Blog Entries With Tag: pen needle

Posted: Mar 30, 2013

Gotta love Mr. Bean

UPDATE -** NOVEMBER 18TH 2013 ** - I HAVE FINALLY BEEN APPROVED TO USE THE I-PORT! Why it took my insurance company so long is beyond my comprehension - but now I'm so excited - especially when I take my next holiday  - where I can't risk having my out of warranty insulin pump go wonky on me - this will make my MDI (multiple dose injection) regime so much easier!!!!


I posted this blog the other day at Blogger - and thought I'd share it here with you at! 

Picture of an upset

Okay, okay, don't get your nose out of joint - my fellow insulin pumping peeps - that I'm saying that the i-port is a mini-me insulin pump - but in away - when you look at it "logically" without any anger from my statement - I AM the "mini-me" pump - I am the brains behind what goes into my body - via the i-port - I AM IN CONTROL - not a machine - that I've programmed with best intentions to keep my diabetes health in control.


Yes, I still have to give a separate shot for my "basal" rate with long acting insulin  - I do this twice a day - 12 hours part seems to work best for me.   The basal rate is basically what your pancreas - if it's working - squirts out all the time - in order to keep your blood sugar in a normal range when your not eating, etc.   With diabetes - your pancreas can be abit on the wonky side and either work when it feels like (e.g. Type 2) or like myself as a Type 1 - where my pancreas is dead as a door nail. 

The recommendations of the i-port website is that only ONE type of insulin being put thru' the port via either a pen needle (no shorter than 5mm) or syringe (28 gauge is the thickest - otherwise you could ).  I'm fine with that that I can only use the port for one insulin.  With a "real" insulin pump which has an insulin cartridge that stores insulin (the i-port doesn't - you INJECT the insulin thru' the port) - we all know it's programmed to squirt out ""X amount" of  rapid acting insulin - for your basal rate as well as your bolus rate (aka - if you have to correct a higher than normal blood sugar (BG) or for when you are eating a meal).  If this has got you abit confused about the types of insulin - check out the link from that explains how injected insulins work in our bodies.  

My messy diary along with box from i-port

The thing I loved about my six day experiment with the i-port (I was only given 2 samples - boo! hoo!) - is that instead of my having to do the human dart board practise on my stomach for my bolus shots 5-8 times a day - I just did my insulin injections through the port in my skin.  It really is like an infusion set that we use with an insulin pump - except it has no tubing - or connections to a little machine that goes ping.   The port is changed EVERY 3 days - which is the recommendation for most infusion sets.  Usually in the past, I've had issues with the teflon coated plastic cannula that remains in my body for that length of time.  Luckily, with the i-port I had no such issues, removing the port left barely a mark in my skin. 

The good thing about the i-port - less expensive then the alternative of an insulin pump (I can purchase the i-ports at Diabetes Express for $149.99 CAD for a box of 10).  This is bit less expensive then what I was paying for my infusion sets with my insulin pump - but the even bigger saving for me?  I'm not having to pay for a pump which ranges from $5-7K depending on where you live - along with the other supplies that go along with the pump (insulin cartridges, batteries, replacement caps, etc.). 

i-port put in place (really easy)

One thing I did find was that I didn't cringe at having to give another shot of rapid insulin for a little sinful snack or a correction shot.  It reminded me so much of the insulin pump I used to use - where a simple touch of the key pad - squirted insulin into my body via the infusion set - except with the i-port - you are the brains behind what insulin you are injecting with.

I have submitted a predetermination form thru' my husbands workplace insurance in the hopes that these ports will be covered - hopefully at 100%.  So wish me luck - since I'm really REALLY missing my little i-port right now - I felt very spoiled using the two I was sent. It's almost how I felt when I first disconnected from my pump - and went back onto multiple daily injection (MDI).  After almost a month of learning how to stay in the BG zone with MDI - I can now say - that ANYONE can do it - if they put their mind to it - and now I'm not missing my pump as I go into my 4th month of being pump free.

