Sore fingers

I have started testing my blood sugar a lot more recently. I started a new job recently after being out of work for about a year, and, for some inexplicable reason (to me) it has wreaked havoc on my blood sugar. Anyway, I’ve started testing several times a day at work (and at home after work), and as a result, my finger tips hurt, they are bruised and they just look awful.

Does anyone use another part of their body to get blood from to test?

Your lancet device should be adjustable. The smaller the number, the smaller the poke. Use the smallest number posible to give you enough blood for your strip. Alternate fingers using the sides of the finger. I test 8-10 times a day and my fingers are not sore. There are two lancet devices that I believe hurt less than some of the others. The Accuchek Multiclix and the One Touch Delica. You may try one one these devices. You don’t necessarily have to use the same lancet device that your meter comes with. Hope this helps.

The problem with alternate site testing is that there is a lag time because the blood has some plasma in it and it isn’t as acurate as the fingers. So if you are testing after meals, during or after exercise or when you think you are hyperglycemic, it may not be as true a result as using the finger tip.

I use the Accuchek Multiclix (you can buy it by itself at the pharmacy) and on the lowest setting get plenty of blood for my Freestyle meter. If you find a finger getting sore, avoid it for a few days to give it chance to heal.

I use the MultiClix and after 6 years of being T1 and testing 12+ times a day, I still get plenty of blood using the lowest setting. When I used the One Touch stabber, it hurt like hell. Same with the one that came with my Freestyle Lite. Hallalujah for the MultiClix lol!
Use all your fingers, poke along the sides of the fingertip and not directly on the pad, keep your stabber on the lowest setting that still gives you enough blood, and make sure you’re not squeezing your fingertips too hard trying to get blood. I poke, then pull away a little to kind of “open up” the little hole I just made before squeezing to get the blood drop out. Sometimes the “pulling” is enough to draw enough blood out and I don’t even have to squeeze!
Good luck! It’ll get easier!

Good job testing more frequently! Adding my vote for the MultiClix. Least painful one I’ve had. I’ve never gotten bruised from testing. I wash my hands in hot water to get the blood flowing. I tried alternate site testing a couple of times, but it’s not accurate.

First of all, are you going too deep? Can you adjust your finger pricker to go less deep but still get blood out? Try it.

Also change fingers and never prick on the very tip, but on the thicker side, to the side of the pad of your fingers. I am surprised that nurses do it on the end, as that is the most sensitive and painful part. One even managed to get me in a nail bed which caused me to squeal!

Your blood sugars are probably being a bit random because of the stress of a new job - whether you are stressed, happy, excited your body takes that as stress!

You can use the fat pad at the base of your thumb or on your forearm, using the little attachment that you should have with your pricker. You can also use your forearm, towards the inside, avoiding hairs and obvious veins. I believe that these can change the readings slightly, and I cannot remember which way, since I have never done it, so it is slightly innaccurate. If you feel your sugars are changing rapidly, either going up or down, you are better off testing on your fingers, but in between you could test in other places.

I know what you mean though, our poor fingers can become very sore and bruised. I use a different finger each time and rotate them. I have an abnormally small little finger and that, though it is small and skinny is very generous with the blood!

I’m not only vain, I’m a guitarist and a programmer, so sore, bruised fingers are not an option. These are tricks I’ve learned:

Use a new lancet every time. They’re clean, sharp, have no burrs and they will make a hole that is just the right size to get the job done. Others disagree, they go for the punch of a blunt lancet. That makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I guess I spent too much time looking through my Daddy’s microscope as a child. (Eeek.)

Think of your finger tips as having four test “sites” each, e.g. with your right ring finger facing you, two on the left side of the top finger section, and two on the right side of the top finger section (one just beside the lower third of the nail, and one about a quarter inch below that, keeping clear of the joint). This is not the finger pad, but on the sides above the joint. If you have four per finger/thumb, then that’s forty possible test sites.

I rotate through them, trying to never re-use a site until I’ve used all forty. If you have tiny hands or fragile pinky fingers, you might not be able to get more than two “sites” per pinky, one on the left and one on the right. My “babies” are super sensitive, so not only do I only use one, central site on each pinky-side, I also dial back the pressure on my clicker to the lowest setting.

Even if you test ten times a day, you shouldn’t have to hit the exact same spot any more often than once every three to four days, plenty of time for healing. If a spot looks red or inflamed, go around it and give another rest.

Another trick I’ve learned is this: as soon as I put the drop of blood on the test strip, I press firmly over the test site with a clean paper towel or Kleenex . Pressing prevents a large amount of perfusion under the skin and diminishes the chance of any soreness/bruising. My hands were a mess until I figured this out: press on it – for at least ten seconds, fifteen is better.

One final trick: warm your hands really, really well in medium-hot water before testing. I just let the water run a little longer when I wash them, or else I’ll test them after hand-washing a few dishes and then rinsing them really, really well with warm water. Swinging them helps, too. If your hands are nice and juicy (full of blood) then the test droplet will just about leap out of your skin with the clicker on a very low setting. No squeezing! When you squeeze, you’re not only increasing the bruising, you’re diluting your test droplet with interstitial fluid (from between the cells), which generally runs about 20 minutes behind changes to your blood glucose. Squeezing results in tests that might not reflect the true value of your blood glucose. During rapid changes, this could throw you off.

I used to bruise all the time. Now the only time I bruise is when I forget to dial back the pressure on the clicker for my pinkies.

I won’t let nurses click me any more. They always go for the pad. What’s up with that?

The only nurse I know who does it correctly is also diabetic.

What do they teach them?

I have stingy arms – I’ve tried a few times to get blood out of them, like the BB King commercials. No way.

I have a Multiclix, named Attila the Hun, because he was a bloodthirsty sucker! (Bob Petersen over at Diabetes Daily has one called Vlad the Impaler). And I agree with what everyone has said, particularly Jean’s observation that if you press the site immediately with a tissue, it doesn’t usually bruise, and the bleeding stops soon.

The other thing I wanted to reassure you about is that your fingers develop calluses, and then it doesn’t hurt nearly as bad. Often, you don’t feel it at all.

And be glad it’s now and not the olden days, when you used to have to have a huge, hanging drop of blood in order to have enough to test!

The other advantage to the Multiclix is that the needle goes back into the cartridge. Nothing sticks out. When you have used all 6 needles in the cartridge, you can throw it away. No worries about sharps disposal or accidental pokes (which in my opinion always hurt more than the planned pokes).

My fingers are pretty messed up. For a long time, I didn’t use my index fingers and thumbs but have started using them too, just to spread it out. They still look pretty horrid though.

I haven’t used my arms but, after my last spectactular bike wipe out, I tested my BG from my finger to see if D was going to be a problem and it was and then, since I was waiting for a ride, I figured I’d test the blood pouring out of my lip where it was split in half and got about the same result!

Thanks, everyone, for the great tips. I will definitely look into the multiclix. And, I will try the tip about pressing a tissue on the test site and getting my hands warm.

Haha! I love the names Attila the Hun and Vlad the Impaler. That’s great. I will definitely have to come up with a name for mine. :slight_smile:

Kids! Don’t try this at home!