Needle Poking Tips

So far with all the needle poking I have to do with gestational diabetes, I’ve out figured out a couple things to make it a little easier. Of course, if anyone with more experience is reading this and has better tips….PLEASE comment. =)

With the glucose monitor, I have to test my blood sugar before every meal and also before my bedtime snack. That’s four pokes a day. The worst is pricking your finger, not being able to get enough blood from it, and then having to prick another finger. So finger poking tips:

  • Have warm fingers! If finger tips are cold or shriveled you’re not going to get blood out of them. Dahn recommended putting hand in warm water for a bit first. Or avoid washing your hands with cool water before you poke.
  • Try to “push” blood towards the finger tip a few times before poking.
  • Hold the needle pen firmly against your skin. I had some mental moments where I wanted to avoid the prick-pain so I held it gently against my skin. Result was the needle didn’t go deep enough to draw blood…so I had to poke on another finger…and feel the pain twice.
  • The index finger and thumb hurts more to prick than the other three for some reason….but it could just be me. Rotating fingers every time is good though.
  • Prick the side areas of the finger tip…and not on the surface that you’ll likely use (particularly if you will be typing a lot.)
  • Stay hydrated…blood runs better.

And with insulin injections…I have to say, thank goodness for advances in technology such that I don’t have to use a syringe and can just use one of those insulin pen things. The only thing I have to say about insulin injections is that you don’t have to press the pen so hard against your skin. It was a bit of a mental thing to get over before I could poke the pen into my thigh…but then I think I tried to overcompensate my hesitation by pressing harder. Not necessary. ha ha. Just make sure the whole 5mm needle tip is in the skin and that’s enough. If you can see the veins in your legs, try to avoid poking into them. Also avoid landing right in a hair follicle…there are nerves attached to those things. Drawing a drop of blood now and then is totally okay. Generally, insulin injections are less painful than the finger poking.

So that’s that. May it be a non-dreadful experience for you!

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