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!!