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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Is my UltraSmart dying?

So we all know I was 523 last night (yikes!). I raged bolused like no ones business. Seriously, I took enough to kill some people, 45 units, broken into 2 different shots.

1 hour later my UltraSmart read 532. WTF?!!!!!!!!!!

I test again - 437

I test again - 402

Within 1 minute my meter ranged over 103 points. Technically, I believe that that is still within the 20% range (or just slightly higher), but honestly, what if I took the 532 at face value, assumed my insulin was bad, switched out and injected MORE insulin?

As it was I was 142 2 hours later, and 46 2 hours after that. I shudder to think what would have happened if the little voice in my head hadn't said "NO WAY man, test again, NO WAY did you go UP."

Its also really beginning to bother me that I've had 2 RIDICULOUS highs in the past 2 weeks and I didn't feel that sick with them. I was fine. Oh sure my mouth was drier then a desert, but I wasn't the "holy crap, I'm dying of the flu" sick that I normally am.


I really think I'm going to push for a CGMS. I'm hopefully that I can get it pushed through insurance (its nice having a good "in" with them).


Nicole P said...

OK - so I had a terrible experience with an ultra smart machine - and landed up in the emergency room as a result.

I felt a bit low one night, so I tested: 511 says my machine. Hmmmm... I don't feel 511, I say. So - I test again - 519 say the machine. But. But. I test for ketones - none. I test one more time - 531... Ugh. OK then. I give the required bolus to bring said bloodsugar down: 9 units (this is equal to 30% of my usual daily dose - yikes!) I test in fifteen minutes - 38 says the machine. I test again, 32 say the machine, I test just one more time, 29 it reads. Good God, I think, and then I call the ambulance as I can feel that panic + bloodsugar in the 20s = no good and my boyfriend has gone off to rehearse with his band.

I am almost totally irrational when the ambulance arrives. I try to explain what happened, but I'm clearly not making much sense. It takes nearly a bag of IV dextrose to get my bloodsugar above 100. The doc in the er looks at my machine and tells me "If you're sure that you had nothing on your hands when you did this test, I would NOT trust this machine." I am sure I had nothing on my hands - more than SURE. Before I tested for the third time, I washed them AGAIN - just to be sure.

Until recently, I vowed never to use a One Touch product again. Alas - the One Touch is the only machine that has strips covered with a reasonable co-pay with my new insurance. So I've had to come back to what I refer to as the "Dark Side." Hopefully, I'll have better luck this time. But be very careful with that machine.

MileMasterSarah said...

My Ultra Smart consistently will do goofy readings. If I’m high I ALWAYS test twice. It screws up my averages, but it is different enough that I always do it. My lows I always believe, though.

Scott K. Johnson said...

It is really scary when we can't trust these things that we depend on so.

I just shudder thinking about what Nicole went through - WTF happened? Could have been really bad if she didn't have the presence of mind to call for help.

Michael Park said...

Wow, Nicole's experience sounds terrifying...
I've kept all the machine's I've ever had, and I use a couple different ones currently. I always test with a different machine if the reading is extreme, or if it doesn't make sense with how my body is feeling.

Chrissie in Belgium said...

It annoys the hell out of me that these monitors can't be trusted. How are we suppose to make any treatment decisions?! And by the way, I also don't understand why the medical community out there just accepts that a monitor can be 20% OFF. How come they get off so easy. 20% that is HUGE! Glad you followed your intuition.... but if you explain to a doc that you followed your intuition in other situations they look at you like you are crazy..... Their eyes say - stick to the rules. F*** the rules!

Lili said...

I have heard that the Ultrasmart is only rated for 10% accuracy between 30 and 380. So I've heard people recommend that if you're super high, don't correct all the way down at first. Unfortunately, I haven't heard of any other meters being more accurate and mine is very accurate within the above range.

Bernard said...

Yuk, that is horrible.

Have you called Lifescan and asked for a replacement meter? Tell them your story and let them know how you feel about it. At the very least they should be replacing that one.

Generally I've never had problems with my Ultrasmart, though I truly love the Freestyle. I just never got used to the lack of visual feedback.

Thanks for this cautionary tale, I'll be sure and use another meter if I get something higher than 350.