Tag Archives: supplies

What else can I do?

This is more than just a photo of my dog. This is from the home screen of my mobile phone.

That part in the middle of the screen, where you now see – – –, you would usually see a number from my continuous glucose monitor. When I took this screenshot, I had no number. About fifteen minutes later, the number was back.

There are a lot of reasons why I wouldn’t get a number from my Dexcom for a short time. The biggest reason this was happening last week is because I was wearing my sensor longer than I’ve ever worn one before. The reason for that is because I forgot to order new sensors in time to have a fresh supply when the one I was wearing gave out.

Brilliant, right? The thing is, sensor ordering isn’t one of those fun, sexy things you get to do when you live with diabetes. The real secret is, there aren’t any fun, sexy things you get to do when you live with diabetes, but you get to do a lot. Actually, you have to do a lot just to have the best life possible.

That includes ordering sensors on time. But you know, ordering sensors is just one thing. I also have three doctor visits I need to schedule, a full time job outside of diabetes, a few advocacy subjects to stay on top of, a new dog, insulin and reservoirs and infusion sets to order too.

The next time you hear someone talk about the burden of living with diabetes, try to hear it differently. The emphasis should be on living with diabetes. And it’s no walk in the park.

But… the sensors still needed to be ordered. In fact, they were ordered last week. It has been processed, and I asked for expedited shipping, because I love paying for my mistakes by paying extra to get my supplies in a hurry (not).

Someone not living with a chronic condition might miss phoning a friend on their birthday, or might forget to pick up something at the grocery store. Inconveniences, but easily rectifiable.

I rely on my Dexcom to help me stay alive. I rely on my health care team, which includes multiple doctors in multiple offices along with back office staff. I rely on my insulin pump. I rely on the diabetes community to keep me informed, and sometimes keep me laughing. All of these help me manage my diabetes better than ever before.

I’m kicking myself for waiting too long to order new sensors. In the meantime, I just have to do the best I can with what I have left, which last week meant dealing with a sensor working into its fourth week. What else can I do?

Diabetes Delay

Here’s something you probably know, or maybe you should remember if you forgot. Because we see, we read about people all the time who seem to be better at handling their diabetes than we are. They’re in magazines, with big glossy photos, and stories recounting all of the fabulous things they’ve accomplished while living with this condition.

But there’s something not written in there. It’s something that you and I and those “Diabetes Superstars of 2019” have in common, in addition to our failed pancreases.

Trust me when I say this: absolutely no one is living a perfect life with diabetes.

We all have a weakness. Whether it’s the late night carbs we squirrel away when no one’s looking, or it’s burnout that shows up when we least expect it, or it’s an A1c we’re uncomfortable with, everyone has something they would not like to show the public.

I’m no exception. My weaknesses include extra carbs when traveling, probably due to stress and a fear of going low at night. I don’t experience depression, but I have my moments of melancholy now and then. And there’s one other thing.

I have to be the lousiest refiller of prescriptions and supplies in the history of the planet.

I sit here this morning, looking at the cabinets where I store my pump infusion sets, reservoirs, and CGM sensors, and I realize that the sensors are the only thing I have enough of right now. The infusion sets and reservoirs will run out within two weeks if I don’t refill them. And I feel stupid.

I feel stupid because Medtronic will stop supplying the infusion sets and reservoirs for my Animas Vibe pump in September. That means, when the supplies run out after that, I need a new pump, or I need to stop pumping altogether.

I’ve been good at stretching supplies… wearing infusion sets a day or two longer, reusing reservoirs, all with the idea that I could build up a good supply and go a few more months, maybe into 2020, before having to start on a new pump.

Now, with my current supplies running out, I have to start over, and if I’m lucky, I’ll get an extra few weeks beyond September before switching. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t mad at myself right now.

Now, I could get mad at Medtronic, because they don’t have to stop supplying me in September. But even if Animas still had a presence in the market, they would eventually stop supplying my pump, so the onus is really on me with this one.

So what can I do? I can be mad at myself, but I also must go forward, recognize that I have to get my supplies refilled, and do that. Today. Maybe I can set a reminder to refill my supplies every three months, though I suspect my delay with this part of my diabetes is really just that I hate to go through the motions of ordering supplies on a regular basis.

There you have it. I’m not perfect. I’m never going to be in a magazine either, but you get my drift, right? Don’t ever look at someone and think they have every part of their diabetes figured out. We all have something we wish we were doing better. But we also have resilience, and that keeps us doing what we need to do, even if sometimes, we don’t want to do it.

Note: I did order reservoirs and infusion sets today… maybe I needed to get this out of my head and just do it.

#DBlogWeek Day 3: Clean it out.

