Thanks for the reply. I do switch fingers and I am going to work on the rubber band trick. It's frustrating because after I collect in the tube, and I struggle to get that drop, I am then bleeding perfectly well. Unfortunately, I didn't choose which machine to have, my doctor's office or insurance did. I will master it soon!Pellicle is right - if I had an On-X, I would STILL have a target of around 3.0. Even at 4.0, if your INR ever gets this high, living with it is no big deal. You may wind up with more bruises if you bang yourself than you might with a lower INR, but, really, it's not a big deal.
Now - regarding CoaguChek and Coag-Sense -- I find that you need a bigger drop of blood to fill the transfer tube for the Coag-Sense than you will if you just put your finger with the blood drop on the side of a CoaguChek strip and HOLD it there until the strip draws in all the blood. With a little practice, the CoaguChek may be easier than the Coag-Sense.
To get a good drop, I often hold my hand under warm/hot water for a few seconds. I sometimes swing my arm around - like a windmill - it brings the blood to the hand. I also try to not use the same finger all the time - I find that more 'virgin' areas in other fingers are less scarred and more easily yield usable drops.
I also do a thing, similar to Pellicle's rubber band or dental floss: when I'm waiting for the meter to be ready to test, I compress my finger, below the knuckle, and it usually pools enough blood in the front of the finger to give me a good drop for testing.
It's easier to stay within the fifteen second limit when I use the CoaguChek than it is with the Coag-Sense, because it takes a few seconds for the Coag-Sense transfer tube to fill with blood, and then another second or two (depending on how good your aim is) to transfer the blood onto the strip.