I have faithfully used a One Touch meter my entire diabetic life (25 years to be exact). I started with the clunky one in the picture above, which I’ve kept the way other people might keep cassette players–valuing their sentiment and nostalgia, never really expecting to ever use it again. This first meter of mine has the hard plastic case the size of two cell phones and test stips the size of a finger, and I had waited a grueling 25 whole seconds for each test result. I carried around an entire backpack for my diabetes supplies as a 10 year old, and no wonder: this meter itself would take up at least a quarter of it.
As years went by, my One Touch meters wore out and I purchased or was given the latest model; always smaller, always shinier, always faster. It wasn’t until I had an issue last month with my insurance company that I ever even thought about using a different meter brand. Insurance had “forgotten” to tell me that I now had a limit on my allotted strips, unless I had the proper paperwork submitted from my doctor. Of course, this paperwork took the insurance company approximately two weeks to process, two weeks I didn’t have in actual strips.
So, what could I do? Well, first, PANIC. Then, think more logically. I grabbed the free Contour meter (with free contour strips) which had come as a bonus to my most recent pump upgrade.
And I loved it. It gave me the option to record whether I was testing before or after a meal, to add notes, and to charge it every night instead of worrying whether the crazy small, rare, and expensive replacement watch batteries in my purse would still work if my meter needed changing.
But this was hard. CHANGE is hard. It felt weird to use a different meter and TRUST it after 25 years of the same meter, the same way it had felt wrong and unnatural to rely on an insulin pump when I switched after 10 years of injections. I think only a diabetic can understand this. My meter, my pump…they are more than equipment. They are loyal friends who have SAVED me, many, many, many times.
So, I couldn’t just get rid of an old friend. Instead, I retired him. I have him sitting safely in my closet in case I need a backup. But, for now, he is resting, while his newer, more technologically savvy replacement takes care of me for at least a little while.