I have lost my confidence in pumping

Back in Jan, I was having problems with a lot of air in my tubing. After someone from Animas watched me fill the cartridge and they were sure I was doing it right, they agreed to replace the pump. I started pumping at the end of June so had only been using it about 6 months when I started having problems. My first pump always sounded loud but seemed to be even louder when I started having problems. The day the Animas person met me, she agreed it was loud & she even pulled her pump out so I could hear the difference.

The new pump was very quiet. I changed my site about dinner time yesterday and the pump seemed loud when I did the load cartridge. About 3:30 this morning, I heard my Dex beeping at me and my BS was high. I looked and there was a lot of air in the tubing. I did a full prime and did a partial correction on the pump – I was leery about doing the full bolus because when there was air before, I never knew how much insulin I got.

I came downstairs & decided to call Animas. The customer service person I talked to said because there was a noticeable difference in the motor sound, she would replace the pump. She asked if I had a backup plan and suggested I not use the pump – I should have a new pump on Tuesday.

I thought I would try again just to see if it was a fluke. I got a new cartridge out and put some insulin in. It took about 3 ½ hours and my Dex started beeping with 2 straight up arrows. I looked and there was a lot of air in the tubing again. I pulled the pump off and took some Levemir and Aprida via pen.

I have only had this pump 2 months and a couple days (I started using it on Jan 16th). I am not an active person and use a walker because of neuropathy so it isn’t like it is getting bounced all around. This is my 2nd pump to die in less than 9 months. The replacement pump was not a refurbished one. I think a $6k piece of equipment should last longer than a few months.

Have you been using the same lot of cartridges? The cartridges may be contributing to the problem by allowing air to leak in. I assume that all of your fittings are tight, the insulin is at room temperature, etc.

This time they are the same lot because that is all I have,. In Jan, they were from 3 different lots - Animas sent me some different ones to try & my order showed up before theirs did. That one was definately a pump problem. The fact that this one started making a noise says something is not right with this either. And yes, everything was tight & I have been leaving the insulin out,.

awww dont give up! You are my one inspiration on here with pumping! I haven’t had any issues with air in my tubing yet. Have you pumped the cartridge before putting insulin in it. I always do that before I put the needled in the vial then I do it again with the needle in the vial and no issues. I make sure there aren’t any air or bubbles in my cartridge. I can hear the motor when it rewinds and loads as well and it doesn’t bother me. I at least knows it works.

Amy, I have gone thru all their steps with things to do - I even let the cartridge sit for an hour before sticking it in the pump. It always makes a noise, but it is very loud compared to what it was before. I just feel like I have big black anti-pump cloud hanging over my head!

I’m sorry that you are having issues. I have been pumping for almost 9yrs… Maybe you could switch to shots for a couple of weeks just til the frustration part is gone and give it another shot. I have switched back to MDI a couple of times so that I could mentally work through the challenges of pumping… There was a recall of cartridges from Animas recently (like end of last year/beginning of this year). I will look back through and see if I can find what lot numbers they were…

Thanks Emily - I actually have to do shots until the new pump gets here on Tuesday. I have that list because I published it on my blog and my cartridges were not involved. The custermer service rep also asked me the lot number when I called this morning. Right now, I am trying to weigh the pros & cons between the 2.

I’m sorry too that you’re having these problems, Kelly. I think Emily’s suggestion to go back to MDI for a short time to reduce your frustration level is a good idea. Then I would find the most knowledgeable person you can at Animas to come and sit with you and problem solve. My gut tells me that even though it sounds like the pump, the odds of two pumps in a row having the same unusual problem are very low! So it must be some other factor which is influencing the pump somehow. I assume you checked to see if the cartridges were in the recalled lot. After that what are the things it could be? Box of defective batteries? The insulin? Damaged cartridge cap? Set/tubing defects,user technique, the meter/remote (maybe try resetting the RF communication?). I’m hardly knowledgeable enough (or mechanical enough!) to guess what it might be but I’m guessing it is some common factor that influenced both pumps. Perhaps also post this problem on the main forum for insulin pumpers to get a wider range of experience and see if someone has some ideas. Hang in there, you’ve been of lots of great help to me as well, Kelly.

My shortest break was for 6wks because I had picked up a staph infection (luckily, those 2 were not MRSA). I had to go back to MDI last spring b/c my insulin resistance drastically increased (my rates went up 4Xs normal amounts).

I used to bang my pump against the concrete wall in my sleep (how I broke one of my first ones)… I quickly learned to move the bed away from the wall. Good luck trying to troubleshoot!

Sorry to here that you are haveing problems with air. I have a co worker that had the same problem now he gets his cartrages prefilled and no more problems.
Just a thought.

Bob

My bed is not up against the wall, so I can rule that out! I understand what an infection does - been there, done that - I did have MRSA! I appreciate your help!

Zoe, before they replaced the first pump, I actually met with someone from Animas to watch me & make sure I was doing it right. I can rule out the RF stuff because I don’t use the meter - I was in the car about 2 weeks ago going to an eye appointment and had to remember how to lnk them! The thing making me really lean towards the pump is that it was very quiet before and is now making a loud noise - that was why she said she was going to replace it right away.

One thing I asked them about with the first one was the insulin. I know Chere said that she had insulin go bad that killed the motor on hers. That is one common thread that concerns me! I have been having insulin issues so I keep wondering about that.

How do you get prefilled cartridges? I didn’t know you could do that.

I think the cartridge might be the problem:
https://forum.tudiabetes.org/topics/urgent-animas-cartridge

I don’t have one of those cartridges - I actually put that post on my blog so I checked my lot numbers. Animas asked me the lot number when I called this morning. Although that doesn’t necessarily rule it out!

Kelly, that wouldn’t rule out some other factor that affected both pumps. I’m just trying to think of all the variables. If you tell Animas that you are now having the same experience with the second pump they may send someone out to problem solve - user error is only one possibility and filling the cartridge is only one type of user error. If you have had insulin issues I would try a new batch of insulin. But some type of damage may already have been done to the new pump.

I called Animas this morning before i posted this Zoe - they are actually replacing the pump because of the louder sound. They asked me some questions about how I did stuff but you would think they would have tried to rule out other stuff before saying they would replace it. It took about a week the last time for them to make that decision.

The insulin issue actually started back in Dec. My vials are dying out after 10 days. Once I I figured that out, I automatically toss them at day 10 (which really irritates me to throw insulin away!). I had a vial last week only last about 8 days.

They have discovered the problem very late so the cartridges were already sold. I would assume they just narrowed it down to these lots. But as you wrote this does not rule out anything. Call Animas and tell them that your cartridges show the same problem as the recalled lots. Very likely Animas has to extend the list of defective lot numbers. Insist on new cartridges. These things are only made from plastic so the financial investment for Animas is a joke - in contrast to your risk of using them.

OK, I will call them back. I did talk to someone this morning & they are replacing the pump, but she also said that she did not have access to her computer.