Rain, Running, and a Button Error on my Insulin Pump


Yesterday morning at 5:30 I went out for a 22 mile run. It was cold, around 40o , and raining. My run, went well for the first 18 miles (with only light rain and with a few rays of sun warming me up every once in a while). But after 18 miles it started to pour. I was soaked from head to toe and my legs were so cold they hurt. 

All I could think about during those last 4 miles was how much I wanted to get home, take a hot shower and get in bed and sleep.  Somehow I pushed myself to finish the run, and when I got home, freezing and drenched, I took off my shirt and removed my infusion set, which was due to be changed the day before.

I took the reservoir out. And went to rewind the pump so it would be ready when I return from my shower. I scrolled down to ‘Reservoir + Set’ in the menu, pressed ACT and then chose the set up. But the pump wouldn’t react. I tried ESC but that didn’t seem to do much either.

Cold and wearing only wet running tights, I decided to deal with the pump after my shower.

Showered and dressed in warm clothes, I returned to my pump. It was still stuck on the same screen. I pressed ACT again and again nothing happened then ESC – Nothing.

I took out the battery (which was less than a week old) and put it back after a few minutes. At first it seemed my pump was coming back to life but then a message in large letters said ‘FAILED BATT TEST’ (or something like that).

I thought that was weird, and decided to change the battery. The new battery came with a new message – ‘BUTTON ERROR’.

Button Error - Medtronic Insulin Pump

All I could think was ‘here we go again’

Last time this happened I was travelling and it was the weekend (yes, these things always happen on the weekend) and I had such a hard time getting my replacement pump that I actually decided I hated the local Medtronic distributor and have tried not to contact them unless I had no choice.

Today was one of those no choice situations so I went to their website, found the emergency phone number (which wasn’t easy) and called.

My initial conversation started off just as I feared. When explaining what had happened to the pump I mentioned that I had come home from a run.

“Did the pump get wet?” The woman on the phone asked me.

“Yes, but your pumps are supposed to be water tight and not affected by rain.” I said.

“Well, we’re not used to this kind of weather around here,” was her reply (a very strange reply, and I’m not sure she actually was thinking of the pump).

“My pump is from abroad,” I said (all pumps are made abroad). 

Annoyed she asked me where I lived and said she’d get back to me soon. 

About 20 minutes later she called me back and told me that one of their sales reps lives near me and has a pump for me.

I called the sales rep, named Daniela, who invited me to come to her apartment and pick up the pump.

I walked over, just a three-minute walk, thinking I would just pick it up at the door and come home. But when I got there Daniela invited me in and made sure I knew how to set up the pump. She also looked at my broken pump, which seemed to go crazy when she tried to restart it.

“It’s not water damage, it’s just lost it,” she said.

I was so happy to have a pump again and was very happy to have had a good experience with the Medtronic rep. I was also happy because I was given the clear pump, which was the color I originally asked for but did not get.

 My Replacement Pump

Running Update: I haven’t been writing about my training lately not only because I’ve been very busy with other things (like the Diabetes Media Foundation) but also because I’ve been training while injured with pains in my right leg, most probably a hamstring injury, and I wasn’t sure I would make it to the marathon. (I’m still not sure I will). So, I’ve been keeping it a little under the radar. 


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