Shot are painful

By Dietbeeties Latest Reply 2016-10-02 04:55:36 -0500
Started 2009-05-02 09:55:15 -0500

Hello, I am new to this, hopefully it will give me the encouragement and knowledge I need to keep fighting. Since day 1 on insulin, my shots have hurt. It hurts going through my skin, and then burns badly afterwards. I bleed after I remove my syringe often but not always and don't know why. One time I took a shot and accidentally injected into my vein, and withing a minute or two I was passing out with sugar level of 14. Does anyone else struggle everyday with the shots. Dr. keeps saying they shouldn't hurt, but gives me no advice on how to get them not to hurt. I have done so much research and still feel clueless about this disease.

69 replies

Mr Kevin
Mr Kevin 2016-10-02 04:55:36 -0500 Report

hi . I suggest you hold the pen at the bottom near the needle. above that on the pen. then jab it in and holding pen steady bring your fingers back up to the top and proceed as normal.I find it pain free as the pressure at the bottom of the pen is much less than injecting from the top. good luck Tom

Crashnot 2009-09-19 22:01:32 -0500 Report

I'd have a few suggestions as a lifelong syringe user who's only recently switched to a pump.

First, how big is your needle? If you're managing to hit a vein, it sounds like you could slide down to a smaller gauge! Ask your pharmacy what other syringes are available in your U-100 or U-40 dosage.

When you put the syringe in, do you pull the plunger back slightly to make sure there's no blood. I quit doing that a few decades ago, but if you're hitting veins it's worth instituting.

Someone early suggested touching the needle to your skin before inserting, and I agree with that one! In a one-inch area of skin, you'll be amazed at the unsensitive versus sensitive spots you'll find! Makes a huge difference when you put the needle in too.

Finally, are you using your abdomen for injections? If so, do them where the waistband of your pants touches. That area is a bit tougher and less sensitive due to the constant pressure, esp if you wear jeans a lot or pants with a firm waistband versus stretch.

If all else fails, you could try holding an ice cube on your injection spot for a minute before taking your shot.

Good Luck!

diggs 2009-09-18 15:37:59 -0500 Report

My son uses the pen the needle on this seems about 1/2 the size of the needles he used before and he likes it a lot better. He also goes slow. He just started using the backs of his arms also.

tweetynj62 2009-12-30 12:17:30 -0600 Report

I use 32 guage needles with my insulin pens - so fine you almost can't see them. Most of the time I can't even feel them go in; they usually only hurt when I re-use them too many times (yes, I'm a bad girl when it comes to that!)

Edie 2009-09-18 13:28:45 -0500 Report

Hi I am also on shots and take any where from 3 to 7 aday now as I got rid of one of the shots. I am on two insulins now and only one pill but it is a start to get off of the insulin some day and get rid of the shots.
But I have found if I leave the insulin out on the Kitchen counter 10 mins. before checking my BS then it don't burn going in and I pinch my skin tight where I am going to give my shot and suck in my breath just before I stick my self and am letting out that breath as I poke myself. Hope this has helped some one for a better shot experience.

Colin Pye
Colin Pye 2009-09-15 15:59:08 -0500 Report

I know I'm a little late in adding my suggestions, but I've read through everything else in the thread, and have a few things to add.

First thing, I'm going to guess that you are using a pen rather than syringes and a vial. Like otherhs have said, check to see you are using the smallest needles you can get. The last time I checked, 31 gauge were easily available for most pens, in shorter lengths. I know the local pharmacies have 10-needle sample packs available. Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or educator to see what samples they have available, or try calling the companies directly.

I found that longer needles seem to reduce the burning feeling, but since they go through more of you, there's a better chance of hitting something that will make you bleed. Since it's deeper, though, you are more likely get get a bruise than have blood show up at the surface. Applying pressure at the spot for 30 seconds to a minute will stop or slow the bleeding, and reduce the chance of a bruise, but you should do it as soon as you remove the needle. It works the same way as when they draw blood for testing… if I don't use pressure, I get very nasty bruises when they do tests.

As far as pain goes, I touch the needs to my skin first, and if I feel it, I try a different spot. Feeling the needle tip means there's a nerve under the spot, and if you can feel it, it can hurt. It can't hurt if you don't feel it.

If you are using a pen, there's usually enough weight in it so that it can insert itself. When you find a spot you can't feel the needle tip, loosen you grip on the pen, and it will drop in on it's own! Then grip the pen and push the plunger,

If you move to smaller needles, you may find it's harder to push, because the needle is thinner, and can't carry as much at once, just like a water pipe. If you need to go faster, you wil have to go back to the larger ones, but slow and gentle is my preference.

