A Routine Routine


Routine is something that diabetes doesn’t take too seriously. The same amount of insulin for the same meal at the same time of day will likely render diametrically opposite end results diabetically speaking. It’s a shame really. A disease like this takes a toll on us mentally, especially when things consistently do not make sense. An absence of logic is one of the few things I can rely on when it comes to managing this disease.

There are a few things I can control despite the ups and downs of blood glucose readings. It’s simple and probably a bit juvenile, but I always put six fresh pen needles in my right pocket before I leave for work. Each time a needle gets used it gets magically transformed in to used-needle state (far left) and then moves to the left pocket.

On a good day I will go through three needles by the time I get home. One for my morning Lantus shot, one for breakfast’s Humalog and one for lunch’s Humalog. In theory the other needles are there for the days that lack logic, and blood glucose control. Some days I’ll head home without a single fresh needle to use. Those days suck. But at least I’m not afraid to correct any more. There was a time when I saw a 1 or 2 unit correction as a “waste of a pen needle.” I’m glad those days are behind me.

I’m sure this post does nothing for the pump users out there, but I’m sure you all have similar packing routines in the morning before work, right? Help me out here. I can’t be the only one that behaves this obsessively.

5 thoughts on “A Routine Routine

  1. When I was on the pump(only for 3months), I would not leave the house without enough supplies for FOUR site changes. I rarely needed more than one but I was paranoid. Haha. With my Lantus pen and my syringes for Novorapid, I always have in my bag at least a weeks worth of pen needles and a bag of 10 syringes.


  2. I use old school syringes I keep them in the front pouch of my meter bag. Every night before bed I restock so I have a total of 6 to start the morning. I know if I have taken all my daily shots I should have 2 left at the end of the day. One time I had 3, which made me realize that I hadn’t taken my bedtime Lantus so having this routine reminded me before I went to bed to take my bedtime shot.


  3. I use my needles for several days, sometimes through an entire Insulin vial. I think the notion to change after each injection is inspired by the companies to up their sales.

    While a needle per vial is admittingly a bit extreme… there is absolutely nothing wrong using a needle for a couple of days. Try it and you’ll see that it doesnt hurt.

    Infections. i hear you ask ? Have been doing this for 10 years (since diagnossis) and didnt have a single infection !


  4. I also reuse my pen needles. I only change them out when they begin to sting. (I know…I know….maybe not the best practice, but it’s what I do…)


  5. Thanks for the post about routines, Chris! I used Lantus during my pump hiatuses during the past 2 years, but most of the time only used them in the morning before work and then later after I got home around dinner-time. But did have routines as far as where I kept my pen and all that. Sometimes, it’s those little routines that get us through and make it seem more manageable.



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