Recently I have been struggling to get a large enough blood sample from any of my fingers. I have been changing lancets regilously and have the lancing device set to the maximum but am getting too many error messages due to the blood sample being too small, I just cant squeeze any more out in time to prevent my meter sending me errors.
I have used blood testing for decades since it was introduced in the 1980s and have up until now managed to get enought blood out.
Has anyone tried alternate site testing and if so which part of you do you use and have you noticed any differences in results? I have read that fingertips are the most accurate and without hypo awareness and with using cgm I’m not sure it would be a sensible move.
For now I think I’ll probably keep battering my poor fingers and accept I am wasting some strips. Are all lancing devices set to pretty much the same depth or can you get a battering ram type device for rhinocerous skin fingers?
They weren’t successful. But maybe other people have better luck.
The lancet device I have (it’s from a Wavesense Jazz) has an adjustable depth gauge – 10 digs right down to the bone. Also my meter (Abbott Freestyle Lite) gives you another 60 seconds or so to add more blood if its initial sample isn’t big enough – rather than just spitting out an “E6” (or whatever) error – which is hugely good if you’ve got freezing cold hands or rhino skin!
Nope sorry @megs I’ve never done that. Just in case you are as ridiculously silly as me… (it took me nearly 20 years to work this out) are you testing on both sides of your fingers? It’s a bit trickier to use the ‘backs’ at first – but it does double the area. With a little mental-acrobatics you can also swap hands and test ambidextrously.
Are you using just the tips of your fingers @megs? Have you tried the sides of each finger, or even the nailbed – I think @Tim stabs himself there, so hopefully he can add his wisdom on that.
Is it definintely a skin thickness issue and not a blood flow issue? I find a bit of arm swinging before doing a blood test makes me look like an idiot, but does improve the blood flow to my fingers. Or running them under warm water helps too. Do you think that would help?
Ah, it must have been a bloke I used to know at work, sorry @Tim, all you type 1 men obviously just blur into one! Someone he knew was a Dr and had said that just below the nailbed has excellent bloodflow so he always tested there. The thought of it made me feel a bit sick, but it worked well for him.
@Tim I’ve never (intentionally) used the CSI-fingerprinty style pads of the fingers. The first DSN I ever spoke to advised against it as there are many more times the number of nerve-endings there (hence sensitivity to touch). I’ve only ever used the sides of the fingertip, not too close to the nail bed, and not as far ‘under’ (on the opposite side to the nail) as the pad. It took me a very long time to realise that I could turn my wrist round far enough to access the other side of the finger (furthest away from the thumb). Hey-presto! double the area. So now I have leathery rhino style ‘fronts’ but relatively soft and squishy ‘backs’ (stiffening up a bit now actually).
@mike I have been using the back ie the police fingerprint side and also along the sides. I will attempt to be more ambidextrous than at present and search out less leathery bits
@alison I will definately try a bit of gorilla style arm swinging next test to force my blood to the ends. It may well be a combination of blood flow and rhino skin as I have got nerve damage down my arms after a frozen shoulder operation went wrong and my fingers are always freezing.
I have been using the Bayer Contour Link since using cgm as it sends the results to my pump and yes I really am that lazy that I can’t be bothered to press one button to calibrate the sensor if I use a different meter. Perhaps I should swap to a meter that gives extra time to top up the sample and try a more savage lancing device that really gives me a good prod.
As an alternate site I’ve used my arms before in the past which worked and I think the results aren’t too far behind fingers but have reverted back to fingers again. The little punctures seemed more noticable somehow and vanity got in the way.
Some of the newer fingers prickers are more gentle than the daggers of the past. I currently favour the Accuchek multiclix and the One touch comfort device.
I’d always been taught to use the side of my finger tips too. They always seam slightly thiner than the “Pads”.
Ears are a popular alternative, and I’ve been tested here mostly by medical professionals as its a little difficult to see what your doing……..
I also seam to remember using blood from a graze knee, elbow, or other scab you can’t seam to stop picking at.
Rubbing your hands together to warm them up also can help,
Also I spouse you could try anything to increasing your heat rate ie increase the speed the blood is flowing, or increasing your blood pressure…….. (Sudden Shocks, Surprises, Exercise and the like but that sounds like all the standard methods to cure the hiccups)
I’ve also find that high blood sugar blood flows more easily!
My son (DIllon) always tests from the sides of his fingers and he is a perpetual tester (something i tend to encourage) ! . On the odd occasion he hasn’t produced enough we warm his hands in a bowl of warm water. A wee tip from a phlebotomist friend of mine.
After years of testing abuse I have areas on my fingers that are leathery and puffy & produce no blood unless I really crank up the pricker.
They do seem to recover a bit if you leave them alone for a while but its harder these days as all testers seem to prefer top finger sides whereas it used to be a mix of top & bottom giving a chance for serious recovery when you got a new tester!
Warm water & waving is the best I’ve come up with but lack of blood I take as a warning of damage, I’d talk to a doc about where else you could test.
Yeah, warming your hands in warm water and I also use my toes on the odd occasion but this is easier said than done – it’s hard to pull a toe out in public or when you have warm foot wear on oz it’s winter.