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Re: [IP] Re: Running Out of Insulin


>I have also been away from home, without any supplies and had the HP alarm
>on my Mini-Med pump go off.  It has usually been because the reservoir is
>out of insulin.  Desparate times call for desparate measures and I very
>quickly learned how to make do for the several hours until I got back home.
>I have disconnected, unscrewed the tubing from the reservoir and then fill
>the reservoir with air.  After priming the line to make sure insulin is
>dripping out the other end, I reconnect.  Since I wear the 42" line I can
>usually get about 20 more units of insulin out of the line.  This means I
>do not have to drive back home or miss out on a Sunday dinner away from

True confession time for me ;-)

I've heard of this trick before, so some time ago, I planned on testing
this process. I knew my cartridge (Disetronic) was low and would not make
it through the day. I got an occlusion alarm (04 alarm, caused when the
cartridge ran dry) when I bolused for lunch, just as I predicted. I knew
all I had to do was disconnect from the site, disconnect from the
cartridge, draw some air into the cartridge, reconnect, then use the
resulting "bubble" to push the insulin from the 42 inch tubing until the
end of the day. Simple in theory, but I bungled it big time in practice.

Here's what I didn't expect:

It's very important to disconnect when you do things like this, so I did
like a good pumper and disconnected from my site, then disconnected the
tubing from the pump. I couldn't figure out what the small puddle on the
floor was after I hooked everything back up. Finally, it dawned on me when
I saw there was no insulin remaining in the tube! I had forgotten to clamp
the tubing off prior to disconnecting from the pump. Once I disconnected
both ends of the tubing, it drained completely and quickly.

Fortunately, knowing that every good experiment needs a good back up plan,
I had my extra insulin with me. I learned that lesson the first dozen or so
times I blew up the hard drives on my computers ;-) I filled another
cartridge, hooked back up and things were fine.

Moral of the story is to make sure I pack those little "useless looking"
tubing clamps with me. They are useful ;-)

Bob Burnett

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