The DL
I was thinking about fingers today. I see the mini holes everyday and I wonder if they will ever go away.

There is a poll to the right of what you are reading with the question, "What is your favorite finger to test on?" Mine is my ring finger on my left hand. Interesting thought I had recently, if I test my blood on different fingers, will I get different answers?

Lately, I have read a lot about the importance of washing your hands before testing, but sinks aren't always available. BUT for the sake of "science" today...we did three mini tests. (Btw has anyone notice if hand sanitizers make a difference?)

I use a One Touch Ultra Link because I like that is links to my pump. It does have coding, (for those who don't know there is a number on a test strip jar and that number needs to match the number on the screen for the most accurate results). I changed the code by one number just to see. (Yes coding is annoying and not every meter requires it)

1. Wrong coded number. Jar says 25, I typed in 24. Hands are unwashed and this is after dinner. This is on the pinky finger. 10:38pm and I am "186" ok...

2.Wrong Code (still using 24) hands are still unwashed. This time I used my left middle finger and one minute later I am "193"


3. This time this is the right code of 25. Back to pinky finger. Hands WASHED this time. (Meaning this SHOULD be the most accurate) and at two minutes later 10:40pm 174.




This to me is crazy. A very large gap even if my coding was off. This makes me nervous. Looks like I should really try to wash my hands more often when testing...Anyone else experience things like this? Is it best to have several different meters or better to stick with just one? How do we know what is most accurate? Obviously meters have come A LONG way, but still-is it too much to ask for these little meters to be a tad more accurate?

I thought I would share what I consider a good day to me! What makes a good day for you?


From what I remember, not one high in that 24 hour period. :) Yeah!!
11 Responses
  1. Reyna Says:

    WOW. That is a GREAT "Good Day" and...we have gotten a 304 (unwashed) vs a 76 (washed). It can make a HUGE difference. I think one meter is better (humble opinion). I like all of the data in one place along with averages etc.


  2. Meagan Says:

    Years ago, my diabetic educator told me that my meter ran about 10% high. Of course, this was assuming hers was accurate. Interesting about the handwashing...I almost always end up using hand sanitizer since I work in a hospital. Really makes you wonder.


  3. Liz Says:

    OMG one night I was alarmed by my Dexcom that I was high (over 200). I got up to test with my One Touch meter. First try was right pointer finger, 174. I tested again because I wasn't sure if the Dexcom or meter were that off. I used my left ring finger, 184. I tested again using my right ring finger, 159. So I grabbed another meter and tested, right middle finger, 150. I stood there thinking "which number is right, if any???" So I corrected using the 159, stopped the sensor on my Dexcom, went back to bed to try and sleep.
    I called the One Touch hotline to report the issue and the rep said that they can be off that much and still be considered accurate!! Just one more variable we PWDs have to contend with!


  4. Valerie Says:

    I know that washing your hands is the "right" thing to do, but it's so not convenient! I've tested it before and it always seems to come out pretty close for me, so then I get annoyed at myself for wasting test strips.


  5. Victoria Says:

    Hey Lauren, interesting post. I thought they were all close in range, but then again, I think I was told the same thing as @Liz. I'm bad not to wash my hands, but after spending time with some CWDs, I've learned to use alcohol swabs. (the little ones are quick to inform you when you don't follow the rules). ;)


  6. Lauren, just wanted to thank you for the very nice comments on my page. Nice to meet you!!!


  7. Must be honest and say we aren't great about making Bean wash her hands....really should, just don't.
    We stick to the same meter, mainly because it's part of her PDM. But when she was on MDI we had our favorite meter and really only trusted it.
    I don't like how off the numbers can be sometimes between meters, between fingers. Sometimes it's not a big deal, but other times it makes a big difference!!


  8. Fiona Says:

    I'm terrible about washing my hands before I test. Once, I tested after cooking dinner and got a 180 mg/dl and I washed and re-tested only because my Dexcom said I was at 80 and sure enough, I was at 80. When I calibrate a new sensor with my Dexcom, I usually wash my hands and then test one finger on each paw. Sometimes it's within 2 mg/dl and other times there's a 20 mg/dl spread and that's with totally clean hands. Living proof of the meter margin of error issue!!


  9. Meghann Says:

    My favorite finger to test on is my left ring finger also weird... And i know you are supposed to wash your hands every time you check but most of the time I never do, so i'm not sure if it makes a difference or not.
    I just found your blog and really love it... can't wait to read more


  10. Meter inaccuracy is one of the most frustrating things we must deal with. They can be 20% off at any time, and that's not counting the non-hand washing and whatever else may be going on. Then you get the inconsistency and inaccurate nature of CGMs... It's a wonder why people wonder why we're out of range and High and Low so often. Hopefully, the FDA moves and requires more accuracy for BG strip makers sooner rather than later.


  11. Alyssa Says:

    On my UltraMini, I usually had a wide range. One night, I "felt" low (I often can't tell) and my meter said 65. I wanted to double-check, because it was before bed and all, and my meter said 104. Then I got mad and tested again-86. So I treated for the low.

    I, too, called Lifescan, and they told me off. +/- 20%. My endo tells me the same thing, I just wish it wasn't true.

    I usually wash my hands, but that makes for very dry hands, so I use alcohol swabs. They're very useful. I SCRUB the finger I'm going to use, then I let it dry completely, otherwise the numbers will be off. If I'm not sure, I'll also test a few times in a row. It's a waste of strips, but I do need to know whether or not I'm low and it doesn't always work too well to test just once.

    Also, Lifescan told me that you need to use a different needle prick for a second test because the fluid leaked from the damaged cells from the first prick can throw off a result.


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