I had been using FreeStyle Optimum test strips since I was diagnosed. These were wrapped in foil, and left a lot of mess on my desk because I’m too lazy to throw them in the bin straight away. Travelling with them was a nightmare. If you’re like me and want to take 5 boxes with you in your hand luggage in case of a plane crash, this can prove to be a challenge among all the other travel junk.
Last year my diabetes educator gave me a FreeStyle Insulinx meter, and I was introduced to the world of FreeStyle Lite test strips. Quite honestly, they’ve changed my life forever. Instead of the annoying foil wrapping and bulky boxes, these test strips come in small capped vials of 50. They are so much more convenient to use on the run. 10 vials will fit much easier into my hand luggage. There’s no annoying foil wrapping to rip open before I can get to the test strip, and the blood sample required is so much smaller as well. I really notice the difference when I’m using my old Optimum Xceed meter at work. (Of course, FreeStyle is not the only brand of capped test strips you can buy).
Then there’s the mess. Test strips are so damn messy. Partly because I use so many of them. Partly because of the foil, if I’m using the Optimum ones. But mostly because I am too lazy to pick them up and throw them in the bin after each blood glucose test.
A few months ago, I had this pencil cup that I was ready to throw away. Today, it sits on my desk beside my blood glucose meter, acting as a rubbish bin for used test strips and leaving my desk clean and free from blood stains (eww, right?).
Then there’s the leftover blood on my fingers after a glucose test. I always wipe it with an alcohol swab, apply pressure with a tissue and then wash my hands.
I’m a wiper. I wipe the leftover blood on my finger against the side of my test strip, toss it into my pencil cup, and I’m good to go!
Finally, to repeat one of my favourite hacks, test strips vials make great hypo jars. My hypo brain always manages to lose count of the skittles I’ve eaten. This hack saves me so much time when I’m low and all I really want to do is shove sugar in my mouth as quickly as possible!
Have any diabetes life hacks of your own? Post yours to Diabetes Queensland on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #diabeteslifehacks and the team will share them during National Diabetes Week!
I have always used test strips in vials. I cannot imagine a different method.
I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes.org blog page for the week of July 11, 2016.
The mini-bin hack is great. Mine go straight back in my D-supplies bag and then the blood gets everywhere.
I had to laugh at the idea that you would wash your hands after a test XD. I’m not a wiper, I’m one of those D-vampires who sucks the excess blood off.