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I am 17 and will be going to University in 2 years. I have been legally blind since birth, and have had diabetes for eight years. I cannot see the needle well enough to measure the insulin. I was wondering if there is anything that you could put the needle in that would make a noise every time you went up one unit, so that I could measure my own shots. I have tried a magnifier for the needle, but I still can't see it well enough, and I put it so close to my face that it's dangerous. Thanks in advance for your help!


The new Humalog and NPH and 70/30 pens from Lilly do click with every unit. To use it you line up the end of the pen, pull out and then start to count.

I can say that much, but cannot say if it is really safe for someone who cannot see to use it as the insulin method. I suppose you try it and see if you can use it correctly.


Additional Comments from Linda Mackowiak, diabetes nurse specialist:

There are a few devices which will help a person with visual impairment load an insulin syringe: the Count-a-Dose from Jordan Medical, Insulgage from Meditec, Load-Matic from Palco. These can usually be ordered from pharmacies. I would recommend that you meet with a diabetes educator who has experience in the care of people with visual impairment, as there are a lot of ways to help.


Additional Comments from Virginia Valentine, diabetes nurse specialist:

Yes, we have some great products that you will be able to use independently! The Lilly folks have just come out with insulin pens that you will find very easy to use. They are prefilled with 300 units and dial up with clicks to let you know your dose. You can even go backwards if you go too far. When the 300 units is used up, you throw them away. They let you know when they are done because you can't dial up more than the pen has available to give. You also should look into the AccuChek Voicemate glucose meter. This is the nicest meter for visually impaired that I have ever used. It is all tactile and audible and even has a feature where it can "read" a vial of Lilly insulin to determine the type of insulin in the vial.


[Editor's comment: Several other members of the Diabetes Team came up with similar answers. WWQ]

Original posting 3 May 1999
Additional comment added 5 May 1999
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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