When your child is diagnosed (or you are diagnosed) with Type 1 Diabetes, you are forced to put your trust in other people and in other things.
You trust that your insulin is potent and free from harmful chemicals.
You trust that your supplies are clean and not contaminated with bacteria.
You trust that your strips give you accurate readings.
You trust that your insulin pump will properly deliver insulin.
You trust that your pump company will be there for you if you have a problem.
Or you HOPE they will. You hope they care about the health and safety of their customers.
Many of you read what happened on The Scariest Night of My Life.
I got lots of questions... What happened? Was it the pump?
The simple answer is: I don't know. I'll probably never know.
Here's what I THINK...
I think there was something wrong with the pump. I think it was leaking insulin. I think that caused the cap to loosen which brought on the warnings that it was not primed. I think that this caused the high bg. I also think that somehow after we reprimed it (even though she was disconnected) that it delivered more insulin than it should have. I think maybe there was an occlusion but due to the leaking cartridge it never alarmed and finally it pushed through WAY more insulin than it should have.
As I said in the post The Choices We Make, The Risks We Take, when you use technology you have to understand that things are going to happen.
And while what happened was awful, I'm not going to say that the Animas Ping insulin pump is a terrible product or is unsafe. An insulin pump is technology. And with technology comes risks. I understand this.
However, what made me FURIOUS with Animas was their reaction and response to what happened.
In the hospital, the RN/CDE we were working with called Animas. She sat in Sweetpea's hospital room and went thru the pump with Animas. She checked it out and thought it smelled strongly of insulin - like there had been a leak. She went thru the pump and all the alarms and settings. She asked Animas if there were any recalls.
They said NO.
They said the pump was fine. They said the severe hypoglycemia had nothing to due with the pump. According to them, it did not malfunction.
The ONLY reason we got a new pump was that she told them our buttons had worn off writing. And because the pump belonged to a child who relied on others to handle her care, that was dangerous.
We went home and J got online and searched for Animas recalls.
And guess what? There was a recall on cartridges. They were leaking. Here's what the letter Animas sent to those with affected cartridges said:
"...can leak insulin, resulting in the delivery of less insulin than intended. In addition, if the cartridge has a leak, the pump may not alarm if there is an occlusion in the infusion set."
But we didn't get a letter. Nor did we read it about online. (We TRY to read all the blogs but some days it's harder than others and we miss things!)
Anyway... eerily similar to what happened to us. Even though we had none of the recalled lots.
So we called them. Thinking they would want to know. Thinking they would want the cartridges. Thinking they would want to look into it. Not quite.
They said there was nothing wrong with the cartridges we had. Ours were fine.
I said that it was quite a coincidence and I didn't feel comfortable using them. I wanted to send them back and get them replaced.
They said we could send them back but they were not going to replace them.
It wasn't until J said we'd be looking at other companies when our warranty was up when they finally agreed to send us new cartridges. And we're only talking a couple of boxes.
The plan was that they would send us new boxes and include a label we were to use to return the cartridges to them.
But the cartridges never came.
Letters did, though.
Over the next couple of weeks, we got letter after letter after letter - at LEAST 5 - telling us to send them their cartridges.
We kept thinking they'd be here any day...
Finally J called. It turns out there was an error and the cartridges were never shipped. Ooops.
To say that I am upset would be putting it mildly.
I am upset. I am angry. I am disheartened and possibly most of all... I am EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED.
My trust has been broken.
And it ate at me. I felt trapped. Stuck with a Animas. A company I had no trust in.
Some people have had Animas pumps for years and have never had an issue with quality or customer service. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people.
How can I trust our supplies are ok?
How do I know there isn't someone else out there who had a problem that could possibly impact Sweets but we were never informed because Animas said everything was fine and never looked into it?
Let me be clear. I like the Ping. I think it has some wonderful features. I will not try to talk anyone out of it. Picking a pump is very personal thing. It's all about what works best for you or your child with your lifestyle and your priorities. NO pump is perfect. ALL technology has the possibility to malfunction.
But it doesn't change my feelings.
My issue is not so much with the product itself but the way we were treated when we had a problem. My issue is with the lack of concern. The lack of interest. The way we were dismissed.
So, the Million Dollar Question is...
Should we stay or should we go?
Are we sticking with Animas?
The answer is.... NOT.
And to find out more, come back tomorrow!