Well, hopefully I haven’t left this second post too long to end the story. I’ve since discovered that my Dad is still on Facebook (long story) – so even if you posted any comments – he knows the story (though he’s not said anything – he’s a quiet man). So, on with my little tale of two pumps – who are only trying to do what they do – make me stay alive and healthy with the control of my diabetes.
Last week I told you about the woes of Salvador Dali, my Animas 2020 insulin pump. George Michael went back to Animas Canada a few days later as he had served his purpose of saving me during my holidays, then all hell broke loose again. It was time for his never ending insulin cartridge refill that he goes through every 2-3 days (depending on how much insulin we go through – I average 75 units every 3 days of NovoRapid).
So, I do the steps we all do with our insulin pumps, DISCONNECT from infusion set that is in our body, REWIND the motor, put new insulin into cartridge, RELOAD cartridge back into pump, TIGHTEN the cartridge cap, then PRIME the infusion set tubing. What happened next though had never occurred, I’d placed the new insulin cartridge into the pump, and was waiting for it to reload up (on the screen after it’s done this – it shows you how much is in the insulin cartridge and then you start PRIMING). Instead, somehow Salvador tripped up on a few steps, he never told me he was ready to PRIME the tubing, but he just kept on going, e.g. he unloaded the WHOLE 75 units of insulin (into the kitchen sink – I went running over to it – as usually he only squirts out 2 units – this was a stream!!!) It all happened so fast (wonder if the real Salvador was fast like this – you know – in the boudoir), that I thought perhaps I had missed a step – heck – you never know. So being the ADD gal that I am, I decided to do the WHOLE process over, and once again, the same thing occurred – SCREAM!!! Pressing on any buttons on my pump didn’t stop the action – he just kept pushing out yet another load of insulin. In the meantime, my DH has made a video of the process, just incase Animas doesn’t believe me (trust me – videos have saved me in the past with large corporations who care about their products when it comes to making a legitimate claim).
I was right pissed off now (in a polite British way of course), even more if I was an American consumer (and I mentioned this to Animas later on). For Americans, depending on their insurance company they are only allowed so much insulin / blood test strips – if they go over – it’s either out of pocket – or they go without!!! I mean, how often do you waste 190 units of insulin within a 10 minute period – unless your ratio for insulin is like 1:1 !!! Now, after skirting out all the insulin a second time, Salvador started doing the same scenario he was doing that caused me to abandon him during my holidays a week before – he was saying: WARNING – PUMP IS NOT PRIMED. NO DELIVERY. CONFIRM.
I immediately am typing down everything that has just occurred as I wait on hold for Animas Customer Support to answer – and this is all around dinner time – when I’ve just prepared a lovely meal – and I’m hungry (good thing my blood sugars were in the happy zone at the time). After a 5 minute wait (was amazed at how short it was) I explain the situation with Salvador – advising them to read over the notes in my file– and within about 15 minutes of answering questions, etc. – they are all set to call up Animas Canada – and get a new pump to me that evening. That response REALLY amazed me – as I thought that they would be humming and hawing – especially with my warranty ending on my pump – and the fact that this is the 2nd replacement pump I’ve be receiving from them in 4 years. I was gob smacked to say the least. So I hang up the phone, and go off to prepare myself for injecting for dinner, and wondering if Animas USA is not pulling my leg about getting a new pump to me via Animas Canada, as we are having a heavy snow fall outside. Within 15 minutes, I get a call from a service representative here in Montreal, she’s shopping at the time (crazy woman it’s snowing like cats and dogs) – and she’s asking me what are my 1st and 2nd choice for colour for a new pump – and the pump will be there in under 3 hours. I thank her profusely – tell her I have to take her out for a coffee one day (she speaks English AND lives about a 10 minute drive from my house – small world). All of these calls started at 18h00 on a Friday evening – and by 21h00 hours – my new pump – PINK – and named George Michael like my vacation loaner pump are all nicely nestled in my home. Now, is that service or what? My only hope is that this latest pump will last longer than the 2 years that each 2020 pump I’ve had over the years has lasted, and that the government of Quebec gets a pump program for adults – similar to Ontario. If not, I’ll be doing pole dancing as a part time job in order to help pay the loan off (hey – it’s good exercise – don’t put your nose up at it!!).
NB: I have had a few vacation loaner pumps over the years, along with replacement pumps. I have LOTS of spare manuals. I decided to tidy up all the spares I have, and ensure I have only one copy (in French and English) with all the correct settings written in the column provided in the manual (on my holidays – I took the wrong manual – with old pump settings – SCREAM). In one of the manuals, I came across a letter dated March 19, 2010 – URGENT: MEDICAL DEVICE NOTIFICATION. This was for One Touch Ping Glucose Management System and Animas 2020 Insulin Pump users. The letter basically describes exactly what occurred during my holidays with Salvador Dali – and what he had done for his final bow to the curtain. So, obviously, this is a problem with some of their devices, and as usual, I seem to have this knack for having a sign on my back that says “KICK ME”. I’ve heard from other pumps users – mostly non-Animas users – who’ve never had any problems with their pumps – and their original pumps keep on ticking way past their warranty stage. Let’s hope my luck has changed with this 3rd pump – and that I have a long and happy life with George Michael – because sadly – Animas doesn’t make a purple pump … yet … and if I’m ever to change again … I want a purple razzle dazzle pump!!!
If you click on Salvador's picture above - you will find a beautiful tribute to him - RIP Salvador - xoxo