Saturday, 6 March 2010

My 'kit'

I’m pretty happy with all my diabetes gear; I don’t have any major issues with any of it. It’s with me pretty much 24/7 – be it in my pocket, in my bag, etc.

Short story: Freestyle Lite testing kit, Autolet Impressions finger pricker, Novopen 3, Autopen, 8mm Novofine needles.

Long story: I use a Freestyle Lite testing machine, and I love it. It uses Freestyle Lite testing strips (as opposed to bog standard Freestyle testing strips). The first time I got the strips on prescription, the pharmacist (who worked for a pharmacy beginning with B and rhyming with ‘hoots’) tried to deny that the strips existed. At the time, the machine was pretty new on the market.

“I’m looking at my computer and they do not exist on here. Are you sure you’ve got the right name for them?"

“Okay, if you can’t find them, can you call B-‘hoots’ in –insert next suburb- and see if they have them?” I requested politely. “I’ve got the machine and a prescription here from my Dr, so I know they exist.” He continued to deny their existence for a good 5 or so minutes, then decided a different tactic: to become a salesman.

“Tell you what, why don’t you buy this machine here?” he said. I looked at him, flabbergasted.
“I. Don’t. Want. A. New. Machine. I want the strips for the one I’ve just got!”

This continued for another few minutes. In the end, I decided to leave B-‘hoots’ and head for the next pharmacy – another reputable one, this time beginning with Ll and rhyming with...avoids (??). I explained what had happened before.

“Alright,” she said, “let me give our suppliers a call.” Off she tottered towards the phone. A few minutes later she reappeared.
“Right, they’ll be here tomorrow for you. It seems that they’re so new, they haven’t been added onto our databases, but they are available.”
One phone call, and I was sorted. Take that, B-‘hoots’!

Back to the machine: I love it. I love how small it is – it fits very easily into the palm of my hand. It has a relatively large display, which whilst I don’t have issues with my eyesight, I appreciate not having to ever bring it closer to my face to read! It has a great backlight, which first lights up the main screen, then light shoots out from the test strip hole when the light button is pressed again, then a final push to bring it back to the main screen. Which, as mentioned by many people, is great for night time testing – although I would like to point out that to get the light to come on you first need to either put the strip in or press one of the other buttons, -then- press the light button.

For the finger pricking device (also known as the torture device, especially if you have cold hands) I use the Autolet Impression, although this may change soon. However, for the most part, I like this finger pricker. It’s the one that has a set of raised bumps around the pricker bit (maybe now is the time to learn some terminology?), which is supposed to distract your brain from the pain. It thinks about the bumps, not the pricker. In theory, it works. In practice, it doesn’t, if I’m honest. The first few times I think it did, but now my brain is not fooled. I think I will switch back to the finger pricker that comes with the Freestyle Lite soon, I just need to get some lancets for it.

Right. The other stuff! I use Novorapid for my fast acting insulin, so I have a Novopen 3. Can’t say I’ve got many complaints...I have it in a lovely red and blue combination (as opposed to the plain old silver). However, I’ve noticed recently it’s looked really, really battered. Time for a call to nursey I think! Or perhaps my doctor could prescribe me one? He’s pretty nifty at sifting through his prescription generator thing to find what I need.

I use Lantus for my slow acting, and I use an Autopen Classic. I’ve gone through 2 or 3 of these in the past couple of years, and I’ve found that sometimes the mechanism that pushes the plunger goes really slowly on a couple of the pens I’ve had. Not stupidly slowly, just slower enough to notice it.

I use 8mm needles, which is what I’ve been using forever. I have tried using 5mm but I am really uncomfortable with such a short needle – I’m always scared I’m going to pull it out accidently if my hand shakes (or one of my cats rubs against my arm). So for the moment, 8mm it will be.

That’s the lot, I think! I’m pleased to say I’ll be testing out the new Contour USB testing kit from Bayer soon, so I will be sure to review it. Who knows, my precious Freestyle Lite may soon be my backup kit!

(please note, I took all my own photos to share with this post, but for some reason they will not upload)


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