Glucometer Makers And Distributors Complaint - Commercials Giving Bad Information
I am going to apologize now to my friends in M3C, because this is an unabashed rant about something that is a pet peeve of mine. Since being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1997, I have conducted from one to four fingersticks daily to monitor my blood glucose level, an important part of maintaining my health and managing an insidious disease. I see commercials for various glucose monitors, and it seems that lately, the makers and distributors seem to be locked into making people think that the process of obtaining a blood sample for testing is unbearable. I am sure you have all seen the ads. They have some old biddie who looks like it hurts to think, crying about how their fingers hurt so badly. In one commercial, the purport to show a finger stick being done.
As Jamie Hyneman of MythBusters says, "Well, there's your problem." The stick they show being performed is exactly what diabetes educators tell you NOT to do, lancing the friction pad of the finger. That is where the nerve endings are concentrated, to provide you maximum sense of touch in your fingertips. Then they talk about alternate testing sites, like the forearm or palm of the hand. Number one, if you lance the side of the finger, you do not run into nearly as many nerve endings.
I often cannot tell if the lance has been successful until I apply pressure and see the blood drop. Heck, I hurt myself worse shaving than I do with a lancet device. One thing these hawkers for alternate site testing do not tell you, but a diabetes educator does, is that the alternate sites are not as accurate as the reading you get from the fingers. Why, I don't know, but I am sure na educator knows why. When my mother was diabetic, and I was a kid, she had lancets that were modified razor blades, and you did use your fingertips. From testing in science class, I know those hurt like the dickens.
Now, however, lancets are like very fine needles, and the lancet device fires the lancet so quickly, there is no time to really feel pain. If you test for diabetes, use the lancet and device properly, and you will have an accurate, almost totally pain-free experience. Don't be persuaded by some old lady crying about how bad her fingers hurt. Now, my doctor has me giving myself one injection a day of insulin, a new philosophy of treatment that works better than the old threatening you with insulin. I use a 30 gauge needle that is one half inch in length, and I barely feel it. I can tell you, the needle penetrates a lot deeper than the lancet. Properly performed, a finger stick is not the horrible experience those old women seem to think it is. They are probably sticking the friction pad of their fingers.
Using the side of the finger, you have twenty general locations to test with, ten fingers and two sides to each finger. To the models they use in those commercials, quit lying to people and get a job advertising cookies or something else.