Hello one and all and no one!

I would never want to scare anyone into avoiding an Insulin Pump! It would (for most people anyway) be one of the best decisions you have ever make in your Diabetic life. But I thought I might tell you a hypoglycemic horror story about myself when I was being introduced to Animas and how it could have cost me my life! It sounds completely exaggerated, but as we all know and as often as we are told otherwise - T1D could definitely, in the long term or short, kill us...

So as far as I can remember it was October 2008, exactly 5months into being a diabetic. My Endo recommended me for the pump and as quickly as that I was getting debriefed on the whole thing. "Do you want Medtronic or Animas? Do you like the look of this deathly plunger thing that is going to stab you twice a week? Do you like the idea of counting carbs for every meal and testing an extra 4 or 5 times a day?" And the answer was YES - One stab every three days suited me far more than four stabs everyday, no matter how intimidating the Cannula inserting device looked, (I still have moments when the Cannula insertion takes me a couple of minutes to find the courage to squeeze it).

Eventually I started a few meetings. I can clearly remember the dread I felt and the fear of not understanding the giant load of information that was being fed to me. I knew my parents felt the same way, because the first booklet was so very very long and so full of probable technical issues and the process of setting up your pump that it was difficult to walk away from the hospital feeling completely confident.

So to get to the point. It all started out find and dandy; the first meeting was a complete success and we were told to do it by ourselves for the next three days to get used to the process. The problem came during the second meeting. My Dad and I were accompanied by the Animas Educator and a nurse. (My mother was away). It was the day to change my canula and I had only done it once before. So the Animas Educator asked me to begin the process of the change. The problem in this whole situation was that the educator was recently engaged and planning the wedding or something and was completely distracted and disinterested. (She wasn't a qualified nurse mind you).

I then got to the point where I had to prime my insulin. And for a non-pumper the basic idea is to "prime" the insulin so that it drifts completely from the cartridge through the tube and out the other end to avoid pushing like 2 units of air into yourself, haha. At this stage my educator was on the phone blabbing to someone about some wedding thing and wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and I ended up priming 60U into myself [due to not removing the plug beforehand because I was inexperienced] It stung like a bitch. To give you a perspective of my insulin requirements at the time. My Insulin to Carb ratio was at 1:22. My sensitivity was high and at MOST I was giving myself a total of 10units a day, or less. So you can imagine that 60units of insulin without having eaten anything was completely horrifying.

To cut a very long boring story short. I ate pretty much everything and anything. It was both a diabetic dream and a nightmare. KFC (w/ 7up Large Drink) a full packet of jelly beans, more soft drink, even more lollies. The list is endless. My Dad was panicking all night as I was flashing in and out of hypos. And I am still grateful to this day that I made it through the night. All in all it was a horrible experience. And to top it off, a very angry call to Animas and the Educator resulted in my Mother being told that she ruined the ladies wedding? I think that was somewhere far beyond negligence and I hope she remembers it with the next kid she puts on a pump.

But, that being said. I was simply unlucky and I hope anyone transferring from needles to a pump never has to experience that lack of professionalism and sympathy. And quite simply; take the canula plug OUT before priming!!


Views: 158

Tags: Hypo, Severe, animas, educator, horrifying, ir2020, scared, units

Comment by Richard P Cosgrove on December 30, 2011 at 6:07am

I can only speak for myself. I use the MM which went through the Endo's office under their supervison and the MM reps are always RN's as far as I know, so that is one downside of Animas's customer service. Hopefully more people contemplating which pump to get will read your post.

Comment by Kathleen on December 30, 2011 at 6:15am

As far as I know and as far as my parents remember she was a rep and no more! I think it was completely ridiculous that she couldn't follow proper procedure, surely a trained nurse would never answer their phone during a process like that! I don't want people to reflect badly on Animas over this post. That was the only bad part of my pumping experience. Since that women I have only been shown kindness and complete professionalism.

Comment by Kathyann on December 30, 2011 at 10:54am

sorry that just makes me keep using insulin pens.

Comment by garidan on December 30, 2011 at 12:50pm

Animas 2020 has a max bolus limit of 25: I could you pump 60 ? That's 1/3 of all insulin it can contain.

Comment by Kelly Collins on December 30, 2011 at 1:15pm

yikes that sounds like a nightmare. @Garidan it sounds like she was priming the pump not bolusing so as long as you keep your finger on the button it pumps insulin til you remove your finger. Animas primes a lot faster than MM does too so it is pretty easy to do if you are inexperienced.

It's easy to make mistakes with syringes too. When I worked in a hospital a patient was accidentally injected with 100units of lantus instead of 10. They really screwed up his BG for hours after that.

Comment by Jim on December 30, 2011 at 3:30pm

You probably should have gone to the hospital. The situation could of easily got out of control. At 6 times your daily requirement of insulin in one shot, not sure how you stuffed down enough carbs. That 1 hour peak had to been a nightmare. Glad it worked out ok.

Comment by Kathleen on December 30, 2011 at 3:38pm

Gardian: Thats priming, not bolusing. I had the cartridge filled to 200units and after feeling the sting in my stomach and feeling very confused we had to work out why I only had 140units left. (Or something around there). And like Kelly said, it is very easy to make that mistake on an Animas.

Comment by Kathleen on December 30, 2011 at 3:41pm

Jim: This was only 5months into my T1diabetes. The nurses deliberated and didn't even make that suggestion. So my father and I didn't even think otherwise. Yes! I was feeling very very sick. Thanks!!

Comment by garidan on December 30, 2011 at 4:07pm

Bad for animas: there should be a lock to avoid such a "long" priming.
And bad for nurses, you risked a lot: you needed glucose solution in vein and oral water and sugar till you reached the hospital.
Happy to see everything worked out for the best, you lucky !!

Comment by Kathleen on December 30, 2011 at 4:56pm

Garidan: Yes I think there should be a lock for that too, specifically for people just starting on the pump because its an easy mistake to make. I was already at the hospital when this all happened and they gave me the sugar solution once or twice, but it wasn't enough! That had to be coupled with low GI meals and buckets of Jelly beans!

Thank you :)


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