Background tune for this spazzy blurt.
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?
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.
NURSE: Yes, that sounds like what might be happening.
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.