June 19, 2006


This morning at work I was feeling a trifle low, so I went digging in my bag for my piece-of-crap meter. It wasn’t there.

Hmm. I reviewed my steps that morning. Had the meter gone into my bag? I couldn’t be sure. I looked in the bag again, ferreting through its many pockets. No meter, piece of crap or otherwise.

Well, for crying out loud.

I’ve done this before, of course. I’ve left my meter at home, at work, in an airport. (I have a backup at home, none at the office. Foggy, peculiar Violet in action.)

I’d never been in a situation where I felt low and couldn’t test. The most straightforward solution--consume a lot of carbs--would probably leave me over 300 by the time I got home or obtained another meter. So I tried to assess my lowness by feel. It wasn’t a bad one, at least not yet. Just a little shaky. Reminded me of when I get symptomatic in the 70s.

I ate two Milk Duds (4 g). That was all I had in the box. I ate one glucose tablet (4 g). I contemplated going to the fridge for juice. Decided to wait.

A few minutes later, I felt normal again. Then I felt a little nauseated. Maybe I hadn’t been low after all, in which case I should take some insulin. No, no. Foolishness.

Online, I researched the NIP formulary. Hardly any brands of test strips are approved. I decided to buy a One Touch Ultra Smart. Looked for coupons online. No luck.

I spent the next two hours feeling sorry for myself (well, also working a bit). Meters aren’t cheap. I know better than to go out without my meter. Stupid diabetes. Stupid forgetfulness. Stupid everything.

Finally, I dragged my ass down to Walgreens. The meter of choice happened to be not only in stock, but hugely on sale. It only cost $30, plus $26 for test strips. Maybe NIP will reimburse me, though I don't have a prescription yet.

The OTUS is clearly much better than the piece of crap, with many customizable features that I will probably never use. POC will become my office backup.

I tested at 105. Phew.


  1. What POC Meter were you using before the purchase of the One Touch Ultra Smart?

  2. My stepson recently lost his meter at a lacrosse game. Good thing for him that we still had his old meter hanging around for just such an emergency. Luckily, he had a doctor's appointment very soon after that and the doctor was kind enough to hand him a new Freestyle Flash. If he hadn't, I'd have gone over to Target, where it was on sale for around $40 with a $40 mail in rebate.


  3. Ugh. I left my meter in an NYC cab once. Being anal, I always take the receipt when I paid for the cabs, so I was able to call the Taxi Commission and track down the owner at home. He met me on a midtown street corner with my meter during my lunch hour. I gave him another cab fare for returning it, I was so thankful.

    If you somehow lose the One Touch, try calling the company to see if they'll replace it. I also once lost a meter at a theater, but was able to call One Touch and ask for another one after I pointed out how many years I'd been a customer and how much money their test strips cost.

  4. Very resourceful, L and S. I need to become more assertive on behalf of my money. I would rather pay $30 than call multiple strangers on the telephone, which is really sad, I know.

    The POC meter was a BD Logic. I used to have the Medtronic/BD purple model that "talked" to my pump, but I lost it last year (airport, no one turned it in). But I had a million test strips for it, and I was traveling, so I bought a BD Logic to replace the lost meter without having to buy new strips. Short-sighted, I guess.

    My issues with the BD Logic: lots of test strip errors, random inaccuracies. (I know, they all have these issues, yes?) The other day it told me I was 45. I didn't feel low. Two repeat tests were 92 and 97. It also varies a lot (sometimes 50-60 points) on values over 250. Obviously, that makes it hard to correct accurately.

    That said, I was so enamored of having a purple meter before I lost that one, that I've considered paying to replace it despite my gripes. So maybe I'm just griping at diabetes more than the meter itself.

  5. Here is something that should cheer you up. Even Violets have ketones.
    violet (plant)

    Violets (Viola) are a genus of flowering plants in the family Violaceae, with around 400-500 species throughout the world, mainly in the temperate Northern Hemisphere but also in Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes in South America. They are typically found in moist and slightly shaded conditions such as hedgerows.

    Most violets are small perennial plants, but a few are annual plants and some are small shrubs. They typically have heart-shaped leaves, and asymmetrical flowers with four upswept or fan-shaped petals, two each side, and one broad, lobed lower petal pointing downward. The shape of the petals defines many species, for example, some violets have a "spur" on the end of each petal. Flower colours vary in the genus; many are violet as their name suggests, and some are blue, some yellow, some white, some cream; some are bicolored, often blue and yellow. Flowering is often profuse, and may last for much of the spring and summer.

    One quirk of some violets is the elusive scent of their flowers; along with terpenes, a major component of the scent is a ketone compound called ionone, which temporarily desensitises the receptors in the nose; sniff all you like, you won't get any more smell from the flower.

  6. Ha! Little did I know...that's hysterical.

    I would also be willing to cop to having spurs at the end of my petals. I'm always tripping on them.