Saturday, December 15, 2018

Rely on ReliOn?

I've been very diligent lately in my eating habits, getting at least an hour of exercise per day, and checking blood sugar levels multiple times per day. But now, I have to wonder if the readings I've been getting are even accurate.

ReliOn Prime Blood Glucose Monitoring System, BlueA few weeks ago, I had to ditch my old ReliOn meter because I found out that it may not have been working properly and may have, for the last three years, whether due to faulty technical design or faulty test strips, been giving me faulty readings. In fact, I found out that different lot #s of the strips had been recalled several times over several years prior to my purchasing it at Walmart.

So, before buying another one I researched the meters out there and decided to give the brand another chance. I purchased a ReliOn Prime, and 100 test strips to go with it. It was the most affordable option and the reviews I was seeing were encouraging.

It's a bit more of a challenge to use, getting those tiny strips inserted properly as there is a notch in the end of the meter and if it's not in correctly the meter won't activate. Getting the strip to take up the blood sample, too, seems more awkward than the Ultima, but I've mastered it. I am beginning to rethink my choice, however, especially after the two tests a moment ago.

I followed the required procedure, cleaning my fingers thoroughly with an alcohol prep pad and let them dry. After inserting the test strip, I used the lancet to make the stick. Everything seemed fine. But, wow, the reading was way too high. The only thing I could guess was that it was a false reading, or a faulty strip. So, I moved over to the other finger, which I also cleaned with alcohol and let dry before inserting a new strip. Another finger stick. Pow! It was down 196 points . . . in one minute's time. Two wildly different readings within a minute on two fingers of the same hand using two different blood drops. I must have the fastest blood sugar leveling in the world! No. That can't be it.

Maybe my blood is channeling the glucose differently to different fingers? I guess I just need to find the one that will give me the lowest reading and always use that one, right? I'm no scientist, but I know that's not occurring. That's not even logical. Maybe I should test on my toes? My upper arm? Maybe an eyebrow? The only thing I can think of is that the strips and/or the meter are not working properly, which makes every reading I've taken with it over the last few weeks (over 100 tests) suspect.

It will be a challenge (and costly) finding a new meter. I will likely send this ReliOn to the trash bin. No, I won't be recommending it to any of my friends. I value them too highly. Personally, I'm not comfortable using a meter that can't seem to make up its own mind, especially when my life depends on the accuracy of its results. I know there are folks out there that say that 80-85% accuracy and a 20% differential in multiple readings is completely acceptable, but I think they're foolish. If a car dealer was planning to sell me a car and told me that I could only expect it to be 80-85% reliable, I would be walking off the lot looking for a better option.

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