FUDiabetes

How Did You Learn How To Inject Yourself?

When I hear statements like that and then I hear about endo offices stuck on a particular brand or therapy, it always hits a special nerve with me. And I don’t mean YOU Trying, I mean physicians thinking they hold superior knowledge because they went to medical school and spend 40 hours a week dealing with it

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@Dc53705, I blame myself for lack of knowledge. I should have been more proactive in learning about the new technologies and maintaining my health. Definitely with forums like FUD, T1Ds can learn from others, and I certainly have been enlightened about things I knew nothing about!

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I started with Regular and Lente, switched to NPH when I started having reactions to Lente. I was told to eat 30 min after injecting R (not nearly long enough now I know given that’s about right for Humalog) and my lunch was supposed to be covered by the peak of my long (really medium) acting. I was on combo dosing of Regular and NPH morning and dinner, but at some point (can’t remember if it was before or after switch to Humalog), I started doing NPH 3x a day (added a bedtime dose) for better coverage. Humalog was a switch to injecting right as I ate—like you were also told @daisymae, the whole point was to no longer need to delay eating after injections like we had with R. Lantus was the biggest game-changer in terms of ease of control though—going from N to L made a huge difference since that pesky NPH peak meant no longer eating on strict schedules to make that work, but only eating when I wanted to and truly switching to a basal/bolus type system with MDI. Prior to that, long acting insulins inevitably also needed to function like a delayed bolus as well.

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I was sent home with no instructions. Husband is on insulin and injected me. He “tried” to teach me. Not a good idea. Sorta like your dad teaching you to drive. For the first week, if he wasn’t home I would ask any friend I could find to come over and do it. Finally an at home nurse arrived. She showed me how, “patiently”. She walked me through it and waited until I was able. Still couldn’t do it unless someone was with me. After the fear wore off I finally got it. I never was able inject the g5 however. I’m thrilled to have no more needles or finger pokes.

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@Trying to a certain degree we all owe it to ourselves to be our own expert on our own health. But, in the “don’t beat yourself up column” I can certainly say I haven’t always been on top of my control, or as on top of new developments, as I could have been. I feel like most of us here could say that about ourselves at one point or another in our diabetes journey.

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Like a lot of the other members of the Old Guard here, I used an orange.

But sometimes when my parents were being totally crazy, we used a grapefruit.
:open_mouth:

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Did anyone else ever wonder “why an ORANGE?” I mean it’s not like you can pinch up the skin/flesh of an orange, I feel like human skin is not at all similar in texture to orange rind, and under the rind is pretty much liquid. Was it merely a convenience considering the most readily available fruits of the day were likely apple, orange, and banana, and even if orange wasn’t a good fit, it was a better fit than apple or banana?

I do recall a few years after initial diagnosis going to a CDE who wanted me to practice on one of those gel filled ice packs. Being several years in, I thought it a waste of time and wouldn’t do it. In hindsight, it was likely one of the life events that early on colored my perception of CDE’S!

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Maybe because before there were realistic skinlike injection pads, nurses generally learned with oranges, and oranges were always cheap and plentiful. Bananas were also used, according to some nursing books. More realistic-feeling skin-on chicken breasts and firm sausages like hotdogs are mentioned as well, but using those things is probably considered more wasteful.

Also, the point is to teach technique – wipe, jab, pull back, push plunger – so how realistic the injected material feels is, well, immaterial so long as a needle goes in and stays in.

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I was diagnosed on a Friday and admitted to the hospital in the afternoon. I had to wait until Monday for an appointment with a doctor and a nurse to be instructed and sent home. At the hospital, nothing happens during weekends and it got really boring. At some point when one of the nurses came with a pre-filled syringe to give me an injection I figured I might as well get used to doing it myself. I asked if I could try it, and inserted the needle with a rapid motion before I had time to think about it.

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It is to help you learn how much force to use to get the needle in. How much of a “jab” to give it. The worst thing is not pushing hard enough and the needle not going through your skin. So the orange is the right feel for the “jab” part of the process, the amount of force to use.

And it’s easy for anyone to get so they can practice at home. I mean, the fake-flesh injection dummies are great at the hospital, but what are you gonna use when you get home?

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i’ve had the same experience. i had been working with a terrible endo for about 28-30 years and he was an arrogant, ill informative jack ***. it wasnt until i found TuD and then FUD that i began really learning about my D and being proactive and confident enough that i changed my endo. with the change of endos, my entire life as a D changed. the odd thing was/is that the former endo was a pump wearing T1D himself! LOL. go figure.

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No orange here, just a small disposable syringe (in 2004). I remember having a big reaction to the idea of being diabetic now, since I was 28 at the time and this came as a bit of a shock, but once I got past that injecting myself wasn’t too bad. I rapidly progressed to insulin pens, which I’ve been on ever since, but never had an interest in pumping. Dexcom CGM use (SevenGo at first) made the biggest difference in my treatment and knowledge, dropping my A1C from 7.9 to 5.7.

