Standard blog disclaimer... I’m not a doctor and listening to me when you make decisions about your or anyone else's diabetes is just plain not a good idea. That said, these new test strips work fine in your OmniPod PDM (at least the PDM we have - color PDM).
Like all of you, I was caught off guard when I opened a new box of test strips to find that they weren’t what I was expecting. I immediately made some calls and found out that I would have to track down the old strips if I wanted them. Then I asked myself the following...
“Self”, I said. “Would Freestyle make test strips that wouldn’t work in my OmniPod PDM?” and myself answered, “not likely since they have a business relationship with Insulet”.
Then I asked myself, “what is the FDA doing with the strips to test them” and I answered myself by saying, “probably comparing them to the old strips and making sure that they work”.
Then I took a few minutes to congratulate myself for being so smart and myself agreed. I proceeded to do my own FDA style home testing over a two day period. Here are my results:
11/22 - 9:48pm
11/23 - 7:30am
11/23 - 8:15am
11/23 - 7:35pm
11/24 - 8:00am
11/24 - 1:50pm
These numbers coupled with my astute deductions were more then enough for me to trust the new strips. I saved one vial of the old style ‘just in case’ and moved on to the new style around the 1st of December, 2010 and have not looked back. Be sure to set the coding on your PDM to match the vial!
If you think back to when your child was diagnosed, the nurse at the hospital used a huge meter (about the size of a brick) to test your child’s BGs. I’ll never forget the moment when the nurse took our first free meter from it’s box and had me test Arden. The nurse tested Arden with the ten-thousand dollar meter that the hospital uses and then I tested with the twenty dollar meter they gave us. The numbers were sixty points different, SIXTY! I said, “which one is correct?” and the nurse told me that her’s was probably more accurate but not to worry because I couldn’t afford the one she had and it wasn’t portable anyway but “don’t worry because this is the meter that you’ll be using every day” - as if that made up for it not being accurate!
My point is this, we don’t really know what our kid’s BG is. If ten meters tested Arden from the same drop of blood, we’d probably get 7 different readings and who is to say that the three that agreed would even be correct. This entire thing is a crap shoot.
Arden was 69 the other day, it was hours after her last bolus and her DexCom line had been steady around 100 forever, (though it was drifting lower) but she felt fine. Was she 69, 49, 89? How the hell can I know? She felt fine, she was steady, I dosed her last meal accurately, what am I going to do?
Final verdict: I say use the new strips. They require way less blood and in a day or so when nothing goes wrong, you’ll trust them just as you did the old style. In the end, this is all about trust. You’ll be a veteran of this by the time the FDA gets off their asses and gives the thumbs up.
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The test strips were finally cleared by the FDA on January 6, 2012. I wrote about their clearance and the FDA's incompetence here.