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Old School Insulin Storage.

Diabetes supplies used to be pretty damn tough.  And insulin storage was downright badass.

When I was in college, I was on injection therapy, taking Regular insulin and UltraLente.  Instead of my current insulin pump, I used orange capped syringes and old school insulin pens.  The insulin pens were awesome and made out of metal, making them almost bulletproof.  One afternoon, I was heading out with one of my roommates to go to class and I back up the car along the gravel driveway.  To feel a little bit of a buckle and a crunch.

"Oh for crying out loud," I muttered, wondering what I just ran over.  I opened thThe blue case.  e door, popped my head out, and rolled the car forward to reveal my insulin pen, crushed underneath the back wheel.

"Shit!  I killed the pen!"  I unbuckled and retrieved the pen from the driveway, expecting to pick up shards.

But the thing was perfectly intact, only a few scratches on from the gravel.  I was impressed.

Then there was "the blue case."  From the time I was a kid, I stored my insulin in this blue cool pack that was virtually indestructable.  It was a blue zipper case with a heavy cool pack in the middle that I'd store in the freezer at night and then stick in the bag for the duration of the following day.  This pack was dragged everywhere from the beach to school to sleep overs to the car for long road trips to airplanes to my first apartment.  And it withstood the test of time, refusing to succumb heat, cold, jostling, and being slammed in the trunk door by accident.  (I am an abusive insulin keeper, it seems.) 

Even though I've switched from injections to insulin pumping, I still have these diabetes relics from ancient times.  The blue case is under the bed somewhere, and that metal insulin pen is in the pen cup on my desk at home.  Saving these bits of diabetes memorabilia isn't just unique to my dLife - apparently, Jim Turner does it, too.

When he came to visit the office a few weeks back, he brought in this little pellet of a thing that stored his insulin vial.  "Protects it from being cracked if it falls or something." It was worn from several decades of use, but it still did its job.

Jim Turner's "insulin bullet" 

I thought it was awesome.  It was like a beer cozy for insulin.  (Cozy?  Koozi?  Kangaroo?  I have no idea.)  I have only broken a bottle of insulin once, but of course it was the last one in my stash, thus creating chaos.  Anything that protects supplies, I am a fan of.

What kinds of tools from years gone by are you still hanging on to?    


hmm..diabetes memoralibia? I had a white case that had a shoulder strap, and all kinds of elastic hold downs for different pouches. One little pouch held 2 vials, and a clear pouch held syringes. It was a bulky horrible looking thing!

I also had old glass syringes that my great-aunt had 'back in the day' before orange capped disposible syringes. Those things looked scary! They had to be sterilized between uses. Ohhhh... we've come a long way, baby!

I threw those things out, but I wish I still had the glass syringes. Just to show people how far we've come.

I still keep my insulin in this funky blue insulated thing I got from the doctors when I was first diagnosed. It is falling apart but my insulin "Must" be in there.


That insulin cozy is so cute. It would be great if it kept the insulin cool too - that's one problem I have when I tote my bottle around in case of emergencies.

I don't think I have any of my old supplies hanging around. Which is weird for me, because I'm usually a pack-rat. I wish I had my first blood glucose monitor though - it would be so fun to laugh at how big they used to be.

Ooh, I was just mentioning this to other diabetics last month. I have in my attic:
* A vial of Chemstrips (from before meters)
* A vial of Ketodiastix (from before blood testing)
* One of those old guillotine-style prickers, for use with the Chemstrips--truly one of the scariest looking things on earth.
* A folder with the sheets I used to write urine test results on, and the stopwatch my parents kept in the bathroom for timing the sixty seconds it took to read the results.
* Boxes of old syringes and lancets (much thicker and more painful than current syringes and lancets)
And, for some god-knows-why reason, in my fridge I have vials of NPH and Regular insulin, with an expiration date of 1999. Do I seriously think I might get that desperate??? Preparing for the apocalypse, I guess, when there might be no more insulin and I'll think to myself, I'm not a packrat, just prudent.

I have an old white Eli Lilly Glucagon kit..never used.And my first meter. Other then that, nothing that was so different from 2008.

I, too, am stashing for the apocalypse - you can't be prepared! (Seriously, I really do stockpile supplies - just feel so much more secure knowing we have way more than 30 days worth.) My kiddo has only been at this about a year and a half, but very shortly after her dx, we bought an awesome LeSportsac bag with oodles of different zippered pockets where she can organize needle tips, alcohol wipes, snacks, etc. Lately, she's tried a new bag, but I will never get rid of the original. It looks like security to me.

I still have my old One Touch II meter at my mom's house. I used to think that thing was so small. Haha, I also used to think it wasn't going to get any better than wringing a teaspoon of blood from your fingertip to take a reading. I was young.

