The Changing of the Pump

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?ping

Think About it Staller

Yes, I admit it. I am a “Think About it Staller”.  I have blamed my son for many of the diabetes messes we have landed in but if I was a much more conscientious Mom and a bit less of a “think about it staller” we may not be in the current predicament. 

Last night, we went for an evening walk.  My phone was running on fumes so I plugged it in to charge and left it behind for a change. Imagine my surprise when I walked back into the house and saw two missed calls from my youngest son.  There had to be trouble. He had left a message but I simply called him instead. 

“My pump won’t let me bolus.  When I need to bolus it screams at me instead.”  

A lot of not so nice words went through my head as I realized that my son was at his father’s, not coming home for another week, and had no spare pump with him. I asked him if he had tried to take out the batteries, restart it and bolus.  He had tried everything.  Super crap! I asked him for the serial number off of his pump and the support line telephone number.  I told him I would get on the phone and we would go from there. In the meantime, he had told me before he left that he had syringes at his father’s house so he could inject. 

I called the Cozmo support line and was shocked to no longer even hear, “Press 3 to deal with warranty issues”.  There was just dial the extension or press 2 for clinical support.  Eek!! The client list must be getting smaller.  I finally spoke to the on-call answering service. I knew she was not a pump person.  It took five spellings for her to type out “bolus”.  It was frustrating but not her fault. I waited to get my call back from the clinical staff (last time I called there was only two of them left). 

A woman called me within a few minutes.  She quickly said that she would replace the pump.  They only have one color–slate grey.  They can only ship during office hours.  The pump most likely would not go out until late tomorrow afternoon due to many downsizing issues.  What can you do when they don’t make your pump anymore? 

In the meantime, my son had called two more times.  He had finally got his pump to bolus…oh and correct that high that had happened because he was eating cinnamon buns.  Yes, I screamed.  Yes, I reminded him to inject! Yes, I suggested that foods that were not high in fat and a carb counting nightmare would be the best to use until he had a fully functional pump.  I then began the search for his old Cozmo 1700.

This was the pump that usually travels with him. This was the pump that I had thought about sending along (and normally do) “just in case”.  This was the pump that was instead hidden somewhere in the depths of his room.  When I finally found the lifesaving pump, I set about the task of reprogramming.  

And here would be where further proof of me being a “think about it staller” came in.  What were his basal rates? What were his carb to insulin rates? Heck, what was his insulin sensitivity these days? I had no idea! I searched for the log sheets from his last endo appointment. I tried to boot up my old computer that had his Cozmo program running.  Neither would have the latest results but after numerous calls and texts, my son was no longer answering his phone or his messages.  I had no way of getting the actual, recent rates.  Before he left to go away I had thought, “I should write down all of his rates just in case. I should actually keep a book that has the latest changes in it at all times.”  Of course, that is where it ended…as a thought. 

The old pump is in the mail.  Because of where my son is staying, the only courier service that has a slight chance of getting to him within 24 hours is through Canada Post.  I am crossing my fingers that he gets it tomorrow, if not it will take until Monday. I am kicking myself for not sending it to someone at an address with higher odds of it arriving on Friday but you only think of these things once it is too late.  

Lesson learned.  This “think about it staller” will never let her son go anywhere without the spare pump.  Said pump will have the latest rates programmed in before leaving the house.  An updated list of basal, bolus and correction rates will be kept near to me…Hopefully!

The old standby and one of the old Lean Green Pumping Machines


Lessons from Death of a Cozmo

Things I have learned when our Lean Green Pumping Machine cracked for the final time and had to be replaced…
1. A break at the top where the cartridge goes in is a very bad thing.

2.  The emergency number for those of us still clutching to our Cozmos here in Canada is the US toll free number.

3.  When you call the toll free number they will tell you to call your doctor for a back up plan.  Call our doctor? We used our first Cozmo.  She was relieved…so was my son because “my” back up plan is inject the basal amount via injection every four hours until we got our new pump (ideally within 24 hours).
4.  When you switch from the beloved green Cozmo back to the reliable ice blue, it would be a lot easier if the software still worked on newer computers.
5.  Switching from the newer Cozmo back to the older version requires the brains of at least two people. Mom programmed the first 75% and child user figured out the other 25% rather than get out a calculator and do math.

6.  “I think we are too late to get you this pump tomorrow” means be soooooo terribly glad that you have that back up ice blue Cozmo because it could be over seven tomorrows and three phone calls before the new pump arrives.

7.  When you are dealing with a pump that the manufacturer no longer makes, the Lean Green Pumping Machine can and will be replaced by the first pump that they can still find on their shelves.  On our case this means that we now are pumping with “Sirius Black”  (Thanks Rhon!). 

8.  Remember to keep cartridges for your old pump.  The number of tomorrows it can take a pump to arrive may not be as few as you remembered. Having your old Cozmo to rely on makes waiting for the new one so much better!

Our back up, Our dead Green Machine and the new Sirius Black all hooked up!