Wednesday, 9 May 2007


Have you heard of RTFM?
In case you haven't, it's a well used term in call centres etc, especially in IT circles. It stands for Read The F'n Manual.

Well, M, Ya didn't RTFM, did ya? When my new meter arrived I scanned through some info to make sure I could insert a new drum in the Multi-clix, and to have a peek at the bit about setting alarms for reminders, but did I actually read through all of it? No, course not. Do you? Did you see that photo of how much reading came with this thing? I wasn't about to spend an afternoon reading when I *ahem* thought I knew what I was doing.

I had a friend for roast dinner tonight (hmm tasty he was too... No, lol, what I mean is that he had dinner with us... he's too skinny to roast, he'd be better fried until crispy, perhaps with batter). He's also diabetic, so we took the opportunity to compare BG readings between three meters: his Advantage, my Advantage, and the new Performa.

The readings went like this:The first column shows our readings from My Accu-Chek Advantage meter.
The second column is S's Advantage, and the third is the new Performa meter.
Difference = the range between the Advantage meters & the Performa.
All tests were done from the same drop of blood at the same time.
S and I still have a few pints of blood left, thanks for asking.

The range between the two Advantage meters is acceptable - the biggest difference there is only .5 mmol. No danger in that. The Performa is a whole other matter.

My first test, pre-meal, got me thinking about how much I rely on my BG results. The first reading of 4.8 is most excellent for before dinner. I wouldn't need to do a thing. The performa reading of 6.8 would make me want to take my insulin earlier than usual (say, 20 - 25 minutes before eating, rather than my usual 5 - 10 minutes) and probably add another .5u to ensure I get back to the 5 - 6 spot that I love so much.

So, I wanted to get to the bottom of all this. Which meter should I trust? Should I trust any of them? Should I become a hermit, never driving again, never eating a high-carb food again, never trusting anyone or anything, especially my meter and my insulin which both have strange variances in their action?

It was the info with the strips that finally made us click - the new meter is reading blood PLASMA, not whole blood like we're used to. The difference between whole blood & plasma readings is apparently 11% (higher for plasma readings). So it's pretty much just a matter of getting used to seeing higher numbers and taking slightly different meanings from them. Those differences look like more than 11% to me (though I admit I haven't done the maths...) . The rest, well I guess it comes from the expected variance in results, and the fact that I did the test on a day that has a Y in it.

It's hard enough to get the balance right between carbs & insulin, without other things coming to play with our balance. Is diabetes truly as unpredictable as we think, or are we just trusting our meters more than we should?

I do realise I'm making too much fuss over nothing much. And I'm sure, in time, I'll get used to my new meter (still love it, it's fast!) and not even notice the different numbers. But I'm still wishing that Diabetes would be easy.
It wont happen.
I'm just going to have to put up with that.

I should've RTFM'd the multi-clix stuff properly too, because I missed the bit that said once a lancet drum is ejected it can't be put back in. A gal has to play with her new stuff, doesn't she? It went in, great. I used it, great. Almost painless, great. But I had to find out how it comes out. Hmm, it comes out easily, but its also rather final and not meant to be able to go back in. Good idea, I'll always know which ones are used... but this one wasn't used!

Thanks to some kiwi ingenuity - oh and some Pommy brains & a bit of force (and a small screwdriver) S managed to get the drum back to it's 'un-used' state so I could stick it back in and use it again. Phew. Ready to stick more holes in me. Can't wait :D


Simon said...

I think casseroled in red wine would be more appropriate. Slow cooking would make my flesh tender and the red wine would mask the "stale ashtray" flavour.

Jonah said...

I see that the Performa is higher every single time.

I use Accu-Chek Aviva and I think it's pretty darned accurate.