Tag Archives: Animas

Battle of the pumps

Ohhh Animas, you had so much going for you. Just a few short weeks ago, you were the front runner pump for replacement, but unfortunately, yesterday’s mishap, well, that was a bit of a kick in the credibility teeth.

So there I was standing on the street, waiting for the traffic light to change, when all of a sudden I heard the clank of something falling next to me and felt a tugging at my belly that quickly turned into a full-blown yank. When I looked down – holy freaking bejezus! – there was my pump hanging in the breeze – HANGING!!! – with nothing but my skin keeping it from crashing down to the ground. What the???

And the clank, well that was half of the pump’s clip lying on the pavement, completely removed from the pump, and my waistband for that matter, where it belonged. It broke. Again. For no apparent reason other than the fact Animas clips have been shoddy from day 1. Seriously, they’re like the Ikea of insulin pump clips!

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Too bad.

This December, I’m up for a replacement pump, and in the four years I’ve been with Animas, I’ve gone through four pumps, two meters, and too many clips to count. I’ve waterlogged the so-called waterproof pump; cracked a meter after it slipped out of my hands on to the cement; have somehow caused the pump to power down and revert back to factory settings, etc., etc.. And every time I’ve had an issue, I’ve called the toll-free number and every time a replacement has been en route within hours – clips included.

There is no doubt Animas is top of the line when it comes to customer service. But product quality, that’s got to count for something too right.

So, now the question is, which pump will be my next pump???

Why doesn’t the insulin pump…

Dear Insulin Pump,

Can you believe it’s already been three years, three months, and 72 days since we were first introduced? Wow! Remember back when I wanted nothing to do with you, I wouldn’t give you the time of day, didn’t even want to meet you, let alone be attached to you. I thought for sure you’d be more hindrance than improvement. But look at us now; we’re practically inseparable!

I love that you give me my daily insulin requirements, that you take the difficulties out of figuring out the carb-to-insulin math ratios, and that, over the years, you’ve become more stylish with your colours, going from boring black to flashy green. Essentially, you are the accessory I just can’t live without.

However, I do think it’s high time you change your style. Hey, hey, don’t look at me with those sad eyes, I love you pal, but everyone needs a little change now and again – just look at your friend Miss Apple – she’s pretty darn stylish these days don’t you think?

So Mr. Pump, just a few tweaks is all I’m asking. I mean seriously…

Why doesn’t the insulin pump… come in much smaller sizes? You’ve been mistaken for a pager, cell phone, mic, even a cigarette holder – are you kidding me! While it was totally awesome to be mistaken for a doctor last year with you latched onto the front pocket of my jeans, I’d much prefer a smaller partner in crime thank you very much.

If cell phones can go from this to that, why can’t insulin pumps?

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Why doesn’t the insulin pump… have paging or texting or even photography capabilities? I mean, seriously, if they’re gonna be the size they are, they really should have some better perks. Sure, sure, you act as my pancreas and give me insulin every day, which is totally awesome, but come on, if I could go on a run with just you – and not have to bring along my cell phone for “just in case,” or if I could eliminate the need for a camera and cell phone in my purse, how much lighter would that be, how much more totally awesome would that be?

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Why doesn’t the insulin pump… have downloadable alerts and tones like cell phones do? Because last week, when your alarm went off in the middle of that UFV talk to notify me I had less than 10 units left in the reservoir (oops!) I’m telling you it would have been way cooler to have been interrupted with the Game of Thrones theme song than a tune more akin to Leisure Suit Larry!

Why doesn’t the insulin pump… give me encouraging messages throughout the day like Nike+ or the RunKeeper app does for runners? Sometimes us diabetics, we need pick-me-ups too. And you know, if your screen started featuring boosting messages from say retired NHL star Curt Fraser, or Olympic marathoner Missy Foy, or pro-surfer Scott Dunton, or Mary Tyler Moore, or Jean Smart, hell, even a message from Nick Jonas would be pretty awesome… just not Halle Barry; I think she’s kind of crazy when it comes to diabetes!

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Why doesn’t the insulin pump… use much more energy efficient, longer lasting, better for the environment (and for my wallet!!!) watch style batteries? I kid you not, for months now, I’ve been changing out your double AA battery every other week!

I’m not the kind of gal to take chances with battery power, as soon as I see the 3 bars on the display screen go down to 2, I’m changing that battery out with the next infusion change. You might think that’s a little overly cautious, but I tell you, when your pump runs out of juice – completely out of juice – when you’re on public transit, with no spare battery on your personage, and no convenience store in sight, nor a sanitary place to get it all changed up, you’d be somewhat paranoid too!

And here’s the thing, those double AA batteries, due to their continuous slow state of reacting (how’s that for chemistry 😉 ) are losing voltage long before you even purchase them, let alone, stick them into your pump! Doesn’t make sense.

That’s all for now, dear pump. If I think of anything else, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Sincerely,
Princess

Green pinchers be damned

Me and my diabetes, we’re always dressed for St. Paddy’s Day 😀

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Happy Green Day to you all!

New kid on the block

For someone who doesn’t like change, my gawd, I sure did make a HUGE one this week.

After nearly three years, and two identical replacements, there’s a new pump in town my friends. Gone is the tried-and-true, goes-with-everything, boring black beauty (which really isn’t so beautylicious these days), and in her place, an in-your-face, eye-popping, green hornet of a new insulin pump.

That’s right, GREEN!

A pump with pizazz.

A couple weeks ago I noticed that the rubber covering over the arrow buttons on my pump was peeling back, and given that we’re going into the rainy season here on the West Coast, and that I typically wear my pump on my pant pockets, I thought uh oh, probably not the best thing to have the mechanics of the pump fully exposed.


