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Thread: Finger pricks - need advice

  1. #1

    Default Finger pricks - need advice

    My daughter, age 11, has been recently diagnosed and the first week was pricking her finger and testing her glucose. However she recently had an emotional set back (I guess the reality that this is a lifetime thing) has set in and she won't prick her finger any more. She only lets a select few do the job as well (me, her dad, the school nurse, my parents and that's about it).

    Have any of you gone through this and, if so, do you have advice? I told her she would have a little more freedom if she could check her own sugar but that hasn't helped. I actually found myself thinking of 'bribing' her saying I'd give her a few bucks if she did it at least once but then I thought i better ask the experts here first...any ideas?

    I appreciate any and all advice!!


    Sue, mom to
    Rachel, 13 - soccer player (goalie), guitar player and actress
    Emily, 11 - ballet dancer, piano player, actress...diagnosed on 1/22/10

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    My youngest child is 12 and he doesn't have D. But I could see him doing this. And to be honest, having dealt with Alex being dx at 15 and just doing it all himself and then burning out and not testing often enough when he wasn't with us....I would gladly do any testing or shots or carb counting that my child didn't want to do. (I did offer to help with Alex but he felt he should do it himself.)

    So, I suggest that you just go ahead and do it for her as long as she wants. At some point, she will want more freedom and she will test herself at that point. It IS a lifetime thing and she has plenty of bg tests ahead of her.
    Barbie, Mom to Alex, 20, dx 10/05, minimed pump 10/06, dexcom 8/10

  3. #3


    What is your rationale for having her do it herself? I don't see anything wrong with doing it for her. Eventually she will do it herself, in her own time. And then she will be doing it on her own for the rest of her life.
    Dad to Danielle, 15 years old, dx 8/17/2007, MDI (Humalog and Levemir)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    I just wanted to add, be sure she is doing (or having others do) the finger pricks on the SIDES of her fingertips and not on the pad of the fingertip, it will hurt less.
    Grandma to Hailey age 11 dx type 1 age 4
    pumping with Omnipod since 8/09
    and Faith age 7
    and now little Macey Ella age 1 year Dx with allergies to nuts, wheat, eggs, and soy

    True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life, in whatever shape they may challenge us to combat.

    Napoleon I (1769-1821) Napoleon Bonaparte. French general.

  5. #5


    A few thoughts...

    I echo Chris' question. Perhaps she just needs to not be the one sticking herself with a sharp nothing weird about that, when you think about it.

    Is she being "difficult" or is it painful? If it's hurting her more than she can bear then any number of tips might help. ie a better lancer, a different part of the finger, or alternate site testing etc

    I think flat out "bribery" is a risky choice. Our kids need to do what needs to be done not because they get something, but because it has to be done. That said, I'm all for a treat now and then as long as the treat is for being a cooperative kid or a responsible kid but not because they did X number of finger sticks.

    Welcome, and hang in, it gets easier
    Mom to DD now 16, dx @4
    Cozmo pumper @6
    Minimed pumper @13
    G4 @ 15

    "Happy Birthday, Dr. Banting! Now... let's eat cake! Because, we CAN!" - MCS

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Hi Sue. I am sorry your daughter is having a tough time. My daughter was also diagnosed at 11 and tomorrow we will be going on one year since dx. I do have to say that my DD did not have any trouble with doing her finger pricks but she would not do her own injections. I agree with the others advice. I just let Ally decide on her own when she was ready to give her own shots. We did not push her and let her ease herself into it when she was ready. And really it did not take that long!

    I know it will be easier for everyone when she does want to prick her own finger, but she is adjusting to many different things. Do you know of any other kids in your area with T1? What really helped my Ally (and we were lucky if that is what u call it) that my DD had a great friend with D who also was in her grade at her school. She has watched her for years deal with all things D and handle it very well. So we had a great example that we have watched all these years. My DD knew if her friend could do it, so could she.

