Diabetes Where You Inject Yourself

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There's no cure for diabetes, so treatment aims to keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible and to control your symptoms to prevent health problems developing later in life. If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, you'll be referred for specialist treatment from a diabetes care team. They'll be able to help you understand your treatment and closely monitor your condition to identify any health problems that may occur. Type 1 diabetes occurs because your body doesn't produce any insulin. This means you'll need regular insulin treatment to keep your glucose levels normal. Insulin comes in several different preparations, each of which works slightly differently. For example, some last up to a whole day (long-acting), some last up to eight hours (short-acting) and some work quickly but don't last very long (rapid-acting). Your treatment is likely to include a combination of different insulin preparations. Insulin Insulin injections If you have type 1 diabetes, you'll probably need insulin injections. Insulin must be injected, because if it were taken as a tablet, it would be broken down in your stomach (like food) and would be unable to enter your bloodstream. When you're f Continue reading >>

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  1. WattersonBill

    Diabetic of 5 years here, using Lantus and Novolog pens. Last night I believe I accidentally hit a vein when injecting Lantus and ended up calling an ambulance. This is my story, for anyone who runs into this problem in the future. I'd love feedback on what to do differently.
    Last night I took my normal dose of Lantus, 58 units, around 1 am. As I injected, I noticed that the injection site on my thigh wasn't bulging, which it normally does. I also felt no pressure beneath the skin, which I normally do. As I pulled out the needle, the site immediately started to bleed. Not just a drop of blood, but a little stream of it, running down my leg.
    My first thought was "Shit. I might have gotten a vein or maybe muscle." So I searched some diabetes blogs and found very little information. Every once in a while I'd find somebody post a story about how they accidentally hit a vein and they went hypo almost immediately.
    So, I start to worry a bit, and grab my glucometer:
    1:04am - 140 mg/dL
    "Alright," I thought. "Let's see what it is like after a few minutes. Then I can go to bed."
    1:07am - 131 mg/dL
    1:09am - 114 mg/dL
    1:10am - 106 mg/dL
    At this point, I am shaking (possibly out of fear), breathing heavily and scared shitless. My sugars have never dropped that quickly. I start eating raisins I keep next to my bed.
    1:12am - 89 mg/dL
    I wake up one of the other kids in my apartment and start to explain to him the situation. I start chewing glucose tabs as quickly as I can. I am petrified at this point.
    I decide that if I can't get my numbers to stabilize, then I will call for an ambulance. In the meantime I get out my glucagon and explain how to use it to my roommate between handfuls of raisins.
    "What if I mess up? Why can't you do it yourself?"
    "This is for the moment I pass out on the floor."
    1:15am - 74 mg/dL
    I keep eating sugary things. I've never gone below 40 and am barely staying calm.
    1:17am - 66 mg/dL
    I lose it and call an ambulance. I don't want to wait until I can't think straight before seeking medical attention. My numbers aren't slowing down. I check one more time before waiting for the ambulance outside.
    1:18am - 61 mg/dL
    For some reason I grab a sack of granulated sugar on my way out and sit on the curb. The ambulance comes, and it is just one guy there to take me to the hospital. He talks to me, sees that I'm not literally on the verge of death, and tells me to hop in.
    He is relaxed and doesn't seem to worried about the situation. We arrive and he is cracking jokes about the sack of sugar. I feel about the same as when I left my apartment. I get taken in and a nurse checks my blood sugar. She says it is 68. She jokingly chastises me for eating sugar and ruining my teeth. The is not appreciated.
    The staff periodically checks my levels and gives me glucose water, toast and jam. I slowly rise from 68 to 70 to 77 about an hour later. It's close to 3 am at this point and I am almost falling asleep upright in the wheelchair they told me to sit in.
    Around 3:30 my blood sugar hits 99 and they tell me I can head home. As I'm waiting for a cab, I check one more time.
    3:31am - 92 mg/dL
    The cab ride only takes 10 minutes and I check the second I get home.
    3:42am - 52 mg/dL
    I just about fall on the floor. I am so exhausted and full of disgusting sugary things at this point, that I am not sure I can eat any more.
    I boil some water and pour half a cup of sugar in a mug. I melt the sugar with the water and drink it in one sitting. Nausea is really hitting me at this point. But a make another mug of sugar water with about a third of a cup this time, and just sip it.
    3:51am - 63 mg/dL
    3:58am - 92 mg/dL
    4:03am - 124 mg/dL
    4:09am - 148 mg/dL
    I'm not sure when enough will be enough. But I realize that once the insulin is done, I'm going to spike, hard. I am delirious from sleep deprivation at this point and want nothing more than to sleep, but I stay up and keep checking because I know it could drop at any point again.
    4:19am - 170 mg/dL
    I start to get my hopes up about leveling off. I drink a little bit of regular water, knowing that I'll likely get dehydrated overnight.
    4:25am - 143 mg/dL
    I nearly start crying. I can't handle this anymore. If I start really dropping again, I cannot eat anything more. I already feel like I'm about to vomit all the sugar sitting heavy in my stomach as is.
    4:28am - 120 mg/dL
    I feel defeated. I start drinking the second cup of extreme sugar water and debate whether I should call a cab or another ambulance.
    4:31am - 146 mg/dL
    A little bit of hope again.
    4:33am - 158 mg/dL
    4:35am - 171 mg/dL
    4:39am - 196 mg/dL
    4:46am - 212 mg/dL
    I finally broke 200. I have never been so happy to see a number that high. I stay awake for another 45 minutes, checking to make sure it didn't drop. And it didn't. I stayed right around 200-215 until 5:30, when I called it a night.
    I set an alarm for 7:30 am, so I could monitor it again.
    7:32am - 240 mg/dL
    Relieved, I drink a sip of water and go back to bed. By this time I'm feeling nauseous and dehydrated, but better than I expected. I decide to take the day off.
    I check my levels again at 9:30 and noon. They stay between 180 and 240, and never end up spiking. After a cup or two of water, I felt fine for the rest of the day (though I slept until almost 4pm.)
    Anyone else had something like this happen?
    Any advice for what to do when this happens?
    I might have over-reacted a bit, but still better safe than sorry. I'd love to hear feedback of any kind.
    tl;dr Hit a vein when injecting 58 units of Lantus. 7 hours of torture and well over 300 carbohydrates later, I finally stopped going low.
    But come on man, I worked hard to make the whole story readable. Please read it?

