Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dear Ultra Mini One Touch Meter/ D Blog Week, Day 2

Dear OneTouch UltraMini Meters,

You've got it all style wise. I mean look at those bright colors, man alive you look good in green! It brings out your numbers.

You make diabetes a touch more fun for the boys. I mean, who wants a boring grey meter anyway...

You seem to be the whole package...but since I've been able to spend SO much time with you, I have realized...things aren't always what they seem.

Sure your accuracy, (whatever that is when it comes to meters,) seems ok...it is the perception that you would never mislead me that took our relationship a step down.

You mess with me sometimes, and it isn't funny. Not to me. Not to my children...not to the DOC.

It isn't always the case that I'm completely awake when I use you. Sometimes I'm a bit preoccupied too...but why you take advantage of me during these vulnerable moments? Well, only you...and the people who make you know.

Heaven forbid I drop you right after I test...softy...on the carpet. But if I pick you up, UP SIDE DOWN, well, man alive...I'm in for quite a ride on the emotional roller coaster.

What if I get this:

And if I look at it like this:

Well, I go insane.

It isn't funny.

It isn't safe.

It is kinda mean.

Seriously, isn't there any better way to let us know which way is up other than the ridiculously small-uber-mini writing that says, "OneTouch UltraMini?"

Oh LOOK! My son checked his sugar today and he was 291.

He gave himself insulin because he was high.


Excuse my french but, OH HELL NO! His low earlier was from your misleading meter, NOT from a high.

Dangerous much?

I've left you messages and have gotten automated emails back. I even got one from a person saying here is a link on how to use the meter.

How to use it? Instructions ON HOW TO USE IT.

What the HECK!

We KNOW how to use it.

I think the real question is...do you know WHERE we use it?

You may think we use it under sterile laboratory conditions...but sadly, that is not the case.

We use it on the soccer field, on the basket ball court, in the car, at school, at church, at the park, in line at the grocery store, while RUNNING with popcorn in our hands when we are late for a movie...

Because we can't check the boys sugars in the theater...because it is dark in there. And the people who make you can't put a tiny flash light in the end cause that would cost, what? 1 dollar more to incorporate???

Let me tell you. I'd pay an extra 10 dollars for that meter if it had a flashlight. Turning on their bedroom light at 1am isn't ideal.

And you could probably be a little smaller too. (Just thought I'd throw that in.)
We like the colors.

We like the almost small enough-ness of you.

There is just room for improvement.

And since I'm asking for the moon...could you be a little more accurate for criminy sakes! (Criminy is a shout out to my mom!)

Thanks for your time. If you lived it, you would know too. But since you don't, and my family does, please take my words to heart.


Sincerely...OH SO sincerely,

Meri Schuhmacher
Mom to 3 boys who have type one, who's insurance pays your ridiculous price for test strips. I just received a shipment of 2,400 strips. That is $2,400 in your pocket for a meter that has messed with my psyche ONE too many times.


  1. the upside down numbers have messed with me one to many times ugh.

  2. me too!!! I have had so many issues with the mini. Now i just order em for the free 10 pack of strips! Lol

    great post! Read up one touch!!

  3. Oh blimey that is scary and an easy mistake to make!

  4. GREAT post!! We've done the same thing because this is the one Kayleigh uses for testing. She's had quite a few "freak outs"! Maybe this will help improve them :)

  5. Brittany loves the cute color of this meter but it really is a poor design that it can be read upside down. I've had heart stopping numbers pop up before until I turned it upside down or right side up. And it won't ping to her pump which I'm sure causes her to not treat her blood sugar sometimes. Even just the strip code sometimes makes me panic because it looks like a 500 number. You are definetly onto something here.

  6. Wow, Meri - what a GREAT post!!! So loved this, and completely agree and relate. I only use the UltraMini as a backup meter, keeping one in my desk or one at home just in case my regular UltraLink isn't around. Or even when traveling to some place like a MOVIE THEATER where it's dark and need a quick meter handy - and I've done that too! They could design it a little better to make it more clearly "right side up" or something... great idea with the words helping to do that. So need them to listen to your letter here!

  7. I'm laughing!!! I wrote a post the other day, but haven't published it, because of D Blog Week. It's about Jack discovering the whole upside down OneTouch "trick." I have it scheduled to post after D Blog Week.

    I totally agree that OneTouch has tons of room for improvement! It's Jack's favorite, because of the way the strips wick blood, but not mine. So we only use it when we get freebie strips from the endo.

  8. Love, love this post! We only use the mini for back up (I have a beautiful purple one in my purse) but I get where you are coming from. I love the idea of a flashlight in the end and you'd think they could use touch screen technology to always read right side up no matter which way the meter is turned (like a cell phone) As always, wonderful post! <3

  9. I have done the same thing. Though not practical, I keep mine in its case While testing and it helps me avoid the confusion. Maybe try putting a white out line on the bottom edge of the meter signifying the bottom? Maybe his may help?

