Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Diabetes MacGyverism #601: The Art & Convenience Of The Origami Pre-Filled Insulin Reservoir ~

Living with diabetes forces us to become creative and embrace our inner Diabetes MacGyver whenever and wherever we need to. Like Last week, when I was getting ready to go to a fundraiser and heard the all to familiar, 20 unit countdown alarm on my pump. Sometimes (and even though I hate, hate, hate to do it,) I find that I have to switch out my insulin reservoir when it’s hovering around 20 units or less because that particular reservoir seems to have lost its efficiency. 
Other times, my reservoir works perfectly - and I can go wear it until it’s down to 5 units.
FTR: I’ve talked to many people who wear different pumps re: this issue - this is not a  specific pump brand issue.
Sidebar: If I do have to switch it out around 20 units - I save the reservoir, calculate the bolus on my pump and manually inject the units because throwing out insulin is not an option.
The reservoir that was in my pump happened to be one of those amazing “good to the last drop,” reservoirs and my blood sugars were not only behaving, they were positively angelic - which of course meant my blood sugars could go all demonic at anytime, because diabetes. 
I was going out for dinner, I didn’t know what type of food was being served and I’d rather be safe than sorry when it comes to having enough insulin on my person and in my pump. 
I went to the fridge, grabbed my open bottle of insulin (which was on it’s last stand,) and filled a reservoir with the entire contents of the bottle- just over a hundred units of short acting insulin.
 Then I placed the reservoir back in its half opened wrapper....
and proceeded to origami the pre-filled reservoir all neat and pretty, and secured it with a fabric hair tie.
Then I placed the freshly filled reservoir in the small zippered compartment inside my handbag and said freshly reservoir was locked, ready to be loaded and now safe from handbag debris - and I was proud that I once again embraced my inner Diabetes MacGyver. 
I do this particular origami reservoir trick when I don’t feel like taking an entire bottle of insulin out with me - which is a lot and stems from me once losing 3/4 filled bottle of insulin over decade ago that had some how fallen out of my handbag and still haunts me to this day. 
If for some reason I needed to manually inject - I can still do that with the pre-filled reservoir, and if God forbid I lost it - I wouldn’t be freaking out as much as if I’d lost an entire bottle of insulin. 
I also do this trick when I’m flying. And YES, I keep my insulin bottles(s) in my carry-on bag AT ALL TIMES, but I find keeping an origami filled reservoir in small ziplock bag and tucked in a zippered compartment in said carry-on, makes it much easier to access and saves time when I’m uncomfortably crammed in a small space with limited elbow and leg room, and flying in a narrow, metal, germ filled tube of strangers. 
If you feel like sharing one of your Diabetes MacGyverisms, that would be great, because I'm all for learning something new and useful to add to my Diabetes MacGyver repertoire! 


Rick Phillips said...


I will admit I started this blog saying (WHAT??) Then,,,,,, I got to the airplane thin and I said WOW, that is awesomeness times seventeen squared by infinity. OK I know that is not a real calculation, but that is a great idea. Thank you for best idea of the day. Love it.

I also want you to know I referred the blog for inclusion on the TUDiabetes blog. I hope we bring you some addition readers.

Stacey said...

Thank you!! I'm packing B off for an overnight trip and wanted to prefill a cartridge. This was such a smart idea. But had to wrap some tape instead of a hair band. Cause boys. ;)