Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Calling in the Troops

I don't tend to put much stock in Murphy's Law but, holy hannah, if he does exist, he has one nasty sense of humour.

So, remember how I opted out of the Medtronic loaner pump program for my trip and, instead, decided that I would bring emergency back up Lantus (long-acting insulin) in the off chance that things took a turn?

Well, things took a turn.

On Sunday, after our lovely bike ride, I checked my blood sugar and entered the lunch carb details into my pump.

At least I tried to anyway.

I hit the bolus button - no problem. I hit the up arrow button and nothing happened. I tried again. Nothing. I tried other buttons. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

My bff blue pump wasn't working. At all. It beeped 'button error' which (apparently) means that a button was held down for over three minutes (which it wasn't) and then started alternating between alarm sirens and vibrations every minute or so.

I injected insulin for my lunch and tried not to freak out. I was leaving for Israel in less than 24-hours and it was a Sunday.

I dug out all of my Medtronic info and went through the troubleshooting section. No luck. I called the 1-800 hotline and, after hitting 1 and 2 a few times, received a message that the Canada department was not able to take my call. I was transferred to the US and put immediately on hold.

For 45 minutes.

After 10 minutes, I switched to speaker phone and emailed Sherri from the Niagara Diabetes Centre to explain my situation. I hated doing that on a Sunday afternoon but didn't feel like I had much choice. I could hear a very loud tick tick tick in my head. She went into action and gave me a list of suggestions of who to call and what to do.

During that time, I had also googled the US Medtronic number and called that on my cell phone, hoping to speak to someone while my other phone was on hold.

My cell phone picked up first and, as soon as I explained my situation, I was put on hold. For about 15 minutes. Now I had two phones on hold each playing the same elevator music but each at a different point in the song. Sherri emailed me telling me to call the local Medtronic rep but I was out of phones and loathe to hang up either of the ones I had in use.

Finally, I spoke to someone on my cell. I explained the situation and they walked me through a few troubleshooting options. No luck. They checked my warrantee and, as luck would have it, it expired in January of this year. (In Canada we receive funding for a new pump every five years but the warrantees last for four. That last year, as I have learned, is a bit of a crapshoot). I had no option of getting a brand new pump. I was told I was going to get a loaner pump for a maximum of 90 days (kinda like the loaner pump I decided not to get for my trip). They said that they would transfer me to the Canadian branch who would ensure delivery by Monday.

"I'm leaving on Monday morning for Israel" I said.

"Oh, well, you'll have to speak to them to see what they can do" was the reply before I was transferred.

A lovely gentleman with a French-Canadian accent came on the line and explained the loaner pump program. I would be given a pump for 90 days and would have to return mine to Medtronic. I would be contacted by a Medtronic rep next week to figure out a plan for getting me a new pump. I would have to return my loaner pump within 90 days or my account would be charged $4,995.

Sign me up! Just please please please get it to me by Monday morning. He said he would contact their delivery company and call me back.

He did, within minutes, and announced my pump would be delivered by 5:30pm on Sunday.


I emailed Sherri back to tell her the news and to ask if anyone from the Diabetes Centre could call me first thing on Monday with my pump settings. I (honest to goodness) was going to write them all down on Sunday afternoon so that I had them while I was away. My pump had other plans and died before I was able to. I had a good enough idea of what they were that I could wing them until Monday morning and Sherri confirmed that Kate would call be at 8:30am with the current ones I had given them at my last appointment in February.

1:00pm - pump began emitting wailing noises
1:30pm - called Medtronic
2:15pm - spoke to someone at Medtronic
2:45pm - received confirmation that loaner pump would arrive at 5:30pm
4:15pm - loaner pump arrived at my door
4:30pm - all hooked up and ready to go

Well Mr Murphy - nice try. You put a wrench in my Sunday afternoon plans but with two phones, some helpful friends and a fabulous customer support line at Medtronic, I was able to foil your plans and head off on vacation all hooked up.

I will miss this little guy. He and I have gone on all sorts of adventures together and I'm sure he would have loved Israel. Thank for the memories my friend...

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Pretty impressive (incredible even) customer service!