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First ever insulin injection - please help!

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Michelle6557, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Michelle6557

    Michelle6557 Type 1 · Member

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    After initially being diagnosed with Type 2, I was then diagnosed type 1 two years ago. I was told it was a very unusual slow burning type which meant that I have been able to avoid all medication until now by following a strict low carb diet. This changed very suddenly a few weeks ago when almost overnight my blood sugar readings spiked and have never come back down. Anyway, long story cut short... I was put on ABASAGLAR insulin today and took my first ever shot tonight. Just 2 units a day for now because I’m slim and they think I may be highly Insulin sensitive. I did what I was told and injected at a 90° angle (I think) and held the needle in place for 10 seconds. When I removed the needle there was a big blob of blood and I have to say it really hurt! It bruised instantly and I have a nasty red puncture site! I also noticed that when I did the airshot I could tell really see anything coming out. Can some of you experts, please help me with some tips!? Am feeling a bit s*** Thanks a lot.
     
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  2. EllsKBells

    EllsKBells Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Michelle6557

    Hopefully someone more experienced/with more knowledge than I have will be along soon (@GrantGam perhaps?), but in the meantime...

    -It's fine to see something coming out when you do the air shot - in fact, if you don't, that's a problem, it probably means the needle is bent inside.
    -Where are you injecting? For a long acting insulin like abasaglar, thighs and buttocks are good, and you want to use the really fleshy parts. It's okay to pinch up.
    -What size needles are you using? Particularly if you are quite lean, I think a lot of people around here use 4mm needles
    -I know it's kind of instinctive, but you don't really need to *jab* the needle in, more sort of slide it. It doesn't have to be 90 degrees exactly, and more of an angle might actually help you.

    Don't feel bad, the first injection is really hard, and whereas a lot of people will have given their first injection under supervision in hospital, you're on your own.

    I believe the type of diabetes you are referring to is LADA, so I'm going to tag @DaftThoughts and @Kristin251

    Please ask more questions if you need to, and sending you a big hug

    *hug*
     
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  3. TIANDB

    TIANDB Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Michelle6557 Sorry I cannot help but I am replying to get your post to the top of the list so someone can reply to your post as one is surely needed. Hope you get sorted anyways I do know with any injecting just to make sure all the air is out first by just getting a dribble out before applying. take care and I wish you well..
     
  4. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Hi there. I think @himtoo may be online, so I'll tag him in. He's a long serving T1.
     
  5. lou258

    lou258 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if this will help but hopefully a little! I was diagnosed in August so still getting into the swing of things.
    - my basal insulin always stings/hurts more than bolus - I’m on lantus
    - sometimes I bleed - seems to be random and I think it’s if you happen to hit a capillary (so just chance)
    - occasionally I bruise too, once when I think I didn’t inject deep enough but other times I dont know why

    So I haven’t answered any questions sorry but you are not alone!!

    As others have said, try and slide the needle in (you need less pressure than you think), press your button down slowly/gradually and keep in for a good ten count before you pull out.

    If you’re not sure if anything came out on airshot, do it again. I find I’m more likely to need to do that on first injection of new pen.

    Best of luck :)
     
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  6. Michelle6557

    Michelle6557 Type 1 · Member

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    Thank you all so far and for making sure that some experts see my post! Do please help.
    Sorry for the original typo. what I meant to say is that nothing came out during the air shot. I’m aware that 2 units is very little and am concerned how to be sure that you get it ‘in’! I was told not to pinch the skin.
    2 hours later, my bs hasn’t gone down since dinner 4 hours ago... when should I expect to see any change following long acting insulin.?
     
  7. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I can see 2 units shoot out if there's no air in front of it. If you saw nothing at all you possibly injected a bit of air not insulin. I don't think your BS is gonna come down quick at all with just 2 units of (generic) Lantus. Might take 12 or more hrs but if you eat anything who knows. Like I said that sounds like more of a "test dose" rather than a therapeutic dose.
     
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  8. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
    Staff Member Administrator

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    @Michelle6557 - I'm not an insulin user, so wouldn't like to speculate on that aspect of your post.

    In terms of your initial post, if you look back to it, if you have a button underneath it, to the right, saying "Edit", you would be able to do just that. You could add or remove test, or whatever.

    I'm pretty certain you should be able to do that, if you wanted to.
     
  9. Emily95

    Emily95 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    When you put a new insulin cartridge in a pen or start a new pre-filled pen I find you have to do more than 2 units for the air shot to get the plunger to touch the bottom of the insulin. I usually do 5, I always make sure I see insulin come out before then dialling up my dose and doing it :)
     
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  10. Books1

    Books1 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    You're on a basal insulin that works over a long time rather than a fast acting bolus insulin so you won't see an immediate change in your bs but you should see a difference the following morning hopefully.
    You should always repeat the airshot if you don't see liquid coming out to ensure it's not just air.
    Your injection technique sounds ok - you've been unlucky hitting blood as this shouldn't happen often. Don't use too much force when pushing the needle in as that can lead to bruising.
    Let us know how you are getting on.
     
