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Trouble with fingersticks

Question: I am so frustrated. I keep having trouble sticking my fingers to test my blood sugars. Any tips?

Answer: One of the most painful things about having diabetes are finger sticks. Most people who require insulin, or who are initially diagnosed, have to test their blood sugars with a glucose meter multiple times every day. In many instances, patients are not taught properly on where to stick themselves when they test. In turn, it is important that your medical provider either teaches you themselves or send you to a diabetic educator. Although I am a medical provider I also have the privilege of being a diabetic educator. I usually set classes in my office for my patients where I am able to to teach them what diabetes is and how it affects them daily. When they're ready the next step is to teach them how to use a glucose meter.

There are glucose meters that need more blood than others and some you can obtain blood from the arm. One of the first thing that I tell my patients about is the type of lancets they should use. Lancets some in different gauges, changing the type of lancet can help with the pain.

The next thing to consider is where you are sticking yourself. Sticking around the sides of your fingers would be best rather than in the center of the padding because it hurts the most in that location. If you have the time, putting the finger you plan on sticking in a glass of ice water for a couple of minutes. This can help deaden the feeling so you don't experience the stick as much.

Best of luck with your future testing!

About Catherine Estipona

Catherine Estipona, MSN APN provides family-centered care as a Family Nurse Practitioner. In addition to her day-to-day care of patients, she serves as a Diabetic Educator in the state of Nevada for Lilly USA, LLC, a pharmaceutical company.

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