Long-term effects of finger sticks?

That’s good to hear, and thanks so much for sharing your experience! It’s really helpful. -Becky

I started using a glucometer in 1985. There are callouses now, but I can still use my fingers. I change the needle at least once per week. I use the complete finger tip area, and I sometimes use the middle joints on my fingers. I have used my glucometer for 36 years. I trust it more than the Dexcom G6 before meals , snacks and at bedtime. That is 6 times per day.

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Glad to hear that. I’ll try the middle joint as well (and maybe other fleshy parts of fingers), thank you!

Some meters allow alternate site testing - I tried some of the other sites but they itches like crazy so I went back to the tips. Am very grateful for my Dexcom now!

Apologies if this has been said before, but I didn’t see it in my reading. I was diagnosed at age 72, about 5 years ago. It took me at least a year to become fully comfortable with a pump and CGM. And it’s an ongoing learning process. In particular, as I’ve become more skilled at BG management, I find that the rate-of-change information given by the CGM is more and more of a factor in my treatment decisions. I’m getting better results by anticipating where my untreated blood sugar is going to wind up than I was ever able to get by paying attention mostly to the level. I suspect that you never experienced that in your relatively short period of exposure to the CGM. Just sayin’…


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I just did the footprint, christ when its put into numbers 21052 hours living with it 12000 hours sleep lost 126000 finger sticks and 2500 pump changes always +/- on numbers like this. But its staggering to me. Its an eye opener. Thanks for the address on this. Al


Thanks for your input! I did learn a lot about trends, directions, and rates of change (1 point/minute, 2 points/minute, etc., which I estimate now from doing finger sticks over a given time period) from using CGM. General lessons of the CGM made it worth using for the time I did. But CGM use on a moment-to-moment basis, even day-to-day basis, for it to actually be useful rather than mostly frustrating, requires the assumption that the numbers and trends are correct within a reasonable margin of error, at least (for me anyway) 80%, maybe 90% of the time. Too many days were not like this for me, and I could no longer make this assumption, which makes moment-to-moment, day-to-day trends/numbers moot (and required lots of finger sticks anyway) I’m glad it’s working for you (and a lot of other people), though. Age 72 - wow! Kudos on your good management. -Becky

I also am not a fan of the GCM. I have tried both the Libre and Dexcom, and I have had some of the same frustrations as you, Becky. I currently finger stick about 10 times a day. It just works for me, so I am sticking with it (no pun intended). In addition to the things you mentioned, I really hate having something stuck to my arm (or stomach) and I was constantly aware of it (even after using it for months). So, we’re all different I guess. I was diagnosed about three years ago. Maybe in time I will change my mind, but right now, I’m a finger-stick girl, and pens, no pump…


Thanks for sharing your experience! I really appreciate it. We’re all on the same journey, just trying different strategies. Imo, the proof is in the pudding - namely, the A1C test. I’ll be getting mine in a few months and that will tell me a lot about how my finger sticks are working compared to CGM. -Becky

Some people prefer fingersticks and that’s fine - to each his own. I just want to share something that happened to me today: my husband had been taking me to the store (need to renew my license) but today I decided to venture out on my own and took our local subway system to a Container Store. My numbers were great when I left the house, and walking typically drops me so I turn on my pumps Activity mode. I forgot today and was still good when I finally turned it on, but half an hour or so later I got a high alert and an :arrow_up:. I key it alone expecting CIQ to kick in, but when I checked later I was in mid 200s and rising. When I went to look again there were the dreaded — in lieu of numbers, no idea why. I was on the train heading home and knew I needed to take a bolus but had to check my numbers.
In a side note, my husband always told me not to use hand rails on public escalators and steps - I’m having knee issues and need to use them to stay myself, so when I went to clean my hands for the test I found black gunk from the escalator rail! I cleaned then thoroughly a few times with the sanitizer in my purse and found I was over 300. I rarely have issues losing connection with my CGM (and then of all times!) and thankfully it came back am hour or so later. Just saying, if you’re not in a place where you can clean up, being able to just look at the screen is priceless. And as quick as it is to get readings now (some of us recall when we had to wait several minutes) when using then I occasionally found myself starting to feel a little funny while driving, I’ve shifted Park at a traffic light and whipped or my kit. As as long as the lights are in my area, by the time I get everything together and apply the sample, the light’s changed before I get my result.
This may be moving off topic. But those who are wondering if they should get our want to get a CGM, they’re thoughts to consider. If fingersticks work better for you by all means use them.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Yes I can see how CGM (and a pump) is really handy in so many situations out and about!