It stands out about 1/2" or abit less

My conclusion?  For anyone without insurance coverage - dislikes injecting to the point of not wanting to inject (not good - tisk - tisk - who hasn't done that in their life time with diabetes?) - I really think this is the route to go - to keep a diabetic from suffering the effects of poorly controlled diabetes.  


:  The i-port Advance has regulatory clearance in Canada, US and the European Union.  In the EU they currently have distributors in Germany, Italy and the Nordic Region and are in conversations to add some additional countries in the near future. India and Australia will be further down the road. 

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Posted: Nov 29, 2010
Sorry for the wait in finishing up this story (I had to tell my parents on the w/e as they were getting impatient).   Things have been crazy here at home, with trying to get meds all in order for upcoming holiday along with falling behind in work due to this latest eye glitch.  On top of that, trying to help out a diabetic friend with her new insulin regime of Lantus.  She's having a fun (NOT) time of dealing with roller coaster blood glucose (BG) rides.  I'm telling her to hang in there!

So, the final chapter begins - hopefully the wait was worth it .....

In the end, I saw the on call GP at 17h30 - by then I was about ready to flake out and go to sleep having had no food, water, and sitting on my plump buttocks all day (except for the ER drive home to change my infusion set/reload insulin cartridge into Salvador Dali).  Along with the two occulusion alarms (which I think probably was due to air bubbles in the tubing as all went well after priming the tubing again) I was literally toast. 

The GP was abit unsure about my eye at first as she didn't seem to see anything wrong (here I am with eyeball flooding out tears as she shines light in my eye).  She went off to consult with someone (maybe she went to the Internet) and came back first to place a topical anesthetic into my eyeball.  What a relief that was!  It felt like my eyeball was normal again, but she warned me that it would wear off.

At that point she placed some yellow drops ( with a strip of special paper that help detect damage to the eye.  From what I learned later on at home, at this point she would have used a fluorescent light to detect any abnormalties, but she just used a regular flashlight. 

In the end, she said I had a corneal imbrasion, handed me some drops to put in my eyes called Ciprodex to help counterbalance any infection I might get and said not to worry.

What did occur though when I got home over the next few days was that my eyesight didn't seem to be improving and when researching Ciprodex online I discovered that it's not recommended for eyes (it's for for ear infections).  I started to question what the GP had done - which I'm sure would be going through your mind as well. 

I had called up my
Ophthalmologist office on Monday to see if I could see her about my eye - and because of my diabetes they wanted to see me right away BUT only if I had an Emergency referral from the attending GP that I'd seen a few days before.   To make a long story short, in the end, between my endo's office trying to help out, I never was able to obtain the referral and can only see my Ophthalmologist in April which is my next 6-month check up.  Crazy medical system we have here in Quebec - but most of the times it does work - but can be frustrating as all hell at times.

In the end, I've spoken to my Optometrist, telling them of what had happened along with the use of the Ciprodex.  They told me that this is something they don't normally prescribe for eyes and said to stop using it.  Also, that normal eyesight with a corneal imbrasion takes from 1 - 4 weeks.  This was all done over the phone, and I am very lucky that I was not charged for this consultation!

So, as you can tell, I cannot wait to be able to see clearly out of that eye, so for now, I'm finding it difficult to work at my PC with the way my vision is.  I will be patient and that evil little eyelash separator brush that I posted a link for a picture of in my previous blog - gone to the land of trash - evil little tool of eyeball distruction - GONE!!!

To read more about corneal abrasions - you can go to this link - written by Nurse Practitioner, Sue Wingate.

