Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Have insulin, will live

One of the minor details in a life with injections is the need for a good memory. No device to tell me how much insulin is already in my system when I go to inject. I am my own bolus wizard and really it’s just bolus swagging now, let’s be honest.

Memory is kind of a big deal. Sometimes I forget if I’ve taken my Lantus and there’s really no way to check. I had a few times this summer where I forgot to bring insulin on rides and actually needed it.

I do have a fairly decent memory – MOST of the time. Except when I don’t. I keep both my pens in my purse pretty much all the time that way they’re always with me. Until they aren’t! 

I had made a mental note. Note: If you have to make a MENTAL note perhaps it would be keen to write a physical one. Just in case y’know? So I made a mental note to grab a fresh cartridge of Lantus before I went to work on Monday. Problem was, I didn’t get to sleep until after midnight and I’m up at 5am. I left the house miserable and groggy so when it came time for my morning Lantus shot I had only 4 units and I needed 16.

Thanks to how ridiculously easy it is to obtain insulin, I zipped over to the closest drugstore near work and bought a box of Lantus pre-filled Solostar pens (because they didn’t have refills). I can buy insulin over-the-counter. Anybody can. They write me an official receipt which I then submit to my insurance company. It was better than the alternative of either going without Lantus for the day or having to drive all the way back home. Have I mentioned how far I commute to work? Let’s not talk about that. Foregoing Lantus for the day? I’m not suicidal. It wouldn’t kill me but I’d try and kill myself due to how sick I’d feel all day.
The very next day, I forget my NovoRapid pen at home in the bedside table. VERY.NEXT.DAY! Why was it there and not in my purse?  Late bolus in bed plus two ferrets that steal everything and hide it on us. I had a weird feeling when I closed the drawer, turns out that weird feeling was that of, “You’re going to forget it’s in there.” I forgot it was in there.

I got halfway to work and halfway through my oatmeal when I reached for my pen. For FUCKSAKE Scully! Turn around and go home? I was already halfway to work and… well… you sorta know my commute. Check drugstore website for pharmacy that’s open. I did this while driving which lands me in hell (I’m already going there). It’s 6:40am. Find the closest one and make a stop en route to work. They didn’t have pre-filled Novorapid pens so it’s back to old school vial and syringe for the day. Immediate bolus in car while sitting in the parking lot. 2nd crisis in as many days averted.
Shooting up in my car
This picture I owe a massive credit to a friend who taught me how to take a pic with no hands!
Moral of the story? Well aside from being late to work two days in a row because of having to make emergency insulin purchases, don’t forget insulin! Have insulin, will live. Above all, when all else fails? It’s fucking awesome that I can walk into any pharmacy and buy the precious elixir and something sharp to get it into my body with. Thank you 24h Shoppers Drugmarts.


  1. Had to drive home on Monday because my Pod failed and my vial of insulin in my purse was empty. I was pissed, but considering I only live 20 minutes from my office, I guess it wasn't the biggest deal!

  2. good to know that insulin is easy to get in Canada... again, for when I visit... but what I really want to know is this: how did you take that photo?!


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