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From Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada:

I'm 13, and I have been taking insulin shots for about eight months now, but they are painful, and I heard that insulin pumps are better than taking two shots a day. Are they expensive? How many times do you have to change the needle on it?


Most of the kids we see are on three to four shots per day to maintain the best control possible. I do not know what your present hemoglobin A1c is, but if it is "good" then there is no need to rock the boat and try something else.

If you need some ideas to make the shots less painful, I hope you are using the short needles and be sure your insulin is at room temperature when you inject. Also, some patients ice the area first and they say that hurts less. You might also want to run this by your diabetes team since there may be some technique problems.

As far as using an insulin pump, it costs about US$5800, so you would need to be sure your insurance will cover most of the pump cost and the supply cost. You do need to use a new infusion set (needle hooked up to tubing which goes to the insulin syringe in the pump) about every two to three days. A pump is not an easy way out. The first step is to try to make your injections less painful and talk to your team about exploring insulin pumps.


[Editor's comment: There is no need for injections to be painful. In addition to what Lois has suggested, using a new syringe for each injection will help. If you are not using it already, you might try using the Inject-Ease and also ask your doctor to prescribe EMLA Cream that will numb the injection site. SS]

Original posting 12 Aug 2002
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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