One of the common objections to testing blood glucose more frequently is a fear of pain from testing. If you are suffering pain when you test, you are doing it incorrectly.
I learned this the hard way in my first year after diagnosis. I hope it helps you.
Do not use an alcohol swab to clean the test site unless there is no other choice. Repeated use of alcohol over time for that purpose will dry out the site and may cause skin problems.
If possible wash your hands in warm soapy water, rinse well and shake them to get the circulation going. Check your lancet-holder; it should be adjustable. Mine is a Soft-clix, made by Roche and is usually painless. That brand has an excellent reputation among the diabetics I know, but any good lancet device should do the job. I get an occasional tiny sting and it lets me know if it's getting blunt sometimes, but I tested over 5000 times in the first four years after diagnosis, before I stopped counting, without any trauma. That's from a guy who was, and is, needle-phobic.
Start with the second lowest setting (1 or 1.5), hold it firmly against your skin on the side of a finger near the tip. Don't flinch when you release the button. The button releases a spring-loaded tiny needle which makes a tiny hole in your skin and instantly retracts. Using the side of your finger-tip has two advantages: there are less nerve-ends than on the pads, and it doubles the number of test-points so you can rotate through the positions.
Massage gently (milking a cow) until a drop of blood forms sufficient to put on the test strip. If this setting doesn't provide an adequate quantity, move the lancet setting up one notch for the next one. If you got a large sample and it hurt a little, go to the lower setting.
And that's all there is to it. Sometimes it helps to shake your hands a little more, or warm them up if it's cold.
The manufacturers advise changing the lancet needle every time; I change mine when I remember or if it gets a bit blunt. I have never had an infection as a result of doing that, nor have I ever heard of it happening from the people I talk to on the web. You do what you are comfortable with, subject to doctor's orders.
Cheers, Alan, T2, Australia.
Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter
Up-dated 10th July 2009