BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation, and I accept complete responsibility for the views expressed herein. I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any ambiguous terms, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Vorsprung durch Tecnik

My trusty glucometer went kaput the other day. As I got fresh strip after fresh strip from the tub, each time the monitor told me "Error". I suppose these machines only have a finite lifetime. So I'm left with about 100 unused strips, and almost as many unused lancets. I like the old machine, which is made by a German company called Beurer, it has a USB port which allows me to download data on my laptop. The laptop also has Bluetooth, which might make it boogie with other modern monitors, except that all the manufacturers of such monitors have Android and iPhone apps, but nothing for Windows. So, all in all, I decided to replace like-for-like.

You can buy these monitors for around £70 from UK suppliers - which is really taking the **** when you consider that most manufacturers give their monitors away as loss-leaders, safe in the knowledge that they'll offset this loss by selling consumable test strips to me every few months. I don't keep numbers on this, but I must have spent the best part of £200 these last twelve months, of which probably only 10% was "monitor". I was given a monitor by the NHS only a month or so ago, which is arguably more sophisticated than this thing, for example. And it conforms to the same standards of accuracy.

So I looked closer to source, and sourced one from Germany for about £15. A massive difference, but it probably doesn't surprise me that these monitors are more common over there. With added delivery, it all came to about £20. But that was acceptable, given that it just gave me continuity - I can use the software I already have to get the data onto my pc. Plus, this cost was far outweighed by all the consumables currently in my bathroom cabinet, which would otherwise have gone to waste.

This was Friday. On Saturday morning, I had an email telling me that something was due to be delivered, but I dismissed it as spam. Nothing was coming this quickly - this thing wouldn't be due for another 10 days. Imagine my surprise when later, not only did something arrive, but it was this glucometer! So that is about 30 hours from my clicking "Buy" to it being in my hands, with a trip from Germany in between.

So I'm a very happy bunny. I know that the astonishing delivery is thanks to DHL, not the vendor. But all the same, the vendor was responsible for picking DHL in the first place, so deserves some credit.

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