Monday, May 17, 2010

Size Does Matter

Three years ago, I posed a question: Does Size Matter? You may not recall this, as it was roughly two and half years before my activity in the Diabetes Online Community became regular. At the time, I was a D-Lurker learning the ropes and reading the great words of those who fellow D-Bloggers.

Today, I revisit that 3-year-old question and am armed with an answer: Yes, Size Does Matter.

As it relates to Diabetes Supplies such as Syringes and Insulin Pumps, of course. (C'mon, people. Focus. Here, not on the Mind Gutter.)

Pluto knows it, after being demoted a couple years ago to the dismay of millions of former schoolchildren who had their childhood foundations shattered.

But the question lingered as it related to my diabetes on several fronts. Most recently, my answer arrived in the 4th week of my Pump Hiatus, which you'll remember I began to help my war-torn infusion site riddled body heal a bit. A new reality has evolved with Multiple Daily Injections, one that I'm glad is only temporary until my pump and I are reunited. But with the shots, this means I'm exposed to at least two different needle types each day (at breakfast and dinner times).


  • I use the 1/2 cc syringes by BD that hold 50 units of Humalog for food and correction boluses - hopefully as few times as possible, but typically three or four times a day depending on when I eat and any corrections I might need. This needle is not very intimidating, in my opinion.

  • Then there's the Lantus SoloStar Pen, which holds 300 units and meets my skin twice a day (14 units at 7 a.m. and 10 units at 7 p.m.) This plastic pre-filled prescription device has a tiny little needle, which is even more reassuring than the above-mentioned syringe but can at times seem a little too short. Just means a little extra care to make sure you don't fidget and pull the needle tip (sold seperately) out by mistake.
  • Of course, there are times when massive carb counts or corrections all combine to larger boluses that sway me to swith to a larger, thicker needle. Enter the 1 cc syringe that holds 100 units and counts the units by pairs. Oh, but it's intimidating! Moreso than the other two little ones I'm using more often. But it means pushing the plunger less and keeping it in the skin a shorter amount of time, which is the appeal that outweighs the longer needle going deeper into my insides (read: more potential to hit something like a vein, muscle, or fatty tissue resulting in PAIN!). While it's not the shortest needle, it does the job better.
For the record, I'm by no means afraid of needles. Just would like to avoid them as much as humanly possible, which for a diabetic is just setting myself up for failure on this avoidance effort.

There's a subconcious childhood mentality here: we can't deny the fear we experience as children (or adults) when a huge needle comes toward us. In my case, the comfort level is never as high as when I'm able to personally put the syringe into my skin. At my own pace. Me in control of when it goes in, how long it stays, and how it gets yanked out. That helps some...

Still, even in control, the larger the needle, the more anticipation there is. Images of piercing pain, gushing blood, subsequent bruising, and lack of insulin effectiveness come to mind. It makes me want to inject as quickly as possible.

So, just like was the case with Pump Styles and Reservoir Sizes, when it comes to Syringe Sizes and the Intimidation Factor: size does matter, indeed. Fellow D-Blogger Sara Knicks has found this to be true, also, when it comes to infusion sets.

You knew it. Don't be ashamed. Admit it. Accept that It Is What It Is.
Now that we've cleared that up, please feel free to let the mind return to the gutters.

1 comment:

Cherise said...

LMBO! Size does matter..LOL. needle size that it