How a blind person checks blood sugar

By blindbluesmama Latest Reply 2011-05-11 10:16:07 -0500
Started 2011-03-16 12:28:28 -0500

Ok, this is not how a *perfect* blind person checks blood sugar *perfectly. This is a realtime discussion from someone who is learning how to do this, that will hopefully help others struggling as I am and who have no help or very little.
The first thing I am learning is to be patient. It's not easy to check blood sugar when you can't see because the strips are designed such that there's only a certain little area about the size of the head of a pin that wicks up the blood. So patience, practice and be prepared to stick your fingers many many times at first. Sorry I know that's not what you want to hear if you're blind like me. The first thing you will need to do is examine the strip with your fingertips. I am not sure what to say if you can't feel the strip due to complications. But if you slowly explore the curvy round end of the strip you will notice that on the edge, there is a small notch. Can't feel it? Ues a finger nail. This is, I think, where you aim for with the blood. Ready set stick. Now prick your finger. I am still not sure where to prick exactly but it seems the general consensis that it's best to prick on the sides. Now, with any luck your finger will start to bleed. When it does pick up your meter and bring it to the blood not the other way around. In other words, hold the meter to the puncture site and hold it with the stuck out end of the strip, (the round end) pointed at the floor. Don't press but lightly touch. So far that's all I know. It's still taking multiple sticks to get a reading. But I'm determined. That isn't how my fiance put it last night when I wanted to test my blood glucose after we had already tested it. I did see reason and finally took a break from it and decided to wait til later. The worst part is that it takes so many sticks for me to either get the blood or get it on the strip. Anyway if you want to ask questions please do so. Well I'm yawning a lot, sign of low blood sugar I guess or maybe just because I only had three hours sleep last night.

66 replies

blindbluesmama 2011-05-11 10:16:07 -0500 Report

How a blind person checks blood sugar, final final revision!
I have been doing this for a good while now and I finally found a method that works. It's just taken me a while to get around to posting, but here goes.
The testing is done on a prodigy meter.
1. feel the strip. There is a side with a straight end and a little ridge that keeps the strip from going into the meter too far. Insert this end with the ridge facing the floor, into the little curved slot in your meter. There is only one place you can fit this in. It will say your prodigy meter is on. Please apply blood into the test strip.
2. Do this by pulling the sticker until it clicks. This click is when the spring loads and the button can be pressed.
3. Put the cap end against your finger. I usually test on the pads of my finger not the sides as usually recommended. Push the button while firmly pressing this end against your finger.
4. Pause for five seconds, then squeeze for five seconds and then turn your finger upside down.
5. Now pick up your meter with your hand that you didn't stick and put it in the same hand you stuck, hold your meter with your other four fingers. The strip should be pointed toward the sky and your finger pointed, bloody side down at the strip. With the other hand, continue to squeeze the finger until the meter beeps and says now testing. Best to try and get the part that's stinging as close to the tip as possible without actually touching it, or very lightly touching it. It should give you a reading.
Additional note. If you have to squeeze too much before the meter beeps it will probably not give an accurate reading.It means that the site you chose isn't bleeding enough. Using this method, I can do it just about as fast as a sighted person. I rarely ever have to ask for help. Darrell has stopped being grossed out and calling me obssessive… well mostly. Kaeli kind of misses pricking my fingers, so she asked last night if she could squeeze out the blood. Gross. And she's lost her touch. My main concern right now is that I don't think I'd do well sticking my right hand and using my left to squeeze, though I've never tried it. As a result, I have successfully managed to mess up my braille reading finger. There is a little bit of a callus on it because that's the finger that usually bleeds the best. Where's that watch? Another note, just because this method works for me doesn't mean it works for everyone. Also when first learning, even if you follow my dirrections step by step, you'll probably wind up wasting many strips and sticking your fingers lots of times. I notice that sometimes I still have to prick two or three times if my hands are cold.

milesrf 2011-03-20 11:16:24 -0500 Report

Depends on HOW blind. For those that still have enough vision to make the test strip reach the blood drop, a Clever Choice meter with Auto-Code Voice should be adequate. If your drugstore doesn't have any, you can call 888-777-0737 to order them and corresponding test strips. Their test strips have a notch at the end, but covered on both sides by plastic without a notch, so it's hard to see.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-21 08:43:23 -0500 Report

Goal to get a clear and easy to understand guide so that anyone who is blind can figure out how to check their blood sugar if this is your first time, feel the strip. If you're using a prodigy meter, the strip is shiny on one side and dull on the other. Also on the botom dull side the edge is slightly raised. Also, if you notice the two short ends, one is straight and the other is slightly curved. There's a little raised part near the bottom of the strip which stops it from going into the meter too far. So put the neter with the button side up and insert the strip, straight end first shiny side up, into the meter. It should say your prodigy meter is on. 2. Assuming your hands are clean, take the sticker and pull it until it clicks. Place the cap end in the place you want to prikck I use the pad of my finger. Press down firmly and then push the button. 3. Squeeze squeez squeeze. When you think you have some blood… 4. Take the meter in your other hand and very very slowly slide the end of the strip to the stinging place and then lay it flat. The key word is slowly. It takes me two or three seconds to do this. If I go too fast, the strip doesn't seem to soak up the blood and I throw a fit. If you do it right it should say now testing and then give you a reading. There, four easy steps. Again I invite all to try this with eyes closed The keys are sliding the meter to the site and doing it very very slowly I think. Like so many things blind people do, it's sort of a creppy crawly motion. The place that sucks up the blood is closer to the botom side than the top, which is why when you get to the site you lay it flat.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-20 12:55:35 -0500 Report

