I remember my first one - I think it was a BD brand and it was about the size of an iPhone but twice as thick. I think I had that one for about 5 or 6 years. This is quiet a long time by today's standards.
Anyway, I have kept that trend up for almost 20 years - I very seldom change my meter. I know what I like and stick with what I know. Plus, it's really inconvenient to change. In Ireland, people with diabetes receive all of their diabetes medications and supplies free from the Health Service Executive (HSE). The inconvenience comes from the paper work involved in changing your prescription for the test meter's strips and the lancet device's lancets (aka finger pricker).
However, I recently came across an ad for a glucose meter that had an interesting feature to me and decided I would change meter types after a gap of 6 years. I had the opportunity to have an upclose look at one at the Annual Diabetes Exhibition in Dublin last November and decided that it was worth the effort of changing.
I remember asking the sales rep how many strips came with the meter because I was probably not going to see my endocrinologist until March to get the prescription and I didn't to start using it until I had the supply established. She, helpfully, mentioned that my GP would be able to provide me with the script too. And yes, my GP is a little more convenient than my consultant but she seemed to assume that I would have a reason to visit him more often than my consultant. Truth is I haven't seen my GP since September when I had to bring one of the children in!
So, here we are at the end on January and my husband was heading into the GP, I gave him the note with the product information on it and he came home with a script for the strips.
Then within a couple of days, I sent the script with my Long Term Illness book to the Long Term Illness department of my local HSE offices. They update the book and a medical officer approves it and send it back to me. I got it back in the post within a week and a few more days later I had my new test strips and lancets.
It only took 3 months!
By the way, my new meter is the OneTouch VerioPro and I'll let you know how it does.