Gripes About Glucose Meters.
I would like to register to a complaint.
Twice in the last few days I have had questionable results on my glucose meter. While this isn’t the first time that this has happened, and I know quite a few people in the community have lodged their concerns about the accuracy of glucose monitoring, I would like to add these two anecdotes to the books.
This past Sunday I woke up very, very late (as in, past noon) and eating in the morning isn’t something I typically do on the weekend. Usually I wake up around 11:30 and I’ll just wait a couple of hours until lunchtime and eat then. Sometimes I’ll even go longer and just eat an early dinner if I have a lot of errands to run and my blood sugar is steady. However, on this particular morning, I awoke with an 89 mg/dl (or something like that). It was a little too low to just forgo eating altogether, but I wasn’t that hungry and wasn’t sure what I wanted. I had a bag of chips left over from Panera, so I snacked on that for awhile before heading out to run my errands. I didn’t bolus for this bag of chips, but it was small, coming in at only 19 grams of carbs. I thought perhaps I might go a little higher than ideal, but I also didn’t want to take insulin and then go low while I was driving. I thought I was being smart.
Well, 3:30 p.m. rolls around and I’m starving. As in, I can’t go one more minute without shoving something in my face. I was about to go grocery shopping, and you know what they say about grocery shopping on an empty stomach (anyone seen those Mastercard commercials? Not pretty). So, being the bad diabetic (and WW participant), I went to Burger King. It was was close, it was convenient and it was cheap, especially important when the oil companies are sucking my wallet dry.
I sat down with my food and brought out the trusty Lifescan Ultra (the Keynote was out of strips so I grabbed the other meter before leaving). Whipped out the lancet, pricked my finger and five seconds later…
Okay, now, I know I didn’t bolus for my chips. I realize that may not have been a smart move. But I know carbohydrates pretty well after almost fifteen years of tracking my blood sugar and there is no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks that 19 grams of carbs would take me from 89 mg/dl to 484 mg/dl. No way.
In complete disbelief, I tested again.
Sigh. Now that’s more like it.
Seriously, now, what the hell was that 484? I clearly was not 484, as I would have been gulping down the Diet Coke like I was in the Mojave Dessert. How does something like this happen? I understand there being some degree of variance in blood sugar meters (I understand it, I don’t like it one bit, but I understand it), but this was a difference of two hundred and sixty-six points!
I’ve even noticed meters that register me higher than I feel when I know I’m low. When I can clearly feel it. Trust me, I am not the least bit hypounaware ( ::knock on wood, toss salt over the shoulder, spin around three times, spit:: ).
You know, these fancy gizmos like continuous glucose monitors and wireless insulin pumps and laser finger pokers are great, but I could really go for a glucose meter that did its job right.