I love my mom!!! I love her anyway, but today I love her a whole bunch because she came over in just a minute or two she was able to tell me what I did wrong. The prodigy meter has strips with a rough side on the bottom and a smooth shiny tide on the top. If we pretend that the strip is like a flattened version of a finger, the top, the flat shiny side is the nail, the bottom, which is the rough side is the pad. So once you prick your finger, slide your strip to where you feel the sting, provided you've squeezed some blood out of your finger. When you reach the place where it stings, move the flat rough part of the strip so that it's laying against the pad of your finger. It should give you a reading. When you lay that flat part against your finger, make sure it's right on the curved part of the strip like where the scratching part of the nail is. Again I invite you to try this without benefit of sight. And I am going to keep doing it myself. I remember that the other night when I had so much success, I was kind of running the strip up to the blood, so what mom said *does work. Well I smell my lean coussine cooking. I'm starved and my bridal portrait is today so I want to be sure I have food.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-21 06:50:44 -0500 Report

Help? Alarmingly low blood sugar? Ok, I did this test twice and once got a 45 and second time got a 38. So I'm pretty sure that the meter isn't flawed. But I don't feel any symptoms except a head ache like sinus head ache and kind of feverish. Am I abnormal for not feeling a whole bunch of symptoms like people describe with low blood sugar? One thing for sure, I'm gonna lay off the cinamon capsules before bed. I kind of figured that if my bs was 235, that would help. Apparently helped too nuch.My legs are hurting, so if anything I thought I might have high blood glucose. I'm definitely writing this down in my food diary.

jayabee52 2011-03-21 10:07:26 -0500 Report

OH! Do you have someone who can help you get some kind of fast-acting carbs in you? Someone who could stay with you to see to it you don't slip into a diabeticc coma?

From what I recall the way to bring your BG up is, consume15, grams of fast acting carbs - like orange juice, or a glucose tab. Wait 15 minutes test your BG#s, if not within normal range (70 to 130) take another 15 grams of fast acting carbs. Wait 15 min, test again. If not within normal range, repeat the cycle until it is.

It is important for you not to be all alone. In fact it would be good if you would let that other person do the testing of your BGs

blindbluesmama 2011-03-22 09:35:32 -0500 Report

Wow, wish I'd knbown that, but I survived. I ate breakfast and then when I checked again it was much higher. I can't remember exactly what it was though. Unfortunately, my kids were the only ones with me at the time. I am hoping tha tperhaps my meter just wasn't reading right or something. I hate these meters. I hate that my seven year old, more often than not has to stand there and mash on my finger til the blood comes out and then test. I will ask my doctor today if maybe he knows how to get hold of one of those watches. What am I talking about? Who am I kidding? We're in Arkansas.

jayabee52 2011-03-22 11:29:27 -0500 Report

Well now you know for next time it happens. My bride's endo shared that with me because she was having lows and then eating uncontrollably to bring it back up. She did bring her BG#s up - sometimes into the 200s Not good!

Perhaps you could apply (through your Dr) to be a beta tester. Who knows, it could work.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-22 14:20:21 -0500 Report

I asked him but he seemed not to know what I was talking about. I don't even want to talk about that appointment. He was cool. The nurse that was checking me… her name was rosella, was the nurse from hell. She made me so angry. I am blind, we know that. She came and grabbed my arm. I don't mind that. I can deal with it. You just take their hand off your hand and grab their arm instead. Well this b****… sorry… I call em as I see em. goes, no I am going to lead you this way. Well I wasn't putting up with that, so I removed her hand from my arm again and held on the way that every good blind person knows how to do. Then, as if she just couldn't get the hint, she starts trying to rashonalize… well I just wanted to be able to catch you if you fell. I have a bad back. Understand? So I do a shrug because I figure if I say anything I'm going to start cussing. Now, I'm not usually a cusser. I know that people are human, and usually a bit of polite explanation/education is sufficient. But when someone who has not been blind all their lives tries to tell me how to walk with assistance, and I've been blind all my life, I get irritated. She just kept pushing and pushing the issue too and so I just told her that she shouldn't be telling someone who's been blind all their lives how to walk with a sighted person. She then conceded that she didn't mind learning new things. But she did it in a very condescending way. Well anyway, I'm going to get something to eat. I've been on the phone and stuff so need food.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-20 19:51:39 -0500 Report

Ok, I'm done with the checking of the blood sugar forever. It's like whatever works one time doesn't work the next even though I'm careful to hold my hand level which I forgot to include in the description. I'm mad as hell and I refuse to poke my fingers one more time. Call it what you want. I'm aware that I have this diabetes and I know I have to eat healthy. I get it. But I'm not checking my d***ed blood sugar any more. Three times the d***ed thing beeped three times it says blood glucose low. Then I had a strip in there blood on the end and it wouldn't beep so it shut itself off so I turn the meter back on and it goes strip has already been used. I'd better stop before I start using choice words that begin with the letter f and end with king. What sucks is even a blind person couldn't describe how to do this well. I swear I'm writing to that company. Glucon. I have their address but no email or phone. I just refuse to be frustrated any more. This isn't about wanting to know or not wanting to know. I *want* to know, but gosh doggit I'm really sick and tired of my hands being caked with blood and still no reading. My fingers were literally caked with it. So anyway, unless someone figures out how I can do this right every time… it's over.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-20 23:03:57 -0500 Report

