A33 Error - means the sensors in the pump can no longer read the status of the reservoir. (full, half-full, empty?) One warning sign that this problem is imminent is that insulin shoots out of the canulus when priming rather then dripping out slowly.
Minimed Steps up - although I was on hold for 15 minutes and although a rep had to call me back, Minimed shipped a replacement pump right away. I had it the next day.
Back up plans - stupidly, I had none. I had no slow acting insulin on hand and had, frankly, forgotten how my MDI regimen worked. Fortunately, I had an appointment with my Endo that very morning and she gave me two levermil pens. Both my endo and CDE were “Outraged! Outraged, I tell you.” that Minimed was sending the pump by UPS to arrive the next day. Since they are located a mere 15 miles away, my team thought they should have couriered it over pronto! Or let me drive up to get it myself. I wasn’t so upset, but it’s a thought.
My CDE explained to me that my dosage of slow acting insulin (if I had any) is simply the total of my basal dosage for the day. If my basal rate is .30/hour, just multiply by 24 hours and, lo and behold!, my dosage is 8 units. Take 4 in the a.m. and 4 in the p.m. - If I (you) don’t have any long acting insulin around, you can use fast acting insulin (I use novolog) by giving yourself a shot every two or three hours of a calculated dose. In the example above 8 units/8 shots=1 unit every 3 hours. You do the math.
Speaking of back up plans, I also found myself with a dead battery a few weeks ago when I was on vacation and out in the boonies far from any late-night stores. Stupid, stupid, stupid! I always have a spare battery or two with me, but not this time, not when I needed it.
Memo: Always double check your supplies before traveling.
I was without any basal insulin for about 8 hours and paid for it.
Eternal vigilance - jeez I’m tired of it.