Friday, September 12, 2014

Exasperation Station.

Some days I really love my medical devices.

Can we talk about how terrifyingly Riddler-like that face is?


Today is not one of those days.




While my basal has been delivering just fine (I was shocked to see a mostly-straight line from overnight, hovering around 95), my bolusing ability has been stunted by some fault within my insulin pump's lineup. Ever since putting this cartridge in on Wedneday night, my pump has not been able to fully deliver a single bolus. Not of 10 units, not of 5 units, not of 2 units. No boluses.

WHY CAN'T YOU JUST WORK YOU EXPENSIVE LITTLE MACHINE.

I called Tandem's tech support, and their troubleshooting protocol asks me to disconnect at the leur lock to see if insulin is delivering before it gets to the tubing.

Here's the kicker: I see why they want to know this, but if I do this process I lose not only the 23 units of insulin in my tubing (I use the really long tubing), but also will have to prime all of those airbubbles that will be introduced into the tubing again, out. That's easily 53 units of insulin I'll be wasting, and I feel very uncomfortable with that thought. I don't like wasting such a precious resource. 53 units is more than a day's worth of insulin for a lot of people.

If the design of your medical device requires me to squander my limited supply of the only drug that can keep me alive, you may want to rethink that design.

So I guess I'll be over here injecting for each meal and snack until this cartridge runs out.

Hashtag first world problem.

UPDATE: According to the customer service rep I've been working with, Tandem Diabetes Care is sending me a new "goodwill" box of cartridges and a prepaid shipping label so I can mail back the faulty cartridge for "investigation purposes". Good on ya, Tandem. Let's hope these work.

21 comments:

  1. I wonder if this design was born of the people who use saline as a insulin substitute in testing... hashtag you deserve better

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  2. I so know how you feel! I have been known to set an alarm to watch advancing air bubbles to purge them when they get closer to the end of the tubing (I also use the loooong tubing). Hope it gets fixed or Tandem gets you a new pump ASAP!

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  3. Sorry you're having issues. It seems they're trying to blame a lot of issues on the pigtail connector now (did you get the survey last week?). They went through the same questions with me. If there's ANYTHING I hate, it's wasting insulin. There's so much guilt around it for me. They really need to do something to fix these issues. My husband blames it on the flukes of a first-gen device. :-/

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  4. I have been suspicious of the pigtail for some time. I think it begs for a reimagining. I'm really sorry you're having a frustrating time this week.

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  5. I've been having the inverse problem after starting on the Omnipod about a month ago: for some pods boluses work, but it seems like I'm not getting my basal. The current hypothesis is an absorption issue caused by sites with strech mark scar tissue. Fingers crossed we've figured it out, but so frustrating all the same. Plus, Insulet will replace the pods, but they won't replace the insulin lost. So now I get to play dodge the strech mark every three days hoping I don't lose 100+ units in the process. Makes me nostalgic for my insulin pens....

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  6. Sorry your having a rough time, but just curious, how long have you had the Tslim? And do you regret getting this pump versus what else is out there?

    **Looking for all the insight I can get because I am in the process of trying to pick who to get my new pump through!

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  7. As I am also in the process of deciding (I'm doing my trial of the Snap right now), I am watching these developments very closely. Hope it works out to your benefit soon.

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  8. Argh! Sorry you have to deal with this.

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  9. Sorry you're having issues, Kim. Hope Tandem listens to this, closely. Same concern I have and what pretty much turned me away from the t:slim -- no guarantee that the pigtail and micro-delivery design is working the way it's supposed to. The traditional way of testing where the problem is (tubing, infusion set, reservoir/cartridge) just doesn't work... And by design, it's questionable whether the micro-delivery has enough power to force the occlusions out. Too many unknowns for me, with the kicker being how much insulin is wasted when these things happen.

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  10. Oy to the pump.

    FWIW, I don't think you're complaining unnecessarily---this space will probably become the go-to hub for people having the same problem with their piggy tails. It may be a first world problem, but it's the problem you've got.

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  11. I'm glad to here they are taking it back to investigate! I'm an investigator at a Pharma company (though sadly one that doesn't make anything for T1D) and I've seen that done for some of our vials. Odds are small that something is wrong with a particular batch since the problem sounds widespread, but the more complaints they receive from their customers, the more they'll look into a design resolution.

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  12. Sorry not good enough. The entire pump needs to be replaced. You paid what (I am going by Canadian prices here) $8000 for that pump, and it is under warranty. It should be entirely replaced, immediately. Do leave you guessing if it's the machinery or the reservoirs is UNACCEPTABLE.

    Also it's not GOODWILL. It's called a WARRANTY.

    Ugh.

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  13. There is nothing I hate more than having my pump decide to expectantly quit giving me insulin for no apparent reason. Like hello? I kind of only need you to survive, but no big deal. You take your little hiatus while I stab myself countless times with a syringe. My pump and I have a love/hate relationship as well... lol

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  14. I'm glad I came back to read this a 2nd time, because the first time I thought the words in your first illustration said, "rainbows and meth" and I had to adjust my mental edgy-ometer for Kim V.!

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  19. Hey, your blog is awesome! I've had Type 1 Diabetes for about 5 years, and I'm turning 13 soon. I also use the T-Slim pump like you and this has happened to me before. D; The struggle of diabetes is real.

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  20. We started t:slim today, so I'm trying to find everything you've written about it. One confusing thing (another first w prob) is that we got a bunch of new-to-us infusion sites with SUPER LONG TUBING, which we didn't order, but I didn't realize until later that we didn't *have to* use this kind of set. Why would they assume we want this super long tubing? Does it somehow assist with charging-while-connected???

    You don't have time to write back. I'm talking to 2014 Kim.

    : )
    : )
    Happy gestation!
    <3

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