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Meter, Meter, Average-Eater

When I'm feeling particularly moody, I check the average on my machine to assess how things are going, diabetes-wise.  Sometimes I'm expecting a nice number and I'm rewarded with an average of 120 mg/dl or similar.  Sometimes I look at the meter screen through my fingers and see an average of 180 mg/dl screaming back at me. 

But until recently, I believed everything my meter told me.  It was my own little Oracle (like from The Neverending Story, which I have mentioned before and I still love).  Clean my hands, prick my finger, and act in response to the number revealed. 

Earlier this week, my meter was more Magic 8 ball than Oracle.This thing reminds me of that show, A Current Affair.

Using my OneTouch Ultra2 (the mini-meter is officially my "beach meter" and sits waiting in my backpack, along with the tampons), I tested on Wednesday afternoon to see how much glucose I was carrying. 

At 2:38, my meter blipped back with 121 mg/dl.  Ah.  Nice result there.

I am currently testing out the Keynote from Agamatrix, so I busted out that meter for a comparison test.

259 mg/dl.

Quite a difference there. 

Remembering the Hand Lotion Incident from this past winter, I trotted off to the bathroom to wash my hands.  Returning, I retested with the One Touch. 

2:40 pm:  244 mg/dl

2:41 pm:  118 mg/dl

Control solultion test at 2:42 pm:  115 mg/dl

2:43 pm:  210 mg/dl

2:45 pm:  Ask Again Later.  (Damn you, Magic 8 Meter!)

I'm silently screaming in my head at this point.  HOW THE HELL DO I TREAT A BLOOD SUGAR THAT WON'T STAY STILL?

The Keynote responds differently.

2:40 pm:  259 mg/dl

2:41 pm:  272 mg/dl

2:41 pm:  216 mg/dl

Control Solution test at 2:42 pm:  111 mg/dl

2:43 pm:  298 mg/dl

I needed a tie-breaker.  Calling upon one of the diabetics on the dLife Production team, I asked if I could snake his meter for a minute.  Having bailed one another out of several diabetes-jams over the last year, he was more than happy to help me out.  His BD meter spit back a crispy 252 mg/dl.

Okay, obviously I am high.  But I'm not particularly symptomatic, so what if I rolled on with the initial result from the One Touch?  I would have spent the afternoon in the mid-200's, all while thinking I was at a healthy 120 mg/dl.

I'm thankful that I was testing out the Keynote, otherwise I wouldn't have had the inclination to test again and find out that the One Touch was tossing skewed results again.  But my faith is shaken in technology at the moment.  Diabetes control is a moving target as it is, but to factor in technological misfirings in addition to my own wayward tendencies? 

OneTouch, you need to get your shit together. 


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The Rock Biter says, "A delicious looking limestone rock. Mmmmmmmm. Nice bouquet, must be a real vintage year."

I've decided meters are evil and will do anything possible to put a crimp in your day. BTW, how did you like your mini? I'm thinking about getting one...the small factor makes it very appealing!

I recently lined up my collection of meters:
and tested with as many as I could find strips for. My meter from 1994 said I was 1.6(28) and one from 1996 said I was 20 something(>360). I suppose the well-expired strips have something to do with that.

how incredibly frustrating.

I'm suspecting that my OneTouch average is off given some not-so-good symptoms as of late. If my A1C does come back higher than it's been, I'm asking for another brand of meter (of course, I have to find out what our insurance covers best besides OneTouch...)

I really don't understand this stuff. It kind of scares me, to be honest. I sure don't want to spend the afternoon in the high 200s when I'm feeling smug with a nice 120 post-lunch! But who has the money to triple test (with many different meters) every time? Much less carry all those darn meters and strips??

I use a BD and a one touch ultra. This way I have 2 script for testing strips because 200 strips a month is about the limit without an appeal. Now I get 400 strips and pay a total of 45 dollars. The BD are more expensive at $35. The One touch Ultras are $10 bucks for 200. However they require a lot of blood compared to the BD. I have to say the BD meter is pretty accurate.
To everyone who has a One touch ultra and has had it for a year you can get a free upgrade by visiting their website. I just asked for a One Touch Ultra Mini yesterday.

I need to get some strips to test out my fancy schmancy ultra 2 further. It was testing a fairly consistent 30 pts below the freestyle. The freestyle tested about 20 pts below the precision. I've rationalized the freestyle since my a1c was not nearly as high as the precision numbers suggested it should be. I like the fancy ultra 2 and I WANT those numbers to be right.


Thanks for the comment and for writing this entry! It's nice to know that more people are experiencing this OneTouch meter fluke. False readings can be the difference between a few units of insulin which can be a very big deal and is extremely frustrating.

That is so frustrating! How many freaking meters to we have to carry around to make sure they are working???

BTW - What the hell was Bastian's Mom's name? I swear, I have seen that movie 10,000 times and cannot figure it out!!!

I don't like the sound of this one bit. Right now I tested with the following:
One Touch Ultra 172
One Touch Mini 90
Walgreens generic 188
I am hugely sensitive to insulin and these numbers are probably not presenting me with the information I need to make a good decision.
.......I am getting madder by the minute, and the high cost of this stuff doesn't do anything to improve my mood.

Are you kidding me? I just tossed (figuratively - I never toss out meters) the BD in favour of the One Touch, since I've been told they're more reliable. Now I'm hearing they have problems, too.

Why the hell can't health insurance cover the Freestyle strips? I hate our insurance company. They suck.

