Blood testing? A thing of the past?


#1

Ok, first off, I was one who tested 8-12 times a day. Even when I got my Dexcom g4 I was testing a lot because I didn’t think it was accurate enough. I just always wanted to be in control and was very uneasy letting go, trusting the new technology.
Why is this? When I first started testing blood sugar with visual strips, using cotten balls to wipe it, I never questioned the results I got. And that was a visual reading. Than meters came out and there was not a wide choice, so you went with you could find. I have been completely wigged out about accuracy.
Well, I have finally just let go. With my new Dexcom G6, I have not tested once in over a month. A month! And with my new pump, shifting insulin off when it predicts a low, I have been doing great! And it is a wonderful feeling. I don’t test, I don’t think about what my pump is doing. And it has been a huge weight off me! Now, i’m Not saying everyone could do this and I never thought I would be that person, but I am and have had no problems! I get asked how accurate the G6 is and I really don’t know and I really don’t care! It’s working well for me and is so darn cool to just go with the number on my phone!
Who knows, our current meters will become a historical item. So hang on to them, you never know when someone years from now will ask about those blood testing meters!
Technology can be a very good thing!


#2

I so wish I still had my old Ames Glucometer (the brick).


#3

Glad to hear, as I’ve committed to doing the upgrade from G5 to G6, and I’ve had a few extremely erroneous readings lately with my G5, like the severe low alert at 2am this morning, 60 with a straight down arrow, when my meter showed me at 110. Mostly it’s pretty accurate, but it’s off significantly often enough that I’m still testing 4-6 times a day just for safety’s sake.

Question: how long did you keep doing fingersticks before you decided you just didn’t need to any more?

Also: my current problems I think are the result of hitting a blood vessel when I inserted my sensor a couple of days ago, which usually makes things a little wacky for a day or so before it evens out. I assume that’s still a problem with G6?


#4

I think each person needs to decide if and when they get to that point of not testing. If you have symptoms for lows, and recognize it even when G6 is not catching it, you are still alerted.


#5

Like you, I tested about 15x/day for years. This included years when I started using a CGM. I think that was useful when I was using the Dexcom 7+ system but became less desirable as the technology improved.

I have followed a similar trajectory as you but still check about 5x/day. Some days I only check once or twice and other days, like during the weekly two-hour blackout period I might fingerstick seven or eight times in a day.

This reduction from 15x/day down to 5x/day has felt good. I only fingerstick when I feel a need, but I do check first thing in the morning and use that number to calibrate my Dexcom G4. This morning my CGM read 77 mg/dL and I measured 79 mg/dl. I do take some comfort in that exercise, more comfort than burden.

I plan to transition to the G6 this year when Dexcom makes it available to people on Medicare. I’m encouraged to read accounts like yours regarding the G6 accuracy. As much as I would like to use technology that is highly accurate, I see the wisdom in accepting accuracy that is good enough. Nice post!


#6

I started the G6 about 2 months ago. It’s so incredibly accurate. I really can’t express how pleased I am.

I have had one bleeder, and that compromised the sensor for 4-5 days. I tested often during that time frame. Eventually things evened out, but I didn’t fully trust it for the last 5-10 days. I chose not to restart that sensor, but I have restarted all the other sensors I’ve used (one restart/sensor). The bleeder was obvious from the beginning, and it has not yet happened again knock on wood.

I rarely test my bg anymore. I’m keeping my same test strip prescription in case I get a bleeder again, but I feel very comfortable with trusting the G6 - much more so than the G5.


#7

I generally test only a couple of times in the first or second day of a new G6 sensor-sometimes I will have a sensor take it’s time to settle down and report accurate numbers. Don’t insert and start a new sensor unless your BG is already steady and you aren’t planning on eating for the next 2 hours.

I’ve found it to be quite accurate overall and enjoy sticking myself less than 10 times a month :slight_smile:


#8

I so agree, each person is going to make their own choice on how to handle all this new technology. And I would probably still test to check once in awhile, but with my pump making adjustments for me, I no longer worry about going low and not catching it. I don’t feel my lows any more but still feel very conthat this new system will have my back. Your diabetes may vary, YDMV, but I really think it should be your diabetes will vary!


#9

Is this it?

It should fit in a backpack. LOL


#10

My first 2 sensors, I checked on the first day as that was the day I had the biggest problems with my G4. And the first one was off by 30 points, so I calibrated and it came in line. The second sensor was off by 20 on the first day but I didn’t calibrate and let it ride with the Tandem IQ and had no problems. And I currently have my correction set at 1:70 and have had no problem.
Some of this trust has come from an endo I work with who has type 1 and has been using it since it came out (he is looping) and has not tested at all. He has no idea how accurate and is not thinking about it because it is working with his system.
Again, this mind set might not be for everyone, but I do find it very liberating and my first A1C is due in March so we will see how it changes that number but my time in frame has increased.


