Earlier in the week we got hit pretty bad with a tropical storm. We lost power for most of the day and didn’t have internet until the second day. Not to mention, parts of our yard were transformed into a doggy swimming pool. So what do storms have to do with a BG Meter? Well, I’m glad you asked. Because that’s the first thing I think about when choosing a BG Meter… can it work if I lose power (especially for days at a time)?
What I Look for in a BG Meter
1. Battery Operated
Living in New Hampshire means there WILL be days when we lose power. Sometimes for multiple days. And if you don’t have a generator, this means once your ‘charge-only’ BG meter runs out of juice, you’re out of luck. This also comes in handy for camping trips or off-the-grid getaways.
BG meters are required to be within a 15% variable of your actual blood glucose, but some fall short. That means, depending on your BG, your meter could be 50 mg/dL or more off! Studies are done all the time on meter accuracy, so make sure the meter you have, or the one you’re getting, is accurate. Check out this recent comparison study HERE.
3. Affordable Test Strips
When I was under the age of 25 and still on my parents INCREDIBLE health insurance plan, my 300 count test strips were only $25/month! Now that I’m on my own health insurance plan, those same test strips cost me $350/month. That’s why, now, when I’m looking for a BG meter I do some research on how much its test strips will cost.
4. Easily Replaceable
You’d think I’d remember to take my life saving supplies everywhere with me, but I don’t. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven to work or even out of the state only to realized that I don’t have my meter with with me. And if I’m really unlucky, I won’t have my extra-car-BG-meter either. That’s why it’s important that my BG meter (and it’s parts) can be easily replaced. To me, this means, I can find it at any pharmacy. Because sometimes I’ll have a boat load of test strips with me, but no meter. Or maybe I have a meter, but no test stips. Being able to fix the situation FAST by going to a local pharmacy makes a bad situation better, real quick!
So what meter do I use that meets all 4 of my above requirements?
I use the Bayer Contour Next EZ.
It’s battery operated, one of the most accurate meters currently on the market, has affordable test strips (between $60-70 for a 300 pack on amazon), and is sold at every pharmacy (at least every one that I’ve been in). Plus it’s less than $10!
If you like the bells and whistles that come with other meters, then forewarning, this meter does not have that. Personally, I’ve had those meters, and I never used those features. Just tell me what my BG is (and save that info with the time, in case I need it later) and that’s it! I’m a happy camper!
Question of the day
What are your BG meter requirements? Let me know in the comments below.