Monday, March 2, 2009

Jamn Pen

As in “damn jammed” pen, not “my pen be jammin’.”

My insulin prescription is complicated at the moment, and I’ve been using the Lantus pen for about two weeks now. I like it all right, but the problem is the needles I have for it are too short, and I’m too cheap to buy longer ones until the shorter ones are used up.

As such, I’ve been having issues with insulin bubbles under my skin, bruising, and limited poke sites (it’s too awkward and I’m too uncoordinated to use the pen anywhere but my stomach).

On Saturday night, the jamming situation reared its ugly head. I dialed two units and punched the button, just like I’m supposed to to make sure jamming won’t happen. Test passed.

Then I dialed my whole 45 units and stuck the needle in. After about ten units injected, I could feel resistance. I pulled the pen out and hit the button and a stream of insulin went flying across the room. Jam cleared.

There were still units left to inject, so I put the pen in again, only it wouldn’t go in all the way (callused spot?), so I stuck the needle in again, in another spot, and finished up the dialed insulin. Only what about the insulin that squirted across the room? I dialed in two units and hit the button—not nearly the stream that sailed before. I estimated it would have taken at least four units to get the arc, so I dialed up four units and again, stuck myself, pausing for about 15 seconds to determine what the four units would do if I was off. I shot anyway, figuring I’d just keep a close eye on my sugars on Sunday. Four pokes later, all the insulin was delivered and the elastic on my pajamas was like a torture device against my stomach.

I’m heading to the pharmacy this week to straighten out the prescription, so I can get my trusty vials back. My syringes are the longer-needle kind and I desperately need to get off my stomach for a little bit and utilize my saddle bags. In the meantime, on Sunday night, I pulled out my pen and instead of dialing, stuck my syringe in and pulled the insulin out.

I like my pen, don’t get me wrong. It’s absolutely excellent for travelling. But for everyday use? Not so excellent. I must be an old-fashioned girl—give me a glass vial and a syringe any time.

As always, more to come (but not injected directly by the pen until I’m in a foreign country, or at least Wisconsin)…


Scott K. Johnson said...

Oh dear, that sounds like no fun at all!

CookinsForMe said...

Goodness, bless your heart! I've done the 'syringe in the pen' thing before when I was at work with a novolog pen, a broken tip, and no other tips. I bought a syringe at the pharmacy and used it to get the novolog from the pen. It worked. Like you, I prefer a syring and vial, any day!

Lora said...

Scott: No fun. None at all.

CookinsForMe: I checked out your blog, and I love your idea of Bento boxes! I might steal, if that's okay...

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Ouch! Calluses are a challenge. I don't have to inject (yet), but since I do have to poke frequently, my fingertips get resistant. I've been using lots of hand lotion (think body-butter rich) to counter the toughness. Seems to help, even below the surface, which is where the poking is really problematic.