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I am a relatively clean person.  I don't like dirty dishes, hampers filled with needs-to-be-washed laundry, and I despise knowing the cat box has those teeny morsels of yuck in it.  Sometimes, late at night when I should be getting ready for bed or relaxing on the couch, I'm hit with these cleaning fits.  I'll scrub away at every last stain on the counter, reorganize my underwear drawer (yes, it's organized for the most part), or start chucking the expired items from the fridge. 

I clean up my desk whenever I leave the office.  I can't stand messy piles of paper or a filthy, unwashed coffee cup with that tell-tale ring of grinds the bottom.  I don't like when the garbage can isn't emptied every night.  

Clean.  I like it that way.

So why, oh why, do I find myself completely and utterly inept when it comes to properly disposing of used test strips?  

These little buggers are everywhere.  I've written about them before (stuck to Chris's face, on the floor at the gym, and even discussed in dictionary entries), yet I still haven't found a way to solve the problem.  I test anywhere from 8 - 15 times a day, so these used strips accumulate and are inadvertently stashed in parts of my life like those hidden picture things from Highlights for Children

Glucose meter strip on the floor.

On the floor just next to my garbage can. 

(And that's a sticker from an apple.  I couldn't get it to peel back up.) 

Bag o' stuff.

At the bottom of my massive work bag (with many other assorted bits).

Even in the damn camera bag.

Even in my relatively-new and almost always zipped camera bag.  How the hell did it get in here?

Crafty little testy suckers.  I do my very best to make sure I do not leave a pocket of test strips when I visit new places or people, but I always find a pile of them hanging out in the spots I frequent the most:  my car, my office, and my home.  I keep trying to get them in the garbage can but it's like the bin takes a step to the left every time I go to toss one out.  Are garbage cans across the country uniting to thwart my best intentions?

I need to sharpen my disposal skills.


Y'know, the whole Eddie Vedder thing at Shannon's blog must have sent my mind into the gutter...I thought "strip" was going to mean something else entirely. Where is my brain?!


Do you smoke? I see a lighter in your bag. Oh, wait. That's a flash drive isn't it?

Kathy - LOL! I know. Shannon's got us all in the gutter. ;)

Nick - NO WAY do I smoke. It's a flash drive. There's also a barrette, some stamps, and the USB hookup for my phone. :)

I think you could've found a better word in lieu of "strip".

That's pretty suggestive, don't you think? Did you use it to gain "attention"? I don't think it's necessary.

"Blood collecting contraption" would've been more appropriate.

I hear ya on the random test strip placement! I woke up the other morning after a 2am low with one stuck to my chest. I also tend to drop one or two if I'm testing while out and about in the city, though I try not to litter (and not to leave my DNA all over San Francisco).

Shannon - aLOL! I could have used a different word, yes. But I didn't want to. Now I need to give you a proper response via IM. And you know what it will include. ;)

Sara - I know! It's the littering thing that I'm paranoid about.

I think that all trash cans are conspired against diabetes test strips (is that a better term then just plain strips :P). I am always finding the boogers in odd places as well as next to every trash can in this house. Yes...I am talking about those pesky blood collection devices and not actual boogers. But, it is cold season. Yuck!

Does the response you're referring to have a U and a C in the middle of an F and a K?

On a more serious note, I got comfy on the couch, opened up a BRAND NEW People magazine and on page 3 found a blood collecting contraption clinging to the page.


When I find them in my shoes or in an office drawer I always think of Scott post about the snow melting at Spring time and finding a test strip that was being preserved in the snow on his back porch! So Funny.

or how about your dog chewing it? thats always a fun one. try catching him with a gross test strip hanging out of his mouth.he loves them that carnivore

If your kit has the space, you should carry an empty strip vial to throw the used strips into. I mark the dirty vial with an X so I don't confuse the two. I used to--and more disgustingly, my friends used to--find them everywhere. Now I never do, unless I empty the dirty vial into the trash and there's a spill. My meter and spare pump supplies and insulin and everything all live in the same place (www.flickr.com/photos/kirinqueen/414694239/), of course, which helps.

