Oh I am so bad....

By lorene1212 Latest Reply 2011-09-05 22:24:03 -0500
Started 2011-08-29 23:15:30 -0500

Was reading some of the discussions and someone said something about reusing lancets. well I do that and also do not use alcohol before I take my insulin. Wondering how bad this is and if I should change this terrible habit as well.

103 replies

stilllearning 2011-09-02 16:42:56 -0500 Report

Ok, I have been scared straight! I use my lancets for at least three weeks before changing. I will try to remember to change my lancet after my last test of the day. It's not like I don't have dozens! I don't use alcohol for testing but do for insulin injections. I just make sure I wipe off wet alcohol spot with cotton ball before injecting. Otherwise it stings too much and for too long!

Kerstin Lujan
Kerstin Lujan 2011-09-02 00:17:31 -0500 Report

Well regarding this discussion, I have now started to use a new lancet each day, I'm only reusing my needle one time, after reading all these posts & talking to my pharmacist—- I've come to that conclusion—-Thank you all—Kerstin, have a WONDERFUL holiday weekend my friends!!!! God bless.

alicejoart 2011-09-01 23:41:24 -0500 Report

I always try to use hand sanitizers before I prick my fingers. I then put a band-aid on. I am afraid to check my sugars at work. Do you think we could get a disease doing this sort of checking outside your home?

lorene1212 2011-09-02 17:52:26 -0500 Report

No I dont think so but it depends on what you do for work… If it is dirty work the I say better to be cautious then sorry. Being aware is what counts but band aid hmm think that may be too much. If you wash area before and after you should be fine. I would talk to your doctor or pharmacist. I tell my doc everything! Check sugar any where you are as long as you are capable of washing before and after. That is very important for us. We have to check our sugars. Sometimes I skip not good at all. I know it and on purpose I forget the meter too!…LOL Have a wonderful day and sweet dreams.

Arethia Cowden
Arethia Cowden 2011-09-01 21:52:56 -0500 Report

Everytime I check my blood sugar I wash my hands with soap and water then I test and I reuse my lancet for the entire day then I through out at night. My test strips I use A NEW one each time I test. I also wash my hands when I give myself insulin and have been having success on my testing and blood sugars before and after meals.

alicejoart 2011-09-01 23:42:10 -0500 Report

I do not think your meter allows you to use a test strip twice. If I miss the test strip with an error I do use the lancet again!

lorene1212 2011-09-01 17:34:10 -0500 Report

SWEET POTATO Well without sugar coding it basically what I got out of discussion was to change lancets every nite after last usage. Clean hands before and after injections. Does not matter if you use alcohol you can wash before and after. Even fingers before and after pricking. Dont reuse needles. Dont reuse strips.

Carol2x 2011-09-03 18:11:33 -0500 Report

Like it was mentioned the machines won't let you reuse strips. the reagents in the strips are set for one use only. Wash hands before use and if you use alcohol-make sure that the area is completely dry before sticking.

lorene1212 2011-09-03 20:05:08 -0500 Report

Yes, Carol2x, I remember you saying that. Have been wondering how these people then are actually doing it????? Are we positively positive on the fact of the machine not letting you reuse strips I know you said there would be an error sign. ("err") Have we ever tried to do this, I have not and You probably have not. We have people saying that this is what they are doing! I don't know, have to be honest with you, I have a sneaky feeling that these people are not lying. There are several of them saying they do it. I won't do or say that. I really like everyone that has shared including annonymous! I really appreciate you all so much for being so honest here. You are all I have in my life, Other than my two wonderful children. Thank you so much for being here and for sharing these sneaky things we do and never said anything to anyone. I still appreciate reading every day, I keep on doing good instead of bad.
Carol, thank you so much for your reply! Have a wonderful evening and weekend plus dont forget the holiday!

lorene1212 2011-09-03 21:48:29 -0500 Report

grandmucky! How are you today? We were talking about test strips cause there were others that posted and said they the reuse thier strips. That was what Carol was saying "it cannot be done cause meter does not allow an already used strip to be reused. Now for the others that said they were reusing their strips I have no clue what to say to them other than thank you for posting.

Carol2x 2011-09-03 20:15:37 -0500 Report

I tried it once just to see if it could be done and it didn't work. As there is already blood on the strip from before it gives you an error reading.
When I was first diagnosed diabetic in Florida I went to the Diabetes management program at the Joslin Center-quite informative. They also discussed that subject there as well. It is then that I tested it to see what would happen.
I use the Accuchek Aviva.
Working in patient care nursing I am also trained in Diabetes Care-which helps me personally as well.

