A Followup – Where’s My Insulin

It seems that many were fired up by my post about how much insulin I was losing with the t:slim verses any other pump I’ve used. One thing I tried to make clear is that the experience was my own, and that not everyone has the same result. There are some out there who are only out 10-20 units per cartridge change. If that’s all you experience in loss, and you’re okay with it, that’s fine by me.

The point of the post was to bring light to my own experience. And, even to make another point, if I were only losing 10-20 units in the cartridge, that’s still too much for me. In my other pumps, I run the insulin all the way until the pump gives me a no-delivery alarm. Then, I’m only losing what’s in the tubing. With the t:slim, you need an average of 10 units more anyway just for that pigtail piece, so essentially, I’m losing 20-30 units more per cartridge than I have to. That’s stilll too much for my liking.

Others made a point that all pumps waste at least 20 units of insulin because the syringe for the t:slim is an actual medical-grade properly-gauged needle. So, as an experiment (suggested by one of the commenters), I drew up 180u in the BD medical-grade syringe and filled one of my Medtronic reservoir with it. There was no difference. The insulin filled it right to the 180u mark on the reservoir.

So that one I’m not really buying. I get that you can see more lines on the BD syringe, so maybe that way you can get a bit more precise, but I don’t think the reservoirs that we use with our pumps are very far off from what a “medical-grade” needle would show. And when I loaded it in the pump? It recognized all but 4 units. And that’s with using what I had filled from the “medical-grade, medically accurate” needle, so yeah, the pumps may also read differently since they detect it electronically, but that goes to also prove my point that I think the t:slim could read the amount of insulin I place in the pump a bit better than it does.

I’m not writing these posts (my honest views and opinions, by the way) to discourage anyone from using the t:slim pump or to not get one if you want one. I just want to make others aware of the issues that I have had with it so that others may be aware of it and to look out for it themselves. The pump itself is an awesome little device. It’s very cool, honestly. I hope to goodness they can fix this along with the other things I’ve mentioned several times throughout my blog, but this one is the biggie that has to be fixed before I use it again. Insulin is precious. I don’t want to waste more than absolutely has to be wasted in order to use a pump.

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3 Comments

Filed under dblog, Diabetes

3 responses to “A Followup – Where’s My Insulin

  1. I am beginning more and more to think it has something to do with how the pump ‘senses’ insulin in relation to how MUCH insulin is in the pump. Example: when I fill my cartridge fully (300 units) the pump seems to sense the correct amount and I also don’t have more than about 10 units in the cartridge afterwards. I have been eating low carb lately and finding I need to use MUCH less insulin, both for basal and bolus. I just now did a change out and only filled with 240 units. It took me only 16 to prime the tubing and the cannula…….but now my pump is reading 160 units. 160?! That means the pump isn’t sensing around 60-65 units! I’m going to watch it carefully and document on paper how much I actually use, and will see what I draw out at the end. I’ve never had it do this before, and I’m concerned. That’s a LOT of ‘missing’ insulin!

  2. Marie

    I lose 30-40 units if insulin with Omnipod pod changes. And lose over 100 units when a brand new pod fails. Which has happened 12 times out of 23 pods. Big waste of insulin.

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