Empty bottles of insulin

For years now I have collected the empty bottles of insulin and tossed them into a big plastic bucket. The bucket is from a Costco-sized 5-lb container of animal crackers, but I don’t have a measurement of the volume. I don’t think the picture shows how large it is despite the new Novolog bottle beside it to give an idea of the scale.

This could be particularly meaningful, I suppose, if I knew how long I have been keeping this pile of bottles or could estimate how many bottles are inside. Years ago I saw that a young girl with diabetes had taken a year's worth of used syringes (tips snipped off) and epoxied them together to make an elaborate model castle. She brought this to a JDRF event in Washington, D.C. to show just how many injections it took to keep her alive for 1 year. I must have thought I would someday have a similar use for these bottles of Novolog, except that I don't know how many years of bottles I have, I am not an architect or very artsy-craftsy, and I am not planning any advocacy trips to D.C. anytime soon. Oh yeah, and how do you glue glass bottles together? So I keep chucking empty insulin bottles in here as I go through them. I am not a packrat and I don't accumulate other useless junk. This is an interesting reminder of how lucky I am that insulin was discovered & manufactured, and that I have health insurance that makes it affordable. Otherwise it really makes no sense to keep this. I wonder if anyone else has done something like this.

Greg, that can’t possibly be ALL of them =)

Oh yeah, and how do you glue glass bottles together?— Crazy glue or hot glue if you are really interested.


Yeah, this is not all from 33 years of course. Maybe…4 years or something, I think. I would have a lot of pork Lente, NPH and Regular insulins, and some Humalog, along with a random Lantus or two in there. But for now it’s mostly Novolog.
Ok I’ll get the hot glue gun and start designing the “Crystal Castle.” Maybe I can get a grant from Novo-Nordisk for the project. :slight_smile:

Take a needle nose pliers and pull the top off. Remove the label. Get a tiny flower and insert into bottle. Cute. Now give to your wife or girlfriend.

yaaa! make art out of them :slight_smile:

Greg, did you know we have a group here called “Diabetes Supplies Art”? From time to time, they run a contest based on the most creative picture. You can check out the group here. I love the crystal castle idea

Or how about saving reservoirs and tubing from pumps? Add the little blue cones protecting the insertion needle.

Lois La Rose
Milwaukee, WI

Well,I didnt happen to save this , but i guess my grandmother did and some how my sister ended up with it…Everyone on my moms side had diabetes. My great-grandmother passed away in 1940 and I guess my grandmother decided to keep her last bottle of insulin and her syringe and cotton balls. I will take a picture of it one day and put on my page. The insulin has turned yellow but the amazing thing is there is still some in the bottle,and its 69 years old! The syring is glass with ,a bent needle on it and there is one extra needle. The cotton balls are very yellow…lol and the needle on the syringe is stuck in a cotton ball. all tucked in a little black plastic box. ohhhh the bottle of insulin has a red rubber stopper on it and you can see the needle pokes, I just thought this was kinda kewl!

geez, you get those guys pretty empty. lol

Hi Greg - I stumbled upon your picture of your insulin bottle in the bucket. I thought I was the only one who did this! I have several buckets full from the last 10 years. I use an UTZ Party Mix bucket from Sam’s Club. As soon as I get them out of storage (imagine that) I will photograph them and post. Peace+ Tim

Hmmm bottles… I save test strip containers. I’m SURE they’ll be useful for something, some day LOL