  10. If you ever call or just want to send this link to Onetouch, ask that it be sent to the Marketing Product Manager or to Patient Event Reporting. You might actually get a reply if you have a title in your message. These are both good examples.

    Maybe you need a little jingle in the meantime to help you not freak like "Buttons to the right, so I don't get a fright!"

  11. LOVE this post! So, for our three year old we had him add stickers to his meter - he thought it was fun decoration but really it was so that I would be able to tell which way was which, batman must be on top FYI!

    And a flashlight would be lovely, I am tired of the darn light issue on all meters I'd think they'd have figured out that many people test at night. Come on meter folks :)

  12. Oh Man the upside-down-ness and right-side-up-ness is WHACKED Meri. We don't use that meter and I think I am going to KEEP it that way. I would have been in a padded room long ago with that bad boy living here.

  13. We've had that problem a few times... drives me nuts! Most days I don't even know which way is up and it stinks when Elise's meter does it to me too

  14. So very true. Daniel wanted to use it because of the color. I can not even tell you where it is right now because we had so many issues. Gray meter that works = awesome.

  15. I thought of you this morning. Our Ping remote ran away so we are using out back up mini... when I checked him this morning he was 05.

    I was like... wha???

    Then I was like... turn it around blondie!!!

    and then it was 50. still not ideal, but...

    I do agree that one touch could add in that light... plz!!!

    And maybe one of those alarms when you clap, so you can find the damn thing!!!

  16. Ugh. Poor design much?! I wonder if the company even knows this - you should send this post off to them sister! I am not going anywhere near this meter, constantly worried that I have it upside down. Like we need one more thing to worry about, you know?!

  17. WHOA. This really freaked me out! What a terrible design. Maybe for the time being you could put something yourself on there like a sticker or soemthing to help you see which side is right?

  18. WOW! Great post but also...seriously useful! Send it to the maker! You make very very valid points. I love the humor and creativity of your post, too :D

  19. We only use the mini as a backup, but I'm soooo glad that you posted about it. It is extremely easy to get it flipped around. I will definitely keep that in mind when I use it.

  20. The freestyle mini has a light. It's used most in the movies, so funny.

    The upside down would drive me nuts. Glad to hear you are keeping up the humour!

  21. oh - I thought that was only me. I had to stop using that meter because of the upside down thing.

  22. Very funny post, Meri!! I've had that happen so many times too :)

  23. Scary design. i find it hard to believe that the company isn't addressing this. Loved this, Meri, you always make me smile.

  24. Please send this off to the company. And then keep us posted if you get any sort of reply.
    Hmmm, maybe we should ALL send this link to the company!

  25. Oh YES! We don't use the mini except for emergencies. We use the ping meter remote. BUT.... what I wouldn't give for a flashlight on the end like the freestyle. That would be pure awesomeness. That and no more "error 5".

  26. Criminy is right!! You so took me back to my mamaw's house there.
    I'll throw in a 'great day in the morning!' for good measure about the stupid mini.
    We were sucked in by the pink but the spell was quickly broken when it was always very off with the results. It's around here somewhere, but hasn't been used in a long, long time...and it will stay that way!!

  27. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT...like always!! We have just started to use this meter as our back up meter and I have not noticed this "design" flaw. I mean I noticed the lack of lighting OF COURSE but the upside numbers...no. Thanks for the tip!!

  28. It looks like we were both thinking about our meters today! :) Great letter! They need to make the readings more clear.

  29. I too have given myself a fright! When a 3 year old hands you a meter that reads "29" you don't stop to make sure she's holding it the right way you drop it and run for a juice box!!!!

  30. I gotta say - that's happened to us to! Stupid upside down meter!!

    We just got a Freestyle Lite as a back-up meter and I love it! The new butterfly strips take like the smallest drip (drip? - drop?) of blood ever! And it has a rockin' bright flashlight at the end.

    I know it's no fun to change meters but man I really like this one.

  31. Oh wow! We used to use the mini ALL the time...and Charlotte still uses one at school. I can't believe I never thought about that as an issue...wonder how many times we've made that mistake...very scary thought!

  32. BRAVO, MERI!!!!! Totally totally totally agree :)

    We use the same meter as back up and it's very easy to turn that sucker up side down!

  33. I installed a flashlight app on my phone (only if your phone camera has a flash will this work) and use the flashlight for the middle of the night/movie theater moments.
    So happy I recently found your blog! I obsessed for hours catching up on all your past posts. You are truly an amazing women! Thank you for sharing your world.

  34. Yes! Yes! Yes! One touch please listen to the wise and wonderful Meri. This is exactly why I don't let Ally use the mini.

  35. I use the same one touch meters and leave them in the case they came in when I check, that way, it never gets confusing. You're posts are quite inspiring and I'm so glad I found your blog. You make diabetes, in a way, comical. Even though I know how hard each day must be for your boys. I can't wait to read more!

  36. Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

  37. Wow, you seem to be very knowledgable about this kind of topics.

  38. Keep ‘em coming… you all do such a great job at such Concepts… can’t tell you how much I, for one appreciate all you do!


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