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Tags: sight (1) injury (1) eye (1) Animas 2020 (1) glucose (1) blood sugar (1) BG (1) pen needle (1) pump (1) insulin (1) alarm (1) occlusion (1) abrasion (1) corneal (1)
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Type 1 vs. Type 2  |  Keeping track  |  Initial thoughts  |  In a slump and scared  |  Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes  |  My 13 year old self describing her DKA in the 70's  |  Edmonton man denied insulin for 20 hours  |  Twist and Shout – Sleep Apnoea  |  Crack Free #ShowMeYourPump  |  Jenna and The Hypo Fairy
Posted: Nov 24, 2010

Last Thursday, I did something that I’ve never done before and hope to never do again.  My eyelash brush – a device that separate eyelashes after they’ve been gooped up with mascara – to look more “full and desirable” (those ads are highly misleading did you know that?).  That evil little metal brush scraped up against my eyeball.  Right away, I’m looking myself in the mirror, ready to do combat duty in the depths of the jungles, except I don’t believe in warfare and guns!  As I silently cursed, I wiped the entire gunk off wondering “what the heck have I done?”

I went on with my day as best as I could – not seeing the greatest out of that one eye (and of course – this is the eye that I blogged about a few weeks ago was discovered to have a cataract developing -  ).  I start to wonder if K2 (aka Kelly Kunik) felt the same way when she started to have problems with vision in one eye (but hers was not done by a stupid move like mine).

Next morning, as the saying goes with Dorothy in Wizard of Oz - “I don't think we're in Kansas anymore Toto.”   My eyeball was in pain/bruised/blood shot; feeling like it had been dragged thru’ the sandy beaches of Florida – up and down the east / west coast and tearing up even though I wasn’t watching a sad movie.  I immediately called my ophthalmologist, to find out she wasn’t there, and only one ophthalmologist was available in the clinic and unable to see me.  Their suggestion, go to one of the many walk-in clinics that we have on the Island of Montreal.  So in less than 5 minutes flat, I got changed and with one eyeball functioning, got myself to a clinic nearby.  Lucky 39 was my number and it was only 9h30 and the clinic had been open for only an hour.  I knew I had a long waiting game ahead of me with hacking folks surrounding me.  Oh joy – and with not being able to see properly – not able to pass the time with my head sunk in a romantic trash novel.

By 10h00, I decided to test my blood sugar (BG).  Before I’d left, I’d tested my BG, and it had been at 4.2 mmol/l (75 mg/dl).  Since I’d rushed out, I’d had no food.  The theory behind a basal insulin is that if it is correctly set, you can go without food and maintain a steady blood sugar … in a perfect world that is.   My BG was now 3.1 mmol/l (55 mg/dl) – I was going down.  Luckily I’d grabbed an oatmeal bar, so rammed that in my mouth.

10h30 comes around – triage is calling 21 and a man walks up – he explains his situation of having high blood sugars in the 17 mmol/l (300 mg/dl) range.  He goes and sits down to wait for his number to be called to see the doctor next.  I feel for him, and am ready to go over and sit with him and talk to him, as I’m having issues with not being able to Tweet (yes – I’ve become hooked).  I glance down at my insulin pump and discover … 1 unit of insulin left in Salvador.  I start to go into freak out mode internally.  I completely forgot in my rush out the door to change my infusion set and reload my juice of life. Frack!

I go up to the counter and explain my situation and ask if I can go home (20 minute drive one way) to change my insulin cartridge.  The person does not understand what a insulin pump is and eventually she gets that without insulin I’m not going to be very well.  She then says in my case, she will let me keep my number, and will process me shortly despite my number being what it is.  Half an hour later, I get “processed” and of course, a few people with earlier numbers get in a huff, and I try my best to tell them my situation.  My day is going really well – and it’s only 11h00 now.

11h45 – I’m back at the walk-in clinic – armed with pen needle and other spare parts for insulin pump that I DID NOT HAVE before heading out in the morning.  BTW, did you know driving the speed limit to the “t” gets you to your destination faster?  I never had to stop at any of the lights that are along the route I take. 

12h00 – Occlusion Alarm.  I’ve never had one of these before in my 3 years of pumping.  WTF? I follow the instructions and start pumping again.  BG has gone up since I rammed that oatmeal bar into me – am at 13 mmol/l (234 mg/dl).

