Blue Horizon fingerprick success!

About to set off for the post office to post my fingerprick test (Thyroid +10).

I was apprehensive after reading here about how many people had a hard time getting enough blood but I used all the BH tips on how to get the blood flowing and my goodness, it was successful. I just found an errant drip on my foot!

I found it surprisingly hard to actually push the lancet into my finger, which I hadn't anticipated. I've done this sort of thing before (we did blood typing in school and I regularly self-inject b12 etc) but my nerves failed me and I really had to work up to it. You really have to give it a good hard push, there is a moment when it looks like nothing is happening and then my word. I looked away to grab the vial and when I looked back my finger was in full flow.

Helpful stuff: hot water bottle to keep hand/arm warm, star jumps, a clean tea towel or similar to keep from ruining the tablecloth/carpet, good hydration, also following the BH advice to do a dry run before the test. I laid out everything and read the instructions the night before. What I neglected to do was put out my vit d test kit to do both at once, so I scrambled to get that sorted but it was too late, I had to prick myself AGAIN for that. Next time I'll be better prepared. Still, was easy to get enough blood.

Most of all I enjoyed the feeling of being able to sort it all myself without being dependent on a stranger who may or may not be good at getting blood from my arm. And I loved not having to do a bus + tube + walk to Harley St.

19 Replies

  • Well done. It does save a lot of time D.I.Y. :)

  • Yes, time and energy! I'm just so pleased it was easy. I had quite convinced myself that it was going to be impossible.

  • Is the lancet the same sort of thing that was used for the anaemia test when I was a plasma donor years ago? It was a plastic device which stabbed the fingertip with a click, to a set depth, not a miniature weapon needing aiming, skill and guts.

  • I've seen and used the spring-loaded sort used for glucose testing. I think that's what you mean by the click.

    These are the blue and white plastic disposable kind. It's a concealed lancet where you press your finger against the sprung area and when you press down the lancet is exposed, presumably just a tiny bit, at a set depth, when you depress the sprung bit as far as possible. I believe the lancet itself is not sprung if that makes sense; there is no click. It isn't the most basic type nor the most sophisticated type. So some guts are required!

    I must have depressed it a dozen times waiting for the click but in fact you just have to go for it - firmly! - and when you press hard enough you get there.

  • Thanks, that's reassuring. Don't want a Doc Martin moment!

  • Lol! My partner loves DM.

    I did wonder how I'd scraped the top of my foot, but it was just a stray droplet. Eek. Wonder where else I'll find them.

  • Yeah, you do have to "go for it". I had to put my hand on the table: couldn't do it in air.

    Wish I'd known about the hot water bottle this morning.

  • My heart was going like the clappers and eventually I think my shaking hands enabled me to push hard enough. I was surprised at how psychologically awkward it was. Second time (for vit d test) was slightly better.

    Yes, it seems the hot water bottle/hot coffee cup is the way to go!

  • Very well done! It's a great feeling, being in control of one's blood testing and results! My first couple of times doing finger-prick testing didn't go so well but now I'm a lot better and can get a decent flow. It's all in being well hydrated and moving about a bit beforehand to get the blood going! Fingers crossed (if they're not too sore!) for good results! :)

  • I think being such a bad bleeder (when I have blood taken) helped me get extra-paranoid about it so I did ALL the stuff that could help. I overdelivered a bit.

    No sore fingers (yay) though they each have a tiny bruise and they were a little swollen for a while. I think it was a pretty clean puncture. When I think of how I spent the last few days doing hand sewing projects and all that blood loss was wasted...

    Yes, isn't it a great feeling to be in control!? I think this is responsible for a lot of what is thought to be the placebo effect, just making a decision and DOING SOMETHING is good for you and makes you feel good about yourself. With a side order of not having to wait a month for the surgery to do my blood tests. Priceless.

    Thanks, I look forward to hearing what's going on. I feel pretty shattered but not as bad as before my dose increase.

