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[IP] Rough weekend...



So this weekend my girlfriend (who lives in New York City) and I
(Pittsburgh) decide to get away together.  We go off to Wilmington,
Delaware, a cute teeny little city on the East Coast about a half-hour south
of Philly (unusual spot for a vacation, maybe, but really rather nice, and
simple for both of us to get to)

Anyway, when I travel, I always bring extra pump supplies, because you never
know what's going to happen.  In this case, I brought 2 extra infusion sets
along with tape, etc.

Friday night, the set I was using comes out in the tub.  NEVER happened
before -- the whole Tender just literally floated away!  Caught that early,
so no harm done to the BG levels, but there goes one of my backups, and the
weekend's just starting.  Verify the set's working, then go to bed.  Next
morning, wake up 135, which isn't my best but isn't terrible, either, so the
set's working.  Or so you'd think...


Saturday, we decide to drive up to Philly.  Out of habit, I take the
remaining backup set with me in my belt bag.  Damn good thing, too.  Not
sure what happened, but while we're walking around I realize I'm starting to
feel REALLY bad.  As in REALLY high.  Do a blood test, and it's the highest
I can EVER remember seeing since home BG meters first came out -- 540!
Something THAT high, unexplained, I decide I'd better change the set.  So
there goes my other backup.  Then I bolus 5 (Humalog) -- at an hour, BG's
down below 400.  At 2 hours, 220.  Levels off at 140 in about 3 hours.
Amazing stuff, that humalog...

But now I'm on vacation, with another day to go, with no remaining backup
infusion sets.  Probably won't need another, but who'd have expected to need
both backups in just over 12 hours?!?  So while sitting in a park waiting
for my BG to come down (this is right after changing the set) I call the 800
number on the back of the pump and ask Diesetronics if there's any way I can
get backup sets emergency-shipped to our hotel.  Fellow pumpers at the local
pump club have reported having things like this done, so I figure it
shouldn't be a problem, right?  I'm told nope, they can't do that, I'm (get
this) ON MY OWN.  Yikes, thanks guys.  Now, Ok, when I called I wasn't
feeling 100% and I might have misunderstood something, but the answer on not
shipping the sets was pretty damn clear.  What if I were (for example) on an
extended trip and would be NEEDING to change sets and my luggage was stolen
or something -- would I be SOL then too?


So now we're waiting and hoping my BG will come down, and worried about not
having any more infusion sets on hand.  Edith and I decide to go to a local
hospital in Philly and see if they can help.  They were INCREDIBLY helpful,
to the point of attempting to call Diesetronics themselves, but the best
they can offer is giving me shots if that becomes necessary.  Which I knew
would be an option, but not one I was looking forward to ;-)


So the trip to the hospital was ultimately fruitless, but was still a big
relief (knowing I was right where help was available in case my BG continued
to climb, and getting what I hoped was an option confirmed.  The triage
nurse who helped me was really incredible, and I wish I'd taken her name
down -- she deserves at least a card.  Comforting, helpful, and didn't even
ask for any insurance info or my address -- she specifically said I wouldn't
billed for anything unless they ultimately had to "treat" me :-)


Fortunately the rest of the weekend went relatively smoothly.  BG is still
drifting a bit towards the high side, but that seems to be a residual effect
from having gone so high before (normal for me, although that was by far the
highest I've seen!)


I'm now far less enthused at Diesetronics now than I used to be.  When I
first started the pump 2 years ago their customer service was GREAT.  I
hadn't needed it again until recently, but I was less than impressed.


Comments/suggestions?  I'm planning on writing a letter to Diesetronics
tomorrow asking for an explanation.


--Greg             ICQ# 1686721            http://www.pobox.com/~gregleg
"You were supposed to start annoying me by now, not make me miss you..."
  -- Edith Wilson

Insulin-Pumpers website   http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/