Wednesday, 1 April 2015

A pump is great....Until it isn't

Kind of a weird title right?

A pump is great....until it isn't.

That is how I felt about Amy's pump this weekend.

Amy has been pumping for two years now.  We had a wonderful set up with a wonderful Medtronic Rep.  She flew to our home town and worked with our hospital diabetes educator to set up the pump.  It was nice not to travel for a change.  She brought a Lenny the Lion keychain. She brought an extra pump pouch, she brought an extra glucometer for school.  They were great.

This very same Rep also sent us a big stuffy Lenny when I called to see if she had any discounts coupons or codes for one.  They Canadian site was selling them for +$70 whereas the American site was selling them for $25.  Guess what?  She sent us one.....for free.

I've called the help line many times and have received wonderful service.  They are always prompt and friendly.  I have no issues with Medtronic.

Pumping has of course had its up and downs.  We've been lucky.  I think we've only ever had to change one site because it was not working for us. Amy's only ever hauled her site out in her sleep once (and she woke up for it).  Our batteries last long (thanks Duracell) and we can extend to 4 days before site change in a pinch.

Last month, we had a "bad battery" alarm.  That's the first time I've ever seen that.  Luckily it was in the middle of the day because you know what happens?  the pump shuts off.  Blank, dark screen.  right when you are in the middle or an 80+ carbohydrate meal from Burger King.  Amy was at her Uncle's house.  I get a call.  Something is wrong with her pump.  It stopped giving her insulin.  By the time I got there, it was just shutting down.  My first instinct was to scold Amy.  I thought she had a "low battery" alert that she had ignored.  It's happened at school before.  But she assured me that wasn't the case.  It wasn't until I replaced the battery, the pump started up again and I looked at the alarms that I saw the bad battery alarm.  This was a brand new battery....only 2 days old.  I didn't think much more of it.  Was just thankful that it was during the day. For those that are wondering, I looked at the insulin on board and gave the rest of the insulin through the pump, that should have been delivered before it shut down.

This past Friday, we were headed to our family cabin.  You can drive so far up the highway, but then the rest of the way is on snowmobile (Yes, there is still LOADS of SNOW!).  On the way, we stopped into Tim Horton's Drive Thru for a sandwich and donut.  Amy tested her sugar, and bloused her insulin for the sandwich first.  When it was time for her donut she says that something is wrong with her pump.  Turns out there is a Motor Error. We follow the onscreen directions and wait the 5 minutes until we finish driving.....Sorry Amy, you can't have your donut just yet!

When we stop, I do a quick google search and see that most people report this to Medtronic.  I had already had the pump going again by doing the rewind it suggested, disconnected, primed and reattached to site.  All was working well. 

When we arrived at the cabin and got settled away, I let Amy bolus for her donut.  Yup, pump still working.  I decided to call Medtronic just to have it on our file that we had this issue and to see if there was anything else I had to do.  I gave the necessary information for them to bring up our file and explained the error we had.  I'm still not 100% on what he said because I was shocked that his second sentence was that they were going to send us a new pump via courier right away.  It was Friday evening at about 5pm AST.

Now the fact that I'm in Labrador means that we never get ANYTHING right away and I told him that I would have it by Monday.  He said we would call me back.  When he called me back, he confirmed that it would in fact be Monday before I received it.

Every few hours over the weekend I checked to ensure the pump was still working.  We didn't have another issue with it, and there is no way to know if we ever would again.  I do however feel vindicated.  I still get up at 3am every morning to check Amy's sugar, confirm that her site is still attached and make sure she is alive and well.  If this error had have happened in the middle of the night, her sugar would slowly but surely rise.  I feel so grateful that the longest she typically goes is about 3 hours without one of us checking her.  Some people think it's foolish, but look what can happen.

So we now have the Brand New pump all set up and running.  I wish to thank Medtronic for their quick actions with my issue, and for now we remain a loyal customer......Can we have a Cloud too?

With all that being said.  A pump is great....until it isn't!

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