  • Yes and not only that, YOU get to see your results first, mull them over, share them and get opinions here, before going anywhere near a doctor! RESULT. :D

  • Hi puncturedbicyle. Ha I did mine this morning too. Made one hell of a mess in the kitchen! Normally it's quite hard to keep the blood flowing but today it just wouldn't stop. I'd made myself a coffee for afterwards and held my hand against the cup. Last time I had to prick several fingers just to get enough blood and felt quite sorry for myself. This morning it looked like I'd been attacked by the dog lol. I did the Thyroid 11 which includes the Vit D so only had to do the one test. Did the Genova cortisol test yesterday. All this without having to look at my drip of a GP 😆 Hopefully both our results will be good and as Jadzhia says WE get to see them first.

  • Yes, v sensible. I had already bought a job lot of vit d tests so my partner could also test (they're cheaper when you buy in quantity) after choosing the Thyroid +10. Somehow I missed the thyroid +11. No matter, costs the same and we'll both be able to monitor our d. When we run out of those I'll do Thyroid +11.

    It really was a wasted opportunity because there was enough blood for both, but yk, all it takes is a short time to clot, and then I'd missed my window.

    Interesting re the coffee. I had decided I'd do a hot water bottle, if only so I could move around without having to soak my hand in hot water. Looks like that really helps. Glad I wasn't wearing white shoes! Next time I'll do it in the bathroom, if not the actual sink. :-)

    There is usually so much red tape attached to making a blood test appt that I am put off by the process, though to be fair I think, after running into the gp when I collected my results, she put the paperwork in order for me and it is probably waiting. That was so great, she happened to be there when I collected my printout (I just dropped in to get it, I had no appt), looked at it, pronounced me undertreated and did a script for extra levo while I waited. We have a newish, v good gp at the surgery (thank goodness) and she's great at getting stuff done, but it is hard to turn the tide. And I dread getting the awful receptionist when I ring.

    Good luck w your tests!

  • Good luck to you and Hubby. Glad you have a good GP but I know what you mean about the "stalag" receptionists hahaha

  • Cheers, and to you!

    He is v robust and prob is lacking in nothing but he has bad knees and bone problems run in his family (his sister had hip replacements in her early 40s) so I thought vit d test was worth doing.

    Oh dear, do you have an awful receptionist too? I think there is an NHS quota, there needs to be at least one in each surgery.

  • I did mine today as well. I got through 3 fingers before I could get enough. I used a bowl of warm water and all 3 lancets provided. I started to worry that I wouldn't get enough out but luckily after warming my hand again in warm water the 3rd finger I tried gave up enough. It was hard to use the lancet at first but by 3rd time I was pressing really hard on it in frustration. I always have problems giving blood at the doctors and end up with bruises up my arms where they just jab at me and wiggle the needles trying to get blood out. Im not made of stone really!

  • Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear that. Yes, the lancets aren't brilliant. Your fingers must be sore! Mine are sore if I hit them the wrong way and I only did the two sticks.

    I used to have a v hard time having blood taken but since I changed my tactics everything is great! Now it's just if someone isn't v experienced that they do that awful thing of wiggling everything around, urgh. They're not supposed to do that you know, a phlebotomist friend of a friend told me that.

    As well as warming your hand did you make sure you were well-hydrated and your heart rate was a bit higher than usual resting rate? I thought it was the warm hands that clinched it for me but maybe the other stuff did the trick as well. I drank two large glasses of water and two cups of tea in the 30 or so mins before doing the test and I did some star jumps and ran around a bit until I was breathing hard. You probably aren't in a hurry to try another fingerprick test of any variety - ! - but if you do, all these things in combination worked for me.

  • Thanks puncturedbicycle. I did drink 1 & half pints of water before but maybe this wasn't enough or big enough gap before taking blood. I can't do star jumps as I have severe osteoarthritis in both knees and feet with ruptured achilles. Walking is difficult enough. yes my fingers are sore. I forgot earlier and got vinegar in the cuts. The air was blue then. Do you know how long it takes to get results? Gentle hugs Joolz.x

  • Bless you, I zested/squeezed lemons last night - extremely carefully!

    Even if star jumps/running are off the menu, anything that would raise heart rate is meant to be good so even if you sat down and punched the air for a few mins or whatever, that should help.

    Not sure how long it will take. When I do it in town I get results the next day, but maybe this is different. x

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