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Boop Beep Boop!


I lifted the corner of my shirt and inspected my pump, looking for the “low battery” or “low reservoir” alarm splashed across the screen.  Nothing.

I went back to working, throwing my focus back onto the words escaping my hands but then …


“The gosh darn?!” I said (or a version of that), lifting my shirt again to steal a glance at my pump screen.  No alarms, no surprises.  Nothing.

Maybe I was losing my mind.  I mean, my Animas pump doesn’t even make the boop beep boop sound  – that was the tune of its predecessor, which had been sitting dormant in my bathroom closet for four years.  And the battery isn’t even in that pump, so how could it possibly be …


Again!  I made a cup of coffee and as the water filtered through the grounds, the smell of fresh coffee filled the kitchen and I breathed in deeply, trying to find my mind again and get my brain back to writing mode but …


“Chris!  Do you hear that noise?”  I called out.

“What noise?”

“That boop beep booping noise. I keep thinking it’s my pump but it’s not my pump because my pump doesn’t even make that noise but I keep hearing it …” I said, interrupted by the BOOP BEEP BOOP! again.

I went upstairs to my bathroom and foraged through the shelves until I found the box where my old Medtronic pump was hiding out.  No battery in it – its “vulture eye” closed – so no chance of it throwing the boop beep boop but then I heard it again – BOOP BEEP BOOP! – from downstairs.  But why was I hearing the exact same sound?  Had this old pump come back to life somehow?  I was ready to go full-Poe and tear up the planks to find the source of the boop beep booping.

“Chris?  Do you hear that sound coming from downstairs?  Or is it coming from up here?”

“No, I hear it, too!  It’s not your pump?”

“Nope,” I yelled down to him.  “Not my Dexcom, either.  Nothing on my body right now is boop beep booping.  But I keep hearing the – ”


“I heard it!”  he yelled.  “It’s coming from down here, in the kitchen!”

Turns out that our new dishwasher, if you open it mid-cycle and forget to restart it, makes the exact same BOOP BEEP BOOP! as my old Medtronic insulin pump.

17 Comments Post a comment
  1. Lindsay #

    Too funny! I know between my phone, dexcom, and pump, I can go crazy with beeping and alarms.

    02/28/14; 11:45 am
  2. That was awesome! I heard a beeping noise a few days ago. I checked my pump and Dexcom before I figured out it was a sound effect on TV.

    02/28/14; 11:47 am
  3. Rainer #

    At my office, there is this big coffee vending machine. It’s somehow capable of cleaning itself. When it does that, it sprays hot steam out of its coffee-dispensing-hole-thing. Prior to that, it alerts bystanders by making the exact same alarm sound as my Medtronic pumps. Still get’s me every time, ha! 😀

    (btw: you even have a regular reader in Germany. Love your blog!)

    02/28/14; 1:19 pm
  4. Katie S #

    So funny!

    02/28/14; 2:23 pm
  5. That is all to funny, this same thing has happened to me, however it had been old or ised pumps of mine or my kids(2 diabetics kids) and it will drive you mad! Thanks for sharing and dont forget to change your batteries in you old and new pumps!

    02/28/14; 4:16 pm
  6. That would drive me absolutely BONKERS.

    In our house, we do not have a pump imitator – we have a cell phone vibration imitator. So I hear the noise every once in a while after the toddler hits the hay, and every night I try to find it, searching and hurrying like a crazed bloodhound, and I can NEVER locate the thing before it goes silent again. I would have to get a new dishwasher, or I would lose my mind.

    02/28/14; 6:51 pm
    • The only saving grace is that this noise only happens when the cycle is interrupted and never re-started. As long as we follow-through on the clean dish attempts here in Sparlingville, we should be good. (But have I mentioned that the dryer finishing chimes sound EXACTLY like an ice cream truck song? I might be hungry.)

      03/1/14; 9:50 am
  7. That sound haunts my dreams!!!

    02/28/14; 6:53 pm
  8. Dennis #

    I can relate very well to sounds like my pump and I’ve asked people to modify “their electronic sounds” when we are together. And now you’ve thrown your sound 1,500 miles; as I was reading your blog my Medtronic 523 gave off its BOOP BEEP BOOP! – Low Battery.

    Okay, now I headed downstairs to grab a new battery.

    02/28/14; 7:20 pm
  9. That would have driven me insane. If I hear that ‘boop beep boop’ in a crowd, I must chase it down and find it’s owner. I mean, maybe I’m not that intense, but I do start fervently staring at people’s hips.

