Thursday, June 24, 2010

Expire Me Not

The past 4-6 weeks have been brutal on my blood sugar.  I had an inordinate amount of high readings.  The 2 week average on my meter was reading a lovely 12.6 (226).  I was struggling day in and day out.  I changed infusion sets, checked tubing, moved things around to different areas of my body that I know for sure are great sites.  I threw out a bottle of insulin and opened a brand new one.  Then I threw that one out and opened another brand new one.  I stopped eating carbs.  By late aft/early evening it would be up around 20 (360) everything I tried helped TO NO AVAIL!  I was going through supplies way too fast.  I started my temp basals at 120% and at the peak of my troubles I was running a temp basal of 160% for the whole day and I STILL couldn't get my levels to come under 15 (270).  Ketones were running to a moderate level at times.  I was feeling AWFUL.  This wasn't just a couple days, this was nearly 6 weeks!!  I still did my bad-ass exercising to boot which was the only thing that brought my blood sugar down to an almost tolerable level for maybe only an hour before skyrocketing again.  I don't know why it took me so long to do something about it, I just kept thinking "tomorrow will be better." FINALLY, I put a call in to my endo and she got me in 2 days later for an emergency appointment. 

Did you change infusion sets?  Many times
Did you check for bubbles?   Many times
Did you use new bottles of insulin?   I'm on my 3rd
Did you check for kinks?    Many times
Were you sick?     Not at all
Do you have the proper settings on your new pump?    YES I'm not an idiot
Have you been doing anything different?   NO, same old stress, same old exercise
Does this correspond with your time of the month?  NO, I don't have month long periods

The finger wagged and wagged and wagged.  What was I doing wrong?!
She sent me home to put on the only sensor I had left and urged me to go to the pharmacy and buy a brand new bottle of insulin.
the next morning I woke up with a 5.6 (100) and I knew straight away what the problem was.  My heart plummeted.  Bad insulin.  I have 9 bottles of insulin in my fridge.  ALL of which don't expire until 2011 at the earliest.  Also, all of which were purchased at different times throughout the past year.  I went through 3 different bottles all with the same outcome: dangerously HIGH blood sugars. 

What does this tell me?!  who fucked with my insulin?!

How does it all go bad when it goes from the pharmacy to my fridge within 10 minutes?!  I have no medical insurance right now.  I stocked up before I switched jobs and now all my efforts to squirrel away supplies are kiboshed.  Furthermore, after this experience, how will I even know if what I buy will last to its expiration date?  Are the expiration dates some sort of joke I'm not privy to?  Also, all that insulin in my fridge, is it ALL bad?   should I risk trying any more of it with the fear of deadly high BG's?!  I already tried 3 bottles.

Needless to say, I'm back on track and feeling a million times better.  Except for the fact that I'm dreading going out and buying all new insulin out of my pocket. What a MONTH OF HELL!!


  1. Wow, this sucks so bad!! I wish there were something I could do! Maybe you can call the pharmacy and tell them they gave you bad insulin?? I don't know...I hope it works out :(

  2. Perhaps it got too hot? Maybe someone at the pharmacy was slack and left it out of the fridge?

    Go see them, ask to speak to the manager, and demand they replace the entire lot. Tell them this is a life and death situation. Argue that you cannot trust this shipment, and that you MUST have it replaced instantly. Tell them if they don't they will lose your (very profitable) business! And that you will spread the bad word about them by word of mouth, and write a complaint letter. Do you have a consumer guarantees act or something like that where you live? When insulin is paid for out of pocket, you wanna make damn sure you're getting what you pay for!

    Best wishes and good luck!


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