I've taken the plunge and bought a blue horizon blood test kit - any tips?

My kit arrived this morning..in my own little world, I thought it was a pin prick like a diabetes strip, then I saw the test tube lol :-O Any tips on making it as smooth a process as possible? My husband is going to help me with it as I'm really quite squeamish when it comes to blood. I'm going to do it Monday morning to be on the safe side for it arriving back a the lab before weekend. I'm really nervous, I used to pass out having blood taken at the clinic, but have managed to get on ok with it now.

At least I know the end result is an insight into what's going on - I'm hypo after RAI and am really feeling poorly. I'm being referred for ME/CFS screening in the new year, I'm still convinced it's my thyroid! My employer has given me a warning for sickness absence, referred me to OH, and is now considering giving me another one. This is the only place where I don't have an imaginary illness.

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  • I started with the index finger first, then moved to middle finger and struggled to get anything from either of them Then I moved to ring finger and the blood flowed easily. Did the same test for my daughter and result was similar. Not sure if that is common, but might be worth starting with ring finger.

    Good luck

  • I have done the fingerprick test 4 times now. The first time I found it difficult because my blood clotted too quickly but I've worked out how to do it now.

    Firstly, make sure you are well hydrated, drink plenty of water the day before and before you do the test.

    Have a bowl of very warm water to hand (as warm as you can stand it), use this to warm your hand up immediately before the fingerprick, I make sure my hand goes red. If blood slows down I re-warm my hand in the hot water.

    I find that pricking my finger on the side near the nail bed is the best place and I use my middle or ring finger.

    I stand on a stool so that I am higher than the container the blood goes into therefore my arm is straight.

    You can milk your finger gently if blood flow slows down. I found it wasn't really a flow, more like blobs collecting the side of your finger and you let the blobs fall into the tube.

    If you take any supplements then take them after you do the test. I left my D3/K2 off for a week before doing the test because even though K1 is meant to aid clotting and not K2, I think it's best to be safe than sorry as I think it may have been a factor in why my blood clotted so quickly the first time.

    Don't forget to leave off your thyroid meds for 24 hours and fast overnight.

  • It's not the big tube you have to fill but the little one inside it. Honestly, it's not as much blood as you think. You'll be fine - just follow the instructions and take your time.

  • Having read all the stories here (and in general not being a good bleeder) I was convinced it wouldn't work for me and lo and behold when I pricked my finger after all my prep (below) it was extremely effective. I looked away for a split second to get the vial and I'm glad I wasn't wearing good shoes. :-) My rug got some damage too.

    1) Do a dry run at least once before you do the actual test. Take your time, read all the instructions, make sure you have everything to hand.

    2) Cover the area where you're working (see rug, shoes above).

    3 Hydration (lots of water beforehand).

    4) Warm hands (hot water bottle worked for me and wasn't messy).

    5) Raise your heart rate a little (star jumps, trot up the stairs or similar until you're breathing a bit harder).

    6) If there is any chance at all you might get woozy, settle yourself somewhere safe, like on the sofa, in case you want to lie down (or fall down) suddenly.

    7) The lancet is not spring-loaded like one you might use if you have diabetes. You need to press quite firmly to pierce the skin.

    8) Keep all the plates in the air until you manage a good stick. If you're too still for too long while you read the instructions and your hands cool down, run through the steps again before you stick yourself. (This is where the dry run helps.) And if you can't manage it just have your husband read up and wait for you w the lancet so after your water, star jumps etc when you sit down he can just do it and then it will be over.

    Good luck!

  • You should find this link helpful - it's the Blue Horizon Guide to Finger Prick Blood Testing :

    bluehorizonmedicals.co.uk/W...

  • When our medical students were doing finger prick collections and were struggling we told them to move the arm round quickly like a windmill to let centrifugal force get more of your blood in your fingers. Another good site but you will need help is the ear lobe.

  • Get the whole kit out and read through the instructions. You can open it all up and have a look, just keep the tubes closed. Dont panic if youre doing it and cannot figure something out at first. Be patient waiting for tube to fill, it can take a few minutes or more. My first one took one prick, but the second one took three to fill the tube. Have a plastic bag with an old clean towel on top, to prevent blood getting on your carpets!

  • Good advice above. I always start with my ring finger, I've only once had to move on to my middle finger.

    It is only the tiny tube inside the larger one you have to fill.

    I do my test first thing in the morning and early in the week to avoid the return test being held up in the post and I do it when I've just got out of bed and I'm nice and warm. I put on socks and clothes to stay warm while I do it and I drink water beforehand.

    The idea of a 'dry run' without actually using the lancet to get it sorted out in your head sounds good.

    Make sure your finger has gone red before you start.

    If your husband pricks your finger for you, you ought to get decent blood flow.

    I stand up so that my hand is lower than my heart.

    I hold the tube sideways like in the photo and rub it up my finger towards where the hole is, I do that over and over until the tube fills. Doing it that way I don't tend to get a bubble in the neck of the tube which can make it a bit tricky to get the blood to flow down.

    Just keep calm and keep going, you'll be fine. I surprised myself last test by filling my tube to the brim.

    Good luck.

