Wednesday, 1 April 2015

A pump is great....Until it isn't

Kind of a weird title right?

A pump is great....until it isn't.

That is how I felt about Amy's pump this weekend.

Amy has been pumping for two years now.  We had a wonderful set up with a wonderful Medtronic Rep.  She flew to our home town and worked with our hospital diabetes educator to set up the pump.  It was nice not to travel for a change.  She brought a Lenny the Lion keychain. She brought an extra pump pouch, she brought an extra glucometer for school.  They were great.

This very same Rep also sent us a big stuffy Lenny when I called to see if she had any discounts coupons or codes for one.  They Canadian site was selling them for +$70 whereas the American site was selling them for $25.  Guess what?  She sent us one.....for free.

I've called the help line many times and have received wonderful service.  They are always prompt and friendly.  I have no issues with Medtronic.

Pumping has of course had its up and downs.  We've been lucky.  I think we've only ever had to change one site because it was not working for us. Amy's only ever hauled her site out in her sleep once (and she woke up for it).  Our batteries last long (thanks Duracell) and we can extend to 4 days before site change in a pinch.

Last month, we had a "bad battery" alarm.  That's the first time I've ever seen that.  Luckily it was in the middle of the day because you know what happens?  the pump shuts off.  Blank, dark screen.  right when you are in the middle or an 80+ carbohydrate meal from Burger King.  Amy was at her Uncle's house.  I get a call.  Something is wrong with her pump.  It stopped giving her insulin.  By the time I got there, it was just shutting down.  My first instinct was to scold Amy.  I thought she had a "low battery" alert that she had ignored.  It's happened at school before.  But she assured me that wasn't the case.  It wasn't until I replaced the battery, the pump started up again and I looked at the alarms that I saw the bad battery alarm.  This was a brand new battery....only 2 days old.  I didn't think much more of it.  Was just thankful that it was during the day. For those that are wondering, I looked at the insulin on board and gave the rest of the insulin through the pump, that should have been delivered before it shut down.

This past Friday, we were headed to our family cabin.  You can drive so far up the highway, but then the rest of the way is on snowmobile (Yes, there is still LOADS of SNOW!).  On the way, we stopped into Tim Horton's Drive Thru for a sandwich and donut.  Amy tested her sugar, and bloused her insulin for the sandwich first.  When it was time for her donut she says that something is wrong with her pump.  Turns out there is a Motor Error. We follow the onscreen directions and wait the 5 minutes until we finish driving.....Sorry Amy, you can't have your donut just yet!

When we stop, I do a quick google search and see that most people report this to Medtronic.  I had already had the pump going again by doing the rewind it suggested, disconnected, primed and reattached to site.  All was working well. 

When we arrived at the cabin and got settled away, I let Amy bolus for her donut.  Yup, pump still working.  I decided to call Medtronic just to have it on our file that we had this issue and to see if there was anything else I had to do.  I gave the necessary information for them to bring up our file and explained the error we had.  I'm still not 100% on what he said because I was shocked that his second sentence was that they were going to send us a new pump via courier right away.  It was Friday evening at about 5pm AST.

Now the fact that I'm in Labrador means that we never get ANYTHING right away and I told him that I would have it by Monday.  He said we would call me back.  When he called me back, he confirmed that it would in fact be Monday before I received it.

Every few hours over the weekend I checked to ensure the pump was still working.  We didn't have another issue with it, and there is no way to know if we ever would again.  I do however feel vindicated.  I still get up at 3am every morning to check Amy's sugar, confirm that her site is still attached and make sure she is alive and well.  If this error had have happened in the middle of the night, her sugar would slowly but surely rise.  I feel so grateful that the longest she typically goes is about 3 hours without one of us checking her.  Some people think it's foolish, but look what can happen.

So we now have the Brand New pump all set up and running.  I wish to thank Medtronic for their quick actions with my issue, and for now we remain a loyal customer......Can we have a Cloud too?

With all that being said.  A pump is great....until it isn't!

Friday, 13 March 2015

It only took three years

We just returned from the city for Amy's diabetes clinic appointment.

Every 3-4 months we fly to the Province's capitol city where the Janeway Children's Hospital is located.  Thankfully we have insurance and all but a vehicle is paid for.

Because of all the snow this year, and the municipal strike, there was a lot of missed school days, so we waited until after school on Monday before flying out.  Tuesday, we got up, had a nice breakfast, did some shopping, then headed on over to the hospital.

The appointment was very quick this time.  Height, weight, blood pressure.  She grew an inch, gained 2 lbs and blood pressure was fine.  We saw the school liaison nurse first. No issues with Amy's school, so that was quick.  Next we saw the dietician.  Amy was very talkative this time.  Basically no problems with diet, however I did have a few questions.  Amy is much hungrier at bedtime now, and I wanted them to have a record that she is eating more then.  We decided to add another carbohydrate at bedtime.  Then both the endocrinologist and the Diabetes educator came in at the same time.  They had printed her pump reports.  They took the sample for the A1C test.  Everything looks good....keep up the good work! 

Then we were on our way.

We went to Menchies for some cake batter ice cream, did some more shopping (including Target which is liquidating the store as they are pulling out of Canada), visited some friends, then packed up all our goods to head home the next morning.

Yesterday I received an email from our CDE.  Excellent news, A1C is 7.4%.

Mouth drop.

I knew her sugars had been good lately.  We still have issues with lows between 2-4pm and she still has a breakfast spike around 8am.  But I was shocked because her A1C in November was 8.4%.

The target for kids ages 6-12 in Canada is </= 7.5%.

After three years.....we finally reached target.

I know this is only an average and doesn't reflect everyday, or the highs and lows, or what is going on in life.  I know that hormones will soon come into play (9yo in April...EKK!), and I know that it can go up as easily as it went down this time.  I also know that it is by no means a report card......but man it feels good!

It feels like Amy's body has finally said....

Great work guys.... 

You can do this!