Category Archives: glucose testing

I should have run over a meter

Last week was a bit of a muddle. I injured my foot and spent most of the week sitting on the couch going crazy. I hate being laid up but my foot was not happy if I used it.  As I sat, self-absorbed and frustrated, I really did not pay a lot of attention to diabetes.

I yelled out the normal “Did you test?”.  I asked what he bolused and helped to calculate meals. I hobbled out of bed each night to test. I failed at Reading Review Thursday and swore we would do it the next night, and the next night, and so on.  I didn’t keep track of when the next site change was due and sadly trusted my 14 year old to actually pay attention to the alert on his pump. Yes, I majorly failed as a parent of a child with diabetes and diabetes got its revenge.

I finally looked at my son’s pump after a bolus and decided to check when the next site change was due.  My son quickly grabbed his pump back and attempted to escape my limited grasp.  I somehow hauled him back and reviewed the screens.  The site change was FOUR days over due! I could not breathe. I wanted to beat him with his tubing. What was he thinking? Or not thinking? What the heck was I going to do to get him to remember?? 

I told him to change his site NOW! No games, no chats, no text. March his butt in his room and change that site before I put one in his tush! I was doing my best to breathe and allow him to live another day.  He had been high for the past few nights…now I knew why.  

I kicked myself.  I should not have allowed things to slide.  I should have been on top of things. I have been slack on a lot lately.  I had to pull myself together! The next thing was to review the readings. 

I had him bring out his meters and a sheet of paper. We were going to get down to brass tacks and review things. 

“Mom, we really can’t make a lot of changes.  My site was really old so the readings won’t be accurate.”

Thanks! I needed to be reminded of how we failed! I told him that I wanted to check things anyway. I looked at the first meter. It was his USB one.  This meter is still so neat but I couldn’t remember how we reviewed readings without sticking it into a computer. Finally we figured it out and I began my review.  I loved the highlighted highs and lows.  The readings were everywhere but the display was so cool that I was oblivious to much else. 

Next I moved onto the school meter. There were no readings. None. Nothing. Was he using a different meter? He brought out a second one. It had a few readings but something was seriously wrong. He swore he tested. I checked the dates on the meters.  We have a real issue with One touch Mini’s changing the date and time.  I know that they are supposed to be the most accurate meter on the market but this problem drives me insane. 

The meter was off…like by years! It had the time as two hours later than it should be, the year was 2010 and the dates was October.  How the heck was I supposed to go back and figure out what he really was and when? He had missed tests so I could not really even take three tests each day and guesstimate.  I was frustrated. 

We made a small change and I told him we were going to have to be way more on top of this. He had to test at school.  We had a problem but I couldn’t solve it without the data of those tests.  

As he left, I wanted to scream at myself. How could I be so slack? He is only 14 and he is a teen. He forgets. He gets lazy.  If I was on top of this days ago, I would have information and would have known that the meters were off.  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to yell. I should have run over a meter. That just may have helped. 

Instead, I promised myself that today will be better. I have circled his next site change on the calendar. I will try to be more proactive. I will work harder to be a better pancreas guide.  I have to. We aren’t allowed to quit.  

Our Review of the Contour USB

At the pharmacy a few weeks ago, the woman behind the counter asked me if I had tried the Bayer Contour USB meter? We hadn’t. I wanted to ages ago but they were never free so we didn’t bother with it. She suggested that my son might be interested and to talk to him about it before we ordered our next stock of strips.

I took some information home for him to look at. It seemed strange to think of him as making the decision regarding his diabetes tools but he is growing up and has to like the tools he uses.  Not surprisingly, when I asked if he wanted to try a new “toy” he jumped at the idea.  We have been meter collectors for a number of years and are always searching for just the right one. His meter of choice has been the One Touch mini and he is eager to try out the new Verio but for the moment he was set to try the Contour USB.

Eventually I remembered to ask for the free meter when ordering our strips.  I brought the Contour USB home to him.  I never opened the box. I didn’t read the instructions. I just passed in onto him. He took the box to his room and emerged hours later.

“Well?”

“It looks pretty cool!”

A few days later, I took the meter to review the data. He was still using his One Touch at school but was playing with the Contour when he was home. I could not figure out how to turn the thing on let alone find the auto log.  My son, on the other hand, could easily get it to work and find whatever data he wanted.  I decided that I would try to see what was happening on the computer instead.

This weekend, I finally took the opportunity to try to use the meter myself.  It turns out that it is a lot easier to put in a strip and get it to work than it was for me to search its history!  This meter was easy, light weight and had great back lighting.  I was pretty impressed. As it was calculating, it asked me if I wanted it to note that is was “before a meal”, “after a meal” or “just a random test”.  It did not leave the screen until I made a choice but as I was deciding, it had already figured out his reading! It so neat! The reading was large and bright–perfect for a woman who rarely wears her glasses at 3am when testing.  The best part was that once I had seen the reading, I pulled out the test strip and it shut down!! No buttons to hold. Nothing! Just power down. 

I asked my son what he thought of the meter? He again said that he really likes it. I still find the strip container a little bulky and the strips are large despite the small amount of blood you use.  Despite that fact, so far it seems to be a pretty neat device! We will be downloading later today to see about getting the “full effect”. 

Its scary how little diabetes gadgets can add so much to our days!

Teen Diabetes Logic

“Before you go upstairs bring me in your meter.”
“Well you see Mom, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well you see there is good news and bad news.  The good news is that I have to do all my tests for the rest of the week! See, isn’t that great news?”
“Huh? What is the bad news?”
“Well you see I am going to have to do all of my tests for the rest of the week because I missed a few tests today at school.”

Back up the banana boat here! We have negotiated testing down to basically three tests per school day.  This is nowhere near my ideal but it works for him and is more than a reasonable request from me.  He must test as soon as he gets to school or at their first break.  This is about two hours or a little less after he eats his breakfast.  He is then to test before he eats his lunch–he is always to test before food hits his lips so how is this test ever missed? I don’t know.  The final test is two hours after lunch or just before he gets on the bus.  Because of scheduling the two final time slots are basically the same.  We have a three strikes rule–miss three tests and you lose a privilege. If he has already missed two tests and he only had to test three times during the day….

“Did you test at all today???? Let me see that meter. What the heck is going on?” My mind was still reeling from trying to unravel his logic and what I was coming up with did not look good.

“I told you Mom, I have to test for the rest of the week but see I tested at 3 and I did test at 1.  I was pretty high then but we really don’t know why because I kinda missed the morning test and the before lunch test but you see I do have to do all of my tests for the rest of the week.  That’s a good thing.”

THUD! Yes, that was the sound of my head hitting my desk in frustration. If only he could check his blood sugar levels as well as he rattled on with excuses and teen logic.