Up Close and Personal
Putting together the annual Diabetes Forecast Consumer Guide is always a learning experience. A huge amount of information from many different sources needs to be researched, checked, and double-checked—and, of course, translated into English from product-speak. And even though the magazine's writers and editors go through this process every year, there are always surprises.
This time around, I was astounded to find 15 new blood glucose meters on the U.S. market. Of course, that doesn't mean they are all improvements on what was available before; if you like the meter you have, there's no reason to make a switch.
You'll notice that two of the products (an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor) are pictured on our pages with actual users. These folks, along with other American Diabetes Association staff members and volunteers, offered up their time and expertise to give us a deeper understanding of how people use diabetes management products in their everyday lives. We learned, for example, that, yes, a meter with a test-strip port light could be a very good thing—and that, no, I'm not the only one who forgets to change my lancets on a regular basis.
One colleague stopped by to demonstrate how she inserts a new CGM sensor. It struck me as the kind of procedure that seems totally unwieldy at first but eventually becomes second nature. I suppose that's like so many things in managing diabetes. Remember the first time you tried to test your own blood glucose?
Having this disease means spending hours learning how to use these devices, and a lifetime becoming expert in taking care of ourselves. No one's diabetes behaves exactly like anyone else's, so we have no choice but to put in the time. Yet if mastering these tasks can bring us all closer to better health, well, I'm all for the extra work.