Blog Entries With Tag: Salvador Dali

Posted: Dec 19, 2012


Okay – I maybe wording the title incorrectly – but this is my take on a copy of a letter from Animas Corporation.  In a nutshell, as of January 1, 2016 my current pump aka George Michael (GM) will no longer function.

GM – who I acquired back in February 2012 – is no longer under warranty – that finished up in April 2012 – so he’s screwed for being replaced with one that will function past that date according to the letter.   That’s despite him being a spanking brand new pump (manufactured in September 2011) – he has no protection – except I was told if I had technical issues I’m still permitted to call up for help.  I am though forever an optimist thinking/hoping that he will last longer than the 2 years I seem to get out of the previous Animas pumps (Antonio Banderas and Salvador Dali) that I’ve had over the 4 years since I switched over from MDI (multiple dosage injections aka poor mans pump).   Forking out $8K+ every 4 years (or get a loan at who knows what interest rate) – is not something I am looking forward.  That’s a lot of cash to spend on a medical device that you hope lasts for awhile – but in the letter today – the software as of the Jan 1st date will no longer allow the pump to work.  So, my dreams of writing a blog about how long my pump has served me with similar  stories of pump users having their pump still working for close to 10 years – is in my eyes – a pipe dream.

In the letter, dated December 17, 2012 – it states – “ We want to inform you that the software included in the Animas 2020 insulin pump only operates until midnight on Dec 31, 2015.  After this date, the pump will no longer deliver insulin and will generate a Call Service Alarm”.  They go on to state that “this end of use date is not currently included in our product labelling.”

Hmm, wonder why they left that out for users like myself when we are  looking at purchasing a life saving device that some of us have had to pay out of pocket for?  Would I (we) have questioned owning a pump whose software stops functioning on such and such a date?  I know I would, and now am pondering if I should just forgo pumping after George Michael bites the dust, or consider going with a pump manufacturer that will guarantee that my pump software will remain working beyond the warranty time frame.  I have been shopping around to find another pump manufacturer that is available here in Canada – and have found one – but for now – I am holding my breath until I really have to consider replacing GM.

One thing my DH who works for an aircraft manufacturer, was saying that software on avionic boxes (e.g. transponder, air data computers, cabin software) gets updated regularly.  If these weren’t updated, technically you cannot fly the aircraft without some of those updates – aka “unserviceable”.  Why cannot the 2020 pump software be updated so that it works past this date of “expiry” stated in the letter?  This is a question I am going to be putting to Animas Canada – to see if they can give me a legit question.

Come on GM - please live to at least December 31, 2015 - don't be like your former brothers in arms !!!

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Posted: Mar 6, 2012

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

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Posted: Feb 29, 2012

Please note – since writing up this blog below last week – a new chapter to this story will be revealed in Part 2. Keep your eyes posted for it shortly. For those of you who follow me in Twitter / Facebook – don’t reveal any sneak peeks here!

Thank goodness for a vacation loaner pump!  Again, Animas came through for me in making my holiday a peaceful time.  I was into day 6 of my floating city holiday – full of white haired / wheelchair bound passengers (I think they made up 85% of the passenger head count – and a few of us “youngsters” were thinking we were in an old age home).  I was already starting to regret booking a 10 day cruise instead of our usual 7 – and starting to clink my tin cup on the bars of my cell – when Salvador Dali decided to pipe up and tell me something was up with him.  This hard working artist as I like to think of my insulin pump needed some attention. 

Out at sea it’s $25/minute for phone use – sorry – but since my last episode with my original pump (Antonio Banderas) had  problems (again on a cruise – am I cursed or what?).  I knew that a phone call like that would last at least 30 minutes while they had me test things out.   The policy is that you cannot use the vacation loaner pump until you call up Animas Technical Support. 