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  11. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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    Hi @Michelle6557 welcome to the forum :)

    Sites can bleed if you catch a vessel near the surface it’s nothing to worry about and won’t affect the insulin absorption. Tip for future injections - pinch an inch as you inject, makes it more comfortable and it’s easier to inject when you pinch. Good advice about the air shot to prime the pen too. Unfortunately your first shot sounds like no insulin was taken as you should always see some insulin released from an air shot first.

    Do you have a diabetic nurse you can call up regarding your blood glucose levels ? You will need to review your rising levels as it will possibly mean a quick action insulin is required as well as your basal. A quick acting insulin is important as it can correct high blood glucose levels and will cover any carbs you eat to prevent you from going high.

    Try not to worry about this though as stress could push your levels higher - it’s time to review what’s happening with your insulin requirements just record your results until you speak to a nurse and let us know how you get on.
     
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  12. GrantGam

    GrantGam Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tag @EllsKBells:)

    Hey @Michelle6557!

    Where did you inject your insulin? What you have described is exactly what happens when I inject into my legs, virtually every time. I really don't have much fat there, so I suspect it's a result of me hitting muscle - even with 4mm needles. As you say you're really thin, this may also be the case for you.

    I use the top of my bum for basal mainly, it has the most fat for injecting and I've never bruised, bled or had a lump in over three years of injecting there. You may want to give that a go:)

    I do believe that with a new cartridge/pen you should do an initial 4u air shot and from then on, 2u air shots each time prior to injecting. This is only guidance though, basically you just keep redoing the air shots (with the needle pointing to the sky) until you get a good stream of insulin firing out the pen.

    Don't expect your BG's to come down all that quickly with just a basal insulin. Your doctor will gradually increase the dose over time until your BG's come back into range.

    How are you feeling today?
     
  13. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi @Michelle6557 ,

    I still remember my first self administered injection. & that was 41 years ago!

    This vid has a bit of "waffle" but should refresh all the basics for you...
    Good luck!

     
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  14. AndyR20

    AndyR20 · Newbie

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    Hi Michelle,
    A year ago I was put onto Victoza which is an injectable once a day for T2 patients. I am fairly lucky I have a bit of body fat to inject into but it is important to inject into a relaxed area the site needs to be as soft and loose and possible if you are injecting into your tummy relax and lean back. I bruise very easily and even a year on I still bruise myself if I forget. It sounds like you are 99% there in your technique you just need to find a site that is as soft as possible then you will not bruise or feel it. I do hope you can get on with this, most of the time I hardly think about it and it does't hurt at all If you feel it you are doing it wrong.

    Good luck,
    Cheers
    Andy
     
  15. Vaper

    Vaper Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi I'm type 1 and inject daily multiple times, here's a rhyme to help you out. New pen dial 10 (that's 10 units to clear air and get insulin coming out) every new needle dial 2 to check needle is not blocked or is engaged properly some needles need screwing on further than others.Try injecting either in stomach pinching an inch or in top of buttocks, inject slowly to avoid stinging.
    Good luck it takes a while to get used to this like finger pricking you barely notice after a while.
     
  16. dazwalshe

    dazwalshe Type 1 · Active Member

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    also, what needles are you using...brand... I always had BD Micro fine 4mm and never had a problem at all..last year my GP changed me to GlucoRX needles - an absolute nightmare, they felt blunt, hurt, bled, bruised and even had one snap as I inserted it... I asked GP to forget about saving £1 a box and asked to go back to BD...which he obliged - never had a problem again!
     
  17. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    HI. For Basal, the outside thighs are a common site and what I use. You will find over time that your nerves become less sensitive when you inject. I have a blob of blood fairly often and just ignore it; you are injecting blind and will hit small blood vessels. I now try to feel for fleshy areas. Yes, 4mm needles are now the very popular so check that you have these. Some people bruise and others don't; I'm lucky and don't. Always do enough air-shots to see some insulin coming out. I find a new cartridge shoots a lot even when set to 1 unit and I normally only do a 1 unit air-shot with Levemir but other insulin makes may be different.
     
  18. Michelle6557

    Michelle6557 Type 1 · Member

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    Thank you all for your help and support. Tonight I did a large airshot to be on the safe side first and I think the injection went ok.
    My dose is so small for now (2units of basal only), that it seems to be only a couple of drops - so there seems to be a large margin of error for not getting it all in!?

    My needles are 4mm Omnivan fine in a KwikPen. Are they fairly modern and good?

    I was specifically told that the latest research says not to pinch your skin. Thoughts?

    Something I’m upset about which you may think daft, is that it hurts a lot more than I expected - particularly the stinging sensation which seems to last 20 minutes and the instant nasty red mark. Should I expect to look like a pin cushion within a few weeks? The consultants said injecting would be less of a big deal and less painful than testing. Can’t say that I agree so far!
     
  19. Michelle6557

    Michelle6557 Type 1 · Member

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    Thanks so much. I thought I was ready for all this but it took me a while to pluck up the courage to inject for the first time and I was really emotional afterwards
     
  20. Michelle6557

    Michelle6557 Type 1 · Member

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    Thanks. Whereabouts on the outer thigh? I’m slim and looking to find a good spot!
     
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