So it was time again for my A1C and other blood tests last week. Over-time, in fact. You know how I hate going in to the lab when I have to be fasting for lipid tests and can't even have a latte on the way over in the morning. Ugh! And who ever said diabetics don't mind needles?!
Anyway, I'd been saving the review unit A1c Now SelfCheck pack I got from Bayer a few weeks ago for just this occasion. What better way to test the accuracy of home a A1C testing kit? I don't mind admitting I had very little faith in the thing. My endo had some of these in her office last year, and we tried them several times. The results were always differed wildly from the A1C I got at the hospital lab. She thought her packs might be too old, although the date on the box seemed OK.
So after dragging my behind to the hospital that day, and then enjoying a lovely post-needle cafe breakfast with my husband, I went home and snipped the seal on my A1C Now pack. Inside were all the trimmings for two tests, along with a lot of documentation and a mini-CD that's supposed to explain how to use it — which I didn't watch of course. I figured I'd be representative of the "average patient" who is too lazy to watch the CD. (Not to mention that I have ZERO patience myself and ripped right into the thing without thinking ;) )
Lucky for me, the little fold-out Reference Guide with photos did the trick. It told me what to open first, how to prick my finger for the blood (not more than a usual BG test!), and what to open only "AFTER blood collection!" And I must have done it right, because wouldn't you know, I got 6.3 on the Bayer test, and a 6.4 reported back from the hospital lab. Pretty impressive! (Yes, for those science guys but also for me -- under 6.5, Baby!)
So I got to experience the "5-minute home A1C" without the big hospital-sized blood draw, and without this view, which despite its bright colors always makes me queasy:
Here's the deal, complete with blood-stained finger:
The only slightly "Twilight Zone" aspect was the picture on the product box:
Hey, they got exactly a 6.3 result, too! Weird. Hmm, a common occurrence? Or unexplained coincidence from "the land of both shadow and substance"?
I'm not sayin' it's rigged or anything. In fact, I'm blown away by the concurrence with my hospital results. Would I shell out $15 ($30 for the two-pack) to do this at home next time as long as no lipids are required? Yes, I do believe I would, in accordance with my goal in life: staying as far away from the hospital as possible. I'm so not kidding.