Choice A1c Home Test
Yesterday morning I purchased a Choice brand A1c home test. I had to cancel my February Endo appt partly due to financial reasons and I've been curious to know what my latest A1c results would show. I've been shopping around for a several days but ended up at Wal-Mart as they are the only ones who had it in stock. FYI, I paid $18.98. I tried to get it cheaper, but this is the going rate.
I couldn't wait to get home and try it. My bG's have been good for the last month and I was hoping I would be rewarded by a nice low A1c number. By "good bG's" I mean my meter is telling me I have a 14 day average of 134 and a 30 day average of 139. Not bad and I give most of the credit to launch preparation for the 100 days of fitness - the jb100.
If you've never run one of these tests it's a little more complicated than I originally thought, but nothing that can't be handled. After carefully following the directions and meticulously getting the right size blood sample, mixing it with the dilution kit, you then apply the diluted blood sample to the monitor opening. You then wait for what seems like an eternity (8 minutes) to get what you hope is a great number... 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1......... (flash) QCOK (flash) 8.9 (flash) QCOK (flash) 8.9 over and over and over. I was in disbelief, it had to be wrong.
This result got me re-reading the instructions, even more closely this time. The temperature range for the test is between 64° and 82° F. It's been in the low 40's here today and our house is between 65° and 68°. Close, but in range. The other thing I noticed is the test expires on the 28th of this month, 25 days hence. I could find nothing else that might possibly make the result erroneous.
I called the 800 number listed in the documentation. After a about a five minute wait I was connected to a customer service rep no doubt located in India who, I must admit spoke pretty good english. Twice, she made it a point to tell me she was a health care professional. I explained the situation to her emphasising the the temperature range and expiration date concerns. She agreed that they were close but within range. I also told her about the 14 and 30 day meter averages. She asked about my last A1c and said she needed to talk with her supervisor. When she returned she again said that everything appeared normal but if I was unhappy the company would send me a refund. Somewhere during the course of the conversation she also said that as of December 31st, 2005 they company is no longer manufacturing these kits.
I was very pleased that the company offered me my money back, less sales tax of course and I took them up on their offer. At this point I am unsure I'm going to try this again. I need to do research on why they are no longer manufacturing these kits and if there are other kits available. I've read and re-read Mendosa's page on A1c home test kits and have still not come to a definitive conclusion. I've gone to my endo before and been surprised by my A1c results, both pleasantly and otherwise. Most of the time I know roughly what to expect and I feel strongly this result was out of line.