Thought for the Day

Monday, March 23, 2009

strips everywhere

Like some of you out there, I spend a fair amount of time checking my blood sugar in my car. I get in and decide to test before driving somewhere, or I drive somewhere and decide I'd like to test before I go in.
So I was sitting in my car preparing to test my blood sugar when I dropped a test strip. I looked, and I could see the strip between the base of the seat and the side of the saddle over the transmission. Each strip is worth about $1, and we're in some kind of a global economic downturn, so I decided I had to recover it.
But as I reached to grab it, the strip slid away. I couldn't get my thumb down there, so I tried to squeeze it between my first and second finger. It slid further down. I reached again, I strained, I got it, I pulled it up, and saw the test strip I recovered was from a meter I hadn't used in years.
OK, I couldn't give up now, so I opened my door, got out and got down near the floor of the car and reached from the other side. And I pulled back two strips. I thought this was weird, because while I use a lot of strips, I generally keep all of the used ones in the change tray in front of the gear shift lever. I don't throw them all over.
When all cars had ash trays, mine used to always fill up with test strips. I'm sure some of you reading this know how that is.
Anyway, unsure that I had recovered the strip I had just dropped, I kept reaching under that part of the seat. Understand that I wasn't reaching all over, combing the carpeting for strips. I was just finding the one strip I had just dropped. And soon I had eight strips.
I never considered it a design flaw before, but these Freestyle test strips don't look any different after they've been used. You can't see if they have old dried blood in them. You have to put them in the meter to see if they're going to work.
It turned out that none of the strips I found under the seat was functional, and in the end I had to pull out a new strip to get my blood sugar.
Five or ten minutes in the life of a diabetic.


Scott K. Johnson said...

Those strips are everywhere! Even when I think I'm doing a decent job of tossing them (or at least collecting them in one spot), I find them all over.

I kind of chuckled when at the end you still had to get a new strip out!

Saci & Carlene said...

it's funny because just the other day I found a used strip of mine on the floor at work and then I found another one. Then I thought - I've got to be more careful with these - I'm getting as bad as smokers with their butts on the floor everywhere. I'm the only diabetic at work, so it's kind of an easy guess who's the culprit... If only the AIG guys were as concerned about the economic downturn as you are.