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, some
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 suspended...it 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 shots...do 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.