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[IP] Alternate site testing and calloused fingers



Ellie,
  I used to use the alternate site testing all the time before I started on
my pump. Remember that it can be 15-20 minutes behind the blood sugar you
would get with a finger stick (much like the CGMS). I would recommend
rubbing the area to make sure enough blood is circulating near where you
test. I never had luck on the palm of my hand, but got to be a pro with the
forearm. Play around with the depth setting (or get a lancet device that has
a depth setting). After you have pushed the button, press down pretty hard
until you see a drop of blood. I never would actually feel the needle, but
sometimes I'd kind of pinch my arm with the thing to get the blood out --
definetly harder than you think you need to. Once you see the blood, be
careful to come in at an angle. If you need help with that, I know freestyle
has a diagram on their website.
  I've also heard of special creams and tea tree oil helping to heal
calloused fingers, but I've never actually tried them. It's worth mentioning
to your doctor though. I mentioned that I was having red marks after
infusion sets (they didn't bother me too much) in passing to my doctor, and
she prescribed me an antibiotic wipe -- no more red marks.
  Another trick that I've learned is to rotate my fingers. Since I test a
minimum of eight times a day, I try to go from one finger to the next on one
hand, then over to the other hand. I'll only do the right side of the finger
one day, then I'll switch to the left side the next. If you use all your
finger, that's twenty sticks before a repeat. If I have a bad callous (my
index fingers are always calloused), I may skip that finger for a few days
if possible. I also try to vary the depth of my sticks. I can get out blood
from my fourth or fifth fingers on a one or two, while my index finger is
always a 3 (for the settings on my lancet device). Good luck!
.
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