Pumpers, Can You Hear Me?


(Yes, that is a Barbara Streisand reference. Sorry.)

So, you’d think that after more than five years of wearing various editions of the Minimed insulin pump, I’d have all the ins-and-outs figured out by now. But, whaddayaknow, just last week, I discovered a new “feature” of the Minimed Revel I’m borrowing that also appears to exist on the Minimed 522 I own: it makes noise.

Let me explain: my husband was sitting at his desk, and I was standing beside him, getting hugged. His head hit me right about my midsection. And all of the sudden he said, “Hey, can you hear that?”

“No– what?”

“I think maybe I can hear your pump pumping?”

“No way– it’s suspended right now. It shouldn’t be pumping at all.”

“No, I can definitely hear it; it’s a high-pitched noise. Listen!”

So I bring the pump up to my ear. And that is no faint or imagined cry– the thing is making an extremely audible, high frequency sound.

“Oh man. Yeah I hear that. What is that? Is something wrong with it?”

“It doesn’t seem like anything’s wrong with it–”

“But why haven’t I ever heard that before?”

“I don’t know. Maybe you should call the support line?”

“Wait– I have an idea.” I run over to the bedroom and fish out my 522, which I’m keeping with batteries in on a permanent basal of zero units so that I don’t lose my settings while I’m trying out the Revel. I hold it up to my ear– nothing. Completely silent. Humpf.

On a hunch, I turn on the backlight. Immediately, I hear a high-pitched squealing. I check again with the Revel– no light, no sound; turn on the backlight, and it’s crying out in pain.

Now, most of you– or at least the vast majority of you that happen to not be Minimed pump wearers– are probably somewhat unimpressed by this discovery. But for me, after five years of wearing the thing, to suddenly discover it makes a (really, rather loud if you’re listening for it) noise was shocking. It’s like when you discover a long time friend has never seen Star Wars. Really? This whole time you had this strange attribute, and I never noticed?

But now I know, so you should too: my Minimed pump makes noise when the backlight is on. Other Minimed users– can you confirm? And, other-brand insulin pump wearers– do your pumps make noise?

Photo credit: Paleontour

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10 years ago

Wow! Me too. (On Paradigm 722.)

Beth @ Shug in Boots
10 years ago

Get out of town! I have the Revel, and I definitely just held it up to my ear with the backlight on, and YES! it does make an itty bitty high pitched noise! Wow!

11 years ago

haha!  I never noticed it, but just read your post at work (yep, took out my pump, hit the light and brought it to my ear).  Why in the world does it make that sound?!  I tried some other devices with a back light and didn’t get it.

Laura G.
Laura G.
11 years ago

(fishing pump out of leg thing and putting up to ear)
YES! the Deltec Cozmo emits a very faint, high-pitched squeal when backlight is on.

Michelle S
Michelle S
11 years ago

Huh!  I just turned on my backlight on my paradigm and that is a very loud noise!  i’ve been wearing the pump 9 years and never noticed that before!

11 years ago

Oh yeah, this happens to my 522, too.

11 years ago

My Animas 2020 does this, as does my One Touch Ultrasmart meter, when I turn on the backlight. There is also a brief, faint squeal-click noise whenever the basal is delivered on my pump, but seeing as how my pump just recently became out of service due to piston issues, that may not be normal.

11 years ago

That totally happened to me last year! Medtronic sent me a replacement pump because of it. To be fair, I can still hear a little something on the replacement one, but it’s far, far quieter.

Jane Kokernak
11 years ago

OMG! I just tried it — turned on the backlight on my Minimed 522. High pitched noise!
I had never noticed.

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