August 12, 2011

No Delivery...No Way!!

Today was "take a picture of your pump day", a facebook event created by TypeOne DiabetesAwareness.  Just when I thought that we would take a picture of Ally's beloved MM Revel pump, it decided to stick its tongue out at the idea!

2 years and one month ago, Ally started wearing her Minimed insulin pump.  It is her life support, for sure.  But it has also become like a best friend, someone -thing that she depends on.

Today we said goodby to Ally's beloved friend.  "Mini" started beeping about mid-morning, giving us a message of "No Delivery".  Ally came to me and said, "For some reason my pump got suspended."  It was not was telling us that it was not delivering insulin.  It prompted me to rewind, which I did.  We received the "No Delivery" alarm a second time.  I have to admit that my blood pressure started to rise at this point ( I know this because my cheeks started getting hot!)  I decided to change Ally's site, rewind the pump, insert a new reservoir and tubing, and change out the pump battery.  When I got to the point of priming the new tubing, it says "No Delivery" again.  Now panic is beginning to set in.  We were not at home, so the only insulin that I had was in the reservoir from her pump.  We would be eating lunch soon, plus I worried that her BG would already be high because I did not know for sure how long her pump had not been delivering her basal rate of insulin. 

At first, I decided to throw in the towel and just head home.  But then I remembered reading a post on Crazy Happy Life when Shamae shared a tip about using a syringe to pull insulin out of her pump reservoir.  When I went back to find this post to link to, I was amazed to see that it was almost 1 year ago to the day that I read her tip.  Thanks so much Shamae for sharing that tip, it saved my life today!

Ally checked her blood sugar...88.  Ok, so it looked like the pump had been delivering insulin up until this point.  I used one of the syringes that we carry in her diabetes bag to draw the insulin out of her pump reservoir and gave her a shot.   (But not before I cleared the cobwebs out of my brain!  It has been over two years since I have had to calculate a carb bolus, a correction dose or even fill a syringe!)  I was so impressed with how maturely Ally handled this whole situation.  While I was freaking out a bit, she was calm and collected.  She said, "Mom, at camp, I saw lots of kids giving themselves their you want me to do it?"  She is AMAZING! 

Now, I know that insulin pumps are computers, and technology often has glitches.  But I felt a sense of betrayal that something we put so much trust in just quit on us today.  I trust that little machine to keep my daughter alive for goodness sakes!  I believe that those emotions were a product of my momentary "panic" that her pump was not delivering insulin.  I have never appreciated her insulin pump more than I do today...or will tomorrow when the new one arrives!

I called Medtronic's helpline right away.  (Since I was not at home, it really came in handy that their phone number is located on the back of the pump.)  The woman that I spoke with was very apologetic and very helpful.  She walked me through some troubleshooting with the pump...where we had some more "No Delivery" alarms and, eventually, an error code of A21 after the pump kept restarting itself.  She said that they would send out a new pump to us right away and that we would have it by noon tomorrow.  She even asked me if I needed assistance in figuring out what we were going to do until the new pump arrived.  I told her thank you, but I would be calling our doctor.

So, after 2 years and one month, another phone call to Ally's endocrinologist, a new plan for dealing with diabetes "pumpless" for the next 24 hours or so, and we were off on a basal/bolus plan once again.

This evening Ally commented that it felt really weird to not be wearing her pump pouch, which holds her insulin pump 99% of the time.  (Once or twice she has used the clip to clip it onto her waistband.)  Ally wears her pump 24/7, with the exception of bathing, swimming and some sporting events like soccer.  My husband said, I guess that's a good thing that she misses it.  It's her "normal".

After all of that, we still decided to participate in the "take a picture of your pump" event.  However, we had to post an old picture of Ally and her beloved pump.



  1. Sounds like it all worked out, but I can't (well I can, but you know!) imagine how stressful it was!
    I remember having to calculate a correction when Bean's PDM freaked out when the pod alarmed as the exact moment the basal rate was changing and wouldn't calculate a bolus for three hours!
    Way to rock the syringe!! :)
    So glad a replacement is on it's way!!

  2. Wow, I feel so happy that something I posted helped out so much. I was just thinking today that I have taken a long enough "having a baby" hiatus and need to blog again. I have enough to blog about for goodness sake. So thanks for giving me a cyber kick in the pants, that you didn't know you were doing, to remind me that people do read my blog. lol Hugs my friend.

  3. Gah!

    I keep forgetting to put a syringe in our d-supply bag because I haven't found a good way to transport it. Plus we never keep Lantus at home. What did you do about the basal? Did you have Lantus or need to get an rx?

  4. You guys handled that situation like pros Misty. That Ally amazes me...what a responsible, brave gal. I hope the Fed Ex guys comes a knocking soon. xo

  5. Leighann, we did not have Lantus at home. When I called our endo they gave me two options. 1) They would call in an rx for the Lantus and we would basically use that one time to get us through the next 24 hours until the pump arrived. or 2) We could use our Novolog and make a plan to include basal into a shot every 3 hours. While, I wasn't sure how Ally would feel about the every 3 hour shot, I wasn't crazy about paying $$ for the bottle of Lantus to be used one time (unless of course it was the only option, or the best option recommended by my dr). They told me that they felt comfortable going with option #2, so that is what we are doing. They took her basal rates into consideration and made a plan for me to follow. For example, at midnight we checked her bg, gave her 1 unit of insulin (for the next 3 hours basal). If we were bolusing for carbs or correction, we added the amount for basal to that. So far, her numbers have been good.

    To all...I want to say that these were decisions made by myself and our endo team, taking Ally's situation into account. Should you ever find yourself in a similar situation, please consult your endo team!

  6. I love the pic regardless!
    Great shot of her.

  7. Ally sounds like she is 16! Way to go, little Miss, on handling a hiccup like a pro. She must have one awschum of a teacher! ;)

  8. Glad it all worked out, but how scary!

    And thanks for the reminder that I need to carry syringes... I haven't been doing that recently.

  9. I soooo get the betrayal! :) And I am soooooo glad that the new pump has arrived! Ally is a rockstar! But so is her Mama! BTW: I may have Lantus in the fridge...

  10. Freak out!! I thought our pump was kaput once and J was bawling!

    They do get so attached which is so bittersweet.

    I saw on FB new pump has arrived so yay!

    PS: our endo gives us a sample of lantus at each visit just in case of pump failure. Will they do that?

  11. What timing on the pump's part - caught in the act! Thanks for posting the tip - good to know. Glad it all worked out!

  12. I love the remark about "her normal," - and you guys handled it wonderfully, I love your daughter reflecting on her camp experience as a source of strength. And of course, the pic is beautiful :)

  13. I'm late, as usual. Sorry. You guys did/handled it great! Brava! And I LOVE the picture. Beautiful. <3

  14. I know this is an old post, but I was reading your current post and at the end it recommended the link to this post. I was drawn in by the pic of Ally with her site on her arm. We haven't tried this yet, but I'm going to show it to Brooke and see if she will go for it...her little mid section needs a break.

    As for the pump problems, we've only had to call in a few times, but I've been impressed with Medtronic's customer service. Our pump trainer and sales rep both told us that if this situation ever happened to call one of them right away and they would get a loaner for us until the new one came. Cool, huh?


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