I was thrilled to be a part of walk for a cure this past Sunday at Chermside, Brisbane.
The walk of course had sponsor tents set up. I managed to bag quite a few free things: 1 Medtronic drink bottle, 1 Johnson & Johnson drink bottle, coloring & activity books with Lenny the Lion (Yup! Giant kid at heart), Lenny the Lion masks, briiiiight orange Medtronic shirt, Accu-chek cap (which I happily used on the walk!), mini tick-tacks, lollies, water, a squishy purple stress-ball pump and my favourite of the day: A NEW meter! WITH TEST STRIPS!!!
Obviously this prompted me to revisit exactly how many meters I have now amassed in my short career as a diabetic. The answer was 10, although 3 of these are double-ups. 10 free meters. (Hint: never pay for a meter. There is always a way to get it for free).
I present to you in high definition colour*:
The history of my meters: A comparative tale.
My 1st ever meter was the Johnson & Johnson One Touch Verio Standard. 1st meter so naturally I got quite attached. It had no special features really. It had a very dark screen that would light up to a funny green shade if you pushed a certain button for a supremely long time. I have no idea what button that is anymore. Somewhere along the line I managed to collect a 2nd one of these meters, which has never even been turned on.
Ok, I did tell a lie earlier about never purchasing a meter. I did purchase this meter, and with no intention of ever using it. I bought it on a full-cash back sale exclusively for the lancing device. It was the Accu-Chek Performa Nano. Looking at its tiny little body, it looks like it would be great for when I walog. But it takes coding, so I dead-set refuse to use it. Too inconvenient. Therefore I have turned it on once or twice to use up the free strips that came with it (rule of D life #1: Never ever waste a test-strip).
The Freestyle Exceed. I was given this by my DE on my 1st visit. She thought I was cray cray for still dip-sticking it when I wanted to go ketone hunting. Hence: New meter in my hands. Its great that it does ketones. I would recommend every T1D to keep one at hand just for this function. In terms of glucose testing, its not for me. The testing strips are all individually wrapped, creating a lot of waste. It also takes a ridiculous sample size (although nothing compared to the ketone strip sample size). Last but not least I have taken several side by sides of all my meters, and it consistently shows up as being the lowest reading meter (which some people like). On the plus side, its really pretty.
Basic meter, but it does Ketones, which no other meter does.
When I was started on my pump, it was a requirement that I get the Bayer Contour link so I could have my meter 'talk' to my pump. So I ordered several thousand boxes of strips (as you do) to set it up with. I hated it. To put it bluntly. My DE loved it. Ok, I liked the fact it talked to my pump. But I was used to a high-reading meter, and this b*tch kept telling me I was low. All. The. Time. I got fat from this meter constantly treating non-existent hypos. So I scrapped it after a few months worth of use, much to the dismay of my DE, who still tries vehemently to convince me to use it as I never bother to input my readings into my pump. For those who use CGM, I believe it works brilliantly for that as that seems to be what the CGM likes to calibrate to the most. The other downside to the Bayer as well is that pharmacists do not stock the strips so you have to be pretty on the ball with ordering ahead of time.
3.4 on the left - I got hypo numbers very frequenlty with the Contour Link, but never seemed to feel them. 10.0 on the right - this was the highest number I could find in the meter memory. Screen is good with big, easy to read numbers.
5th Meter (and current Meter):
I am now back to my faithful One Touch Verio, compliments of Johnson & Johnson. However now I am using the upgraded version, the One Touch Verio IQ. IQ because its smart and awesome. (Can we tell I am biased?). It reads high, which I love - but this may be a downside for other users who like lower reading meters, particularly children. It has a beautiful colour screen which shows a sun in the day and a moon at nighttime, just in case you wonder why its suddenly dark outside. It has a light-up testing port for those middle of the night checks. It is rechargeable. It has a pattern log to identify low and high patterns at different times of the day. Also importantly the One Touch family have the smallest testing sample of all the meters I have used. It also uses the same strips as the standard Verio so I can carry one of those as a back-up. And I have a pretty decal for it. Seals the deal, obviously. Cons: The lancing device is crap. Swap it for an Accu-Chek multiclix or soft-clix.
See the pretty moon and low pattern.
I honestly don't know why I have the Freestyle Insulinx, let alone 2 of them, given that I have a pump. The only reason I own them that I can think of was that it supplied a days worth of free test strips with each one. For non-pumpers or people wanting to transition to a pump I think its well-worth harassing and haranguing your local rep for one. It has an in built bolus Wizard (which does need to be set-up by your Healthcare professional) for tighter control and easier carb bolusing and corrections. It reads fairly high, similar to the Verio, so I have actually used this as my meter on one day when I forgot to charge my IQ. An exciting feature for this meter is the touch screen, helpful for the touch-screen generation who probably no longer understand what real buttons are. You can also customize your background image, and keeping stuff personalized can actually be a motivator for me with diabetes (see my One Touch IQ above).
Touch screen with a bolus wizard
This is the 1st time that I rue the fact my sensitivity is set on my IQ. I got my Accu-Chek mobile on Sunday at the Walk for a Cure and love it! ALL IN ONE! It totally helps that I got 50 free test strips too. Its just...handy. I threw it in my bag today when I ducked down to the shops and that was amazing not to take my whole kit. I was slightly annoyed when I turned it on earlier to check a reading without wanting to test that this process (turning it on) forces a new test area to rotate in, and therefore you lose a test, which can be a waste of money. Maybe I'm doing it wrong though. It is big and clunky, but the soft-clix lancing device which is nearly painless. The strip film is a lovely feature because its vastly reduces strip rubbish. It is now my dedicated in-car testing meter. :)
In-built test strips. Big display, but a big meter too.
*May not necessarily be high definition. Or colour.