2 Day T:slim Hiatus


I am on a 2 day hiatus from my t:slim pump, back on my old out-of-warranty Animas Ping which I am glad I kept around as a backup.

In the past two weeks I have had some very frequent and unexplainable highs.  Like……go to bed in range and wake up almost 500 then take all day to get back to normal highs.  I’ve done a lot of change-outs and have ruled out that it’s the cartridges, infusion sets, or insulin…as I’ve had this issue with at least two lot numbers of each of these changing components.

I’ve increased the amount of insulin I give for corrections, basal rates, and my I:C ratio and my BGs are still averaging 210+ the past two weeks (I am normally around 120).

I am not stressed out (now…two weeks ago going into finals I was, but that’s all done and over now) nor am I sick.

Because I ruled all these things out I thought to myself ‘Self, it might be your pump’. So last night after a frustrating shift at work that involved me giving up and giving manual injections, I dusted off my old Ping, got it all set up, and hooked up.

I was great at bedtime. I went a little low (65) in the night. After a juice box I woke up a few hours later at 145.  I haven’t been under 175 in the morning in two weeks.

This seemed to me like the Ping was working – and the t:slim was not.

I called Tandem Diabetes this morning and spoke with a rep. I was frustrated because I told her I had ruled out insulin, cartridges, infusion sets, etc. but I understand it’s her job to rule those out as well. I was slightly offended when she implied I might be doing something wrong – I have been pumping for 5.5 years – the last 16 months of this has been with the t:slim, and I haven’t had problems. I also know how to troubleshoot if I DO run into issues. I was not patient while she asked me to prime insulin through the tubing and verify I saw insulin drip out or when she asked me to bolus into the air and verify insulin was dripping out. Because I saw insulin she seemed to rule out that the pump wasn’t giving me insulin and asked me to hook back up, at least for a few hours and see how I was a few hours later. I did NOT want to do this, and I said so, but I agreed to do it in the hopes this would prove what I believe to be true (that the pump wasn’t giving me insulin correctly).

I had corrected for my 145 while still on my Ping, but I gave my breakfast bolus with the t:slim.

Just two hours later I felt nausea setting in – and my BG was nearly 400.

I didn’t wait for the Tandem rep to call me back – I called her. I informed her where my blood sugar was and she finally (in my opinion) seemed to be really listening to me and showing the concern I was hoping for.

I have a replacement pump coming Tuesday, and I should be getting a phone call from Tandem on Thursday to follow-up with me and see how things are going. I am hopeful this will resolve the issue.

I truly do love my t:slim. Despite this problem I still would recommend this pump.  After all, there is no pump on the market that has had no issues. My theory on what went wrong with this pump is that it’s either not giving the boluses/corrections in the amounts it should, or it’s not giving a basal.  I will be sending my original t:slim back to Tandem, and I hope that someone in their engineering department can figure out what went wrong. If I hear anything I will post it here.

Oh and if a Tandem rep named Libby is reading this – I’m sorry if I seemed rude or impatient with you. I get that way when I am frustrated – and I was frustrated because this device that is keeping me alive wasn’t doing something it should have….that’s kind of a frustrating (and scary) situation, you know?

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2 thoughts on “2 Day T:slim Hiatus

  1. As a fellow t:slim user, I am so sorry that you had to experience this. I do agree with you that all pumps can have issues that can cause our BGs to soar without any reasonable explanations. I’m glad that you had an Animas pump as a back up. My Animas pump, purchased in early 2008, might be too old to use, if I need to fall back on it. However, the CDE at my endocrinologist’s office told me that she’d provide me a t:slim back up, if I needed it. I’m glad that you got your BGs back to normal. On a positive note, this experience might qualify you to develop a trouble shooting guide for T1Ds to use if they think their pump might not be functioning properly:) Please let us know if your new t:slim pump functions normally and you’re doing OK. Happy New Year!
    Trish

  2. I have had exactly the same problem. It was always right after changing the cartridge. What is seems to be is bubbles that did not get out of the chamber, and at night especially, they slowly make their way out and you end up getting a lot of air instead of insulin. After many conversations and troubleshooting with Tandem, I’ve worked it out to a point where it hardly ever happens anymore (except this morning – over 400 – ugh!). Make sure your insulin is at room temp – as it cools bubbles form. After filling, take a wooden spoon or similar and whack the cartridge pretty hard several times – you will probably see small bubbles floating out of the pump into the tubing. Make sure your pump is upright when you load the tubing so the bubbles will leave the cartridge. I load 10 units, pause, then whack it again. Suspend the end of the tubing for a while so the bubbles can travel up. Load until the bubbles go out the end. Def uses more insulin but better than using it to lower your BS! I NEVER change a cartridge at night. Changing in the morning gives me time to monitor the tubing for more bubbles and whack the cartridge again to be sure I’ve gotten them all out.
    -Lisa

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