Home » Diabetes » Finger prick tests were disruptive and always painful
Understanding Diabetes 2019

Finger prick tests were disruptive and always painful

Rosey (right) with elder sister Milly and their puppy Sooty

Rosey is a 14 year old living with Type 1 diabetes

I was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 17 months old. One of the biggest challenges of having diabetes, for me, used to be checking my blood glucose levels at least eight times a day by finger prick, which always left my fingers very sore.

Checking my glucose levels, also known as blood sugars, could be at any point, from the early morning to the middle of the night, when my parents would need to wake me up and do a finger prick test to make sure I wasn’t about to have a hypo.

A hypo is when your blood glucose level is too low. If I have a hypo and don’t sort it out quickly, I could start feeling confused and drowsy – and there is also the risk of becoming unconscious or having a fit so making sure my blood glucose levels are fine is really important.

Which leads me to one of the other difficulties: trying to control my blood sugar levels. Even though my parents have always helped me, it can be really hard, especially as a teenager.

My Flash glucose monitor changed my life

An important change, however, came after campaigning with my mum and Diabetes UK when I got access to Flash, a life-changing glucose monitoring device.

Using this technology really improved my diabetes control and allowed me to finger prick less often. My sugar levels have been much better and my fingers no longer hurt from the constant testing.

Now, I no longer have to miss out on anything at school to check my sugar levels, I can simply scan the sensor on my skin and I get the reading on my phone. My parents don’t have to wake me up every night to check my sugar either; they just scan the sensor using the scanner or my phone. Plus, when I am at a friend’s for sleepovers, I can scan myself and my parents can check on their phone that I am well, which stops them worrying so much.

Glucose readings connected to mine ­– and my parents’ – phones

Most importantly, it gives me the opportunity to do what I love without having to take breaks over and over again – I can now do gymnastics and simply swipe the sensor on my arm if I need to check my sugar levels, rather than stop and finger prick.

Data from Flash also allows the Children’s Diabetic Team looking after me to review all the information about my glucose levels during my check-ups. My mum uploads the data from the sensors every week and then we all discuss it and correct my insulin doses if needed. This helps everyone to do everything possible for me to manage my diabetes and to help prevent any long-term complications.

Next article