Do you have plans in place for 'critical failure?'

I really hate not having a plan in place for major problems/possible hospitalizations.

In the year since my best friend passed away, I have started training my dad on the tech (but, hes still not knowledgeable enough to work it). I have only had one minor ‘critical failure,’ low BG event. It went OK. I’m pretty happy with that, this year., considering how much has happened. But, I don’t have a good plan for future failures, which could be more serious. I think that limits what I can do.

Good critical failure plans are so dependent on other people. Good backup is hard to find.

Phil had the best idea that I’ve seen so far - about just always having insulin and extra pump supplies. That should be obvious, but I let it slide a lot.

I wish that the system could be more accommodating. Its so inflexible that I have real doubts about my ability to overcome any obstacles.

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I always say that in the event of an apocalypse, I won’t even try to survive. I’ll just stay in my apartment and wait until the insulin runs out.

I keep thinking I should have a better plan in place in case of an earthquake, but it’s hard to plan for every contingency when we need a refrigerated medication and if anything happens to my phone or pump in an emergency, I would have a limited backup plan since my endocrinologist wouldn’t prescribe lantus for emergencies, so all I would have is nph. I would live, but for how long? I read stories about natural disasters and people being trapped underground for a week or more, and think, “yeah, I’d be dead by then.”

Sometimes its easier not to think about it.

In addition, Sheryl and i work together at least once per month on the set change and CGM insertion. could she do it by herself? Likely not. We have been doing this for 42 years but its very different to do it and to help someone do it. Would I trust her? Absolutely.

hehehe, BeckyZ. Could be a lesser emergency than the apocalypse. Do you have backup nph and r in case of earthquake? I suppose we all should, all the time. Its only $40. Would last about a month. NPH, R, and syringes.

But, what about simple things, like hospitalization. Who notifies your endo? Are you supposed to? Seems like somebody should. Does anyone call the primary Doc when someone is hospitalized? Does the hospital have access to their records with EMR? Should I just get basic dosages tattooed on my arm? Should I have my endos name on my med tags? What does everybody else do?

Have you guys written medical directives?

Maybe this is more of a epileptic concern than a diabetic one. Diabetics, here, probably aren’t hospitalized very often. Maybe its not something people plan for. I think I am way more preoccupied with hospitalizations that most of you. Must be an epilepsy thing. That makes sense, I guess.

Do you always get mandatory IVs when hospitalized, or is that an epilepsy thing, too?

I do have nph, but it’s in the refrigerator, so if I have a minute to grab it before evacuating, I will be fine, but if it’s a mad dash, and I’m 1 foot from my front door with debris falling, its not going to be much use to me.

I am overly paranoid about car crashes for the reasons you described. Even if I have the supplies with me, it’s not going to help much if my pump gets pulverized and I’m knocked unconscious. Basically, I can think of a 1000 scenarios where there is either no way to be prepared or the cost and time involved in being prepared is so high compared to the low likelihood of that situation ever arising that I settle for just being reasonably prepared, hoping for the best, and trying not to think of all the other cases.

I dont have a medical directive, but I should probably get one, especially as I am prone to family drama. I dont need my care being even more messed up because my mom and my husband cant agree. It’s not something anyone has ever brought up to me before.

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not very paranoid here, so I just have a ton of insulin (for many months) in the fridge, extra pens, and even old-style syringes. If my pump quits (it’s out of warranty), I’m not concerned that anything bad is going to happen, other than some inconvenience for a while. Life is too short to be stressed over “what MIGHT happen”. We could get run over walking from the car to the store. We actually had a relative get killed in a Costco parking lot that way. Enjoy life!


Totally agreed.
Even though our pump is in our warranty.
But ran our last pump for two years past warranty knowing it had multiple issues.
Didn’t loose a wink of sleep. If it failed, we would simple switch to syringes and would then start thinking of “what next”.


We have reasonable backup plans and precautions.
But I don’t get worked up about too many scenarios.

Good to know the straight diabetic perspective. The epileptics have actual legal resources/organisations to get out of the hospital and to avoid transport. But, they have told me that none of that stuff works for me because I’m diabetic. Diabetes seems to make the epileptics pretty nervous.

Tricky situation, because I have always been hospitalized for “diabetes.” Even though diabetes has nothing to do with passing out and they can see that by checking BG. Diabetics dont seem to have much contingency plan for this stuff, which makes sense.

How so? I read about people who drag the kitchen sink around town with them because they pump. they will take batteries, extra sets, etc. etc. All I take with me is skittles and a meter in case I think my sensor can’t be trusted but often times I don’t even carry a meter. So where is my paranoia? :slight_smile:

I only take glucagon and pens when going out of town. Like across the country type “out of town”.

I always have a meter, but not always extra sets. The fact that the infusion set only lasts three days is an issue with hospitalization. If you changed it directly before hospitalization, it might last through the whole stay, but otherwise, there is trouble ahead. I also have issues with removing my pump set before a seizure. I just get a feeling that something is very wrong and ‘critical failure’ is coming. I tend to tear off the pump in case its low BG. Then, I have nothing at the hospital.