Give it a 10-count after you finish pushing the plunger before you pull the needle out. It gives the shot a chance to spread out, rather than leaking back out through the hole the needle left. Also, if you did go all the way through a little vein, it will help reduce those problems too.

When I first started I was terribly worried about bubbles in the insulin cartridges. The manufacturer said there wasn't enough there to cause harm, and that the "air shot" would get rid of them, but they seemed to stick around for me. Then I realised that they would float their way to the top of the pen, and if I used the pen with the needle pointing downward, there was nothing to worry about. It's also another reason for leaving the needle in after you finish pushing the plunger, so the cpmpressed air can return to it's normal volume, and you will get your full dose.

Finally, I should add that I am not a certified diabetes care instructor, but this is what works for me, Your milage may vary, Prices are manufactirer's suggested list, Some conditions apply

Edie 2009-05-28 21:19:57 -0500 Report

I had to give my sister Sue a shot once and she said I gave it so fast she never felt it. I pinch an area of flesh and give it a quick poke and push in the insulin and I have never felt it since doing it that way. Try it and see if that works for you.

rinnytin67 2009-05-23 16:27:19 -0500 Report

Try switching to short needles. My 8 yr. old daughter uses Reli On short needles. 30 gauge. Her inulin is still small doses only 11 units at most but she gets 3 shots a day. Most of them are in the back of the upper arm (which I give her) but she also does her own shots in the belly. She has been type 1 since she was 5 yrs old. Sometimes they do bleed. Also do you wipe with an alchol swab first? If so (which you should be doing) then make sure it dries before injecting. If wet it will sting more. Then wipe again after injecting. My daughter and I play a game when she gets her shots: After injecting she will say it didn't hurt then I tell her I will try again later. It makes her smile because she knows I would never try to hurt her on purpose.

donsqueen 2009-05-23 12:47:22 -0500 Report

I was recently switched from 4 x day to 2 x day with mixing my N & R. My diabetes pharmacist had me go to and watch a short video on mixing and injecting. They have one for not mixing too. I found out that I've been drawing and injecting incorrectly since I started on regular insulin. (I was on the pen before, but a change in insurance made me change). I didn't have much education on how to inject either. If you're struggling, or new, or just want a refresher, I recommend watching this video. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it bleeds, most of the time it doesn't. I too move to a different spot if I feel pain when I first start poking the needle in. I have never been a jabber. I like the control of slow.

MeiMei 2009-05-23 12:08:42 -0500 Report

Check your gauge, you should be using the smallest gauge you can buy which is a 31ga. That is all I use. Also if you are using pens you can't pull back to see if you are in a vein. I only use my stomach are to inject as I have a good supply of fat on it and it is convenient. Also because of my peripheral neuropathy there are some painless spots on it, but the stomach hurts less I have found than arms or legs. Yes, we all have painful shots. With the bleeding afterward just apply a little pressure with your alcohol swab for a few minutes and it will stop. It is only bleeding from the skin blood vessels and does not amount to anything, but if you don't apply some pressure to help to stop you will end up with a bruise.

Edie 2009-05-23 11:12:09 -0500 Report

I take several shots a day and have found it easier when I take a deep breath as I am putting the needle into my stomach or thigh. Then slowly exhale as I put the insulin into my body. I have not felt a shot in over 2 years going in or hurting after ward. I leave my insulin on the Kitchen counter and that stops the stinging from the cold insulin. If you leave it on the counter for just a few mins. after pulling up the insulin you need it don't sting after the shot.

Lilone 2009-05-17 01:17:25 -0500 Report

I really hate shots more then anything I've been adiabetic since I was 19 it was pretty much my birthday present I use to cry B4 every shot diabeties is my major put down

Devon - 37635
Devon - 37635 2009-05-16 17:48:08 -0500 Report

Hi! I am somewhat new to this as well, type 1 for about 2 months now…and as a former "needle phobe" it's been a difficult transition. I take both Levemir and Humalog, sometimes up to 5 shots a day depending on what my blood sugars are. When filling the syringe, I make sure to get rid of as many air bubbles as possible and I always pull the plunger back to at least 15, even though I only need 10 units. After I sterilize my injection site I make sure to let the alcohol DRY before injecting, otherwise it BURNS!!! If I don't rotate injections sites often enough it hurts as well.

Sometimes there just isn't a spot where it doesn't hurt, and I cry. My best tip is to find a fatty spot and pinch it a little, injecting the needle at angle and not going straight in. If it hurts going in I stop and find a different spot. Once the needle is all the way in, I inject quickly and pull out quickly. If I don't pull out quickly I bleed. And no matter how I do it, I have bruises everywhere.

Good luck with all this! Keep your chin up and your thoughts positive…this is a great place for support!

Dietbeeties 2009-05-16 21:11:16 -0500 Report

Thanks, seems like there are alot of type 1 needle phobes! Now that I am finding out "jumping' around is pretty common, I am feeling better about it. I have been able to have shots that don't hurt now though.(not all,but most, which is a big improvement). I have bruises everywhere too, I hate swimsuit season now.:( (oh well, wasn't too fond of it to begin with,…lol). I love this site and wished I could've found it years ago. Gives me strength for the rough days and motivation/inspiration for the good days. Thanks for sharing your tips and I hope you continue to do well!

ewskis 2009-05-16 21:37:24 -0500 Report

For everyone feeling the pain. I found when I first started injections the needle I found some areas were more sensitive than others I always uses my stomach and sides (spare tire) when I switched to the pen it made a huge difference. The shorter needle was a lot more comfortable, and the dosage was easier to figure out. I have progressed to the pump it wonderful I never want to go back to MDI's

RogerC 2009-05-08 07:51:40 -0500 Report

i've been diabetic for about 30 years now (Dx'd when I was 7) and until i got my pump about 3 years ago, I was injecting myself about 4-5 times daily. Even at the age of 7, I had to give myself shots. Let me tell you this, I HATE needles. I hate needles to the point of not being able to watch ER or House when someone gets a shot hehe. For me, I would do the quick 3 count and insert the needle almost as if throwing a dart. I wouldn't let it leave my grip, but my grip was fairly loose and relaxed, so the insertion was gentle but quick. i would then push the insulin in slowly so as to avoid any burning. And as others have mentioned, it always helps to inject in the places that have more fatty tissue.

Oh and as for the sterility issue, I'm kinda embarrased to admit this, but I would inject right through my clothes, using the same needle 4-5 times. I never had any issues. Of course, I wasn't immuno-compromised or anything. My point in saying this is to let you know that with a reasonable amount of care, you probably will not have any issues with sterility with your syringes.

I hope this helps. I know how difficult it is to get started

Dietbeeties 2009-05-08 08:00:05 -0500 Report

I have seen people do shots through their clothes with a pen..never was anyone I knew, so couldn't really ask about it…but I have always wondered about that. The stab method turns my I do inject the insulin slowly though. And just to let everyone know…MY LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER SINCE JOINING THIS GROUP! Thanks to all of you so much for the advice and support. For the past 5 days, NONE of my shots have hurt. In all these years that has never happened. The information that has been shared with me has made such a difference, I can't wait to tell my Dr. next month. Also, have been motivated to start a team for Indy's next JDF walk…thanks to Nikki, the daughter of No Sugar Needed, I watched her video and felt so inspired!! She is half my age and my hero, *and has no idea who I!

aleddon 2009-05-06 14:52:21 -0500 Report

Some of my shots hurt and some don't. I'm on Humulin N and R and the N tends to burn when I inject it. I've learned to pinch the skin to inject it. That tends to hurt less. It just all depends on if you hit a nerve or not.

vgarrison 2009-05-04 22:31:19 -0500 Report


Welcome to the wonderful world of Diabetic Connect. Ok enough with that…lol.

I'm a huuuuugeeee wuuss…I have found that the best thing ever is the use the "get it over done with fast" way. Jab…I know it's scary as heck, but I swear once you start this…you will never go back to the slow way.

Also when I first started to inject I used a piece of ice on the area where i was going to inject…not long, just a second or two. This will help numb the area, but not the fat where the insulin needs to go. I have to take 4 shots a day, more depending on my eating schedule…I'm naughty, I don't have a schedule, but I've lost over 50 lbs, so I must be doing something right.

Good luck love, take what advice you want and leave the rest behind…that is the easiest way I have found to do it.

Blessed Be

Dietbeeties 2009-05-05 07:31:56 -0500 Report

Thanks, I like your tat Vicki! I have never intended on getting a tattoo, but I hate wearing my medical necklace and bracelet, they are cheap and make me itch, the tattoo I think is a great idea!

vgarrison 2009-05-08 02:25:16 -0500 Report

Yes I agree some of the medical alert jewelry is very cheaply made. I found a site on ebay that sells the silicone bracelets…this was a great thing for me…I never took it off. I believe it only cost me about 6 or 7 dollars with the shipping…they have a huge color selection.

If you are going to get a tattoo, just make sure that your A1c is good, that will help with the healing process…

Good luck!!!!

