Mar 27, 2010

Malfunctioning mobility

Testing bg outdoors can be challenging. Especially when there's a meter of snow and you're chasing a child in it. What tends to happen is that you:
A) drop something in the snow, the lancet pen, the strips, the meter, the lot.
B) you get to the child, open the strip bottle with cold, clumsy hands and manage to chuck the strips all over the snow,
C) you get to the child, get the strip in the meter but can't get any blood out of the small and frozen fingers. And when you do, the meter has either died or complained of EEE(rror) (Accu-Chek, please notice that sometimes you just have to measure in -15 C).

Spring is on its way, I hope, but I'm still bloody tired of having only two hands. So when we were given the chance to try the new Accu-Chek Mobile, I was relatively excited. What, no strips? We've always used the MultiClix Pen, so lancets weren't such a problem, but the roll of strips sounded fantastic.

Eli was impressed by the thing. It was quite big and bulky, but it made a whirring sound and you could see the "strip roll" turning. And even though his eyesight is perfect, he was also impressed by the bleeping function for the blind. I turned that off pretty soon, fourteen loud bleeps at 2 am is enough to wake up the neighbours. And I have no intention of letting them know we can't control Eli's blood sugars ;)

The idea itself is great, but there are a few glitches.
The test roll, for example. The meter fell on the table once, maybe a 4 cm drop. The other Accu-Chek meters have been thrown about, chewed and dropped in bowls of soup and they still work fine. However, this one has a sensitive spot. The test pad area is fine paper and as we found out, it breaks easily. And when the roll breaks, you can't use it anymore. This happened to us when we were out and of course we were stupid enough not to bring a spare roll/cassette. But luckily we were at the hospital and the nurse managed to find one. That was a pretty bad day. First we looked like the worst parents ever, not having any spares on us. Then Eli had a hypo and my bag was empty bar from painkillers. Even the hospital vending machine was empty. So we had to ask the nice nurse again.

But back to the meter. Another problem is the lid/cover for the test area. I might have weak fingers or something but I have to really ram it open. And I tend to forget to close it. The meter does remind you very politely after testing, but after browsing for previous test results and setting 'flags' and reminders, you forget about it, stick it in your bag and probably break the test roll again.

The last complaint I have is the pen. It's awfully flimsy and, for some reason, the mechanism is different from the other Accu-Chek pens. My finger wants to press the button by the numbers, but you have to click the top instead. I find this makes it difficult to get the lancet end of the pen tightly on the fingertip. Also, the other night I tried to measure Eli's blood sugar in the dark and kept wondering why I wasn't getting any blood. I came out swearing to see what was wrong with the pen and realised the tip cover had come loose.

All in all, it's not a bad meter. It has loads of fancy functions and the display is good and clear, Aviva Nano style. Maybe I'll get used to it. I am quite pleased with the lack of old strips, normally they are absolutely everywhere, in the beds, in the dogs mouth, in the washing machine...

Anyone else tried this one yet? What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Haven't tried it, but it does make you wonder what kind of 'field testing' they did with them before releasing them to the general public, as those sound like little irritations that could have been discovered and addressed fairly easily. Hope they upgrade the spec!