Ok, Ok, I am not mad at my meter any more. I think I just wasn't getting enough blood. Kaeli and I have agreed that she and I are going to work together until I can do it myself. She is about to be eight and has been such a trooper. She doesn't really know why I have to check blood sugar… but she knows it's important. Oh yes, I conquered the restaurant hurtle. I figured I might as well get it over with. I know many diabetics avoid that restaurant thing right at first but I figured the best way to figure out how to live like a normal person who just happens to have diabetes is to not avoid things like restaurants… so… we went to senior kyote. Sorry if I butchered that spelling. Anyway, I ws feeling super frustrated with my meter and its non-cooperation. So I decided to be a little bit bad. I ended up having a taco salad. I know deep fried bowl and all that sour cream… and anyway the plate was resonably small… and the salad didn't even cover the whole plate, but I only ate half of it and just a few of the tortilla chips. I didn't even eat any out of the second basket. Did I fall off the wagon? Yeah, a little but I fell gracefully at least and tried to keep things in perspective. And my blood sugar is still below 200 which is very good for me after a meal. I mean, when I consider all the stuff I could have had… like chimi-changas all covered in cheese… or refried beans or whatever I think I did okay. Of course, when I consider all the sea food I could have had, you know, I realize it wasn't the perfect choice. But I've always been good at controling portions when I am working at it. It was just so good to eat something where I wasn't watching what I ate and worrying about how bad it would be if I ate it… and that I only ate half of it, and not because I made myself stop though I wanted more… but because I got full and had had enough. Well anyway the tenuious thread that relates this restaurant venture with the rest of the discussion of how a blind person checks blood sugar is that I decided to make peace with the meter, though I'm still going to write to glucon about their watch and see if I can find out more about when it's coming out or when I can get one. I'd be happy to be a beta tester. Anyway, until then I'll keep trying and erroring and trying again… I guess. An when I use all these strips I'll give that other talking meter a try.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-21 03:45:52 -0500 Report

I wouldn't have a clue how to make a call to israel. I'm sure the charges would be outrageous. I am searching for him on skype. Figured that was a pretty uncommon name but apparently there are six people with that name.

jayabee52 2011-03-21 04:04:41 -0500 Report

I wouldn't know how to make a call to Israel or use skype. Too bad no email is published for them. But that would be too easy. You couldn't look up glucon on skype?

Pynetree 2011-03-19 11:17:56 -0500 Report

Been following this discussion for the last few days. So I tried a finger stick with my eyes closed…yikes…three $$ strips it -114 - almost 3 hrs after a not so healthy breakfast for a diabetic , of Homemade French Toast..with Sugar free syrup and 1 sausage patty , and coffee of course. But it was pretty challenging! Was told by a friend that blind diabetics use a strip with a notch…hold the strip to the side of a finger, and hold the lancet right to the strip at the notch, puncture, and the strip is right where the blood comes out. But my strips don't seem to be notched…and doesn't seem that the lance might mar or damage the strip. IDK.??!!
And unless you are Super Diabetes Woman…you are going to fall off the healthy foods path sometimes. And really you can eat cake or pecan roll, cupcakes etc. ..but you have to plan it into your days totals…don't eat the bread, potatoes or pasta if you know you want cake. A carb is a carb. You just have to think about how many you have. I caved in last night at a birthday party and ate two pieces of pizza…but then had to pass on the cake. The devil on my shoulder was saying…"Oh - just eat a piece of cake…take it off tomorrows carb count" But the , often drowned out Angel , who is more than a bit sarcastic, piped up"Well eat it, but take it off Monday's count…'cause you're more that 2 days carbs in just what you ate today!"
LOL!..So really haven't seen many post on here from Cape-wearers…we all fall off sometimes.

krystalm 2011-03-19 14:52:23 -0500 Report

oh yeah we do all fall off. how i explain to friends or family that dont understand is that putting sugar in front of a diabetic and telling them not to eat it is just like putting alcohol in front of an alcoholic and telling them not to drink it.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-19 15:15:56 -0500 Report

Yeah that's the comparison I've noted too, as I have that unfortunate problem in my family as well. I have to say that I now understand, even though through a different medium, what she goes through, the struggle. Anyway, the method that seemed to work so well yesterday is not working so well today. Again, it seems that though only a small ammount of blood is required, it comes dearly. I was able to finally get a reading though. I got a call today from an aquaintance who said that the prodigy isn't very acurate. Hmmm. I forgot to ask him whether readings tended to be too low or too high? He is going to send me an accucheck, which talks and has the notch on the strip. He claims they are more acurate, anybody else had bad experiences with the prodity, and if they are not accurate, shouldn't somebody be checking that stuff? I mean isn't it all important for the meters we buy to be accurate? Does this mean that my low blood sugar this morning is all for naught? Could it be that it's actually like 200 or something? I will say this that when I got it at first, it seemed that the readings matched closely with those we'd been getting from the sighted meter.

jayabee52 2011-03-19 15:27:07 -0500 Report

The federal regs on meters are they only have to be within 20% of the BG# either low or high. And knowing that I don't worry that the readings aren't "right on the money" accurate. What I look for is, is my BG# up or down from my last reading? I look for the trends.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-19 16:26:35 -0500 Report

Well, that makes me feel better. My fbs is definitely lower and therefore my other bs's are also lower, though sometimes not as low as I'd like them to be. In principle I know I'm supposed to budget my carbs… I haven't completely gotten the hang of it, and forget counting the buggers. I mean, it's not that I don't know how, it's that I often don't know how many is in one thing or another. So I just try to limit my servings. That's why I liked the creat your plate method. Of course, they also say add a fuit… add a yogourt. Are they figuring in that you might have a few snacks? And of course, to the uneducated, they're going fruit, ok, how about a banana? It's kind of like the Catholic argument that fish doesn't count as meat. Doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. *sigh* at times like this when I spend half the night wondering if a banana is a fruit or a carb… or whether oranges are bad for me or not, or whether I can eat watermellon… I say to myself, whatever I'm doing right now is better than what I was doing. Banana vs cookies with reeces's pieces cookies inside them… or ice cream with peanut butter… Rib-eye with… well you get the idea.

jayabee52 2011-03-19 16:52:46 -0500 Report

OH, Yeah! I hear you Michelle! There are websites like (for one) from which you can get the number of carbs in most any food. I don't know how screen reader friendly it is so it may not be of much use for you , but just google nutrition information and you might find one that works for your particular reader.