That just will not do.

I emailed Animas last weekend and within 45 minutes I had a customer service rep from the US calling me. (They’re that good!) The woman on the line told me Animas would replace it no problem (thank heavens for a four-year warranty, which I’ve used twice now… that’s like a pump a year :)), and that a Canadian rep would be contacting me by the end of the day to set up the transaction.

I don’t know what exactly happened from the time I sent the initial email to the time the Canadian rep called me a short time later, but I tell you there was a strong force overpowering my equilibrium shouting out CHANGE! CHANGE! CHANGE! When the rep asked what colour I wanted, my brain said black but my voice said green.

Uh what?

I’ve never been a fan of the Animas colour selection. Unlike Medtronic which has a beautiful purple pump, and a pretty hot-looking aqua blue one too, as well as a huge selection of skins, Animas’ colours are pretty bland. The pink is more an outdated dusty rose, the blue doesn’t pop, and the silver is a magnet for scratches. And even the silver-flecked green never really spoke to me in previous viewings. But for some reason, this time around, it snatched hold of my eye and didn’t let go.

I guess if I get bored with it, or am mortally horrified of looking like Mrs. Claus every time I wear the reds in my wardrobe, there’s always round 2 of the pump vs. aqua jogging 😉


But seriously, a little overboard on the packaging Animas; it was like I was dealing with the box version of a Russian Nesting Doll!

Because I can

When I walked into that studio I had fear in my eyes and trepidation in my heart. Sure I’ve posed for thousands of photos in my 34 years and, with a photographer for a husband, I have become quite adept at getting that picture-perfect shot. But the studio, that was different.


The lonely life of a model…

There were strobe lights, soft-box lights, small lights, large lights, blinding lights. There were tripods, wind machines, a giant, white, half-pipe backdrop. And then, there was me, my purple stretch mark attacked belly, and the cameras. Oh, and one more thing: My insulin pump.

I went into this studio session feeling nervous as hell, like seriously, I was shaking, I was sweating, I had butterflies in my belly that were overpowering the kickboxing moves of thumb-sucking alien baby. But thanks to Big Ring and his superhero photo talents, I left feeling empowered. With photos like these, how could I not?

For me, these photos are a smack in the face of all those who have repeatedly told me you can’t, who looked at me with pity, who felt sorry for me, doubted my ability – because of diabetes.

These photos are power.
These photos are entitlement.
These photos are because I can.

I’m rubber, you’re glue…

The other day I gave you something that I love, and so today, I give you something of the opposite: my new Animas sleeves.


Lunch bag letdown 😦

Before I start, though, let me first preface this dislike by stating that my contact at Animas is so totally super awesome and pretty much bends over backwards for me when I have concerns about the product, which is how I ended up with the sleeves for my pump and metre in the first place. I emailed her last month to complain about the grubby state of my pump. It’s protective screen had started peeling up at the edges (likely from all the banging into walls I do) and had grime and crusty sweat and dirt and dust building up underneath, which was majorly grossing me out. However, when I got the replacement pump several months ago, there was a note attached stating under no circumstance was the protective screen to be removed, and if it was removed, I may not be covered if the pump were to break. Got to love that fear factor!

But my Animas chick said no problem. She’d send me a pack of new protective screens, and how about some protective sleeves as well. They had a range of colours to choose from, and given that I have a history of dropping my meter, it might be a good idea to get one, she suggested.

When I heard they had purple, I was in. I’ve always had a love affair with the colour purple. My bedroom in high school was a mix of purple and grey, two walls purple, two grey – colours that I recently resurrected with a mix of eggplant and slate grey coloured towels in my current bathroom. But when the sleeves came in the mail, to say I was disappointed is an understatement. The colour is more Barney than eggplant. Barney purple is so not my kind of purple!

The sleeves are also bulky, which sucks. And they’re made of rubber, which I’m sure has a great bounce factor if I were to drop my meter on the cement patio stones again, but the thing with rubber, it’s like a glue for dust, dirt, grime, grodies. And wasn’t my complaint in the first place the disgustingness that was building up on my pump?

Animas sleeves, major fail… sure glad I didn’t have to pay for them 😀

Love at first pump

Have you ever come across something and instantly knew you just had to have it? I have, many times. For example, the stand-up microphone in the Sears catalogue, I had to have. And year after year I repeatedly asked Santa, my parents, the stranger on the street corner for it, but was sadly denied every year. Apparently they didn’t want to hear my singing in stereo sound; they don’t know what they were missing 😉

But I tell you, the new Tandem t:slim insulin pump, I will not be denied. While this pump is not yet approved in Canada, and has only just begun its unveiling in the United States, to be released there shortly, come hell or high water, that sucker will be clasped on my belt by the time my medical coverage allows me a new pump. I promise you that.

What makes this pump so special? Look at it. It is like no other pump I have seen. It looks like an iPhone, It’s stylish, it’s easy on the eyes, looks easy to use, and most importantly, IT’S THIN! Compare that to my current pump, which looks like an outdated 90s pager (not cool), that I can’t hide EVER (totally not cool).


For a more magnified view, click on the picture

This pump would mean no more bulkiness pulling my undershirts above my waist bands (so annoying). No more bulging under my dresses. No more beefy metal jabbing into my back in the middle of the night. No more weighty pump pulling down my running shorts while in action. No more boxy Animas banging into walls, car doors, people. Ohhh heaven!

My only concern is the touch screen. I have major issues with touch screens. I don’t like finger prints sullying the beauty of the screen; it annoys me to no end when I see fingerprints on my iPhone, and I’m sure it would annoy me with this as well. But for style, I am so willing to make that sacrifice.

Tell me one thing you’re loving right now and I’ll tell you something I’m not loving in my next post!