More Bad Times

Background tune for this spazzy blurt.

At the beginning of this, I hadn't seen the last nine episodes. I still have five to go!

At the beginning of this puberty ordeal, I hadn’t seen the last nine episodes. Thanks to Walt, staying awake is no probl–Zzzzz.

Lately around here: day after day increase basal 100%, 120%, 150%, finally reprogram pump. Total daily basal last week was 13u. Now 38u. Regardless, BG barely budge under 200 mg/dL & then only for few moments.

Today walk dog, best weather ever: cold, windy, sunny. Phone call from school. Bubs. The pump is saying “not primed no delivery.” Twenty minutes from home, w. dog, so talk Bubs through unplug from body, scroll menu, prime… “Now it’s saying zero units.” Bigfoot call Animas while speed-dog-walk home, because remember this happen before, think maybe pump deep funk. Extremely helpful, kind nurse*: It sounds like the power is cutting out unexpectedly. I think we may need to overnight you a new pump. Call back when you get to the school and have the pump with you.


Finally get to school (BG 230-ish), inject Lantus (ginormous puberty dose), inject correction plus bolus for rice pudding. Bye. Leave w. pump. Parking lot, call Animas. Animas nurse walk through questions like: battery dying? (No.) Battery cap corroded? (No.) Any cracks? (No.) Result: Yeah, we should send you a new pump, can you verify the address? (Etc.)

BIGFOOT: You probably won’t be able to answer this, but since you’re a nurse and you’ve been so nice*, can I ask you a question because things have been so mysteriously bad this week?

NURSE: Sure.

BFOOT: Well, for the last five or so days we’ve had to use like three or four or five times the normal amount of insulin? And I can still barely ever get under 200? Except for one time when I used a syringe? And I mean we’ve changed the site and the insulin and even got a fresh case of insulin in case the whole batch had gone bad? And we thought the increase must be due to puberty, but now I am thinking, is it possible the pump just hasn’t been working right for the past few days?

BF EXPECT NURSE TO SAY: No, if the pump weren’t working, it would have alarmed to let you know there was a problem. There are safeguards in place to prevent this.

But instead

NURSE: Yes, that sounds like what might be happening.

Aw, fern.

BF: But I just injected my son with the new, giant basal dose we thought he needed for puberty? But maybe his basal just wasn’t effective because the pump wasn’t working? And so now I’ve injected him with like three times the basal he actually needs? Should I just wait to see what happens or…

NURSE: Well, I guess when you get the new pump, if you program in the same basal program you had been using before this trouble began, you’ll be able to tell. If it works, then you’ll know it was the pump.

BF NOT SAY OUT LOUD: But what about now? Should I pick him up from school and sit him down with a movie, a six pack of Izze, and a glucagon kit? (Anticipates siren noise.)


Insidious. Never, ever thought pump silently not work.

*The nurses I’ve spoken with Animas are uniformly helpful and fun to talk to.



  1. type1dmom · November 19, 2014

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you post an update about what happens today because I am going to be biting my fingernails wondering how Bubs is doing with all that Lantus. And, while it sucks, I am secretly hoping that it really IS hormone related and not pump related and everything is okay-ish and not crash, crash, crash.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lifeont1 · November 19, 2014

    For the record: I think you did the right thing leaving him at school. If it came to multiple lows, you can treat them. Can’t live life expecting diabetes to shit on us! Normalcy as normalcy can get I guess.

    You’re a superhero. So is bubs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Larry Here · November 19, 2014

    It’s a nail-biter for sure. Totally scary. We are Ping people, too, and the thought of the pump SILENTLY shitting the bed is very unpleasant. Do update us!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda · November 19, 2014

    This can happen? Outcome needed, please? You are destroying the mythology that allows me to ever close my eyes at night. So sorry, so scary!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laddie · November 19, 2014

    When I took injections, I always wondered if I was high because my Lantus was bad or it wasn’t lasting long enough in my system. I’ve been pumping for years, but when things go bad I start wondering if the pump isn’t right or the insulin is bad. Unfortunately we rarely get answers. You just get up tomorrow and do it again. It’s way easier being someone with Type 1 than being the parent of one….

