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[IP] Six ways to "K.I.S.S."(*)
I've been a Type 1 diabetic for nearly 30 years. I've been on the pump,
first a Minimed 507C and now a 508, for about a year and a half. I use
Sof-set Ultimate QR 42" infusion sets and Humalog U-100 insulin. My A1C's
are in the normal range.
I've learned how to keep pump management _simple_ while being frugal with
supplies, without compromising my well-being. All of the following is
1. Reservoir K.I.S.S.
I change reservoirs monthly. A box of 24 reservoirs will last me two years.
To avoid NO DELIVERY alarms, I need to remember to push and pull the
plunger in the near-empty reservoir several times (until the motion feels
free) before refilling with insulin. I do _not_ see NO DELIVERY alarms.
2. Site prep K.I.S.S.
I normally change a site right after I shower. I insert the cannula with
the Sof-serter and apply the supplied Smith+Nephew OpSite adhesive. I use
no site prep ointments, solutions, glues, pain-reducing cremes, or extra
adhesives. Even though my site change procedure is _very_ simple, I can
still find ways, now and then, to screw it up ;-) ... such as by forgetting
to remove the cannula adhesive backing before I use the Sof-serter.
3. Insulin K.I.S.S.
I refill a reservoir every week on the same day, so it's *never* gone
empty. When I fill it, new insulin is mixed with the old. I only throw out
insulin when I change reservoirs monthly. (There is _no_ correlation
between my insulin requirement and the day of the week or month, which
refutes any insulin aging hypothesis.)
Insulin is the "stuff of life".
4. Infusion set K.I.S.S.
When I first started using the pump, I got frequent skin infections, but
they've gradually disappeared. I found, much to my surprise, that my body
went through a LONG adjustment period. For several months, I changed every
2 days/2 days/3 days, so I was changing on the same days of the week. Then,
I found that the 3-day period was being well-tolerated and I tried changing
every 3 days/4 days. When I found that 4 days was being tolerated, I
extended to 5 days/4 days/5 days, just to see if it would work. (It did,
but I've since reverted to a 3 day/4 day schedule.) I think the adjustment
period was actually the time needed for my body to pad the infusion sites
with fat. I'm of slim build and am not overweight. I've noticed that I now
have more substantial fat deposits (not exactly "love handles", more like
"friendship bulges") on my abdomen. The lumpy fat deposits I used to have
on my arms, legs and buttocks have completely disappeared, since I no
longer use these sites for injections. As the fat's built up on my abdomen,
the inflammation at the infusion sites has subsided. Most of the time, when
I remove a cannula, I can hardly tell it was there, which is NOTHING like
it was at first.
5. Battery K.I.S.S.
Some people report getting 12 weeks from a set of three "357" batteries. I
found that no matter what battery source I tried, I could only get a
maximum of 6 weeks. Then, it just became a matter of finding an inexpensive
I buy my batteries from http://www.wholesaleadvantage.com/battery_index.htm
(click on "Electronics") Their batteries have lasted as long as any others,
but cost only about a dollar each. (No, I don't even get a single AAA
battery from them for this testimonial.) I buy a year's supply at a time
and store them in the fridge.
Another even less expensive source recently posted to the IP list is
http://www.jewelrysupply.com/noframes/watchbatteries.htm but I have no
experience (yet) with this supplier.
I decided I did not ever want to see a LO BATTERY or NO POWER alarm, so I
change the batteries *monthly*, when I change reservoirs. Since doing both
is "hard", it's noted as a "BRICK" day on my log, for a change of Battery,
Reservoir, Insulin, and Catheter, then a Kiss for my wife.
6. Lancet K.I.S.S.
I don't need a yearly reminder to change a lancet, but it'd help. <g> I
know that some people, OTOH, change it every time they test. I change mine
whenever it hits the floor or it hits me to change it.
Please remember that the practices I've outlined above are *all* YMMV. It
might help novices to know that the pump can be downright easy to manage
once you get the hang of it, after it hangs on you a while. What's much
harder to manage is the person wearing it. ;-)
(*) K.I.S.S.: "Keep It Short & Simple" (also, "Keep It Simple, Stupid")
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