In honor of Throwback Thursday, here is a humorous post from May 4th, 2010. Enjoy!
Last night I wrestled my son to the ground and later heard about the consequences. You see said child, admitted that no he hadn’t been spending his time mulling over the perfect gifts to purchase for his devoted mother for either Mother’s Day or her birthday. In some countries I am sure his actions would have constituted a hanging offense but in our house in meant that I tackled him, interrupted his Wii game, pinned him down and tickled him. Thankfully I still have a few pounds and an inch or two on him so I can still win.
The downside to this fun when you have a child on an insulin pump who wears sites in his leg is obvious to those of us who live there. After the screams of “I’ve gotta pee!!!!”, came the grumblings of “You pulled out my site!”. With the cost of pump supplies being covered for us, it felt good to say “Well, just go and change it.” Once upon a time, I would have cried at the $20+ that I had just wasted even if it was in the name of fun.
Being a teen, my son was in no rush to change the site and Mom had visions of highs for the rest of the evening. The longer he waited, the less insulin he would get, the higher his bg levels would climb I was sure. Again, being a teen and being my son, he stated that the site was salvageable and he had simply taped it in place. I was worried. Was the site really still in? Yes he assured me as he headed off to the shower. His grumbling about being bested by his mother had been replaced by the comment that if Mom could wrestle him then wrestling with his brother should once again be allowed (It was discontinued after brother’s elbow met son’s eye and left a nasty shiner). I attempted to burst his bubble but he still was quite proud of his logic as he headed off for his marathon shower.
Once he undressed he proclaimed “Mom, I look like I have been shot!” What did that mean? He told me that there was blood all over his leg. I said that was it, the site was gone! He had to change it. He proceeded to shower and I never got to really check out the damage. He kindly left the dead and bloodied site in the shower for me though. Ironically he was disgusted when he found it on top of an envelope later. I had taken a picture and left it for him. He told me that the site should be in the garbage! Um, who left it in the shower to start with? Oy!
Last night I returned from an evening out to see all sorts of posts about an announcement from the BC government. They have decided to expand their insulin pump program to include young adults up to age 25
. This is fabulous news! No longer will young adults entering the workforce have to turn off their pumps at age 18.
This is not however the final battle in this war however. There are still people over 25 who desperately need the help of their provincial medical plan to cover their insulin pump expenses. This is a fight that we will all continue until everyone living with diabetes in Canada who require an insulin pump but cannot afford to pay for one, will have access to one.
In BC, the driving force behind the recent change is not happy to sit and savor this latest victory. She is asking that people in British Columbia “please write the Hon. Minister Terry Lake and tell him that funding insulin pumps up to age 25 is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I am begging all of my friends from BC to even just write a short email saying that we need pump funding for all ages of people living with TYPE ONE DIABETES with no age restrictions for people without extended health benefits to pay for them. It could be your family member that is in need of this life saving device. He needs to know that this is unacceptable. Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
and carbon copy to email@example.com
(NDP health critic), your MLA and the premier firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to BC advocates for getting to this point! Good luck to advocates across Canada who seek to have their provinces follow the example of the Ontario government and fund ALL insulin pumps for people living with diabetes. This is a moment to savor…and then move forward in a war that we will win for everyone with diabetes in Canada who wishes to use an insulin pump.
The other week I noticed nothing but customer service complaints filling my Facebook news feed. I was shocked and wondered if there was something in the wind. It didn’t matter if someone was in a restaurant or dealing with their cell phone, they were having issues with horrific customer service. Sadly, this made me feel better when I began to have my own issues.
My son’s glucometer was having issues. It was eating batteries with astonishing speed. It had reached a point where he was no longer using it much to my dismay. This is the meter that “talks” to his pump and gives me a true idea of his bg levels each week when we review things.
I called the customer support number and so began my run around. It appears, in a review of my situation later, that every crack that I could fall through I did! It was terribly frustrating but it also reminded me of a few things.
First is how important our pharmaceutical reps can be when we have problems. After asking around and finding out that the service I was receiving was extremely unusual, I contacted my rep to see if she could be of any assistance. She was horrified! She apologized and was instantly looking for any and all help that she could get for me. She did not stop until things were resolved. I loved this lady before she became my son’s pump rep and now I truly love how she goes above and beyond for her customers.
Secondly was how those annoying spiels about how they are recording your conversations actually have a benefit to the customer. If you know exactly when you called and you feel that you were not treated properly, management can pull up the call and see what has happened. In my case, I was treated fine, my issue just got lost in many transitions. I have however received horrible service from a person on the phone with a different glucometer years ago. The woman told me that the problem with my meter’s accuracy was related to me having dirty towels that my son was drying his hands on. To say I was insulted was an understatement. Later follow-up resolved that issue and the woman was re-educated.
Customer service is huge for those of us who’s lives, or children’s lives, depend on medical equipment. Personally, I have met many people in the industry from all over North America. They all genuinely want to help. “Stuff” does happen. Mistakes can be made but I have also learned that these same companies want to learn from their mistakes. Let your reps know if you have issues. They want to fix things for you. They want you to be healthy and satisfied with their products. That’s good for everyone.