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Scott E · November 19, 2014

    I am a firm believer that you can’t rely on technology to tell you that it’s broken. That said, I hope the problem *is* the pump, because then everything will be back to normal very soon…just as soon as the new pump is hooked up and the Lantus wears off. I also hope the mega-Lantus dose doesn’t become too overwhelming, dangerous, or difficult to deal with.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Katy · November 19, 2014

    Thanks, you good people. I am pretty certain it *was* a broken pump, because the Lantus dose was way too much. Now he’s had gelato and a peanut butter english muffin as a bedtime snack and had rice and mangoes with dinner, and granola and cocoa and marshmallows after school. I feel dumb that I didn’t think the pump could stop working without telling me. I learned something today, and I think I’ll finish the rest of Breaking Bad tonight!

    I don’t think it will be dangerous…he’s been like 50-60-70’s with pops into the 100’s after food. He can easily drink juice while he sleeps, or I guess I can do the mini-glucagon thing.

    I’m thinking Lantus forever and pump just for tweaks and boluses? Is that a plan?

    Thanks for your help and good wishes.


    • type1dmom · November 19, 2014

      Thank you for the update, Katy. Although now I feel exceedingly guilty for suggesting temp basal increase and all that for hormone related stubborn highs for days. Hope you and Bubs have a not-too-terrible night tonight. As for Lantus for background and pump for tweaks and boluses I can point you in the direction of a couple of people I know of who use lantus+pump as part of their normal routine.


      • Katy · November 19, 2014

        You are clearly not to blame at all! I was sure it was puberty. We all kept noticing he looked taller each day. We were absolutely convinced we were doing the right thing.

        I’d love to be pointed in that direction. Thank you!


  8. type1tot · November 20, 2014

    rrrrrrrrrrrrr. What is the point of alarms if they only alarm with really big adult-sized boluses? You guys use Animas, right? Are they teaming up w Dexcom? Is it true? I’m ready to switch then (pending hearing from you that new pump was overnighted).


    • Katy · November 20, 2014

      I think T-slim is also teaming up w. Dexcom & is equally soon to be available. Maybe? The Animas-Dexcom combo is already available in Canada and/or Europe and no one seems that bonkers about it. Do I sound lukewarm enough?


  9. StephenS · November 20, 2014

    Thank God Bubs has a mom who is knowledgeable and cares.


    • Katy · November 20, 2014

      Not quite knowledgeable enough!
      Thanks though.


  10. skchrisman · November 20, 2014

    One might consider this kinked up week of Bubs life from failed pump as a “puberty test run” because that’s exactly what it feels like. Hopefully today you and he are back in your old normal. I’d be curious to see how one does Lantus and pump therapy. I was told the site could become less effective, essentially drying up, between boluses (think overnight) without the constant drip of pump delivered basal. ???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Katy · November 20, 2014

      Oooh, but I would do it like this: Lantus = (lowest basal used per hour) x 24. Humalog = continuous little drip via pump (like 0.025u for the times of day that the person needs the least basal, up to—for us—0.75u for dawn phenom. times/whatever your quirk) to supplement the Lantus AND to keep the site from drying up. Right? And then pump for boluses too. In my imagination this is perfect.

      Except for these cons: getting/giving a shot. Having to remember to get/give the shot. Not being able to turn the basal down (much) to avoid a low.


      • skchrisman · November 20, 2014

        Yeah, there’s always that fear of low. Sometimes we reduce Pip to .025 when activity creates stacked up lows from which she can’t easily recover. Can’t imagine that day and also worrying about the lantus she got. But that’s her, and Bubs is Bubs. A good way to think of it is it is only an Rx, only a new plan to try, Dexcom will be with him, and change can change! Aren’t we all always in stages of change? I swear that Diabetes has made me more accepting of change, more patient in the “waiting and seeing” of this life of mine. 🙂 I know you’ll figure all of this out. I’m just glad that right at this moment, you are in a period of knowing, and not wondering.


  11. Linda · November 20, 2014

    Thank you so much for the update! Glad you both are getting through this ok. That’s just one (or ten) too many variables to have to keep in mind!!

    -So would you go with Animas again next time? Animas has (I think?) worked well enough for me (unless my relentless basal shifting isn’t me, it’s the %$@!! pump), but hearing your stories of multiple melt downs is making me wonder if I’ve simply been lucky… Or do all pumps do this? I was thinking about T-Slim for next time because I mostly navigate manually and need the IOB which, unlike Animas, is on T-Slim’s home screen…


Please say things:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s