Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose

~ Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 8:02 AM ~

I mentioned in my previous post on my third pregnancy at month 6 post that I had a bit high glucose reading (8.5mol when normal range should be 6-7mol) and after texting my gynae, he adviced me to do a self-blood sugar test and to report back the results to him before he determines the next step of actions for me. Hence, this post is to share with you how to do self-monitoring of blood glucose.

Firstly, you will need to get the following items from your local pharmacy:

- Sterile lancets (needle to prick your finger to extract small amount of blood for the testing)

- Alcohol swabs

- Glucometer

- Test strips (where you drip your blood onto the strip to get reading from the glucometer)

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose

Picture below showing you all the items required to perform your self-monitoring of blood glucose:

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose

Now here's the steps to perform your self-monitoring of blood glucose:

Step 1: Get ready to insert the test strip into the glucometer. Glucometer will automatically turned on when test strip inserted completely. At this moment, I did not slide in the test strip completely as I take some time to gather courage to prick my finger do the blood test.

Step 2: Ensure test strip is adjusted into the glucometer properly so that you can straight away push it in when you are ready to smear your blood onto the test strip.

Step 3: Open up the cover of the lancing device. Insert a sterile lancet into the lancing device. Just twist clockwise/anticlockwise to separate out the needle from the protective head of the lancet.

Step 4: You can adjust your level of how deep you want your finger to be prick. Mine is 6 as anything below doesn't even poke through my skin. Do note that the higher the number, the deeper the needle will poke into your skin. Close back the cover of the lancing device.

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose

Step 5: Get ready an alcohol swab and rub the finger you want to prick. Let the alcohol on your finger dry first as it may affect the glucose values shown by the meter. Adjust the lancing device on top of the finger to prick and press the trigger for the needle to prick your finger.

Step 6: Push in the test strip, wait for the sign on the glucometer to indicate it is ready to read your blood test. Draw enough blood so that you can smear some onto the test strip. Wait for 5 seconds for your results to be shown on the glucometer screen. Do remember to use back the alcohol swab to stop the bleeding. You're done!

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose

Some tips I got from the Internet:

- Don’t prick the same finger in the same area- keep on changing the places for pricks- this prevents the pain or infection which may happen if the same finger is needled all the time.

- If you use alcohol swabs to wipe the skin before pricks let it dry completely as alcohol itself is a reducing agent and may affect the values shown by the strip.

- When the oozing droplet is not sufficient increase the number on the dial of the lancing pen – or if you are pricking the finger manually, prick deeper - alternately change the place of pricks.

- Do not recycle the lancets, alcohol swabs or test strip. Use once and discard after use!

So there you go, hope I didn't miss out any information and thank you for reading!

Third Pregnancy at month 6...

~ Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 7:04 AM ~

This post is to journal down the 6th month+ of my third pregnancy now! I realised I did not blogged much about this pregnancy, compared to my previous one which I blogged religiously every month. But that is because with this pregnancy, I didn't see our gynae every month for check up. Anyway here goes the update:


Sweet sugary stuff rages on this month.. so much that I practically guzzled soft drinks or packet drinks every day and treat myself to a slice of cake or sweet buns or ice cream every other day....


Image taken from Google search

Last month, I reported that I have not been gaining weight at all! I remembered experiencing the same thing with my 1st pregnancy until my gynae had to force me to drink UHT full cream milk EVERYDAY. I am doing that since 20th May and I'm now at 50kg. So that makes weight gain of 5kg in 6 months+ time...


My second check-up with gynae was on 6th June 2013 but I was attended by another specialist instead of my chosen gynae (who was caught up with appointments elsewhere). According to the replacement gynae, baby is growing well, estimated weight is 500g for 24 weeks pregnancy and we were not able to see the baby's gender due to the legs covering up the genital area hahaha... but according to the gynae, he is not able to detect any ping-pong balls yet... so we'll see...


Yes, like what I did with Benjamin when I was pregnant with Alyson, I nursed him throughout the pregnancy. This round? Same. I think my milk has dried up few weeks back but like her brother, Alyson does not seem to be bothered and continued to comfort dry suckling from me whenever she wants and before her sleeptime. Though I do noticed tiny dots of dried up milk on my nipples lately, signs of colostrum returning? :)


Yes, I started feeling the tiny flutters in my tummy at month 4 actually and have been using Babyplus gadget 2 weeks ago twice a day (9am and 9pm) and the kicks are getting stronger everyday.


