When I first found out that I’d failed my 3-hour blood glucose test, I was crushed. I was further crushed when the nurse told me that I’d have to test my blood sugar on the daily – four times a day to be exact.
But, after the nurse showed me how easy it would be, it wasn’t so bad anymore. Don’t get me wrong. It still takes me a second or two to prepare myself mentally to press the button to prick my finger, but I get it done. Really, it doesn’t hurt…much.
After having done this for the past few weeks, I’ve gotten the hang of it. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.
What you’ll need to carry:
- The OneTouch carrying case. It holds the device, test strips, lancers and has a pocket to store either alcohol wipes or cotton balls.
- Testing strips. Make sure you have plenty available. I’ve mis-tested a few times and have had to use new ones. What you want to do is insert a strip with the 3 bars at the end facing up into the device to properly test.
- An empty case. Any case will do – a plastic container, Altoid tin or, in my case, a Nudestix cosmetic tin to store all the used lancers and test strips. You do not want to store them in the carrying case. I did that in the beginning and accidentally stuck my finger with an exposed lancer. That was not pleasant.
- Lancers. These are the needles. You’ll insert one into the testing device and then twist the top off to reveal the needle – keep the top because you’ll be “capping” the used needle with it.
- Alcohol wipes or cotton balls with a separate squeeze/travel-size bottle filled with alcohol. You just want to make sure the area you’re going to poke is clean.
- Tester + lancer (inserted). My tester is set to 3 but it goes all the way up to 7. This indicates how deep the prick will be. Anything less than 3 probably won’t puncture enough to draw blood. You want to make sure that after you’ve inserted a lancer that you pull back on the switch until you hear a click so that it’s ready.
- OneTouch device. My nurse set the device up for me, but all you really have to do is insert a test strip in and wait until it tells you that it’s ready. Once ready, you can test your blood.
How to do it:
I was told by my OB/GYN to take the test an hour after my last bite. However, the nutritionist was of the belief that it should be one hour after my first bite of food. Given that it may take up to an hour for me to eat sometimes, I’m continuing with the one hour after my last bite.
- Wipe area with alcohol. You want to aim for the side of your finger and not directly on your finger tip so that it’s less painful – there are more nerve endings on your finger tip vs the side.
- Massage from the bottom of your finger up to get the blood going.
- Insert lancer into testing device. Place cap back on, pull switch back until you hear a click, and press the button to prick your chosen finger.
- Squeeze enough blood out.
- Place testing strip with the 3 bars at the end face up into the OneTouch device. Wait for the device to be ready and then dip your blood onto the strip.
- To remove the lancer from the tester, pull both switches down and then push up. Record your number and you’re done until the next time
Where to do it:
The first time I had to test myself out and about, I wasn’t sure where was an appropriate place. The bathroom? But that’s kind of gross. In the end, I did a poll and people said my work desk was fine as long as I disposed of everything responsibly. Hence, carrying a tin case to store all the used needles and testing strips.
I will say that the hardest part is when I’m at the gym, a restaurant or bar. I’ve gotten the hang of my diet more or less so I make sure I’m not loading up on carb heavy food when I’m eating out. This way I can get away without having to find a place/remember to hit the timer to test.