I dropped my insulin pump on the tiled floor in the bathroom today. Didn't think anything of it because it wasn't the first time and there weren't any obvious signs that it was broken or damaged. At lunch I noticed when I input my BG and carbs that it wasn't doing the little buzz each time I pressed ACT. The vibration capability seems to be completely dead. It will make the chime sounds if I put it on that setting but I prefer the vibrate setting. My BGs have been fine/normal all day so I didn't think there was any problem, just inconvenience, especially when I reconnect my CGM (I only wear it part time ) as I won't be aware of any alarms. So I called Medtronic and they asked if there were any cracks in the pump. Yes, there have been some cracks around the battery screwcap and a few more small ones around the screen for at least a year. Is that a problem? They told me to immediately disconnect, instigate my pump-free protocol (which I don't have...) and they will send a replacement. The cracks weren't the issue I was calling for. They were concerned about the water-tightness. I am mainly only concerned about the vibrate feature and not being aware of alarms. So, 6 months out from the end of my warranty when I'm able to get an upgrade, I have to replace my pump I've had 3.5 years. I have a somewhat sentimental attachment since it's my first pump.
My pump fell once and I got a motor error which landed me in the hospital because no insulin was delivering. So be really careful after you drop it! I am wondering why they were worried about water tightness? did they tell you?
Gina, So you know, when they send you a replacement pump after a problem, your warranty is not restarted--it continues on from the point you called them. So in 6 months you will still be eligible for an upgrade. They use the refurbished pumps for the replacement pumps unless the pump failed due to manufacturer error. Yes, loosing your first pump can be a sentimental journey (lol), but knowing the the pump you are wearing again will do everything it is supposed to and do it properly is a real relief. So enjoy the new pump and continue looking forward to your upgrade time. Oh and most importantly---GET YOURSELF AN ALTERNATIVE PLAN TODAY! Talk with your endo and make sure you have a plan in place for just such times as you are experiencing now. He/she will simply make sure you have a short supply of long-acting insulin along with a dosage that should cover you well while off the pump and a dosage of short-acting insulin for bolusing for carbs and corrections. It really is important to have one ready. I have worn a pump for 17 years and have had to implement my "pump-free protocol" several times during that 17 years. Having this determined in advance saves you from having to wake up every 2 hours to check sugars and take insulin when all you have available is your Novolog or Humalog from your pump. Just saying...
If you haven't done this already--
Ask Medtronic to send you a replacement pump. Keep using your current one until the replacement arrives. As long as it's working it's better than shots. I get the emotional attachment, but your current pump is going to be replaced at some point in the next year. Be smart and do it now.
The replacement is a used pump, but you can keep using it until it dies and then get a new pump. I usually know my pump is ready to go when it starts getting cracks in the case and when it gets noisy as it rewinds.
All you need for a "pump free protocol" is to call your doctor's office if your pump dies and ask for a sample of a long acting insulin pen. It's not great compared to the pump, but will help you survive for a few days. Worst case scenerio you just test a ton and take lots of fast acting insulin shots. Not fun, but you can do it if you have to.
The official "pump free protocol" your doctor, pump company, the ADA will recommend is to always have a fresh pen/bottle of long acting insulin in your fridge in case your pump dies. I just can't do it. My pump has died three times in 12 years. I can't stand wasting the money or perfectly good insulin "just in case" I need to avoid a minor inconvenience.
Just an update: I dropped my pump on Saturday morning and the replacement pump arrived Monday morning. My bloodsugars have actually been much better with the replacement, making me think the old pump wasn't working so well, but I had no idea! I think the first pump had it rough for the first 2 years because I only had the clip. I work with animals and I do a lot of sitting on the floor restraining ("wrestling") large dogs. The first week I had my pump it was constantly falling out of my pocket/waist line. Now I have a Tummie Tote and my pump is strapped onto my waist almost permanently. I dropped it while I was changing my infusion site. I feel like my replacement pump and soon my upgrade will be much better cared for. And I'll be hyper-attentive to any cracks or noises!
It seemed like the Medtronic customer service rep was reading from a script and when I described my situation they didn't know what to say (there was nothing in the script about the vibration failing) so they just started asking about the rest of the condition of the pump. When I said it had cracks, the script said to say that it needed replacement due to "water-tightness issues." It was strange to me, but it had the right outcome.
Thanks for the feedback! I will ask my endo for a Lantus Rx next time I see her!