In honor of wordless Wednesday….
We finally did it…and it hurt. After 10 years of using a Cozmo insulin pump, and almost a year of no warranty, my son got a new insulin pump.
I was warned years ago that when we changed from Cozmo, we were best to simply forget that we ever owned a Cozmo. I was told to go forward as if this new pump was the very first one you had ever used. That was the only way to avoid the grief and pain that came with change. Boy were they right!
The change itself was beyond painless. I knew the pump that my son was okay with (if he had to retire his Cozmo). The only issue was the color. I contacted my Animas
rep and in literally a matter of days, she had the pump ordered and was in our kitchen to do all of the training. Karyn is beyond amazing!
As we went through the features of his Ping versus the features we had on our Cozmo, Karyn was just as sad as we were to be switching pumps. She told us that she wanted some of those features on her pump! Kindly, another Animas employee asked that I send her a list of some of the features we were missing in hopes of one day being able to secure them for use in an Animas pump. Did I mention that this company really has great people working for them?
The Ping doesn’t automatically switch basals from weekday to weekend. It doesn’t remind my son when to change his sites. It also doesn’t allow you to preset personalized temporary basal rates or do all of your pump changes on your computer and beam it back to your pump. It does have a remote that speaks to the pump. Granted we had a Cozmonitor that did that too but we haven’t used it in years and it was attached to the back of the pump. The Ping remote is a handheld devise that allows me to test my son at night, and do a correction without searching under the covers for his pump.
The Ping also allows him to upload his pump to a website and then Mom can “see” all of his bg tests as well as pump issues and basal rates. This was a great comfort for reasons I will discuss in another post.
We are now about three weeks into pumping with the Ping. There have been real glitches. We have both accidentally stopped boluses. He has somehow suspended a basal rate. He has failed to put a cartridge in properly and had issues but we will get there. This is still a good pump. It has a warranty if we have problems. We have great support and did I mention that its now under warranty?
In honor of Wordless Wednesday, meet Phil the SUPER COOL Animas Penguin. He was way too cute not to bring home from this summer’s FFL Canada Conference!
(And his belly is made to practice inserting infusion sets)
“You need to do a site change.”
My son replied, “I can’t do it by myself. Its in my arm. I can only do leg sites.”
I asked him when this happened. He used to do almost all of site changes except the one arm that he couldn’t reach. “What are you going to do when you leave home?”
“You are going to have to come over to where I am living and do it for me. Not to worry though, I will stretch my site changes out to every four days to give you a bit of a break.” He paused for a second thinking,”It will be a bit tougher though if I have to move away for work. You will have to fly out to where ever I am. I can’t afford to pay your travel though because I will need my entire pay cheque. I am sure you can work it out.”
By now I am standing with my mouth hanging open truly amazed by his logic and my older son is rolling on the floor laughing at him. My older son asked “How long do you expect her to travel?”
“Only until I get married. Once I have a wife it will be her job to do my site changes.”
I pray he gets a wife that will see his logic!
I had reminded my son numerous times that it was site change day. Our movie ended and he headed off to his room. I followed a little while later to give that one last push regarding a site change.
When I looked into his room, he was sitting on the bed with his site one hand and his other hand was poking his leg.
“What are you doing??” I asked incredulously.
“I am looking for a good spot. I need to find the place that when it goes in I go–Oh!Its in? rather than YIKES! EEK! Man that hurt!”
It made sense I guess but I just look at the spot, find a place with no injection marks, clean it and jab. Its a simple process. He was still routing around his leg.
“Why don’t you just stab it and get it over with?” I asked.
He looked at me like I had lost my final marble. What planet did I come from, I am sure he wondered. Finally he replied that it had to be just the right place. He lined up a spot and then took the site away. He closed his eyes. He opened his eyes. He made a few faces.
“Just count to six and BAM! Its done. Why are you clicking it a hundred times? You will wear out the inserter before you ever start.”
Once again “the look”. He explained that by clicking and inserting in the air he was loosening it up so that it would be easier when it hit his leg. It was now my turn to look at him like he has lost a few of his precious brain cells.
I continued to watch, wonder and press as to when he was actually going to put the site in instead of mauling his leg. After much grumbling I heard the “bang” and….
“AAARRRGGHHH! You shouldn’t have pressured me. You had me hit the wrong spot!” My son continued to moan and groan in pain as I checked to make sure the tape was in place.
I felt rather bad (but I couldn’t tell him that). I left the room and shook my head. Each day he (or I) stab his fingers and make them bleed numerous times. He says it doesn’t hurt anymore but does it hurt any less? Every 3-7 days (his count not mine) he will stick a larger needle somewhere into his body so that he can live another day.
I just read a blog post by Scott Johnson in which he notes that diabetes is a constant attack into every aspect of his waking and sleeping life and the only respite will be when he dies–or there is a cure. It breaks my heart to read this. It breaks my heart to see others go through this and even more so to see my son living that same life. Diabetes is a cruel disease.