Blood Testing Machine Break Up


Yesterday was the end of an era. My blood testing machine and I broke up.

Neither of us wanted to end it. My machine had been steadfastly and happily testing my glucose levels for almost five years. I know for some that’s a long-term relationship between a blood machine and a diabetic. But, the whole time we were together we figured if it ain’t broke, why fix it? And it was anything but broke.

It wasn’t always like that. When we first started out, my Accu-Chek and I didn’t like each other one bit. It wasn’t really the machine’s fault. When the Accu-Chek came into my life I simply wasn’t ready for a new machine. But, like an arranged marriage, I had no choice. I had to go with the machine because my insurance company mandated it. I got a notice saying they would no longer cover the test strips and machine that I had been using for three years. As a result, overnight I found myself giving my sweet, little One Touch UltraMini—which I couldn’t imagine living without—the ‘old heave ho.

I would look at my Accu-Chek and remember how just days earlier I would be able to slip the Ultra Mini into my pocket and take it literally everywhere I went. We were joined at the hip. To be blunt, the Accu-Chek was bigger and slower than my OneTouch. It took me a while to warm up to it.

The turning point came one day when I thought about my very first blood glucose-testing machine. It had been 25 years earlier. The thing was as large and heavy as a brick. It required constant calibrating. The test strips cost twice a much as they do today. But, despite all that, I loved that machine. It enabled me to control my diabetes better than I ever had before. It freed me from the stigma and inaccuracy of using urine test strips. It showed me a whole new way of living—a better way of living.

With that history on mind, I decided to give the new Accu-Chek a fair try. And, wouldn’t you know, over time I came to trust and rely on it without reservation. I eventually stopped pining for my old OneTouch. I started looking forward to testing three or four times a day with my new machine. I learned to stop looking back because, frankly, it didn’t do either of us any good.

Then, a week ago I was shoved into the middle of a crossroads once again. Another insurance company sent out another notice saying they were changing the kind of blood glucose meters they would cover. When I got the notice I had one drum of Accu-Chek test strips remaining. I used them sparingly, counting the days until they were gone and then, just like that, yesterday I used the last one. Time goes by so quickly.

Now I will turn to my new machine. I’m sad. But, I’m also hopeful that one day I’ll be able to love it unconditionally. I think my Accu-Chek would have wanted it that way.

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