Importance of Control Solution

About a week ago, while doing my normal morning routine, I checked my blood sugar as normal and waited for the result. I knew I felt a little low, so I was guessing about 55-60ish.

Then, the result came…

lowHoly. Freakin’. Cow!!!!

Where on EARTH did that come from??!?!! So, I rechecked again, just to be sure. I knew I was low, but not that low.  New result? 63 mg/dl.

low 63 Two minutes apart…. same finger… same vial of strips… same everything. (Two minute delay was from me completely freaking out at the moment and being dumbfounded at the same time. I just froze, really…)

It happened again a few days ago. Not the same numbers, but off just almost as much. So, I called Omnipod about the PDM and they said it could be the strips or the PDM. I was advised to do a control solution test and if the numbers were out of range from the control solution, they would replace the PDM. And, if I question my readings at any time, to use the backup meter provided with the kit. My only concern now is that I’m going to question EVERY reading I have. I’m trying not to double test, but lately, I’ve been doing two tests each time just to be sure the readings are relatively close if I am out of “normal” range for me the first time (which with the odd lows and the high streak I had, I was double checking A LOT!).

I am going to see about getting some control solution asap if I can’t find it at home. With my luck, it will be expired since I haven’t gotten any since I started with Omnipod (BAAAD, I know!!). I think you’re supposed to use it every week. I’ll be setting a reminder on my iPhone to go off once a week to do a test from now until forever.

So, do you use control solution regularly? How often? If you don’t, it might be a good idea to start. Think about it this way… you’re calculating insulin dosages based on what your meter tells you. If your meter is wrong, you could give yourself waaay too much or too little. And, if you use a CGMS, how do you know if you’re pluggin’ in the right numbers when you calibrate it? I didn’t think about that until I read Kerri’s blog about control solution.

I will write back and let you guys know how it goes after a few tests.

3 thoughts on “Importance of Control Solution”

  1. I’ve had the same exact problem recently and just before even. First test was 80, second was 155! I called One Touch and they replaced one of my Ultra Link meters. Then a few weeks later, I had even bigger discrepancies with the new meter so I called them again. This time they sent me new strips and new control solution. I had already done solution tests and they were in range which bothers me even more. It’s crazy that our insuin management depends on these numbers! One of the discrepancies I had was first a 60-something, than a 140-something … the difference between treating a low and needing a correction! I’m glad I have the Dexcom because that is why I noticed the difference. Had I not had a CGM reading to compare the meter reading to, I never would have realized.

  2. Per meter instructions, I do a control test every time I open a new vial — even on non-coded meters. It’s also good to do a control test if the strips and/or meter have been out in the cold, or stuck in a very hot and humid environment, if you drop the meter, or if the readings don’t match how you feel.

  3. I just saw an add for a BG device that checks it twice for you at the same time. Pretty interesting. I don’t remember the manufacturer, as I was already floored by the simple idea to do a double check all at once.

Tell me what you think!