Finger Sticks Hurt, But Do It Anyway!

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I know this is not a fun topic to discuss. My diabetes butt kickers often have many reasons why they don’t test. This is why I take every opportunity to remind you to “Be well & Test often!” It is intentional.

Based on the interviews I’ve conducted with my friends living with Type 2 the top 3 reasons they don’t test is:

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While it is true I am not diabetic, I have my finger pricked at every year for my wellness exam. I refuse to allow diabetes to sneak into my life twice (first was via my son). I will admit it is pretty intense. I recall one year I had a big strong guy facilitating my test. He was very nice in that he smiled and explained what was about to happen. Suddenly he grabbed the finger he wanted and I believe he felt he was squeezing it, but it felt like a death grip. As my finger was slightly turning blue he grabbed his lancing device, pushed it into the tip of my finger and I almost said, “WHAT THE….!” After he poked my finger he quickly squeezed the blood in order to fill a few different vials.  It felt like he was trying to carve out a chunk of skin rather than poke a miniscule hole. On top of that it seemed like it took forever for my finger to stop bleeding and my finger was tender for most of the day.

Lancing devices used at medical facilities and for onsite wellness exams are usually more painful than the home lancing devices.

One thing I know is the lancing devices used at medical facilities and for onsite wellness exams are usually more painful than the home lancing devices. The reason behind this torture as reported by our nurse is that hospitals, doctor’s offices and wellness technicians normally need more blood than would be drawn at home as they are normally testing the blood for other outcomes.

A few ways to lessen the pain of the poke

1.           Take your own device from home. You might have to up the setting a bit to ensure they get the amount of blood needed but ideally it should be better than using theirs. My son never goes to see his Endocrinologist without his and no longer protests the test.

2.           Change the pressure depth on your lancing device (if you have the option). I do not want you testing on a 5 when 1 or 2 will do. Save those poor fingers.

3.           Consider trying a painless lancing device. I’ve perused the internet and there are a few out there depending on your price point.


A Few Reasons Why You Should DO IT ANYWAY!

1.           It will educate you on how your body responds to the foods you eat.

2.           It will keep you honest, in that I could tell myself the apple strudel portion wasn’t that bad but my finger stick is going to tell the truth.

3.           It will SAVE Your Life! You deserve to live don’tcha? Well knowing what your levels are will enable you to make necessary adjustments before things get out of hand.


At the end of the day we cannot beat diabetes without this step. We must test. Therefore, we must find a way, anyway we can to test regularly.

I know you can do it because you are BRAVE! I know you want to live a BETTER life! I know you want to get OFF insulin! I know you want to feel GREAT!

All of that starts with regularly testing your blood sugar. As a matter of fact, when was the last time you tested? Is it time to do it now? If so, CHOP CHOP! Get it done.

There are a lot of ways people refer to testing their blood sugar. What do you call it? Post your comment here or comments on our FB business page


Be well & test often,

Carmella J Bell, MS, LMFTA

The Diabetes Strategist


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