Support Group for Mechanical & Artificial Heart Valve Surgery & Using Warfarin
I did the same when I tried the side of the finger - I kept increasing the lancet setting and still didn't get enough blood onto the strip.
The advice is not to massage the finger as this can affect the sample. Try putting finger tips in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes then making sure you keep your arm (and them!) pointing downwards until you've got the sample. Don't give up, it's so much more convenient than having to go the surgery.
As for how often to test. Warfarin levels are renowned in having a mind of their own. Nobody really knows why you can get different results even day to day sometimes. 2 weekly at the moment sounds very sensible. The trick is not to get anxious about it all which will come more naturally to you over time when you get a few more good INR recordings in the book. Then it'll get to a monthly test, life normalising as well as the ratio!
I have found that washing my hands in warm water helps to produce a better flow of blood and also makes the skin a bit softer therefore enabling the lancet to penetrate easily. Also try letting your arm hang down for a little while as gravity helps.
Keep trying and don't get disheartened.
I agree, don't despair! As have said before, the way Warfarin levels vary in all who take it is still a medical mystery! Everyone's different. The joy of the Coagucheck is that you are more in control and it's so much easier to keep an eye on things. Over time you'll find it gets less of an anxiety - honest!