Pros: almost pain-free, easy to use
Cons: Goes to sleep fast if you don't start a test
A couple of months ago I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes and started testing my blood sugar levels daily. The diabetic education center at my local hospital gave me an Assencia Elite monitor, which worked great. But after a few weeks of twice daily testing, my fingers were sore. My kids kept pointing out the BB King commercials for the Freestyle monitor, joking that I should buy one and save my fingers for my guitar playing career. Well, I took it as a joke since I don't play the guitar. But after a month or so, my fingers were feeling like pin cushions. They were always sore and bruised and I was starting to have trouble finding a good finger to test on. So I bought the Freestyle monitor.
I brought my new monitor home and set it up. Set up took about 10 minutes. I had to set the clock on it so the internal log of my readings would be right but the rest was pretty easy. Before testing for the first time (or anytime you open a new box of strips), you have to enter the code number from the new strips. This was easy also.
Finally, the first test. I left the lance on 3 like the booklet suggested and picked a good spot on my forearm. I pushed the button and felt nothing. At first I was irritated and ready to crank up the lance and try it again. Then I noticed an itty bitty spot of blood on my arm. It had pricked me. Just every so slightly that I had not felt it. I stared at the itty bitty spot of blood for a minute trying to decide whether or not to use it to test or try again and get more. Finally I compared it to the diagram on the box and decided that it looked like the picture of the 1/3 microliter that they pictured. (My old monitor required 2 microliters.) I picked up the monitor and saw that it had turned itself off from inactivity so I pulled the test strip out then back in to turn it on. I held the test strip to the droplet of blood and watched it suck it off my skin. I watched the monitor expecting an error message saying I had not used enough blood but instead it started spinning. Probably 5 seconds later, I had a reading. WOW! I was so impressed at how easy and painless it was!
Now I don't dread my daily blood sugar testing. This thing is amazing!
I really don't see many problems with this monitor but if I had to list something negative I would say that it turns itself off too fast. Sometimes 90 seconds isn't enough time to prick yourself and get blood. You just have to make sure that you don't put the strip in until you are ready to prick yourself. Also, you have to manually put in the number from the new strips every time you open a new box of strips. This is easy but my old monitor did this automatically.
* As close to pain-free as you can possibly get and still get blood.
* Only requires 1/3rd microliter of blood. Some other monitors require 4 microliters of blood.
* 250-test memory with time and date stamp
* Automatic 14-day averaging
* Can be used on your arms and legs, saving your fingers for guitar playing. :-)
* Easy and painless enough for kids to use.
I honestly think that this monitor is going to help me keep better control of my diabetes. I was beginning to test less than I should because I was tired of having sore fingers. Now I can test whenever I feel like it without cringing at the sight of the lance. I think this monitor is a must for anyone testing their blood sugar levels daily.
Walmart has this monitor for $65 with a $40 rebate. I have seen the boxes with rebates at other stores also but the monitor is usually $75 at the drugstores around here. I'm definitely buying one for my mother now.