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Nanette wrote:


>I am relatively new to this - diagnosed only 6 months ago, testing BG
>4-8 times a day since then, but I am still having problems with fingers.
>I have been following pretty much all Bob's advice (received from
>diabetes nurse here, and books), but have some problems/questions:
>1.  you write that you use all 10 fingers - including thumbs?? - my
>thumbs seem too hardened, and also too much in use for me to have
>considered pricking them - maybe I should reconsider!

Yes, I use my thumbs. I view them as a recently discovered "bonus prize"
;-). I never used them for the first 15 years of BG testing, for reasons
unknown to me. One day when I was doing an inventory of my body parts, I
realized I had more fingers available for BG testing than I had been using
<vbg>. Maybe that explains why math has never been a good subject for me ;-)

My thumbs are not "soft" either, but they work fine - sometimes better than
the other fingers. One trick which I learned a short time ago, is to prick
the finger a little "closer" to the nail area, rather than the spot where
it starts to curve under the pad of the finger. (Tricky to describe, but if
you place your hand palm down on a table, view the "target area" as the
parts of the finger around the nail, toward the outside edge of the
viewable area). I generally get good blood flow from that area. Though
there are some calluses there, I'm able to avoid them for the most part.

>2.  I find that the *sides* of my fingers hurt much more, not less, than
>the pads, and don't seem to have very good blood flow, except at the
>very end - does anyone else have this experience, or am I doing
>something wrong perhaps?  

Do you use a lancet device to prick your fingers? Some of the devices are
adjustable for depth and might work well for you. One benefit of the
adjustable devices is you can change the depth you are using for different
fingers. This seems to be an area where users differ widely on what they
feel is comfortable. Different brand lancets produce different levels of
comfort as well. Personally, I'm a real big fan of the SoftClix device,
having used it exclusively for the past several years. Others have said
they don't like it. YMMV.

>3.  Also one side and pad of the index and middle fingers on my right
>hand are so callused from pen-pushing, that there is little territory
>left on them where there is a good chance of drawing blood.  

If my fingers become callused from over use or work around the house, etc.
I will "omit" them from the scheduled rotation, to give them a rest. That's
another reason my thumbs came in so handy (yes, pun intended here ;-)).
Using my thumbs as targets lets me rest my index fingers, which have
endured a lot of callusing over the years.

>4.  The little fingers are more painful and just don't have much space
>on them for finger pricks.  
You're right - there's not much real estate on those little fingers, is
there? These are the ones which seem to callus the quickest for me. They
*are* a little more sensitive. I pay extra attention to them, making sure I
rotate sites as much as possible, often reduce the depth of my lancet
device for these "little guys". Seems to work o.k. for me.

Someone else mentioned occasional use of a Pumice stone to remove some of
the hardened skin. I do this also, but I'm very careful I don't overdo it
and leave my fingers over sensitive. That doesn't help at all ;-(

>This leaves only 4 good fingers!!

Hmmmmmm ..... I've heard that they use the ear lobe area in infants to get
samples. Other than trying to insert an infusion set in the top of my butt
area, this is the next most difficult thing for me to imagine. I can't
picture the contortions required for this. It has gotten me to wondering
where else are suitable sites for BG samples?

This is certainly a YMMV area for discussion. I've never spent any real
time with my health care team talking about it. Seems I was pricking my
fingers for blood before they adopted the technique. Might be worth a chat
to see what I haven't learned over the years ;-)

Great to hear that pumping is in your future. Keep us informed, let us know
where we can help.

Bob Burnett

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