Sad to say, our initial week with the pump has been a horror show, with the pump failing to deliver insulin on a daily basis and resulting in either dangerously high blood sugars (three occasions) or dangerously low ones after we overcorrected (twice). The second dangerous low was Saturday, and I barely averted disaster by following my gut instinct to check Eric while he was napping (don’t usually do that) and, upon finding him at 38 (normal range is 100-200) getting juice into him before he was awake enough to fight me over it. He actually started to have a seizure while the juice was taking effect, but by that time I was feeding him chocolate syrup so the seizure was limited to a couple of twitches in one arm and leg before the juice and syrup in combination started to bring him up out of danger. That, my friends, is what’s technically known as “F***ING SCARY”!!! And then Sunday, I tried one last time to get the pump working and wound up taking it off him after the bolus dose I tried to give him didn’t get into his body and his sugars climbed up to 490, with 0.2 ketones. After giving him insulin with a syringe, I called Medtronic and explained to them that after 5 days of following the instructions to the letter and having it fail on me every single time, I wanted them to help me figure out what the f*** was going on.
The guy at Medtronic walked me through a high pressure test, which showed us that there were no leaks in the pump itself but upon examining the reservoir, we found not only bubbles, but signs that the insulin was leaking down alongside the o-ring that separates the plunger from the reservoir. Since all of the reservoirs we have are from the same lot number, Medtronic is sending me new reservoirs from a different lot to see if the reservoir is the problem. Given that the air seems to be getting into the system very slowly, over the course of 8-12 hours, it looks like the problem is related to bad seals in the reservoirs. However, the Medtronic guy did say that it might be a good idea, once we have the new reservoirs, to do another session on how to prepare the pump for use just to make sure we’re not doing anything wrong (he didn’t think we were, after I did a step-by-step practice run over the phone). My new reservoirs won’t arrive till Wednesday evening, so we can either put the pump back on him during our appointment using one of your reservoirs, or we can simply do a training session and I’ll use one of the new reservoirs to put the pump back on that night. One way or another, though, I want to get that pump back on him.
So we’re going to try to start him on the pump again on Wednesday morning, with our diabetes educator’s help to make sure we’re not somehow screwing the procedure up… although I highly doubt it’s us. Meanwhile Mark is succumbing to pneumonia again purely from the stress. BUT, the times that the pump worked, it worked incredibly well, so it’s worth persevering.