    02/28/14; 8:06 pm
    • Yes! Same here. If I hear a “diabetes noise,” my ears perk up like a dog. 🙂

      03/1/14; 9:49 am
  10. Emily H #

    I’m a regular reader, infrequent commenter from the UK, and I used to work as a junior doctor until I had to take early retirement on health grounds in 2006 (not diabetes – chronic lung disease). I qualified from med school in 2001 at the age of 23 (training works a bit different in the UK – you can do it as an undergraduate degree, you don’t have to do pre-med) and on my very second day at work as a baby doctor, I was ‘on call’ (receiving all the new surgical admissions, and covering any problems on all the surgical wards out of hours after the regular teams went home at 5pm) from 8am to 8pm (a far cry from some of the on calls doctors used to do in the ‘bad old days’, and still do in some hospitals around the world – 8am on Friday to 8am on Monday! – the European Working Time Directive put paid to that – but it still seemed long enough, on that second day of work ever, when I knew nothing and could do nothing, and everything took three times as long as it should have done, and I was too intimidated to bleep my seniors and ask for help, however sick the patient). In the UK doctors are communicated with in the hospital by pagers or ‘bleeps’, rather than the rather scary tannoy announcements I’ve heard on ‘Scrubs’ and ‘House’ – you wear the bleep, and when someone wants you, the bleep, errrm, bleeps, and the display shows a number, which you then dial on the nearest internal phone as soon as you can – and woe betide you if it’s your consultant calling and you take more than 30 seconds to answer, even if you’re in the middle of inserting a cannula (an IV) or a catheter (a Foley) when you get bleeped (in the UK, certainly in 2001, nurses didn’t do that sort of thing like they do in the US). Well, on that first on call day, the b****y thing didn’t seem to stop going off, ever – every GP (Family Doctor?) or A&E (ER) doc who wanted a patient admitted under the surgeons, every suspected appendicitis, incarcerated hernia or groin abscess, bowel obstruction or head injury, all came through to my bleep; and after 5pm, every problem on the surgical wards, even if it was a ‘medical’ problem, every wound infection or post-op poor urine output, every chest pain, fever, high or low blood sugar, vomiting episode, or patient who was ‘just not quite right’ would prompt the nursing staff to also bleep me. That thing haunted me all day. Every time it bleeped I had an exaggerated ‘startle’ response, adrenaline (epinephrine) pumping, heart rate soaring – would it be a simple request to prescribe analgesia, or increase the IV fluids in a post-op patient who was a bit dry, or would it be a stroppy GP trying to get a blatantly non-surgical patient admitted, or call to see a desperately sick patient that was way outside my competency to deal with, or my consultant bawling me out for a rushed, shoddy clerking of a patient, an appalling misdiagnosis or the failure to be somewhere that I was supposed to be? And it bleeped a lot – sometimes I would be in the middle of answering one bleep, frantically scribbling patient details on a scrap of paper, and I would get three or four more bleeps whilst on the phone.
    I arrived home at 9pm, completely drained, every bit of adrenaline (I thought) wrung out of my adrenal glands. There was no food in the house, and I was in no mood to shop and cook, or even wait for my then boyfriend (now husband) to shop and cook. I wanted something simple and tasty together with a very large glass of wine in an environment that wasn’t too over-stimulating, I wanted to kick back and relax for a bit, and then I wanted to be in bed and asleep by 10.30pm.
    So we headed out to Pizza Express, just around the corner, where they knew us, where the service was always quick and efficient, and the environment fairly relaxing. The server, taking pity on my obviously exhausted state (or possibly just not wanting someone so visibly wreaked sitting in a very visible position in the open restaurant!) led us to a quiet table at the back of the restaurant, where we quickly ordered and I started in rapidly on that large glass of wine. I was starting to relax for the first time in over twelve hours.
    And then I realised that we were sitting right by the tills.
    And it was coming to that stage in the evening where groups of people were paying every few minutes, ready to head home or on to somewhere else.
    And the tone of the ‘bleep’ of the credit card machine was exactly the same as the tone of the ‘bleep’ of my bleep.
    And it turned out that my adrenals were still perfectly capable of secreting copious amounts of adrenaline (epinephrine), should the occasion demand it.
    _Not_ a relaxing meal.

    03/1/14; 9:59 am
  11. karend1 #

    As I was reading, I was filled with anxiety

    03/1/14; 7:25 pm

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Things that go BEEP in the night | Rolling in the D
  2. Boop Beep Boop. - Six Until Me - diabetes blog

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