Blessed Be

Dietbeeties 2009-05-08 07:00:01 -0500 Report

I'm on E-bay, I think I will look into that first. I would probably give the tattoo artist too good of a laugh anyway! (considering it takes me about 10 minutes to take 1 insulin shot, I can only imagine how I'd do if there was a needle poking in and out!) I do think the tattoos are a great idea though, maybe I can brave enough one day.

Anngelia 2009-05-10 11:11:13 -0500 Report

I just purchased one of the silicone bracelets. I think they sound like a great idea. The medicalert bracelets have a lot more info on them but the silicone seems like a great inexpensive way to go.

vgarrison 2009-05-18 01:51:08 -0500 Report

Don't think of it as bravery…example: (Don't tell my hubby I'm posting this…LOL) My husband has over 40 tattoos (he's a tattoo artist himself). Even though he has this many tattoos he will NOT let me check his blood sugar…his reasoning is that the tattoos only go thru a couple layers of skin, but that the lancets and the needles I use for my shots go thru all the layers of the skin. I for one belive that once the skin is broken its the same pain level, but hey I've been wrong before…(again don't tell my hubby I said that)

Getting a tattoo is a very personal choice, especially a medical alert one. I have actually been the checkout at the market and had a woman ask me why I was buying icecream…I must have looked at her funny because she motioned toward my arm. I told her that just because I'm diabetic doesn't mean I can't eat what I want…of course the ice cream was for my daughters party, but she didn't have to know that.

The option is this, do you want to publically show that your diabetic…because even though a tattoo can be hidden by clothing, you can hide a piece of jewelry better. Then again do you want to hide it too much, because you do want to make sure it does it's job.

I was also asked what if there is a cure found…I said that would first and formost be the best thing ever!!! But then I figure that I'll get a void symbol over my tattoo and put the date on it that I was "Cured"…

Just some thoughts!!

Blessed Be

Dietbeeties 2009-05-18 07:00:24 -0500 Report

Wow…I forgot about PEOPLE!!lol! I only thought about paramedics seeing it, not about strangers and what their response might be. People are silly sometimes (or at least ignorant) I met with an old friend for dinner a while back, and after seeing me take my shot, she got all paranoid and made all kinds of remarks. How "high" does it make you? Am I going to have to drive you home now? I don't know if I want you doing that around never used to do drugs. Even people we know can say hurtful and ignorant things, I can only imagine what a stranger might think! BTW, even after lots of explanations and education, she ended up talking to some mutual friends and it got back to me that I was considered somewhat of a junkie in her eyes. She is no longer part of my life..but the ones who understood are…I haven't thought about that in a while, kinda sad still to think about.

vgarrison 2009-05-18 18:31:55 -0500 Report

Unfortunetly that is something that many of us have experienced…just be careful a stranger doesn't think your shooting up and call the cops…hehe…yep been there done that…but laugh at it every day…have to.

Good Luck


Lanore 2009-05-18 19:34:51 -0500 Report

Hey Vicki & Dietbeeties,
Do you both take your shots in public or do you go to the restroom. I am do shots now three times a day and have yet to go out and have to do it in public…and was just wondering this. It kind of scares me to do it in front of everyone. Thanks. Lanore ;-)

keek 2009-05-18 20:10:30 -0500 Report

I take shots in public, but try to be discrete about it. I use pens and usually inject in my belly so I can do it under the table. People don't really notice.

Dietbeeties 2009-05-19 07:25:29 -0500 Report

It depends on where I am, most of the time I'll excuse myself to the bathroom and even go into a stall, but sometimes I will do it under the table as well where no one can see…its harder that way, but if the bathroom is gross its about my only option. I've even done it in the van before I go on, as long as its a place where there won't be a long wait. In the case with my "friend", she went to the bathroom with me, saw that it was insulin, saw me check my sugars first…and still thought I was going to to back to the table all buzzed I guess. Good luck, eventually you'll get out there, and you just have to ignore the people who don't understand.

Colin Pye
Colin Pye 2009-09-15 15:22:29 -0500 Report

Silly people! Insulin doesn't make you high, it makes you low! (Well, lower.)

Telling her sugar makes you high, would likely have her giving you that "junkie" look every tine you have an ice cream, especially if you tell her you are treating a low!

cbelyea 2009-12-17 08:20:34 -0600 Report


I've been on a pump for close to a decade, but when I do need to revert to syringe, I whip it out. I don't care who sees, or what they think. I remember the moment I decided upon this. I was probably about 16, and having dinner with my parents somewhere like Applebee's. I was about to head off to the restroom and wondered why the hell I should. First off, it's likely less hygienic, and second, what was I afraid of? That someone would do something? It's a lot more fun to hook someone and mess with them if they have a problem.

