Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Silver Lining

Sorry for the long silence.

There's so much to tell, but -- with the kids out of school for the summer -- so little time to tell it.

I'll do my darndest to post more as soon as I can.

In the meantime, here's something that happened just today...


4:35 in the morning.

Bleary eyed, Ryan sits on the floor holding Joseph's pump.

And for just a few seconds, the only sounds in the room are our son's endearing snores-- and his pump's not-at-all endearing alarm.

"Call for service," Ryan says quietly, while squinting down at the pump's display. "I just pop out the battery, right?"

"And we've got to rewind and prime it," I remind him.

He disconnects the pump from Joseph's hip, then slowly gets up and leaves the room in search of a coin to unscrew the battery cap.

A moment later, he sits down next to me on the edge of the bed.

As Ryan pops the battery out, counts to three, then puts it back in-- I remember something.

"Wait a minute," I say, "we had one of these alarms not long ago. And the last time I called Animas about an alarm, they said we should be concerned if we see two or more in... I think they said 30 days. Let me look at the history."

Ryan hands me the pump.

I go to the main menu, push "History" and then "Alarm."

Two additional "Call for Service" alarms are there-- on May 1st and the 25th.


I get back to the main menu, go to "prime/rewind," pull out the pump's cartridge, press rewind, and listen to the piston rod whir down...

A couple of minutes later, my still snoring son is reconnected to his insulin pump.

And I'm back in bed, unable to sleep.

At 8am, I'm on the phone.

Unfortunately -- because it's Sunday -- I get an answering service.

A woman tells me that someone will call back soon.

Sitting quietly on the couch -- the phone in one hand, Joseph's log book in the other -- I'm not even angry.

Just exhausted.

Five minutes after leaving a message, I'm calmly sharing our alarm history with an Animas support person.

She listens very carefully, takes down the error message numbers, and then asks:

"What is the serial number on Joseph's pump?"

I tell her.

"We'll get a replacement out to you first thing tomorrow morning-- oh, and what color is his pump?"

"It's black."

"Oh, I'm so sorry-- we always send replacements that are the same color as the original pump, but I'm afraid we're out of black in that model. We only have blue and silver."

"Really-- " I say, and without hesitating:

"We'll take the silver."

And then, I'm smiling.

Because -- despite the fact that we're about to receive our sixth pump in two and a half years -- Joseph is gonna be dang happy about this new silver one.


Megan said...

I cannot believe how many replacements you guys have needed. But, I do think the silver 1250 looks pretty darn cool.

Caro said...

Yeah, the silver is very cool!

I had my fair share of problems and replacements in the time that I was using the IR1200. Problems with the screen, and unresponsive buttons among other things. At least once it was definitely caused by water exposure, probably due to an unseen crack in the casing or something.

I always concluded though that it didn't matter how many problems there were, it was how they were dealt with that mattered. I'd also had a lot of problems with a previous company's pump that weren't always taken seriously or dealt with swiftly. But the Animas UK distributors... they were always top notch. I'm glad you've received the same treatment.

Oh, and don't worry about the silence. It is always great to read your posts, but what do you always say to me when I've been taking a break...?

Shannon said...

Well I guess there's a silver lining in all of this ;)

Grrr at the frustration at yet another replacement.

Nicole P said...

OMG, Sandra - I know this wasn't supposed to be a happy story - but you've put a smile on my face with that silver lining. I've missed your posts, though I know you're busy. Much love to you and Joseph!!! Nicole

Bernard said...


That's a drag. Though I'm glad about the new color.

It's also lucky that they didn't only have purple or pink as the choices!

I hope the new one is more reliable. At some stage does Animas just move you to the 2020? I mean if you have 3 lemons, don't you deserve some type of upgrade?

Vivian said...

I am so glad the color of progress is coming back. This post made me cry and smile. You have a beautiful family and I love how you all pull together and stay so on top of things. I hope the replacement has a long and prosperous life. =)

Kendra said...

Oh my gosh, how many pumps...?!!! I'm glad Animas has such great customer service, cos they certainly seem to have a finicky product. (I understand why Joseph's using Animas vs other pump companies, though.) The silver pump looks way cool, also! :)

I hope that Minimed steps up to the plate as well as Animas; after 3 years mine is starting to exhibit slightly wonky I'm keeping an eagle eye on it.

Sandra Miller said...


I can't believe it either.

But thankfully (with one exception), Animas has been incredibly responsive whenever we've had problems...


Oh yes, the silver is just too cool-- Joseph was absolutely thrilled when I told him it was coming. :-)


Grrr, indeed. But that silver lining almost makes up for it. :-)



I thought of you immediately after opting for the silver pump. :-)

I'm really hoping to carve out some more time for blogging very soon... and not just for posting. I am way behind in my blog reading.

And I just don't like feeling so out of touch.


If his only choices were purple or pink, Joseph would have died (and Evan would have wrestled him to the ground for the thing ;-)

Oh, and I agree-- one would think our five lemons would count for something.


I'm glad, too.

And thanks for the kind words-- I feel exactly the same about you and yours. :-)


Joseph loves the look and feel of the Animas-- and now that he's getting a silver one, the boy doesn't even want to consider another pump.

As long as they keep providing excellent customer service, we probably won't switch to another pump-- unless, that is, insurance coverage comes through for a proven CGMS/pump combo...

Anonymous said...

We have silver. We also had a problem with our Animas pump. I think you should complain vociferously to Animas (go to the top) about the six replacements, tell them you do NOT want an old pump from possibly unrepaired stock, and ask them to send you the 2020 without cost. You need a BRAND NEW pump definitely manufactured after all known problems. Be on the lookout for an email from me. I'm going to send you a copy of something I found in MAUDE when we were having problems. I will locate it and send it, via email, in the morning.

Kelli said...


I am a new reader to your blog and I just want to thank you. My son was diagnosed with type 1 in late February, just a few weeks before he turned 4. I have found so many blogs from parents who are willing to share their stories with the world and that has made this difficult journey a bit easier. Reading your blog has also taught me so much about what to expect once my son starts school.

Thanks so much,


Penny said...

Riley received his 6th Animas pump today also.

He started out with blue, but after he got a couple of pumps they asked if he wanted another color and he chose silver also..the color of progress.