Trusting the Machine.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my OmniPod. I love being on a pump in general. I love the freedom of bolusing on the fly, lowering basals when I workout, and the fact that the pod is completely waterproof so I can swim, surf, and shower with it on.

But I hate it – really hate it – when pumps malfunction. Twice in the past six days I’ve had a pump problem. The first one was a semi-blocked cannula, and it came at a bad time. It happened right after a heavy meal and while I was at a concert. Although I had a great time at the show, my mouth was dry and my eyelids heavy, and the sick feeling in my stomach was distracting. By the time we got home, I had medium ketones and a BG of 340mg/dL that was still double-arrows up on the DexCom. All because of a little partial blockage in my cannula.

Sunday I went to the movies and bolused five units for popcorn. The previews started and I began crunching away. Because of the loud background noise of the previews, it took me a minute before I could hear the high-pitched eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee coming from my back. “Pod error” the screen read. “Change your pod now” it directed, as if I hadn’t just sat down in a movie theater with my friend for a three hour film, 20 miles from home. All I can say is it’s a good thing I always carry a vial of Humalog and a syringe with me. Movie saved – but annoyance level high.

There’s only one thing I miss about being on injections: they are not machines. Injections are delivered by you, and you know exactly what you’re getting. There’s no motor that can break,┬áno cannula that can get plugged, no tearing off of an infusion site that can happen. You inject, and that insulin is delivered.

I wouldn’t trade my pump to go back to injections – I like the freedom it gives me too much and I very rarely have problems. Two in one week fulfils 50% of my quota for the year. But sometimes, when I’m reminded that they are machines and there will always be little errors, I kinda miss the old days of an orange-capped syringe and a little glass vial.

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Comments

I know just what you mean! We were at a Bar Mitzvah out of town and Ava’s pod failed just before bedtime. Couldn’t get the thing to stop alarming. Tried to freeze it in the hotel ice bucket, covered in ice but still alarming in the morning. Same thing happened the following weekend in another hotel during a soccer tournament. Third time occurred in the pool in Florida. Too many failures lately.

The worst thing I hate about a pod failure is trying to get that super-strength adhesive off. Sure, you can use adhesive remover to loosen the pod, which will also wreck your pretty polished finger nails. But sometimes you just have to kiss your manicure goodbye in order to get that failed pod off. Pods that alarm shortly after being stuck on are the worst!

Nikki I couldn’t agree more re: the pod adhesive – it hurts more to pull off a new one than a new cannula does!

Marla – there is a way to stop the beeping, but I can’t remember how to do it – it MUST be online somewhere, there’s a little spot on the back of the pod where you can stick a pen or paper clip and it shuts it off. One time I ran one over with the car and it kept beeping. Those things have pretty darn good batteries. That’s too funny about the ice bucket!

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