Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 Julie, Community Member, asks

Q: problem with testing- can't poke myself! Help!!!

I have a problem with testing- can't push the button on the lancing device, or I pull my finger away. I really need to test, anybody got a good way to get over this phobia? I can inject myself, but can't draw blood.  Got a meter that takes smaller samples (or so it says) but I keep getting Error messages.

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Answers (36)
Cherise Nicole, Health Guide
10/22/08 11:43am



Hello! You are not alone. There are a lot of people we hate testing their bg's because of the same phobia you have.  I would recommend placing your lancet device on the lowest setting. AS my mom would say "lol, it won't hurt". I use to actually take the needle it self and poke my finger. I didn't like using the lancet device because of the fear of the unknown.  I use the lancet device now, after 4 years...Good luck



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rkelly613, Community Member
10/23/08 12:45pm

bite a piece of celery when you push button...the noise distracts you

CSTRUPPA, Community Member
10/23/08 12:57pm


sue, Community Member
10/23/08 1:05pm

I am the same way lol so, if you have one of the newer test kits you can test in diffrent areas like your arm or on you hand. Some of them even have other areas you can use. READ your book that came with your kit. I do my arm, but the other way of doing your finger is to set the pen on the smallest pick it can do. Then you will not feel it the first time then move it up one or two; it's away of tricking yourself because you don't feel anything with the first few picks, and sometimes you might even get the blood you need lol . REMBER TO ALWAYS DO THE SIDE OF YOUR FINGER NOT THE END OF IT.

jfa1, Community Member
10/23/08 1:10pm



First of all I understand where you are coming from I has a similar experience albeit briefly.  I am a type 2 diabetic but when I went in th hospitakl at my initial diagnosis ,y blood glucose level was 1398.  Just a little high!  When I was leaving the hospital 4 days later the doctore told my wife that was the highest level she had seen on admittance who lived.  That really got to me and I have tried to keep it under control and the only way to do that is to know what your blood sugar levels are.  Your life ultimately depends on it!  That being said  is it the pain of the prick or the sight of blood?  I did not and don't like needles but a person has to do what they have to do.  If its the pin prick make sure the lancet is new and find a lancing device that is most comfotable for you.  I use the softclix lancing device thats detachable from my meter the new compact plus by accu-chek.  I have tried other meters  and the compact plus I have used longer than any other.  I test on my fingers but all meters these days come with a different end piece that allows testing on the forearm and other areas of the body that have fewer nerve endings.


The bottom line is you have got to do it whether you want to or not The consequences of not being in control of your diabetes is that diabetes will control you and your life and make your life worse.  You just have to get in the habit of doing it until it becomes a habit.  Your just have to do it. 



Marilyn, Community Member
10/23/08 1:15pm

Close your eyes--it works for me.

Sunny Lee, Community Member
10/23/08 1:27pm

Yes, I have an answer.  If you press your finger onto a table so you are almost on the side of your fingernail and then press the lancer hard against the other side of your finger, you will hardly feel the lance at all.  When you squeeze your finger you will be amazed at the blood that will mound up right away.

Martha, Community Member
10/23/08 1:27pm

Hey, Julie! Welcome to the club.  I was the same way.  Most of us hate hurting ourself.  I have a meter where I can test on my arm.  I can adjust the meter for the softest prick.  It really does not hurt like sticking the finger.  Get yourself 'Free Style' and you won't worry about the prick. 

Anita, Community Member
10/23/08 1:29pm

I find that placing my finger on a table or desk, positioning the lancing device (don't press down hard), taking 3 deep breaths, then push the button helps me. The deep breathing calms me down, the table stabilizes my finger so it won't pull away. I hate needles and sticks but this works for me.

Nellie Steen, Community Member
10/23/08 1:35pm

I always test on the top of my thumbs, not the fingertips.   This does not hurt at all, I hardly feel the needle.   Have you tried this?    Most of my life I was terrified of needles, but this is painless.  I hope this idea is helpful.


Nellie Steen

Liz, Community Member
10/23/08 1:47pm

It's really not that bad - I've stuck myself much worse with a needle while sewing on a button!   If you can inject yourself, just grin and bear it.   Liz

Michael W, Community Member
10/23/08 1:58pm

Hi, You might try taking a big deep breath - and on the out breath, when the body naturally relaxes, press the button

Emmy, Community Member
10/23/08 2:29pm

I did the same thing for the first couple of tries.


Try testing on your forearm, it doesn't hurt nearly as much. I hope you have a meter that allows forearm testing, because it really helps. I have arthritis and testing on my fingers is just too painful.