Lanore 2010-01-16 20:27:13 -0600 Report

you are a hoot. but i know what you are saying i just haven't got to that point yet. lol. I will do it in my leg if it is possible to. thanks lanore

pop2 2009-05-04 17:07:46 -0500 Report

I sometimes still have a little pain with my shots I take 2 to 3 shots a day the 70/30 humulin doesn't burn but the
humulin R burns every time I take it. I also use BD ultra fine II Short needles 5/16 8mm lenth 31 gauge needles I give my shots mostly in the stomach area rarely in the legs or arms. I think once you get use to it ,it want be as bad for you. I have hit my veins where the the spot turned blue and purple ,you have to pinch up the spot before you take the shot. May be a good I dea to speak to another Dr about it. If you still need some help .

Sarguillo 2009-05-04 16:30:38 -0500 Report

My Last A1C was 7.2 which is just .1 lower than yours. A 7.2 iis about a 160 average. I plan on getting it lower but its not that bad compared to the one before. A 12.2 . I have been self injecting for a while now. I choose a site on my tummy. It a huge area to choose from. I place the neele against me. I start to push, if I feel any pain, I pull it out. I choose a different site. Untill I find one without any pain receptors. My wife says I shoot like a wimp. She is a constant pain sufferer and when she takes shots, it big 3 inch needle in muscles so she sees my needles and sees how gingerly I am about shooting up that she laughts. Oh well, I do go slow, I do look for areas that will not hurt. I do hate it when I seep alittle blood when extracting the needles. One thing, are you using the thinest needles possible? My are 12.7 mm 30 Gauge. I know they have smaller gauge needles than what I use. Also, dont reuse needles as the coating on them is used up the first time they are used, The coating helps slide in the needle. Good luck. Try different spots.

Anngelia 2009-05-05 07:27:11 -0500 Report

That is exactly how I do it. Select a spot, place the needle on the skin and then slowly slide it in. If I even start to feel any discomfort I stop and move to another spot.

But you described it much better than I do.

thomasdiabetic 2009-05-04 09:21:51 -0500 Report

Yes shots hurt im on 3 shots a day now but when i was diagnosed my bs level was 1182. I spent 3 nights in intensive care i try not too pinch my skin hard sometimes that helps but they always hurt someway. I use the insulin pens they seen too not hurt as much as the needles do maybe you should try them you can get samples from your doctor. I hope that you can get the pain away and do well with your diabetes.

silver.lily 2009-05-03 20:43:38 -0500 Report

I had to have injections when I was Pregnant. So I was unable to use my belly for the injections. If my husband was arround I would make him inject my upper arm and it hurt a LOT less there.
- One day I was in a tremendous hurry and I hit something (a mussle?) in my leg and it hurt so bad. Within minutes there was a several inch arround and at least an inch high swollen spot on my leg. even now 6 years later my leg still randomly hurts there.
- If it hurts that badly to make the injection pull out and start again.
- also see if you can get some smaller needles. I made Dr write me a new script for needles because the smaller ones hurt a LOT less!

Lanore 2009-05-04 06:31:13 -0500 Report

The pen needles are so small and make it hurt less. I had to use insulin 14 yrs ago when i was pregnant and remember the needles being big as well, I used my leg in inject. Now they are so small. I like the new ones much better. I still like around the belly better. ;-)

Dietbeeties 2009-05-04 07:05:59 -0500 Report

Since joining this site and learning more about this disease and treatment, I have found out that I am more in charge of all this than I thought. Yes, I DO need to follow my docs instructions, but I also have the right to do whats best for me. He has told me in the past not to jump around with my needle (I had explained that if it hurt I would move to a different spot, he told me that the needle is no longer sterile at that point and to use a new needle if I want to do that) SO hearing that everyone else does it, I have been doing it again (without switching to a new needle for every spot tried) and low and behold I haven't died or came down with swine flu!! And I have had a couple shots where I can honestly say it didn't hurt. Thanks everyone for clearing up some of these gray areas for me, its not all black and white after all.