  • ..I was wobbling over just reading this - and I'm sat down! :-) It's going to be an interesting start to my week! But worth it to find out where I'm at with my levels, and yet so bloomin ridiculous that this is what we're having to do!

  • Exactly, take it from me, nothing beats going to the endo knowing what your blooods are going to be. I never mentioned that I'd done my diy blood tests. I couldn't see the point but I never ever had my T3 tested and I got sick of begging fir B12 and vitamin D which again they wouldn't do 'Vitamin D is so fashionable, if you can probe to me there's anything in it, I'll have it checked'

    Honestly that's what the assistanr endo I asked said in response to my request for vit D!!!!! You really couldn't make it up. I was speechless so in the end I organised my own and never looked back.

    You'll be fine. Just shut your eyes and let your other half have control of your finger 😉

  • Me too, I'm a real chicken when it comes to blood. When I go to the clinic I tell the person drawing the blood that I will not faint but I will come close. The last time, a very sweet little person sat in front of me and asked if I minded if she, as a med student, drew my blood. I replied that it might be in both of our interests if an experienced person did it! I hope I didn't hurt her feelings, but actually fainting or throwing up would have been far worse.

  • Prep is key. Three of my family have done it. We didn't find it easy. We didn't manage to fill the little tube to above the label as instructed but results still came back. I found we used the three lancets supplied in all cases and for me I had to resort to a further repeat use one. None of us will bleed to death we clotted too quickly! Maybe use the hand you don't write with too. It's great if the blood drops into the tube but we found it takes ages for the blood to drop and we had to scrape the cut on the side of the tube to capture the blood and then the blood spreads on the finger instead of dropping and becomes too difficult and messy to capture. Be patient and follow the advice above. No-one above has mentioned the elastic band provided - I'm not sure it helped - by the time I got it in the right place it seemed to prevent the blood flow rather than hold blood flow in the finger.

  • I did a Blue Horizon test a couple of months ago. I'd have to say I didn't find it too bad at all, though I did find I had to read the instructions several times (brain fog of course). Make sure you get everything ready which you might need just in case. I held my hand over the sink while doing the bleed part just to save accidentally dripping on clothing etc. And as everyone else has said its only the very small phial you have to fill and I found it surprisingly quick once I'd got going.

    The lancet is relatively easy to use if you follow the instructions to the letter.

    The only thing I wished I'd done was wished I'd ordered the kit with the Reverse T3 included. They do say the sample is still viable for 7 days if you want something else tested, so I called to ask about Reverse T3 but they said that one has to be done first from the sample, so they couldn't do it from the sample they already had. So if you do want Reverse T3 tested, do order the kit with it in.

  • Oh this made me laugh, I have been putting off sending away for test kit because of messing it up and not getting enough blood out so I am glad I am not the only nervous nelly. The vitamin D I have done a couple of times before which is really easy. Thanks for all the comments and the link. I think I will also wait until a Monday before I do it. Pretty disgusting that we have to do all this because the GP surgery do not and most too stupid to know anything about Thyroid. My GP told me that the antibodies were a virus and left it at that!

  • What type of virus was he thinking of! Honestly!

  • I'm very grateful to see all this useful information as I am contemplating sending off for the finger prick test kit and as a diabetic, I was wondering how a typical finger prick that I would do to measure blood sugar could possibly give enough blood for all the tests. Now I know! So thanks to Icescreams99 for asking the question and to everyone else for all the answers.

    So now I have a question - how can I mark this thread so I can find it again? Thanks!

  • Why not just bookmark the page? Or you can go to your profile and it will be under 'Replies'. Or make a document with the relevant bits and print it off.

  • Very grateful for this forum and the post. I've just ordered the Medicheck Thryoid 10 tests, was £20 cheaper as it doesn't include vitamin D. Goodluck icecream99 and anyone else about to embark on this.

  • ...well, we did it! Eventually managed to fill the tube- the only hiccup was that we had 3 yellow finger prickers and one didn't work. The first two attempts produced not much more than a dribble,and they could only be used once - so at that point it was ditch the attempt or improvise. We sterilised a needle and my husband had to use it twice before we had the quota. It's a good job I've got such a patient, caring husband - I don't think I would've been able to do it myself. I'm not the best patient (apparently lol) and needed tea with sugar after the event :-) Now it's done I'm really pleased and looking forward to getting my results back.

    Thanks everyone for your advice and suggestions - it really helped x

  • Glad to hear it all went okay. I was wondering about you. Sorry about the finger prickers (lancets). I only did my test this morning as I never got the kit until yesterday. I had four blue lancets but fortunately only needed one and just about filled the tiny tube to the mark (I hope) I used Medicheck. I sealed the pre-paid envelope and then read they recommend using next day before 1.00 p.m. delivery so I had to trudge up to the post office, pay over £6 but worse queue was at the door. After standing there for nearly an hour got served, all the while worrying about my compromised immune system so squirting up First Defence and sucking on extra strength strepsils lol. Hope you get your results quickly. Glad your husband was around to help. I'm widowed so on my own apart from four cats, who I did feed before I did the deed!!

  • Thank you Elaine, am glad to hear that yours went ok too :-) Funnily, when my husband took mine to the Post Office he said there was a 45 minute queue! I'm looking forward to getting my results back now :)

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