I did some comparison testing when I first got diagnosed, and my forearm numbers always seem to run about 1.5 mmol/L units higher than my finger test shows, anytime that my blood sugar is falling. That means that if my blood sugar is getting low, and I do a test on my forearm, the reading I get is about 1.5 points lower than the reading I would get if I had done the test on my fingers. I got these results consistently over many trials, so I know I can rely on these numbers. It may take about 10 to 15 minutes for the blood in your forearm to have the same reading as the blood in your fingers. The hands have a fresher blood supply. That's why your supposed to test on your fingers. You can also test on the side of the hand that runs between the base of the pinky finger and the wrist, and also the base of the thumb.


One important step to forearm testing, is to rub your arm a minute before you take the test, so that there is fresh blood in the area before you use the lancet.


I use a Freestyle meter and also a One Touch meter, both of which allow forearm testing. I prefer the Freestyle, because it uses a much smaller sample.


You can see a diagram with the testing sites for the Freestyle meter marked on it in blue. Freestyle can be used in several places, not just the hands and forearms.

Alice Brinegar, Community Member
10/23/08 2:37pm

I had this problem when I first started testing. Try laying your finger on the counter top. After a time or two the problem will go away.Cool

Kathy, Community Member
10/23/08 2:52pm

Many lancing device have a adjusting dial on it for comfort. I would start with the lowest dial and push the device. It probably won't give you any or enough blood but at least it helps with the testing technique. As you get used to the lowest dial increase in increments of one until enough blood is obtained to test. Be sure to switch fingers to avoid any sensitivity.

Another posssibility is to test on your arm, stomach, leg etc. You may not feel any pain at all or the pain will be minor. You the same process as identified above until you are comfortable with it.

Your last resort is to have someone else such as a family member or friend push the button for you.

barbara bubar, Community Member
10/23/08 2:57pm

I'm guessing that part of the trouble may be simply the "noise" and your mind reacts faster than the actual pain involved.  Have you tried "pushing" the lancing device into something besides you, a LOT---eg., an orange or something so you can get thoroughly used to the sound--and I mean over and over and over and over!!!!  Another thought is to concentrate on how much you WANT the information that little ol' blood sample is going to give you.  You will probably never get over the phobia completely but at least it may lessen a bit.  I don't think anyone really "likes" it but I test many, many, many times a day because that's what keeps me on the narrow road I want to stay on.  

Susan, Community Member
10/23/08 3:31pm

Julie,  I`m here to tell you that you need to look into some other devices.  I have

graymare47, Community Member
10/23/08 3:47pm

This may sound pretty stupid, but it works for me....close your eyes and push the button.  I do the same when I take my insulin....or, I watch the dog, who incidentally, looks away when I stick the needle in my belly!!


Susan, Community Member
10/23/08 4:14pm

Have you got a booklet with your meter or was it given to you?  The Accu-Chek Aviva meter was free to me and the lancet device, Accu-Chek Multiclix is the best one I`ve ever used.  It`s virtully pain free, but it does make a "clik" when you do it.  The error messages you can look up in the back of your pamplet or just call the number on the back of your meter and a customer service person will help you.  They are very good at what they do and real nice to talk to.  AS far as getting the drop, try rubbing your hands very fast together untill thier very warm and make sure you wash in warm soapy water, not just because of germs but because food particals or debrie on your hands.  I hope this helps.  Maybe you could send for different meters to try out.

©´®, Community Member
10/23/08 4:23pm

try testing on the palm of your hand. I'v found it is a lot better then your finger. Does not hurt as much. And I do not like to test my fingers, they get to sore.

Bill T., Community Member
10/23/08 5:23pm

How about having someone push the button for you. I did that for a short while but finally realized it was my responsibility to do it. Thats when I just started doing it myself. Now it is as easy as can be.

Good luck to you.

pjvanstrat, Community Member
10/23/08 6:34pm

I know exactly what you are saying. For the last 5 years I have been unable to use the lancet pens. I would take just the lancet and prick my fingers with it.


a few months ago I started on insulin injections and since I have been using the injection pens I have tried to make myself use the lancet pens as well. It really is less painful and it doesnt go in as deep as using the lancet by itself. I tell myself that if I can use one I can do the other. I think it is the spring action that bothers me with the lancet pen. I know it is more shock than pain but it is still very hard to make myself push the button.

Jen Ossola, Community Member
10/23/08 7:10pm

Try taking the lancet out of the device and poking your finger yourself. Its much easier and it doesn't hurt..I promise. I've been doing this for 34yrs. Although I do use a device now with no problem.

Mark P., Community Member
10/23/08 8:03pm

Have you thought about a meter that allows you to test on both your finger or arm?  Far less pain and I only retest on my finger if I'm high or very low.