Bad habits:
I’ve used the same lancet for probably 5 years now. I don’t remember the last time I changed it. Like docslotnick says, I’ll stop using it when it bounces off without poking a hole.
I never use alcohol wipes and just inject through my shirt if it’s tucked in.
I use one pen needle per day. For both Novolog and Basaglar.
I use a syringe to get the 16 units of insulin that’s left in my pens or cartridges when they stop working and I use the same one until the needle bends when I try to use it. Even then I bend it back straight enough to get what’s in it out before I toss it.
I work in a healthcare-adjacent field and the nurses I know wince when the see me do stuff like this, but I’ve never had an infection or a problem. If I did I’d change something or be more careful I guess, but I’m fine for now.

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Oh man! That’s amazing. I’m sure she knew just what a difference that would make in your life. EH regularly let other people inject him when he was using MDI. Good practice and gets people over needle fear and really normalizes it for kids.

I don’t think he got an orange. He got a paper bag full of insulin pens and needle tips and instructions to figure it out. Honestly I don’t know if his GP had even seen a T1 before him. And we were 26 or so and it just seemed like figuring it out on our own was fine back then. Now I feel rather horrified at how little information he got.

Learning to use the BD brand syringes and needle tips helped - they really are better than the other brand we tried. Also getting shorter needles helped. But I remember thinking recently that it’s so much better now that we know you all here on FUD. The willingness to try new things has gone up 100x and it’s good to know we can always switch back. :slight_smile:

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I did wonder how you all were not ruining every shirt you owned. Maybe you own only black shirts? EH has ruined a number of shirts and used to wear undershirts for the express purpose of saving his work shirts from the dreaded dribble of blood post-injection.

I’d forgotten about it until earlier this week when he yanked a pod off his belly and blood went everywhere. Luckily a friend was standing by and ran in with a wad of paper towels. But it was a real gusher and even covered up with EH’s hands was bleeding everywhere. I was holding the shirt out of the way. Turns out, even Lime La Croix will remove blood if applied immediately. Our friend was a trooper and didn’t pass out, but he was certainly surprised. :rofl: :drop_of_blood:

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Cold-water rinse followed by OxiClean ASAP. If that fails, off to the drycleaner. When I worked in kitchens, we used to splash on hydrogen peroxide right away (blood, wine, tomatoes, grease, BO), then soak our jackets in detergent overnight. That was long before OxiClean. God I feel old sometimes. :grimacing:

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I began practicing during the 2 week hospital stay I had in '64. Oranges and grapefruits were used, and keep in mind there were no disposable syringes back then (glass syringe with heavy-duty stainless steel needle). Talk about the stone-age. :woozy_face:

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I was diagnosed at age 9, and I also remember using this device for years! My parents would measure the insulin for me (I couldn’t see to do it) and I’d inject with the Inject-Ease.

The first time I did an injection without the Inject-Ease was when I went to visit a friend alone at age 12 or so. The insulin pooled under my skin and created a hard, white ball that hurt and really freaked me out! My parents did a lot of my shots until I was a teenager, even dropping by sleep-overs to do them, but that was in part because I couldn’t see to measure insulin into a syringe even with those syringe magnifiers.

When I was 16, I wanted to go to summer camp for a week, so the deal was I had to be able to do my diabetes management independently. I was still on R and NPH at that point, so it was only two shots a day of fixed doses. Insulin pens were available then, so measuring was no problem (they clicked with each unit, just like today’s pens), but when I tried to inject, I would often miss the spot I was aiming for. Eventually, at the suggestion of another mom of a friend with Type 1, I learned to punch my skin with my thumb and middle finger and use my index finger to touch the side of the pen. That way I knew exactly where the pen was and could aim properly. I still use that technique to this day if I’m injection ito my stomach or leg (my arm I do one-handed by resting my wrist against my arm so I know where my hand is aiming).

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Good timing on my part, I was diagnosed in '65 and pretty sure was started with disposable Monoject syringes. I do remember bigger needles than what is available today, and was U-40 insulin instead of U100.

Later when U100 insulin came out, there was MAJOR emphasis to make sure we used the right syringe based on the Uxxx for insulin.

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i’ve never heard of this before. what is U100 insulin? I’ve only been on R, Lente, and NPH before the fast acting insulins came out.

U100 refers to the concentration, not the type. You are probably using U100, check your bottle. ( it will be labeled 100 u/ml, which means U100).

So 10 units of U40 and 10 units of U100 would have same impact to BG. But the physical amount of liquid would be different.

Today there is also U200, because some insulin-resistant folks need more insulin, so U200 is concentrated (200 units/ml) and pen or syringe must be specific for 200.

I have seen some mention they load pump with U200, and some pumps have setting for that, to adapt how much “liquid” to deliver. If pump defaults to assume U100, and U200 is loaded, the user has to adapt their calculation.

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