Murphy’s Diabetes Law of Insulin Pumps


I don’t know what it is about weekends, holidays and vacations, but it seems like my insulin pumps (I’ve gone through quite a few in the short time I’ve been on the pump) always malfunction and need to be replaced during these times.

Yesterday, on the eve of a holiday in Tel Aviv, when most people were settling down for a long weekend, I was sitting with my son discussing his programming homework.  Suddenly we heard a double beep coming from my pump.

I unclipped the pump, looked at the screen and saw a new and unfamiliar error message flashing at me, MOTOR ERROR. (I have had a few BUTTON ERRORs and Delivery issues in the past.) It was immediately clear that I was heading for another replacement pump, my fourth or fifth, I’ve lost count.

“Oh shit, here we go again,I said as I grabbed my phone. 

With fear of a long rollercoaster weekend in my mind I called Daniela, the Medtronic sales rep who saved me once before (she lives just a few blocks away).

“Hi, Daniela,” I said when she answered her cell. “It’s Mike Aviad, you helped me once with my pump…”

“Yes. I remember.” she said, “How can I help you?”

I told her about the MOTOR ERROR and asked what I should do.

She told me she was away for the weekend but said that I should try taking out the battery for 15 minutes and then replacing it and “if that doesn’t work here is the 1-800 number…”

I did as Daniela suggesting, wondering about the “15 minutes.”   Why not just switch the battery?  What’s with the resting period?  

Batt Out Limit - Insulin Pump Error

Waiting didn’t do the trick, instead I got another error BAT OUT LIMIT. So I called the emergency line, preparing myself for a fight.

Surprisingly, there was no need to argue. The man on the phone asked me where I lived and said that their delivery guy, Ronen, would contact me soon. 

A few minutes later I got a call from Ronen. “I’m on my way,” he said with a tired voice.

Twenty minutes later he arrived. He opened the trunk of his car where he had a box with a few pumps and other supplies. I asked for a clear or black pump (please not purple). 

He looked through the boxes. There were Blue, Black and Purple pumps but no clear. So I tool the black.

Happy, relieved and impressed with the service, I took my new pump in my hands, looked at it and felt good.  Then I realized I had to set it up but I don’t remember my settings (they were saved in the old pump). Oh well, I thought to myself, things could be worse.




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John Bryan
John Bryan
8 years ago

Wow, that’s an amazing story! It takes me a couple of calls, a lot of “When??” statements from me and it usually arrives in a couple of DAYS.

Great customer service, maybe it will spread everywhere. 

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