When you start insulin

I gave up on the prefilled pens as they only dose in 1 unit increments. Great way to start but if you want to fine tune, it gets tough. I have a digital pen from Korea that dose in 0.1 unit increments and has all sorts of fancy bells and whistles (Not FDA approved but uses the cheaper Humalog cartriges). Yes, medicare does cover the cost of prefilled pens although I can buy them for less mail order in Canada than my copay which allows me a very cheap medicare drug plan (Part D $15/month).

The beauty is that if you inject 3 or more times a day and currently test more than 4 times a day, basic medicare will cover 80% of CGM costs and Part B supplement will cover other 20% and with a CGM you can really fine-tune your plan over about a 4 month period.


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I’ve been using the Freestyle Libre for the last 3 years, and it has helped a lot. Paying out of pocket so far because not on insulin. But if that changes, and Medicare would cover it, I might also look into the Dexcom – although I read that Freestyle’s next upgrade after the recent Libre 2 with alarms will be more like the current Dexcom 6 CGM, so that will be interesting.
Thanks for the Dexcom Medicare link.

Had to chuckle !!! I was 5, diagnosed 50+ years ago, Type1, doing one injection per day, so my mom did them at first, and was very nervous.
Practiced on an orange. Started doing myself around age 7-8.

As newer insulins came out I was doing 3-5 injection per day, then switched to insulin pump.

Only tried a pen once, for backup to pump failures, but syringes are easier for me.

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Biggest problem with insulin is that you can eat anything and stabilize your blood sugar with insulin which is a huge temptation at first to go back to some long forgotten, forbidden foods that you can now eat. But if you do that, then you will rapidly end up with weight problems, cholesterol issues and heart problems, especially if you are currently and have been on a statin. Insulin is totally awesome for a Type 2 diabetic but must be used judiciously or you end up fixing one problem while creating another. It does give you much more control in what you can eat and you can go to a party with relatives occasionally and indulge in almost anything but then need to come back to reality promptly.


40 years ago I got started by being taught how to inject saline into oranges at the hospital. My parents were there too learning.

Things they taught me back them but they will not teach you today:
How to differentiate U-40 from U-80 insulin by syringe and cap color
How to sterilize the glass syringe and non-disposable needle
How to grind new points onto needles

Amazingly enough they taught me all the above and sent me home with a glass syringe as part of the “curriculum” even though I never ever used anything but plastic syringes.

Also because I didn’t have home blood sugar testing they taught me how to recognize hypo symptoms. It was only a few years later that I got my first home bg testing stuff.

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hi, I am just starting on insulin, could you describe about how to recognize signs of hypo? thank you!
from previous low blood glucose reading (not from insulin use) I feel like I get very hungry

It may vary based on how fast your bg is dropping. Generally I get a slight foggy feeling in my head, harder to concentrate. Or somettimes it more like a tired or worn out feeling. When dropping fast or getting under 60, I start feeling sweaty.

But with cgms for last 20+ years, I get alerted before these symptoms.

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