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[IP] Meters, Meters, Meters

In a message dated 3/22/2001 11:57:49 AM Mountain Standard Time, 
email @ redacted writes:

> Am I the only one who likes One Touch Ultra better than the Freestyle?

NOPE!  We just started with one last week and we really like it . . . At Dx 
(4+ months ago), they started us with an Accu-Check Advantage with the 
Comfort Curve Strips and a Soft-Clix lancet.  This has worked well for us.  
The curve in the strip and the little window make it easy to make sure you 
get a sufficient sample on board (and don't waste a lot of strips).  We also 
tried the penlet plus lancet, but Katie said t was too loud (you can hear a 
"sprunnnnnggg" noise when it does the poke.  because that's what we started 
with (and having been getting steadily improving A1cs with), the Accu-Check 
has already become our "old reliable" and was the starting point in comparing 
other meters . . .

About a month after Dx we started trying out different meters and lancets 
(using mom as the initial guinea pig in each case).  Our goal was faster 
results (in preparation for pumping when we'll be doing even more BG checks) 
and to have the option of not doing FINGER pokes.

We tried the Freestyle.  Katie didn't like the lancet because she had to hold 
it on her arm for too long waiting to get a big enough sample ( which is 
actually a MUCH smaller sample than with the Accu-Check).  We did all the 
stuff they recommend (rubbing the arm briskly, etc.), but she just didn't 
like waiting for the sample to well up on her skin . . . She did like the 
fact that there truly was no pain with this lancet.  We also had a hard time 
holding the side of the strip on the sample without touching it against the 
skin (which prevents it from slurping up the sample).  We also had wide 
variability (+/- 25% and more) in test results when comparing with our 
Accu-Chek, even when we squeezed blood from the same poke on both meters' 
strips.  Results were pretty fast caompared to our Accu-Check (which takes 
about 40 sec.).

We next tried the "At Last" all-in-one meter & lancet.  I (the initial guinea 
pig) really liked it -- you could hardly even feel the poke on your arm and I 
like the little sipper straw thing that is part of the test strip which made 
it easy to get the sample in.  It also gave pretty quick results and gave 
results comparable to the Accu-Check (<+/- 10%).  The one thing I didnt like 
is that the meter is only good for a certain number of tests (2,500 --  I 
think) and then you have to send it into the manufacturer for a replacement 
(no charge if it's within 3 years of purchase, I believe).  It does keep 
track of this and warns you when you only have a certain number of tests 
left.  Katie agreed that the lancet didn't hurt, but just didn't like the 
whole unit -- too big & black, definitely not a kid-friendly in looks 
department.  The unit fit comfortably in my adult hand  -- and I think it 
would be a great choice for anyone with dexterity issues (arthritis, or 
whatever).  Oh, also, we couldn't find any way to adjust the depth of the 
lancet -- but I'm not sure if that's because you can't or if we were just too 
dense to figure it out . . .

Last week, we tried a new lancet, the Bayer Vacculance.  It's great for 
non-finger pokes (at least in Katie's opinion), because the vacuum created 
makes the blood sample well up pretty quickly (much faster than the Freestyle 
lancet).  You can adjust the depth of the lancet and you can use this on arms 
or thighs, but NOT on fingers.  While it's not completely pain free like the 
Freestyle lancet, we both agreed that you still can hardly feel it -- AND 
katie can get a good size sample fairly quickly, even when the lancet depth 
is set at the lowest setting.

We also tried the One touch Ultra meter last week and -- BINGO!  This one 
really met all our criteria . . . You get test results incredibly fast: it 
counts down 5-4-3-2-1 and in exactly 5 seconds you have results.  When we 
checked it against our Accu-check, using samples from both fingers and arms, 
the results were all  +/- 5%.  If your BG is over 240, it also says 
"keytones?"  (a useful reminder to check them -- which my daughter sometimes 
forgets).  You put your sample on the end of the strip, which we found easier 
than doing on the sides (Freestyle).  It *seems* to slurp up the sample 
easier that the Freestyle too (we wasted a lot of strips with insuffient 
samples when we were testing out the Freestyle).  And like the Accu-chek, 
there is a little window so you can see that enough blood has been slurped 
up.   The lancet that came with it looks like the Penlet plus we tried before 
(just a different color plastic) -- Katie still prefers to use her soft-clix 
for finger pokes and the vacculance for poke on the arm (haven't tried the 
leg yet) . . . The One touch Ultra is now going to be our meter of choice.

I know that choosing meters and lancets is really a personal choice (assuming 
your insurance gives you an option) and I know that there are lots of folks 
who love the meters that we didn't choose, but I thought I'd share our 
thoughts about the different meters we've tried -- hope it helps someone find 
one that's right for them . . .

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