Thirteen Truths About Insulin Injectors

I am not one of the cool kids with an insulin pump or a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). If you start talking to me about basal rates, temp rates, boluses and infusion sites, I’ll probably nod my head without understanding a word of what you’ve just said. And if you tweet me your CGM graphs, you’ll likely put me to sleep because I absolutely hate maths class.

I’ve been on Multiple Daily Injections since I was diagnosed five years ago. What I do understand are words like FlexPen, Penfill and Lantus. If you start talking to me about injection sites, doses, corrections and priming, you’ve probably got my attention. And if you can relate to my thirteen truths about insulin injectors, then you’ve probably got a lot in common with me.

1. Finding a comfortable place in my jeans to stick my insulin pen without squashing it when I go to sit down.

2. Having my insulin pen fall out of my shorts pocket whenever I’m driving, and then having fumble around for it under the driver’s seat.

3. Injecting before dinner, only to realise there’s no carbs on the dinner plate.

4. Trying to pay attention to the conversation at the dinner table when all I’m really thinking about is the carbs that were on my dinner plate.

5. Trying to find a subtle moment at the dinner table to escape to the bathroom without anyone noticing.

6. Dialling up really quietly in the Men’s bathroom so the person in the next cubicle doesn’t think I’m a total weirdo. Or taking drugs.

7. Drawing dots on my stomach to keep track of my injection sites.

8. Frantically putting the cap back on my needle and the lid over my insulin pen the minute I hear someone coming towards the locker room at work.

9. Trying to figure out how much to increase my Lantus dose by after eating more food than usual today.

10. Going hypo in the middle of the night because I ate less than normal today and my Lantus dose was too much.

11. Succumbing to the urge to overcorrect a ridiculously high blood sugar reading, only to end up hypo 2 hours later.

12. Finding a corner to subtly inject because there isn’t a bathroom nearby. Or because I just can’t be bothered going into one.

13. Doing the four touch tap when I leave the house. Wallet. Keys. Phone. And Insulin Pen.

Who says that technology is the only thing that does your head in? Insulin injecting does my head in all the time!

5 thoughts on “Thirteen Truths About Insulin Injectors

  1. So, I can tell you that even though my daughter is on the pump, we share many of these things with you. Namely, 3,4,7,9,10, 11. Pumps are great but we still have to tell the pump want to do and make similar decisions. Should we override and give more or less insulin? Should we rage bolus? Oops, under/overestimated carbs on that plate. Does that pile of mashed potatoes look like one full cup or closer to half a cup?
    We are in it together.
    Also, what about injecting insulin in public whenever and whatever without giving a care about what everyone else thinks? I understand not wanting to draw attention (and my daughter was on shots before we switched to a pump, so I remember it well.) but at the same time, I think that if you are comfortable and confident, most people respond in kind. It makes me a little sad hearing that you and other people feel they need to quietly disappear into a bathroom or another private spot to take care of their basic health needs.

    1. I really appreciate your empathy. Diabetes confidence is hard, and sometimes the easy option is to be subtle. I’m working on it, and being involved in the DOC definitely helps me with confidence in real life. 🙂

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