Tuesday, July 10, 2012

OneTouch Verio IQ

I was eager to try out the OneTouch Verio IQ, and since I got one at Friends for Life, I've been testing it side by side with my UltraSmart.

I love my UltraSmart. Wait, no, I don't love the UltraSmart. I love it...in comparison to other meters. For me, it has been the most accurate, and I can download the data and use the (albeit clunky) OneTouch software. I can also view some analysis of the data on the meter itself.

I was initially excited about the Verio IQ. Take a look at that strip light! It's amazing! Also, the meter design looks more like something to be found in this century. The UltraSmart is pretty dated, and don't get me started on the screen and the wimpy backlight. The Verio IQ has a rechargeable battery and even a recent data cable.

OneTouch Verio IQ vs OneTouch UltraSmart

And this is where my excitement broke down (and no, not at how terrible my phone camera is in low lighting). No matter what I tried, the Verio IQ consistently runs 15-30 points higher than my UltraSmart. I've noticed that meters with a small sample size tend to be less accurate for me, although the Verio IQ is supposed to be using better technology, so I really don't know. I'm reasonably certain that the UltraSmart is correct, though, and I always check it against lab tests. As awesome as the Verio IQ seemed, accuracy is what's important to me. It wasn't accurate enough for me.

On another note, I don't like the way the Verio IQ tags, either. There are really just two tags? I actually use the tags on the UltraSmart, and I don't really want to give up having tags for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, for example. In fact, I rarely have to tag anything unless I do something that's out of the schedule I have preset in the UltraSmart. I didn't try downloading the data from the Verio IQ (since I didn't want it to mess up my "real" data), but what kind of graphs does it have? I just don't think only having "before meal" and "after meal" would be very useful to me. That was almost a dealbreaker in and of itself.

I am now using the Verio IQ as a flashlight for the UltraSmart.

Disclaimer: I know I am not in any way a typical user. The OneTouch rep I spoke with had never met anyone that used the tags on the UltraSmart. My hematocrit might be low (although a certain ER doctor recently assured me that all my labwork was normal).

Friday, May 18, 2012

What They Should Know

What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”.  Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes.  Have more than one thing you wish people knew?  Go ahead and tell us everything.

I think I want to limit my comments to medical professionals. I would like to tell them to accept that maybe not everything you learned in school is accurate. That making a standard question like "do you have any highs or lows" for people with diabetes is nonsensical.  That when a person with Type 1 who came in to the ER for fluids explains to you when you're taking history that their A1c is artificially low (although still in a good range) due to hemoglobin issues, the correct response isn't to run an A1c without telling them, then come back and inform them dramatically,"you're not diabetic!" That it's never appropriate to tell everyone with diabetes that they will eventually get retinopathy simply because they have diabetes.

I would also like medical professionals to understand that diabetes is not a scientific equation where you put in certain inputs and get certain outputs. That if after a single random glucose on a blood test you demand to know, "why was your blood sugar high?" it's totally appropriate to get the answer "because I have diabetes." That 105 mg/dl is not "high." That having to eat carbs before exercising when you don't make insulin is normal. That denying a long-acting insulin prescription for a Type 1 without, say, consulting another doctor for advice because "you already have insulin" should be malpractice. I would like to see a world where medical professionals are not some of the least informed people about how diabetes works.

Of course, I know they're not all bad. I have definitely found some that understand what we go through. This is about what I want people to know.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fantasy Diabetes Device

Sure-T (that better be Batman)
Originally uploaded by lilituc.

Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary.  Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be?  Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc.  The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

I am not a visionary. I believe I was once deemed "the least creative kid I ever saw" in school. It's even harder for me when there are no limits. So, I don't know what I would want if the sky was the limit. I am more of a down-to-earth person.

Some things I do want - more apps that work with my Blackberry (yes, I hear that snickering). I used to have Calorie King on my Palm and it was amazing. They haven't come up with anything useful in years, though, and their mobile site is unusable. I just wish for something with the functionality of that Palm app from 2004 for Calorie King. I assume there must be some monumental challenges given the lack of progress, but I wish someone would do it.

I would also like an insulin pump that's less yesterday's technology tomorrow (as we say at work). I feel like my insulin pump was already old when I got it, and hardly anything has changed in six years. I am kind of excited about the t-slim, and I hope to see it soon. I would like open access to my data, as Bernard always says.

The one aspect of diabetes that gets me down is the nuisance factor. I want tools that don't stop me from doing what I want to do and throw up roadblocks in my way - I want tools that actually help me and make things easier.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One Thing to Improve

Continuing on with Diabetes Blog Week, the topic for today is "One Thing to Improve."

I have to be honest: I don't know what to write about. I can't really think of a single thing to improve. I'm not saying that I'm perfect or anything, but there is really nothing with my diabetes management that I can point to and say that I need to improve it.

Maybe it's because I have so many other conditions that I need to manage. Most of the time, I tend not to think about diabetes much, even though it's always there in the background.That doesn't mean that I ignore it; I don't. I just don't consciously think about it, usually. I have so many other things going on.

Then there's the time factor. Right now I have zero free time, so even if there were something I wanted to improve, there wouldn't be time. I know everyone says that they don't have time, but I really mean it. I get home around 5 on weeknights, which gives me two hours to make and eat dinner, do a bare minimum of cleaning, make lunch, give the cat subcutaneous fluids, get my clothes ready for the next day, maybe answer a few emails that I needed a computer for, and get ready for bed.

So, to paraphrase Seinfeld, here's a big, long post about nothing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One Great Thing

Continuing with Diabetes Blog Week, the topic today is One Great Thing. I would say that one thing I am great at is being prepared for almost any eventuality. Someone once told me that I put Boy Scouts to shame. I try to be prepared for any situation, mainly because for so much of my life I was stuck in situations that I did not want to be in with no means of alleviating them. I do not want to be there again. Sometimes it can cause conflicts. For example, I have a friend that firmly believes that if you prepare for a bad or unwanted situation, that somehow can make it happen. However, this same friend has relied on my preparedness countless times. I'm afraid that I have to reject their reality and substitute my own. I would like to say that I'm good at finding the humor in any situation. To quote Ani DiFranco, "I try to laugh at whatever life brings." It seems that my humor is not universal, though. I guess it leans more toward a dry, British type, which is not everyone's cup of tea. So, I didn't put that as the one great thing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Find a Friend - Diabetes Blog Week

It's time for the Third Annual Diabetes Blog Week.
Today's topic is Find a Friend. I would like to feature a blogger whose blog I have been reading for several years.

I enjoy the posts of Adjoa Pearlsa at A Girl's Reflections.  She always has an interesting perspective on life and amazing photos to share.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Diabetes Baggage

This week, I've been cleaning out my closets. Some of the diabetes-related things I've come across date back to my diagnosis (March 2005). That whole period was terrible - being constantly sick and worn down, getting diagnosed with "typical Type 2," receiving inappropriate treatment (i.e. none), the things people said to me when they found out I'd been diagnosed with Type 2, the friends I lost, the nine months I spent trying to get treated, the last conversation I had with my mother. It all came rushing back to me. I realized I'm still frustrated and angered by it. Somehow, it still feels so unresolved to me.

Why am I holding on to these feelings when it is resolved? Whatever happened then, happened. It's over now. I need to let it go.