Lanore 2009-05-03 20:18:38 -0500 Report

Hi Dietbeeties, Love the name…I'm not sure where you are injecting, but maybe try it around your belly button, this is where i do it and yes sometimes it does hurt a little,but i find that most of the time i do not feel it at all.
I too get a little blood from time to time…but that is not a big deal. If it still is bothering you tell your Dr, someone should have showed you what and how to inject. Wishing you lots of luck. ;-) Lanore

Dietbeeties 2009-05-04 06:59:21 -0500 Report

lol..thanks, the kids are young and tell EVERYONE how I have Dietbeeties..I think because seeing me on a diet since I was diagnosed is where that came from, I tried to correct them, but gave up cuz they are just too cute. I do shots in my stomach (a few inches below my belly button) and my legs (front thigh). I have thought about around my belly button but didn't know if I could do it that close or not. THanks for the tip though, I'll try there for my next shot.

Anngelia 2009-05-04 14:59:51 -0500 Report

When I started on the pump they told me to stay 2 or 3 inches from the belly button. I think if you get too close the insulin cant got thru. I'm probably not explaining that correctly but I think the bottom line was…dont get too close to the belly button.

Least 2009-05-03 17:21:53 -0500 Report

Don't worry! You are definitely not the only one who feels discomfort/pain with shots. I have pain and some bleeding from time to time. Do you pinch up the skin slightly when injecting the needle? I always do this and it helps minimize pain because it makes sure the shot enters fat:) not muscle etc… just a suggestion.

Don't worry about the Doctors making it seem all other diabetics are doing "so well" and living a "perfectly normal" lifestyle either! I have had SO many doctors make me feel that way. (I'm sure its usually unintentional and meant to be encouraging) The truth is, no diabetics have a "perfectly normal" lifestyle and we all struggle at times. Goodness knows I've had quite a time of it recently!

How long have you had diabetes? I've had mine for ten years or so… and tried about ten doctors too!


Dietbeeties 2009-05-03 20:04:27 -0500 Report

About 6 years, I was diagnosed Type 1 at 24. They say I went undiagnosed for a while, I can't believe my old Dr.s never tested my sugar since I used to be in and out of the hospital all the time for passing out as a teen. Also, to the other post, I always pinch, and I have plenty to pinch..I'm not sure why I struggle with it so, but I hope I can use all the tips and things will get better.

Dietbeeties 2009-05-03 12:57:44 -0500 Report

I am so shocked the responses, comforted, but shocked. I have been struggling so long, thinking I am doing everything wrong. My Dr. isn't a diabetic, but I am sure he tries his best with all the book learning and patient experiences…but he usually leaves me feeling that other diabetics leave such wonderful lives and never have any troubles as long as they follow the diabetic guidelines (checking sugars, eating right, exercising, and shots). I am shocked that this isn't true. There ARE other people out there like me, that have troubles or issues, diabetics DO bleed every once in a while and shots CAN hurt. I am so glad someone is finally being honest with me so I can get over this "fantasy" of what I've been told a life of diabetes is. To hear everyone say there are ups and downs, depression sometimes, and that everyone has been through some form of what I am going through..well, it brings tears to my eyes…and hope. Now I can accept some of my issues for what they are, instead of always seeking what turns out to be an unrealistic perfection. Just a note, I do keep my insulin in the fridge, and leave it set out for a few before I "take the plunge". And alot of people on this site share their A1C scores…I'm still working on what all the numbers mean, (never been really explained to me, I know its an average of my levels, but its different than what I get on my meter) Anyways, my last A1C was a 7.3 and I was told I need to get that lowered. I hope I don't get alot of lecturing like I did from my Dr…maybe some advice on how to lower that number in relation to my meter. Thanks again everyone for all your input. I feel so encouraged now that the mask has been lifted!!

dianef 2009-05-03 13:15:11 -0500 Report

An a1c is an averae of what your blood sugars have been for the past 3 months. I think that an a1c of 7.3 means that your blood sugar average has been around 150-160. (Correct me if I am wrong) Some doctors like it to be below 7. I personally am happy with mine between 7-7.3 It sounds to me like you are doing pretty good with your control. you just need to tweak it a little bit

Colin Pye
Colin Pye 2009-09-20 21:40:19 -0500 Report

An A1C of 7.3 would suggest a BG average of about 130 mg/dl. 7.0 would be about 126 mg/dl. If you managed to keep an average of 104, your A1C would be about 5.8.

Anngelia 2009-05-03 16:57:20 -0500 Report

The doctors are right as far as "eating right, excercising, and checking your blood sugars". But lets face it…its a lot of work and it would be nice if we didnt have to do it. But the fact is we do have to do it. So keep on the right track and if you ever need to feel like your not alone just come around here and post or read the messages. We are all living with it and surviving. We all can do it and so can you. :-) You will find a lot of wonderful people on this site and we all want to help you as much as we can.