14h00 – BG is not budging.  My buttocks are getting tired of sitting for so long. Wishing I had sunglasses from car - bright lights are making my eyeball leak like a sieve.

15h00 – Number 22 has been called and patient is seeing doctor.  Feel like I’m in Las Vegas at the craps table, roll the dice, come on, come on, number 39!!! I decide to give injection with rapid insulin as BG’s are now hovering in 15 mmol/l (270 mg/dl) range.  A few folks that have been around since 08h30 – ask about my insulin pump – they’ve never seen one before.  They look away as I inject with the juice of life with my pen needle.  Come on do your stuff and start lowering my blood sugars!

16h00 – Occlusion Alarm - second one in 4 hours!  Now I’m really beginning to freak out - I'm using a steel infusion set - so cannula can't be kinked - urrrhh.  Call up hubby at home to tell him to pull out Animas 2020 manual and see if there is more explanation as to why this is occurring.  

…. to be continued

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Type 1 vs. Type 2  |  Keeping track  |  In a slump and scared  |  Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes  |  My 13 year old self describing her DKA in the 70's  |  Edmonton man denied insulin for 20 hours  |  Twist and Shout – Sleep Apnoea  |  Crack Free #ShowMeYourPump  |  Jenna and The Hypo Fairy  |  Wearing a dress with medical gadgets
Posted: Apr 24, 2010

Well, I’m now into Week 2 of pull the plug on my pump and taking break.  Again, to those of you who think I may be bashing pumping – I AM NOT – far from it!!!  I’m just taking a break, trying to see if I can have as good control over my diabetes / blood sugars (BG) as I do with Salvador Dali (my Animas 2020 pump).  I have a friend who has been diabetic for 50 years since the age of 25 and he doesn't use a pump, and has an A1C of 5.1% - and next to no complications due to long term diabetes.  If he can do it, hopefully I and others who don't have the luxury of owning a pump can do the same thing!  Anyway, I will go back to pumping eventually, heck I paid $7K for the pump, might as well use it!  I’m not that crazy and looking a gift horse in the mouth.

One thing I’ve noticed is I found that being on the pump has made me so much more aware of how to use my insulin properly then when I was MDI (multiple dosage injections) for the previous 40 years.  Before pumping, I guess I just lucked in on doing the “right thing” and managed to maintain an A1C in the 7% range, but I have a feeling that was due to having low blood sugars (hypos) plus I wasn’t testing my BG’s (blood sugars) as frequently as I do now.  So, insulin pumping has made me a better  diabetic I feel.  I’m currently using Lantus / NovoRapid and I’m going to try out Levemir when I run out of Lantus pen cartridges.  

I know eventually I'll go back to the pump, maybe it'll be in a few more weeks, few months, not sure, but for now I’m actually finding the regime of Lantus (slow insulin – aka basal in the pump) twice a day - and the NovoRapid (rapid insulin – aka bolus / BG correction in the pump) no different then when I was using the pump.  I just have to pull out the pen needle, change the needle (I tend to use the needle twice - I know - bad - but I have a high pain threshold I guess).  Because this is still new to me, I'm finding it abit of a longer process, but I'll be back in the swing of things soon.

One thing I do find I’m perhaps performing more BG (blood glucose) testing then before. Remember, I’m slightly OCD as my endo called me (read previous blog here).  Heck, diabetes is something we live with 24/7 and you can’t shake this monkey off your back as a Type 1 diabetic.  It’s with you for life, so if you can keep things at an even keel then hopefully less complications in the future will befall us.  

Off to test my BG!

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Related posts:

Type 1 vs. Type 2  |  Keeping track  |  In a slump and scared  |  Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes  |  Edmonton man denied insulin for 20 hours  |  Crack Free #ShowMeYourPump  |  Jenna and The Hypo Fairy  |  Wearing a dress with medical gadgets  |  Questioned by my pharmacist on my insulin regime  |  Pre-op visit with endo at hospital
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