Glucometer – Too Hot or Too Cold to Test

One of the main things that I hate with extreme temperatures is that none of of my glucometers (I have 3) ever work when they have been sitting in extreme heat or extreme cold. You would think someone with a little smarts could design a special case which would prevent the device from getting too hot or too cold. Maybe this is harder than I know but it sounds like a good idea.

Now that it’s summer there are certain events which are often paired with a lot of guessing while I enjoy them. Two that come to mind right now are Softball and Swimming. With Softball I make sure I eat about an hour before the game and check my sugar about 10-20 minutes before. After checking I bolus if needed and leave my pump and glucometer in the car or in my bat bag. No matter where I leave my glucometer, if it’s above 90, say goodbye until further notice.

Me playing 3rd base - Summer 2008

Me playing 3rd base – Summer 2008

While playing softball and exerting myself I have trouble judging where my levels are. There are times I think I am low because I am shaking but it’s just because I ran my tail off to get home and score. I carry Swedish fish with me for several reasons; they are delicious, they bring my sugar up and they don’t melt or get sticky from heat and one more thing and I not sure if I covered… they are delicious! If I start noticing other signs of a low I will eat some but it’s so hard to judge sometimes. Usually I wait until after the game because I hate correcting blindly and I have had some close calls doing this. I get to my car and pull out my handy glucometer only to get an error because it’s been sitting in the heat!

Another activity where this gets difficult is swimming, whether it’s the beach or the pool, it is nearly impossible to spend the day outside near water and have your meter work. I try to test before I head out but things change quickly depending on what you are doing and especially if you make a day of it and have lunch outdoors as well. You can’t swim with a pump so it has to come off and I usually get into this zone for an hour or two and forget to think about it. By that second or third hour it’s back on my mind, I am wondering “man I wonder what I am at right now.”

I would love to go just one entire day without having to worry about it one time… Someday.

Me - Outer Banks, NC - Summer 2008

Me – Outer Banks, NC – Summer 2008

If I do have a cooler with me, I will try to stick it in there. If not when I get home from softball or the pool, if the meter still isn’t working I put it in the refrigerator and let that sucker cool down. It’s not like this happens every time and it isn’t an everyday thing, only when it is HOT (with capital letters) outside. I would say 95 and above. Shade or no shade that meter is taking a vacation!

Comments 2

  1. I know what you mean – I live in Alabama and the summers here can be brutal. Most of the time when it is that hot and I am really active, I can leave my pump off with no problem. The problem is that the insulin can get too hot and my meter gets to warm to give readings. Frio packs are awesome for this – soak it in cold water for a few minutes and it is guaranteed to keep your insulin below the 89 degree mark (where it starts to degrade) all day. I found mine online when I was still on injections, but the pack I bought will fit my pump when it isn’t in use. That thing is a lifesaver when at the lake or pool! You can leave it in a bag near you, even out in the sun, and it will stay relatively cool. I have even put my pump in it, still attached to me, and laid out on the beach for hours with no ill effects.

    Winter is another story altogether….I haven’t had a problem with my insulin, but my meter has stopped giving readings after all day outside in 35-40 degree weather while rappelling. 🙂 Any suggestions for that? My last resort was to stick my meter down my shirt (and sweater, and jacket!) to get it warm enough to give a reading! ANY suggestions other than this completely humiliating experience would be much appreciated!!!

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