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Blood Sucking Meter.

Normal blood sugar test:  Unzip meter, put s strip in it, wait until it gives me the "Hey, apply blood now" signal, and apply a droplet of blood.

This has been the routine for years now.  

So imagine my surprise when I put in a new strip, got the go ahead, and applied a blood sample only to have the meter continue to grin at me.

This meter is so confused it must be related to the cat.

"Apply blood!"


Blink, blink.

"Apply blood!"

Um, we tried this already.

"Hey, um ... apply blood!"

"Meter, I already did this.  Count down already, would you?"


"You have enough blood on there.  It's good to go.  Give me a result!"

"I like ... your shoes?  Apply blood!"

"Stop.  Being.  Miserable!  Give me the number, you bastard!"

"Hey look over there - is that Rocco?  Apply blood!"

It took three different strips before one actually gave me a result.  This has never, ever happened to me before.  Mind you, on Monday night, I wasn't able to get a result from six different strips from this bottle - kept throwing "Error 5" type-messages and absolutely refused to let me in on the result. 

I switched bottles (with 14 strips left), and all I could picture was tossing actual cash into the garbage can.  Those test strips are expensive!

Can a whole bottle go rogue on you? 


Yes. My Freestyle Flash can be just as moody. There are times when I end up squeezing out a vials worth of blood and it still refuses to read it. Meter Error: Not enough blood applied to test strip. What the hell does it want from me- a Red Cross blood donation!?

Yes it can and it has happened to me more than I care to mention and yeah it does feel like you are throwing cash right into the can . it ticks me off too .

Yep, absolutely. My daughter had a whole 50-count bottle of test strips that wouldn't read. We'd put them in, apply the blood, and the meter would say, "ERR".

(Mind, it took us a while to figure out that it was the strips, because she'd accidentally dunked the meter itself in a cup of milk about a week earlier. Good thing she has two meters!)

We're trying to get the insurance company to take the dud strips back and exchange them. Haven't heard the results on that yet, though.

I got a letter in the mail from One Touch a few weeks back saying that some of their strips were wonky. [My words, not theirs.]

Try calling LifeScan 800-227-8862.

(I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to also mention that you are a famous diabetic blogger and your readers want to know how OneTouch/LifeScan is going to handle your issues.)

About a month ago I threw away an almost full bottle of Freestyle Lite strips for the same reason. I too felt like I was throwing actual cash money in the trash.

Contact customer service for the test strips. They'll send you some for free, and maybe even some bonus ones. Sounds like you had a tainted box.

Yes!! You are indeed throwing money in the garbage! On behalf of all of you I'm enraged! This is crap. They had better refund some cash! Those strips don't grow on trees for crying out loud! I have yet to have this experience myself with my daughter's strips. But I'm sure it's out there, just waiting to send me into a fit of fury. Hope you all get your hard earned money back. Keep us posted please.

What Anonymous said. One Touch has offered to send me new strips if I sent the wonky strips back to them. Go grab the bottle from the trash.

I once had five strips in a row not work. I have the same meter and I called the number on the back of the meter. They sent me a free sample bottle with ten strips. Give it a try!

You could also try them in another One Touch meter just to see what happens. My bet is the stips are bad. Check the lot numbers on your other bottles. You might have more bad ones.

Ditto what Anonymous said. One of the few things about the 'good old days', at least you could cut Chemstrips in half and save a few bucks...and they rarely went rogue on ya!

P.S. I saw your comment on Julia's blog about attending BlogHer in Chicago in July. I'm not attending, but if you need a friendly local (geeky) tour guide let me know :)

Kerri you may want to take the battery out and then put it back in...sometimes when my battery is low it will do that. Usually works ok afterwards. You may want to try a new battery if it keeps happening.
Worth a try!

Blu-duh. blu-duh.

I am reminded of Little Shop of Horrors. We shall name your meter "Audrey III."

Oh and this has never happened to me. Crazy.

That has never happened to me but...

I have 'thrown away' strips a few times because I forget to wait for the strip to be ready for the blood. It's too routine for my own good!

I've certainly had multiple bad strips from a bottle. What I think happens is that either the adhesive that sandwiches the circuitry/pipette between the two cardboard layers got unevenly applied, or that the strips got cut slightly off-true, or something like that.
Most manufacturers have guarantees against bad strips. I've never tried to take one up on the offer, but I'd save the "bad" strips in a separate container in case they need them back for analysis (ninety nine gets one hundred that they don't).

Not only Blood sucking but MONEY sucking too.

Why are these pesky little buggers that we NEED so expensive??

And Sara, UH HUH! Yeah, been there, done that. I know better!

Stupid meters. Stupid strips.

Like most others said, call CS, ck the lot #s etc.

Keep us posted too.

I've had that problem a couple of times in the past. Also, I noticed on my latest vial that they've started printing "One Touch" in gold type on the top of the strips. Based on my experience working for a printing company, I've found that it typically cost more to print on something than to NOT print on it. Doesn't seem like that's doing much to make these things any cheaper.

Yes, I've had it happen. That's when I carefully call the 1-800 number on the back of the meter and tell them what happened.

They usually send me TWO vials of replacements.

That's why they have a 1-800 number and if there is a problem, they will recall them.

You guys are a freakin' wealth of information! Thanks for the tips!!! :)

oh i know what you mean. my Bayer ultra meter sometimes takes more then its fare share of blood to the point where my finger is sore from squeezing the living crap out of it. and yeah my test strips cost 1$ a strip!!! i test my blood 3 to 4 times a day! that's like 300 bucks a month or something. insurance is soo retarded.

Yes, the vial of strips can be bad. The only frustrating thing is that customer service makes you go through all these steps, including using control solution on a strip, so that all they do is send you a new vial. I had one where more than 50% didn't work and it was frustrating. The lack of collection. The error 5. It gets old

At least it wasn't the old school One Touch Meter that took huge droplets of blood...your fingers would have been bruised and sore and then you would have been more than just mad at the strips haha!

Hey, I just found your site. I was diagnosed last Christmas (great timing right?).

The strips would not really be a problem for me since I'm in Australia and they cost 0.50c a box here. (good healthcare).

I've been having more 'dead strips' lately. More than ever before. I put it back in the vial, grab another one and continue to test. By the time I finish the bottle the anonomous 'dead strip' managed to fix itself and was useable! LOL

My meter is a Freestyle mini, if that matters!

Happened to me too once. Just call OneTouch and they will exchange the bottle. Sometimes, the containers can become contaminated with water/humidity/cat urine/whateva and do that.

I have the same meter, and I find that if strip vials are inherently icky, it's going to be code #17...which is common. I usually see that or 25.

If it happens in 3 or more (in my 25 vials) I bring it back to CVS...

I always bring mine back to the Publix pharmacy where I fill the rx and they usually swap out the bad bottles. If ever they can't take them back (which has happened a few times over the years), I just call the 800 number on the bottle. They always send me replacements with little drama. They ought to considering I am putting their kids thru college with me testing 12 times a day ;)

This has happened to me since medtronic makes us use them now. I probably waste 5-10 per vial on this error. I have come to hate one touch. The BD strips never had problems! I think I will start requesting new ones...thanks all!

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