Question for those who pump

Hello all! I am so thankful I have found this forum! It has been a wonderful resource! Ok my question now is, my son will be starting the OmniPod tomorrow, he is newly diagnosed T1D as of June 3, 2019, 10 years old. Do you guys keep spare injection pens laying around in case of pump errors/ malfunctions? He still has several pens left over, does insurance cover both or will they only cover one type of insulin, like vail vs. pens? Thanks! And for those who have kids who are T1, what all supplies do you send to school and how much of each? School is about to start and this is such unfamiliar territory, it’s so scary!

Absolutely, yes.

Depends on your insurance. My Dr prescribes one box of Lantus pens and one of Fiasp per year for emergency purposes or pump breakdown (and it has happened). My insurance is fine with it, but I’ve heard from others when I’ve mentioned this before who aren’t so fortunate. To me it’s an obvious necessity—pumps are not fool proof, and pens just about are—so if your carrier declines it I would definitely pursue getting it overruled.


Thanks for the advice! He has about 6 pens unopened of Humalog and 3 of Basaglar! How long can they last in the fridge unopened?

The nurse who is doing our training for the Omnipod said she could use them up in the pump but I didn’t like that idea, being stuck without any on hand! I thought the Humalog in a vail would be much more expensive for some reason but I just checked and it’s onoy 25 bucks for my part for 90 days supply! Wow!

Other stuff you might not know: it’s a pretty common practice to estimate your usage of refillable items, especially insulin, on the high side for safety’s sake. That way you can build up a bit of a cushion, which you can control by how often you order refills so the stuff doesn’t take over your fridge.


I’d say a year anyway and probably longer. Officially you should throw it away the second the expiration date is reached, but in practical terms, as long as it’s not frozen or left in the sun it’s pretty durable.


I have pens in the fridge. been there for years. I dont carry them except when going on a trip. My Medtronic pumps are very reliable. can’t speak about other brands.


a LOT LONGER than what the expiration date indicates. by YEARS.


I definitely have an extra pod, extra syringes and a pen or vial around if needed. I carry them with me in the pouch they gave in training or they send to you beforehand? .

You can if needed use a syringe to draw insulin back out of the pod if it gets knocked off or fails later (that’s rare). But if you ran out of insulin in the pump, that doesn’t work obviously.

Insulin can be sensitive to heat or severe cold so don’t leave the pouch in the car unless it’s well protected!!!


Having a backup plan for the backup plan is something that comes with the disease. Every pump will develop some sort of problem eventually, no matter who makes it. When that time comes, you’re thankful for being prepared.


Once the insulin exceeds the expiration date. You should check it to make sure it doesn’t turn cloudy, a sign that it may have deteriorated.

1 Like

That is very good to know! Thanks for the reply!

Thanks for the tip!

Yes, you are right it’s always best to be prepared for sure!

Thank you for the information! You guys have been so helpful! I have been reading that sweet tarts are one of the best Hypo treatments, how many would he need to eat when having a low?

Gosh, I use a judgement factor. And I bet the longer we have been doing it the more likely we try to get away with as little as possible. I’m not sure that would work for a child. I think the recommendations are 15 carbs for a low. I often only eat 4-8 carbs. But a CGM helps with that because if you have a arrow still heading downward you want more carbs, but if it barely has hit your warning number you might aim for 4 carbs.

Some of this is learned over time, but I remember the first suggestion was 15 carbs wait 15 minutes and another 15 carbs if needed…

Of course sometimes when we drop we get ravenous and eat too much because we don’t care and want to just fix it. And then you get the too high number and have to fix that…


The best places to get them are Costco and Target on Sundays when everything is on sale. They have huge bags of individually wrapped 3 packs. I spend about 10 minutes removing the candy from the wrapper and storing them in zip lock bags. When you need them in an emergency, the less time spent on packaging the better. They’re pure sugar, they work fast. The shelf life is akin to the dear beloved Twinkie. Congratulations on starting the Dex/OmniPod tomorrow. Be sure to make a list of all your questions. You’re going to be bombarded with information, you don’t want to forget anything.

Yes, I have gotten very nervous when he gets low and have overdone it! They say 15 fast acting carbs and recheck in 15 mins, it still low another 15g carbs and so on! I did notice at the hospital when he was first diagnosed and in DKA he was on the insulin drip that night to lower his BG and when he hit 70 he was asleep bc it was like 5 am, the nurses woke him and made him slam two boxes of apple juice which is 30g or more! This was at the Children’s hospital Endo unit, too! I guess when it’s a child they worry more! And I get that for sure! I hate he hasn’t learned how they feel and can’t tell me if he is feeling one coming on!

1 Like

You’ll start to notice the change in his behavior when his levels are off. With the Dex, having to rely on behavior isn’t necessary any more. Typically when a diabetic is having an extreme low, we become difficult and very non compliant.


Hospital’s management of T1’s blood sugar leave something to be desired. Usually the standing orders on a ward are to have glucose levels between 200-300, the rationale being no one dies and there are no hypoglycemic events.

With respect to going low, all of us T1’s here have, unfortunately, basically eaten the entire fridge when we get very low. The instinct to survive is strong in humans, and the mind screams carbs.

I call it Carb Crave. If at all possible try to avoid it, as next thing you know his BG will be well over 300.