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Question:

I have a life-long aversion to pin-prick blood testing. I am an adult with Type 2 and must self-monitor. Because of my phobia, I refuse. Are there any alternatives? Are they practical? There must be others like me who absolutely dread this procedure and who have some solution.

Answer:

There's no other way to keep track of your blood sugars. Some thoughts:

  1. You might talk to a diabetes nurse educator, and try various brands of fingerstickers.
  2. If you are poking the very tip of the finger (where the finger pad would touch a typewriter key), move to either the right or the left of center about 1/3 of the way down the length of the fingernail: it'll hurt less.
  3. Using Emla cream (very expensive!!!) or ice cubes (very cheap!) might numb the fingertip.
  4. Be sure to use a new mechanical fingersticker! Although I've had a few patients who want to poke their finger without a mechanical springloaded device, just jabbing the lancet into the skin, I think that most people are happier with the newer models of devices (the grand old Autolet, the first popular fingerpoker device, is now as outdated as the Model T).

Of course, if you don't test the blood, we can get an idea of recent control with a glycohemoglobin test, but that test won't tell minute-to-minute variations that may be very important (like telling if you have low blood sugar before driving an automobile).

WWQ

[Editor's comment: See the reviews of Lancets and Lancing Devices for the very latest products. JSH.]

Original posting 17 Jun 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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