Rookie Mistake.

The other day I made a rookie diabetes mistake.  I woke up in the morning, checked my pump and realized I had 22 units left to last me until I got home from work.  My daytime basal rates vary from 1.0 to 1.275, so quick, just awake math…8 hours = 10ish units.  And, there’s no way I’ll bolus more than 8 units for lunch, since my average lunchtime bolus is about 5.5 – 6.0 units.  Breakfast is usually about 3-4 units, so, I’ll be just fine until I get home from work!

Mistake number one: A wise diabetic would’ve thrown a vial of insulin in her purse, along with a new cartridge and inset.  I never claimed to be wise.  

Off to work I go, excited for the D-girls gathering that evening and I notice that my morning numbers are running a little higher than normal.  I try to limit my rage boluses to when I’m 200+, instead I rock a temp basal.  So I set my temp basal at +50% for 90 minutes.  Mistake number two.  (Although, D-friends, it’s never a mistake to try to lower your blood sugar, amiright?)

Lunch time rolls around and I have my standard I’m-too-lazy-to-make-lunch Lean Cuisine.  Attempting to be healthy-ish, I had grabbed a banana to have along with it, rather than the Sunchips I have in my desk drawer.  My Ping tells me to bolus 7.55 units so I do because it is way better at math than me.

Literally as my bolus is being administered at warp-Animas-Speed, I remember that I’m low on insulin.  However, the Ping delivers it’s bolus in like, 0.00004 seconds so by the time I realized, it was too late.  Mistake number three – should have checked the amount of insulin I had in my pump before bolusing and deciding to eat that banana!

At this point I had 3 units left.  I thought about setting a temp basal of 60-70% so that even though I’d probably run a little high, it was better than getting no insulin at all.  However, I decided that this wasn’t that dire of a situation.  I work 20 minutes from home and I have a decent amount of sick time.  So, I figured I’d leave when I got down to 1 unit (to spare my coworkers the annoying “You’re out of Insulin!” song) and take a couple of hours of sick time.  I told my supervisor that I miscalculated my insulin in my pump and she, I think, thought death was imminent.  “Ohmygod, LEAVE!” was her reaction.  I told her I still had a couple hour’s worth of insulin in my pump and I’d leave when needed, which was about 2 hours later.

Rookie mistake(s).  Lessons learned – if you are borderline making it through the day, bring your supplies to work.  Better safe than sorry.  Check the amount of remaining units in your pump before deciding to eat the banana/bolus/set an increased temp basal.

And most importantly, don’t attempt to do math before having your coffee.

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16 thoughts on “Rookie Mistake.

  1. Why don’t you just keep an extra set change or two in your desk for emergencies? And a bottle of insulin in the office fridge? That’s what I do but then again I work in a small office-maybe larger places would be weird about this? But then AGAIN so what–do what you need to do…

  2. I’m with Katie on this one. I keep some extra insulin in the fridge and supplies in a box in my desk drawer. (Extra 2 sets and cartridges, bottle of strips, couple of syringes, and tape). If you can’t do that, can you maybe keep your open vial in your test kit with an extra syringe? I do that too… I’ve been caught too many times not to have backup-backup supplies. 🙂

    • I have syringes in my drawer and in my purse. The open vial in my kit is a good idea.

      Usually I’m better at estimating my insulin needs. In the 14 1/2 years I’ve had diabetes, this is the first time I’ve ever been caught running out while not at home. I’d say that’s a pretty good record. Just felt like a doofus when it happened.

      • I’ve also kept a capped needle and plunger puller thing in my kit too for refills… Even tho you’re not supposed to! Shhhhh!!! Hahaha

  3. I am in the office so infrequently for work, there is no way I’d leave spare supplies or insulin in the fridge there myself…what I’ve done in this case is give myself shots for meals instead of boluses from the pump just to stretch it out – I keep a couple syringes and an open vial of insulin in my meter case. Course, I have to be careful and track how long that insulin has been in the case, or if it’s been exposed to heat, etc or else it could get skunky. Ah, what the heck – we all have rookie mistake days every now and then 🙂

    • I think I’ll just start throwing my open vial in my kit, like Sarah suggested! I used to change my pump ASAP after getting the “low alarm” but now that medical prices keep going up, up, and up I try to get as much life out of my stuff as possible – insulin, sensors, etc. But, if I’m going to do this, I need to be better prepared for things like this!

  4. There is so much crap in our company fridge… I wouldn’t trust a vial in there. I’m 20 minutes away from the office if need be. But I do keep a spare set in the desk in case of emergencies. (And if I’m running on 20 units left in the pump before I start my day, I’m usually beyond day 3 anyway.)

  5. Hardly a rookie mistake. I have left the house without the right amount of insulin even after 10, 15, 20 years! Like others, I try to have stashes of D-supplies all around, because even if I had something in my purse I would invariably take it out at some point. Having supplies both at work and at home have definitely kept the emergencies at bay.

  6. Since becoming pregnant, I’ve started carrying around my open vial because I run out of insulin so quickly (39 weeks tomorrow). So if you are planning to get pregnant soon, it might be good to get used to having it in your purse. I mean, when you have D, what’s one more thing in your giant D purse, right???

  7. That’s a good idea to carry the vial with you. I’ve been in the position where my insulin has run out and I didn’t have back up (I’ll never do that again). So now I always carry a vial and extra inserts etc. BTW when I was preggo I didn’t need as much insulin. Everyone is different it might be that you need less or more. I just pray that when that time comes everything will be nice and smooth for you 🙂

    • Awww, thanks friend! ♥
      I think I’m going to throw a set of insets and cartridges in both mine and the Hub’s cars. Have it at work already. Should have it in my purse, which I think calls for an ven bigger Mary Poppins bag! =D

      • Hahaha! The bigger the better mate hehee. I’ve actually been looking at bags this morning and thought of you guys! Oh yea I’ve started to stock up the car up too. My H said to me the other day, how many bottles of Lucozade and gluco tabs have you got in this car lol. Its like a mini D store.

  8. I have definitely been there! The *nice* thing about the Minimed pump is even when it gets to “0” there is still a few units left, although it’s bad that I know this since I’ve pushed it too many times…your boss sounds so nice though! And yeah, everyone’s comment about having an extra vial at work is a great idea-I used to do that too!

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