From Abby: Casually Defective.
It's not just our pancreases that are busted at times - there are often moments of diabetes techno-burps that leave us scratching our heads. Abby recently had a "WT ...H" moment with her insulin pump. And she also experimented with word smashing; you'll see.
Since I got home from camp, my lifestyle is much more ... umm ... sedentary (read: I sit in my room unpacking all day, just to repack in a week). This is a big change from my lifestyle at camp in which I was walking everywhere all the time. So when I was having a lot of persistent high blood sugars, I chalked it up to this change in activity (and cranked up the basals).
When I woke up at 3:30 am on Wednesday night to my Dexcom annoying the crap out of me (saying I was 329 mg/dL with two up arrows), and I was feeling like absolute death, I decided to check for ketones. This is where the story gets complicated. After seeing that I had smoderate ketones (yes, I’m allowed to smash the words small and moderate together), I looked at my site. Total vampire cannula. I ripped that thing out and found a huge bruise. Great.
Here comes the strangest part ...
Since I use Mios, it’s just easier/safer to change the whole setup when having cannula issues. (With a Medtronic Revel and Mios, I’m so pump trendy.) When I took the reservoir out of my pump, it literally dripped insulin all over my bed. And the little place where the reservoir lives in my pump was FILLED with insulin, with like at least ¼ of an inch in there. I soaked up two Q-tips to get it out.
What. The. Heck.
I was a little concerned about my pump, since it’s not waterproof, and it’s brand new (I just got this upgrade in May), but at 3 am I was far more sleepy and ketone-sick than concerned. I called Medtronic the next morning and the customer service person basically told me I had a defective reservoir and hit a weird spot in my arm which lead to the blood (I was expecting a scolding for using my arm, but she was fine with that – thankfully).
But she thought this was a totally acceptable reason - "Defective products are pretty common." In this woman’s defense, she went through all the steps she could to make sure my pump was okay. But a lot of the expectations don't really apply to "real life." For example, "Please find the lot number on the package from the pump site and reservoir." Maybe I’m the only one, but I throw all that junk away as soon as I put the new site in. And I also dump out all of my pump supplies in a drawer when I get them because the boxes and all the paper inside takes up way too much space. So finding those lot numbers? Not going to happen.
I love me some technical support, but sometimes I wish the people on the other end of the phone had diabetes and were a bit more sympathetic as to how that casually defective reservoir made me feel. She kept telling me “I’m very sorry this happened to you, we can replace those products right away” which is helpful, I suppose. I guess I just want someone on the phone to be like "Aww that is awful, I totally know how having ketones feels, and it’s no good at all." So I guess what I’m saying is life would be easier if everyone in the world had diabetes :)
(I’m totally not dissing on Medtronic. I get that it’s not their fault if one reservoir doesn’t work. And they’re always super nice and super helpful ... it’s just frustrating when things that keep us alive are allowed to be faulty. See also: Kerri’s meter discrepancy extravaganza.)
In the end, pumpy is fine. Since there are no cracks or anything in it, and apparently because when I shake it, it doesn’t make a sound (yet another test the tech support girl had me do) my pump is safe. She told me to keep an eye on it, and call back with more problems. Crisis mostly averted.
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As someone who recently cracked their Animas Ping against the floor and had to rock MDI due to my awkward pump failure, I totally understand the need for people to understand the "real life" implications of pump failure. Have you ever busted up a bit of your diabetes technology and had to reset your management plan?