Once I was curious so I tested my blood with my regular unclean hands. Then I used an alcohol swab on the same finger and tested again. Finally I washed my hands and tested a final time. The number came down with each step. Moral of the story? Always wash your hands and don't trust alcohol swabs to do anything.
Recently I put my meters to the test at my last blood draw.
I collected all the somewhat newer meters in my possession. It actually took some pre-planning because I had to go out and buy strips for them all. I had to get some new batteries as I had scavenged them for half decent batteries. Then I had to make sure the ones that needed charging were charged.
From Left to Right: Abbot InsuLinx, Bayer Contour USB, One Touch VerioIQ, Abbot Freestyle Lite x2, Bayer Contour, Abbot Precision Xtra (with blood ketone testing capabilities.)
Here they are all ready to go. Now I will say that maybe this wasn't the best time to put my meters to the test. I could feel my beeg tanking as I was walking back to my car after the blood draw. I tried to get my shit in order but I was definitely going low so that may have fucked up the results. It was a good 5 minutes between blood draw and meter line-up. I used the same big drop of blood for all the meters.
SO.... I'm not giving away the results just yet.
I was sent the VerioIQ to review last year some time (yup, another post with lost images). I think I pissed someone off because that is one of my most highly read posts. The week that I was using it, I put it up against the other two meters I was using regularly. The Contour USB and the Freestyle Lite. I discovered that, in my experience that week, the VerioIQ was constantly about 1.8mmol/l (32mg/dl) HIGHER than the USB and the Freestyle was always in between the two. I didn't trust the Verio because there were a few times I was definitely low and it would give me normal readings while the other two were more reflective of what I was actually feeling. Perhaps the Verio just wasn't all that precise on the lower end of the scale. Either way I decided it was not for me and so I switched to full-time use on the Freestyle and have been extra happy with it ever since.
However on this day my test results kind of took me for a spin. I was on my way to low town. I knew I wasn't crashing so hard I couldn't sit up but I was skirting the edge of the precipice of lowdome.
The LAB result was 4.3mmol/l. Add in the bit of time it took me to pee all over my hands instead of in a cup and get out to my car maybe about 5 minutes. PLUS I was sort of low. In my diabetes expertise of how I felt I would guess I felt about 3.6 or 3.8mmol/l. That leaves me back with the Bayer Contour meters because both the USB and the Contour read 4.2mmol/l. That's fairly consistent. Realizing if I had done a re-test right there I probably would have gotten different numbers. All of the Abbot meters and the VerioIQ were registering a higher number than what I felt. I wouldn't use the Precision Xtra meters on a regular basis because their strips come in individual packages which would drive me insane. They're strictly my blood ketone meters but I didn't see the problem bringing them along for the ride.
Needless to say, it all sort of leaves me even more dizzy. I am dedicated to the Freestyle Lite but it seems the Bayer meters were more accurate. I know there's no way to really truly know but my personal preference is still the Freestyle Lite. I refuse to use a meter without a strip light or an illuminated screen. The VerioIQ is still one of the last meters I'll ever use.
Perhaps the Bayer meters are more accurate on the lower end. I'll never know.