Sunday, January 13, 2013

One Alarming Morning


 

I had one alarming morning. I was jolted awake by a loud beeping sound. I'd never heard that noise before. Beep! Beep! Beep! What is that? Where is it coming from? I opened one eye.

It sounded like it was coming from inside my bed. Why is my bed beeping? It took a second before I realized it wasn't my bed. It was XPU, my insulin pump. Beep! Beep!

I reached for my pump and she had a black screen. Beep! Beep! She sounded frantic. I felt frantic. I pushed buttons and the beeping didn't stop. The screen didn't light up. Beep! Beep! What's happening?

Oh no! My pump isn't working! That thought quickly morphed into pure panic. Oh no! My basal rate! What's my blood sugar?

I must have looked like the guy in Edvard Munch's The Scream painting. All I could think about was not getting basal insulin and how fast that screws me over. How long has my pump been off? With my shrieking pump in one hand, I fumbled for the Dexcom on the bedside table. 143 and a flat line. OK. Whew!

I went from panic mode to troubleshooting mode. I got up and took the battery out of my pump. I put it back in. The screen was still blank. Beep! Beep! Beep! That's so loud! Make it stop! My pump was making way too much noise for so early in the morning. I figured XPU didn't like the old battery. Maybe she would like a new one? I put in a new battery. XPU stopped beeping and woke back up. My pump wasn't broken after all.

Whew! I must have slept through the first low battery alarm. I've never had a low battery warning while I was sleeping and I'd never seen a black screen before. It wasn't a whole lot of fun. Being jolted out of sleep, seeing a blank pump screen and then freaking out over my blood sugar was a lousy way to start a day. Even though it sucked, I am glad that beep was loud enough to wake me up. My day could have been a whole lot worse.

I don't like early morning troubleshooting. My new plan? Check the battery before going to bed. When in doubt, change it out.

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I am not a doctor. I do not have a medical degree. Nothing on this site qualifies as medical advice. These are lessons I'm learning at the University of Catastrophe. What I find to be correct answers in my classes may not be the right answers for you.

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