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Apply Blood

Dealing with Type 2 Diabetes can be onerous. Even worse than the insulin shots (which I need to do four times daily) are the finger-stick glucose tests. I know I can always give myself an insulin shot anywhere without arousing too much attention, but finger sticks are a different matter entirely.

The problem arises when you have difficulty getting your blood to bead on your finger so that you can apply the test strip and get a glucose reading. Sometimes, I have to stick myself several times, usually painfully, on some of my fingers. My right forefinger is already nerve damaged, so that I have to be very careful about avoiding the nerves on it. On my thumbs and little fingers, I need a thicker lancet to draw blood, currently a 30 gauge. On my other fingers, a narrower 33 gauge lancet is sufficient.

Can you imagine me at a restaurant sticking myself several times with a needle, with a loud “Ouch” from time to time? So when I go out to eat, I don’t usually test myself.

My doctor wants me to test my glucose three times a day, before each meal. Just before each appointment with her, I produce a spreadsheet with the before-meal glucose readings for each day since my last appointment.

Type 2 Diabetes requires considerable attention to detail. This can be rough if you are going out to eat, busy cooking a dinner, or taking a trip. When Martine and I went to Las Vegas last month, for example, I skipped doing the tests