Monday, November 5, 2012

Using a test strip more than once?!

This is totally classified under the "stupid meter tricks" heading.

The other night while discussing my frustrations with the cost of diabetes with Ryan we were running over ideas. It seems like the majority of the cost of living with D is test strips (for me). There's no real way around it. I test a lot. I don't have access to full time CGM wear so it's the next best alternative. Plus being an athlete means that there are that many more coefficients to deal with. Bottom line though, I don't want to feel like I have to restrict my need to know my blood sugar.

I use the Freestyle Lite meter with the little zip-wick test strips. They have the two little "nubbies" as I like to call them.

So Ryan asked if I tested my BG on one side, couldn't I just snip it off and test on the other side? I told him that the strip actually sucks the blood in and essentially both sides lead to the same place so no, I could not just snip the side off and test again.

Meters, in my experience, are so finicky. If you try and put a used strip in the thing will practically explode. So that led me to try something I've never tried. For curiosity sake. I tested, peeled the strip apart, wiped off the blood and tested again.

Clearly, not something we should probably be doing on a regular basis but it sure was a fun experiment. I got SO excited the first time it worked though and even more thrilled when I got the same reading twice in a row! For the record, I've gotten the same reading twice in a row a couple of times now.

I think I'm onto something, just don't tell the pharma companies. God forbid I try and save some money on this WAY TOO EXPENSIVE little pieces of plastic that my life depends on. Seriously people, it's just not fair how they totally rape us blind. There is no doubt in my mind that it likely costs these guys less than 5 cents to make a whole bottle of strips that cost me $89.99. Of which 100 test strips will take me through only a week and a half.

I'd LOVE to be proven wrong...


  1. First you 2 are 2 cute and second every time it worked I was just as excited as you were.

    How cool is that!! Thanks Ryan and Scully, I'm so going to try this...just for fun! We don't use freestyle strips but still a cool experiment non-the-less.

  2. I have a friend who works in the industry and can confirm that the cost of test strips is 7-13 cents before markup. Yup...

    I'm going to try this with my meter!

  3. if I didn't love you already... :)

    I was giddy each time the meter beeped, too!!

  4. This. Is. Awesome. And for the record, I'm embarrassed to say that when I was first diagnosed I thought there had to be a way to use both those nubbys separately too!!

  5. I'm going to start calling you MacGyver.

  6. Scully, that is very cool. I read something about this a couple of weeks ago, but I don't think they did the same thing you did... here's the link:

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. That is super duper diabetes cool. You would be so mad at me because I found a flaw in my insurance company that lets me have multiple prescriptions for the same medication as long as it is for a different name brand. So I have three test strip prescriptions each for testing 10 times a day and I can fill each of them every month.

    I am going to have to try this out camping. Tricks like this are what keep us alive and knowing this, and practicing in a controled environment you can work the bugs out before it is emergency time. Good work my friend. Now find a way to put insulin in us, suck it out and reuse it.

  8. Hmmm, maybe after the zombie apocalypse we'll try this, but i think i'll keep with the one test at a time for the mo'.......

  9. Hi from Germany, I got also upset about the cost of the stripes. I startet experimenting as well an came up the same method in pulling the strip apart and clean it with an alcohol wipe. I got thrilled when i got the same reading again. But also very angry about the industry that they dont come up with an reusable strip. Or do they have one hidden in a drawer....


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