Pump Failure

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  • This topic has 6 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 11 years ago by Tim.
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    • #15354

      Bank holiday weekend, what could go wrong?

      My pump decided enough was enough and it malfunctioned. Three battery changes later I could get it to do nothing apart from alarm, no insulin delivery, no sensor information. Complete panic. I have a back up plan but in 8 years of pump use I have only ever had minor glitches and have never had to return to MDI.

      The reality of having to switch to pen injections and start using long acting insulin again was terrifying. Lantus was my main reason for changing to a pump and now I was faced with having to inject a reservoir of the stuff into me and then go to sleep. I sat up as long as I could checking my blood sugar before injecting a reduced amount and hoping for the best. The minimum my Humalog pen could inject was 1 unit, but all my hourly basals are well under 1 unit. It hit me how utterly reliant I am on my pump and my sensor.

      Medtronic were superb and the person on the end of the phone in the USA was great as were the UK when the Bank holiday ended. I have now got a new pump and my panic levels have subsided.

      What this episode taught me was to 1. make sure you have pens, needles and in date supplies of long acting insulin
      2. make sure you have all your pump setting either on the computer or written down
      3. work out the amount of long acting insulin you need in the case of pump failure and
      be aware that once the pump stops working you have absolutely no insulin in you (apart
      from remaining bolus). Also remember that you have long acting insulin in you when
      able to reconnect to a pump.

      I hope I’m now better prepared should the need arise again to use MDI although once is more than enough!

    • #15355

      This is good advice Megs; I only have one on your list (my pump settings are in a document on Google Drive, which I can access from any device) but I don’t have any non-pump-compatible insulin and I have absolutely no idea how much Lantus I would need. The thought of using MDI for even a short time sends shivers down the spine!

    • #15368

      My team said that If my pump failed you could administer the short acting insulin every 2 -4 hours, obviously checking your levels rather than going back onto the dreaded Lantus. Thankfully the Accuchek spirit failure only involed not being able to use a couple of buttons which could be got around by adjusting the settings… phew!

    • #15370

      As I recall @mustard Alison write an article about this very topic some years ago – she went to London and back sans pump and relied on a hyperdermic and the contents of her resevoir.

    • #15383

      Should the need ever arise again and I’m really hoping one pump failure is enough, I would definitely use the short acting insulin only plan rather than reverting to the injecting long acting that used to render me unconscious plan. I was following my hospital instructions and was so unnerved about reverting to MDI I didn’t consider trying anything else.

    • #15384

      Can we please kill this topic and conversation? Adam took an unusually long time to restart yesterday after changing the battery and I’m fully blaming it on this discussion and my woeful backup plans. Just checked my Levemir and Novorpaid penfills and they both expired in April!

      Better get to the doctors for a new batch and formulate a plan!

    • #15385

      I don’t have any penfills at all…If the pump fails then I die – simple as that*

      *May include some overdramatisation for comic effect

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