Thursday, August 11, 2011

Holy Leaking Insulin Batman!

Last Sunday night I went up stairs to check the girls, as I normally do before I go to bed.  I walked in and check Princess first (as normal, I do them in a certain order so I don't forget to check one or the other!)

As I went to take her pump out of her pump pouch to check the CGM  I noticed the pump was wet.  My initial thought was, great, she leaked out of her pull-up already.  (her blood sugar had been high at bedtime) Then when I went to smell to check if that's what it was.  I did not smell pee-pee.  It was insulin. 

What the heck!?  Maybe that was why her blood sugars had been high all day?  But why hadnt' I noticed it during the rest of the day?  So strange...  I decided to go ahead and check Lovebug (after checking Princess) and then unhooked Princess's pump from her and took it downstairs to inspect it more.  

I check the outside of the pump out, it didn't seem to be visibly leaking insulin from anywhere but it REEKED of insulin.  I took the reservoir out to look and it and I noticed condensation on the reservoir.  The inside of it where the piston pushes the reservoir up.  Yep, that should NOT be there.  I called the Medtronic helpline to see what they thought I should do. (besides the obvious, change the reservoir out)  The guy I talked to was very helpful and concerned. He told me he would replace a few of our reservoirs and wanted to send us a new insulin pump.  I told him it was working fine at this point.  I didn't see any reason to replace it when it was working fine.  He told me if the pump started acting funny in any way or we had another leaking reservoir to call back and they would send us a replacement pump.  I agreed I would call back and was a bit relieved we didn't need to go back to shots for a while until we received a new pump. The man was very helpful and with it being my first experience with the Medtronic Helpline, I was more then impressed!  

Everything was fine and dandy until the next night.  Monday night her CGM keept alarming when the CGM screen clearly said that she was okay.  At one point it said LOW PREDICTED and she had double arrows up on the CGM screen.  I was up almost every hour that night clearing alarms and checking her blood sugar just to be on the safe side.  I'm so glad she was sleeping BUT it was tough on me poking her over 10 times that night. By the time 6am rolled around I just disconnected the pump and took it downstairs.  I was going crazy. I decided to check the reservoir again and sure enough, more leakage.  Wonderful. 

I decided at this point that I wanted a new pump. Something had to be wrong with it.  Since they said to call back, I did.  The lady I talked to that time was less then helpful.  She just told me to change the reservoir out and call back if it happened again.  Didn't offer a new pump or anything.  I was NOT impressed with this lady AT all.  I tried explaining to her that this HAD happened before but she was clearly not listening.  I got off the phone and was very discouraged.  

Later that morning I put a call into our Medtronic Rep.  I explained to her what had happened over the past couple days and asked if I should be pushing for a new pump at this point or just wait and see. She told me that I needed a new pump. It is Medtronic's policy that if at anytime you are not confident that your pump is working properly, they will replace it. (within the warranty)  She did not want me using that other one if insulin had possibly leaked into it. Even if it was delivering insulin fine at that point, if insulin leaked into it, it could stop working properly at any time. She was very concerned the second person I talked to at Medtronic gave me the "run around" as she put it.  

My rep ended up calling Medtronic herself and I ended up on a 3 way call with someone from Medronic, myself and my rep.  The lady from Medtronic was very apologetic and they had a new pump on it's way.  They also replaced ALL of my reservoirs I had on hand.  I'm pretty sure the lady apologized a dozen times but I was just happy someone was taking care of it.  I was very impressed with Medtronic and with my rep.  She saved the day!  

The pump arrived by 10am the next day and all has been well with the new one. Kudos to Medtronic for following through and to my rep for going the extra mile.  :)


Roselady said...

Diabetes is so personal. I really appreciate any diabetic-realted co. that treats us with concern and comes through. That's how our experiences with Dexcom and OmniPod have been -- and I'm very thankful.

Penny said...

So glad Medtronic was able to replace it, that's good customer service! Hope all is well now.

Lora said...

Glad everything worked out. I would cry if our pump failed... seriously!!

Anonymous said...

This just happened to me, and I'm at work. I'm a Type 1 Diabetic who finally got a pump about 8 months ago (after initially being denied by the insurance company but my blood sugars were unstable) and I really have learned to love it - except today. I took my blood sugars, they were high, and I did what I routinely do with the pump to obtain the right amount of insulin and went to work. This morning at work I checked it again, & my blood sugars hadn't gone down. I couldn't figure out why they would still be high after being stable for so long as I didn't feel sick or anything. I had just changed the reservoir out yesterday so thought perhaps it was blocked and decided to take it out and look at it. Lo and behold when I took it out I found a wet reservoir nearly empty and the chamber damp. I drove home this morning (using my lunch-break hour - great), changed the reservoir out, and hoped for the best. Blood sugars are still high. The representative was at a noisy conference & said she'll call me back. This would have to happen to me on a Friday, and after my blood sugars were going on an even keel. The cap on the canister(reservoir) piece felt loose. If she doesn't call back soon, I'm going to scream. Fortunately I keep a syringe with me at all times. But only of fast-acting insulin so I have to jab myself every hour until I get home to take some Lantus tonight.

I'm hoping the representative, once she returns my call, will offer to ship a replacement pump to me for Saturday delivery. But considering how it's been over an hour and she hasn't called back yet, I'm not going to get my hopes up.

Lora, to be honest, I am pretty close to it at this point the longer I wait for her to return the call; it's really busy here at work today. Beyond inconvenient.


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