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Down to the Wire.

… or “down to the tubing” might be more appropriate.

After decades with type 1 diabetes, I hold my synthetic insulin in high regard and do my best to waste as little as possible.  So if I can time a pump site change for when I’m down to single-digits in the reservoir, I consider that a win.


23 Comments Post a comment
  1. I was watching TV the other night with the plan to shower and change my pump as soon as the episode was over. (OK, it was Big Brother. Don’t judge, summer indulgence).

    My pump started yelling at me because I was at 0. WooHoo! I too, hate wasting insulin and I’m not one to do a site change at work in the middle of the day. Maybe I should be?

    07/16/13; 10:26 am
  2. I’m right there with ya. My Low Res alarm has been beeping all morning but I’m determined to squeeze out enough for breakfast before changing. “Waste not, want not”, right?

    07/16/13; 10:26 am
  3. It’s probably extremely bad of me but I sometimes use leftover insulin in the next resevoir. Especially if the site change is due to pulling out the set and I still have a ton of insulin left. I haven’t noticed any issues with BG’s so I’m going to keep doing it ;-)

    07/16/13; 10:46 am
  4. Amy #

    I totally do this, too. But it drives me INSANE that we all feel this way!!! It is something we need, and pumps take priming, and why does it have to be so limited and cherished like the sweat of Elvis?!

    07/16/13; 11:07 am
    • LOL!! Is it wrong that I now have this insatiable urge to fill my pump reservoir with the sweat of Elvis?!

      07/16/13; 11:25 am
      • Amy #

        Yeah, it’s totally wrong. Insulin only!!

        07/16/13; 12:36 pm
  5. I get jealous every time I see a picture like that. Despite the message, it must be nice to have “1 U” on the screen rather than simply “<". (Ironically, the more "less-than's" I have, <<<<, the more insulin I have in my pump).

    Just recently, I approached the end of my vial and had to decide whether to waste the insulin at the bottom or to use an infusion set for less than the prescribed time. (Seeing as how I have stockpile of infusion sets that don't really expire, I figured that was more disposable). Decisions, decisions.

    07/16/13; 11:56 am
  6. Dan #

    Hi Kerri,
    I appreciate your ability to utilize all the insulin which you have available. I have just one question. How often do you rotate and change site locations? Having an inset which can be changed at the entry point into the body means that insulin is not disposed of when lines are changed. Meaning the insulin in the line can remain with just the changing of a new inset only. As always have a great day.

    07/16/13; 12:04 pm
    • Bruce #

      I refill my reservoir over and over, and reuse the tubing 10+ times, my endo thinks I’m cheap.
      I am :)

      07/16/13; 8:17 pm
  7. Carrie #

    I do it too. I blame it on the high cost of insulin. My goodness. I went to the pharmacy last night to pick up my monthly supply of Apidra (which normally costs me $50 with the discount card) and low and behold the three bottles rang up at $379! My insurance no longer covers it – thanks for the notification Aetna! I’ve been on the phone all morning quarreling, disputing, discussing, digressing and even tried being ‘polite and friendly’ to no avail. I have to either go back on novolog or humalog. Some days, I am just D.O.N.E with diabetes. done.

    07/16/13; 12:04 pm
    • Carrie,
      My insurance no longer covers Humalog. SO FRUSTRATING. I’m on Apidra now but wanted to switch back to Humalog and surprise!!! No dice.

      Good luck figuring it all out.

      07/16/13; 1:37 pm
  8. Agnes #

    Ok, but as long as you’re aware of how much you have. As in, not running out when you are on a nature reserve on a tropical island volunteering for an archeological dig and 2 hours away from your insulin supply. Did the “take out the cartridge and push that plunger thingy” trick for the first time. Who knows how much insulin went in. Fun.

    07/16/13; 5:15 pm
  9. I am in the “I will pull out remaining insulin from current cartridge and use it to start filling the next” camp. It doesn’t happen too often, but when I know I’m going to run out in the middle of the night, it’s better to switch out early than be bleary-eyed at 3am with an empty vibrating pump between my boobs. Boobs :)

    07/16/13; 5:16 pm
  10. Bruce #

    Since getting my Ping in January, I’ve only used 3 new reservoirs and 5 new sets of hosiery. When the reservoir binds up and stops pumping is the only time I change it. That clear liquid is too expensive!

    07/16/13; 8:27 pm
  11. Allison #

    Your basal is at .5?? my doctor has me well above 1.5 all the time.

    07/16/13; 11:35 pm
    • YDMV – your diabetes may vary. (Hat tip to Bennet.) If you need more insulin to achieve more in-range numbers, take it! I don’t know two PWDs who are on the exact same regimen, due to how much diabetes varies from person to person.

      07/17/13; 9:40 am
  12. That’s pretty cool you time it like that. I wear the minimed and use alot of insulin, so I always change my res and infusion sites at different times. Like tonight, I unplugged, filled it back up and replugged in.

    07/16/13; 11:50 pm
    • I totally do that, too. It’s a rare occasion when it works out like this. But man, I’m always trying to time it this way.

      07/17/13; 9:39 am
  13. Shari Ullian #

    I save my cannulas, which for me, even ” empty” have between and 20 units left inside. Every week or so I take a syringe and drain each cannula and refill my vial of insulin with it. Usually gives me a few more days. Did not think of all that left over in the tube, though. . .

    07/17/13; 3:08 pm
  14. I too hate wasting insulin. However, I’m at a health institute that’s all raw and I am using barely any insulin – for bolusing. So – I had to remember when to change (as I didn’t even get close to running out) and waste almost 60 units! I didn’t want to try to recycle/use it because of the heat. So, good news – I loaded the new cartridge with half the regular amount!

    07/17/13; 11:08 pm
  15. kim #

    I too, use a Ping. One of the things I love about it is the ability to fill the reservoir to only the amount i need for the 3 days. I always fill it a little extra for those unwanted corrections and times when I eat more than I normally would (Tim Hortons breakfast bagels!). I have my “low reservoir” alarm set for 10, but try to get as much out of it as I can. Usually I get to 1unit left and sometimes 0.
    I also use the Rapid D infusion set. This means I can use the tubing 2x and although I still have to prime, I don’t lose as much in the process because I’m not throwing it away.

    07/18/13; 8:56 am
  16. I think I tweeted this when you first posted this picture but that night I noticed I had 7 units left in my pump before bed. I use just under a unit an hour. I decided that it would just get me through the night and went to bed. It started alarming empty while I was in the shower the next morning. That’s some excellent timing!

    07/21/13; 1:49 pm

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