Today I tested my blood sugar and it bloody well hurt! Literally bloody and painful. Usually when I test I don’t feel anything or at least don’t take any notice of it anymore. My fingertips have become almost immune to the precise and calculating action of the finger pricking device that draws blood from them. Numb fingertips jacketed in hard coarse skin after decades of testing my blood sugars. To manage my diabetes I have to test my blood sugars everyday. Every time before I eat something, two hours after I eat, before and after exercise, during illness…all the time!
Today I used my little finger on my left hand. It’s pretty used to sacrificing itself for a blood test but it did quiver slightly while wishing for a different finger to takes its place instead. I decided and insisted that it was this littles fingers turn this time. Shhh it will only take a second it won’t hurt …click! I froze as the plunger clicked and I suddenly felt the pain. I actually held my breath and stamped my poor foot in exasperation screaming “ouch” in my head. A little fountain appeared on the tip of my finger. I hadn’t wanted to paint the ceiling today! I smothered it with a tissue and waited for the blood to stop. The pain had vanished by now. I pressed it to check but still it bled so I smothered it with more tissue again until it ceased oozing.
Nice I thought I only wanted a small amount of blood to put on the test strip but the result on the tissue was enough to feed a baby vampires thirst! Thankfully I hadn’t used my thumb or Count Dracula may have paid me a visit! I use tissue after testing to wipe away the blood but I will admit I do have my KFC moments (finger licking good) well if I haven’t got a tissue handy …
Sometimes my fingertips bleed excessively sometimes I have to click the plunger twice and squeeze real hard to get any blood out. It amazes me how I achieved Grade 8 violin during my school years with fingers covered in tiny holes from testing my blood sugars. Pressing my fingers onto those violin strings really did hurt in and out from this and performing pizzicato whilst plucking the strings became a ‘painintheartzo’ at times!
How many blood sugar tests have my fingers and thumbs endured I wonder? How many holes are there ? If I estimate 6 tests a day over 33 years that’s 72,270 clicks of the device! However I know the real true total is higher as if I’m ill I test more frequently, I test after highs and lows and keep testing till I’m sure my blood sugar has stabilised. When I think back to the time I was pregnant I was testing neurotically. A bleeding pain in the fingers but a necessary and vital one at that!
It always stuns me when it hurts though because I’m so used to doing it. For now my little finger on my left hand can relax as it’s turn is over and the other fingers and thumbs get to take their turn. That is until the next time it’s the little left fingers turn again…….

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