Friday, 15 August 2014


I hate wasting diabetes supplies. Always have, but even more so since I interviewed Lucy, founder of The Pendsey Trust.

When I was on injections, I would use every last drop of insulin in the cartridge before disposing of it, even if it meant taking two injections (one to finish the cartridge, another to take the rest of my dose from the new cartridge). 

One time (quite a while back now) I smashed an insulin cartridge, and I was so angry with myself for doing it. I mean, it was an accident, but I was angry because it was a new cartridge, so that was a good two weeks' worth of insulin for me, if not more.

Since going on the pump, with some trial and error, I've been learning how to limit what I waste.

Cannulas that are starting to un-stick around the edges? Tape 'em down, and re-tape as often as necessary.

Leftover insulin in the cartridge after the six day limit? Don't fill the cartridge up with as much insulin. When I was first put on insulin, the cartridge in my pump was filled with the maximum amount of insulin (about 315 units!) and at the end of the six days, I had about 100 units left! I was so annoyed about having to chuck it. So, when I did my first cannula change, I filled it with just over 200 units, and have been doing this ever since. 

However, I sometimes find that I still have anything between 20 and 30 units left. I'm trying to perfect my cartridge refills so I'm in single digits when I switch it out. That would definitely be considered a win in my book!

The one thing I'm finding really hard though, with regard to waste, is having insulin left in the vial. Often, I'm finding that I don't have enough insulin left in the vial to fill up my cartridge with the approximate 200 units that I like. I hate the thought of just chucking it, so, at the moment, it just sits in the fridge.

So, dear diabetes online community, my question for you is this: what do you do with any remaining insulin in the vial? 

Any and all responses will be greatly appreciated!

Happy Friday!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't tried it yet, but I imagine it would be possible to fill up a cartridge from two vials. Would have to use the new vial first, to avoid contamination from the old vial. Seems like it would be a trick to get the amounts right! Maybe worth doing though if you have a bunch left over.