New thing to report this month! The replacement gynae told us that I can do the GTT test before my next check-up at 28 weeks pregnancy, so I immediately contacted our family GP so that I can do the GTT test at his clinic instead of having to go to the hospital to do it (very troublesome!)

This test is to be taken at 7th month pregnancy, especially if you have family history of having diabetes. Both my parents had them and my mum passed away due to total kidney failure caused by diabetes. My results was normal when I was pregnant with my 2nd child.

So, the night before the test, I started fasting from 10pm, taking only plain water and nothing else, and waited till the next morning 10am to have my blood test (just a little prick on my finger) and was given this  300ml glucose solution to drink.

Result: My blood sugar level before the taking the drink is 4.1 (anything below 6 is normal) and after 2 hrs (only take plain water) is 8.5 (normal reading is between 6.1 to 7). OH NO!!!!! I immediately SMS-ed my gynae asking for his advice on what to do and was given the following instructions:

1. Buy a glucometer from local pharmacy. I'll need to do a self-blood sugar test where I use this device to prick my fingers, get a small dot of blood and smeared it on the test strip on the glucometer and wait for the results in 5 seconds.

2. Do self blood sugar test by following these timing:

- 8am after fasting

- half hour before breakfast and 2 hours after breakfast

- half hour before lunch and 2 hours after lunch

- half hour before dinner and 2 hours after dinner

- right before bedtime 10pm

3. Report the results to gynae and he'll decide the next steps (which will be diet change if results still bad)

So there you go, updates as at 6 months+ pregnancy... have a blessed week and thank you for reading!

Children Dental Operation Experience...

~ Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 at 12:28 PM ~

2 months back we brought our 4 years old boy to Hospital Sg Buloh to have his teeth check. Normal dentist clinics (we tried few) doesn't work as Benjamin refused and took long time to open his mouth to show the dentists. One of the dentist referred us to the hospital as they are children-friendly, specializes in childrens' dentistry and have experiences in dealing with kids like ours.

So in early April this year we went to the hospital, also took a while to get him to open his mouth, roughly dentist told us need to fill 5 of his teeth due to cavities and arranged for a dental op to fill his teeth in mid July (earliest they could slot him in) and that the whole procedures need to be done under GA due to Ben's behaviour of not letting people see and touch him for check-ups.

Pictures taken below were taken during our 1st visit to the hospital. Noticed right hand side pic, I had to lie down on the dentist chair with Benjamin on top of me before he is willing to show his teeth under the dentist bright light for them to see his teeth.

Although there are concerned people telling us that kids below 6-7 yrs old do not need to do all this dentistry repair since it is their milk teeth and these teeth are going to drop out anyway, we decided to do it because if we don't and the damage gets worse and goes deep into the root, it will affect the future adult teeth structure.

Early this week I got a call from the hospital that somebody cancelled their appointment on Thursday 13th June (which was yesterday) and the nurse asked me whether I wanted to move our 15th July dental op to 13th June. We immediately say yes and with about 3 days left to prepare our 4 years old for his coming op, we were very excited and anxious at the same time.

Pre-Dental Operation Challenges:

1. FASTING: Benjamin need to fast from midnight the day before his operation, and by fasting means no water and no food. I don't have concern with him fasting food for a few hours, but water? Oh boy... my boy loves to drink water, so I had to keep reminding him that during the 'big' day, we have to hold off the water drinking first because doctors want his stomach to be empty for smooth operation procedures.


2. REGISTER BY 7AM: We were told to be at the hospital by 7am and to register for the admittance and dental operation. The hospital is about 40 minutes from our place and that means waking up before 6am (for hubby and myself) to prepare everything and leave house latest by 6.30am.


