I have a bunch of unused AccuCheck test strips and am trying to use them up before starting to use the Freestyle strips that go with the OmniPod. I just manually enter the AccuCheck readings into the PDM. Lately, I have been keeping my AccuCheck test strips in the Freestyle strip bottle since it fits nicer in the OmniPod carrying case. Howver, I learned today that this was a terrible idea.

For the past few weeks the AccuCheck Aviva strips that have been giving me pesky E-1 errors. I have tested up to 4 or 5 times to try to find a strip that would work. I replaced the battery and reset the machine.

Today at my appointment, my nurse educator suggested that it could be a result of having kept them in the Freestyle bottle. In fact, not only this somehow make some strips “error” but it must have ruined the integrity of the strips.

After the appointment, I took out a fresh second bottle of 50 strips. Aviva strips come in boxes of 100. I moved 50 to the Freestyle bottle, and kept in the original AccuCheck bottle. Both lots of strips had the same coding number/chip.

I tested with a completely new and fresh strip (one that had never been in the Freestyle container) and my blood sugar read 145. I then went and tested with an Aviva strip kept the Freestyle container and it tested 195. I did it a second time with the ‘contaminated’ strips and I tested at 185. Went back to the fresh strips and was 151. That’s quite the spread. YIKES!

This means that for the last few weeks that my readings have probably been rather inaccurate. My nurse educator, Chris, made some changes to my my bolus and basal rates today, but I have a feeling that the strips that I was using were giving me some lousy readings (up to 50pt difference) so these new rates may not work. I sent her a message detailing my findings.

I will no longer keep strips in a different strip container. Chris thought that there may be a chemical residue or dust unique to the company in each bottle that ended up contaminating the strips. Fascinating.

And irritating.

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