Unable to do blood glucose testing

By Sugarbunny49 Latest Reply 2010-08-12 22:16:21 -0500
Started 2009-01-22 02:15:29 -0600

Due to limited sensation and control in my hands and fingers (as well as other extremities), complicated by systemic scleroderma (which has hardened my blood vessels and skin), I'm unable to do BG tests anymore. Even the lab techs have a hard time getting blood from me, whether it's from a vein or fleshy areas such as forearm. My A1C remained below 7.0% for 2 years, but recently hit 8.8% and I don't know why (except for tons of constant stress). I can't maneuver test strips without dropping them, and it takes 4-6 sticks to maybe get a speck of blood. Any ideas or suggestions that can help me? I've even had trouble with the Breeze 2 (the 10-strip unit).

12 replies

Sugarbunny49 2010-08-12 22:16:21 -0500 Report

Hi and thanks for all your input. My computer died in Spring 2009 and I've been "sans computer" until a month ago, so I'm trying to catch up with a lot of stuff at once.

It's weird, but shortly after I started on insulin injections in March 2009, my body seemed more willing to cooperate with finger sticks…even less painful…and now that I'm on the insulin pump, I have to test 4-6 times daily, so I'm thankful for little favors.

My doctors are very pleased with my progress. My A1C hit almost 12% before I asked
my endo for insulin. Now my A1C is staying between 5.6% and 5.9% consistently for the past 8-9 months, so I'm happy and feeling pretty good. I LOVE the insulin pump and know that it makes living with diabetes a lot easier and less disruptive. If your insurance will cover the expenses, I encourage EVERYONE who uses insulin to check it out.

I hope all of you are doing well. I'm convinced that ATTITUDE is just as important as medicine when it comes to our health. I avoid people who spread their negativity to others…especially to me! I have literally ended a few "friendships" because they were too stressful and counterproductive, but I made some new friends and life is good.

Wishing you all a great (what's left of) Summer…except that it should be COOLER!

aka Sugarbunny49
Saugerties, New York

roger 2009-01-31 12:01:00 -0600 Report

i have a continuous glucose monitor that goes with my pump you still have to up date it with finger sticks but not as offten and you dont have to have a pump talk to a endo they often can get you one for 48 hr to show trends this mite tell you why A1C went up good luck

Avera 2009-01-22 15:45:54 -0600 Report

I agree with what the others have said. First, since all of us are different, you should always check with your doctor first before trying something new that he or she would not approve of.

The other good suggestion that you received was about using a meter that allowed the use of alternative site testing. Using a meter that only requires a small amount of blood from an alternate site is beneficial.

I don't know how old you are, but if you are over 40, chances are you have some spider veins in your upper thighs. Places your lancing device right over even a small one and try to get some blood there. I have tried it when I have trouble and it works great. I always clean before and after with a alcohol swab.

kdroberts 2009-01-22 08:59:09 -0600 Report

You could try switching to the Aviva from accu-chek. It's got large strips that are easy to handle and has been endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation so it may work for you. It also come with the multiclix lancing device that is really easy to use, you can customize the settings so it can go deeper and maybe help get a bigger sample and has no small parts since the spikes come in a drum that's easy to hold and get in and out. The other good thing about the whole system is it needs a sample that's pretty small, about half what the breeze needs. You can also use it for alternative site testing, however that is only viable for certain types of testing and should never be used when you need an immediate, accurate result like testing for hypoglycemia.

The freestyle lite meter uses a tiny sample but the strips are so small I would think you would have problems with them based on what you said.

2catty 2009-01-22 16:27:10 -0600 Report

I agree with KC the Aviva would be great for your problem. You would be able to handle the strips better and the lancets. And what little bit of blood you can get the strips just suck it right up there, and it is enough. You can get a free one with decorative covers for it and they send you strips also. GO to www.accu-chek.com

GabbyPA 2009-01-23 12:38:54 -0600 Report

I have been using the Aviva and it does work really well. It's easy to hold because it is curved and has a rubber exterior that is grippy. I like it a lot and the sample is incredibly small. Took me a while to adjust to not trying to get a big drop.

sexyswamprat 2009-01-31 19:36:14 -0600 Report

I just got a free one in the mail the other day. I love it. And it came with 60 free strips. It's definately worth looking into.

Meridian - 26751
Meridian - 26751 2009-01-22 06:20:12 -0600 Report

I have no suggestions but I do look forward to learning what you find out and how you handle this situation. Even when we run into hurtles like this, we can be of great assistance to those that haven't reached that point yet.

Bluebutterfly 2009-01-22 05:38:09 -0600 Report

I read some where that you could test from the ear lobes. I would ask my doctor about this. I hope this helps

bridgewitch 2009-01-22 06:24:22 -0600 Report

Is your meter's stickie..the lancet hjolder..set up for alternative site testing ? If so, you could use the other sites to test from. I realize that you would have to load the strip, which is where one of the disc type meters would be an asset, with the 10 test discs. Load and you are good for 10. Stress can definitely raise the readings, as can certain medications such as steroids and even some vitamins. Sounds like you need to schedule a heart to heart with your doc. Here's hoping the best for ya. I certainly know how frustrating just diabetes can be and when you add in other issues it can be soooo overwhelming. Hang in there. We are pulling for ya.

Jlynn 2009-01-22 03:58:05 -0600 Report

hi …Its scary..Im wondering what your doc thinks?? you do know that not testing and higher a1c's mean everything else is fixin to get worse…
And you can test in other places ask your doctor..
I like to warm up my hands and put pressure on my finger tips and then,POKE. especially when it is cold out .it brings the blood to surface and doesnt hurt as bad, I do wish you luck …and take care

dyanne 2009-01-22 02:38:59 -0600 Report

I wish I had some real input for you. I feel so bad for you It must be so frustrating. Maybe try running your hands under warm water first to get the blood flowing. Your Dr. should be able to come up with some alternative help for you. I wish you the best let me know how you do.