I’m feeling a little discouraged right now, honestly. I’ve tried three blood glucose meters so far: One Touch Delica, Accu-Check (I can’t tell you which one, because the battery died in about six months and it’s in a box somewhere), and One Touch Verio Flex.
I tested the One Touch Delica several times against the test they did at the lab, testing my blood right before I went in, recording it, then comparing it to the result I got when that came in. One time, the lab tech even let me test it right from where he drew the blood in my arm. The consistent result there was that my meter read about 23 points higher than my actual lab tests. Not ideal, but I could subtract about 20 points from my readings and have a good idea where I stood.
Then I got the Accu-check – and I would test with both, out of curiosity. Sure enough, the Delica read about 20 points higher than the Accu-check. I would alternate which I tested with, occasionally testing with both until the Accu-check battery died. I wasn’t willing to go through the hassle or expense of replacing the battery – especially not after I got an email from them (that I admittedly don’t remember clearly) that said something along the lines of, yeah, we have this issue with batteries dying, but you still have to pay to have it fixed. No. Thanks. I was actually mad, because my Delica was still going strong after a year of consistent use (and still is after 3 years, although I think they’ve discontinued that line, which is why my doctor prescribed the Verio Flex) – and I’d only used the Accu-chek intermittently for a few months. I hadn’t even gone through a whole container of strips! At any rate, I didn’t throw it away because I still had lots of testing strips, but I did store the Accu-chek away and don’t use that one.
I thought I was happy with the Verio Flex. It seemed to read about 20 points lower than the Delica the couple of times I did a comparison, so I was thinking it was fairly accurate … until the other day, I questioned my reading, so took another one. There was a significant difference, so I took another. In all, I took six readings and got five different results, ranging from 117 to 144. It read 130 twice. Now, I understand that they have a variability, but now that I know how far the readings can swing, I’m questioning how valuable it is to even use the meter to monitor my blood sugar. When I was so upset that morning a few weeks ago when it read 145 … what if it had read 120? How would I have felt then?
I’ll tell you how I would have felt: relieved it wasn’t higher. Not as semi-panicking as I was in seeing the 145. And while I would have continued to pay attention to my choices (because I legit wasn’t feeling very well – tired and nauseous), I would have had a very different reaction than the one I had. What if I were tired and nauseous for a different reason than my blood sugar? What if, for example, I just needed to take some digestive enzymes with my meals, particularly when I eat certain foods? Or not go to bed so close to after dinner? Or, who knows? I saw that number and automatically semi-freaked out, attributed how I was feeling to my blood sugar “going out of control” – and what if that number wasn’t even accurate?
Yesterday, I had chicken nachos for lunch. I wanted to see the impact of eating corn chips on my blood sugar, so I measured two hours after eating. My first reading was 140. I was like, that’s great! This isn’t a problem! But I thought I’d double check. My next reading was 172. Not so great. Then 200, 181, 182. Not so good at all. Maybe I should stay away from nachos/corn chips as a general rule? (Not that I’ll never have them, just not so often). Problem is, I don’t know which of those numbers is accurate – but not only that – I don’t know how accurate any of the single shot readings I’ve been recording are. A 60 point spread is an enormous difference! ENORMOUS! I feel like all of my data since I’ve been using this meter is questionable now.
I think I may back off a bit from testing so regularly – and just pay attention to how I’m feeling. I know that high blood sugar doesn’t always have symptoms and that I won’t necessarily be able to feel it, but I also have the basics down of what I need to do to control my blood sugar – and I can keep (mostly) doing those things and monitor how I’m feeling. I’ll test weekly or maybe a couple of times a week rather than daily or multiple times daily. I know if I feel tired or nauseous or if I have to urinate more frequently that I need to pay closer attention and maybe be more careful. I’m bummed to not have as much confidence in the meters as I once had, but also feel like maybe it’s more important for me to be in tune with my body anyway. Ideally, I’d be able to do both.
Anybody out there have suggestions? What meter do you use? Have you double-checked, triple-checked, etc.? Have you measured it against lab results? Any companies out there want me to test your product?
Disclaimer: Please be advised that I am not a medical professional nor a dietician. This site is not in any way, shape, or form providing any sort of diagnosis, advice, cures, or recommendations for medical or dietary treatments. I am simply sharing my own journey and experiences. Nothing I say is intended to replace proper medical care.