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.

8 thoughts on “Pump failure. Or maybe not.

  1. Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog by clicking over from Texting My Pancreas. Anyway, that has happened once during my two years of pumping…mine was also very late at night. I was just glad that there was an Animas rep available at that time or it could have gotten bad.


  2. oy vey! Similiar thing happened to us. We started prime and it sound as if his pump as dying. And then an error came on and pump was off! With message. Ended up being the tubing was the issue it was causing a back up of pressure. Replaced everything and all was good.

    Justice was about to cry and i think i screamed lol glad it worked out!

  3. Yeah…I’ve learned the hard way about writing down those basals too, but it was with Cozmo. Have NEVER heard of this weirdness. Really? Of all nights — randomly just stop with no indication of what could be wrong???? I don’t like that at all.

    Thanks for sharing. Hopefully now I won’t freak out if we ever deal with it over here 🙂

  4. Well, you know I can’t offer any advice since I don’t use Animus but I would be pissed that the message didn’t say “testing”. Imagine if you didn’t know and couldn’t get through to Animus. I hope that was the first and last experience you have like that.

  5. This takes me right back to the time my pump died around midnight on a Friday. It always happens at the worst possible time – not that there is ever a GOOD time for your pump to die. I’m glad you had a back up and that your pump wasn’t actually broken. I know that freak out feeling and it’s not a good one. And that is wonderful advice about keeping your basal settings written down. For MM users, if you upload your pump to CareLink regularly, you can get all of you settings off one of the reports in there too.

  6. Yes, we have had this happen to one of Joe’s pumps…and same thing, I had to unscrew the battery cap and then rescrew it and then it was fine. I didn’t understand why it malfunctioned or did this “test” and we have only had it happen once in our 4 years with Animas.

    I am glad that you got it up and going!

  7. I actually started using my log books again. Even with the CGM and the Carelink software, writing things down and seeing them are so much more real for me. I wrote in my bolus rates today (in the notes section) too just to be safe! Glad everything was OK though!!!

  8. You are a lifesaver for writing this article, the same thing just happened to me But luckily By reading your advice I was able to stop freaking out as i did not have a backup pump and didn’t write down my baseal rates so this could have gone really bad, called animas tech support earlier and they said it was a language error which really didn’t help me calm down!
    I tried unscrewing and re screwing the battery lid to no avail but my last attempt worked!
    Thank you!

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