I know that taking shots sucks but in time you will find the way that works best for you. I'm not telling you that you will ever like it but you will find a way to not let it bother you as much. AND believe me you do have friends here who will always be there to try and help you through your diabetic issues. Email me personally if you ever need a friend to talk to. I think you are on my "friends list" if not I will add you.

Dietbeeties 2009-05-03 20:01:55 -0500 Report

Thanks, I really haven't met any diabetics since being diagnosed, so its amazing to me how similar (and different) we all are! OH, and thanks for adding me, sometimes I have whiny baby days and its nice to know there are people who understand!

Anngelia 2009-05-04 14:55:06 -0500 Report

I think we all have our whiney days. It helps if you have a friend who understands but will help to get you back on the right track. I hope I can be that for you if you ever need it.

ali eletre
ali eletre 2009-05-03 08:06:19 -0500 Report

I take shots since one month only and I have blood sugger since 2002 but onstly shots not heart that much you have to traind more to give to your self with out pain .. I am taking two shots per day and I used to give it to my self .. I hope you can take it with out pain

Anngelia 2009-05-02 19:16:28 -0500 Report

I have been a diabetic for almost 40 years. I have always given my injections slowly. Well I didnt for the first year or two. I was only 7 or 8 when I was dx'd so my father did it for me. But then when I did start, the stab it in method scred the hell out of me. I injected slowly and if it started to hurt I would pull back on the syringe.

I did that the entire time I was on injections and now that I am on a pump I still inject slowly. I think it is all about personal preferences.

2009-05-02 19:35:24 -0500 Report

How are you Anngelia. I know you have taken more shots than you could ever count. I guess it's just how you're taught to do it. When I get scared and tense up it does hurt some. They taught me to go fast, super fast with it and that's normally what I do. I bet everybody was taught a different method. I was also taught not to go at a right angle like Pat said. They also told me if it ever did bleed, you had an air bubble in your syringe. Hum, ever heard that? Hope you've been doing good friend. Angie

Anngelia 2009-05-03 17:07:59 -0500 Report

Angie, I was taught the "stab it" method but I just found that it worked better for me if I went slow. I know most dont agree but I decided the needle was going into MY body so I would do it the way I wanted to.

I'm glad to see that you are still hanging around this site and I hope you are making lots of friends and picking up lots of good information. I come and go but I always check back in so never fear that I will be gone forever. I belong to a lot of diabetic websites and I try to keep up with all of them. But feel free to email me anytime. I will always be there for my friends. ;-)

2009-05-18 21:02:18 -0500 Report

Anngelia, When I was injecting, I also injected slowly. I have a high pain tolerance, so it really didn't bother me. I have never pulled the plunger back after putting the needle in, I just used to push it in, hmmmm. Oh well. Now I'm a pumper, and if I put the set in, and it hurts, I change the site.

Anngelia 2009-05-21 07:44:18 -0500 Report

Legs, everything you said I agree with 100% and that is exactly how I do it. Thats nice to know that someone else agrees with me. Not that I would do it any different even if there werent but its just nice to know that someone else feels the same.

PAT L 2009-05-02 12:11:40 -0500 Report

when you use a new bottle of insulin just place on a area that you see all the time an the temp stays under a 90, when you fill your needle i always open it to 5 units larger than you are going to take. then inject the air into the insulin bod,an it will come out with out air also fill the needle by 5 units over an inject the 5 back in to your supply an you will not have any air. now this is what i have been told an do. an it works. I stick my fat in the middle of the body an NOT AT A RIGHT ANGLE TO THE BODY— I shoot my self at a 45 angle an always away from the center of the body.. that way it will stay in the fat. this way i very seldom draw blood an if i do it very small. I know that this works an I hope that it will help others that are having this problem. Pat…

mamaoak 2009-05-02 11:37:07 -0500 Report

do not keep you inslin in fridge the vial that you are useing should be left out at room temp or the bottle. dr told me to hold the needle in for the count of ten try that see if it works for you.also you are to take out the air ot of the needle push the suringe to release about 2 units check it see if there are any bubles if not then your ready for you shot. hope this helps

