[Previous Months][Date Index][Thread Index][Join - Register][Login]
[Message Prev][Message Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

[IPp] Disastrous pump failure (LONG) WAS RE: Disetronic President

In June we went to Lake Powell for five days. Tarek uses a DTron which is
supposed to be watertight for 30 minutes of surface swimming. He usually
doesn't take the pump in the water when he goes swimming because there isn't
a place to put it. Well he got a new swimsuit that has pockets. The kids
were spending every waking moment in the water, and Tarek was staying
disconnected and getting out to check his BG and bolus every so often. Well
on Saturday, after lunch, Tarek went into the water and forgot that he was
wearing his pump. We had hooked him up before lunch and he had put the pump
in his pocket. Within less than 30 seconds he was out of the water hollering
at me that his pump was erroring. It had an E7 (Electrical Failure). I had
to get the manual out (good thing I took it with us) to find out what to do.
The manual said to try replacing the battery and if that didn't work to call

I took the battery out and the battery compartment had water in it. Not a
good thing. I dried out the compartment, and then let the pump sit with the
compartment upside down to air dry while Tarek went swimming. Later than
afternoon I put in a new battery and the pump was working fine.

Sunday morning we all decided to go for a swim. We got ready to go and we
all started walking into the lake from the shore. We hadn't even really
gotten wet when Tarek got really upset and ran out of the lake yelling. I
knew immediately that he forgot to take off his pump (I forgot to remind
him). Another electrical failure. I immediately took out the battery, more
water in the battery compartment. This time no amount of drying helped. The
pump did not recover.

The thing is both times Tarek was in the water less than a minute. Certainly
not the 30 minutes that the pump is rated for.

The worst of it was though that we had to go back on shots for the rest of
our vacation. We had brought UltraLente with us and gave Tarek an injection
Sunday night. However, once his pump failed his BGs soared and we couldn't
keep them down all day Sunday and by Sunday night he had ketones. We were up
all night Sunday night giving him injections of Novolog, but were worried
that the UltraLente was going to kick in, so we were up testing him every
hour too. (The UltraLente didn't kick in).

By early Monday morning (and I mean early) Tarek was vomiting. He hadn't
eaten much the night before because he was feeling nauseous. With the
vomiting he started to become dehydrated. He continued vomiting all morning.
The one thing I didn't take with us was any Phenergan. I would try to get
him to sip some decarbondated (is that a word) coke, but it would just come
back up. At one point in the morning, he seemed to keep some down, so I gave
him an injection of Novolog. Plus I had given him the UltraLente earlier.
But it seems like as soon as I gave him the Novolog he vomited again.

I started checking his BG every hour and it was steady with the meter
reading 'HI'. Then suddenly the UltraLente decided to kick in, combined with
the Novolog and his BG dropped fast. In less than two hours he went from
'HI' to 50. We were out on the lake and really started to get worried.

Tarek started falling asleep, NOT a good sign. I checked him again and he
was 45. DH started rubbing glucose gel in his cheek and my FIL started the
boat up and started heading for the marina. It took almost an hour to get to
the marina. Tarek was "asleep" except when he would suddenly bolt up and
vomit. DH was rubbing gel in his cheek. FIL was trying to get the boat
docked and talk on the CB to get an ambulance down to the marina. We sat at
the dock waiting for the ambulance which didn't seem to be coming. DH's
cousin volunteered to go get her car and take him to the ER Clinic and
finally the ambulance shows up. They (moron EMTs) didn't bring the carrier
down to the marina, so were going to have to go back up and get it. (You
can't drive a car down to the docks, it's a good 50 yards or more from the
dock up (and I mean up) to the parking lot. So DH grabbed Tarek and carried
him up the hill. Not easy to carry a 10 year old, let alone one that isn't
awake. The ambulance takes us to the ER Clinic (there is no hospital for
over 100 miles), and the EMT fumbles in the ambulance to take Tarek blood
pressure (like that's going to help) and couldn't even accomplish that.
Thankfully the clinic isn't that far away from the marina, less than a mile.