This is the sixth year of Diabetes Blog Week, started by Karen over at Bitter~Sweet Diabetes. All of us diabetes bloggers are given a subject to write about each day during this week, and after we publish each day’s installment, we’ll go back and link our posts on her site. Want to know more? CLICK HERE.
Welcome to Day 3! Today, we’re going to Clean It Out:

Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let’s clear stuff out. What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out? This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you’re mentally or emotionally hanging on to. Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it? (Thank you Rick of RA Diabetes for this topic suggestion.)

There are two things that I really need to clean out from my diabetes life. These are two actual, tangible things.

One is my insulin pump. People who read this space on a regular basis may remember Decision 2014, when I tried nearly every insulin pump on the market in the USA. That’s because my pump warranty expired last year, and I really need a new one. The Medtronic Revel pump I have now is five years old, it looks five years old, and it’s starting to act a little cranky at times. So it’s definitely time. Why haven’t I chosen a new pump yet?
I haven’t chosen a new pump because… instead of finding the perfect pump for my life (and the next four years of my life), I wound up deciding that none of the pumps on the market in the USA is a good fit for me. I know I’ll never find the perfect pump, but I would like to see something a little closer to what I’m looking for. Until that moment comes, I’m going to wait. Well, at least as long as my current pump holds out anyway.

The second thing I really need to get rid of? It’s this thing:
My grandmother found this in a drug store shortly after I was diagnosed. She thought it would help me keep my insulin cool when I’m away from home. And she was right. And I’ve kept this thing for 24 years.

It’s been to Florida and California, New York and Seattle, 22 states in all. It’s been to Jamaica, Ireland, England, and Belgium. It’s logged a lot of miles and kept my life-giving juice safe and cool. But… it is time to say goodbye to it.

I mean, did you look at that thing? It’s getting difficult to keep clean. It’s a little out of shape now too. It has definitely seen better days. So as soon as I can find something similar that will do just as well keeping my insulin cool and safe, this will be heading to the landfill like so much other medical device paraphernalia.

It’s not easy saying goodbye. But it’s a necessary thing sometimes. These two things have served me well during the time I’ve had them. But it’s time to let them retire. If you really want to know the truth… I’m looking forward to replacing them.


So… just how long do you hang onto your supplies? You didn’t think that I actually had an entourage or anything, did you? No, really… Do you have outdated supplies? Old, old stuff? I’m talking about anything related to your D-care: Insulin, syringes, infusion sets, reservoirs, alcohol swabs (if you use them); and glucose meters, lancets, or test strips. Okay, almost no one ever has extra test strips, so maybe you can cross that one off of the list.

But chances are, if you have any kind of chronic illness, and you have access to drugs or paraphernalia that helps you manage your condition (read: helps you live your life), you’ve probably got a stash of something that you just can’t part with. Until you realize you’ve had that extra pill, or extra pill box, or something else, for a looooong time. An outdated glucose monitor that you just can’t trash (or the test strips that went with the one you did trash). Syringes from 12 years ago. A special case that you carry all of your must-have supplies in. I’m looking at you, Mr. and Ms. Glucose Tabs.

I’m guilty of hanging onto two things over the years.

One is outdated insulin. I’ve been a pumper for two years now, and I’ve only needed injections twice in that time. Both were needed as a result of bent cannulas. But I was cleaning out the fridge over the weekend and I found a six year old bottle of Lantus in there. That was my backup when I did the injection thing. I had a small incident a few years back (actually, eight years now that I think of it) when the mail order pharmacy held back my insulin delivery for some long-forgotten reason, and I just got it resolved the day before leaving for Ireland on vacation. After that, I developed a habit of ordering refills early from the pharmacy and saving one extra vial, just in case. But I never rotated my stock, so to speak. I just saved that one vial, the same vial, all those years. Looking back, it’s easy to see that it wasn’t a backup as much as it was an emotional crutch.

Also, I have this funny but amazing thing that I carry my insulin in when I travel:

I’ve had this for all of the 21 years that I’ve had this disease. My grandmother found it in a drugstore shortly after my diagnosis and bought it for me. The plastic thing goes into the freezer until I need it. Then I microwave it for a minute or so. Then the insulin goes in and it gets slipped inside of the other blue thing with the foam padding (these are technical terms here). Keeps it cold for a long, long time. It’s been with me on trips to the ocean, to the mountains, Ireland, California, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Florida, everywhere. And you know what? I ain’t giving this one up either. It’s indestructible.

Now, I have a point. Do you have anything that’s extra, but not outdated? Maybe you’d like to share with those less fortunate? Here are a couple of websites where you can get information on donating extra D-related supplies:



I’m due for a new glucose meter… maybe I’ll see if I can get that before I use up all of my strips…








A Disclaimer
I have no medical training. If you consider anything written here as medical, legal, financial, or any other kind of advice, you’re out of your mind. Please speak to a learned professional before making any changes that might affect your health. Any of the original content found on this site is my property and should not be reproduced, copied, or otherwise used without the author’s expressed written consent.

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