During the last few days I have been reading instructions on various sites about how to test using a glucose meter. Most of them are pretty good and get the high points really well. However, there are a few things they miss, which can make all of the difference in the world when testing. So, here is the process I follow for testing.
When do I test? I test when I first get up in the morning before I eat or drink anything except water, and then at night before going to bed.
The steps I always follow are:
- I wash my hands carefully using plain soap; soap without any fragrance. I found scented soaps would effect my readings – make them higher. The last thing I ever need is a fasle higher reading.
- Dry your hands using either a clean hand towel or paper towels. I use paper towels because I know they are not putting anything on my fingers. If you paper towels are scented, do not use them. (Heck, I don’t even know if scented paper towels are made, but I thought I’d hammer the un-scented thing one more time.)
- Give the hand you are going to test on a few shakes to get blood into the tips of your fingers. This might be more important for you to do in the morning than the evening.
- Get the lancet ready. Do whatever you need to do like inserting it, or cocking the lancing device. Just make sure it’s ready to go.
- Insert a test strip into the meter. For me, the insertion of a strip turns the meter on, so I have never had to physically turn a meter on with an extra step.
- Lance the side…the side of your finger. It’s less sensitive than your finger tip. I have no clue why every picture I have ever seen of someone lancing their finger shows them using their finger tip. It hurts far more than using the side of your finger. In fact, I don’t even feel the lance about 50% of the time on the side of my finger. By the way, I have used one of two fingers on the same hand for the last few years – I don’t vary it. Do what’s best for you, though.
- Squeeze your finger a bit so a drop of blood appears. It doesn’t take much to test – far less than a drop.
- Apply the testing strip to the drop of blood. It will pick up the blood it needs through capillary action. Be careful not to touch your skin with the strip – it could pick-up contaminants that will effect the reading.
- Rinse the blood off of your finger as your meter gives you results.
- Dispose of the lancet properly – in a medical sharps container. DO NOT put it in the trash.
- Dispose of the testing strip in the same manner.
- Record your reading on your log.
- Put your meter and supplies away.
I know supplies can be a bit pricey, but use lancets and strips only once. That’s important so I will repeat it – use lancets and strips once and then discard properly.
You have done it! You have taken the test you cannot fail. But, will fail in your battle on diabetes if you do not test!
There are so many meters on the market, that I won’t get into any one brand right now. If you do not know what your meter is capable of, or the information you can gain from it – learn. Read the directions that came with the meter, or find them on the internet at the manufacturer’s site.
As always, thank you for reading. Fight the good fight and you will win your war with diabetes.
“Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.” ~Napoleon Hill
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~Philo