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Unreliable.

Meter accuracy - that's the target!We're back in the swing of things at home:  working, writing, laughing at the stupid cats, going to the gym, exploring our surroundings.  Stress levels are lower, thanks to the wedding being behind us, and our routine is a bit more predictable. 

BUT - before the wedding, everything was running amuck.  My schedule was erratic, work was insane, and I was stressed to the point where I couldn't wrap my head around anything.  For the six weeks or so before the wedding, I tweaked my basal rates and bolus ratios several times.  On our honeymoon, I had to tweak again due to a completely relaxed schedule.  And now that we're back, I need to re-tweak once more.

As a result of this readjustment to normal life, my blood sugars have been sort of scattered.  An occasional morning high of 197 mg/dl (which never, ever happens - my overnights are the only thing I have nailed down), some tricky lows at work, and a sticky high after lunch one day.  I'm in the process of working towards Dexcom insurance coverage, but in the meantime, I'm out of sensors and going on my meter results alone.

Last night, after we returned from the gym, I tested.  165 mg/dl post-workout.  No problem - I reconnected, took a correction bolus, and then jumped in the shower.  About five minutes into the shower, my head started to fog up as quickly as the mirror.  My brain was only half-focused on the lather-rinse-repeat routine and instead was starting to wander down that "should I test?" road.

"Nah."  I said to myself.  "I was 165 like ten minutes ago.  Insulin doesn't bullet in that fast."

I yelled out into the hallway.  

"Chris?  I feel kind of low.  I just wanted to let you know.  I'm getting out soon."

"Why don't you just get out now and test?  Do you want me to bring you juice?"  I could tell by his Doppler-voice that he was walking down the hallway towards me.

"No.  I'm fine.  I'll get out when I'm ready, okay?" 

Internal Motivation Speaker yawned in my ear, still not adjusted to being back from vacation.  "Kerri, why the highly bitchy response?  He's right, you know.  Just get out and test."

"I just tested."  I muttered to myself.  

Internal Motivational Speaker sighed.  "Just test.  God, you can be so freaking difficult."

"Fine."  Miserable.  What was with this headache, and why aren't my hands responding to my requests?  I fumbled awkwardly with the towel as I wrapped it around myself, my skin bristling at my own touch.  I grabbed my meter and dried my hands off.  Shunk.  102 mg/dl.

"102.  Maybe I'm sick or something.  I feel like shit."  I sat on the floor for a minute.  Chris stood above me, concerned.

The sound of the air conditioning unit was becoming louder with each second.  Abby came waddling up, urging her head underneath my hand so I would pet her.  Minutes passed, but they felt like hours.  What the heck was wrong with me?  I felt miserable.

I unzipped my meter again.   "I just feel so bad.  I'm going to double check."

Shunk.  35 mg/dl.

"Ah ha!  I knew it!"  I yelled.

"I knew it, too." 

"Okay, let's get some juice."  I drained the bottle in eight quick gulps, leaned back against the side of the bed, and waited for my blood sugar to rise.

It's a strange battle in my body at times.  I knew I was low.  I felt low and should have trusted my instincts.  But sometimes my instincts are unreliable, like when I feel low but am just hungry, or when I feel completely fine and am instead 345 mg/dl.  Maybe I should have trusted a CGM.  But CGMs are best for trending, not spot-checking.  So I should trust my meter.  But sometimes my meter gives me botched results that aren't the fault of hand lotion.  Arghhhh ... who can I trust?

All of these new products being buzzed about.  All of these bells and whistles and colored screens and fancy upgrades and ambitious developments.  I am so thankful for the advances, but all of these companies need to remember that we use this technology to keep us alive.  These bells or whistles aren't substitutes for old-fashioned accuracy.

Comments

I totally understand! I've been like that so many times before.
Just last week I was feeling like crap and I tested: 116. Still felt like crap. 30 minutes later: 53.
It's like our bodies screaming at us that something isn't right!

I'm sure you do, but did you know, lows can occur when:

"taking a bath or shower or soaking in a hot tub soon after taking a shot of insulin (blood vessels in the skin dilate from the hot water and cause insulin to be rapidly absorbed)."

Something I remembered about when Max came home with his packet of info.

Hi!
I also have a hard time knowing what to trust sometimes when it comes to my bg reading & I was happy to see your post (& to know that I'm not the only one who feels like that). When something like that happens to me I usually test again (and again if needed) until the machine gives a reading closer to how I feel. Ahhh technology .... as much as I love it for keeping me alive there sure are times when I can't stand it either!

I know how that is! I always trust my body first if the result on the meter doesn't match the way I feel.. at least for lows. It would be nice if technology was perfect all the time, though.

I could not agree more that the bells and whisles are not a substitute for something that just darn works well and gives me the right number. I have yet to try a CGM and might at some point but for now it is my meter all the time that tells me pretty accurately where I am but my body still tells me sooner where I am headed.

Something I learned when our daughter was diagnosed is that she can sometimes feel low or crappy when she is simply dropping very quickly. So, your meter may have been accurate at 102, but your body could have been trying to tell you that you are dropping very fast, and the shower could have brought that on -- or maybe the exercise? Who knows...

I gave up again on the CGM and I won't return until it is real time and accurate. I was testing more than ever and testing to see if it was correct. I feel I am doing much better with meter only right now. Type 1 for 41 years and still it is just different delivery systems of insulin and insulin is not a cure.

I too have gone through the low bgs feeling and meter states I am A-ok.

It is a frustrating disease for sure, but the less bells and whistles really works better for me.

35?!?!? Wow, thats scary. lowest I've had so far is a 45 and that was draining to say the least. Glad you are ok.

snip "These bells or whistles aren't substitutes for old-fashioned accuracy."

All I can say is - AMEN!

I HATE when that happens! lol ....and totally understand

I forgot to add.... I have my meter checked with the lab each time I have a Hb A1C, and it's always around the 20% accurate... which the meter people and doctors, consider normal...?! I think 20% is hardly acceptable at all! It SHOULD be bang-on!

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