Saturday, 16 November 2013

Bubbles, have I got it sussed?

The routine had become, very carefully fill up a cartridge, taking extra care to ensure that there are no bubbles in it whatsoever, then put in pump and, discover (after a day) loads of bubbles or one big bubble.  Where the hell were they coming from?  I made sure there weren’t any when I changed cartridge!

Then it struck me.  There must be a zillion teeny weeny microscopic bubbles that I can’t see, so a different approach might be needed.  Therefore I pre filled a new cartridge yesterday and left it in the fridge.  There were no bubbles in it at all.  Today I went to change cartridge and there they were.  Bubbles.  This gave me the opportunity to expel them before loading into the pump.  The insulin in the cartridge certainly looks clearer, time will tell if the bubbles have been banished.

More mucking about with used infusion sets now. Just how strong is that tube?  Very, that’s how strong.  Today I ‘tested’ one by hanging 20lbs (9 kg) from one.  

It stretched a bit, but didn’t break!  Most impressive.

Sunday, 10 November 2013


No, not the old dodgy film or the old dodgy song, but real life airports.

This week saw my first flights since going on the pump.  Some questions were answered through my experience.

Some basics first.
1) leave the attached & running
2) take your letter from your GP or hospital ‘just in case’ you need it.
3) be prepared to stop the pump and remove the battery, just incase someone insists that it goes through the X-Ray machine

So, does the pump set off the the metal detector?
It would appear not!

At security on my way out, the vigilant chap at the metal detector thing spotted the tubing coming from my pocket.  I told him what it was and removed it from my pocket.  What happened next was something of a surprise.  He instantly kind of became my best mate!  I was almost treated like royalty and he engaged in smalltalk.  That’s the first time that’s ever happened at airport security, and I’ve flown a fair bit!  I showed him the letter from my hospital explaining the pump, he had a quick read of that, asked me my postcode and with a cheery ‘bye’ I was into the departure lounge.

On my return flight, things were very different.  They didn’t spot the tube and I was not challenged in any way!!!!!

I’ll admit I was a bit apprehensive before I left, expecting something akin to the Spanish Inquisition, but it all turned out to be a massive anti-climax!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

It's stronger than you might think....

So, how tough is the pump setup?

Pretty darned tough!

The pump itself is standing up to day to day wear and tear just fine, including being bashed against the odd door frame.  There are no marks on it at all and it seems pretty water (well sweat) resistant and copes with much bouncing around playing Badminton and when out on a bike.

I'd suspected that the infusion set (the tube from pump to cannula) would be a bit fragile, so I set about trying to break one when I changed a set.  I can tell you now, that despite looking thin & fragile, it's anything but fragile.  I tried to pull the tube out of the end that screws onto the pump end, but although it stretched a bit, it would not come back,  Trying to snap the tube didn't work either, it just stretched a bit.

Two tubes in one

Next I cut it in half, which demonstrated how tough it was as it required a fair bit more effort than I was expecting.  After cutting, I then cut a slit down the tube (somewhat tricky with such a thin tube), which revealed another tube within.

So, the verdict - you win' gonna be snapping or pulling the infusion tube out of anything.  It's plenty strong enough to get caught on something without issue and the pump itself will quite happily swing around, dangling on the end of the tube.  The weakest point if the cannula itself that can get pulled out, but that's not such a bad thing!