When you get used to certain equipment, it can be pretty horrible when it fails, breaks or gives out on you. I had just such an instance last week, when my lancing device broke. I don’t know how these devices are put together inside. In my head I picture a simple mechanical construction of a rubber band going taut as you pull the trigger back, only to be released when you push the button. No matter how simple or complicated it may be inside, the lancing device I’ve used for the past half decade finally decided to give out. I’d pull the trigger back without the tell-tale click, and there would be no response when I’d push the button.
For the non-Diabetics who may not know what this is, a lancing device is a small, pen-like plastic device that holds a lancet, which is the small needle that’s used to pierce your fingertip in order to test your blood sugars. Despite being on an insulin pump with continuous glucose monitoring, I still need to test my blood glucose via finger poke at least three times a day in oder to calibrate the CGM. I also need to test occasionally because apparently my blood sugars are TOO normal and if you go 2.5 hours without needing any microbolusing, the pump gets all pissy at you and wonders if there’s something wrong. It’s SUPER annoying when you’re trying to get eight hours of sleep. But I digress…
Since this was the evening and everything was closed, I had no choice but to do something that I haven’t seen done since the 1980’s. I had to hold a lancet in my fingers and manually jab my finger. Now, you may be thinking that this sound like such a big deal. The problem, you see is that doing it that way is extremely painful and usually causes injury in the form of bruising and sensitivity to the finger. A lancet’s needle can be anywhere from 1/8″ to 1/4″, and the lancing device controls how hard and how deep the needles punctures your flesh, making for a controlled and more comfortable experience.
Doing it manually just means you’re decimating your fingertips, especially when you get a brute like me with no control over how hard he does stuff. After three tests of doing it the ol’ fashioned way, once before bed and twice when I woke up, I decided that was enough to look into a replacement. I have three other USB glucomètres as shown in the photo above, but none of the lancing devices were with them. I searched in all my supply boxes but I never found the extras anywhere. I’m quite positive I haven’t ripped through 4 lancing devices in the past ten years, but the question remained as to where I put them.
Anxious to find some comfort and fervently aware that my pump would be pestering me for a calibration within the next hour or two, I ventured out to my local pharmacy with the hopes of purchasing a new one. Upon my arrival at the pharmacy, I explained my situation to the pharmacist who explained that lancing devices are usually included in glucometer bundles and don’t come as a standalone item. because of this, the only way to get a new lancing device is usually by purchasing a new glucometer package.
Luckily, he had some samples left over from distributors, and one of them happened to be the Bayer MICROLET next, which is the next generation above the one I had been using. He offered it to me, free of charge. I held my hands out and accepted the lancing device akin to receiving a great gift. I was grateful to my pharmacist for taking this step. And after several days of using this lancing device, I can say it was definitely worth the trip. Small favours… Sometimes you get lucky. Jus’ saying’… ☯