Friday, November 23, 2012

So Much for Accu-Chek

The doctor wanted me to get a blood glucose monitor, which seemed a bit immature to me since I had not gone for the glucose tolerance test yet. I did it anyway, thinking, I should test randomly anyway in between the annual blood draws. It would be similar to having werewolf tendencies; you don’t want to wait for the full moon before you know for sure. If there were a home administered canine tolerance test, it could prevent some embarrassment later in the month. Random sugar testing could explain other behaviors.

The doctor and I had to negotiate when I would get this test done. He wanted me to go on Thursday, but I had to explain Thanksgiving to him twice. Initially, we agreed on Friday, until Thanksgiving night, when I realized that the dinner could very well alter the results by the next morning. Nix that idea. Monday is looking good. In the meanwhile, he is expecting me to test my sugar on a daily basis.

I bought the Accu-Chek machine upon the pharmacist’s recommendation shelling out over $50 when I really wanted the $15 model. She assured me there were instructions in English in the box. When I opened the kit, there were pamphlets in 47 world languages including Cherokee, but nothing in English. Thanks to the Internet, I was able to find what I needed in a downloadable PDF document.

According to the directions, after removing tape from the battery, it should turn in by pressing a button. Nothing! Taking the battery out and replacing it did nothing either. I had Ron return it to the store. He returned claiming you had to hold the button down longer to turn it on and yes there are directions in English in the box. Hunting through again, there they were: How to clean your machine. End of story! So much for the English instructions.

Conferring with the PDF document, I first need to insert the computer chip into the machine. This is followed by placing a test strip in and placing one drop of the Accu-Chek Control Solution on the test strip. This will make sure your machine is calibrated correctly before you do your first test. There was no Accu-Chek Control Solution included in the kit, creating another trip to the pharmacy, but with negative results. Nincs! We don’t sell that solution. Strange, you sell the machine, but not the control solution? Well, if they spoke English or I spoke Hungarian that would have been the question to ask.

Pharmacies 2, 3, and 4 had the same disastrous results. One of them did give me the phone number for the Accu-Chek company here in Hungary to call to find out more information. When our massage therapist arrived later today, I had him call for me. The company that supplies the machines to the pharmacies told him that they do not have a list of which pharmacies stock which of their products; therefore, they could not tell him where to buy the control solution. Is there a wonder why businesses come and go here?

A brainstorm hit! I called one of my students who was diagnosed with diabetes over a year ago and has since branded himself as the Hungarian poster child on diabetic information. No answer. Then I called the First Med Center, the clinic that caters to ex-pats. They would have a doctor call me back. Still uneducated, I fumed over this nonsense and waste of time.

The doctor from First Med called me back. It took some time for me to explain about the control solution, but finally she understood. She said with the new machines, it is not needed as the computer chip does the work. How queer that the directions mention the control solution right after they instruct you to insert the computer chip with each new box of testing strips. Okay, I surrender! Maybe the control solution is not needed.
My student called back. He uses a different machine, causing him to be clueless over my issue with the control solution. Our massage therapist called four more pharmacies. Not one had heard of this solution, though all of them sold the machine.

It seems I am totally out of control for now.

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