Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Little Prick That Keeps Being a Prick

This Accu-Chek comes with a little plastic device that one is to use to prick their finger to draw blood to test. I have yet to master this either. After opening the case, you insert a lancet until it clicks. Put the cap back on and twist it to determine the depth of the prick. One is for sensitive skin that will start to bleed at the sight of a needle, while five is for those tough construction worker types who have calloused fingers that need extra deep bludgeoning. This is the same little machine that the nurse used in the doctor’s office, but at that time, I did not realize I should be paying attention to what she was doing. 

I inserted the lancet, twisted its protective cover off, replaced the cap, set it for 1.5 and then pressed the release while holding my breath and shaking with anticipation. Nothing happened. What did I do wrong? How do I pump this baby up again so that it will release, causing me a quick dose of pain and produce blood? No clue. Play, play, play, all to no great success, I decided that I would finally need to take the cap off to expose the pin. My dual nature kicked in. One side is screaming “Please don’t hurt me” while the other is angrily growling “Hold still and take it like a man.” In all of the excitement, I jabbed with the enthusiasm of a serial killer creating a blood river where a blood drop would have been plenty. The test strip was already in the machine, the little blood drop icon was blinking; I put my blood in the designated area and viola! The message is ERROR! Now that is really helpful, intuitive, and will direct me to do better next time. The PDF of directions is worthless in this case, not shedding light on a bad situation. Well that is the show for today! There is no repeat performance. Tomorrow is another day!

Well that was yesterday. Today, I tried again. Getting this drop of blood is reminiscent of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, yet somehow I manage without causing the neighbors to come to the balcony in distress. This time, instead of inserting the test strip first, I put my blood drop on the strip and then put it into the machine. This time I get E-5. There is nothing that tells me what this means either.

This little prick is going to have to wait until I see the doctor again and get some instructions. The way things are going, I will have used up the test strips and won’t be able to find a pharmacy here that sells more without having to order them from North Korea where there is a really big prick.

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