Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Meters: Accuracy And Choice.

Unfortunately, I had to miss this week's Our Diabetes tweet chat due to District Meeting with Girlguiding, and the topic was "Meters: Accuracy and Choice", which is such a good topic! This week, it was hosted by Louise after she wrote a blog post earlier this month titled "Ready, steady, go prick your fingers! (In the name of research)". Seeing as I couldn't take part in the chat, I'm going to answer the questions on here, as it really is a big topic within the DOC right now. That, and you need far more many characters than the stipulated 140 on Twitter!

(N.B. I am not being paid to endorse any of the brands/companies/apps etc mentioned within this post!)

Image taken from Google Images.
1. What do you like about your meter?

I use an Accu-Chek Aviva Expert, and I like it, I do, but I'm a One Touch girl, and I really, really loved the One Touch meters I've had in the past. The reason I have the Expert is because of the 'bolus advice' function it has built in - it is such a useful function that I use constantly. And I can programme it to increase my insulin by x% on sick days or decrease it on days I go to the gym meaning I don't have to do the math! Awesome! Come on, One Touch! Bring out a meter that does the same thing!

2. How often do you check your blood glucose levels?

There are so many variables to this question. Standard day, probably 7 times. On a day I go to the gym, however, more. Sick days, more. And on days I'm working at school and then have Brownies, even more! It really does depend on what I'm doing and how I'm feeling!

3. How do you record your blood glucose levels?

On my meter - the Expert allows you to log insulin doses as well as saves your blood glucose tests. There are a lot of apps around too to log information. My favourite at present is mySugr.

4. Do you trust your glucose meter to give you accurate results?

This is a hard question. Before I moved to the Expert meter, I'd only ever had One Touch meters, so when changing to the Accu-Chek, I did double-check readings on my 'old' One Touch (when you use something day-in-day-out, you get attached!) and they were fairly similar, so I never really questioned it further. Not sure why I trusted my One Touch so much though? It was just the first meter I was given, and when you're newly diagnosed I guess you do just trust that it will give you the right readings!

5. Are testing strips freely available for your chosen meter?

I've recently had problems with getting test strips on prescription, but I'm one of the lucky ones who had the issue resolved quickly. But there are others that are still struggling. The way I see it, test strips are cheaper than having to fund treatments for poorly controlled diabetes. Test strips are integral to diabetes management, but by reducing the amount we can have, you're reducing the number of times we can check our blood glucose to then make decisions regarding insulin dosing and food, which can cause problems in the long run. No brainer if you ask me!

6. Does checking your blood glucose levels have an affect on your attitude towards your diabetes?

Yes, I think it does. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I enjoy checking my blood glucose levels. I don't like pricking my finger countless times a day to get blood. But I like to know where I'm at. Knowing my glucose level makes me feel "safe": it helps me to make decisions that then allow me to get to where I want to go...if that makes any sense?!

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