Gary Scheiner Comes Through


Gary ScheinerI received a new Medtronic pump today, almost three days after mine broke.  While I was waiting for a new pump, the wonderful diabetes educator, Gary Scheiner, came through when I asked him for help, and totally saved the day.  Gary’s office is very close to where I’ve been staying near Philly.  When Jessica sent him an email asking if he could help, he said yes, immediately, and met us twenty minutes later.  

Gary looked at my pump with an expert’s eye, pressed a few buttons and had it working again. (I wonder why the Medtronic support didn’t walk me through the process.) Gary couldn’t guarantee that the pump would be okay, but I was willing to try.  He also gave me another pump, a Medtronic Minimed Revel, in case mine stopped working again. 

The rest of the day was very trying. I had high blood sugar for hours (250-295). I don’t know why it was so high, since I ate almost nothing. By the time I went to sleep, my blood sugar was down to normal, or so I thought.

At 3:00 a.m. my phone rang. It was my insurance agent calling me from Israel. Half asleep, I told her I was in the U.S. and would talk to her when I got back. I quickly got into bed, but felt wired. I checked my blood sugar, like I always do when I feel strange. It was 48. Wow, good insurance plan.

I slowly walked down to the kitchen (two steep flights of stairs) and looked for food.

Being low in an unfamiliar kitchen is a new experience for me. I’ve done hotels, but I don’t remember doing other people’s kitchens in the middle of the night. I looked around and saw a box chocolate-vanilla sandwich cookies. I took one and ate it. Then I read the nutritional information. Two cookies = one serving. One serving has 21g carbohydrate. I better eat another, I thought to myself as I ate the second cookie.

Usually when I’m low I feel like attacking the refrigerator, but last night I wasn’t at all hungry. I went back up the stairs and went to sleep. When I woke up at 8:30 a.m., I felt shaky. My blood sugar was 50. I had spent most of the night low and I felt it. I felt a slight dizziness, and a strange hung-over feeling like I was a little numb. It took a few hours and a lot of coffee to get myself back together.

So now I’m sporting a new insulin pump, a Revel. I’m glad to have a pump that doesn’t say Button Error, but I’m also a little sad to have a replacement. I know it’s just a machine, but I’d grown quite attached to my insulin pump.  We ran a lot of miles together.  Meanwhile, I’ve sent it back to Medtronic.  I hope they can refurbish it and that it will make someone else happy. 

New (left) and Old Insulin Pumps

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