Sunday, December 19, 2010

Heap of Junk!

My bloodwork from Wednesday all came back normal.

Except.

My blood sugar. Which was 62, apparently. The funny thing is, I checked my blood sugar on my meter three minutes before the appointment. The meter said 86.

In September I saw a different doctor about other things and I had a tremor during the appointment. I pointed it out, and suggested it might be my thyroid. On the bloodwork, the only abnormal result was... my blood sugar. Which was low. Ooops.

My Dexcom average hasn't gone under 130. My meter average is somewhere in the 150s. My A1cs in November and December were 6.1 and 6.2, suggesting an average of about 125.

Now, I've been managing diabetes and using blood sugar meters for over 51 months at this point. I am aware that I am using one of the best meters on the market in terms of accuracy and consistency. And from my checking twice for calibrations, as well as at other times, I have a pretty good sense of the consistency of my meter. For numbers above 200, a retest is almost always within 5% if my hands are clean. For numbers below 100, a retest is almost always within 5 mg/dl, but not necessarily 5%. The point is though- my meter is consistent.
But in 2007, when I consistently asked my doctors to tell me what the blood sugar was when they were doing CBCs, and would check on my meter right before or after the blood draw, I found that that, if the blood draw was accurate, then my meter... was not.

I know people compare the meter to the blood draw but frankly I don't think it's the meters that go back, just test strips. I mean, seriously, what in the meter is going to go bad? It's the test strips. It's also that it seems to me that if a meter is inaccurate inconsistently, sometimes it's accurate. And it's not the that the meter is necessarily going to do better on the next test- it's just lucky sometimes.

I also know people who think the meters are totally worthless due to inaccuracy. I do not feel this way. I cannot feel my highs or lows dependably. I can't tell them apart from each other either. My meter, inaccurate as it is, makes much more accurate guesses about my blood sugar than I do. If my blood sugar is 400, my meter doesn't guess that it's 40- that would be me. In fact, if my blood sugar is truly below 70, I can depend on my meter to read below about 100. And yes- that is not the accuracy I want. But it's a lot better than I can do on my own.

I am wondering right now if I should simply assume my blood sugar is 10% or so higher than the meter says. The Dexcom inaccuracy could simply be because, as I've already noted, it has a strong tendency to exaggerate my highs, or if it's because I'm calibrating with an inaccurate meter. I don't know. I do know that when I used a One Touch, I got results that were way far apart when I'd test twice in a row, much further apart then I get from two consecutive tests on the Aviva.
P.S. I meant to write that maybe I should assume I'm 10% lower than what the meter says.

1 comment:

Reyna said...

Interesting on the One Touch. Joe uses it, but it also has the remote to the Animas Ping built into it. So, like you, I am left wishing for more accuracy, but will take what I can get...just having the information on whether the number is high or low is huge...as Joe, too has difficulty in determining the difference at times.

Cool post...and I was hoping for some abnormal lab values for you...so you could get some answers...ANYTHING. That has to be frustrating Jonah. Are you feeling any better these days?