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4 years.. well almost

I’d just walked and jogged a little over 23 miles in just over 8hrs (see here).. was a hilly course. clothes changed and now looking at a jacket spud, sprinkling of lettuce and some kind of bolognaise sauce. I was hungry.. just did the fateful start eating THEN think about insulin.

I fumbled with my insulin pump to see that it was coming up with a “button error”. Didn’t matter what buttons I pushed nothing was happening. This little machine was now making some very loud noises. I set off home but soon had to stop to pull the battery out – was driving me nuts.

For those not in the know an insulin pump replaces giving injections, it also enables me to fine tune the dose according to what I am eating and what I am doing at the time.   But as the pump is just delivering fast acting insulin all the time when it breaks.. life is not good.

By the time I was home my blood sugar was 18 and rising.. this is not good, not good at all. If it keeps rising I’ll be heading to hospital. I had some quick acting insulin pens but the long acting stuff I didn’t have. I popped 7 units of Novarapid in to get my sugars down.. but to be honest was a little worried. I didn’t have any long acting insulin.. if I didn’t get some I’d be up every couple of hours through the night having to give myself an injection.

I tried calling the Medtronic (who make my insulin pump) helpline, was put on hold for 30 mins and then the line hung up.. oh dear. Thought the service was supposed to be 24/7

A few phone calls to friends, I called 111, after quite sometime and after checking my ketones (++) I chatted to the Cumbria Health On Call doctor who asked me to go to Barrow Hospital – he would make an appointment and call me back. That call back didn’t happen so I called them and upshot was head in. Think this maybe an overreaction I just needs some long acting insulin.. and it was now 11pm.

Ketones are produced when your body starts breaking down fat for a fuel source.  This happens when the body has insufficient insulin to get the fuel from the blood.  The crunch is that high level of ketones is dangerous and very quickly put someone in to a coma or worse..

It was still a groggy night, I found the reception and was told the doctor would see me as soon as he could. No idea how long.. but the waiting time outside A&E had said 2hrs 45mins. Now knocking on midnight I settled in to the chair in reception for a nap.

You know that moment when you wake up feeling like you have eaten your socks.. “MR THURLOW come with me”

Nice fella wanted me to pee on stick to check for ketones which I now didn’t have. And after much phoning around a nurse came in with a Levimer syringe (long acting insulin). This is the nectar I was after..

It was gone 1.30am by the time I got home.. a long time since that 5.30 am alarm the previous morning. Odd as it sounds I thought perhaps now is the time to try to call Medtronic again I know the helpdesk is in the states so what time it is won’t matter. Got straight through – They were helpful and said someone would call me back on Monday.

My blood sugars were now back in range along with a bit of background insulin all was good and I was ready for bed..

Sunday was another wet weather day, with a rather slow start. My phone rang at 10.00 – it was Medtronic.. a few questions about the pump. Sad to say out of warrenty which confused me – I knew it was a 4yr warranty and I didn’t get it till late may 2013. The lady said a loan pump would be with me later (I was thinking like Monday) but no she meant today Sunday.. within 6 hrs. Wow that is impressive.

So was a bit of a lazy day and come 4pm still no pump. At 6.30pm a poor TNT courier fella from BIRMINGHAM knocked on the door and we exchanged my broken pump for a loan pump. Damn he got a bum deal with that job this morning.. Was odd saying goodbye to a piece of kit that has been literately attached to me for nearly 4 years.

Fortunately I’d saved the settings on my old pump back in January so with a bit of faffing I was able to get the new one set up pretty quick. I was all good now :-)

Monday morning another call from Medtronic to make sure all is good. Yep, I clarified the warranty thing and yep the pump had sat on the shelf in the hospital for a couple of months.. (odd as I’m sure they said they were waiting for it to be delivered).. this has forced my hand so to speak. The loan pump is for 90 days.. so really very soon I need to decide on my new bed fellow for the next 4 years, I really didn’t want to be in this situation. There are a few products coming on the market and much of what is out there is not great.

Another blog I feel charting my search for a new insulin pump.

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