A new study has proven that use of a blood glucose meter with advanced features, when paired with diabetes education, more effectively manages blood glucose than using a basic feature meter. This information was presented at the recent 46th European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden.
My almost 20 years as a diabetes educator have been memorable in many ways, but certain moments stand out more than others. Because blood glucose testing is an important part of diabetes management for everyone I see, I try to assess each person’s skills and habits in this key area. I’ll never forget the time I asked a client how often he changed his lancet. He had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about four years earlier and was checking regularly, so it seemed like a reasonable question. He proceeded to look at me with a puzzled expression and say, “You mean you’re supposed to change those things?”
Research firm Frost & Sullivan, a leading international healthcare consulting company, released a market study analyzing and estimating the demand for Pepex Biomedical Inc.'s new biosensor technology for blood glucose monitoring for diabetes sufferers worldwide. The researchers interviewed diagnosed diabetics, diabetes educators, endocrinologists, and manufacturers of biosensors, blood glucose meters, or other clinical diagnostic or patient monitoring equipment suppliers for the study. The Frost & Sullivan report concluded that the Pepex Trio technology has the "potential as a new standard for measuring blood glucose levels."
In July, I went to order a refill of my pump and was refused. My account was overdue, and my pump company wouldn't issue a refill until I could pay at least $400 of the $1200 I owed. I didn't have $400. I am a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom with a knack for stretching my husband's paycheck. I'd been making small monthly payments of about $50 because that was all we could afford, but now they wouldn't send me any more. So I went to the pharmacy and bought a box of syringes for $25. I didn't want to go back to multiple daily injections, but I didn't see that I had a choice.
In my office, there is a box. Nothing fancy, just a plain brown box filled with a collection of "old school" diabetes stuff: "boil and re-use" syringes, urine test tape, screw-driven insulin pumps, medieval injection aids and lancing devices, and so on. Of course, no such collection would be complete without an array of classic blood glucose meters. The oldest one I have is a plug-in-the-wall model called a "Dextrometer" that featured test strip rinsing solution and a red LED display that could burn the retina of anyone within six feet.
We can all come up with plenty of excuses not to test our blood sugar. For one, yeah, it stings a little (No pain, no gain, the angel on my shoulder whispers in my ear). For another, testing isn't convenient, no matter how quickly the meter works or how small it is. While seemingly everyone else is carelessly enjoying a meal or leaping into the swimming pool, you are on the sidelines trying to ignore your diabetes. And of course, sometimes, we just do not want to know what the number will be. It's easier to ignore the ugly truth than face it.
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