On the Day - Dental Operation Challenges:

We reached the hospital at 7am and were the first to register for admittance. Although the signboard says the official hours is 7.30am onwards, the hospital staff is kind enough to register us at 7.15am (probably the sight of 2 anxious parents with 2 active chirpy kids touched his heart to start work earlier a bit hahahaa)


We had some minor issues trying to get Benjamin to stand on the weighing scales and had his blood pressure checked. Our boy is really apprehensive with all these new procedures and very wary with strangers touching him so I had to get the nurse to look away or distance themselves while I get our boy to stand on the weighing scales and I also had to strap the blood pressuring belt onto Ben's arm for his pressure to be checked.

Next hurdle was to get him to take off his pyjamas and wear the hospital gown. Arghh.... took some cajoling and scolding (from hubby) to finally be able to get Benjamin to take off his pyjama top. Even after checking-in to our room (it's an 8 bedded-room), we still have to wait for the doctor to do his round and assess the patients for the day.



If on the operation day there are 4 patients scheduled for operations, it will be done based on the patient's age. The youngest patient gets to go first. That will mean longer waiting period (and no food and water) for us if there are younger patients than Benjamin on the operation day.

There is a boy who is younger than Benjamin by a few months and Ben was supposed to be 3rd patient but luckily for us, the little girl who is supposed to be patient number 2 took her food 2 hours before reaching hospital and doctor had to cancel her operation since she took her food so, we got queue number 2.

3. THE WAIT...

Each dental operation is estimated to last around 1 hour during which, we cannot do much but wait. No food, no water, just wait. We spent some time at the children's playroom where Benjamin and Alyson played with the ride-on cars and toys inside. The first patient took about 1.5 hour and by the time it is Ben's turn, it was 10am already. Only 1 parent is allowed to accompany patient into the operating theatre (OT) and guess who's the lucky person? ME! My tummy was already rumbling at this point but had to brave on for my boy. I sat with him on his bed as 2 nurses wheeled us to the OT ward.

Once there, they have to leave Ben in the OT entrance (secured and guarded by the nurses still) while I had to run out to the side door to change into the OT special hospital gowns. I had to take the staff entrance, leave my shoes there, changed to the hospital gown, wear another slippers only for OT used and go back to meet Benjamin who is already crying and sobbing by then because he thought mummy left him alone there. Sigh...


In the OT room, I had to sit on a chair with Ben sitting on top of me. Took us a few minutes trying to get him to inhale from the gas mask but he refused to put his mouth or nose anywhere near it, so we ended up with me holding his arms and 3 doctors restraining my 4 years old boy from wriggling away and finally got him sleeping soundly under the General Anesthesia (GA).

One of the doctor carried Ben and put him on the OT bed, took off his pyjama pants and passed it to me and the anesthetist asked me whether I want to say anything else with a now sleeping Ben (made me teary when I think of leaving him alone there in the OT room). I just whispered to Ben that God is sending His angels to protect him now and mummy will be around when all is done.

I also reminded the dentist specialist to try rescue Ben's teeth as much as possible as she mentioned to me that there might be possibilities of extraction if the damage is bad since they could not assess Ben's teeth during the April checkup and could only check in details this time. I pleaded gently with her to rescue as much as she can and prayed that no extraction needed.

I was then ushered to another room outside (still within the OT ward) to wait and standby throughout the dental operation process. Looked at the clock, it was 10.30am and  I still have not taken my breakfast then and I have no mobile phone or anything with me at all.

Luckily, the father of patient number 1 (the little boy before Ben) was also in the waiting room (they had to be around in the OT ward still to wait for their boy to settle down before being permitted to return to their hospital room) and I asked to borrow his mobile phone so I could inform my hubby my whereabouts.

Hubby came over half an hour later with a bottle of soymilk and a vanilla cream bun for me and left immediately after as he left Alyson in the hands of a security guard in order to reach me in the OT ward. Gobbled the food up and continued my wait and regretting not asking hubby to bring my mobile phone. Argh...I also had a short chat with the father of the little boy and was told that his son had 12 of his teeth extracted. That was very alarming to me and made me more worried but turns out it was because his son's teeth is badly damaged until the gums are swollen and bleeding and he had difficulties in eating his food  and was told by doctors earlier that the extraction is required. I prayed that Ben does not have to go through this method of treatment!

