Who's on First? What's on Second? I don't know is on Third (confusing CGM numbers)


Liam’s CGM read 84 45 degrees downward, but Liam came to me and said, “Papa, my legs are shaking.” I say to myself (and to him)…maybe you’re feeling a low BG! Let’s go see? When I check him, here are the numbers I get…see if these numbers make sense to you.

So, when I did the first finger stick and drew a 242 (7:08p), naturally, my instinct is…well, I guess I should have cleaned off his finger because he did just have a Swiss Roll (1/2 of 1, actually…15 carbs). So, I select another finger, CLEAN IT this time with an alcohol wipe and wait 30 seconds or so, and do a second finger stick and this time I drew a 387! Now I’m like…wth? Scratching my head, I say…ok, maybe these are just bogus readings…2 of them, back to back. So I say, sorry Liam, we need to do a 3rd finger stick. So I go through the same process on a 3rd finger…clean it, wait, then stick him and at 7:10p, the number is more in line with what I was expecting, 118.

So, naturally, because we now had 3 very wildly different and confusing numbers (hence my Abbott and Costello reference in the subject line…if you’re not aware of it, it’s only the best skit ever in the history of mankind with the 2 best comedians of all time (can be found here), I had to take a 4th finger stick just to VERIFY one of the three vastly different readings and the 4th reading was 124.

Here are 3 of the 4 finger sticks (I didn’t get the last BG in the pic, but it was 124).

I don’t think I’ve ever had 3 or 4 wildly different BG’s before like this so I thought I’d post my experience. What a fun time!

The good news was that he did NOT have a low. Bad news is that he did NOT have a low recognition event…but he’s thinking about it and notifying me when his body feels different so who knows what was going on.



I suspect this may have impacted first 2 meter bgs. Maybe a hand washing in this case is better than alcohol swabs.
Alcohol pads may just swoosh the sugar residue around.



Alcohol pads work OK, but as @MM2 said they just move the sugar around according to my Endo. Most of the life scan meters I had used to say to wait until the alcohol was dry so it wouldn’t corrupt the reading. I assume this is also the case with better meters.

I personally get wonky numbers with alcohol pads. I hand wash (this includes last 2 hospitalizations) before testing.



Alcohol wipes usually solve it for us, but I guess it sounds like in this case they let me down! I’ll make sure to wash hands in the future when/if this happens again.



When I get a wonky number I always wash my hands well with soap and water before I test again. It’s amazing how the smallest amount of food residue will impact a fingerstick.



I just can’t believe it’s taken 3 years for us to run into this problem. lol. He is always holding food in his hand of some kind and it’s never interfered before.

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I agree with everyone else about hand washing. With food allergies, we’re told that things like hand sanitizer and alcohol swabs don’t remove allergen proteins (and don’t “kill” them, either), they just smear them around. Only hand wipes (like Wet Ones) or hand washing will remove allergens. I’d think the same would apply to glucose, since it’s also from food residue. I keep a packet of Wet Ones around and use them before testing if I don’t have access to water (and also to wipe hands or surfaces down for allergens).