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I started using this pump a little over 2 months ago. I have been diabetic for almost 30 years. Maybe I'm an exception since everyone seems to have positive experiences with the pump. In 2 months I have had a problem twice with non-delivery if insulin, causing my b.s. to go to 520+ and my ketones to go to "moderate". For everyone who has had that delightful experience it might be needless to say that I felt very sick. When on Lantus/Regular my B.S. could go up high and I never had the ketone problem because the Lantus was my basal. If the pump doesn't deliver for any reason, there is NO basal insulin.

But the reason I am really posting this is to ask if anyone has the experience of smelling the insulin constantly. Medtronics has really nice people working there, but they keep wanting me to call when I change my infusion set like I'm doing something wrong. I've done it for 2+ months now...and I've watched the video. I'm doing everything I'm supposed to. I don't see any cracks. So is this normal??? I don't ever see any comments regarding this.

Sorry this was so long :)

Tags: insulin, ketones, pump, smell

Views: 673

Replies to This Discussion

There is nothing ore frustrating than pump malfunction. Good to suppliment with pens or shots when you first detect something wrong. I had good success when I got a CDE to listen t my problems. She was brilliant at troubleshooting. It does happen once or twice a year but nothing like it used to. if you take a small amount sometmies it does ot flow reliably, smetimes there is an air space in tube nd you think you are getting delivery but you are not. it does not alert you to no delivery and they should fix this! Anotjer thing is scar tissue...some sites on our bodies are tatterered and do not get good absorption. Hope this helps.

Love your kitty!

I love the convenience of the pump,,, but I really do not feel as well as when I took injections. Maybe once I become a pump pro it will get better.
Your kitties look a lot like the picture I have :) My daughter has both of those cats now. My husband isn't very fond of cats... The one to the left of the picture is my baby!! I miss him.
Thanks for taking the time to reply!

I am diabetic almost 56 years now and have lived the past 29 yrs on the insulin pump. If it were not for the pump, I would have passed away like the doctors said. The pump when I first got mine in 1983, march, was big, weight almost a pound, and just gave you your basil rate, and you had to figure out how much insulin to take for a meal base on calories. Today's pump are so much better, and I know much harder to get use to. When I went onto the cgm it took me almost a year before I knew and felt comfortable with it. Hang in their it will get better.

Wow..56 years is a long time. It's been almost 30 years for me. My dad was diabetic and so is my brother. It seems to hit around the age of 30 in our family. Luckily my 3 children have all passed that age and none of them are diabetic... I'm hoping there will be a cure before my grandchildren are 30.
I never even knew about pumps when I first became diabetic. After I did learn about them, I was not really interested. My new endo talked me into it and I'm still on the fence about whether or not I'm happy with it. Love the convenience though!! Sometimes I feel like this thing is going to kill me :( I suppose I'll get used to it. If you can hang in there for 29 years, then maybe I shouldn't worry about it. You are an inspiration :)
Thanks for listening!

When my son started pumping five years ago, no delivery alarms were a problem over the first few months. In his case, usually a bent canula at site change that would cause his pump to message a no delivery error. Not something that he would stumble upon during his regular BG checks.

You should not be able to smell insulin when you change your reservoir. If you can, I would suspect that some insulin is leaking out of the bottom of the reservoir, either from the o-rings being too dry, which can be fixed by turning the plunger clockwise or counter-clockwise, several times before drawing up any insulin. The o-rings are the little black rings at the top and bottom of the stopper that holds the insulin in the reservoir when you remove the plunger. The o-rings are lubricated and if they happen to be a little dry, they may need a few turns before drawing up insulin to re-lubricate around the stopper, which improves the seal that keeps the insulin from leaking out the bottom of the reservoir. If not the o-rings, the problem might be that you are overfilling the reservoir just a tad, but enough that you are passing the full mark when drawing up the insulin, which in turn is allowing some insulin to leak when you remove the plunger and set the reservoir into the reservoir holder section of the pump. Leaking can't be good for the mechanism that pushes the insulin through the reservoir.

My husband, when he would try to help, had a tendancy of pulling the plunger too far back when refilling the reservoir. At times, far enought that he'd pull the plunger right out of the bottom of the reservoir dumping the full reservoir of insulin onto the counter. Big hands / thumbs, trying to manipulate tiny reservoir tubes.

Thanks for the reply :) I usually fill to the 100 units mark. After the 43" tubing fills my pump usually shows about 75-80 units which lasts 2-1/2 to 3 days. I'll try the o-ring lubrication and see if that helps. I wondered if the box of reservoirs I received weren't quite up to par. I'm still on my initial order. I had a "skin" on my pump and thought maybe it had absorbed insulin so I removed it (which actually has helped some). Now I clean my pump every time I change it. Thanks for the advice!

Do you still have this issue?

I started on a 523 Revel 2 months ago and love it except that every time I change the reservoir, the insulin smell is horrible.

There is always a bit of insulin under the bottom ring and the reservoir area on the pump smells like insulin and is wet inside.

Metronic kepts sending me new reservoirs with different lot numbers, but it's still happening.

Last night they finally said they'll ship me a replacement pump tomorrow, so hopefully that'll be the end of it.

I always lubricate the O-rings and my numbers have been fine the whole time, but I don't want the piston and pump to eventually fail! Hopefully my new pump doesn't have any issues because other than the smell and leak, the pump has worked well for me!

I actually can smell the insulin while I'm wearing the pump. I have a very sensitive sense of smell :) I have become used to it. It doesn't seem to be leaking. I've been on the pump for a little over a year now and have adjusted to it finally. The only thing I really hate is inserting the canula. If they could just find a way to have a permanent insert I would love it. The convenience of the pump in great once you learn how to time it so you don't run out of insulin when you're somewhere you can't change it. Good luck with your pump! I'm waiting for medical science to fine-tune stem cells to cure this disease :)

I hear you about inserting the canula (or my G4 CGM sensor).

I just tell myself this every time before inserting:

"Remember when you had to inject 4 times a day? This is better!"


I just got my new pump, so I'll let you know if I see any difference!

Sounds like your cartridge is leaking a bit... As someone suggested its probably the plunger seal on the cartridge not being lubed up... Try this.. when you do a set change, before you spike the bottle. "Prime" the plunger on the catridge by pulling it back and pushing it forward a few times before you fill it.. I usually do it 3 times ... see if you still get the smell after a day or two...turning it also can do it.. might also have a bad batch of cartridges but try the rotating/priming thing first

I got my replacement pump, and made sure to lube up the plunger seals really well before trying my new pump for the first time.
Yesterday was day 3, so I changed site and when I took out the reservoir:

there was insulin under it just like with my old pump :-(


Either I'm having very bad luck with reservoirs or I am doing something wrong, but I am doing exactly what the directions say and I did it in front of my CDE the first time... she told me she has never heard of this happening before!

It's frustrating, isn't it! I prime the reservoir and I still smell insulin. I've been doing this for over a year, so unless ALL reservoirs are bad, I don't think that's it. I don't really notice leaking. I've rubbed my finger around and it's not wet. I can smell it on my skin, too. Sometimes I feel like I reek of insulin...I hope not. I have a strong sensitivity to smells though. I don't think (in my case) there's anything wrong with my pump or the reservoirs. Everyone says I shouldn't be smelling insulin... I just gave up.
(I have the 523 also.)




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