By: Riva Greenberg
I remember someone once telling me, "I don't participate in trialsfor new medicines because you never know…but devices – that's anotherstory!" So, here's my story.
I'm testing a new digital, battery-operated lancing device, thePelikan Sun, that I first saw at a recent Children with Diabetesconference. It’s already on the market in Australia and is coming tomarket here in the fall. It might not be for sale yet, but I’malready sold on it.
The Sun holds a cartridge of fifty lancets, so you always get afresh one and never prick your finger accidentally. I ordinarilychange my lancets with the coming of each new moon, so having themchange automatically in the machine both combats my laziness andreally does minimize pain. Less pain, of course, promotes moretesting.
In a major departure from the norm, the Sun has thirty differentdepth settings. After using the Sun, dialing a typical lancingdevice from '1' to '2' to '3' seems quite primitive. I've learned bytrial and error that all my fingers have different skin textures andthat each finger benefits from its own depth setting. From my pinkyto my thumb, I change the depth setting incrementally from 0.4 to0.9. On my pinky. 0.9 would hurt like heck. On my thumb, however,0.4 wouldn't penetrate the skin. Once you’ve worked out the rightdepth setting for each finger, you're assured the amount of bloodyou need with only minimal pain.
The Sun’s cool gold color is nice too. But the real deal-maker isthe way the Sun fires: When you press the button to fire thelancet, you feel the lancet come out and just softly brush againstyour finger. A second later, it enters with the softest touch. It'sa little hard to explain, but amazing.
The manufacturer is currently working to transform the Pelikan Suninto a one-stop shop by building a meter into the device. I'm gladto hear it, because its only disadvantage right now is that it'sbigger than I like to carry around. I'm sold on the company'sethics, too. As they say on their website, "All profits from thesale of Diacare products, including the Pelikan Sun, go towardsDiabetes Australia-NSW's research, education, awareness, andadvocacy programs."
All in all, the Pelikan Sun is heads above any other lancing deviceI've ever seen or tried.
At fifty years old, after 32 years of living with type 1 diabetes,Riva consulted a diabetes educator for the first time. Thatexperience led her to combine her growing knowledge of diabetes carewith her writing and illustrating talents. Today she is educatingand inspiring others to live well with diabetes through herarticles, research, and motivational lectures across the country.Riva is a contributor to Close Concerns, a diabetes consultingservices firm in San Francisco. She also serves on the editorialcommittee of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Internationalin New York City and on the Advisory Board of Methodist Hospital'sDiabetes Education and Research Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. To learnmore about her work and read her blog, visit her web site at:www.diabetesstories.com.