Auburn Bill
Auburn Bill 2011-09-01 11:33:21 -0500 Report

I use my lance for at least a month, no kidding! The manufacturer is making a bundle of $$$ from our problems! I fell no different then at the ned of the month then from the beginning! Co-pays are killers to us with certain BCBS plans! I use soap and water to clean the area, cheaper! Grandpa Bill

Richknowbody 2011-09-01 09:50:19 -0500 Report

I change my lancet in the morning and have not used alcohol since the first year I was testing.
If you have sugar on your fingers when you test, it will affect your blood sugar test, so if you have orange juice on your fingers, it will give you a higher blood sugar reading.

Richknowbody 2011-09-01 09:53:12 -0500 Report

I have a few hundred lancets more than I have test strips, because I only use the test strips one time. I am on that mail order delivery system and get them in a one to one ratio.

tabby9146 2011-09-01 08:28:56 -0500 Report

I reuse only once sometimes, but I have heard it is bad and that it is bad not to clean hands before use.

cyndi1 2011-08-31 22:11:30 -0500 Report

I think it is okay to reuse lansets a couple of times, the more you use them , they will be harder to stick as the needle will get dull. Also use only for that one day, due to infections. Make sure area is clean, I use little alcohol wipes.

Carol2x 2011-09-03 18:13:21 -0500 Report

Just make sure the area you use alcohol on is dry completely before use.

lorene1212 2011-09-03 21:53:45 -0500 Report

Carol, I have a question. Every time we get a strip out of container are we not contaminating the others that we touch along the way of getting just one for us?

lorene1212 2011-09-05 22:24:03 -0500 Report

LOL!! New you would answer me back! LOL. I drop things all the time, I can see me shaking that container now. LOL..

pet keeper
pet keeper 2011-09-02 17:48:41 -0500 Report

I was at a diebetic meeting yesterday and someone brought up using alcohol on their finger before testing. She said that it wasn't a good idea first because eventually your fingers will be so dried out they may form a callous and you will have to find another finger to use. And secondly washing with soap and water washes all your fingers and you won't contaminate your reading. Just a heads up.

timy the kid
timy the kid 2011-08-31 23:10:45 -0500 Report

a lot of people are saying things about the high cost of lancets well which is higher pay what 50 dollars for lancets or 9000 dollars i had a bad staf infection so bad if set off my heart defibulater i was shocked over 17 time in less then an hr. had to have it removed and a new one put after a had six weeks of antibiotics treatment it took from early may to now to get my life back went thru a lot of pain and just got my new defibulater put in i went through a lot all because i didn't change my lancets i believe in changeing my lancets at least once a day i really don't want to go through that again

lorene1212 2011-09-02 17:56:22 -0500 Report

Well I am very sorry you have gone through so much, alot of us have not and have been making that mistake. I no longer do what I was doing. I am very glad you are getting your life back and keep it that way dont want to hear you being sick again,. OK.

cyndi1 2011-09-02 21:14:55 -0500 Report

Oh my, I am so sorry to hear what all you have been thru, but am gratefull to hear you are getting better. I totally agree that changing lancets daily in a healthy option.

princessbeiter 2011-08-31 18:55:22 -0500 Report

I think I was the one who said something about reusing lancets. The person I was talking about is highly susceptible to staph infections. It's so bad with her that she stays on antibiotics.

IMO, it's ok to use the lancet just for that day. Any more and you run the risk of infection. Also, if you don't choose to use the alcohol wipes, do wash your hands thoroughly before testing, or injecting insulin.

Unlike many of you, I don't have to pay for my supplies, but I do only get a limited number of lancets and test strips. I get enough to test twice a day and any more than that I have to buy on my own. (Medicare)

lorene1212 2011-09-03 22:07:17 -0500 Report

Hi Princessbetter!
Nice hearing from you. Thank you. Sorry to hear about your girlfriend but now she is working on it right? Do I not remember you saying that after losing her leg or half of it she is doing better?
Do you ever need to check or think you should check? If the answer is yes, I suggest you call your doctor and ask that she change the number of strips you are getting cause you cannot afford to pay for it. I am sure she would agree if you need to check more than twice you need more. Always better to try than to have not tried, well, the worse she can say is no. Is not Masshealth the same as Medicare? I am Masshealth / Medicaid and I get more than enough.I test myself 4 times a day, type 2 diabetes. There have been a couple of times that I have tested myself more than that because of issues that I have been having lately. That's another thing.
Anyway, Have a good weekend and good holiday!

princessbeiter 2011-09-04 17:05:01 -0500 Report

I did ask my doctor to prescribe enough for 4 tests a day, but he said that medicare would not approve it unless there was a reason, other than I wanted to be sure I was keeping my BG down.

