I would like to know how many people are getting the “Insulin Flow Blocked” message from their pump, particularly is you have a Medtronic 630G, what you do when it happens, and what you do to prevent it, because it is driving me round the bend!
I was in Boston about 4 weeks ago (I am from Canada) and the first morning after I arrived, I got the dreaded missive from the pump. My usual strategy when this happens is to A) take small manual boluses trying to stay under the “Insulin Flow Blocked” threshold, and sometimes B) go through the infusion set change routine hoping to force whatever is causing the blockage to clear. Sometimes the latter procedure works, but if it doesn’t, and I have a lot of insulin on board, I may change the tubing. If I am at less than 50u on board, I will usually change the reservoir and infusion set and throw away to old set.
I had brought 4 infusion sets with me, for a four day visit, twice as many as I should need, just in case. However, I found another, unrelated problem, in that the clip on the pump was broken, so It fell off my belt and took the infusion set with it. I didn’t realize at first that the clip was broken, and thought I had made a mistake in clipping it to my belt. So I was down to one infusion set by the time I had two days left, so I would be cutting it pretty fine to have insulin for the trip home. Yes, I know I should have had an insulin pen with me, but in the rush of packing, I forgot to put one in my bag. I talked to the international help desk, and they didn’t have any suggestions I could use, but they were kind enough to send me a box of Sure-Ts to replace the ones I had lost.
This brings me to today. I have a method of filling the reservoir that avoids bubbles pretty well, and I am careful to avoid kinking the tube in any way. For most of the next three weeks, I didn’t have any issues with “Insulin Flow Blocked” so I thought I was out of the woods, but this week it happened twice. I sometimes have a bubble of about 0.5mm that I just can’t get rid of, but it usually isn’t a problem. Both times I filled my reservoir this week, I was sure there were no bubbles in the reservoir. I got the first couple of boluses without any problem, but then third time unlucky, I got the message from hell again. I have used the manual bolus strategy to ensure I get the required insulin. (All indications with regard to my BG show that this works.) Also, I am clearly getting the proper basal amounts.
There are a few other quirks of the system that make me want to throw the damn thing out the window, but I have to say that for all its annoyances, the pump has improved my control tremendously. I have had this disease for 52 years, and am getting far better BGs than I had at any time in the past, so I’m going to keep it. If anyone has a positive suggestion to avoid the blockage message, I hope you will share it here. Thanks for reading!