There's also an old exchange book hidden away in the drawers of my mom's house. You know the one--8.5 x 11 in hugeness. I always hoped something new would be added to the "free foods" list.

So, I hardly ever carry around supplies but I want an insulin bullet cozy now!

As far as what I am holding on to... Well, it only goes back to 2002 for my dx, but I still have control solution and lancets from my first meter :)

I wish I had my first OneTouch meter with the little door you had to close over the "light sensitive" strips, that were not light sensitive when the later models of OneTouch meters came out. That thing was the best! I also wish I had an insulin cozy that is definitely something I would keep for years.

I have all of my old meters stashed some place either at my house or back at my parents', but my favorite is my original One Touch II with the hard plastic case from 17 years ago. I can still remember the "beep....boop boop beep!" noise! I also still have my very first medic alert necklace that is still my favorite for biking/running because it's smaller than anything else I've ever found.

Once I was in the bathroom at work and dropped my insulin bottle. It hit the floor and shattered into a zillion pieces. I wish my insulin had been in a little cozy then. I still have a collection of old meters and I don't know why. Oh, I also have an old Monoject syringe.

Where do you even GET an insulin cozy? I'd love to know.

I have the 45 second One Touch from when I was diagnosed in 1998. Those things took so much blood.

I also have this HUGE lunch kit think w/ pockets for ice packs, elastic for insulin vials and that big meter, and pouches for syringes, lancets, etc. I think I even put a juice box in there. I carried very large purses back then.

yeah i would love to know where you would get an insulin kozy too . they are pretty neat . I have dropped the bottle in the bathroom too and had those gross hard tile floors where you can never get all the glass untill a year later LOL!!! I would like to know though about those insulin kozys and where we might be able to obtain one . As usual an interesting blog kerri thanks .

Elizabeth Joy, I have my old guillotine pricker, too. And I actually used it recently when I somehow lost my regular lancet device AND then the back-up broke in the middle of the night. Even though it's scary looking, I think it hurt less than the new-fangled ones. Possibly because it had a new lancet. I really should change them out more than once a year...

I want the insulin cozy, too! Great idea. Did Jim Turner make it himself?

I so use my "blue" case still. Although mine is gray and ugly! I like the blue one. What do you use to keep your new bottles of insulin cold while traveling still?

Hello i love the insulin bullet. can you tell me where i can get one. I currently am carrying my insulin in an empty tylenol bottle. Does the insulin bullet keep your insulin cold?
Thank you

Ohmygoodness! I had the same kind of case as your big blue one. Only mine was purple. I hated it though. Too hard to be ninjabetic lugging that HUGE thing around. I would LOVE to know where to get one of those insulin bullets too. :)

the guillotine pricker was called an "autolet."
i still have relics like a Clinitest set in my "diabetes museum," but very few meters remain from the early days. 30+ years ago, meters were expensive enough that it was worth trading them in for credit towards a new one, so my glucoscan and lifescan meters- the ones that took 2 minutes and weighed as much as a hardcover book- are gone.
my insulin pouch is ugly brown canvas and velcro, and i'm inexplicably attached to it, too!
did anyone else's mom use the pre-printed 'for the babysitter' note pad? remember the EDI filmstrip?
i miss the silver packet, slimy green Monogel for lows! who decided chalky tabs were better? certainly not i.
finally, the notion of a 'single use' lancet makes me giggle every time i look at that box of 100 that i bought a decade ago!
phew. that's all stuff i've been meaning to post for years :)

Oh, how I want Jim insulin cover. Colleen has a green and a purple she still uses from a decade ago. Now, that I am dxd I need one for my Humalog and Lantus (a taller one) I am so used to the nice grip I get with these... my fingers slip on the glass and I like that the rubber stopper is cover all the time, it's aesthetically comforting! I don't get why there is no one making them anymore. Who do I talk with Jim Turner, D-Life, etc. Someone needs to restore peace in the universe and get these back on the market with a purple one for Lantus (violet) like the plastic cap I suggest and make me whole... Seriously I would pay good money for this they are priceless for protecting and ease of use for insulin vials that need the temp protection. HELP me out with this and I will owe you big time!

I am friends with the guy who designed, produced and holds the patent for the Vial Cozy that Jim Turner still has after a decade or more, which is a testament to its durability. He created it after breaking a few bottles himself, made an order and marketed it through one of the drug store chains, not sure which one, with little or no advertising. He is toying with the idea of resurrecting it because it is a far better option than anything else out there. He doesn't need investors, but the minimum order is 20,000 units and without some good marketing ideas he won't move forward. I am sure that he would love to see the comments above and I plan to send him a link to view when he returns from his family's vacation trip. Meanwhile, any ideas?

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