rbergman 2009-05-02 10:13:37 -0500 Report

Hi there, was curious to know if anyone actually taught you how to inject yourself? Way back when I was first put on insulin I was first taught to practice on an orange and then on myself…here are the basics that I was taught.
First after you choose the site, say..stomach, pinch a small section of your stomach between your finger and thumb, when you stick the needle in, pull back on the plunger to make sure no blood comes back into the syringe, if it does, take out the needle and choose an new site. Once you get a site that no blood has come back into the syringe, slowing push the plunger to release the insulin into your body, pull out the needle and rub the site in a circular motion to help the insulin spread out.
Sometimes the pain can come from a dull needle tip, it happens, not fun but not every needle is as sharp as it should be. Also there are different gauges of needle, do you know what the gauge of the needle is that you are using? The finer the gauge the less pain as well. Even if when you insert the needle and pull back on the plunger a bit and there is no blood, you can still have a tiny amount of blood come out of the site when removing the needle, as long as your not gushing blood this is fairly "normal" depending on the site. When I was on insulin injections I was taught to rotate my injection site, left side of stomach, left top of thigh, right top of thigh, right side of stomach, this rotation keeps one site from becoming particularly sore from using daily.
There is no simple answer to fix your situation, it's trial and error and of course, the sharpness of the needle always plays a role even if you get it right the needle could still be dull. I'd like to tell you that you'll get use to it and won't feel the pain after a period of time, but each of us are different and handle pain differently. My best suggestion would be to get the finest gauge of needle you possibly can and remember to pull back the plunger to make sure no blood is present before injecting the insulin, and rub the injection site after injecting to distribute the insulin so it doesn't burn as bad or as long.
Hope this helps!


2009-05-02 10:24:43 -0500 Report

You're right Robin. I thought they were nuts at the hospital making me give myself shot after shot of saline solution before they would release me. (I'm so glad they did now, it was well worth it in the long run.) All of what you said is true. I've noticed the only time my shots hurt are when I hesitate and do not go fast with the injection. Those are the ones that make you want to scream! Hugs, Angie

Dietbeeties 2009-05-02 11:30:59 -0500 Report

I mix Humulin N and R, and use 1mL 28 Gx1/2. I rotate on my legs and stomach. I was shown on an orange quite quickly and then had to inject 1 time so they could release me. I always wonder if I am doing it right, the Dr hasn't shown me, he addresses where rather than how. I was also told not to rub it in afterwards, and even after the scare with the vein injection I wasn't told about pulling back on the plunger before injection. Is that ok with the air you bring into the plunger? If it is, then that is a great idea..because I constantly worry about that now. Also, you all would go nuts watching me take a shot, for me it is a very slow process, I can't just stab it in, it takes alot of courage to do it too. Thanks for all your replies so far, its horrible to say, but I am so happy to know that other people have trouble too, I felt like I was the only one ever!

2009-05-02 10:07:28 -0500 Report

Hi and welcome. I'm very sorry you're having this problem. What area do you inject yourself? Stomach., etc. I might feel 2 out of 10 but not much pain. I definitely have not hit a vein, that would scare me. Moving way too quick through your system. I've never had one bleed either. I'm curious as to what type syringe you are using. Of course, you need to use what your doctor/endo tells you but the syringe will make a big difference. I use BD, Ultra-Fine II, Short Needle, 31 Guage, 5/16". I can only take injections in my stomach. It just sounds like something is wrong with the syringe. I have used 4 different types of insulin and I always used these syringes but like I said, it is based on what's best for your body. Let us know and good luck, Ouch, you should be able to fix this! Good luck, Angie

keek 2009-05-02 10:05:24 -0500 Report

Hey Dietbeeties,
I also have type 1, and have been diabetic for 15 years. Unfortunately, shots hurt. Mine hurt every time. I have become accustomed to the pain, but it is still unpleasant. What type of insulin do you take? I have found that some burn more than others. I take Levemir which frequently hurts going in, and Humalog and have never had any discomfort. Is the insulin cold when you inject it? Sometimes it helps to warm it in your hands a little before you take it (but this really only applies if you are injecting from a syringe, not a pen). Also, I find that I feel the burn more in some places than others… for example, shots in my thighs ALWAYS burn terribly, but my stomach and arms are not as bad.
Good luck!

Picadome62 2014-09-17 23:33:07 -0500 Report

I am having a horrible time giving myself insulin shots! My anxiety goes through the roof every night! It has taken me up to an hour to stick myself…my hands shake and I sweat…real nice coming from a lady…but it is true. It has been 3 weeks now and I just can't stand hearing people say "Oh, you'll get use to it"…especially since they don't have to do this. And on top of all this anxiety my Doctor's office called to tell me that the first 2 weeks glucose readings indicate that I now have to add 2 units at lunchtime…another shot?? Really? Today my 2 hour postmeal reading was 162. Is that really bad? I take glipizide before dinner which usually brings me down to 100 or less…I kind of feel like this is being forced on me…is it bad to have readings go from 90 to 160 and then back to 100-125 before a meal? I tried to ask my Educator but she just kept talking about how I HAD to do this…nice lady but I feel I need some other opinions. Can anyone help?