While I do give my time and energy when it comes to petitioning for better meter accuracy, I also have adopted a few personal safeguards. These safeguards are like self imposed regulations that I don’t know how to live without. I used to live without them but there were a lot of close calls. And sometimes I forego them and scary things happen.
Meters being a good bit off (up to 20% off is it?) is an important issue to tackle, indeed. But since it’s the reality of our current situation, we might ask ourselves in case we haven’t already, “What can I do about it?” I’ll share what I do in case in inspires anyone to answer this question for themselves:
It’s been my experience that the further away from 100 my blood sugar is, the less accurate my meter may be. Well how about that? My meter and I mutually agree as to what my “target” is. Just kidding. Sort of…
Since low blood sugar comes with clearer symptoms for me and is an immediate emergency situation, I don’t question my meter when it says I’m low. Though, if I don’t feel low at all, I will try jump in jacks and if I have energy for those I will retest because something strange is going on. Perhaps leftover fruit juice on my fingertips from the apple I had earlier.
When my blood sugar is within my target range I relax, cheer, do a dance, etc. But I try to have faith in my meter and assume it’s right on.
When my blood sugar is over 250, I retest. It hurts me to retest because strips are like gold but I do it because this could happen:
Years ago, I tested 350-something. When my blood sugar is that high, it’s hard for me to bring down so I usually push it down with a larger than usual bit of insulin. Well, I gave insulin and then stopped. I thought about how I didn’t feel 350 high. So I tested again and saw I was 260. I tested yet again and was 249. “OK” I thought, “Now I’ve got a heck of a lot of insulin coming my way”. Sure enough in 40 minutes I was 98 and dropping fast and still had over an hour of active insulin coming. Nowadays the times that has happened have been handled differently. I start to eat after 15 minutes to deflect the steep drop.
But better yet, it really doesn’t happen too often because I test twice. If the second test is really far off from the first, I test a third time and go with the majority rule. I would never ever test, see a high number, give insulin, and go to sleep. Our meters are not built to support that level of responsibility. Not with our lives. That is a shame, yes, but that’s where our brain comes in handy. What can we do to help ourselves against this?
Something a lot of my friends do is to eat low or moderate carb. They have many reasons for eating low or lowish carb but one of the reasons for many of them is that this way, there is usually not a lot of insulin circulating at any given time. And the food they eat is going to minimize the likelihood for being high enough to see super large discrepancies in their test results. This works well for me. In particular, what works well for me is to be careful with processed food. I find that avoiding it makes my blood sugars more stable and my life easier because I don’t have super high highs. And then my meter isn’t as big an issue for me as it could be.
But they should totally work on meter accuracy. Or at the very least give everyone more strip allowance.