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