Or of you can't find one that works for you, ask one of your friends via DC email to look up the nutrition information and send it back to you in a form your reader can read. I did things like that for Jem all the time, even before we were together in the same place. There's no shame IMO of asking someone else to do something for you that your equipment is unable to do.

Incidentally the Bananna fruit or carb conundrum is like a puppy chasing its tail. It isn't either or, it's both fruit and a carb! All fruits I know of have fructose, which is a carb. Some fruits have more sugar in it than others, and so something like a bananna or watermellon or grapes are higher on the glycemic index than are strawberries or blueberries. The plusses of fruits is not in their glycemic qualities, but in the nutrients they add to your diet. You get more nutritional good out of a bananna, for instance than an amount of sucrose (table sugar) which would raise your BG#s the same amount. So oranges, watermellon, banannas, grapes are good for you nutrient wise, but consumption should be minimized or avoided from the perspective of BG#s.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-19 17:31:13 -0500 Report

Then I will ask a constructive question. Do the things we eat effect different people differently? For instance, one person might eat potatoes for breakfast lunch and dinner and it nog effect them at all, while another person might have a small amount, say once a week and their blood sugar goes soaring? Btw, that's not me who eats potatoes three times a day. It's not anyone I know, I was just curious. I have noticed that if, in a given day I have a serving of grapes, aproximately, or a banana it doesn't effect my blood sugar over much, but more than one banana might rais it a little. I am curious also how other people do this. I know, from all my reading that some use the glysemic index like it was the food bible, some just kind of go the moderation route, some don't care at all. Some check their blood sugar like it's a religious ritual… me… I have to know my numbers. Some don't check it at all. Myself, I tend to kind of do moderation, I'm not super strict about counting things, but I do what one person said, and notice trends. When I noticed, for instance that my fbs was 217 desipte my best efforts to not eat stuf that was unhealthy I realized that I had eaten three yogourts and that those yogourts were high in carbs. As soon as I switch to a lower carb yogourt, my bs went down. I've still got some tinkering to do, but as many people have told me, it takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day and I do not expect my blood sugar to drop to normal in a day. But I'm sure getting tired of everybody telling me that I'm probably going to have to be on a medication. Perhaps I'm wrong but I think that all things considered, I'm doing well for only having known about this less than two weeks. My fbs this morning was 117. It started to drop about the fourth day in I think., with only one time where it ticked back up to 159. I am not a conspiracy person and don't believe that everybody's out to get me, but I do believe that the farmacy industry is big business. Let's just say I do not particularly want to contribute to their pockets any more than I already do. I am not totally resistant to medicine though. I just want to attempt to control my sugar with diet and exercise. Today has been a good day for me. My fbs was low and when I checked it later on it was only 186. I reckon that's high enouh but better than it was which is all I'm looking at. Considering that last week if I ate a mean and then checked my sugar and it was 280, anything is an improvement. Sorry for the ramble. The kids are not here and i'm bored. I'm probably going to sing for a while.

jayabee52 2011-03-19 18:41:44 -0500 Report

Singing can produce endorphins, which help you feel good (even if you are singing the blues — LoL!). and if you feel good. you may well have a bit of a drop in your BG#s

To speak to your "cpmstructive question": You are correct. DM is not a sone size fits all condition. My BG reaction to a bananna, for instance, may not be the same as yours. It might raise my BG# 50 pts while it may raise yours 20 pts. The only way you can find out food or drink works for your metabolism for sure is to test each time you consume a specific food or drink. I have hesitated suggesting this to you because of your dificulty just getting your BG#s. This could be a daunting task for you all by yourself. Should you want to hear how I would suggest tailoring your own eating plan to your own metabolism, just ask me either here, or on DC email system. (and I won't charge you $59.95 to tell you how, LoL!)

I like you, don't want to line big Pharma's pockets, but I do want to live a better life than what I can without their help. If I can find something which can do the job for me without contributing to big Pharma, I seek out that solution. But all my "challenges" cannot be eased or corrected in that way, so I use meds when needed.

If you can control your DM with diet & exercise that's fantastic. More power to you. I pray you can make it work for a long time. But sometimes our DM can take a turn for the worse, and we may need the help that meds provide.
I am not a conspiricy person also. I try to see things clearly and rationally. (don't always get ut done but I try) I look at evidence on both sides of the argument. I look for evidence for a conspiracy and evidence which would deny a conspiracy. At this point i am an agnostic (greek for "I don't know") on the issue.

There's a term for those who don't check their BG#s at all — in denial — (and I'm not talkin about the river in Egypt).

