Category Archives: BG Meters

Changes.

Almost two weeks ago,¬†I posted about BG meter accuracy issues I’ve been having.¬† I received the¬†new replacement¬†meter from One Touch as promised, last Tuesday, and I¬†continued my comparison between the Ping and the Freestyle Lite.¬† Unfortunately with the same results.¬†¬†On average, the Ping was 19% lower in readings, sometimes much more than that.¬† Now I know what you’re¬†thinking –¬†the FDA has a standard of meter accuracy within 20%¬†and that difference is within that standard.¬† So maybe technically there is nothing “wrong” with the Ping meter.¬† However I am not comfortable with that big of a difference.¬† Just yesterday my first reading on the Ping read 101 mg/dL.¬† Since my Dexcom read higher than that (and I’ve run out of Lite strips) I retested.¬† This time it read 185 mg/dL, more in line with the Dexcom.¬† That’s a 45% difference!¬† Like I mentioned in my last post, that¬†19% variance is¬†equivalent to¬†one whole a1c percent!¬† That is huge.¬† And I truly believe that it has lead to some disconnect I’ve had between what I thought my BG readings¬†are and what my a1c¬†is.¬†

I’ve made the decision to switch from the One Touch¬†meter to the Freestyle Lite.¬† It’s not a decision I was happy to¬†make actually.¬† I’ve depended on One Touch for¬†quite some time¬†and am sorry that¬†their product wasn’t more reliable for me.¬†¬†And I’m not saying it’s a bad product either.¬† My conclusion was strictly made on my own personal experience.¬† I am thankful to have the knowledge and resources available in order to make this decision that is so imperative to my health.¬† Part of my reason for sharing this story is to inform others who may not be aware that things like this can happen.¬† Most importantly, the FDA seriously needs to work on improving that 20%¬†accuracy standard.¬† And ASAP.¬† Our¬†BG readings are nothing to mess with.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

And a thank you to Edgepark for being so accomodating in getting my strips exchanged.

Accuracy.

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.

The Hype.

It seems that the latest hype in the diabetes community is the announcement of the Animas Vibe insulin pump that was announced as receiving European CE Mark approval last week.  I have to admit that like so many others, I am very excited about this.  Being both an Animas pump and Dexcom user, of course I will be happy when the two become integrated.  I took a stab quite a while back at the Medtronic integrated CGMS when it was the Paradigm.  Unfortunately it did not provide accurate results or comfort for me.  But I did really like that the pump and sensors fed the same device.

From the information I’ve gathered, this won’t be available in the US until late this year or next.¬† I am very disappointed about this.¬† While I appreciate the process of ensuring medical devices are safe for consumers here in the states, I find it frustrating that they hold up the availability of such devices that would improve the management of blood glucose for those living with diabetes. If it’s safe enough for those living in Europe, what makes the citizens of US different?

There was also a new meter introduced by Animas Canada recently.  I found this out from fellow D Momma, Sherry.

It looks very similar to the Ping meter that’s in use in the US today except the screen is color, just like the pump.¬† That’s pretty cool isn’t it? ūüėČ Now if there isn’t much change to the meter, why would the FDA be holding this up too?¬† I’ve heard that when the Vibe comes to the US it will not have the “Ping” feature meaning that you will not be able to bolus from the meter.¬† Does that mean the new color screen meter will not be coming with the pump?¬† Will Animas US offer the new meter before the Vibe?¬† I’d love to not have to guess the answers to these questions that I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering about.¬† Come on already FDA!

(note: the pictures are all courtesy of Animas and their Vibe press release)

Snapshots.

Diabetes Blog Week is almost over!  Day 6 = Today is the only day I’ve brought back a fun topic from last year.  Inspired by the Diabetes 365 project, let’s snap a few more d-related pictures and share them again.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Be creative!  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures.  Or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

I like taking pictures.¬† Generally speaking.¬† So when I had to share some snapshots of diabetes, I was all for it! ūüėȬ† Here are some more recent pictures that I’ve taken that depicts life with diabetes.¬† And please don’t mind if they’re not of the best quality pictures … most (if not all) of these were taken with my iPhone.

This one is of my nightstand.  It always has my meter, flashlight and juice box there for the overnight BG checks and lows. (note from the photographer: my juice boxes are always Juicy Juice but I ran out last week and had to make an emergency run and they only had Apple & Eve.  Not that it really matters, really.)

This is all of my diabetes supplies.  Yes I have A LOT.  Luckily in our new(ish) place, they fit nicely in the corner of the bedroom, out of the way.

This is a good day.

This is what unclear looks like.

This is what scary looks like.

And this is a matching moment. I love these.


Wow have times changed.

For those of us who have been living with diabetes for a long time, we know how much things have changed in regard to its treatment.¬† I was diagnosed in 1981 when things were quite, quite different.¬† At the very beginning,¬† I didn’t test my blood glucose.¬† At all. And it wasn’t because I was being “non compliant”, it was because we didn’t have a glucose meter. ¬†¬† The method of testing glucose levels at that time was with urine.¬† I also didn’t take multiple daily injections throughout the day.¬† It was probably one or two, split up between morning and evening.¬† And as much as we know that things are not like that anymore, I came across something recently that reminded me of just that.¬† My mother came across this book that they had gotten for me, pretty soon after diagnosis.

It’s a workbook explaining diabetes in terms that are understandable to a child.¬† There were some fill in the blanks/Q & A’s¬†that I had completed, God knows when, that was interesting to see.¬† But what really blew me away was reading this:

“Most persons with diabetes should attempt to get values in the range of 10%“.¬† WHAT??!?¬† Did I read that correctly?¬† The advice to people with diabetes was to aim for an average blood sugar of around 240?!¬† So all those years when my a1c was exactly that, around 10%, I was considered doing good? I assume that the different guidelines for controlling diabetes today, came from research.¬† And more of it.¬† And the advanced technology introduced from said research.¬† But to see this in writing, even so many years after my father’s generation of those living with diabetes,¬†astounds me.¬† No wonder diabetes was once seen as a death sentence.¬† No wonder complications were inevitable.¬† No wonder the quality of life for living with diabetes was left to be desired.¬† I have to say that I am glad I am in the time now where the aim of a1c is 7% or lower.¬† I am glad I am in the time where I have the ability to monitor my glucose levels continuously with the help of a monitor.¬† I am glad I am in the time where I can control my insulin delivery more easily with an insulin pump.¬† And the times of diabetes are going to contiunue to change.¬† And for that, I’m very thankful.