I just received a replacement Animas Vibe pump. At my last battery change, I discovered a crack in my pump from the top of the battery compartment down about 5/8 inch. Did I over-tighten the battery cap? I have no idea. Is it a design flaw or weakness in the type of plastic used for the pump case? Maybe. I would label it as an isolated problem but less than a year ago, I had my Animas Ping replaced for the same problem.
In the seven years that I used Medtronic pumps, I cracked at least 3 pumps (maybe 4?). All of the cracks were in the exact same location: from the reservoir view window to the Esc button.
Maybe I am a kid who is rough with my pumps and break them whenever I wrestle and beat up my older sister. Nope. Maybe I get frustrated with diabetes and throw my pumps against cement walls whenever my BG tops 300. Nope. Maybe I have unlimited money and don’t take care of my diabetes devices. Nope.
So what is the truth? I am a middle-aged woman who will soon be called “old.” I line up my diabetes supplies in LIFO (last in, first out) order and never once in 39 years have I ever run out of supplies. I am not perfect at the diabetes game but I do a pretty good job. If nothing else, I am definitely mega-organized, methodical, and careful.
So what is the story?
After cracking the 3rd (or was it the 4th?) Medtronic pump, I spoke with a phone representative who told me that they would not replace any more pumps for me. Huh??? I called back a few days later and got a rep who asked how I was carrying my pump. I was using the Medtronic clip attached to my waistband as I had been ever since I started pumping. She suggested that after they replaced this pump that I should quit using the clip. She arranged for a free leather case (brown and ultra-masculine) which I hated. But from that day forward, I abandoned the Medtronic clip and began carrying the pump in my pocket. Never again did I crack a Medtronic pump. For whatever reason, the Medtronic clip on my waistband caused pumps to crack. For me. Obviously not for everyone. Medtronic pumps still ship with the same clip that for whatever reason didn’t work for me.
When I first started using the Animas Ping I got a few “No Delivery” (Loss of Prime???) error messages. It turned out that when I inserted the reservoir, I wasn’t pushing it in far enough or tightening the reservoir cap tight enough. With Medtronic I was always advised not to tighten things too tight. Whatever. I quickly learned to push Animas reservoirs in as far as I could and tighten the cap tightly. I have never had a reservoir error since then. So now I am cracking the pumps when I insert batteries. Am I over tightening them? I have no idea. But from now on, I will follow the Animas manual exactly as the photo below shows.
So here I am. A middle-aged woman who has cracked 5 pumps in ten years of pumping. What happens with kids and teenagers who are rough with pumps? What happens with athletes who play football, hockey, and soccer? What happens with people whose pumps are randomly snatched by ceiling fans (Scott Johnson)? Although I hate to jinx myself, I have never had a pump failure. Just cracked cases. Except for the one rogue Medtronic rep, the pump companies have been fabulous in sending me new pumps as soon as possible.
So what’s the story? Is my experience mirrored by others on insulin pumps or am I just one rough, tough lady?
Beats me. As far as I am concerned, It’s just another day in a life with diabetes.