To get a drop of blood onto your meters test strip, you'll need to prick your skin. Most people use an automatic lancing device, a spring-loaded tool containing needles that releases with the press of a button. There are various types of lancing devices--usually included in blood glucose monitoring kits--and most allow you to control the depth of penetration via adjustable settings. How you choose your lancing device will depend on a number of factors, such as ease of use, needle gauge, how well you are able to draw blood with it, whether or not the device minimizes pain, and if it allows for testing on alternate sites other than the finger, such as your palm, forearm, upper thigh, or calf.
Getting a sizeable drop of blood is difficult for some people, and if switching lancing devices doesnt produce a big enough drop, you may need to prepare before you prick. Wash your hands with warm water or massage your fingers to increase blood flow. Once you've pierced your fingertip, lightly squeeze the finger to elicit blood.
The same precautions and care you take with your insulin needles apply to lancets, too. For starters, don't share your lancets or lancing device with anyone else; doing so can transmit diseases. Reusing your lancet is not recommended. A reused lancet is much duller than a new one, so you're more likely to feel pain. Plus, a reused lancet increases your risk of infection.
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My diabetes is changing. Until a few years ago, my morning readings were reasonable and within the desired range of under 100 mg/dl. About two years ago, they started slipping upwards into the less-desirable but apparently not-worrisome range of 100-110 mg/dl. Now, this was what was recorded by my Abbott Freestyle Lite meter, which is known to record at the lower end of the home-glucometer variability range, but with my A1c firmly in the high 5s and low 6s, the meter's tendency to...