I have rambled on quite bit here and have tried to cover most of your main points here

I pray you had a good session singing.



blindbluesmama 2011-03-19 19:29:10 -0500 Report

Well I never got around to it, because I decided to do a big word blood sugar which means checking it two hours after you have eaten. What can I say late start to the day equals late lunch etc. Well that was around five thirty. About 30 minutes later, I got a reading of 26. Huh? I figure it must have been some kind of fluke since I did not have any symptoms whatsoever and figure it it were that low I would have. So I ate two tiny candy bars. Then I had dinner. I had try to do another bs but my fingers and or the meter was not cooperating. As for people who don't check their lood sugar being in denyal, I might point out that my friend Tracy is blind like me. It's probably more of a matter of not being able to afford striups or likeme, having trouble with the danged meter. He seems to watch his diet pretty good and the doctors say his a1c is good. He tends to check it by symptom which worries me since I got that really low reading It scared me expecially when I dozed off a few minutes ago, even after eating. All I could think of was shelby in steel magnolias… and I'm like OMG she never woke up. And thinking about Sally fields doing her cibil routine in every movie she plays in… and so I woke myself up and was singing a little when I heard the email thing. I like you too. And I guess I think like you. I'm seriously wanting that watch. At the very least it would beep at me if my sugar was too low or too high. All you success yesterday has only lead to sore fingers and frustration today. At this rate, I can see why Tracy doesn't check his blood sugar. His friend Sammy does and I talked to him today but none of his suggestions worked. I think this stupid meter only works when it wants to and has a mind of its own. In any case, I'm skipping my cinamon dose this evening and waiting for Darrell to get home. By then it will be close to time to check it once again.

jayabee52 2011-03-20 16:41:32 -0500 Report

When I made the comment about being in denial, I didn't have situations like Tracy's. I didn't mean to sound insensitive.

I've heard several references to Steel Magnolias in the discussions recently, but have never seen it. I guess I'll need to look it up and watch it sometime.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-19 12:01:41 -0500 Report

While I was ablt to do it fine yesterday with no help three times, I was not ablt to do it today. I think my aim is still a little off. Maybe not right on the very end of the strip but maybe on the underside but still close to the edge if that makes sense. Anyway, what's wrong with french toast with sugar free syrup? And saucage, my fbs has been dropping and I eat two saucage patties every day. Well no that's not right,k I eat them several times a week. And I've lost weight and this morning, my fbs was 117, despite a bedtime bs of 240. Of course, this was like 14 hours after I last ate… so next time I want to have an ice cream bar, I'll have it for lunch. They are low in carbs but have like 50 percent of the daily allowance of fat. I wish I'd known that *before* I unwrapped it. But this morning, I had two pieces of bacon, some cream of wheat and some yogourt. And what's more, I'm not at all apologetic. Bacon, in moderation is ok. I can say this because I'm still losing weight and my morning sugar is dropping. I guess I'd feel more guilty if I were eating bacon every day, but it's usually only once a week. And I cooked it in the new wave too so it's probably healthier. Last night though was rough. I felt like I was in diabetes jail. I wanted to eat something but didn't because I'm trying to get it through my head that all that after bed and after last snack snacking is what got me to this point in the first place. I couldn't have a drink with Darrell and his friends because alcohol raises blood sugar. Then, to add insult to injury, Darrell decides he's hungry like at one in the morning so he heats him up some ribs and isn't content to eat away from me, but has to eat right in the bedroom with me where I can smell it. I would have cheerfully murdered him… but I didn't. I just burried my face in the pillow and watched him eat his ribs and didn't say anything until he started talking about them, how good they were… and then I used the line from as good as it gets. I'm drowning and you're describing the water. It was one of my catch phrases even before I had diabetes. Well I'm going to go enjoy this peace and quiet. My stomach is kind of upset. Has been since I woke up.So I don't think it has anything to do with what I ate.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-19 08:00:15 -0500 Report

Hi Michelle
Your discriptions seem much better than the one I found on the NFB page about taking your BG reading. They don't give the all important step of how to tell if you actually get any blood. Thank you for sharing with us.

jayabee52 2011-03-19 04:52:05 -0500 Report

Howdy Michelle.
You haven't said how you "read" your meter. Do you have a talking meter, or have someone read it for you?

I saw an advertisement on TV for a talking meter. Actually, it was for a diabetes supply company, but they featured a talking glucometer. I didn't get a pen & paper in time to write the number down, but decided to do a search for talking glucometers online.

In case anyone might be interested here are a couple of the hits I got back from the search:

blindbluesmama 2011-03-19 12:07:36 -0500 Report

Hey thanks for the links. My experience searching for the talking meters was kind of frustrating because I'd find that the product had been discontinued or some such. But I finally ended up ordering the prodigy meter which does talk but doesn't seem to have any notched strips. As for the description of the blood, I might have to update that as it doesn't always happen that way. Sometimes it's more like a warming or cooling o slightly more of a stinging sensation. Sometims I have to touch it which makes it even more messed up because touching the blood probably makes it less likely to test. But today I only used two strips, but have been able to test with only one stick and one strip. So I'm getting better. I'll probably revise my descriptions as I get better and better at checking.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-19 07:47:38 -0500 Report

I was wondering about talking meters also, James.
Great progress on one stick testing. Michelle. My fingers and blood hear some choice words when they are miiserly with output for a test. Sometimes they bleed slower if they are cold. So I need to wash them in slightly longer in the warm water. I tend to have cold hands. But as the saying goes cold hads warm heart.
I'll check next BG test time to feel for the squishy pop with closed eyes.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-19 12:17:04 -0500 Report

It's not always a squishy pop. That's when the blood is flowing particularly well. It's many times more subtle. Sometimes you have to quit squeezing and see if you can feel wetness on your finger by the air in the room, know what I mean? One other thing I've been doing lately is talking to my liver. Before I go to sleep I tell my liver goodnight and thank it for doing a good job filtering all the poisons out of my body and politely ask it to not dump sugar into my body just because I'm asleep. I also talk to my pancriousl. I think it for working as hard at it has been and ask it to please heal itself. Weird, probably. Comes from years of my mom reading books like the power of positive thinking and taking hypnosis classes and being interested in ESP. You really can't escape an environment like that without being effected. Now she wasn't a granola or anything. Far from it. And I think she believes less in all that stuff now, but when I was little she always was telling me about kids who regrew whole limbs because they believed they could. She did an experiment once when I was five. I don't remember this experiment, but she had different colors of construction paper. She would "send" me the color and said that I was right 70 percent of the time, maybe 75. Like I said, you can't grow up like that without some of that stuff sticking with you. I guess while I'm at it I should tell my stomach to stop being so hungry for stuff I can't have any more. Should tell my brain to stop wanting foods that have only served me ill.

