Learning the pen!

#1

Been using syringes and vials for most of the past 40 years. But switched to Tresiba (pen only) last spring, and now switching my Humalog too. And have some observations/questions:

1: If I just push the button down, wait 10 seconds, and pull the needle out I almost always have some kind of drop of insulin on the end of the needle - insulin I intended to take but it didn’t go in. But I’ve figured out that if instead of just pushing down once, I instead do a couple gentle of presses of the needle button a couple times, I don’t get the drop or it’s smaller. Good idea/bad idea?

2: Priming doesn’t seem all that important. If I don’t have any air bubbles floating around in the pen, then I’m guessing that there’s no purpose to priming. Yes/no?

3: I figured out, that the pen cap will fit over a single needle on the end of the pen. So for example I can attach a single needle to the pen before leaving home, to make it easier to take a shot on the go. But is this a good idea? Maybe I will end up with more bubbles floating around in the pen if I do this?

#2

Its been a few years since I used pens, but I thought the priming was to fill the needle with insulin because the needle is empty when its attached. I think it probably doesn’t make much of a difference if you’re giving high doses of insulin and you’re not that sensitive to the insulin, but for the people who are very insulin sensitive and only use a few units at a time, missing a quarter or a half unit could be a problem. It’s the same as filling the cannula on the insulin pumps, if half a unit goes to filling the needle, that’s half a unit less going into your body. For some people, this is a huge difference, for others not so much.

#3

I use a Tresiba pen and a Novolog pen. I don’t use very much insulin and often use 1 unit at a time of Novolog.

I hold the button down for a slowish count of 12. I don’t push it more than once and I don’t worry about the tiny drop that drops from the needle.

I don’t change needles very often, but when I do I prime the needle. So, I prime every ten days or so. I give several shots of Novolog daily. I don’t know if I should do be doing this, but it has been a couple of years and I haven’t had a problem. I always used syringes many, many times.

I take my pens everywhere with me and they always have needles attached. I have never had a problem.

I just got a Novolog pen that comes with cartridges so that I can give 1/2 unit shots. I haven’t used it yet, but noticed that it tells you when you have last given a shot, so no more confusion over whether I forgot a shot.

Marilyn dx 1959

#4

Absolutely. I don’t take a needle off unless I’m changing the pen cartridge now and haven’t had a problem. I’ll leave a needle on the end of a pen for a week at a time. I come from a pumping mindset though, so I value being able to take as many shots as I need as conveniently as possible!

I’m not sure the drop is significant. I always see a drop too, but the size of it is consistent and my doses seem right. There are times I pull the pen out too quickly or hit a bad spot and see insulin leak from the site, but this is rare.