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[IP] Paradigm on the fritz

I have to start out by saying that I was at first quite hesitant on upgrading
to the paradigm.  I had been pumping with the trusty 507 & 508 for over 5
years and never once had I experienced any kind of disaster.  Oh sure, I had
inadvertently (or carelessly) dropped it on a tile bathroom floor and cracked
the back door of my 507, accidentally dropped it in the bathtub a time or
two.....but for all the abuse that I put it through (extreme temperatures,
high altitude, water emersions, etc) the trusty darn thing really held up to
my (sometimes rough) lifestyle.  So then I upgrade to the paradigm and I have
to admit (at first) I was so pleasantly surprised.  I was tickled pink.  All
the bad paradigm propaganda that I had read about didn't apply to me, or so I
Eight weeks after being tickled pink with my new cute paradigm I had my first
"Houston, we have a problem."  At some point during the night/early morning
(and mind you, I had just changed the battery two days prior) I awoke to a
completely dead pump.  No longer cute.  Especially with a blood sugar of 420.
Eeeek!  When I put in a new battery the pump was revived, gave me an E 21
message, and other than having lost all my basal settings, the pump was up and
running.  When I reviewed the alarm history there was no indication that I had
had a low battery alarm during the night.  So what happened?  I talked to
technical support with Minimed the guy asked me "so, do you want us to send
you a new pump?"  "You bet ya," I said.  So after receiving the new pump in
just 28 hours I was up and running and feeling much better about it all.  That
is, until 11 days later.  Yup, although this time it really went on the
fritz......I went backpacking for 4 days (with a 40lb pack) in high altitude
(up to 12,000 feet) for 25 miles over several high mountain passes, when all
hell broke loose.  Now mind you, I had already subjected the previous paradigm
and the new one for that matter to high altitude (5 backpacking trips so far
this summer) with no problems.  On my first night out my pump decides to
freeze up.  The minimed screen was still in place along with the open circles
(because I was running on a different lower pattern) but the buttons wouldn't
work.  I took the battery out, but instead of the screen going "blank," the
same minimed with open circles were still there???!!!  So, I try three
different brand new batteries.  Still the same problem.  For the next 44 hours
I did small injections of Novolog every few hours trying to mimic the pump.  I
bounced around between 50-350.  Definitely not fun.  I definitely need to
figure out a better backup plan.  Lantus and Novolog???  Anyhow, after a day
and a half of doing this bull***t I decided to take the battery out and just
leave it out.  It seemed like the internal battery had some kind of freeze on
things, so maybe bleeding the power out would allow me to put a new battery in
and have it work.  Well, whatever the theory....it worked.  I left the battery
out (second night backpacking) and by the next morning the pump looked dead
and when I put in one of the new batteries (that I had already tried earlier)
the pump was up and running.  Boy did I sleep better that next and last night
in the backcountry.  So now minimed is sending yet another paradigm tomorrow.
When I asked technical support if they had ever heard of this sort of thing
happening before, the answer was "no."  I'm not sure if this should make me
feel good or worse.  But now I'm scared of my own portable pancreas.  And that
bums me out.  I want to feel good about my pump.  Never had I doubted my pump
before all this.  It scares me.  The scary part is that on both instances the
pump "died" or "froze" without any kind of alarm.  No warning.  Just up and
running and then kaput.
That's all.  I just needed to share this with someone who would listen.
Lisa (30yrs old, dx '95, pumping '97)
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