Capillary collapse???

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Protimenow

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I've been self-testing for more than a decade. I usually test using the same (or nearly the same) spot on the same finger. Recently, I noticed that it's getting increasingly difficult to get a good, large drop of blood from that part of the finger.

I know that frequent blood draws damage veins, making it difficult or impossible to get a good blood draw from the vein, and making it so the phlebotomist has to find a different spot on the body for the blood draw. Does this happen with capillaries, too?

Am I trying to take a small drop of blood from a spot on the finger that is so damaged (or scarred) that I can no longer get a good droplet?

Have any of you run into this problem?

Yes, I have seven fingers and two thumbs left, and if I figure that it'll take 10 years until that side of each finger gets unusable, I've got 70 years of available surface for drawing my blood -- and if I factor in the fact that the OTHER side of all ten digits are still usable, it looks like I may have 170 years of spots for taking my blood - but I'm still curious about whether or not any of you have exhausted the ability to get blood from a specific digit.
 

dick0236

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I'm still curious about whether or not any of you have exhausted the ability to get blood from a specific digit.
I have used the middle finger of my left hand for +/- a dozen years with no issues. In fact, I'm finding it easier to get a "big droplet" as I get older.
 

pellicle

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I've been self-testing for more than a decade. I usually test using the same (or nearly the same) spot on the same finger. Recently, I noticed that it's getting increasingly difficult to get a good, large drop of blood from that part of the finger.
I'd anticipate its what gardeners and workers call calluses.
I get that on a finger (where I first observe it as a need for a deeper needle, and move on to another finger). Also you are lancing the side not the pad right?
 

Protimenow

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I'm lancing the side.

It doesn't seem as if the finger that I used has formed a callus, but it's possible. My lancing devices are single use, and set for a specific depth. If my finger has a callous of even 1 or 2 mm - unnoticed by me - it's certainly possible that the lancet doesn't go deep enough into the finger. I guess I'll use another finger for a year or so to let the possible callus go away and try that digit again (or not).

Thanks, Pellicle, for suggesting that possibility.

(A slightly different item -- I've had varying experiences with a few different single-use devices. I've found one that cuts fairly deep - in order to trigger it, you press it against the finger until the lancet fires - but this seems to leave a bruised area where the lancet penetrates. I think I prefer the devices that use a 'trigger' to set the lancet into the finger. I also have a few devices that take 21 gauge lancets and allow you to set the depth - but it's harder to discard the lancets and not as convenient as the single use devices)
 
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Protimenow

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I have used the middle finger of my left hand for +/- a dozen years with no issues. In fact, I'm finding it easier to get a "big droplet" as I get older.
Maybe your skin is getting thinner. It happens when geezers like us age. I'm changing to another, more productive finger (the one used to give a salute to a driver who cuts you off).
 

Protimenow

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I didn't look at it under a loupe -- but, after trying a different finger, I WAS able to get dracula bait.
 

rich01

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It happens to me and it seems to be some type of response from my body. If I check my glucose daily, after a couple of weeks I have a problem drawing blood from any finger on either hand. I tried new needles and even bought a new lancing device.

About a month later, I told my doctor I was having trouble lancing my finger and getting blood, of course when she did it blood flowed right out. Since then I have noticed that if I take a break every once in a while, I don't have a problem. But I guess you can't take a break.
 

Protimenow

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rich01 - your fingers can take a break - especially if you're testing blood glucose (I imagine, because the lancet is so tiny). The break that I'm giving to my most used finger is to leave it alone, and use a different finger. Maybe in a year or so the callus will recede or disappear and I'll be able to use my 'favorite' testing finger again.
 
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