Monday, March 17, 2008

FAQ: The insulin Shot......

I believe the questions we receive the most have to do with the shots. When or how often do we give them? Where do we give them? What do they look like? Does it hurt him? etc, etc....So here are the answers:

J.J uses a 5/16"(8mm) 31 gauge's extremely fine.

(For some reason my browser cuts off the needle portion in this picture....if you want to see it up close click on the picture and it will take you to my Flickr page!!)
J.J's Syringes
(My hubby just told me this needle looks gynormous!!! I know I should have put something in the picture as a reference...but trust me it's not that big!!!)

We go through quite a bit of syringes in a day. J.J. receives a shot after he eats anything that has carbohydrates in it.....depending on the amount of carbs. The amount of carbs determines how much we give him. Sometimes he can go without a shot after eating carbs, especially if he is extremely active, or if he's low. He may at times need what's called a "correction dose". If he is "high" and isn't eating carbs, we still need to correct for the high. He also receives a daily shot of a long acting insulin. So we are looking at 5-8 shots a all depends on the day.

Insulin NeedlesUsed Needle Container
All those shots need to be disposed of properly. We use a detergent bottle. When it's filled we use duct tape to seal it shut.....then throw it away!!

The shots can be given in the thigh, rear, arms, and stomach. We rotate sites to avoid fatty deposits developing in any one area. Our long acting insulin cannot go in the same site as the short we reserve the left side for long acting. J.J. absolutely hates the arms right now.....I'm not sure why. He really loves the stomach......that was the last place I thought he would like when we learned this stuff in the hospital. He tolerates the bum, but really begs us to put it in his stomach. We do sneak an arm in when he needs a shot in the night....seems like it's the most easily accessible when he's sleeping.

Here is a diagram from our Diabetes Manual

FAQ:  Where to give insulin shots?

There are times when the shot we give J.J. causes a bruise. I think one of the first shots in the hospital gave him a bruise and I was really concerned about it, but our Endo says it happens sometimes. Since then we've come to just expect it at times. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does we aren't phased by it anymore.

I think a lot of people envision the shots they get at the doc's office and cringe at the thought of getting multiple shots a day, but the needles are fine, and honestly when we tried them out on ourselves we didn't feel them at all. I'm sure that's not the case all the time, as it may depend on where it's used, how much insulin is in it, and various other factors. J.J. takes them well most of the time. There seems to be more fussing before the shot.....and especially when he is tired.

So there you have it......the insulin shot!!


Colleen said...

What a great post! For someone who is new at this, you're pretty informative. First time I've seen this and I appreciate it.

Donna said...

I'm glad they have such fine needles these days. JJ doens't look like he's got any fat to spare, so I'm sure the finer needles have to help.

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