Need help! is tbere a way to refill cartridge without the needle and pump?

On vacation, pump is out of insulin went to pull out supplies to refill last night. I have my insulin, my inset, but no cartridge/pump/needle packet! Last night got no sleep, went to er in town and they gave me needles to inject my novolog as needed. so i was up all night checking bs and giving insulin as needed because I have no longterm with me! No pharmacies were open. Talked to Animas today and they’re sending one overnight to me; but in a very remote area and not sure I’ll get it tomorrow. Dr called in lantus to the closest pharmacy . Any secret ways of getting insulin into my existing cartridge?

sorry I can't help on this one, but I wish you luck and hope that the script gets to you soon! GOOD LUCK! - Amy

YES!! If you email me at with your phone number I'll call you and walk you through it.

You should be able to pull back the cartridge a little bit... draw the insulin with a needle they gave you, and squeeze the insulin into space in the cartridge. The trick is going to be to remove all the air/air bubbles.

You should be able to get enough insulin into the cartridge to last you a day or two, until the new cartridge comes in.

I've been able to fill almost the whole cartridge with the way I do it but I'm walking out the door and only can talk you through it.

Yep, this is it! I travel for work and have had to come up with some tricky methods to cover me. I’ll confess I’ve even left town without insulin before. Hope you are doing better and get some sleep!

I'll admit... the pump is a much better choice for everyday living... if you're at home... but MDI was much less worrisome while traveling. All I'd have to do is bring an extra pen or two of each insulin and a few needles that can be reused. Now with the pump I have to worry about the inset, cartridge, insulin, battery, battery cover, cartridge cover, and EVEN THE CLIP! When I travel I worry about the things I can't buy at a Walmart (even when traveling to Mexico), and don't sweat the things I can. Many more things can go wrong with a pump, all it takes is a single miscalculation....

Thank you to all who were willing to help or wishing me luck in a solution. Karly was so kind to take the time to call me and walk me through the process. I’m so thankful for her and for this forum; It’s truly a lifesaver! It’s so good to know there are others out there going through the same thing I am; it eases the anger and frustration I sometimes feel that I have to deal with this disease; having only been diagnosed at 48 yrs old 1 1/2 years ago and only on the pump for 8 months! I hope I can pay it forward and help others as they post and try to find solutions, or just listen and let them know they’re not alone. Very truly grateful, Gayle

So what was her process, on the chance that anyone else here has to go through the same thing?

I’m out of town and trying to type on my little phone is tough! I’ll be happy to list the info when I get back, although I’m not sure it will be comprehended by typing the instructions. I think a much better way would be to video tape it and post it on YouTube, then post link on forum. Who knows, maybe someone already did-i didn’t check

Sorry to not write this out earlier as I had a full last day of vacation...

I'll try to make it short and simple.
1. Remove plunger from cartridge (If it's pushed in too far pull it out with tweezers or something similar)
2. Be sure tubing is removed from top of cartrige and cover hole with your finger or little stopper provided
3. Fill up syringe with insuling from file and empty full syringe into cartridge where you removed the plunger (you may need help if you're using your finger to cover hole)
4. Fill up as much of the cartidge as you can repeating step 3
5. Once the cartridge is full replace the plunger in so insulin does not leak out and turn over
6. Once turned over remove your finger or stopper provided and push plunger gently in removing some of the remaining air.
7. Replace tubing as normal and prime as normal (be sure to prime ALL the way so new insulin is in tubing and no air bubbles remain)

I usually keep an extra cartridge needle in my blood meter pouch for instances like this so I don't have to play McGyver.

Happy New Year!!



Awesome post!!!!!!!!!!!!! I started on the pump just over a month ago and read this post and read the thread and thought. This could totally happen to me. Thanks for sharing!!!

Another trick is to do a lot of what Karly72 said. Here is my trick:
1) Disconnect from site. Rewind pump. Remove cartridge.
2) Drape site connector over the edge of a clean drinking glass to keep it clean/sterile.
3) Disconnect cartridge from tubing and place tubing end over glass edge also.
4) Pull plunger back to the 2.0 mL mark.
5) Fill cartridge using 100 unit insulin syringe or other sterile syringe with insulin from vial.
6) Reconnect all pieces and purge air as per usual.
7) Reconnect site and refile cannula. Resume pumping. :)

Hello - My pump screen is just getting bashed - does anyone sell a screen protecter out there? I carry it in the black case that's provided...most of the time.