How do I take care of my bottles of insulin?

Bottles is the correct word, because you should have more than one on hand. The back up supply should be kept in the refrigerator (not in the coldest part, where it might freeze, and certainly not in the freezer compartment). The bottle you're using (or bottles, if you use more than one kind) should stay at room temperature and be conveniently placed in whatever room you use to take your shots. Don't keep your opened bottles refrigerated. Not only is it unnecessary, but cold insulin causes more pain when injected. Insulin remains stable up to three months without refrigeration.

You should by the way always watch the expiration date on your insulin. If you use it after that date it may not be as effective. For that reason, you can't stock up on huge quantities of insulin when you find it on sale. When June finds herself out of control, the first thing she checks is the date on the insulin she's using. If it's slightly out of date, she throws it away hastily. (Although she admits it usually turns out that the insulin was not at fault.) It's perfectly OK to carry your insulin in your purse or pocket (in a protective case of some kind) when you're not going to be taking your injection at home. Insulin is pretty hardy stuff. You just have to be careful not to freeze it or expose it to hot temperatures (above 100 degrees). Treat it as you would a baby. You wouldn't freeze a baby and you wouldn't boil it.

When traveling you don't have to worry about keeping your insulin refrigerated, nor do you have to buy one of those expensive insulin carriers to keep it in. In airplanes don't put your insulin in the luggage you check. Keep it in your pocket, purse, or hand luggage, both because the cargo hold may be too cold and because your luggage may get lost along the way. If you're traveling by automobile, don't leave your insulin in a closed car in the hot sun because the temperature can rise to damaging heights. (Again the baby rule applies.)


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