As most of my readers know, I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic back in 2013. I control my blood sugar with a ketogenic diet, berberine, and Tradjenta. A critical part of my blood sugar control is self testing though. So when they stopped making strips for the meter I was using, I got a little antsy. As a blind person, I HATE shopping for new meters!
Sometime in late August or early September, I happened upon a meter at Wal-Mart. It was the Contour Next One meter by Ascentia, and it seemed to be the perfect meter for me. It caught Fred’s eye because he thought I might be able to see the LED display. (Turns out that I can’t.) It also had the ability to connect to my smart phone via bluetooth so that I could make it accessible to me via Google Talkback.
I brought the meter home, I downloaded the app, and I tried to get started. It turned out that the app wasn’t entirely accessible to me; there were buttons that Talkback didn’t even recognize. If I hadn’t had my husband to help me, I wouldn’t have been able to set up the app by myself.
The app’s shortcomings weren’t a huge issue then though. After Fred got everything set up, I loved the fact that I could take a reading with the meter and the numbers would pop up on my phone screen. The important parts of the app were accessible to me, so I started collecting data.
Sometime in October though, my meter wouldn’t work with my phone anymore. I got a little discouraged at first. In order to use the meter, I’d have to take a reading and then find someone who could read it to me so I could log it. It was incredibly frustrating. I still loved how easy the meter was to use, but the sudden loss of accessibility didn’t thrill me.
Finally, this past week, I got sick of it. I asked my husband if there was something that he could do to help me out. He puttered around with it and couldn’t get it to work either, so he gave me the support number for the meter.
Before I say anything else, I have to say that the woman who tried to help me in support was fantastic. She was patient with the fact that I needed help to troubleshoot the meter (since I can’t see), and she seemed to have access to clear, concise, and accurate troubleshooting steps.
At the end of the call though, I had no resolution. We couldn’t even get my meter to pair with the app, and the gal in tech support said it was a known problem with Android devices running Oreo. OK, well I can understand that, but I’m fairly sure I started haivng issues before the upgrade. I set that aside for the moment though.
The woman in tech support advised me to enter readings manually even though she understood that it was a pain, and I agreed that would work since I still valued the app’s data tracking abilities. Apparently though, entering readings manually on an Android phone running Oreo makes the app crash more often than not. It’s bad enough that I have to enter the readings manually, but having to do it several times because the app crashes isn’t cool.
So today, thinking about my frustrations, I got an idea. What if there were another app that was written better that would interface with my meter? Then I wouldn’t have to worry about Ascentia’s issues.
I was so excited when I found an app called Glooko that claims to be compatible with my meter. I downloaded it, and I was happy to see that it was accessible from the start. I turned everything over to Fred though since I figured he could configure everything for me faster than I could.
He got to the part where he was trying to sync my meter with app, and guess what! The meter won’t sync with Glooko either. I’m so stinking frustrated right now!
Sweet man that he is, Fred tried to help by going onto Amazon and ordering a cable that’ll let me connect my meter to my phone via USB. Hopefully, that’ll solve my issues. In the meantime though, I’m feeling pretty defeated because the whole setup USED to work and I loved how it worked after getting through the initial challenges. It’s like having a dishwasher that breaks. You can still get your dishes clean, but it’s going to require a lot more work on your part.
I’ll definitely keep folks posted as the situation changes. Right now, I’m just waiting to see what happens once I get my hands on a data cable.