A lot of days I only test once so I use the "extras" when I'm having problems. It works out for me because I don't have that many lows and I don't get really high, either. I've pretty much got it under control.

lorene1212 2011-09-04 22:03:08 -0500 Report

Okay hon. Think there is something wrong with doctor thou seems to me he will hesitate to give his people his support and just make up a dam lie one that goes with you. LOL

the diabetic camper
the diabetic camper 2011-08-31 14:08:25 -0500 Report

I use my lancets until they are completely blunt. My wife gets mad and says I will lose my fingers. I tell her the only fingers I am going to lose are the weak ones. That was a little diabetic humor.

Carol2x 2011-09-03 18:15:37 -0500 Report

Do you have the machine that you can also stick your forearm as well? That would give your fingers a rest.

VerbalEmesis 2011-08-31 15:34:09 -0500 Report

I reused my lances until my first week of Microbiology class, NEVER again will i EVER reuse a lance. Bacteria can get caught up in there and it could cause a bad infection. Not only do iI change my lance EVERY TIME… but I also use an alcohol swab to clean out the lid. Im terrified of Staph or any kind of nastiness now. Ten second rule for dropping something on the clean kitchen floor… NO WAY… even on a clean floor at least 8000 bacteria can be picked up and transfered into your body by way of droppage.. Don't ever take a micro class … lol

lorene1212 2011-09-03 07:58:45 -0500 Report

VerbalEmesis! Hello! LOL I can totally understand why you do what you do. Did not realize about the dropping on floor thing thou. Ha ha. Learning again. I drop things all the time! Not now! Thank you for the tips…

seashells12 2011-08-31 10:43:45 -0500 Report

I've been reusing my lancets a little after I found out I had diabetes. I agree it's your blood & money is a factor.

Sweet Potatoe
Sweet Potatoe 2011-08-31 10:06:21 -0500 Report

I check my BG every other day. My nurse told me to use my lancets for at least 3 times before changing it out. She stated "its your blood". So I end up with more lancets than test stripes. I suggest you ask your nurse or doctor.

Marytea 2011-08-31 09:16:14 -0500 Report

I just have to ask about "shooting through one's clothes." Don"t you get blood on your clothes? It is not a practice I want to start, just curious.

ston3xc 2011-08-31 17:56:50 -0500 Report

Don't pull the needle out right away - count to 5 then pull it out. Works for me.

Flustrated 2011-09-01 11:59:49 -0500 Report

Another question, how do you know if you are not hitting an age spot or something? Do you peek before hand. I've been wondering about this.

lorene1212 2011-08-31 18:45:37 -0500 Report

UMMMM??? Why???? spm3xc????

ston3xc 2011-09-02 20:39:35 -0500 Report

What does it matter if you hit an age spot? Maybe if you might hit a mole, but I know where all my moles are, at least the ones i can see. I don't try to contort myself into shooting up where I can't see or reach! I place my shots on the parts of my body where they won't do any harm, and no, i don't peek before i give myself a shot.

Pam S
Pam S 2011-08-31 06:21:59 -0500 Report

i use 1 lancet for each day and change it the next day. I've read the comments and it is true..they are expensive. even if your insurance covers it you still have a co-pay. I do NOT however, reuse my needles. I don't know, that just bothers me I guess. But lancets…yuppers…

lorene1212 2011-08-31 06:24:11 -0500 Report

Yes, I agree I cannot reuse my needles. So true it does cost a lot. We all have to do what we have to. Have a great day.

lilsista39 2011-08-30 22:01:58 -0500 Report

I use both lancets and insulin and insurance is a joke they only cover so much and then you get hit with a copay so yes I use them more than once esp. the lancets I have to test 6x a day plus i just got this new meter that im still getting use to its a talking one .if that dont beat all they gota speak now and tell you when to take your sugar as if my day isnt full enough

lorene1212 2011-08-31 06:21:50 -0500 Report

LOL! Hi lilsista39! Thank you for replying. I bet you like the talking thing I would… I have to really look to read meter.. lol Have a great day! I do understand.

