the Ping and naturally it was within the normal range. That’s when I called One Touch. I troubleshooted with the CS rep, giving him my discrepancies in readings between meters. I also gave him six back to back readings from the Ping that were over the 20% threshold. Just from the past 2-3 weeks. They are sending me a new meter. And while I do appreciate this, I am not too convinced it will solve the issue.
Then my friend Faye, left a link to this article on my Facebook page: Are glucose meters providing false sense of security? I had heard about the patient losing her life because of the hospital erroneously giving her too much insulin. But now to hear that it could have been prevented just by using a glucose meter that is accurate? That makes me feel so many different emotions it’s impossible to put into words.
I plan to continue my thorough comparison of BG results for a bit longer, especially with the replaced Ping meter. At my next blood drawing I am going to test at the same time with both meters as well. Then I will decide if making a switch is called for. I know no glucose meter I use is going to be 100% accurate. The FDA needs to work on that. Pronto. But I shouldn’t have to test my BG two or three different times each moment that I’m testing to get something near accurate.
If anyone from One Touch happens to be reading this, please don’t hate me. And if anyone from the FDA happens to be reading this, listen up. I want you all to know this so that you can keep the diabetes community safe and offer better, more accurate products for us. Our lives depend on it.