That One Time My Pump Died…

This is a story of the death and resurrection of Miss Lola Pingy Too.

I actually didn’t post much about this on either twitter or facebook. I usually would if something like this happened, but I was going through a period of low diabetes online community activity at the time.

These were the pumpkins that DNM submitted to the festival

The story begins with me walking around at the local Pumpkin Festival the Friday before Halloween. I was hanging out with my roommate and my neighbors and their three kids. I took their middle child to get some food on the other side of the park. She purchased a hamburger and I purchased a “hot link” sausage dipped in bar b que sauce. They came with chips. We took them back to where her parents were sitting and ate them. At this point, did not bolus before eating. Why? I don’t know. Sometimes I bolus after I eat. It just happens. I think it was mostly because my hands were full and I didn’t feel like setting my food on the ground.

As I was eating, I noticed their oldest son had forgotten his coat. I offered to get my coat from my car and let him wear my hoodie (even though he is nine and would be swimming in my extra large hoodie). I took him back to the car, switched out  my outerwear, and moved my pump from hoodie pocket to coat pocket. Not wearing gloves, my hands were cold, so I placed them in the pockets of  my coat.

That’s when I felt it. My pump was vibrating. I need to tell you, fair reader, that this place was packed with people and I could barely hear anything. But I did feel my pump vibrating.

My bran quickly went through everything it could have been as I reached to pull it out. Low cartridge? Probably not, I’d just changed it out. Low battery? Maybe, but not likely. I was sure I had three more weeks on that battery. Occlusion? This one alarmed me. Occlusion would mean I would have to leave and get another infusion set from home. I pulled it out to check it.

“ERROR CODE: xxxxxxx. CALL SERVICE.”

At this point I realized my pump was making a screeching sound that sounded like a fire alarm. What the heck. I had never heard that before.

I dropped the little guy back with his parents, but I couldn’t find my roommate or his mom. So I quickly asked Mr. Neighbor if he would explain to my roommate that I was having pump issues and needed to go home, and then give her a ride home. At that point I skidaddled out of the park to my car and made my way through the massive amounts of traffic towards my house.

As soon as I got in the car I was on the phone. I hadn’t decided who to call first – Animas, Dad, or my Doctor. I decided to go with doctor. It would be best to get the prescription train rolling before I dealt with the pump, to make sure I could pick up the long acting insulin I might need before the pharmacy closed (Yeah, Walgreens closes here, what the heck? Small towns, I tell you, small towns!). I went ahead and called the doctor on call, a nice but hard to understand Indian man. Finally was able to communicate to him what I needed and that no, you can’t send it to the Walgreens on Battlefield and Campbell in Springfield, Missouri because I am in Utah. The ball was rolling on Lantus and I was ready to get ahold of the pump company.

Well, it turned out to be a relief and a letdown all at once. I hadn’t taken the battery out yet because I didn’t have a way to write down the error code. Just as the Animas rep answered the phone, my pump started making the horrid screeching again. I yelled into the phone, “MY PUMP SAYS CALL SERVICE AND ITS MAKING THIS NOISE!” She asked what the code was and said I could now take out the battery. (I had disconnected as soon as I saw the error code). It turned out my pump just needed to reset itself. The battery out, battery in, re-prime and I was good to go.

What the heck? Something wasn’t actually wrong, and I had to miss out on the end of the pumpkin festival, including the local country western band? No, really, I was kind of ticked. I mean, it’s great that my pump does all these safety checks, and I am glad it’s catching the glitches before the pump starts dumping too much insulin or none at all into my body, but really? During the pumpkin festival?

Diabetes, you are so cruel with your timing!

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