GabbyPA 2011-03-20 07:00:18 -0500 Report

LOL! I am going to try that. My liver is so mean to me. I go to bed with a 119 and wake up with a 201. Go figure! I will have to go a little boot camp on mine I think.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-20 08:59:22 -0500 Report

Well I figure it can't hurt to talk to my liver. I also talk to my pancrious too and tell it to make more inculin. But I think mostly the cin caps are lowering my bs. Today fasting is 134. But I haven't been able to do this without help. It sucks. I hate having sore fingers, and worse I hate having to constantly ask for help when I was able to do this myselfr.

GabbyPA 2011-03-20 17:37:25 -0500 Report

Well, then, I have to start talking to my cells that won't let the insulin in. That whole resistance thing...well, I am just over it. LOL

blindbluesmama 2011-03-18 23:07:43 -0500 Report

Revising how to check blood sugar. I've done it twice now with only one stick. So here's how a totally blind person checks blood sugar without any help from little ones.
1. Wash hands. 2. insert strip into meter and pull lancing device which has already had a fresh sticker inserted. (see final step. 3. Insert test strip into meter. 4. On your finger that you're going to poke, locate the round bolge on the pad of your finger. It's the part that lies flat if you put your hand face down on the table. 5. Poke finger.
6. Now squeeze finger with thumb and index finger of your other hand and pay attention to when the blood starts to come. You'll know you have enough when you feel a soft squishy pop as the blood escapes your finger. 7. Hold meter with the short curvy end of the strip facing the flor and gently rub in the spot where you felt the blood. If you got enough, the meter should beep and say now testing and give a reading. It's important not to rub any of the flat surfaces of the strip, only the curved end that resembles a fingertip shape. Finally, remove strip and insert a fresh lancet. That way you don't have to do that step if your hands are shaking and you have to remove the used one anyway right? I hope this helps someone and I hope that maybe some of you will try this with your eyes closed and tell me whether I did a good job. One question I have is that people have often said never test on the pad of your fingers but I'm curious why? It's much easier to get blood that way. I could understand not testing on the top like where you would be if you were typing or playing guitar, and I can somewhat understand not testing on the pad if you're reading braille, but to eleviate frustration, it just seems easier to test on that bulgy place on the pad. 90 percent of my frustration was not being able to make my fingers bleed. I remember cussing at them. Bleed dang it. Except I wasn't so nice.

milesrf 2011-03-20 11:33:38 -0500 Report

The main reason for never testing on the pads of your fingers is that, for most people, they are more sensitive to the pain from the lancet. If you find a more important reason for doing it anyway, go ahead.

As for changing the lancet, always do it if it is likely to be used on someone else next, but it really isn't necessary to do it more than about once a year if you are sure that no one else will use it after you use it.

swanslake54 2011-03-17 16:13:30 -0500 Report

Do you have a lot of errors with your strips? They are so expensive.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-17 19:58:20 -0500 Report

Not errors… well sometimes errors. But mostly the strips gets blood on it but not in the right place and then no matter if there was a whole lake of blood I wouldn't be able to make it read. So I end up wasting two or three strips before I ever get there.

GabbyPA 2011-03-17 07:35:15 -0500 Report

Wow, I have to say I had not thought about how difficult this is. We just assume with a talking meter that it's all good. Never crossed my mind that you have to get the blood into that little strip, which we all hate to deal with when we CAN see. Thank you so much for sharing and opening our eyes (pun intended) to this issue.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-17 05:56:24 -0500 Report

Thank you for sharing. I must admit I had not considered how very difficult this proceedure would be if you were blind. I have difficulty due to double vission but it is a small annoyance in comparison. I am going to save your information so that if I find I need to help someone I can relate better to them.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-17 09:28:09 -0500 Report

I almost forgot, how you can remember how to put in the strip is like this. Shiny side toward the sky. Feel the strip there's a shiny side and a rough side on the bottom. The shiny part faces up, assuming you have your meter flat on the table with the screen facing up as well. Also look at the strip. You'll notice that in reguard to the short sides, one of the short sides is straight. The other one is in the shape of a fingertip, slightly curved. You put the strip in the same as your finger, with the fingertip opinting out. Also, if you feel the strips you'll notice a little bump if you start from the straight end. It's that bump that stops it from getting swallowed by the meter. It's also interesting to note that when Darrell takes blood from my finger he does it on the inside, in other words, if he were taking it from my left index finger, he would take it from the side that faces my middle finger. I'm sorry I can't tell you more about how to get your blood without poking your poor fingers to death.

realsis77 2011-03-16 14:01:15 -0500 Report

Wow thank you michelle for sharing this! I admire your determination! You are surely an inspiration to us all! God bless you and keep us posted on how your doing ok?

jayabee52 2011-03-16 12:51:00 -0500 Report

Thank you Michelle for starting this! I believe it will be useful for us who are sighted as well as those who may be struggling with diabetes who are blind or very low vision.
Before I met "Jem" I knew very little about what blind people went through in their day to day lives. I still can pick up some pointers too.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-17 06:04:54 -0500 Report

