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Advice on UK meters (and a rant)

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by EllieM, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have my 89 year old T2 father visiting over Christmas until March. Since low carbing last Christmas he's had his gliclazide reduced from 3 to one 80mg tablet per day.

    He doesn't test much (at all?) home but carefully brought his testing kit to see what was happening while he's here (I am hoping to get him off that last gliclazide).

    We had a houseful over Christmas so finally got his kit out today

    1) testing strips are accu-chek performa, last prescribed in November 2019 (ie those are his current strips). Plus an instruction booklet for the performa nano so I'm hoping he has the actual meter at home somewhere.
    2) One accu-chek aviva meter with some strips dated September 2010. I'd need to replace the battery to make it work, and given that the strips (one packet of 50) are 10 years old I assume there's not much point??? Given the date I think they probably belonged to my T1 mother who died in 2012.
    3) I have a accu-chek compact plus meter together with a softclix plus lancing device and some lancets. No instructions but when I googled they appear to need a fancy dispensing drum of test strips, which I don't appear to have. I doubt this one has ever been used, it certainly wasn't the meter he came out with last year, which had individual strips. Why give him this meter and continue to give him strips for another meter????
    4) I have an accu-chek fastclix finger pricker plus several boxes of lancets. Yay, this works!!!!

    I am officially tearing my hair out!

    Luckily I have spare/old meters here (caresens), so I can just buy strips for that (I have the caresens dual and don't want to confuse my results with his), but am confused as to what to do with all these meters. (Can't get strips for any of them in NZ as far as I know, though I could probably order some from amazon US.) It seems a shame to throw them away. Is there a charity that accepts them?

    So tempted just to shove everything back in his bag to take home, but I don't want to leave him with multiple unusable meters there either.

    Suggestions, or just some sympathy, welcomed. (OK, I know this is a bit of a first world issue, but I'm just fuming at the fact that I have all these meters and test strips and none of them are compatible with each other.)

    Edited to add: and no one has ever shown him how to use any of this equipment (though to be fair he probably told them that I would show him). What is the point of giving someone testing equipment and not showing them how to use it?
     
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  2. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Oh I have read of a nurse stabbing a patient and jeering when they winced at having the point inserted fully into their finger - the nurse had not put the top back on the lancing device.
    Personally I just read the instruction book to see how to set up and use the equipment - but then I always do.
     
  3. kaylz91

    kaylz91 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    There are many that have never been shown how to finger prick usually those that aren't lucky enough to be prescribed a meter and test strips so have to self fund them but then again its not difficult with a read of a book, if your mother was Type 1 and you as well then they probably thought he'd know how to conduct a simple finger prick from seeing 2 people doing it xx
     
  4. becca59

    becca59 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I thought the question here was what to do with all the stuff. It’s causing you frustration (understandably) so personally I would dump the lot. Seems awful and a waste, but test strips have a time limit as you are aware and the meters sound old. For accuracy buy him a cheap new one. Get him sorted with testing. Getting your dad sorted is the most important thing.
     
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  5. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Personally I wouldn't be starting a low carb diet if I was 89, what was his motivation?
     
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  6. Marie 2

    Marie 2 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    I would just toss them, the technology changes all the time and new meters aren't that expensive, they sometimes even change the strips to newer ones. At 89 you don't want him grabbing or pulling out the wrong one and I'm not sure you would be doing anyone favors with giving away older meters.
     
  7. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    To live to reach 90 and above and feel as well and as fit as he can maybe.
     
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  8. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    To feel better so he can make the most of his remaining years?

    My husband's family generally live in reasonable health for a hundred years. My mother in law is 86 and is very active and has all her marbles.
     
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  9. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    That’s fine as long as it was his own idea.
     
  10. TriciaWs

    TriciaWs Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    That is good he has managed to reduce his pills and improve blood sugars, but worrying he wasn't getting more support.

    I would get strips for yours if that is the cheapest option for now? And ask if a pharmacy will take the other meters to recycle?

    Get him to test and record his morning fasting plus before and 2 hrs after every meal for a few days.
    Then if he is carb counting I would test after any meal that includes new foods. By doing this I found I spike more from strawberries than the same amount of carbs in raspberries, and that I can now safely eat 1.5 slices of low carb bread with butter but not 2.
    I also test once a week, fasting plus before after at least one meal to check I'm not slowly adding a little more carbs over time or need to adjust my target level.
     
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  11. TriciaWs

    TriciaWs Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    After watching my mother's decline in her 80s and 90s I would not wish uncontrolled t2 on anyone. It affected her ability to walk, her sight, her cognitive ability - and caused both bladder and bowel incontinence from both neuropathy and side effects from the pills.
    Also the associated restless legs from neuropathy meant she struggled to sleep.
    She was so miserable the last few years of her life.
    My father also lived into his mid 90s, but far more alert and active with a decent diet , etc.
     
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  12. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    I was a little sceptical about lo carb for an 88 year old (last year) but my brother suggested it and my father agreed, He lost 1 1/2 stone and reduced his hba1c dramatically. Everyone, including me, who sees him now comments on how much better he looks after a year of low carb. And, more importantly, he's happy with the result and able to keep up the lo carb at home.

    Actually he has relatively little trouble using the finger pricker (though he does have trouble getting enough blood, is this an old age problem), I've given him one of my old NZ meters, it may not be sophisticated but it's relatively easy to use.

    I was expecting that this would be his last year to visit us in NZ - I no longer think so.

    Apologies for the vent but I could not cope with the fact that he had all this kit and none of it worked....
     
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  13. Banting

    Banting · Member

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    It's brilliant that he brought all that gear with him and that you can sort it out. Best to chuck away all the rubbish stuff. Old people need a bit of direction now and again and then they can carry on quite well by themselves. Brilliant that he has changed his food and has got to a better medication. He's definitely interested in his well-being.
     
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