I'm so with you guys on the whole alcohol before testing thing. MY CDE who tought me everything when I was diagnosed in May said to wash your hands instead whenever you can anyway. Though most of the time, I don't wash my hands. The lick-and-wipe is my more likely method if I'm int he car or soemthing! I keep a couple swabs in my testing kit in case I'm testing while out of the house and my hands really are dirty or I've handled food, but I use them, oh, maybe once a month?
When my mom, whio is an RN, discovered I wasn't washing my hands, she really really really tried to convince me I had to clean my finger with either soapy water or an alcohol swab first every single time. And I was like, OK, by the text book, I'm sure you're totally right. But we're talking about something I have to multiple tiems a day, often when I have very little time or have to focus on something else (like driving, maybe). If I spend the time and effort to really clean my finger every single time, I won't test.
I've definitely discovered that she has some really valuable knowledge and ideas as an experienced nurse, but also that she thinks from a hospital perspective rather than a daily life perspective. Another example is that she was really worried about the fact that the CDE's told me to bolus before eating. She kept bringing up reasons why I should bolus after eating, and stated often, "We would never give a patient insulin in the hospital until we know exactly how many carbs you ate!" That makes total sense in a hospital. The food is crappy, the patient might feel crappy, and there's just a higher likelihood that you're not going to eat everything you think you're going to. But in everyday life, I'm pretty successful at judging how much food I'll eat, and I've never been unable to finish what I planned on in the rare occasions that I filled up sooner than expected. So except for a couple times when I actually didn't feel good and wasn't sure I'd be able to eat or keep it down, I bolus before (even 20 minutes before) and see smaller spikes on my Dexcom.
That's just it. The textbooks may be "right," but that doesn't mean it's what works best in your life.