Imdbestmom, Community Member
10/23/08 9:01pm

Take a couple of slow, relaxing breaths. Start with the shallowest poke. If that doesn't get anything, move it one notch. I hate doing it but we all have to. My sister in law just had a heart attack. She's a non-smoker, non-drinker, not overweight, and gets plenty of rest. She's only 64. She hasn't been monitoring her blood sugar. The docs said the attack was strictly from the diabetes. I am finding it easier to poke myself and eat better since she almost died. Consider the consequences of not keeping track and you might lose that fobia.


Relax and good luck.

Sharon Bingert, Community Member
10/23/08 9:52pm

Dear Julie,


I don't know if this will help, but, it has helped me.  I used to "pass out at the site of blood", and when I found out 3 yrs ago that I had Diabetes Type 2, I freaked out about thinking how I was going to test myself everyday.


My endochronologist found an easier way for me to do this.  She told me to put my hand down, and rub the finger that I am going to test on.  This way the blood circulates to the top of your finger.  When you go to prick yourself, IF you take the blood from the side of your finger rather then from the middle, you will NOT have as much discomfort and be able to do it.


I wish you the best.


Stay Healthy & God Bless You,


Sharon Bingert

Sheri, Community Member
10/23/08 10:10pm

Get a meter that has a Lancing device that lets you test on your arm.  There's little to no pain and the readings are the same.  Saves your fingers and your sanity.

butterflyshirls, Community Member
10/23/08 10:34pm

My boyfriend suggested pinning my finger to a table or other sturdy surface with the end of my lancet device because I kept flinching away from the lancets.  I can also suggest adjusting the strength of the lancet device (after all, they're made for everyone from laborers to children) down a notch or two--as long as you can get a valid sample, you may not need such a strong jab.

Jodyok, Community Member
10/23/08 10:59pm

I understand COMPLETELY!!Cry I had the same problem when I first started having to check my blood. This may sound crazy, least it did to my friends, but it was easier for me to take the cover off the lancet and just stick myself with the needle. I had a terrible fear of using the device and pushing that button. No Way!! Laughing Eventually, I started leaving the cover on the lancet device and setting it to where it just barely broke the skin and then taking it a notch up to where it would draw blood but not hurt. Even now tho, pushing that button, is a close my eyes and hold my breath experience. Good Luck!

Jodyok, Community Member
10/23/08 10:59pm

I understand COMPLETELY!!Cry I had the same problem when I first started having to check my blood. This may sound crazy, least it did to my friends, but it was easier for me to take the cover off the lancet and just stick myself with the needle. I had a terrible fear of using the device and pushing that button. No Way!! Laughing Eventually, I started leaving the cover on the lancet device and setting it to where it just barely broke the skin and then taking it a notch up to where it would draw blood but not hurt. Even now tho, pushing that button, is a close my eyes and hold my breath experience. Good Luck!

Connie, Community Member
10/24/08 9:36am

I still flinch and close my eyes everytime I do it.  Turn your head the other way too, helps.

Candice Lee, Community Member
10/24/08 4:10pm

Oh, I know the feeling.  First, set the lance device to the shortest setting.  Press the device against the side of your finger as hard as you can and press the button.  The act of pressing hard helps to numb the finger and keeps your mind on something besides that needle.  Also, the side of the fingertip hurts less than the center.  Middle fingers and ring fingers are less sensitive also.

ta, Community Member
10/24/08 8:55pm

I too had this phoebe, I use to pass right out if I even got my blood taken. I had someone else give me my shots for a while. But the finger poke I just turned my head away and did it. Once I did it I could put the blood on the stripe and I was fine. If you look on the back of your meter it should have a (1800) number to call they can upgrade you for free. Another good meter is the Freestyle lite meter it uses the smallest blood sample.

sbtaxpro, Community Member
10/25/08 12:54pm

throw the thing away.  i have never used them.  I take the lancet and carefully holding my 4th finger between my thumb and third finger, squeezing the tip, carefully stick myself with the lancet only.  the prick only hurts slightly and does not cut as deep as the lancing device, nor does it hurt as bad.  by sticking yourself this way you do not have the jump because you slowly and carefully prick yourself controlling the depth and pain.  using today's meters that require such a small amount of blood, it hardly hurts at all..  

Sharon, Community Member
10/26/08 12:20pm
Julie: Instead of using the device, try just using the lancet. They are sharp enough that barely touching your finger should get enough blood for your meter to read. Reply
Patricia E Pinkard-Cohen, Community Member
10/29/08 10:01am

I had a stroke and am paralysed on my right arm,and I'm right handed...however,I have no problem testing with the lancing device..Just say to yourself you can do's all in the mind...good luck,and best of health to you. Patricia 

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By Julie, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/02/12, First Published: 10/22/08