something funny about a box of infusion sets from Asante. Here take a look:
many differences can you count between the two labels? (I’m told that these find-the-differences
games are all the rage).
See you next week. I’ll post the answers on Monday.
Juuuuuuuuuust kidding! Each box is 50%
infusion sets and 50% cannula sets. Huh? OK, so here’s the deal. A proper
infusion set is made up of an inserter needle, a connector hub with a cannula that
has sticky tape to hold it on the skin of a person with diabetes, and a length
of tubing to connect that same person with diabetes to a reservoir of insulin
inside a pump. Although not technically part of an infusion set, we often
include the pump reservoir and fill needle in our minds when we think of these
things. So in the vernacular, an infusion “set” is all the disposable supplies
needed for the pump site change that generally happens every three days.
you need to remember that Snap is different from every other pump in this
regard. Thanks to the insulin being in a glass penfill, you can legally and
safely (more on that in a bit) use it longer than you can legally and safely use
insulin in a plastic reservoir. Bottom line: You don’t need a traditional full infusion
set every three days; nor do you need to replace the tubing every three days.
You only need to replace the part on your skin every three days. The rest of
the rig you can wear six days. Or longer. I’ll talk about stretching that envelope on another day.
to the box of infusion fun. Asante gives us two things: what they call
“Infusion Sets” for the complete changes that happen once a week or so; and
“Cannulas” for the changes that happen every three days. The full Asante
infusion set has the tubing and the special connector that mates with the body
and the penfill of insulin. We need to talk about that device in a separate post,
but they smartly realized that we don’t need tubing as often as we do with
other pumps. So you get half a box of traditional infusions sets and half a box
of tubeless infusion “sets,” or what I’ve decided to call Infusion Lite. ®™ by me! ;-)
Those of you who worry about landfill overfill will appreciate this
as promised a moment ago, I’ll address the issue of how long insulin can stay
in a pump. Any pump. Is this week-in-a-pump thing of Asante’s really all that
special? Maybe. Maybe not. There’s a good reason insulin comes in glass vials.
It holds up better that way. Insulin does degrade in plastic, but how fast it
really does so is anybody’s guess. The pumps with plastic reservoirs are
approved for 3-day wear. Is that the best that they can do, or did no one
bother to pay for the studies to get FDA approval for 4 days? Or five?
didn’t need to do that because the glass penfill already has a longer use
course, lots of people extend the use of insulin-in-plastic inside their pumps
for reasons ranging from economy to necessity, with laziness in the middle. I
myself had some supply issues with t:Slim cartridges recently and ended up not
only having to extend them, but even to re-use some. That’s strictly off label.
How did the insulin hold up? Geeez… I wish I knew. My life has been so… umm…
stressful lately that my BGLs suck. A lot. Pinning down the true cause of that
suckiness is no easy task, and on top of that, I’ve had more than the normal
number of cannula issues lately, on both the t:slim and the Snap. Check out
this blood-filled Snap cannula, for instance:
infusion sets aside, as to age of the insulin in my (temporarily?) retired
t:Slim pump, sometimes on day 5 or six it seemed that the insulin wasn’t doing
its thing: my BLGs were running high and corrections were sluggish. But on
other days, I’d see the same thing on day two of a reservoir. And at yet other
times I was sailing along just fine on “old” insulin. Heat can also come into
play. Just keeping insulin in glass is no help if you are spending all day playing
tennis in 108 degree heat or canoodling with drug reps in a hot tub every day
that I’ve ever had that opportunity!
Monday: Invasion of the Body Changers, a graphic novel
as they are called south of the border, a Photo Novella)