Monthly Archives: January 2011

Pump failure. Or maybe not.

It was Friday night around 12:30 (or technically Saturday morning).  Joe and I had just gotten home from a night out for dinner and drinks.  I was tired and wanted to go to sleep right away.  However there were only less than 10 units left in my insulin pump cartridge which I knew wouldn’t last me the entire night since I planned to sleep as last as possible.  So it was time to change my infusion set and fill a new cartridge.  As I started the process that I do every 3 days and the pump was rewinding, it stopped.  It made some alarm kind of sound and a call service, no delivery message came on the screen.  Not really what I had in mind for a set change.  Especially at almost 1 in the morning.  I tried pushing all the buttons and nothing happened.  My pump is broke!  And the freaking out set in.

I have to admit that I felt very unprepared for a situation like this.  Thankfully I have another pump to use as a back up.  In the four+ years that I have been pumping, I’ve been fortunate to not have any issues really.  I got out my Minimed pump and started a set change.  My bg was hanging out around 230 mg/dL at that time so I know I couldn’t waste time getting my insulin delivery going.  The only thing that bothered me was that I wasn’t sure if the MM had my current basal rates since it’s been some time since I’ve used it.  And I couldn’t compare it to my Animas since it wasn’t currently working.  Great.  I figured at the time that some insulin was better than none.  I got hooked up and what I did next was call Animas’ 24 hour tech support.  I explained to the female representative what happened and that my pump had malfunctioned.  I told her the error number that came up on the screen when she said “oh that’s not a malfunction” and preceded to tell me that it was  a safety test the pump performs.  All I had to do was unscrew the battery cap and re-screw it on which reloaded the pump and voila.  The pump was working again.  As relieved as I was that the pump wasn’t broken, I don’t really get the idea of having some safety test performed that shuts the pump down mid-set change.  Since I’ve never experienced this before, I’m hoping not to again.  Or at least not often.

What I did learn though is to write down my basal and bolus rates outside of the pump itself to have readily available, which I did the very next morning.  And I would recommend that to anyone who uses a pump for those just in case moments since we do rely on pieces of technology. I’d love to know if any other Animas users has experienced this sort of thing.

Sorry Animas, I wasn’t too happy with you on this one.

Wow have times changed.

For those of us who have been living with diabetes for a long time, we know how much things have changed in regard to its treatment.  I was diagnosed in 1981 when things were quite, quite different.  At the very beginning,  I didn’t test my blood glucose.  At all. And it wasn’t because I was being “non compliant”, it was because we didn’t have a glucose meter.    The method of testing glucose levels at that time was with urine.  I also didn’t take multiple daily injections throughout the day.  It was probably one or two, split up between morning and evening.  And as much as we know that things are not like that anymore, I came across something recently that reminded me of just that.  My mother came across this book that they had gotten for me, pretty soon after diagnosis.

It’s a workbook explaining diabetes in terms that are understandable to a child.  There were some fill in the blanks/Q & A’s that I had completed, God knows when, that was interesting to see.  But what really blew me away was reading this:

“Most persons with diabetes should attempt to get values in the range of 10%“.  WHAT??!?  Did I read that correctly?  The advice to people with diabetes was to aim for an average blood sugar of around 240?!  So all those years when my a1c was exactly that, around 10%, I was considered doing good? I assume that the different guidelines for controlling diabetes today, came from research.  And more of it.  And the advanced technology introduced from said research.  But to see this in writing, even so many years after my father’s generation of those living with diabetes, astounds me.  No wonder diabetes was once seen as a death sentence.  No wonder complications were inevitable.  No wonder the quality of life for living with diabetes was left to be desired.  I have to say that I am glad I am in the time now where the aim of a1c is 7% or lower.  I am glad I am in the time where I have the ability to monitor my glucose levels continuously with the help of a monitor.  I am glad I am in the time where I can control my insulin delivery more easily with an insulin pump.  And the times of diabetes are going to contiunue to change.  And for that, I’m very thankful.


I stole this from Alison since I thought it was fun!  And no it’s not diabetes related 🙂

Current Book (on my Kindle): The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.  It’s the third of Stieg Larson’s Millenium trilogy and I would highly recommend these books to anyone.  If I had to rate them all, I think the second one is the best but they’re all very good.   

Current Playlist: I have a wide variety of music on my iPod but usually like upbeat, dance or pop music.  At times I can be in a Creed or Kings of Leon kind of mood.

Current Shame Inducing Guilty Pleasure: I have been craving cupcakes since last week.  I have not yet given in but I may just do that in the near future!

Current Color: My color is always grey.  Simply put.

Current Drink: Diet Dr. Pepper.  I can’t seem to get enough of it lately.

Current Food: I had a chopped salad for lunch yesterday and am wanting another today so I guess it’s chopped salad. 

Current Favorite Show: Bones.  That is my all time favorite show.

Current Wishlist: I am currently really wishing for my leg to get better.  I’m getting sick of being in constant pain and having to limit my activities.

Current Needs: I need a vacation terribly.  My stress level is at an all time high.

Current Triumphs: I’d have to say my most recent triumph was successfully (and finally) closing on our apartment.  That process was so grueling and tedious, I always thought I’d count that as one of my biggest accomplishments if it ever was completed.  Well we closed about 2 months ago so yay accomplishment and triumph!

Current Bane of my Existence: I’m going to plead the 5th on this one.

Current Celebrity Crush: Dwayne Johnson.  Always.

Current Indulgence: I indulge in sleeping late every chance I get!  You can count that as indulgence right?

Current Blessing: I am blessed with many things.  If  I had to choose one that has been recently obvious, I’d say my health insurance.  I know so many people who don’t have insurance at all or aren’t covered for much or have to fight with their companies constantly, I feel extremely blessed for the good coverage that I have. 

Current Outfit: It’s the winter so if I’m not in work clothes, you’ll find me in a velour suit + Uggs 😉

Current Excitement: Thinking of using the spa gift card that my sis got me for Christmas.  Massage, here I come! 

Current Link: I just love cute, fuzzy animals.  So it’s no surprise that I love videos like this one.