But, hey, it’s not all misery and despond. Through age comes wisdom and I can now more closely empathise with the elderly – soon I will be an elderly myself, after all. So I think I’ve come to know what old people like and don’t like.
On the “like” list comes beige overcoats, tea cakes and pretending to be deaf. While high entries on the “don’t like” list include disrespectful teenagers, harsh winters and Dr. Harold Shipman.
Also on this list of likes must surely come Abbott’s FreeStyle Freedom Lite. Essentially this meter is the brother of my current favourite meter – the Freestyle Lite. It’s perhaps the slightly more backward, ugly, socially shunned brother, but a brother all the same.
Your first impression of the Freedom is that it’s much bigger than the standard Lite and features only two buttons instead of the three. The screen is about twice the size of the Lite and so the readings can be read from the other side of the room –ideal for those with crappy eyesight.
The Freedom uses Abbott’s newish test strips, with their slightly odd “ZipWik” nodules, which are easily the best and slurpiest on the market at the minute. They don’t require coding, use a nice small 0.3µL sample and take 5 seconds to spit out a result. For our outside-UK readers, I’ve no idea how much they cost per packet; given they’re free on the NHS they could cost more than unicorn’s blood for all I care. Anyway, they’re wonderful little test strips which allow you to top up the sample if you don’t put enough on first time round – absolutely great if you’re trying desperately to get blood out of freezing cold hands.
Alert readers will have noted that I mentioned above the Freedom has one fewer button than the standard Lite. I’m afraid to say that this button relates to the wonderful LED which lights up the strip on the Lite which appears to have been abandoned. Speaking of lights, the Freedom doesn’t even have a backlight for Heaven’s sake. The test strip light was easily the best feature of the Lite, so quite why Abbott haven’t included it on this meter I’m not sure. As a result the Freedom fails the 4am test miserably. Bah!
The meter can store 400 results, has 7, 14 and 30 day averages and has four reminder alarms. In terms of sexiness, the Freedom isn’t as petite as the standard Lite but it’s still a good looking meter. It’s slim and sleek but still has a massively huge display which is great. The test result beeps can be turned off or, indeed, turned up so they are deafeningly loud, which is ideal if you like to annoy people at the theatre.
So, in summary, the FreeStyle Freedom Lite is quite a good meter and is ideal for those of us with poor sight. Quite why Abbott didn’t give it a light is anyone’s guess and it drops points for this idiotic oversight.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the review, I’m off – there’s some guy with scythe hanging around behind me…
Sample size > 4/5
0.3µL – fine.
Test time > 3/5
Five seconds – we can live with it
Test strip calibration > 5/5
No calibration required – huzzah!
Test strip slurpiness > 5/5
Excellent – the best strips out there.
Memory > 3/5
Fine, nothing to get too thrilling about
Sexiness > 3/5
Big but sexy
Beeping > 5/5
Can be turned off or turned up to irritate the neighbours
4am test > 0/5
No light! No light? What were they thinking?
Grand total: 28/40