Then when we get to the clinic, it seems to take them FOREVER to hook Tarek
up to a dextrose iv. They just let him lay there while they all stick their
thumbs up their ass. I'm pacing and about to go postal on them. What seems
like 20 minutes after we got to the clinic, they finally hook up an iv and
get the dextrose drip going. Well Tarek is still vomiting, so they put a
liquid Phenergan (hadn't seen that before) into the iv line. He's really out
of it now, except his body start shaking and his muscles spasming because he
was so dehydrated, and the iv is giving him back the fluids and potassium.
I'm not freaking on the outside, but I was on the inside. It's killing my
guts just remembering it. I keep checking Tarek's BG.

The dumb ass EMT comes over and starts taking Tarek's vitals, because he
couldn't do it in the ambulance. Seems a little late to me.

Well, Tarek finally slows down on the vomiting, which really was just dry
heaves. And his BG starts to climb. In fact, I ended up having to give him
an injection of Novolog. I ask the nurse to change his iv bag from the
dextrose to just saline because his BG was heading up above 300 again.

Then they wanted a ketone test. I wish I had brought our ketone meter, but I
thought the urine strips would be easier to deal with on vacation on a boat.
They were, but what happened next made me wish. Tarek was out of it because
of the Phenergan, I mean out. We practically had to carry him to the
bathroom. Then when I told him to pee in the cup, he started peeing all
right. ALL OVER THE BATHROOOM. He couldn't stand straight so he peed all
over the toilet and the floor and the bathtub, and I swear he hit the
ceiling. Arrrgghhh! So I get a LITTLE bit of pee in the cup and then put
Tarek in the tub and cleaned him off and got him back to the bed, then had
to go clean the bathroom. At this point I was just laughing. I mean, what
else could happen and it was just getting funny.

He still had extra large ketones, but wasn't vomiting anymore. We stayed in
the clinic for a little over 3 hours and they deemed him "able to travel." I
didn't think we were ready to leave but things did seem more controlled so
we agreed to leave and head to my father's house which is about half way to
our house about 5 hours from Lake Powell.

We got loaded up, got Tarek comfortable. He was still out from the
Phenegran. Got a bucket for the car, just in case, and hit the road.

I turned on the cell phone and as soon as I got a signal I called our endo
to get a prescription of Phenegran called into the pharmacy near my Dad.

Everything kind of seemed to calm down after that. The drive to my Dad's was
a long one because I was SO tired. Tarek was feeling better and finally woke
up when we got to town.

Then I did the most dumb ass thing. Tarek was starving and it was late. We
hadn't eaten dinner either. So we stopped to get something to eat. I wasn't
thinking. I let Tarek order some food and we went to my Dad's house. We all
ate and then started bathing (5 days on a lake, we all needed it!!!). Tarek
got ready for bed and then DH got cleaned up and I was out talking to my
Dad. Next thing I know DH is screaming at me and Tarek is crying. I walk
into the bathroom and just about die. Literally! There was vomit EVERYWHERE.
I kid you not. The only part of that bathroom that didn't have vomit was the
inside of the toilet!!!! It was on the floor, in the tub, on the counter, on
the walls, in the closed drawers, on the door, it was more than I had ever

All I wanted to do was fall to the floor and ball! And I almost did. But I
asked my Dad for some cleaning supplies and spent the next 2 hours cleaning
the bathroom. Can you believe I still didn't lose it. It was so disgusting.
I should have just gotten him some chicken broth. I don't make good
decisions when I'm tired.

Finally around 1 AM I got to get in the shower and clean up and get to bed.
Didn't sleep all night even though I was exhausted.

The next day I called Disetronic to get a replacement pump sent to our
house. I talked to the director of regulatory affairs, big mistake. He
implied that the pump failure was OUR fault. I guess being in the position
he is in, it doesn't look good to have their pump fail under conditions
under which it is supposed to work. I didn't have the energy or the mind set
to argue with him and just asked for a new pump.

Tarek's BG's were better. He woke up with extra large ketones (still), but
by lunch time, they were all but gone. So we ate lunch, then we packed up
and headed home.

Aren't you sorry you asked? :)

Mom to Tarek, age 10, IDDM, dx 11-16-1998
Pumping DTron since 1-12-2001
Denver, Colorado
Want to find your fellow PoCWD members? Visit "The Map." Write me privately
to find out how.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: The Kilgores [mailto:email @ redacted]
> Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 8:20 AM
> To: Allison Kane; IPp; CWD
> Subject: Re: Disetronic President
> What was the disasterous failure he had?
for HELP or to subscribe/unsubscribe, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org
help SUPPORT Insulin Pumpers http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/donate.shtml