“My little friend” was not so friendly this week. Friday afternoon came and I deactivated the 3-day old Pod and needed to activate a new one.
I do this using the PDM, which I call my ‘remote control’. Very easy – just push some buttons and it’s done. However, the technical stuff (filling the Pod with insulin and attaching it) is not so easy.
It sounds easy when you read the manual. It seemed easy when Maureen was here showing me how to do it. But on my own, pressured by the remote, who keeps beeping and telling me “No Pod attached”, I cannot get the insulin into the stupid syringe.
With each “Pod kit” comes a fat plastic syringe. The thing is awkward to hold, because I am used to skinny syringes. This is something that will come easier with time, I believe. But the damned thing has better suction than my vacuum cleaner does. So when I’m holding the syringe in my right hand and the insulin vial upside down in my left hand, I’m supposed to pull the plunger and fill the syringe with insulin. Right.
The first pod I wasted, because the manual says if I have to force the insulin into the Pod, I needed to discard it. The Pod – not the insulin. I tell myself it was a bad needle.
The second Pod kit had to be discarded because the @#$%!! syringe would not allow me to inject the air into the vial, let alone allow me to draw insulin. I was pushing the plunger down with my right thumb and middle-finger, and because of the resistance, the syringe slipped, the vial flew a few feet, and the little needle on the syringe had bent over. This did not make me very happy.
Now I had to open another Pod Kit, to get a new syringe out and start all over again. Meanwhile the Pod I activated is still nagging me to fill it with insulin and click “Next”. To say I was annoyed would be a lie. I had been reduced to growling at the equipment, the manual, and my hubby, who is telling me how to use a syringe and vial. I have been injecting myself since 2005, with absolutely no issues using vials of insulin, and normal syringes.
In desperation, I finally allow hubby to assist me. He injects the air into the vial, and draws the insulin into the syringe. Like he’s been doing it all of his life.
Now, my Pod-confidence is completely destroyed.
Then, I go and chose a stupid site to stick the POD, and when I sat down I feel the adhesive pull. After a few hours I couldn’t take it. I had to deactivate the POD and get another one activated, filled and inserted. I learned something valuable – make sure you select a smart place for the Pod to work in. I do not ever want to remove a Pod that soon again. The adhesive works way better than I imagined. I don’t have to worry when I shower anymore. That Pod is not going anywhere!
Being highly motivated to switch over to the pump, and determined to not let it beat me, I marched into my bedroom with another new Pod kit, insulin and alcohol swabs. I had read the manual over and over during my previous attempts. I was sure I knew what to do, but that #$%@! syringe, so innocently lying in the kit, was my nemesis.
I had to get over this hurdle. I can’t let a #$%&@! syringe ruin this for me. I took some deep breaths and locked myself in my bedroom, and tried again. It took 3 times before I had the needle inserted in the vial, angled just the right way, to suck out any fluid. I could only get 100 units into the syringe, but it was over the 85 unit minimum and I was back in business.
I did a little happy dance when I was finished and my Pod was on correctly. Whew! I could sit down, bend over and not feel a thing. Everything was in working order. Until…
5:00AM this morning, the Pod attached to my abdomen began to alarm. Loudly and continually. I didn’t even know it could alarm – I thought only the remote control did that. I got out of my warm cozy bed and went to the kitchen, hoping hubby and my little granddaughter were not awakened.
I switched the coffee pot to brew and stood nearly comatose while it perked, flipping through my user manual, looking for how to deactivate a Pod and not activate a new one. I needed a break, but I did not want to have to completely re-program the remote, or have to call Maureen on the holiday, you know, like some loser.
After 30 minutes, I wake up enough to find the setting for the minimum level of insulin alarm and turned it down to 10, giving me at least an hour or two before I actually have to deal with my dilemma. My brain may be working by then.
At 9:30AM I deactivated the empty Pod. I could not activate a new Pod because the insulin vial did not hold enough units to be over the Pod’s minimum. I found the settings for the alarms on the remote, turning them all to OFF. I hope there is no over-ride on the remote regarding Pod’s being required at all times, or I’ll have to hide the remote under a couple of pillows and put it on vibrate.
Sigh. Two more days and then I’ll have Maureen to straighten me out the during class 😉 I am going to sew and try to relax. My BG is over 350 and I had to inject more insulin, the old fashion way.
Now I know why they insist on practice using saline solution. To work out the “bugs” between the pump and the Pod person, before the ‘fun’ really begins. Whee!
P.S. If you are thinking about switching over to a pump, don’t let my glitches scare you! The next post in this ‘Insulin Pump Saga’ will be after I attend the class, so I can pass along the enlightenment from Maureen about the #$%&*@! syringe. And the other details they leave out of the manual. Grrr!
photo credit: Adrián Afonso via photopin cc