Thursday, October 6, 2011

Big Ugly ( The Story of Our Favorite Tester)


Years ago, we joined a local Type 1 Diabetes support group on the recommendation from our hospital social worker.  We didn't know a single person that attended but we were anxious (and near desperate) to connect with someone who understood a few of the new words that we were using; bolus, hypoglycemic, A1c.

One of the first support group meetings was held at a local movie theater.  We packed up our suitcase of supplies and headed over to join the group.  After viewing the movie, the group had a get-to-know-you-better meeting in one of the theater party rooms and it was decided that the kids would play a game called, "Test Your Blood Sugar As A Group And Embarrass Your Parents." 

I hated this game. 

At the time, our youngest daughter was so newly diagnosed that she still screamed and cried during blood sugar checks.  Not to mention that she was still just a 3 year old and after an hour and half in the movie theater, she was pretty much done with the group in general.

As a mom, I was so (really the only word here is actually needy), hoping to belong that I made us stay and play the game.

What I didn't realize was that within the diabetes community, there are people who think some blood sugar meters are better than others.  This is similar to the clique in middle school that teased you for wearing Wranglers instead of Jordache.

Balancing our youngest daughter on one knee and trying to console our slightly older 5 year old daughter who is now upset that she doesn't have diabetes (oh the irony of fore-shadowing), I pull out our Accu-Chek Compact Plus.

At the time, this meter we are carrying is bigger, bolder and more blue than anything else on the market.  It sticks out like a sore thumb -  pun poke intended. 

I feel the looks, the snickers and the smiles beaming down at me as I am attempting to blend into the crowd.  We are new at this and it clearly shows.

Then, I hear someone say, "Look mom!  That lady has the big ugly tester from the hospital!" 

To which a voice loudly replies, "Oh my God!  You are right!  They are using the FREE tester!  That is the big ugly tester" 

And then there is laughter.  Lots of laughter.  All around the room. I feel my cheeks burn and I am wishing for the magic that would make our family disappear to a Hawaiian beach.

A moment later, the woman and her son attempt to lecture me on why their particular brand of tester is better and why I should stop using mine right now.  The conversation is ridiculous and I find myself looking for an exit strategy as quickly as possible. 

We do end up leaving both the venue and the group.  It takes me while to find another local group where I know our family will fit in and be welcome with Big Ugly. 

You might wonder if we still use the Accu-Chek Compact Plus.  Yes, we do.  I prefer it to most others (and I have tried them all at this point) simply because this really is the tank of all testers.  It houses a 17 strip cartridge so I know I won't have to fumble with inserting or removing strips in the middle of the night or in a dark movie theater or at a wedding reception.  I also love that it is fairly inexpensive.  We have meters everywhere but still lose them from time to time.  I can easily pick up a new one for $14.99 (sometimes even free after rebate like at CVS this week) at any pharmacy.  The customer service is outstanding.  I know this because we are tough on our meters and tend to drop them on our hardwood floors quite often.  On a recent back-to-school supply recognizance mission, I called the company, asked and received at no charge, two meters and a new lancing device shipped directly to my house.  You just can't beat that.

Big Ugly is like a family member.  This meter has literally saved both of my girls lives by keeping hypo and hyperglycemia at bay.  Without it, we would be back to dipping urine and guessing blood sugars.  It may not be the trendiest of gadgets, see handy and dandy but not just for fun , but it is what works and that is what is most important at the end of the day.

Our current Big Ugly

Disclaimer:  Accu-Chek did not endorse or pay me to say these nice things.  Our family just happens to really like Big Ugly and wanted to share our story.


Rose Ann said...

I've always liked "The Big Ugly" as well, but my insurance company made me choose an alternative a while back. I still used the lancing device, tho. Lance's favorite. ☺

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

Insurance companies! When I hear things like this, it makes me crazy! If only we had more say, I am sure that it would be a much different type 1 diabetes world. BTW, love the lancing device too. The girls say it is much less painful.