The Bloodless Finger Test

I recently got a comment on my blog asking about finger pricks, and trouble getting blood for a test. Have I ever had this issue? YES! Most definitely!

How to Get Enough Blood For a Blood Sugar Testing

When I was first diagnosed, I had this issues getting blood from my fingers very often. I was also young, and had less space/area to actually test on my fingers. My fingers did get tough. I used my pointer finger, middle fingers and ring fingers the most. On days when I had issues, I would test on my pinky finger… which for some odd reason, always gave me tons of blood!

Another way I was able to get blood easier was by washing my hands with warm water. The water makes the blood in my fingers more “gushy” and a hell of  a lot easier to get enough to test my blood sugar level.

I had once talked with my endo about the blood issue. He had suggested to switch finger prickers, and get the one where you would test on your arm instead of on your fingers. That wasn’t for me. I hated it actually. Then he suggested to use the sides on my fingers instead of just the top part (next to the finger nails) and that worked so much better for me! Also changing the lancet every time you test may help you. You can also try dialing up the depth on the lancet/pricking device (if you haven’t already). Mine is always set to 4 because of my tough fingers.

Dealing with type 1 diabetes as a child a huge burden on the child themselves — and I know from first hand experience. My school nurse was always there to provide me with tips to help me manage my diabetes better, but she wasn’t a type 1 diabetic herself. The best way is to meet other diabetics, and a lot of times, they have plenty of suggestions for the way they do things. You’ll never know what you can learn by having a very simple conversation about diabetes.

What’s Inside The Diabetes Bag?

What is Inside Your Diabetes Bag

I recently got an email from a teenage girl who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Yes, type 2 diabetes is different then type 1 diabetes, but it is still diabetes and we all do have to deal with a lot of the same issues.

One of her main questions was “What do you carry in your diabetes bag?”

Well, instead of just sharing it with her, I thought it would be better to share it with all of my diabetic friends, significant others and people just learning about what diabetes really is.

First off, I want to make it clear that I do not really carry a “diabetes bag.” I am lucky enough to be a female and have a purse to carry around all of my things… an extra large purse!

And here what is currently inside of it:

  • Glucose tablets (the small containers. I buy the big ones just to refill the smaller ones)
  • My test kit (which includes a lot of other things that I am going to list below)
  • My OmniPod Meter
  • Test Strips
  • Vial of insulin
  • Finger stick/pricker
  • Needles (in case I have an issue with my insulin pump and am not carrying another one to change it)
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Lancets
  • A Breakfast Bar / Candy bar or easy little snack in case I need it
  • Hand sanitizer (in case I bleed all over)

Just so everyone is clear, I do not currently have juice boxes on the list, but I also do not always carry them around with me. The times when I do are :

  1. When I am in a hurry to leave and I know I am going to go low
  2. I am not going to be home for most of a day, and am unsure of when/what I will be eating for dinner
  3. I am going out to do some exercise

I want you to share what you have inside of your diabetes bag. What else would be a good idea to carry?

Headaches and Lows

Yesterday I was in the last hour of work, my blood sugar level went low. I didn’t eat much for lunch, so I blamed it on that. I had a juice box, and a snickers bar, finished up my work and went home.

It takes me roughly 30 minutes to make it home. I checked my blood sugar as soon as I got home, 152 mg/dL. Perfect!! My fiancé and I needed to go shopping before I could actually make dinner, so we left and I did not eat.

While we were finishing up loading things into the car, I started to get a massive headache. I mentioned it, and my fiancé just nodded. It got worse while driving home, and then he started to notice. Apparently I had a sour puss on my face… and I explained it was because my head was pounding. I decided to check my blood sugar again, 42 mg/dL. Ouch!

I have noticed that when my blood sugars drop very quickly, I develop headaches — no migraines — and I tend to get very upset. My blood sugar had just dropped 100 mg/dL in about 45 minutes. I started to make dinner, had everything cooking, but just couldn’t stand up and to finish it anymore. I needed to lay down. I needed to get off my feet. I had a glass of juice, but that didn’t seem to make my sugar level go up much at all.

I asked my fiancé to finish cooking dinner. He questioned why, but agreed to do so — as long as I would do the dishes afterwards (that’s our agreement… who ever cooks dinner doesn’t have to do the dishes afterwards! And it usually works great for us.) I told him I would, but I just needed this headache to go away.

After dinner, I laid on the couch, snuggled, and watched a movie. About an hour after eating, it finally went away. My blood sugar had gone up into the 150mg/dL range and I was feeling like my normal self again.

These low blood sugar headaches are much more then the “normal” headache. My whole body was weak. My head was pounding and aspirin didn’t do a damn thing. I only tend to get them when my blood sugar goes from normal to extremely low, extremely fast.

It is times like these when its just easier to go to bed then to struggle to stay up. I did the dishes and went to bed.