So, off I went to self-diagnosis Salvador Dali the best way I knew how along with my manual by my side.   He was constantly saying “Not primed.  No delivery”.  I was close to doing an infusion change at the time – which always corresponds with a refill of my insulin cartridge to keep me going for another 3.   In the end, after following through all the steps for loading up a new fully filled cartridge and new infusion set all primed, while Salvador keep on saying “Not primed. No delivery” every 3 minutes – we did a few other steps to try to stop the warning (e.g. remove battery, reload cartridge, etc. – but with no success).  My DH luckily was with me during the fun process of having to get my vacation loaner all set up with the programming since I didn’t have the hardware or software program in my netbook to do a direct transfer of the set-up of Salvador to the vacation loaner pump.  Let’s just say it was not a fun process (it reminded me of what a Mum goes through when her child is screaming in agony and you can’t figure out what is wrong).  So, in the end it was done within an hour.

When I got back to dry land in Florida, I contacted Animas USA to tell them what had occurred and I learned something that was a new thing for me.  The cartridge area in the pump is VERY sensitive – and the screw inside that controls the plunger system of the cartridge in the pump, when it senses too much movement OR change in temperature (extreme hot/cold) this will often cause the NO PRIME error to occur.  At this point, Terry at Animas Technical Support told me to test out Salvador with a new cartridge when I got back home to Montreal and  continue using the vacation loaner pump – aka George Michael (thanks Elaine for that suggestion for my pink pump name – I just couldn’t name it Lady Gaga as I’m so used to having male names for my pumps that are by my side 24/7 and pink just seemed to suit George to perfection).

So, over a week later since getting back from holidays and chummy with Michael (or GM) – I’m back home in cold Montreal (it's not really that bad) – and booted up Salvador again for his test.  Amazingly enough, he passed with flying colours – and I reported back to Animas USA speaking with Madeleine this time.   She looked over what Terry had posted from my call the week before – and told me that on average the pump will have this warning 3 times in a month BUT if what had occurred to me occurs more then 3 times in ONE day (for myself it was 5 times within a few hours that day in question) – then it’s trouble shooting time.  Either it’s the insulin cartridge OR the pump is malfunctioning.  So, here’s hoping that if anything occurs to Salvador again – it’s all done within the warranty period which ends April 1st.

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Posted: Jun 10, 2011

Today we are delighted to be interviewing FatCatAnna's (FCA) pump Salvador Dali (SD).  Salvador became FCA's side kick a few years ago after her first insulin pump Antonio Bandera's cheated on her. 


EP:   Hola Salvador -  we are very curious - are you in any way associated artistically with the well known Spanish artist?

SD:   I like to think so in my mind, but no.  Except I am an original and enjoy my beautiful lime green coat I wear - so in away I'm sort of like Salvador with his love for flamboyance (am still working on growing a moustache but sometimes since I'm hidden from view most of the time you don't see its beautiful twirl ). 

EP:    We heard that you like to travel with FCA and that your recent adventure took you back to your name sakes birth country of Spain.  You must have been excited at going there!

SD:    Sí, lo fue ... sorry ... Yes I was!!!  I had never been to Spain before (FCA had a few times before - but we weren't  together then as she was with Antonia before). I got to experience the beautiful culture, people, and the food.  Ahhh, how I miss the tapas in the evening.  They eat so sensible - larger meals mid day - small meal in the evening.  Even Lolita - FCA's blood meter-  enjoyed herself!  Here's a picture of her in Malaga on our first day there!

EP:   Wow - she really stands out in the crowd! Lolita was pretty low there - for our American friends - that 2.4 mmol/l means - 43 mg/dl ! I guess due to change of time zone that happened?

SD:  Si - 6 hour flight from Montreal, walking around, etc. but things were back to normal by end of our first day. Between Lolita and myself - we kept FCA in check for our holiday in Spain.  Ahhh life as a jet setter - lo que sucede !

EP:  Curious - we know you aren't the original Salvador Dali - but still were you not curious about being in
Pablo Picasso's birth place - sort of your rival?

SD:   Yes of course, to meet another fellow artist like myself - and view his work - made me quiver (ohh wait - that's me vibrating - can we take a break while I meet up with Lolita and FCA to go check the blood sugars?).

The above interview is an except from the upcoming new magazine EASY PUMPER (EP) - dedicated to the world's best custom pumps and their gracious inspiring owners.

Also, please note - that this is all fiction - that no magazine called EASY PUMPER will be evolving real soon - this was FCA's day of having fun writing with her side kicks SD  (insulin pump) and Lolita (blood meter)!


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