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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As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...