Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Busted Pump

Went to take my lunch bolus the other day when my pump just up and broke.  The most ironic thing about that was on my to-do list for that very day was to call Medtronic and see if I needed to replace my pump due to a crack in the battery chamber that had been there for over a month.  I was probably going to make that call about an hour after my pump just quit working on me.

So, I went to take my bolus for lunch and my pump wouldn't deliver the insulin.  This is the error I received.

The crumbs on the table give it a special touch, don't you think?

So, I did what any reasonable diabetic would, and commenced to FREAK out.  I rewound the pump and reloaded the reservoir (after disconnecting) and came upon the Motor Error again.  A good friend was helping me through the freak out and suggested I try new tubing and reservoir.  I did that and still got the same error.  I tried it with a new battery and still got the Motor Error.

I called Medtronic in Singapore after searching for their number.  Left a frantic voice mail and continued freaking out.  I was pretty well panicked but somewhere in the mix I took an injection to cover my lunch.  I called my husband and he was able to dial internationally and connect me with Medtronic in the US.  

Thank goodness, because I hadn't heard back from the "local office" at all.  

I went through with support at Medtronic and they confirmed that my pump was indeed busted.  They told me that my pump is covered under its' warranty until June of 2015 so they would send me a new pump.  THAT'S when I told them that I don't actually live in the United States and that I in fact live 9,000 miles away in Singapore.  The customer service representative wasn't really quite sure what she should do but she said they'd send me a pump through their global office and that "global" would be contacting me soon.  

I searched through my diabetes cabinets for my back up pump and couldn't find it.  I guess I gave it to Hurricane Sandy victims?  I can't remember.

With the help of a friend, I was able to calm down enough to figure out a reasonable number for a Lantus dose and take that (about an hour after my pump died).  I called my local doctor and left a voice mail for him to call me back so that I could make sure I'd taken that Lantus shot correctly, to let him know that I was taking injections, and to tell him that my pump was broken.

Busted Pump aftermath 

By the way, if your pump breaks, it's good to have a back up pump.  But if you don't have that, it's a wise idea to have some long-acting insulin on hand.  I'd also suggest having your basal rates, correction doses, and carbohydrate ratios written down.  Luckily, I had a Lantus pen in my refrigerator so I was able to switch over to Multiple Daily Injections (MDI) until a new pump arrived.   I didn't have Humalog (or anything similar) in pen form, which kind of sucks, but I had syringes and plenty of bottles of Humalog so for boluses and corrections, I just used that method.  

I'm not sure if it was just by coincidence or what but later that day, the Medtronic rep was at my doctors office and after I called them back a second time, the two of them returned my call.  My doc told me that I was taking my Lantus the way I was supposed to and that the Medtronic rep had a loaner pump I could use until my new pump came from the states.

Here's how I figured out how much Lantus I should take.  I added up all of my basal rates to find my daily basal total.  I took that amount divided by two every 12 hours.  Technically, you could take the whole thing in one shot every 24 hours but Lantus doesn't quite work as well as fast-acting insulin so if I only took an injection every 12 hours, then I could adjust that amount in 12 hours instead of waiting an entire day to do so.    

It wasn't until the end of the next day that the Singapore office received word that the US team had received a report on my pump being broken and that a new one was en-route.  They figured it would take about a week.  Something I hadn't realized before was that ALL Medtronic pumps come out of California.  Asian, European, Australian, and American pumps all come from the same place.  Huh.  Guess that just hadn't occurred to me before.  At least, I'm pretty sure that's how it works.  

Anyway, about a day and a half later, the Medtronic rep came to my house with a loaner pump.  I was sure relieved to go off of MDI even though it had only been about 36 hours.  I hooked that sucker up and was off and running.  

The next day, in a moment of clarity, I suddenly remembered where I'd stored my back-up pump.  I felt like an idiot for not remembering, but was still comforted by the fact that I did indeed have a back-up should I ever need it.  Since I was already using the loaner pump, I didn't bother getting my own back-up pump out. While thinking I had donated it to the Red Cross was a lovely idea, I'm glad I have a back up.  Especially now that I know a replacement is going to take a week to get here.

It was exactly one week to the day that my replacement pump arrived.  The rep was nice enough to come out to my house again and deliver it.  I gave him back the loaner pump and hooked in to my new pump.  It's been working well since then.

When I tweeted, posted on Facebook and Instagram a picture of my "Motor Error" I was really surprised to hear from many Medtronic users that they'd experienced the same thing.  One follower told me he's had SIX pumps with errors needing to be replaced.  With the exception of my 508 having an unfortunate run-in with the banister thus cracking the screen, I've never had to have a pump replaced until the Revel.  This is now my third Revel pump.  I'm really curious if they'll be a recall on this pump due to the motor error sometime in the near future, but I suppose time will tell.  

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