Forgetting to Take Spare Insulin


Forgetting to Take Spare InsulinI left my house on Sunday morning around 8am so that I would arrive at Chichester for around 2pm. As usual, whenever I travel somewhere, even if it is just overnight, I take a few extra diabetes supplies such as test strips, cannula, insulin, hypo snacks and needle. However, there was one key ingredient missing this time around; insulin. Usually I fill the cartridge in my pump right up so that it would last a few days, but I don’t know what happened. I think I probably just forgot that is was running low and didn’t change it because I was only going away for the night.

Anyway, I was enjoying myself at the party and doing my boluses for my carbs which came from sandwiches and cake mostly. I checked my bg throughout the day and it was fine. I went to bed around 11pm and then my pump alerted me that my insulin was down to less than 20 units. Hmm. I thought, ok I will just low carb tomorrow until I am home and it will be fine.

I woke up around 7am, I took a small correction for the 9mmols bg and I went for a power walk along the canal. I got back and my bg was 5.6. Great! However, my pump now alerted me that there was no insulin left. None! It even made that really loud pitched alarm sound that goes off even if it is set on vibrate. Shit. What shall I do?

It was suggested by family that I call 111 to see if a prescription of mine could be faxed over to the nearest pharmacy. I did that, the man wanted me to wait two hours until the doctor called me back. I don’t think he understood what an insulin pump was as he was asking when my next dose was due. Errr, now! By this point I had had no basal for around an hour which was fine because I take my pump off for an hour every day for whatever form of exercise I am doing.

Anyway, instead of waiting to be called back I drove round to Tesco pharmacy and even though I showed the man my pump and its empty cartridge, he had to see some evidence that I was taking Humalog before he could give it to me. Understandable really. I asked if he would accept a photo of my insulin that was in the fridge at home and he said yes. A few phone calls later, I was sent a photo that I could show to the man to prove that I take insulin. He saw it, he said ok and I felt relieved until he came back to tell me that he had none of the insulin that was on the photo. He suggested I try boots pharmacy. I did, I rang them up and they had one bottle left of the Humalog vial 100ml. As soon as I got off the phone to them I drove round and they gave me the insulin after I showed them my pump and my picture of insulin. It was £8.20 for 1 vial in case you are curious.

I got back to the car, extracted the insulin from the vial and transferred it to the cartridge of the pump, spilled some, very smelly, checked my bg and took a correction. Starting bg was 5.6 and end bg was 8.9mmols with a time gap of about 3 hours.

I could’ve just driven home with no insulin, but I wasn’t sure how bad the traffic would’ve been. It took around 6 hours to get home. If my bg would’ve gone higher than 8.9 I would’ve felt like absolute shit during the whole ride and that is no fun for anyone. I am thankful for the pharmacies that are scattered here there and everywhere. Also, not that I will let it happen again, but if something like this were to happen again I would know what to do and would handle much quicker.

Has this happened to you? Have you forgotten your insulin?

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Rowena x


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