Saturday, 9 March 2013


Last night I boarded my plane home from Scotland with my pump alarm peeping away in my pocket. Through the day I had acknowledged several of these alarms, squawking away at regular intervals, aimed at informing me that I was running low on insulin.  I 'okayed' the alarm and clipped the pump back on to my waistband, having done the quick calculation in my head that 3 hours travel time would put me back at home as the last 4 units ran dry.

Of course, when I actually met up with Jamie at the airport I was full of the news of the day. I chatted to my him, ate my dinner and went about my evening fun, eventually crashing into bed; worn out from the day's events.

My insulin ran dry at 10pm.

When I awoke this morning and checked the trend graph on my Dexcom G4 (my new favourite thing to do), I saw a beautiful straight line.  It was heading down slightly heading towards the low 4s (70s) so  I pulled out the pump, intending to lower my basal rate at 4am, having seen this trend several nights in a row.

Then I see it: Empty reservoir symbol.


Jamie, poor guy, got a slightly rude awakening this morning.

I remembered my calculations from the day before and that I must have been out of insulin for 8, maybe more, whole hours.  I bolted to my kitchen, washed my hands and pulled out my blood test kit, convinced that my precious Dex (Lorraine) had made a mistake.  She was telling me I was 4.9 and fairly steady.

Longest five seconds ever.  

5.2 mmol...


I have no idea how it happened.  My diet has been insanely good recently and I had a seriously busy day on Friday so maybe, just maybe, I was due to have an enormous hypo during the night that didn't happen because of the extra activity and low, low carbs.

I've been over what happened again and again, convincing myself I had more time that I thought, but each time the calculation is correct.  10pm.  I was very, very lucky.  But it has left me thinking: 'why is the alarm on my pump for 'your reservoir will need filling in the next 12 hours', no different to the "holy crap Batman, you're flat out of insulin' alarm, and why is there no escalation of noise/urgency when I don't acknowledge them?

And as this is not the first time this has happened, I'm slowly realising that perhaps this is something I need to look for in a new pump.  I renew in 10 months.

So, what pump do you use, and are the 'out of insulin' alarms different to the 'low reservoir' alarm?

   Type '0'?

Or just a very lucky wally?


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  3. This is a "feature" off the medtronic pumps that continue to bemuse me. where things like "set/edit temp basal" doesn't actually allow you to edit the temp basal is just irritating, I always think a lack of "holy crap Batman, you're flat out of insulin' alarm is just dangerous.

    1. Hi Louise, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds the alarms a little ambiguous. And I definitely agree that the lack of anything more alarming is running some serious risks.

      Aparently the Animas has different alarms for 'low reservoir' and 'out of insulin'.

      Are you due to renew anytime soon? Anything else catch your eye that doesn't have this problem?


  4. I've lost track off when I am due to renew, I have had mine replaced once already on warranty so not sure when I'll get the option to change.

    If I don't think about it at all I would just get another veo, but maybe worth putting a bit of thought in ahead of time to see what I think of the alternatives.

  5. My Combo has the 'holy crap' alarm. And it keeps on until I deal with it. Even if I silence it, it will beep every 3 mins to tell me my pump is in stop mode.