93,936 Hours….To Be Ready at ANY Given Moment. The Expired Glucagon Dry Run!

Glucagon TomEvery hour that ‘ticks’ by each and every day; we have to be ready to grab the emergency glucagon.  

When this one expired, Jill left it for me, which means she took the last one, and used it ‘to practice’. 


She has written the note numerous times since September 26th, 1992.  We sort of have glucagon everywhere.  You know why…….just in case.  Right?

93,936 hours we have been at this and at each and any moment we wonder, will it be needed at the next hour, minute, today, next week, or whenever.  After 93,936 hours I still ‘have to practice’ to make sure that the next time it is needed I can get it right. 

Through the trembling hands, the shaky body, and the adrenaline that will be all hitting my body at once I need to know that I can do the steps necessary to save Kaitlyn or Rob’s life.

We do this each and every time one expires.  If you are just discarding yours, I strongly suggest you work through the steps so this is second nature to you when, and if, you ever need it.   As much as second nature it might be.  May you never…….but that is a crap shoot we all know about….don’t we?

I am pretty sure most people practice with it when it expires, but even if just one person says, ‘Hmmmmm, never thought to do that”…….well that would be worth the entire column today.  (Obviously ‘practice’ means to mix the ingredients only…inject into an orange if anything; not a person—check with your medical professional if you need further explanation).

93,936 hours……waiting to do something at any given moment……..just in case.  I’ll remember that the next time I am told (again) “Well, it IS ‘just diabetes’.

I am a diabetes dad

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18 replies on “93,936 Hours….To Be Ready at ANY Given Moment. The Expired Glucagon Dry Run!”

Thank You, As a new Diabetes mom I didn’t even think of that. I will keep it in mind as it expires.

Thank you for sharing Kerry—and as I stated—helping one will make my whole day—-so thank you for making my day. Although I am sorry that you are new d-mom. 🙁
We are all in this together.

At my daughters school we have glucagon delegates. They are a teacher, vice principal etc, who volunteer to administer glucagon if the nurse isn’t available such as in an after school activity. I give my expired to the nurse so she can let the delegates get a feel for it. And it is a good refresher for her as well 🙂

My 9 year old son had food allergies for 7 long years before my daughter developed T1D. The Epi Pen comes with a training device inside the package. Every single EpiPen package has a training device included.

Why don’t they do this for Glucagon?

We’ve all practiced with the EpiPen, but we don’t have an expired Glucagon yet. (No one has ever given us Glucagon for my husband, probably because of the roundabout way they arrived at his diagnosis, thinking he was type 2 for 7 years. He really ought to be carrying one too.)

Lilly also has a Glucagon app for iPhone (don’t know about android) that let’s you practice the steps virtually. We do it monthly at our house. We had to do “mini” glucagon shots with our last round of the flu, and the app practice before hand was very helpful.

I would love to know how you “practice” with it. Do you mix the liquid and solid, then inject it into an orange (like I was trained to do with insulin syringes, before they became so short)?

Or do you actually inject the liquid (without mixing it with the solid) into your body? Of course this is not the place to give any sort of medical advice, and hopefully everybody recognizes that. Plus, if the liquid part is just saline (maybe it is, maybe it’s not, I just don’t know) it “should” he harmless. But I’m a bit confused on how to use these kits for “practice”, and I’d be surprised if I’m the only one.

It would be awful if someone – thinking they were doing something good and being prepared – injected themselves with a hormone and actually did something very bad.

I reflected that on the site but clearly it is not for human use unless needed; and only to mix the ingredients. I cannot imagine anyone thinking otherwise but just in case, I heeded your advice (because one just never knows). Thanks for chiming in.

We practice mixing and drawing back into the syringe then we just squirt it into the sink its not so much the injecting part but just mixing and getting the shot ready

It is great to do this we have many times. it is very different to drawing insulin the syringe has a different feel to it and it does take practice when and if you ever need it (like we have has to ) you don’t want to be struggling with it in that moment when your child is not responding and you are frantically trying to bring their sugar level up it is a very shaky moment your hands will tremble and you don’t have time or the right frame of mind to be trying to work it out you just need to know it so practice is great and I am glad we had practiced so many times

We also give all of our expired glucagon kits to the nurse so that the nursing staff and aide can practice administration throughout the year. Since my son will only have an aide for half the day starting in the Fall, she will put them to even more use this year, as the school has agreed to conduct quarterly training sessions on diabetes management throughout the year with the staff.

This is great advice, Tom, thank you for sharing it!

Thanks for this. I’ve never even thought of that. We’re only 5364 hours in so we don’t have an expired one yet but it’s a good as I know I’d be all over the place if it were to happen. Roll on that first expiry date!

Thanks for the reminder, I have been saving the expired glucagons to practice, now I need to practice, and have other family members practice too., because this is the one diabetes task that my daughter can not do herself 🙁

Wow…after 8 1/2 yrs on this, not so thrilling, roller coaster ride I have to say that I have never thought of this…thank you Tom…I will do this next time…thankfully we have never needed to use one

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