Although pricking my finger is relatively painless (most of the time), it sure is expensive. Even though your body does its best to communicate blood sugar levels -- with signals such as feeling thirsty when blood sugar is high and dizzy when it's low -- the only guaranteed way to know is to prick your finger.
The upside of blood sugar testing is that a lot has changed for the better in the years since I was diagnosed. After twenty-six years of testing my blood sugar, my fingers are so calloused that I can't feel the soft skin of my children's faces. In order to live well with diabetes, we have to know the answer to the question: What's my blood sugar? Amy Stockwell Mercer is the author of The Smart Woman's Guide to Diabetes, Authentic Advice on Everything from Eating to Dating and Motherhood.

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Albright, PhD, RD, the Director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a type 1 diabetic for over 40 years, says coping strategies are an important factor toward adjustment, and that more and more clinicians are talking with diabetes patients about developing these coping skills. It really helps to keep a log about your emotions, stress levels, physical state and activity, mental state, anger level, sleep length and quality, in addition to a food log -- all of these factors affect your blood glucose levels. However, I'm humble enough to know that I have three healthy children thanks to these scars, and so I keep my complaints to a minimum.
And how many of us have wished there was a better way to get the answer than the dreaded finger stick?
Typically speaking, the more you test, the more you pay, as most insurance companies limit how many boxes of test strips they cover per month.

It was ugly and bulky, had to be calibrated, required a large swab of blood and took a full 60 seconds to give me the results.
In comparison, today's glucose meters are sleek and colorful and some are as smart as a smart phone. But unless you are using a Continuous Glucose Monitor (a glucose-sensing device that is inserted just under the skin of your abdomen and records blood sugar levels throughout the day and night), blood sugar testing still requires a finger stick. We need to change the culture about chronic illness." Balance means something different for everyone, and when it comes to blood sugar testing, finding what works for you is a good strategy.

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