Lima bean

A team of designers has come up with a rather cool design for a blood glucose meter.  They are calling their Lime green pod shaped device, the Lima bean.  Snazzy name.  The device uses infrared technology. Get more information over at Medgadget.Lima bean glucometer

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Hyper Uncertainty

I had read that illness can affect blood glucose but I did not understand how much so. On Sunday morning I work up with vertigo. I have had vertigo in the past caused by fluid buildup from an upper respiratory infection. Usually I go to my family physician, get an anti-biotic and after a week or so I am back to normal.  This was different.

I had to infection or fever but I felt like I was on a merry go round. The effect on my blood sugar was dramatic. I went from having good control to having almost no control. I was taking more Novolog but my BG readings were still going up. Normally I am in the 90-100 range before a meal but now I was in the 130-200 range. Wacky stuff.

I have only had this disease for about a year and I guess I was used to the ease of the honey moon period. Now I may have to deal like everyone else.

I spent most of Sunday in bed waiting for it to pass. It did not and today I went in to see the family physician. He did not find any infection and thinks I am suffering from benign positional vertigo. He prescribed meclizine and sent me home.

A few people commented on my post regarding the use of control solution. I stand corrected. Control solution is just to test that the meter is working correctly not to calibrate it.

Blogging has really helped me get in touch with other Type 1 and I am learning quite a bit from the exchange. I did not know that the BGMs were that inaccurate. Sheesh! 15% rate of error!!! Maybe that 210 reading was only 195. Or maybe it was 225.

I also did some research on the FDA web site and found out that other factors such as Hematocrit may affect the accuracy of blood glucose readings including A1C. Anemia and Sickle Cell Anemia are two conditions that affect hematocrit values.

Control your meter

Based on Amy Tenderich’s review and Bernard Farells’s video I ordered the AgaMatrix WaveSense KeyNote BGM. There isn’t much to tell you about this meter that you can’t get from the review or the video. However, I did notice that the readings on the Keynote were higher than on the FreeStyle Flash. A lot higher. So I used the Keynote Control Solution to calibrate the meter and tested again. The results were the same I now think that my FreeStyle Flash needs to be calibrated. The FreeStyle Flash readings may have been off for a while. Even though my BG was well managed my A1C results keep coming back at about 7. Now I have learned a lesson in the importance of making sure the meter is correctly calibrated.

Diabetes survival gear

Shortly after I was diagnosed I was given a free meter by the hospital. It was a big bulky thing that required a bucket of blood and a day to register a reading. Since them I have purchased the FreeStyle Flash Blood Glucose Meter (one for home and one for travel) from Abbott Laboratories. It take readings in about 7 second and require but a tiny drop of blood for a reading. My endocrinologist has software into which he can download the data and graph my blood glucose over time ( albeit snapshots in time ).

Novolog FlexPenI also purchased a backpack in which I carry my Apple MacBook, FreeStyle test strips, FreeStyle Sterile Lancets, a Novolog Flexpen insulin pen, and NovoFine needles for the FlexPen. I use the OS-X version of the Calorie King Exercise and Nutrition Manager to track and chart my daily food intake and also lookup the occasional restaurant meal. My kids thinks it’s cool that I have a backpack just like theirs.

AgaMatrix WaveSense Keynote

AgaMatrix KeynoteBernard Farrell, a blogger and diabetic, has posted a short video showing his use of a new blood glucose meter, the WaveSense Keynote, from AgaMatrix. I am not familiar with AgaMatrix or its products but being new to diabetes I am learning new things each day. Thanks to bloggers like Bernard and Amy Tenderich.

I browsed AgaMatrixs web site but could not find any information on availability in the USA. As a tech geek and a person with diabetes I would very much like to get my hands on this device. I have been using the excellent FreesStyle Flash from Abbott Laboratories and have been eying the now approved FreeStyle Lite but the WaveSense Keynote looks very cool ( can any medical device be described that way?) kind of like an MP3 player.

UPDATE: I found the meter and test strip on the Allegro Medical Supplies web site for around $60 and ordered one right away.

AgaMatrix KeynoteThe buzz around the device appears to be its patented error correction technology, WaveSense. WaveSense corrects for “Environmental conditions such as altitude and/or temperature when the sample is taken” as well as user errors such as insufficient blood sample.

AgaMatrix also provides Zero-Click™ Data Management Software for downloading data from the device and “provides dynamic reports that allow you to spot trends in your numbers.”