Inconsistent pdm readings - anyone else?

After a couple of episodes of a wrong high reading and overbolusing, I called insulet and they replaced my PDM.

Have had the new PDM about 2 months and again am experiencing pretty weird readings at times.
Test once - 423 (wha???)
Couple minutes later - 287
On another meter 232

Add to this the whole freestyle strip debate and I am at a loss. Suddenly I feel like I can’t trust anybody. Why is that guy staring at me? Is someone not telling me there is spinach in my teeth?

What control solution do we use with this? I’m going to stop and ask the pharmacist about that today.


The 287 to 232 is within the 20% acceptable range. Make sure you are not getting blood sample on both sides of the freestyle strip this will cause the reading to be 50 to 100% higher. Hold the strip at an angle. If your technique is good and site clean maybe bad strips???

Are you washing your hands before you test. Even if you wash them without soap you get better readings.

So readings that are 20% apart are OK? I guess I didn’t realize that. And I didn’t know that about using both sides of the strip! That’s very helpful.

I don’t always wash my hands (I’m often at my desk and it’s a walk to the bathroom), but have been doing it more since I’ve been getting such different readings.

Still, if I get a 250 on my Freestyle Flash and a 360 on my PDM, should I be concerned?

Try running a control solution test on your PDM and then also run a few tests between your Flash and your PDM to see how different they are. Most meters will run different numbers but they are usually close. If they are really off then I would call cust support.

But you should always at least rinse your hands before a test. It might have been hours since you last touched something that might have had glucose but even a tiny bit can stay on your hands and effect your tests. I didnt really believe that for a long time and I rarely washed my hands. But guess what…as soon as I started washing before every reading I started getting better and more reasonable numbers and quit chasing highs and lows. You think your hands are clean but you would be surprised what can get on them in between tests.

Would antibacterial goop or an alcohol swab serve the same purpose? I feel like that sounds like a stupid question, but either of those options would be helpful.

Since my endocrinologist’s technician always uses an alcohol swab on my fingers before she draws blood for my A1C check, I do not see why alcohol would NOT work! I try to always use the antibacterial cleanser before I eat my lunch, so I have been using that solution before I test at lunch, and my readings have been very accurate. I would say use either. Both can easily be kept at your desk.

You especially need to wash your hands with the pdm. It’s more sensitive than some other meters. I had a similar issue when I first started using it. Now I at least wipe my finger off before testing and that has solved the problem.