So, I’m on a flight from North Carolina to St. Louis for a business meeting last night and a realize that, while I packed three pods for a three-day trip, I forgot my insulin. Oh well, I think, my pod doesn’t expire until Monday, so I’ll just call my endo Monday morning and get her to call in a prescription to a drug store near my hotel, and I’ll be all set to change pods Monday night. Inconvenient, but not that big a deal. Then, I’m getting on the elevator after eating dinner in the hotel, and I hear that piercing whine. Crap, I think, is that me? I pull out my PDM, and sure enough, I’ve got an occlusion: pod deactivated. It’s 9:30 Central Time, 10:30 back at home. I call the hotel desk to get the name of a 24-hour pharmacy. There’s one about 10 minutes away. I call them and plead my case. No go. Your doctor must call. Luckily my endo is a very nice lady, and I have her cell phone number. I give her a call, apologizing profusely, and she happily agrees to call in a prescription for a bottle of Novolog. I take a $30 cab ride to retrieve my vial (no insurance card, so I pay full freight of $133 – I hope I get reimbursed). Back at the hotel, I change my pod. The new pod provides a painful injection, so I’m thinking it will probably occlude, too. I’ll probably change it tonight, anyway, even if it doesn’t, because it still hurts and made it a little difficult to sleep last night. If I do, I’ll have one pod left until I get home Wednesday night. Wish me luck, and say a prayer for my exceedingly kind endo.
So sorry to hear that your trip started out this way! Your Endo sounds great, I honestly don’t know what I would have done in your situation! Good luck with the rest of the trip. I hope it gets better.
A few points I can recommend for future travel - I always travel with the shots/system that I used before using Omnipod – when I travel, I take Lantus and syringes along with a Humulog pen for back up. If I experienced something like you did, then I would have reverted back to a nighttime Lantus shot and just used Humulog with meals the next day, saving the cab fare and cost of non-insured insulin. Also, is your pharmacy a national chain? I use Wallgreens, so when I am in KC visiting my family or California visiting friends, if I run out of insulin, I can refill it at a Wallgreens across the country. They usually have a 24-hour in each city, too.
Better luck next time!
First of all, Good Luck. I can sympathize. It must be an East Coaster heading to the Mid West thing. Last November I traveled from NJ to Indianapolis for six days (Sun - Fri). I brought two extra pods. Monday before lunch, my pod occluded. I was annoyed, but not freaked because the pod was expiring later that day. I changed my pod at lunch, and right after I restarted the class I was teaching, the new one occluded. I cleared the error on the PDM and kept on going. I changed the pod at afternoon break. Five minutes after I restarted class, yet a third occlusion. I had no more pods on me, so I had to wait until I got back to the hotel to change pods yet again. Fortunately, I survived the rest of the week without any more occlusions.
Second, I used to travel extensively. So I wouldn’t forget anything, I created a packing list. Even with the list, it is possible to still have a problem. Back when I was on MDI, I thought I had enough Lantus with me for a two week trip, part of which was in Canada. Guess what, I didn’t and ended up cutting back my dose so I would not run out before I got home.
So, no lecture from me because I’ve done it already, but if you don’t have a packing list already, try it and see if it helps.
wow,man! I am sorry to hear about your trouble! It reminds me of back when I used to do alot of sales/marketing travelling overseas (most ofen, China) and I would be perpetually paranoid! If anything like that had ever happened i would have been in deep trouble, fortunately it never did! lots of other “stufff” though, like an eye hemmhorhage in Mexico once. Other than that no real difficulty …now I am retired and no longer travelling 2 to 3 times a week. Good luck!
I know what “occlusion” means regarding the Pod, but, technically, what EXACTLY is an “occclusion”? does anyone know?
Not sure if this is the answer you’re looking for, but any time you have an occlusion–whether it’s with a pod or just w/ another infusion set while on a tubed pump–it means that you’re not getting any insulin. For some reason, insulin delivery has stopped. This could be a kinked cannula, it could be that the cannula tip is pushed up against muscle rather than remaining in the subcutaneous fatty layer, it could be that the insulin has crystalized (this seemed to happen more often w/ older insulins, in tubed pumps, with really small basal rates…but it could potentially still happen)…whatever the actual reason, it usually ‘trips’ the error message because the resistance to flow causes a back-pressure to build up inside the cannula and/or tubing, all the way to the mechanical aspect of the pump. I don’t know what that pressure gradient is though…
thanks, man. It has been a question I have had for years…and just let it nag at me (espcially every time my Pod had to be changed).
Good thinking on your part. I had a similar situation last month. The wife and I went to Vegas, and as we’re unpacking the car we realize we forgot the personal bag…you know, hair brushes, tooth brushes, shampoo…and pods. I had just changed it that morning, so I knew we had 3 days left. I went to an RX nearby (national chain) and had them transfer my prescription there, and filled it along with a 10 pack of syringes. I used the pump for basal only. As things would have it, my pod deactivated (3 days + 8 hours) 90 minutes from home. Whew!
Good thinking on your part
Ok… don’t want to lecture but now you’ll know exactly what to bring with you on your next out of town meeting. One experience did it for me but it wasn’t the lack of insulin, it was the lack of glucose while driving on a major highway. I forgot my little box of juice and my sugar dropped to 40… I was terrified but was able to pull off into a police station, crawl in and beg for sugar. LOL I think they thought I was crazy until I finally got the word “diabetic” out and the came to my rescue with BAG AND BAGS of CHOCOLATE and sweets. LOL
No wonder they were all a bit on the heavy side. Glad you’re ok!
Thanks for all the support, guys. I made it back home without further incident. My replacement pod never did occlude, but I replaced it after two days because it continued to be uncomfortable, and there was some blood on the adhesive and a small bruise. I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. It was certainly a relief to finally remove it. I’ll try to remember all of my supplies next time.