Insulin Pump Refill: In a Pinch.
Usually, I am a thorough diabetes packer. Extra test strips? Yep. Back-up insulin pen? Yes, again. Glucose tabs? I have a WHOLE JAR and will share them with the plane.
But today, I effed up my routine.
I’m currently en route to Seattle for work and there are 59 units left in my insulin pump. To last me until Saturday night. This may not be quite enough.
In my carry-on bag (no checked luggage because I tie my clothes into intricate, teeny pretzel-esque knots before shoving them into my suitcase), I have all of the aforementioned diabetes supplies but I forgot my vial of insulin.
HOW? I’m usually so fastidious! Ish!
Normally, I open a bottle of insulin and work my way through it over the course of however many weeks. While I’m using it, it sits in a makeup bag in my bathroom, along with some infusion sets and insulin cartridges. (One stop shopping – just reach my hand in and I come out with everything I need to do a site change. Convenient, especially if Birdzone is waiting [im]patiently for me.) Once the bottle is kicked, I throw it away and crack open a new one. (Not literally, though it has happened.)
Whoops on that last part because I forgot to grab a new bottle and add it to the bag when I last filled up my pump. And in the wee early morning hours today as I left for the airport, I totally forgot to get a new bottle.
So now I’m flying across the country with a half-filled insulin pump and only an insulin pen in my bag. Stupid forgetting things brain.
Thankfully, there are some MacGyver‘ing options available to me. I do have a bottle of Levemir and a few syringes that I could use, alongside the pen of Humalog, and I could go off-pumping until I get back home. But I can also refill the insulin reservoir by pushing the refill needle into the top of the insulin pen, dialing back a bunch of units, and pushing the insulin into the cartridge. My preference is to remain pumping, so I’ll be knocking out air bubbles aplenty when I do this to refill before flying home.
It’s a messy, make-shift refill, but when you’re far from home and it’s the only option, it’ll do.