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This is another letter in response to Scott King’s column that ran in the February 2005 issue (“Random Shots”).
I have had diabetes for over 43 years and am a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. My “diabetes routine” appears to be very similar to yours. I have a small bag with a regular insulin pen cartridge and syringe, my glucose meter and strips and lancing device. It’s in my purse and goes everywhere I go. I also keep a snack-sized baggie of Skittles candy with me at all times (in my lab-coat pocket, purse or glove compartment). I don’t agree with those who say that it is necessary to use glucose tablets to correct a low. Years of successfully using my methods of choice (1/2 cup of juice if I’m at home or 15 Skittles if I’m away from home) have proven that it works, and that is what counts.
My insulin regimen is 7 units of Ultralente twice a day and 2 to 3 units of Regular before each meal. My A1C is routinely between 6.5% and 7%. My multiple injection routine gives me all the meal-time flexibility I need, and I’m able to enjoy the foods I love.
I do reuse syringes, and I can’t think of a bigger waste to the environment or me than to discard a syringe after one use. I use one syringe as my Ultralente syringe for two days (four uses) and another syringe as the Regular insulin syringe for one day (three uses). This means I use three syringes instead of 10 every two days.
The companies that make syringes could do us all a favor by making the syringes so that they could be recommended for limited reuse.
I know that the insulins I use are “old school,” but again, they work well for me. I tried the rapid-acting analog insulin but after one vial, I went back to my Regular insulin. Ultralente is a wonderful and inexpensive basal insulin in my personal experience. The drug companies are always trying to promote their products as “new and improved”; however, new does not always mean better for everyone.
Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts.
Jean Cutler, RD, CDE
Florence, South Carolina
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.