Trouble With memory

A while back I was having trouble remembering if I had given myself a shot. I use the Novolog Flexpen and delivering a shot is a very simple process that requires no thought, especially since I’ve done it a million times. I do it so much that unless something special happens I may not remember giving myself a shot 20 minutes afterward.

This is critical, a doubled shot could mean waking up in the ER a missed shot means high blood sugar. I contacted OneTouch and they graciously upgraded my meter to the UltraSmart which has a built in log.

Now I had another problem…remembering to log my shots. This is important because I need to be able to rely on the information in the meter. My approach was to not rely on memory, because that’s obviously the problem, but to incorporate the logging action to the shot process.

Its taken about 6 months but I think I’ve got that done. I count the carbs, decide on the amount of insulin I need, log the shot then deliver it. Doing the shot then logging it didn’t work. When I say “Did I give myself a shot to cover this meal?” I can look at my log and rely on what it says. Has anyone else been through this?

hundreds of times over the years. I now try and check before the first bite with my pump. When I was on shots I used to use the right pocket for before meals and the left after the shot.

Yeah. Of course. It is so monotonous at some point that it becomes like forgetting where your car keys are.

And if you’re tired, it’s like being in the shower and wondering if you have washed your hair already.

That is why I thought it would be cool to get the memoir, that insulin pen with a memory, but my problem is I inject half units sometimes, and that wasn’t an option. A pump would solve the problem, but that is another story.

I have that meter, I love it. It has made a huge difference for me.

To be unsure about the injection of basal insulin has always caused trouble for me - even if it only happens one or two times are year. Thus I have modified the Lilly HumaPen Memoir so I can use it with the Novolog vials. You will find the necessary steps here.

Thank you! I was going to ask this same question! Half the time I can’t remember if I’ve taken a shot or not. In fact, half the time I can’t remember what my bg reading is between the time I test and when I go to take a shot (1 min!?) and I have to look at the meter again. I think I can log my on my meter, I’ll try that and see if it helps but honestly, one more step to have to do is not appealing!

One suggestion I ran across which can be of help is to develop a ritual with a built in system for double checking. What do I mean about this?

Develop a standard set of actions that you follow every time you take an injection. This is what I call a ritual. Some parts of it seem to make no sense to accomplishing the action of injecting but form a pattern that is in essence a double bookeeping method. I mean after you inject, how are you supposed to know if you have already injected? Look in the vial at the insulin level? What you can is set up a system to help you. Here are some examples:

Use an insulin case with two or more pockets. When you inject, you take the pen out of the one pocket and when you have completed your injection, it goes in the second pocket.

Use a pen? When removing the pen cap, replace it every time, but twisted the cap exactly 180 deg. Always start the morning with the pen in a fixed position and there you go another double entry Or specifically alternate removing the old pen needle before and after injection.

Build up a couple of these overlapping quirky little rituals into your injection pattern and then if you ever forget whether you have taken your injection, you will have left a few little crumbs along to way to help you remember.