We had an inserice where I used to work that dealt with the difficulties of doing BG checks for a person with diabetes and age related problems. We did not have any reidents who were blind so I did not wonder about that added complication. It is good that this site offers so many people who are willing to share their experinces to help others facing the same or similar problems.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-17 07:29:00 -0500 Report

I woke him up and he wasn't upset this time, so we did the fbs and it was 137. I'm super happy about that. From eight days ago being 235.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-17 08:17:00 -0500 Report

I was really happy about fasting sugar being dropped so low because the way I figure it if the fasting is lower then the other ones will be lower as well. But you can understand my reluctance to constantly poke my fingers. Honestly I think the reason I can't get blood out of my fingers is psychological. I can't stand the thought of poking my own fingers and the blood just doesn't come out. I know my fingers are still very sore. Inspiration? Well I guess if causing myself undue amounts of pain is imspiring then I'm glad I could help. Hopefully though maybe it's because I've reduced my symptoms so drastically in a week. I'm sleeping through the night, not always thirsty or having to pee all the time. No more yeast infections, lots less leg crampsl. No foot pain. This is only after one week of lowering my blood sugar.

jayabee52 2011-03-17 13:58:10 -0500 Report

What's wrong with what you wrote? Congrats on your lowered FBGs! Congrats on your complications diminishing. Woo Hoo!

blindbluesmama 2011-03-17 19:56:14 -0500 Report

I was giving too much info about the types of infedctions I was having and thought that saying what I said might make the guys uncomfortable.

jayabee52 2011-03-17 20:10:37 -0500 Report

I for one was not uncomfortable. I was a CNA before my disability, so I've seen and heard a LOT of uncomfortable stuff. And with my blind bride Jem, I learned and heard a lot more.

so as the Jamacan says: ~no problem!~

blindbluesmama 2011-03-17 20:40:40 -0500 Report

Oic. Hey, Darrell bought cupcakes for the kids and they were saint Patty's day cupcakes. But I didn't eat one. I was sorely tempted however. But suppose I had? Would it have been a horrible thing? I mean I'm glad I didn't. But let's be real. My wedding is coming up and I'm *going* to eat a piece of my wedding cake. And we are going to Hawaii and I'm *going* to have one of those huge drinks in the pineapple. Ah ah ah, I don't want to hear about how it's going to be so horrible if I do. Ok, maybe I *should hear that. My plan, which I know is not perfect, is that I'm going to have *some* of the things I want and I'm going to eat balanced most of the time. I'm going to share if there's dessert involved. and I'm going to eat salad when possible. I guess my theory is that people lose limbs and eye sight and have heart problems from *years* of imperfect eating, not one week, and the key is to only color a little bit outside the lines. That's the plan anyway. These things have a way of getting out of control though. We'll be getting a lot of exercise and I'm definitely not going to revert to my old ways of grabbing stuff out of the vending machine. I'll probably get Darrell to pack some sugar free reece's and stuff. Perhaps when we get there I'll let him find a grocery stor and pick up a few diet drinks. I was wanting a drink today. darrell invited all his friends over and it was so tempting. And then the cupcakes on top of that. I didn't do any of that but it's not going to be long before I reach some kind of breaking point and have some kind of sweet thing. Sorry for being off topic. Now it's time for the girls to go to bed.

jayabee52 2011-03-17 21:10:06 -0500 Report

Not off topic, Michelle! Besides you started this discussion. So i guess, within reason (and the limits of the Terms of use agreement), you make the rules here in this little world

As far as your honeymoon, I recall when you first introduced yourself in the "new to this" discussion, you asked about what to do on your honeymoon, and what I wrote you there: "I don't have an answer for you about your homeymoon in Hawaii. You may want (I may get some flack for this) to give yourself a vacation from eating like a person with DM, but, of course don't go overboard. And keep track of your Blood Glucose numbers ("BG#s") while there." So we agree!

And if you read very far in some of these discussions, you'll read of people, including me, falling off the wagon, and others encouraging (not demanding or chewing them out) to get back on the horse and ride it.

And I am proud of you for not giving in to temptation of the St Patty's cupcake ( I just sent you a thumbs up illustration and message "I'm proud of you" on your profile wall.

Blessings to you and yours, Michelle!


blindbluesmama 2011-03-18 07:51:00 -0500 Report

I admit that I haven't delved into the other discussions too much because it's staggering how much stuff there is. So so far, I've only seen people eating like angels. The only reason I haven't delved is because I know if I started I'd be on all day and that's giving my dumb diabetes way more time than it deserves. Oh yeah, my fbs was up a few ticks despite resisting temption. I am getting a cold though and I ate too many of those ribs last night. I also ate three of those pecan delights. Not all at once. I ate two in the afternoon and one later before I went to bed, to make up for resting that cupcake. And to be totally fair, I did have a couple extra snacks. A piece of sugar free coffee cake with lunch… some nuts in the afternoon. It was 159 which was not as bad as 235 or 217, but not as good as yesterday's low of 137. The good news is that it only took one stick to check, but I didn't do it by myself.l My poor seven year old was the one who squeezed my finger and put the strip to the blood. But I paid attention and noticed that she was mashing on the center of the finger when the blood started to come. I don't know what made the difference, but I did poke my finger on the right side, if you were judging by your palm facing you.

jayabee52 2011-03-18 11:00:57 -0500 Report

Yes there's a lot of discussions on here, and accessing all that material on a screen reader can be tedious.