#11

I won’t even mention my first CGM, because it was always off by so much that if I relied on it I’d probably be dead. But once I started using my current CGM & pump (Medtronic 670G & Guardian 3), my numbers improved more than I can imagine, probably due to the Auto Mode feature. But it does not eliminate the need for BGs, not only because of the required calibrations, but because of the effects that environment can have on the readings. For example, when I am in bed, I sometimes have lower numbers depending on the position I am laying in, or even sometimes if I am just on my back under the covers.
But CGM has definitely reduced the number of BGs I do. I used to do them before every meal and however often necessary for calibrations. But now that I am convinced that the CGM numbers are usually pretty accurate and much better and consistent (and that I know when they may be off, such as when I have just finished eating), the only BGs I do are calibrations, usually at fixed time, and just do the boluses whenever I feel like eating. This means usually 3 BGs vs 6 or 7. If I am really high or low and want to include a correction bolus, I will usually do a BG for that, but since my numbers are much better now, that is rarely the case. We do lots of stuff through email & online, but we haven’t gotten rid of paper or snail mail. Most people have cell phones, but we haven’t gotten rid of landlines. But I still don’t think we have reached the point where BGs are a thing of the past. CGM may have had very significant improvements in both accuracy and reliability, but they haven’t reached the point where we can rely on them the way we rely on our BG meters.


#12

I hope to gain the same level of confidence, but would probably still BG check before driving if G6 was showing lower end of comfort level. If a low BG resulted in car accident, would inaccurate G6 reading be considered as evidence you were driving at safe BG level, even if meter showed low.


#13

With the 670G/G3, I usually have to test four or five times during Day one but after that, 2-3 timesa a day, mostly for calibration.


#14

This picture is actually courtesy of the Smithsonian! Expiration date on the bottle is 1986 when I was a Chemstrip user … used them into the 1990s or whenever they were discontinued.


#15

I am now on sensor #9. If the first reading after startup is good, it is a waste of time to check for the rest of the 10 days. I am saying this because I did check. 7 sensors were absolutely amazing. I believe that they were more accurate than my BG strips. One sensor read too low (120 mg/dl instead of 170 mg/dl). I calibrated after a day and from then on the sensor was as good as the 7 amazing ones. With one sensor I had a gusher. The tape showed blood on both sides after I showered. The first reading was way off (50 mg/dl instead of 110 mg/dl). I calibrated multiple times over the course of 5 days and eventually removed it after talking to Dexcom. The insertion spot was black and blue. The call with Dexcom was quite interesting. The rep told me that I can remove a sensor right away when there is bleeding. Dexcom will give me a replacement even if I never start the sensor. That’s good news. I will do this going forward. Bleeders are bad for me most of the time.


#16

Poor test strips companies :cry:
Let’s pour a bottle of Contour Next Strips onto the curb for all those loss of profits :rofl:

I used to test 10 times a day while on my G4 (that I loved).
Even when I was on the G5 for a month, I tested more than a couple times a day.

I now test probably just once every 10 days (at the 1 hour mark of the sensor warmup).

I live in the north and am thankful for Dexcom every time it’s cold and my fingersticks would have hurt even more than usual!


#17

I never had one of those but I did have something that required “a large, hanging drop of blood” Testing has come a long, long way!


#18

I love my G6. It’s definietly cut down on the use of test strips. I probably test 2-3 times a week if that. And have been debating if I can leave my bg meter at home and have one less thing to carry in my bag. Working on that but haven’t actually done it.


#19

Didja split 'em the long way to double the amount?

ETA: wouldn’t be surprised if I still had some stuck in the back of a drawer or moving box somewhere. “Never throw D stuff away! Never!” has been my motto for a long time.


#20

More than just split them in half! I was quite good at cutting them into quarters!

I find Chemstrips in my 30-35 year old books as bookmarks all the time even today. As well as in the bottom of my boxes with old stuff too.

When I talk to a Doc or CDE who calls all bg tests “Chemstrips” I know I’m dealing with someone who has at least a little experience. Occasionally I run into docs who overlapped with the Testape era.

At the other end of the spectrum I was checking out a new endos office and they insisted that I had to tell them my A1C when I was diagnosed. I tried to explain to them that I was diagnosed when they dipped Testape in my urine and it instantly turned jet black.