  2. veritas3777

    Hey dude. Or dudette. I almost cried reading your story. I've never had this happen to me but it's a fear of mine. And a lot of the factors are so painfully familiar. The outright fear, having to continue to eat when you're full and don't want to, having to stay up late when all you want to do is crash (ah just another hour). Sugar being your best friend and worst enemy. Burning through so many expensive strips. Noone can ever fully understand, not those closest to us, not the medical professionals, just an anonymous internet community. Fuck the people who take it lightly, they don't and can't understand, it's just a job for them. I probably would've stuffed every sweet available in my pocket before leaving the apt. Constantly stabbing your fingers, multiple daily injections, it's hard for just one day, much less a lifetime. We just have to take pride and find strength in our ability to stay healthy. Stay strong my friend. Don't know what you could have done differently, just a shit situation. Maybe waited a full 15 to check the sugars effects? Nah, still a bad situation and wouldn't have changed the final outcome. If you don't mind me asking, where did you shoot it up at? I always use my butt which hopefully isn't very veiny. And luckily I only take 12 units of lantus. But yeah, rough time, just a day in the life
    Edit: nvm, I saw where you said your thigh. Also I did think of something, what kind of needle? I use nano pen needles, 3mm. I like to think they wouldn't hit a significant vein. But I'm so thin you never know what they might hit

  3. DrizztDoUrdenZ

    Wow dude that is intense. May I ask where you were injecting? I have only ever injected in my stomach and thighs as I was told by my dietician. I've never heard of injecting straight into a vein before. I'm happy you're ok though!

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