Chapstick is pocketable.  A small swiss-army knife is pocketable.  A mini-flashlight is pocketable.

Insulin pens are not pocketable.

Picture of a chap stick, a small swiss army knife, a mini-flashlight, and two insulin pens

I have been using an insulin pump for a long time.  Before I started pumping, they did not have these giant portable all-in-one “solutions”.  These are easier to carry around and use than the old vial and syringe, I admit, but they are big.  Too big.

I started carrying these around recently.  When I was working I would often drive very far from home (300-400 miles), and I wanted some backup that I could rely on.  In the winter I can’t keep my insulin and symlin from freezing when stored in the car, and I’m too absent minded to remember some sort of pouch or package of backup stuff in and out, so I settled.

I settled on sticking these HUGE “pens” in my pocket.  Along with all of the other crap already there (picture above is not everything in my pocket, I’ve also got my tube of glucose tabs, a nail clipper, one of those mini space pens, and a USB drive – more crap than anyone should carry).

These pens hold, what, about 300 units?  How about marketing a pen that only holds 100 units, or even less.  Something that is targeted just for pump emergencies?  I just need enough insulin to get me through a day.

Make it small.  Make it comfortable and easy to carry around.

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20 Responses to That Is Not Pocketable

  1. Chris says:

    Maybe it’s because I’ve been using them for so long, but I don’t mind the size of the pens. I don’t see it as any different than a regular pen, or standard issue sharpie. And the clip part ensures that it doesn’t get lost in my pocket with anything else that’s in there.
    I hear you about a pen with less insulin in it. I’m sure that would be more convenient but we might have to agree to disagree about this one ;)
    and FTR: Droid, iPod touch and ear buds, wallet, pen needles, chapstick, maybe even a real pen…..i know about managing pocket space.

  2. Cara says:

    Diabetes makes me glad I’m a girl. ‘Nuf said.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is that an insulin pen or are you just happy to see her?

  4. Bethany says:

    That’s been my problem with these for years! They are supposed to be small and easier but even though I used them for a couple years I always ended up going back to vial and needle – much smaller and easier, in my opinion. Those aren’t pocketable either, though!

  5. Scott S says:

    The original insulin pen, the NovoPen 1.5 contained 150 units. But because Novo Nordisk wanted to expand the market to the much, much bigger type 2 universe who are insulin resistant and might get 1-2 days out of the product, Instead, that product (which was really sized like a pen) was discontinued and the newer generation pen which contained 300 units, which I complained about when it occurred, but was told no one cared. I guess I should have asked Scott K. Johnson to chime in on that subject a few years ago!!

  6. Kassie says:

    Instead of pens I carry just a pen cartridge and carry a syringe or stash some syringed in my car (funny that we can say that…) Anyway, the insulin pen cartridges are about the size of a perfume sample bottle. Easy to tuck away.

  7. Carol says:

    One word….manpurse….or is that two words? :)

  8. Katerina says:

    I would love a smaller pen!

  9. great blog! I love the tip on just taking the cartridge along. I think I’m going to stack an empty pen in my car. I always have cartridges in my purse (bought one on Medicool that doesn’t even look like a diabetes purse, but can hold all the items – except for those huge insulin pens!).
    I’m so happy to be a pumper. Over here, in Belgium, most people use pens if they don’t pump. I have never seen someone over here using syringes for 20 years.

  10. Jeff says:

    I just use the ol’ vial and syringe ‘cuz I can’t afford anything else. Seems to take up less room than that pen, though.

  11. Traci says:

    Amen. My husband has the same complaint with pens and meters. He always says he feels like he’s being forced to buy a man purse to carry all of he crap he has. (Why am I suddenly thinking of the man-purse episode of Friends??) Man I’m getting old.

  12. Karen says:

    So true Those pens are pretty freaking big – not at all pocket-sized. And I had some snappy comments for you – but they’ve already been used. :( Damn, that’s what I get for slacking on my blog reading. Oh well!!

  13. George says:

    BRING BACK THE FANNY PACK!
    BRING BACK THE FANNY PACK!
    BRING BACK THE FANNY PACK!
    BRING BACK THE FANNY PACK!
    BRING BACK THE FANNY PACK!
    BRING BACK THE FANNY PACK!
    BRING BACK THE FANNY PACK!
    BRING BACK THE FANNY PACK!
    BRING BACK THE FANNY PACK!
    I’m just sayin’.

  14. It’s all about the Man Purse. That Is All.

  15. karend1 says:

    Let me see I would like a smaller pen, oooo and another way to test my bloodsugar without drawing blood 12 times a day, and well how about something other than insulin, as insulin is not a cure!!!!
    Want I really want is a freaking cure, something I know will not happen in my life time, crap I have not learned much from reading The Secret, all this negativity I am spewing!!

  16. michel Ferraro says:

    Totally agree! i’m a sales rep, so i travel quit a bit as well i cover all of the province of Qu

  17. sisiay says:

    I use those pens too. They’re not as small as chapstick, but I can fit one in my jeans pocket if I need to, or a jacket pocket if I’m wearing one. I do sometimes use vial/syringe for Lantus, since I take that only once a day, at bedtime, but when I’m out and about, the pens are FAR more convenient for me. I think it would be harder and much more noticeable to inject with a vial/syringe at a table/in a car/on a plane etc than it is with the pens. I can usually inject without anyone even noticing (“don’t you need to take insulin before you eat that?”) which would be hard to pull off with a vial/syringe. I can also inject with the pen while I’m walking around- I’d be worried about dropping and breaking a vial. I do prefer the vial/syringe for my larger dose of Lantus, since the longer/larger bore needle makes it inject easier.

  18. Sarah says:

    This would be a great idea not just because you can pocket them easier, but if you do have a d-emergency, and open one, what if you only needed to use 100u, not the full 300u? I would rather waste 25u out of a 100u pen than 25u out of a 300u pen. You would waste tons of insulin because the rest of it would most likely go bad before having to use the pen again.

  19. Alison says:

    Like Scott S I remember the beautifully crafted, much smaller original NovoPen. I whinged like hell when that disappeared from the market, I remember writing to Novo as an irrate teenager complaining that they were sacrificing the needs of the T1 market who didn’t need to carry such huge amounts of insulin around for the much larger T2 market. Sadly it did no good :-(

  20. Matt Wardman says:

    Bring back the Innovo.

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