I can visually scan a discussion, but a screen reader, at least the one Jem used, started at the top and had to read all the way down to the bottom of the page, even the metadata. I found the screen reader rather tedious when I listened to her emails. I just got tired of listening and sometimes would interrupt "charlie" as she called her Jaws program and read it for her instead. I'm sure reading all this material here on DC could be daunting with a screen reader.

But charlie was our friend when we were getting to know one another by e mail. We were over 500 miles apart.

From my experience the blood comes out better if the pad in the middle of the fingertip was lanced. But Jem was always worried about causing her braille reading fingers to get sore, so we usually lanced those fingers on the sides and usually had to squeeze.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-18 13:42:47 -0500 Report

I always heard that testing on the pad was bad. I tend to use the right side of my lefthand fingers. Hey I did it by myself. And it only took one stick. Here's what I did.
1. Put lancet into sticking device. 2. Put strip in meter. Three poke right side of middle finger, assuming your right side is with your palm facing you. 3 Squeeze center of finger, wait a sec then squeeze again. 4. Pick up meter and lightly touch the end of the strip to the bloodc. Assuming you have enough it will beep and say now testing and then give you your reading. Mine was 165.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-17 06:51:22 -0500 Report

Inspirition *gag* I'm sorry I know I *seem* like an inspiration but really I'm just like you. There is nothing I do special or different. Anyway, I am glad that you guys like this. This morning I just gave up. I still don't have a clue what my fasting blood sugar is. I'm feeling a bit queasy because I had to poke myself seven or eight times and still didn't get a reading despite having a pony tail band around my finger and using the lancit device from the other meter. And since I got blood on two strips, I'm on my third strip. I washed my hands in hot water and put the band around my finger. I am just frustrated. Not inspired or determined. I don't even care what my blood sugar is at this point.I am being, if not strict, careful. I suppose I'm gonna have to call my mom and see if she can show me how to do this. She's usually good at figuring out what I missed and will actually perform the test with her eyes closed, and try to think the way I would think. When she first found out I was blind at 11 month old, she learned how to walk around her house in the dark, without turning on the light whenever she had to go to the bathroom. I'm hungry and it's Darrell's day off and yesterday he got angry with me when I woke him up to check my sugar. He called me obsessive compulsive. Doesn't he get it that this is really important?

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-17 07:26:48 -0500 Report

I tried your hints with my eyes closed. First I could not remember which end of the test stirp was the end to insert in the meter. So I had to cheat and look. If someone had explained which end was which last year when I was learning I probably would have driven my husband insane the frst few months if I was blind. I would have kept forgetting. Then I was able to poke my finger but I could not tell if I had a drop of blood. So again I cheated and looked. After two attempts I made contact with the strip and got the reading. Thank you for prompting me to try. I am low and wouldn't have tested for another hour. I just thought I was shivering because the air blowing in the window is cold. Now I know I need to eat breakfst. And understand to a very small point why you would be frustrated to the point you are this morning. I wish I knew a way for you to tell if you had a drop of blood on your finger. Sometimes a bleed good and other times not so much so I would have to quess. I could not feel the blood, but I could feel the test strip and was able to slide it up to where I felt the sting from the lncet on the 2nd try. If I was trying this in a hurry, like yesterday when my BG dropped suddenly while I was at a meeting it would have been even more difficult. My hands were shaking so each step, sighted, was more difficult than normal.
Obsessive compulsive no way, wanting to feel and stay healthier yes. If people don't get it at first maybe they will after awhile. My family has begun to understan better as they have watched me over this past year.
Inspiration yes. What you do as a part of your everyday live has an impact on those around you. Sometimes that can be a motivation to continue to struggle, we never know who might be observing and find strength through us.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-17 08:31:48 -0500 Report

Hi there. I see what you mean about how what we do effects others. I sometimes get tired though of being everyone's inspiration for just doing the normal every day stuff. Being blind, I get that all the time. Gosh you're amazing and gosh you're an inspiration. While I get that to a point, there are times when I just want to say what's inspirational to you is just my day to day. I didn't ask for any of this, but I choose to you know, just do what I've gotta do.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-17 10:11:11 -0500 Report

Doing what you gotta do that is how you show people what needs to be done. I have developed coping mechanisms for my double vision and other limits to sight tht make me appear more functional to others than I am. One of my sisters pointed this out to me last week. They don't know what activities I wish I could do put can't. Or my reasons when I try to explain.
Besides learning how to help others (if I ever get another job) I may need to learn how to test without sight myself. My Father had his retinas tear and I seem to have one retina that wants to try it too. One of my sisters and a cousin have had some retina tears.

blindbluesmama 2011-03-17 20:08:21 -0500 Report

I know what you mean about doing stuff that makes you seem more functional than you are. It's not hard for me because most people give me gold stars because I walked out with my pants on the right legs and shoes on the right feet and looking somewhat cool. *grinning to self.* Ok, to show you what I mean, I did a karao0ke contest the other day… I actually sang one I'd never done in public before. It's called in between dances. I knew it, but I was missing words, not doing well at all. Once I mist that first phrase, I just kept missing and didn't find my feet until the second verse. But I still qualified for the next round and there is only one person who qualifies per night. I was it. I know there were people who sang better than me. Hopefully they didn't enter the contest. However, gunpowder and lead was better. Oops, think that's led. As in led from a gun? Haha. Spellingg was never one of my strong points. But someone might say Gosh I think it's amazing you can spell at all. *grin* Now I'm just being funny. My sense of humor sometimes runs away with me. You shouldn't take it to heart. If we can't laugh at ourselves… we're destined for a life of being depressed. Well gotta go fix Kaeli something to eat.

Next Discussion: Where are you from? »