JDCA2025 2011-08-30 20:14:09 -0500 Report

I've reused lancets many times do to their expense. Not sure if that's good or bad or whatnot, though so far I've yet to gain some crazy infection. *knocks on wood

kdroberts 2011-08-30 20:06:11 -0500 Report

I still haven't seen any clinical evidence that reusing lancets increases your chance of infections. Everything I have heard has been from a theoretical point of view rather than a factual one.

I think I might have gone through maybe 20 or so lancets in the last 3 years with no issues. I don't use alcohol and I only consciously wash my hands when they are dirty or maybe have something on them that may affect the reading. Same goes for needles. Unless it starts to hurt then I use 1 per lantus pen and 1 per 15-30 or so injections of humalog. In the 2 years of insulin and 3 years of blood sugar testing where I've reused things I've seen no difference to the years I used 1 and then tossed it. It's something you have to make your own mind up on. Some people are extremely for using 1 needle or lancet and then tossing it, others not so much. Until somebody provides me with some actual scientific reasoning and proof that I should only use a them once, I see no reason to re-evaluate what I do.

MoeGig 2011-08-31 19:19:32 -0500 Report

Here, here. I do exactly the same, and until I find specific evidence that I am at risk, I will do the same. I know it's not politically correct on this web site, but I have to focus on maintaining my A1c, which is a full-time project by itself.

ston3xc 2011-08-30 17:48:02 -0500 Report

OK, everytime I go away for awhile, then I come back and find people all in a tizzy about what is the wrong way or the right way to do things. In this economy, we all have to decide what is right for each ones personal circumstances. Some of us do not have insurance, I have been there. I use lancets, and syringes more than once. Sometimes (horror!) I don't use an alchol swab and almost always I SHOOT THROUGH MY CLOTHES! My gosh, I am sooo bad! It's all a matter of personal taste and if you are a person that follows good personal hygiene and keep your supplies in good order, an occasional reuse should not be a problem. Of course, there are people who would never, ever, do that and that is fine, their choice. Drs would never tell their patients to reuse supplies, but for some of us, including me, it's a matter of cost. I do not endorse reusing supplies, but I am not going to condem anyone if the choice is reusing a syringe or not taking your shot at all.

margokittycat 2011-08-30 18:50:34 -0500 Report

I agree. It is exspensive when you don't have insurance and even when you do some insurances won't cover the full amount of the supplies you need every month, they have a limit on how many needles, syringes and lancets even test strips which can not be rerused lol!!! I use my lancets and syringes more than I should as well. Like MoeGig said I use them until they are dual. I take at least four shots a day and up to 10. I am guilty but like everyone else said some people don't and some people do. I have done this for over 30 years and have never had a problem with it "knock on wood".

MoeGig 2011-08-30 17:36:00 -0500 Report

I'm bad…probably worse than anyone here. I use the same lancet for months, and re-use syringes until they get dull…usually 3-4 days, 2-3 times/day and sometimes shoot through my shirt. Guess that's why I have so many in my closet. Been doing this for many years, and no infections that I can tell. Oh, never use alcohol either. This would be a hard change.

Anonymous 2011-08-31 02:05:33 -0500 Report

I"m sorry but that is just so unsanitary, I don't care if you don't have any infections, Its just bad hygene.

lorene1212 2011-08-30 21:06:17 -0500 Report

MoeGig! If you have and they are piling up you should give to someone that cannot afford. Why let them hang out.. LOL I guess we are all just doing what we feel comfortable with. I hope you stay as health as you seem.

berrykins0 2011-08-30 13:16:46 -0500 Report

i use 1 lancet 2 times a day. used to use 1 lancet 4 times aday when i checked mine 4 times a day.i only check it 2 times a day now. i don't use insulin i only take 1 tablet of metforin a day and my diabetes is undercontrol.

lorene1212 2011-08-30 20:58:17 -0500 Report

That is awesome!!! Very glad to hear you are doing great. I am leaning towards saying that too! Much better since I joined this site I have admit it has and is my motivation and inspiration. My doctor even changed a couple things last week. I hope I continue on this path. Want to be studious about the things that I need to do for myself and when I am I feel better. Have a wonderful evening sweetie and be good to yourself and pat your shoulder also for doing so well.

Kerstin Lujan
Kerstin Lujan 2011-08-30 11:00:56 -0500 Report

I too am bad at changing lancets,I use my needles over & over again,with no insurance I stockpile my needles & lancets—-I know I should not do this but am nervous about running out…

Debbiejf 2011-08-30 15:40:18 -0500 Report

try contacting the company that makes your lancets to see if they might help with the cost, and the same with your needles.

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