Complete and Total Freak-Out

Nothing makes your heart jump into your throat more than looking down at your insulin pump and seeing this:


Ohhhh shit.

That folks, is what you would call a blank screen. That’s not what an insulin pump is supposed to look like. It’s supposed to have the time and the battery level and the level of the reservoir all nicely along the top. This folks, this is a completely malfunctioning pump.

Cue the urge to scream.

Of course, this had to happen when I was at work, half an hour away from my trusty 722 that has managed to keep me alive since 2009. At work, when I’m surrounded by people who think that having a piece of equipment that your very life depends on fails is something to joke about. Were I at home, I would have just grumbled, uttered a few choice four-letter words, called up the endo for my last pump settings, put in a few tweaks, reprogrammed the 722 and called the nice folks at Medtronic Diabetes support.

But I wasn’t at home. I was at work. With only one extra Energizer. Which got put into the pump to see if that was the problem. And, nothing.

So, shaking and trying not to start crying I Googled the Medtronic support number and gave them a call. And got fussed at twice for talking too loud.

Umh seriously folks, if you were in my shoes right now, you would be freaking out too. Not getting this fixed means I’m dead in 5 hours.

The lady at Medtronic went through the usual steps, and nothing. Batteries were changed (I found a few Duracells in the office, still no response), I checked the casing (still clean as a whistle), nothing. They’re sending me a new battery cap.

I’ve tried two different battery caps in that thing, and no response. Both of them are working fine in the 722. I don’t think it’s the battery cap but hey, I’ll take me a backup just in case if you’re gonna send me one.

Fortunately, I had thought this morning to throw a new syringe into the little bag I carry extra supplies in, so I was able to inject to keep going and I finished out my shift. Turns out I ended up injecting too much and I ended up crashing, but I was able to at least get enough insulin in me to keep going for the two and a half hours to get home and get hooked up to the old pump.

That syringe saved my life. And I should probably replace it.

I had to call up my endo for my settings from my last appointment. The settings that she told me to write down when I was in her office two weeks ago and keep a hard copy of somewhere in case my pump crashed. Well now don’t I feel like an idiot. Especially since I know my settings are now NOWHERE near what they were two weeks ago, my total basal is almost a full two units lower than it was two weeks ago. Fortunately, I’m in my settings often enough to have a decent idea where I was at, and I was able to get something at least close to where I was.

I know my endo is so doing this right now though: Told You So Song. Which I would embed in this but I can’t figure out how.

The good news is, in the end I was able to get home and hooked up to a new pump, and without going into DKA. The highest BG I saw was 173. Way higher than I like, but given the circumstances I am incredibly grateful for it being so low. The situation could have been extremely bad and I would have ended up in the hospital on IV and surrounded by doctors shaking their heads at me.

Instead, I am now on my way out the door to the hospital for my PFT and CT. Which I must say I am not looking forward to at all either…

P.S. All this excitement has left me with a very limited spoon supply…ugh.


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