    (((HUGS))) to you and I am hoping your DD will come around soon to take more of an initiative.
    Mom to Ally 13, dx 2/09
    pumping with Omnipod, 2/10
    and Hannah, 16, non-D

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Northern Wisconsin


    Many of us love the multiclix lancing device for being less painful and more convenient than some others.

    My dd recently switched to using tiniboy lancets in a One Touch lancing device which she finds less painful due to a lower guage needle.

    Test only on sides and tippy tops of fingers and let her choose which you use, rotating as necessary to avoid over use.

    Try using a lancing device that allows for "alternate site"testing. Many here use toes, also.

    I would do everything possible to make it a pain-free or pain-less procedure then give her as much control as you can, i.e. choosing fingers or sites to check.

    I would also continue to do it for her until she is willing to do it herself. I have a VERY hard time poking myself with anything. I feel badly but have an easier time poking someone else. Just a natural fear of pain maybe.
    Sherry, mom of
    Lilli, 12, non D
    James, 9, non D
    Charlotte, 5, dx'd 2/08 pumping with a purple minimed 522 as of 5/08
    wife of Bill, Grand Poobah
    daughter, sister, aunt, neighbor and mom to type 1s
    Be the change you wish to see in the world" Gandhi

  8. #8


    I agree with everyone. I would do it for her. And I would find as many ways to praise her for anything she IS doing - remembering to wash her hands before testing, remembering to test before meals or reminding you to test or recognizing if she's high or low or counting carbs, whatever. I would also order some Tiniboy lancets - even if she does not say that pain is the issue - they are so small and lots of people say they hurt much less (except my son, for some reason...). At this point I'd do anything I could to make it a little easier for her. As you know, it is hard enough for your daughter to accept having type 1 diabetes let alone doing the diabetes care. She'll get there.

    And BTW one thing that helped my son take on more of his own care was going to diabetes camp for a week. You might want to start looking at camps now without telling your daughter and see what you think.
    Mother of an 11 year old boy dx 7/08

  9. #9


    Thank you all SO much - I feel so much better. I am going to just back off and let her make the decision when she is ready. I really haven't been pushing her but I'm a single mother and I work full-time so my mom has had to be here when I can't. Plus she goes to her dads on the weekends but she won't sleep there - wants to sleep at home. I thought she would have more freedom but maybe it is a good thing that she doesn't right now. I have been getting lots of 'advice' from people whose kids do not have this diagnosis and they are saying "get back to normal", "don't baby her", "make her test herself" and so on. It has been tremendously helpful to read these posts from parents who get it!!

    I know it is painful (and that is why she won't do it herself) - we are using the Contour machine that they gave us in the hospital; however, I just got a One Touch in the mail from somewhere and I am going to try the other lancets some of you recommended. We can still use the contour meter that our doctor likes - doesn't matter what type of lancets we use right?

    We do have a camp in Virginia that she is going to attend in the summer - Camp Jordan in Williamsburg. She is pretty excited to go there and meet other kids like her.

    We don't know any other kids with Type I - she is the only one in her school. I thought about looking for support groups around our area and hopefully she will be able to meet other kids who have the same diagnosis.

    Thank you all so much for taking the time to give me a little advice - I am so grateful

    Sue, mom to
    Rachel, 13 - soccer player (goalie), guitar player and actress
    Emily, 11 - ballet dancer, piano player, actress...diagnosed on 1/22/10

  10. #10


    choices too canhelp.
    I've probably got the only diabetic that won't check on her fingers.

    Mine checks on the base of her thumb. she used to be exclusive forearm tester. now she'll do the base of thumb. won't do fingers.

    it will come in time.
    Frannie Fran Fran

    Megan 21
    Sara 17
    dx 9/9/05
    MM Revel 8/10

    we don't use CGMS cause we're waiting for the kindler gentler insertion sets-let me know when they get to The States


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