New HumaPen

Yesterday morning I went in to work early. Lucky I did, because going in early meant that I got a ride in, and was able to scarf down some breakfast on my way in. I was in the office by 7:30, and at 8:30 when I pulled out my kit to take my Levemir, I noticed something odd....



A plastic circular-thing? Where did that come from?


Upon closer inspection...Oh, crap.


This plastic ring was the ring that used to be on the end of the pen I use for my Humalog. It's the part of the pen that has the threads that are used when screwing a new pen needle onto the top (the threads that hold the pen needles on the pen...).


I would expect that these things might break after a certain point, and sure, my pen is more than just a few years old, but still... what an odd place for the plastic to break!

So I'm sitting there in the office, wondering what to do. I've got nothing that I can use to deliver my Humalog. Do I leave and go get a new pen? No, taking the bus back to my pharmacy and then back to work would take up the rest of the morning. Can I last the rest of the day with no Humalog? Probably, since I'm pretty confident that my breakfast dose was enough for the food I ate. Quick, must check! 6.4. K good.


So I've got decent numbers, my Levemir will keep me stable throughout the day, and as long as I don't eat or exercise I should be okay. Wait, no lunch?  Well, that just won't do...

A quick chat with the Boss-Man confirmed that it would be ok for me to cut out early to go get a new pen (& I received a stern reminder that if I had even the slightest worry that my numbers were rising, I was to leave immediately to go get a new pen so I could treat it. I love where I work). Next up was the phone call to my pharmacy, which confirmed that they had a HumaPen in stock and would hold onto it for me. I left work mid-afternoon to go pick up the new pen, and put it to use as soon as I got through the door.


The new one is green! To be quite honest, my first thought was that this colour is too close to the blue/green of my Levemir pen, and I'm not comfortable having the two pens be so similar. My old purple pen was different enough that it gave me some comfort knowing that I was less likely to mix up the two pens when I was tired or not thinking clearly. I know that I'll be starting on a pump in a few weeks, and will rarely be using either pen at that point, but...still.

The new pen won me over pretty quickly though. I inserted the vial of Humalog, screwed the top on, and pushed the plunger up so it was ready to go. Just for fun, I pulled the plunger all the way back to check, and - yep - this pen has the same maximum # of units as my old one (I've never actually delivered 30 units at one time, but I still wanted to check!). Ok, shoot a unit or two to check that insulin is coming out of the needle - yes - excellent! Dial the plunger down to 4, lift shirt, deep breath, and - into my stomach it goes.

Click - click - click - click - click - click - click - what the hell?

I stop, panicked. I haven't pushed the plunger all the way in, so my dose isn't finished, but...7 clicks (with more still to go)?! Remove needle from abdomen. Start hyperventilating. What witchcraft is this? The window says 4 units, but I've had 7 clicks, meaning...not 7 units? I look at the window more closely. THIS PEN DELIVERS HALF-UNITS?!


omg omg omg


Whoa. Mind, blown. I asked my pharmacist a few months ago whether Humalog pens capable of half-units existed or were available, and he told me no. Has this become available since then? Was it there the whole time, we just didn't know it? At this point I don't really care. I know it's only for 2 more weeks, and then I'll be pumping, but still: the ability to give half-unit doses is going to help me to improve my diabetes care, and anything that does that is a good thing in my books. You won't catch me saying it often, but yesterday was definitely a day where I'm lucky that a diabetes device broke :D.


The pump arrives!

Last week was a pretty busy week (diabetes-devices-wise, that is). I received a phone call on Monday from the Medtronic rep who had been helping me navigate through the process of figuring out whether my insurance would provide cgm coverage – she was calling because when we had last spoken, I’d told her that my “pump start” date was in May. She called to ask me whether that was still the case, since her office hadn’t received my forms from my d-clinic.




A voicemail to my diabetes nurse was returned within a half hour, and she told me something must have slipped up and not been sent. She assured me that my form would be faxed over ASAP, and reminded me that once my pump is delivered, I was to open it and play with it (become familiar with how it works, etc) in preparation for my pump start meeting.


Phew... crisis averted! I’ve been waiting for this pump start appointment since September, so thinking that it might be delayed because of a pump shipping issue? Eep...


The Medtronic rep called me back the next day to tell me everything was in order, and to ask me details re: the shipping stuff. She asked which types of infusion sets I’d like to try out, as they’d be sending me samples of some of them to get me through the first month. Apparently going on the pump comes with a month of infusion sets and reservoirs, and after that patients are stuck buying the next month out of pocket before the government funding kicks in (boo....). I arranged to have all of my stuff shipped to my mother’s work address, since I can’t sign for anything at home (they deliver from 9-5) and can’t take deliveries at work. Shipments arrived the next day, so I got to spend the Easter long weekend playing with my pump!


Even better: Yesterday, two more boxes arrived. Apparently a new pump comes with a new meter (for wirelessly communicating BGs back to the pump and cgm), which is at the same time cool (whoa new stuff) and frustrating (I LIKED my contour usb meter...). The second box was filled with PUMP SWAG: the cool gear they sent along as a part of a two-week promotion for which I was lucky enough to qualify. They sent over a sport case, a sport waistband, a bra clip, and a silicone skin.


So far I’ve only just started reading through the (absolutely massive) instruction manual that comes with the pump.

First impressions: holy crap, it's going to be easy to screw this up.

I think it's going to be an interesting learning process!

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