Thursday, July 20, 2006

As good a time to start as any...

Well, I'm jumping in to the world of diabetes blogging--it does seem like it's own little world. I have a folder devoted to diabetes bloggers among my many feeds. I read about other people's triumphs, failures, frustrations, and humorous tidbits daily. I feel as though I ought to offer a little something back and since the idea of verbalizing my thoughts has been on my mind a lot lately in regards to my dealings with diabetes, there seems no better time than now.

Why you ask?

My pump died... again. And while friends and family can say, wow shots every two hours, waking up throughout the night, didn't your pump break before, how can it break, etc. No one really understands how frustrating an event like this can be. Coupled with the thoughts that there will never be a cure and I will always be dependent upon some technology or a syringe filled with insulin and you've got a more than just unhappy camper on your hands.

So it beings--Late last September I began pumping. Three weeks later during the first battery change I lost my beloved pump and started shots every 2 hrs until my new pump arrived (32 hrs later). (The first "breaking of the pump" really was a lame situation (perhaps it was slightly my fault that it broke). Hearing the minimed tech guy ask me if I've tried to open the battery case with a butter knife (a big no-no and I said, "No I haven't tried that" and hearing him say, "Well I think you should" at 2 am did warrant a laugh on my part.

Last week I changed my site, but had a hang up with an A33 error. No evidence of the error in the manual and a successful third try had me confident that I had fixed the problem and it would no longer rear its ugly, insulin propelling head (yes, insulin shot out of the cannula about 2 feet across the room--imagine my surprise!)
I was wrong. Yesterday morning, 10 am, site change (at work--see I have a cool job that allows me this comfort and I'm too lazy to worry about site changes at 7am)--error, A33. This had me more concerned, so I google it. It's beginning to look hopeless. The information I gathered: A33 means some sensors in your pump are either dead or they will be dead soon (great monty python scene-scroll down a bit or search the page for 'Bring out your dead' ). Call Minimed, they advise that I do not use the pump again and I begin the every two hrs crap again. Oy. It was not a happy day. Numbers fine for the first 6 hours. Downhill for the next 6 hours. One ok reading, an alright but not great one, and some more mid-200s and it's morning and time for work. Finish the 24-hour period off where I started--mid 90s.
10 am this morning--ambush the UPS guy and rip my fancy new (read: once again refurbished and probably going to break again soon, just like the last refurbished pump, but I'm not bitter) from the box. Reprogrammed and hooked up within 5 minutes.

Some happy thoughts about the past 24 hours:

-In the next couple of days I'll be speaking with minimed about my disappointments with their company and testing the waters for a NEW (read: new) pump.
-I didn't wake up once all night because I was laying on my pump (although I was up every two hours to test and shoot)
-I work in an environment where it's ok to take 45 mins off at 10 am to track down some pen needles and your basal rates from your dr's office.
-It could always be worse. I'm lucky enough to have a job and insurance that will pay for such and expensive piece of equipment at no cost to me.

So, that tells you nothing concrete about me, but I've been able to share the death of a pump with a community that truly understands. :) If you've made it this far, thanks for forging ahead through what may have been a disappointing retelling of my story.


Scott K. Johnson said...

Hi Melissa!

Welcome to the OC! Way to go on starting your blog. I really think they are a very valuable way to get things off your chest and a really great way to connect with many other great people out there!

art-sweet said...

Hi Melissa -

Sorry to hear about your pump. Did it have a name?


Bernard said...

Hi Melissa

Welcome to the friendly world of diabetes blogging. I hope it turns out to be a good support community for you.

As a matter of interest, which model are you using at the moment?

mel said...

My pump did not have a name :( None of the three... my car doesn't have a name either. And my cat -- her name used to be Gus, so maybe it's better if I don't name things.

I am using a 715.