When my Accu-Chek meter gave a 109 for what the lab said was 88, my endo informed me that many One Touch Ultras always are at least 5 points high.
I've had 3 accu-cheks and 2 of them were consistant and awesome and one was a piece of junk.

My daughter just got the new OneTouch Mini. It's cute and cool, but we didn't realize that it has no memory at all. We didn't read all the instructions I guess. It only stores around 10 readings. Nowhere near enough. Her endo was not happy when we showed up with for him to download (no download capability).

I'm surprised to hear about this. I've used a OneTouch Ultra and OneTouch UltraSmart and never had this happened. Every time I've tested when I get my blood drawn, it's been within 1-3 points of the lab test. Every time I've compared a reading to another meter, it's been within range (+-10%). That's why I continue to use them. I think if I started getting bad readings, I'd make them send me a new one.

Oh I just hate when this happens.

And when I was comparing with the KeyNote and my OneTouch Ultra, there often seemed to be a higher result with the KeyNote. Though not THAT big a difference.

If you want an accurate meter, get an Ascensia Contour. They trim the reagent-coated surface at the factory depending on how the reagent batch turned out, making for (a) excellent accuracy and repeatability, and (b) _no_ coding.

OneTouch? No thanks.


That's really strange about the OneTouch results. I've also been experimenting with the Keynote, and getting odd results, almost always about 30 points higher than my Flash and Ultrasmart readings, which are usually pretty consistent. I called them, and since the solution readings were just barely in range, they tried to say it was working properly. I finally convinced them to send me a new one though, which i'll get on monday.

Recently purchased the keynote and for kicks compared it to my Ultima by Reli on. You do not want to know the disparity. Some good advice: use one and only one meter and work the adjustments accordingly, even if the reading is off you are better using and adjusting to one reading instead of many.

WOW... I can't beleive that you just posted this story.

I bought a One Touch Ultra Mini meter and had the same problem. So I threw it out..But I liked the style of it so much I got a new one. Just figured it was a fluke. But after reading your story I decided to test this meter also. The results...umm, not so good.

One Touch Ultra Mini - 153
Freestyle Flash - 219

So now I'm on hold with One Touch and my husband is on his way to my office with a bag full of meters, test strips and control solutions. Fun Fun

Shoulda known that 2 weeks of nearly flawless BG's was too good to be true.

I have years of bad experience under my belt with both One Touch and BD. With One Touch, it was frequent way-off readings, and with the BD Logic it was the blasted error message every other strip that was undefensibly wasteful. I have used an Ascensia Contour meter for going on three years now and LOVE it. No calibration errors, no random errors at all. Highly recommended.

Kerri...i deffinatly know how you feel. I also have the same problem, and been having that unsure feeling about whether or not my number is accurate lately. I have two of the BD Paradign Link meters that came with my Medtronic Minimed Pump..and my results have been a little messed up. I checked it like 2 times in a row and one was 273 and the other 243. and another time..my BD link said like 80 or 90 something..and i deffinatly didnt feel that good...so i checked on my One Touch Ultra and got a 60...so go figure...Im just never sure anymore which meter is correct. I even got to a point i was so confused that i lined up like four meters and checked with them all..haha...its a mystery to me..

We're having the same issues with FreeStyle and the Cozmonitor that you are having with OneTouch. My daughter used OneTouch up until she started pumping; we found that her numbers were consistently different from one to the other. Her pal who was just dx'd got FreeStyle meters from the hospital, and her mom just told me that she's getting readings that vary 50-100 points from one meter to the other - using the same brand. I'm ready to storm the FDA to get a Navigator. I want one NOW.

I have compared my daughters cozmoniter and the Onetouch Ultra 2 and the Coz has consistantly returned reading 50-100 points higher. Threw the Cozmoniter in the trash where it belongs!!!

I have tried a number of meteres and I most always get different results with different meters. The worst was when I used the Acensia. But it seems to be a really common problem.

I am with others, you need to pick one brand/machine and go with it.

There's a small voice inside me that pleads, "I have diabetes already, isn't that enough? Why should I have to deal with meter inconsistencies, bad infusion sites, and trying to remember to refill my prescriptions on top of all that?"

Thanks for giving the WaveSense KeyNote a chance. At AgaMatrix we are working hard to develop extremely accurate BGM's. Our hope is that our products are never compared to Magic Eight-Balls, Ouija boards or other occult measurement devices.

If you, or any of your readers are curious, we have posted whitepapers on our website demonstrating our accuracy compared to laboratory-grade measurement devices.

See how we compare:


Joseph Flaherty
Manager, Product Design




I'll second the comments by Felix on the Bayer Ascencia Contour. I have been using it for 3 years and the worst experience was a bad strip.......

Don't you just love paying for glitzy packaging and promises only to find the technology is still so 1990's? Faster, smaller, cuter, smaller sample . . . but accuracy? Who cares about accuracy. What the heck, though, at least we're keeping the strip makers happy--and their shareholders.

I know that this is an older post... we don't use the One Touch, but I do know that they recently had a rcall on lots of their strips. Inaccurate readings..

Hi Kerri,

Just wanted to chime in and tell you and your readers (hope Im not too late) I tested my freestyle meters when I did my bloodwork and I was amazed at the results. My bloodwork showed a BS of 70 and one meter read 72 and the other was dead on at 70! Can't ask for better than that! I am a freestyle supporter for life based on those results!

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