Expired!

Makes me feel like an April fool.

The problem with using three-day CGM sensors for six days is that half of the prescribed batch  expires before you get to use them.  The benefit:  I stab myself with that painful* insertion needle less often.

* The word “painful” is used for dramatic effect. It’s not comfortable, but it’s not really that painful.  Really!

Sure, I could use them past their expiration date, but somehow they seem to be wildly inaccurate once that date hits; like the date is somehow coded in the sensor’s magical micro-electronics.  (Maybe if I set the clock back on my pump).  So, a couple of unused, expensive sensors are headed for the trash.

Meanwhile, I got a new batch of insulin sent to me by UPS earlier this week.  It was sitting in a cardboard box by my front door.  The cold-pack that the fine folks at CVS/Caremark put in the insulated package was completely warm.  The insulin might have been ruined (I have no way to know for sure!).   I called them up, and they’ll send me four replacement vials of Novolog, pronto.  I’ll need to send the old ones back, though, to prove I’m not taking advantage of the system to get free insulin  (Hopefully, they won’t send it out to someone else, because they swear it’s still good!).  Four vials of unused, expensive insulin are headed for the trash.

I get such a feeling of guilt when this happens — wasting valuable supplies — but when it comes to my health, I can’t take chances.  And twice in one week: this week has not been a lucky one for me.

(My “consolation prize”, though, is that my broken Novolog post won me a Best of the ‘Betes award!  That’s pretty cool)

* * *

I hope you all have a Happy Easter, Happy Pesach, and/or a good weekend (as appropriate).  See you next week!

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Posted on April 6, 2012, in Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), D-Finance, Diabetes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Haha — I also wear my sensor for 6 days vs the recommended 3, and also have a box and a half of unused, expired sensors. I am still using them, though (shhhh). So far I’ve not had any problems. But I’m keeping an eye on it. I’m due for a refill anyway. Just been avoiding it, because I have to meet the deductible. :/

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  2. lovehatediabetes

    “wasting” is never a happy feeling. I use insulin pens. When I get toward the end of a pen I always try to work it out where I use all of it. This doesn’t always happen though. Sometimes if I would want to use all of it I would have to separate it into two shots. Depending on my outlook, I don’t mind, but usually I don’t like taking two separate shots just to use up my insulin.

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    • When I used insulin pens, I would start a new pen at mealtime and go back to the old one, with 1 or 2 units left in it, to correct highs. Later, I was astounded when I learned how much insulin gets wasted with pumping!

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  3. Just to jump back in here real quick, I did the same thing — I used the Humalog pens before the pump, and I would keep them for those 1 or 2 unit corrections. Sometimes I would take 2 pens for a meal, because both were partials and I didn’t want to waste a drop.

    Today when I changed my pump site, I had 7ish units left in the reservoir. I pushed that back into my Humalog vial after I disconnected, so I didn’t waste it. That stuff is like liquid gold!!

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  4. I get my mail order stuff (insulin and strips) delivered to my work. We have a mailroom to accept packages which is a better alternative to it sitting in the sun or a hot mailbox all afternoon like it used to.

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  5. I am using expired Dexcom sensors! I always use up my pens even if there is 1 unit left and I take more out of the new. As far as the insulin going back, I read where a CDE takes a big red marker and puts something on the vial so the company can’t sent it out to someone else. That is one way to make sure that doesn’t happen!

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  6. I loved reading this! I thought I might have been the only degenerate diabetic using my gcm sensors for 6 days and ALSO using expired sensors! Glad to find I’m in good company!

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  7. I used to work for a mail order pharmacy that worked with Dialysis clinics. As much as we hated having to resend the vials back out on hot days (there were 3 pharmacies to try to help this, but summer time makes it hard to keep things cool at all times), we wanted to make sure that our patients had the best quality medication they could have.

    On a side note, legally, once a prescription leaves a pharmacy they can not redistribute it to someone else if it’s returned. It has to be disposed of.

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  1. Pingback: CGM, WTF? « Rolling in the D

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