I do think you'll need to use a different method to get at this, if you want to. (But I appreciate how annoying it is when it's hard to bleed! I ended up being a bit brutal sometimes, since I had to remove the safety on the lancet... In retrospect I should have tried a lower gauge.) The freestyle was almost always lower than test strips for me, it's a great tool for local data changes but just got much systemic bias for a global data attempt.
That was my conclusion, too (going deeper hurt more than it helped), but local stores don't seem to carry lower-gauge lancets, and online they are sold in boxes of 100...
I'm about due for a check-up anyway, should include fasting glucose and A1c.
Just had a look at the A1c values from lab tests done over the past few years, and there's no trend or seasonal pattern of any kind (all values are well within the margin of error).
Here's another "discovery" that turns out to be a well-known effect. This chart shows my responses to eating pizza in different situations; the highlighted series is eating pizza yesterday after having a drink (the two obviously bad responses are eating pizza while being immobilized in a meeting room).
I think this study requires more funding
The A1c from my latest blood-testing extravaganza is unchanged from previous years, so the lower values are likely an artifact.