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Thread: Diabetes and limited hand function

  1. #1

    Question Diabetes and limited hand function

    Hello, trying to find a solution for someone with C6 hand function (quadriplegia/tetraplegia) and diabetes. Has anyone figured out a way, setup, or equipment that allows someone to independantly monitor and administer insulin? I definitely do not know the ins and outs of diabetes but I am hoping to help this person out.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada

    The infusion pump? About the size of a cell phone. Expensive though and someone else would have to set it up daily.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer View Post

    The infusion pump? About the size of a cell phone. Expensive though and someone else would have to set it up daily.
    Thanks for the idea. I will pass it along. Anyone else?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    At C6 the person should be able to monitor their glucose levels. I have a spring loaded pencil looking device with the lancet inside. I just push the spring lever back by using anything (edge of table works well) and then it is just a question of jabbing yourself. Some meters can hold rolls of test strips, so no individual insertion is needed per test. You can get at least ten tests from one of the rolls. I do not have to take insulin, fortunately, but there are insulin pens that are pre-loaded and only require dialing in the correct dose, perhaps possible by thumb or mouth.

  5. #5
    I would recommend getting both a CDE (certified diabetic educator) and OT together on this problem. There are a wide variety of meters and lancet systems available now days, and there will certainly be at least one that requires less finger dexterity. Something like the Accu-Check Multi-Clix (like the one above) with a lancet "drum" would make the most sense for a lancet system. The one I have gives you 8 "sticks" per drum, and is pretty easy to use even with limited hand use.

    Is this person you?

    Does this person need to also take insulin or other injectable diabetic medication? If so, an insulin (or other drug) pen would be the easiest to use. Alternatively, if a set dose (vs. sliding scale) is needed, syringes can be prefilled for a week ahead of time. It is not difficult to learn how to give insulin with limited hand function even with a syringe, but a pen is much easier.


  6. #6
    Eileen and KLD,

    Thanks for the ideas. No the person is not me. Someone I know asked me because we have the SCI in common and I said that I would try to do some asking around/research. I had asked some docs and nurses that I know but had come up empty handed. I figured that there might be someone here on Care Cure that was actually doing it.

    KLD, I don't know enough about diabetes or this person to answer your follow-up questions but, from what both of you say, I can tell the person that "Yes" something can be figured out, give them a couple of equipment ideas, and tell them who they should get involved in figuring it out.

    Thanks so much!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    Something like the below device allows for 17 tests on a single drum loading of the glucose meter.

  8. #8
    I use an insulin pump but have use of my hands. There is a basel level that is pre-programmed and then a bolus that's given with meals. A lot of the guesswork of insulin doses is taken care of with the pump. I imagine that someone could manage the bolus doses with a thumb or maybe a mouthstick. These are expensive and the supplies are, also. However, our insurance covers it so they may be lucky. This is certainly something to look into. I agree that overall assessment by a diabetic educator or nurse would be very helpful.

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