I swear I'm going to start a website where we can go to "register" a sighting out in the wild.

Picture a website that loads a Google Maps map with little red placemarkers where people have seen strips.

It's gonna be SWEET I tell you! www.isawastrip.com

Anyone want to donate some webdev time to this project? I'll get the domain and host it...

Strips invade my life as well. I think they actually have the ability to jump from my kit. I just started trying a new method - I put the used ones in the little mesh zipper part of my kit and then empty them when it gets pretty full. Of course, the 2 a.m. testing inevitably still ends up stuck to my face.

a couple weeks ago my friends and I were out to dinner.. as we all looked at the menu my on friend said

"seonaid... I just opened my hand and one of your test strips was in there"

We all had a good laugh. They end up in the strangest places!!

I always put my strips in the little pocket to the side of my meter (Freestyle Flash, so yours may be different but I think they all have a zipper pocket) where others might keep lancets (yeah right) or control solution. I close the zipper 80% of the way and then slide them in after each test. I test around 10 times a day too and I have to dump the bag in the trash every 10 days or so...Worth a try! I never find strips anywhere!

i was always the butt of a joke regarding this in college... my friends would fly down to visit me at school, and strolling around campus, found TWO of them lodged in different cracks in the sidewalk. I guess i test on-the-go alot ? :)

LOL! I agree my strips are everywhere as well. I always here comments from family members and friends...."EWWW RIZ your strips are all over the place" sigh...

I can relate to Sarah's post. While traveling Europe after college w/a friend, she teased me about leaving one in each country we had visited! Talk about spreading one's DNA! And Kerri, I like the possible double entendre!

HI, I am a mom of three, 2 of them have the big D. Josh was diagnosed at 2 and is now 8 and Chris was diagnosed at 12 and is now 14. Needless to say we have thousands of test strips in our house each year and I quickly imagined them taking it over. They seem to appear out of nowhere. I took an empty vial of test strips stuck a label on it that says "USED" and put the used strips in there. When it's full I just toss it and start over.
The strips still turn up in strange places every now and then but we don't have to swim through them to get out the door.

I once suggested that people start mailing their used strips to their insurance companies until they start covering CGM technology.

I have/had the same problem as you, not wanting to get up to just pitch the strips in the garbage, they ended up on the tables, the floor or my empty food plate and my wife hates it. Did you know dishwashers don't handle these strips easy, causing them to break-down. I therefore now use the emty container of my cartridge (I use the 15 strip Compact+ type) It will hold hundreds and I then dispose of it in my sharps container. The old fashioned film containers would work perfect too. As my meter uses cardridges I know a single strip is used so I don't have to mark the containers.
You ladies have it easy as you could add this to your purses/pocket-books.
As a 35 plus year Type I veteran you find ways.
Good health

My 17 year old son has been Type I for 11 years. We have found these things everywhere! The strangest places have been in the bottom of my lunch cooler, in the shower, in the grass in the back yard, etc. I'll bet I have found at least 30 each time I've pulled the "if you don't clean your room, I'm gonna do it MY way" card with him. But the wierdest place ever still makes me laugh. I was at work and all day the side of my bra kept itching me. I finally went into the restroom to look at it and thought maybe it was a stray nylon thread or something. Nope. It was one of Trey's test strips! I had laid my clothes out the night before on the laundry hamper in the bathroom and I guess he tried to throw it in the trash next to the hamper and it landed on my clothes. Thankfully now that he's older they're not everywhere but I"ll bet if I cleaned his room for him I'd find enough to fill a bottle! :)

I can't stand used strips laying around. My husband has the same problem you do with them getting away. I have a pocket in my test kit that my used ones go into. Velcro is very good to keep the pocket closed so they don't fall out. Then when I empty a bottle of them - the used ones go right back into the bottle they came out of. Presto! No more mess.

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