Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, August 12, 2016

I've been working on my health today some

For one, I made an effort to walk around the hospital regularly, as I've had a lot of back pain lately, and while that hurts worse when I stand or walk, the only way to help it, really, is to build up my core, which walking will do. So while I didn't overdo it, I reached my activity goal for today (my phone keeps that as well as my steps) and then some, and I walked 6,865 steps, which is better than I've been doing with this flare-up.

I also was careful today with sweets and took all my medicine with me, in their bottles (I threw them all in the backpack) so I could fill my pill box properly. As a result, my blood sugar was very good today. I'm still having problems with my ankles swelling; when they get big on a day I don't take my diuretic, like they did yesterday, it takes a day or two to get the fluid off of them).

But primarily, there was the meter issue. I see the endocrinologist in a couple of weeks. My values have been good on my blood sugar, for the most part. I should have a lower hemoglobin A1c than last time, and last time was an improvement. I hadn't transferred my results to the computer in awhile, though, and I like to so that I can print a report for her. But I discovered when I tried to bring up the software that it 1) didn't work anymore, with a runtime error and 2) wasn't being distributed anymore. So I couldn't just uninstall and re-download. Instead, Lifescan has created a combination web/mobile application called OneTouch Reveal, which allows you to upload values and find patterns, create reports, all the stuff the old standalone software did and more, and presented graphically and in an easily understood format. My meter, a OneTouch Verio IQ, has a cable that came with it that plugs into the USB port of the computer, and I used a downloaded transfer utility that they have you get (it's free) to transfer several months of readings across to the new web interface. I also downloaded the mobile application. I was very happy with the results. There is also a provision that if you get a code from your doctor's office, they can share the information with them, which is presumably more secure than my e-mailing the logs to the doctor, which is what I had been doing. So I have a call into the doctor's office for that. But along the way, I discovered a new meter that connects and syncs with the mobile application (which in turn, syncs with the web interface), so you don't even need the cable. That way, you can update frequently. It is the OneTouch Verio Flex. I checked, and it was available at the pharmacy for $20, and it's a flexible spending item, so I was able to go ahead and get it after work. It uses the same strips and lancets as the IQ, so that doesn't change. I've set it up, taken my first test, and paired it with the phone so I've already sent that one to update the database. Here's how the two meters stack up:
    OneTouch Verio IQ
  • PROS:
    1. Colour display
    2. Test strip port light that shines on the strip when you're testing
    3. Rechargeable battery
    4. Tags (before/after meal) can be made when you take a test on the meter itself
    5. Can use an included standard USB cord to download results to a computer
    6. Can browse results in multiples by day
    7. Alerts when high or low patterns are indicated
    8. Case zips to contain lancets, solution, etc.
  • CONS:
    1. Must be charged regularly, either by using the USB cable in a computer, or using the enclosed power adapter with the cable.
    2. No way to communicate directly to phone; must use cable.
    3. Small lettering on menus.
    OneTouch Verio Flex
  • PROS:
    1. Can use Bluetooth to pair/connect directly with mobile application
    2. Can use a standard USB cord to download results to a computer
    3. Large numbers, easy to read screen
    4. Indicator easily shows whether high, low, or normal in range
    5. Small, compact case, so whole thing lighter, and it fits in a purse flat and easily
    6. Doesn't have to be recharged regularly, so no need to carry cord in case
    7. Holster comes out of case and can be clipped on belt and still hold meter, lancet, and strips
    8. Lightweight
  • CONS:
    1. Monochrome display (the colour used to indicate high, low, or normal is part of the meter, and then an arrow on the screen is the indicator)
    2. USB cable not included
    3. Battery is a standard watch battery. While it doesn't need to charge, it does need to be replaced--but on the othe rhand, most meter batteries last awhile
    4. Tags are assigned in mobile application, not on meter
    5. No menus, patterns, etc., although it does allow you to go up and down the results
    6. Pouch for lancets doesn't zip--I have mine in a Ziploc snack-sized bag tucked into the pouch.
    7. Not as hefty, but also seems more cheaply made
I hope the above might help if you're planning on getting a meter. Here's what I decided: I'm going to go from now on with the OneTouch Verio Flex, because I have a phone with the mobile application and can sync easily. I'm going to give the other meter, the OneTouch Verio IQ, to a friend who has asked me to check his sugar a few times, so he can have one of his own and I don't mess my results up with his. I went ahead and gave him the new lancing device from this kit and kept my own (both of these come with a OneTouch Delica lancing device, so they're the same). I put some lancets in his pouch, along with a bottle of strips, so he should be good to go, and if the doctor wants him to start testing regularly, the strips would be covered by his insurance. I'm going to give him the user manual as well (I have the original papers and box). So it won't go to waste. It would be helpful to him, I think, because of the colour display and the light on the strip port. He doesn't have (or want) a cell phone, much less a smart phone, so that should be fine for him. The bulkier case shouldn't be a problem for him, as he'd mostly be using it at home. So it's a win-win scenario.

Okay, on that note, time to unpack everything an get ready for tomorrow. Good night.

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