When I was in the BWCA a couple weeks ago, I decided to half fill my pump cartridges, so that I wouldn’t heat up the entire 300 units of insulin day after day living outdoors in the hot sun. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
Yesterday I realized that I only had one cartridge left in the box. O.k., no big deal. My medical supply order from the company in Florida was scheduled to come on Wednesday. Last night I filled the last cartridge and put it in my pump. When I screwed on the luer lock for my quick set, I heard a click. Hmmm, that was odd. Never heard that sound before. I didn’t really investigate the noise.
I went to bed about 10:30pm. I woke up (I think because it was raining so darn hard) at 1:47am. I felt horrible. I grabbed the tester and poked. 367. WHAT??? I remembered the click sound, and so disconnected my quick set and primed the line. Nothing. No insulin. It pooled up around the top of the pump. CRAP! I didn’t have any cartridges left. The one in my pump was apparently broken, and I was high as a kite. (with small ketones, might I add)
I did the only thing that I could think of. I took my used cartridge from the garbage can (where I had thrown it hours earlier, minus the screw on top), wiped it with alcohol, and filled it up again. I put it in my pump and gave a gi-normous corrective bolus.
I called the medical supply place today. The woman tells me that my order had a problem with UPS, and that it wouldn’t be coming until Friday. I calmly explained the contaminated cartridge I was currently using, infested with probably more bacteria than I’d really like to know about. She put me on hold for 20 minutes, trying to pass me through to the “diabetes division.” After the 20 min, she came back on the phone to ask me to give her my number so that she could have a rep call me. THEY NEVER CALLED. I called and sat on hold again, ending up having to hang up to head to a training that I needed to give at a local summer camp for environmental education staff.
So here I sit. Contaminated cartridge of insulin pumping into me, germs and all, without a replacement en route.
I leave for the BWCA at 4am on Thursday morning. Gotta figure out something by then.
I’ll have to get back on the phone tomorrow and offer to sell my soul in exchange for one lousy, overnight-aired, cartridge.