If I have to move outta town for a job, I dont think I’ll make it. I dont think I can move away from what limited human resources I have. I also think I would loose my health insurance policy and have to start a new, un-trusted one. I think this is a recipe for disaster, or worse. One seizure, and everything falls apart. I would be in a very dangerous and expensive situation.

Also, I am terrified of IV’s. If hospitalized, there’s no way to not have an IV. I will freak out and make a run for it. If I’m in a new place, I might not know, instinctively, how to get home.

I keep a kit in my backpack that has backup pump supplies, insulin and pens, and prescription medications. It also has glucose gel and my EpiPens right on top where people could grab them without having to dig in any of the pockets. It’s bright red-orange and I keep it in a front pocket of my backpack where people can easily find it. I’ve debated putting some sort of medical symbol on that backpack zipper to make it easier to find in an emergency.

I wear a Medic Alert bracelet that lists my four potentially life-threatening conditions on the bracelet itself. If medical professionals call the hotline, they can access additional medical conditions, allergies, medical equipment, prescription medications (no doses), doctors’ contact information, and emergency family contacts.

I do have backup long- and rapid-acting insulin in my fridge in case of a pump failure.

No one knows my insulin doses nor how to work my insulin pump. When I’ve been hospitalized, they’ve said if I were to ever go unconscious they would take over my insulin. I think at that point you just have to trust they will keep you alive, though they may not control your blood sugar that well. Probably if you were ill or injured enough to be unconscious your insulin dose might be all over the place anyway, so a baseline dose may not do much to help.

I keep an earthquake kit at home and at work, but it’s outdated and I don’t think I’d be prepared if an earthquake hit. I got a bit overwhelmed updating my kit and trying to make it light enough to carry. And then I attended a workshop put on by the city where they talked about downed power lines and how it wouldn’t be safe to walk around outside if you couldn’t see those. And then I got a CPAP machine and everything just became super overwhelming. If a big earthquake hit I’d have to evacuate, yet wouldn’t be able to walk around safely, wouldn’t be able to eat most food that might be offered, wouldn’t be able to sleep without suffocating, so I just have no idea what I would do. I’ll probably put some water purification stuff in my backpack and just call that my earthquake kit. All I really need for short-term survival would be water and insulin. Maybe I’ll re-vamp my earthquake kit during the summer, but I just get overwhelmed every time I think about it.

I’m really sorry to hear that you lost your best friend last year. I lost my best friend very unexpectedly about four years ago. I think it really does make you think a lot more about these types of things.

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The only “failure” I worry about daily is being too low. To deal with it I do two things. First, I have glucose tabs stuffed everywhere and I make sure there are some on me all the time. Second, I check bg level often and make sure that CGM or glucose meter or both are on me all the time. Anything else I don’t worry too much. I will not die from being high for a while and the hospital if I’ll get there unconscious will find out about my elevated bg levels by itself sooner or later and it will keep it in some range then. This range wouldn’t be ideal, but good enough for survival until I would be able to start manage it by myself again.

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When I say ME, then I mean ME. I don’t mean YOU.

So what do you do if your pump actually fails if you have no extra insulin with you?

I carry a load of supplies with me, but I also can’t drive. So when I’m at work, I’m 1-2 hours (or sometimes more) away from home. From what I read, most people who don’t carry extra supplies with them have quickly going home and then returning to work (or wherever they are) as their backup plan.

It is a lot of stuff. I keep trying to buy “cute” purses, but the amount of freight that I am able to carry is always inadequate. You sound pretty prepared. I will try to follow your example. That 1-2 hours away from supplies has really got me in the past.

Yeah, between having to carry medical supplies (beyond just diabetes), food for a couple meals, assistive technology, and everyday stuff, I’ve given up on carrying a purse. I used to carry a separate large purse, laptop bag, and lunch bag, plus sometimes an additional bag with other things I needed for the day or had picked up, but that got really annoying and heavy lugging around on buses, especially since I can only carry all that stuff with one hand. I often felt like a pack mule with three or four bags draped over me. One day a colleague asked me why I didn’t just use a backpack. So ever since then, I’ve carried a backpack. I find it’s pretty common for public transit commuters to use backpacks, so I don’t feel out of place.

No complex carbs could work. Meat, low starch vegetables. At first I thought you were talking about advanced directives, or health proxy’s. Which is always a good idea to have in place. It’s funny though that you mention this right now, as I am broke for about a week with not much food in the house. Oh well, I cut back the insulin dosages dramatically, cut food servings in half, did as best with the food shopping as I could before I ran out of dough (pun intended). Have some lifesavers handy is about the best I can do right now. Had one low of 31 so far. Otherwise around 140-175 my blood sugars have been. Thanks and best.

Pump failure? Never failed except when in Vegas and water ruined 2 MM pumps. My wife has a pump that I can borrow, I’ve got pens with me on vacay, and MM sends out a replacement within a day (or 2 days if I call after 3PM on a Friday). Around home, I’ve not had a pump failure, but then again I don’t go into water with my pump, because I no longer have a pool. :slight_smile: