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Topic Title: Who reuses syringes?
Created On: 10/17/2008 04:54 PM
 10/18/2008 11:45 AM

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Hi Doris!

Wow - 12-15 shots a day! When I was using the MDI method (have been using pump for almost a year now) - I usually averaged about 5-8. It all depended on how my blood sugars were going. I used Lantus e.g. Basal rate (a.m./p.m.) and NovoRapid e.g. Bolus (meal times - and to correct a BS due to miscalculating a meal shot). People used to think I was crazy injecting that often - but hey - our poor mans pump method works!!! I would explain to them how needles used to be in my younger days - meant for an elephants arse IMHO not a human being like ourselves. At one point - when I lived in England for a short time - I had to sharpen my needle (had a glass syringe which you had to sterilize in boiling water). My parents were still living in Canada - and I would call them up collect (not too often) - to plead with them to send me a bag or two of disposable syringes (they were very expensive to purchase in England back in the '80's). Things have improved so much more since then and we have moved out of the dark ages!

I still do use the MDI from time to time. I use a pen for injecting my insulin tho' - unlike yourself where from how I'm reading your words - you use bottled - which I believe is cheaper to purchase in the US then the vials for the pen needle. With the pen needle you do have a better choice for "finer" needles. I presently use a 32G 6 mm (short) needle to inject with. I find it's good for up to 5 shots (sometimes I forget to count - and oops - when I inject it feels a bit "rough" - as the needle tip develops burrs). I know that newbie diabetics are told to only use the needle once - but even some medical folks I've talked to say "hey - we have to say this - but if you want to reuse the same needle multiple times - as long as you DO NOT SHARE - you are fine"). I guess it depends on the persons pain threshold.

Just curious Doris - why do you use so many different insulin's? I am thinking that you may have other medical conditions (don't we all!) - that may affect the absorption of the insulin to properly maintain your blood sugars and life in general. When I was MDI - I averaged 7.0 for A1C - since being on the pump (went on it due to hypos and wanting tighter control) - last A1C was 5.9.

Anna from Montreal
 10/17/2008 04:54 PM

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Newly diagnosed people are, of course, told to not reuse syringes but what veterans like me actually do?

I take 12-15 shots per day. I couldn't be bothered carrying that many syringes and I can't afford it either. BC/BS Mass will only pay for 8 per day.

Not that I'm particularly upset by that. I just use separate syringes for each type of insulin (four at this point). I do not put air in the bottle after the first use to cut down on contamination.

I reuse a Humalog or Apidra for about one day. Levemir and Regular syringes probably get a few days more than that. If they don't get dirty, bent or dull I don't care. Almost thirty-two years later and I've either been fortunate or it's just not that big deal as long as you carefully put the cap back on. I guarantee it isn't because I have an awesome immuned system --- otherwise I wouldn't have juvenile onset diabetes in the first place!

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