Thursday, September 18, 2008

My meter of choice

A few days ago in one of the forums I peruse, someone posted that they were getting ready to buy a meter and wanted to know which one we preferred and why.  She was thinking of buying a One-Touch Ultra Mini.  I posted that I own one and use it as a back-up because it's small enough to stash permanently in my purse.  I also let her know there was a good chance she could qualify for a free one (scroll down and click on "Get a meter").

However, my favorite meter, the one I use all the time, is the Accu-Check Compact Plus.  Since they just came out with a new version, I thought I'd write a post about what I love . . . . and also what I don't love . . . about my meter.

WHY I LOVE MY COMPACT PLUS (new - on the left & old - on the right):
  • The strips.  They come in drums of 17 which you load into the meter, so you don't have to fiddle with individual strips each time you test.
  • The lancet.  It's pretty painless.  And it snaps right onto the side of the meter.  So not only do you not have to fiddle with strips, but you don't have to juggle the lancet device.
  • Uploading your results.  I did have to buy the cord, for $15, to allow me to upload my blood sugars to my computer.  But for me, it was well worth it.  I like the on-line software Accu-Check has for printing results, averages, trends and other reports.

  • The case.  I loved the old case, above on the right.  I wasn't sure what I'd think about the new case, but I love it even more.  The meter slide into a pocket, instead of being held in by an elastic loop.  Under the pocket is a little flap that makes a compartment meant for spare drums of strips.  I use mine to hold an emergency syringe and bottle of insulin.  In the old case, it was out in the open and at times I felt self-conscious having it out there for the world to see.  I appreciate that it's now hidden away.  On top is a pocket for spare lancets.  And the whole thing folds in half and secures with an elastic.  I was skeptical at first, but I love it even more than the old zippered case.
  • The backlight.  That's right, no more struggling to see results in dim lighting.  The new backlight is awesome.
  • "Strip Tally"  If you hold down the off button, it tells you how many strips are left.  There is also a window on the back, like the old version - but over the years the window on my meter got cloudy and I couldn't see the numbers below.  Being able to see  my strip tally on the screen is much better.
  •  I got it for free.  Actually, better than free.  Target was selling it for almost $70, but I knew better than to buy it then.  I waited two weeks, and CVS had them on sale for $10.  Plus, if you bought it, you got $10 in ExtraCare bucks back.  And, there is a rebate in the box for your purchase price back, up to $40.  If you watch for offers, it's pretty easy to get meters for free, because the companies want you to buy their strips.

  • The size.  The old meter wasn't really all that compact, and the new one is even larger.  I understand it needs to be large enough to hold the drum of strips, but it's about three times as tall as a drum.   I'm disappointed that the new version got bigger instead of smaller.
  • It doesn't ping my pump.  I'm always sure to enter each and every blood sugar into my pump.  But it would be nice if Minimed had partnered with Accu-Check so my Compact Plus sent the results to the pump automatically.
  • The strips are not "preferred".  My co-pay for the Accu-Check strips is pretty high.  I have to admit, this ticks me off.  Bad enough I'm stuck doing 8 - 10 fingersticks a day, but the fact that my insurance company tries to dictate what meter I use is pretty infuriating.  But that's another fight for another day.
So there you go.  My thoughts on the Compact Plus. I hope it's helpful - whether you decide these features are what you are looking for in a meter or not.


  1. Finding "preferred" strips is a pain. With my MiniMed it ended up being One Touch and those strips are preferred for my insurance. But when it was the BD meter, it was a $40 co-pay per month! Yikes!

  2. this looks like something alfred would come up with for batman....

    if batman had diabetes, this would be the batmeter.

    its so cool!

    p.s. i want a cool sidekick nickname.

  3. Awesome post and thanks for the link to the free meter.



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