About 11.30am, I really need to go pee and thinking I better be ready waiting in case Ben's op is done, so rushed out to find the toilet in the OT ward. Was instructed to go back to the staff changing room (where I changed into the OT hospital gown earlier) and after that I lost my way and found myself LOCKED OUT OF THE OT WARD. I obviously do not have OT ward access card to go back in and stood outside the staff room knocking every few seconds, hoping for someone to hear my knocking and let me in.

Finally a hospital staff came into the staff room and after explaining why I was stuck in there still wearing the OT clothing, he told me to give him a few minutes to get someone to open up the door from the other side for me. All the while I prayed that Ben can wait for me. Really do not want him to wake up without mummy by his side.

After few minutes, a female OT staff opened the door from the other side and ushered me in, telling me there are few incidents where patient's family members lost their way so she told me not to fret it because I was telling her I am very lousy with directions. Got back into my waiting room because Ben's operation is still on-going. I waited and waited... 2 hours now...


And I needed to pee again. Darn preggy symptoms and all. Hold the pee because a nurse popped in to the room and told me Ben's op is done. The nurse brought me to Ben's bed and I saw him sobbing with his eyes still closed. He was still under the GA effects and was crying. Poor boy. Took me about half an hour to wait him to be out of the GA spell and he finally opened his eyes after I told him about the 'special CCTVs' (it was smoke alarms actually) in the OT ward that monitors and watches children. Told him a security guard is watching children over the CCTVs and they will not allow children to leave the OT ward if they are still crying. That got him to open his eyes to scout for the CCTVs and he took a few more minutes to stop sobbing and became fully conscious of his surrounding.

Ben refused to separate from me and this time I had to carry him with me to the staff changing room so I could changed out of my OT clothings and wear back my own stuff. Imagine 6 months preggy with 2 hours sleep and lack of food lugging a half groggy half cranky 16kg 4 years old boy around.

We left the OT ward and 2 nurses wheeled us back on Ben's hospital bed back to our room. I got out the Lego toy I bought for Ben the day before (as his reward for fixing his teeth) and it calmed him down a wee bit, he hugged it and watched my iPad and we waited on for the doctor to come and check his progress. Hubby bought some food for my lunch but I could only have appetite for a slice of waffle (yummmss) that's all.

Within half hour, Ben vomitted on his hospital gown and my hands (I was cupping the vomit) and after changing into a new hospital gown and washing myself, he napped on his hospital bed.

A doctor came over to check Ben's progress, explained to me that the vomitting is normal as our child had never fasted in his life before so this is a common sight for people who fasted the first time and proceeded to tell us the treatments done for Ben. He had a few fillings done on his teeth (front mostly) and a crowning (something metallic) at the inside of his teeth. No extraction required at all and to continue practise proper dental hygiene, not to eat hard food as it might caused the front fillings to fall out (it was put in place for aesthetic reasons only)

We were given another follow-up appointment in August to check on his progress. Doctor said we can get ready to discharge and she also prescribed a bottle of paracetamol in case Ben experienced any pain with his teeth (we took the meds but didn't give him any since he did not have any pain at all) Hubby went off to settle the bills and we then get ready to change Ben out of his hospital gown and head home.

Ben woke up as we were leaving the hospital and although he was still particularly quiet (and tired), his appetite is good, he whacked 3 slices of cheese sandwich and a packet of soymilk on the way home. He was back to his usual self by evening and no reports of pain or discomfort or whatsoever. He was very happy to see the black spots on his teeth gone and smiled at us whenever we asked him to show us his teeth. I don't think he noticed the metallic crowning in the insides of his teeth yet, that will be another story to explain to him later.


Throughout the whole day, we were really thankful to God for:

- sending the right people to our paths, to help us with our directions, lending mobile phone to me so I could contact my hubby, me getting myeslf locked out of the OT ward,

- for the smooth day we have, that we do not have to wait long for our turn, that our 1.5 years old Alyson sleeping most of the time hence less trouble for hubby to care for her while waiting for Benjamin and myself to be out of the OT ward

- the time taken by the doctors and specialists to treat Ben's teeth and not resorting to any extractions at all


We were really grateful for everything to be done on time and in orderly manners. We were just grateful and happy to have this operation done with. And most of all, Ben does not require any extractions at all!