So what the heck has prime got to do with pumping insulin? Well, the prime menu in the ParaPump controls all of the functions of loading a freshly filled reservoir for its three day run. You also use a prime feature to “top off” your hose level every time you hook back up after showers and, allegedly, intimate moments.
Prime is how you fill the hose with insulin. Before you prime you have to rewind. When you remove a nearly empty reservoir you simply go to the prime menu and select rewind. The pump makes little whirring noises and the plunger arm (my term, not necessarily theirs) literally rewinds to make room for a full reservoir. To clarify, the reservoir has a plunger like a syringe. To pump insulin, the pump advances the plunger very small amounts to force the insulin up the hose and ultimately into your body. Once the reservoir is nearly empty the arm that pushes the plunger up is nearly to the top of the reservoir. If you just popped out the empty and shoved a full one into the pump all of the insulin would spurt through the hose and spill on to the floor. Or into you, if you were foolish enough to hook up pre-maturely. A 176 unit bolus would be very bad news indeed.
Thus, rewind before you prime.
Once you rewind, just drop the reservoir into the pump, half turn to lock it in and you are ready to prime. With the CoZmo, the prime, or “fill tubing” in CoZspeak, is turned on by pressing a button. It keeps going until you press a button again to stop it. In theory. In fact, I’ve dumped untold units of insulin on the floor trying to shut the damn thing off. So kudos to MedT this time. With the ParaPump you need to hold a button down to activate the priming. When you let go it stops. Oh yeah. This is better.
Prime the air out of the hose, and any stray bubbles too. You know, it occurs to me that I’m a bit out of sequence here. You do all of this stuff BEFORE you insert the set. Huh. Don’t know how I messed up that. Oh well.
So the proper order is: IV Prep your skin. Rewind pump. While it is rewinding, attach an insulin vial to the space dock collar of the reservoir. Fill ‘er up. Connect hose to reservoir. Give a manual squirt to start the juice down the hose. Put reservoir in now-rewound pump. Lock in place. Prime until drip, drip, drip. Put set in Quick-serter. Peel off backing paper. Cock device. Remove blue needle guard. Position serter. Fire! Lift serter off. Press gently down to make sure the set is in place. Pull needle. Now a fixed prime to fill the canaula. Go eat a pizza. Oh, dual wave is best for pizza.
Next time: Tinkerbelle transmitter