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There is a new monitor on the market called Atlast, which has an integrated lancet inside of it. You do not prick your finger, but your forearm or other alternate sites. The forearm has less nerve endings in it that the finger tip does, therefore reducing the discomfort--making this a good choice for the pediatric population. Disadvantages include higher cost of the lancets and some red markings that usually appear on the forearm.
When travelling, be sure to take along more insulin than you think you need, as pharmacies don't necessarily carry every type of insulin. If you are travelling by airplane, place your insulin in your carry-on luggage--do not check it. It will be easier for you to control the temperature that way, as you don't want it to get too hot or to freeze. Most pharmacies carry a case that is designed for insulin storage, or you can simply use a lunch box or other container with an ice pack.
There are many different monitors available, but they all supply you with your blood sugar reading. The most basic monitors simply supply you with your readings whereas the very advanced (and expensive) monitors can give you faster readings, can store more readings, may require a smaller blood sample and can even be downloaded onto your pc!. It is important to purchase a machine that you will have no difficulty operating, so that you will use it regularly.
Insulins that are packaged in a vial should be refrigerated at all times. It is stable at room temperature for only 28 days. If you do a lot of travelling, you may want to use insulin that comes in prefilled or refillable pens. These pens keep insulin stable at room temperature for 10 to 28 days, but will keep refrigerated insulin stable until the expiration date on the box-which could be up to 2 years.
If you purchase a blood glucose monitor, always ask your physician or pharmacist if there is a rebate for it. Many times you can actually get the machine for free simply by asking. The companies that manufacture the monitors typically make their money on the strips, as opposed to the machines themselves.