Have you ever thought about what you would do if something happened to your insulin pump?
Here are a few scenarios that I came across as a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE);
- I jumped into a swimming pool while in Panama and forgot to take my pump off, one flash and the screen went blank! I really thought it was waterproof!
- I went on an amazing ride at Universal Studios Orlando, I really thought my pump was securely clipped on! It did not look well laying on the cement under the ride.
- My pump was waterproof when I received it so I thought water skiing with it on would be alright; I didn't plan on wiping out!
- I had a great trip to the UK, luckily my pump broke my fall on that last set of stone stairs. "One crunch and it was over!"
- I now understand the pendulum effect--brick wall meets swinging pump!
- My dog likes anything he can sink his teeth into, why did I leave my pump beside his food bowl!
Okay, I can honestly say that as a pumper for 20 plus years I have had more than a few mishaps with my pump! To quote my understanding wife of 30 years "You are an accident waiting to happen!" I will admit that I am not the most cautious person, but really your pump should not hold you back in any way!
How you can be prepared if your pump fails
- know your average 24 hour basal dose from your pump (write them down here)
- know your insulin to carb ratio (I:C)
- write down your correction factor, or insulin sensitivity factor (ISF)
- have back up basal(long acting) insulin on hand, for example Lantus or Tresiba
- have back up rapid insulin on hand, Humalog, NovoRapid, Apidra or Fiasp
- having these insulins in pen form can be very convenient when travelling
- don't forget insulin pen tips
- have a written plan that you have reviewed with your Health Care Provider
The bottom Line
With Type 1 diabetes it is of critical importance that our bodies receive an uninterrupted flow of insulin 24 hours a day.
- having a "Back Up Plan" in place can reduce the need to worry both while travelling and at home
- know how to transition from pump to insulin pens "Just in Case"
- you may want to discuss a long weekend insulin pen trial run with your Healthcare provider
- when you travel always carry back up, be prepared
Download Dan's Pump Back-up Plan and be prepared for the next time something unfortunate happens to your insulin pump.