Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Beeps, sounds, and alarms.....oh my!

At times your insulin pump will sound like a badly tuned musical instrument.  Your pump will come with many beeps, sounds, and alarms that are all designed to help you give attention to your pump.....you know, like you will forget it it there! 

Your alarms will generally be the same sound.  The difference will be how long the sound goes on for, and may be accompanied by a vibration.  The alarm is then posted as text on your pump that you are to read/clear.  Here is a list of various alarms you can either set your insulin pump to give you warning of certain things, or preset alarms that you cannot turn off (for safety sake):

- low battery: your insulin pump does not run on love, it runs on a battery.  While your pump will have a visual meter (just like your cell phone), you know that people do not always look at that.  Your pump will alert you to the fact that your battery will soon die.

- dead battery: unlike your cell phone, your pump will tell you that your battery can no longer function.  It holds onto just enough life to alert you every few minutes that your battery is dead (well, almost dead), until it actually dies.

- low insulin: when you are getting low on insulin in your resevoir, your pump will alert you that you will soon need to get more insulin.  You can generally program at what level you want to receive this alert.

- suspended: when you take off your pump, for things like a shower, or other activity, you can suspend your pump so it no longer pumps a basal amount of insulin.  However, it can be easy to forget to unsuspend it when you reattach it (I know it can happen, because I am often caught by this alarm).  If you get the suspended alarm while you are wearing the pump again, you hit yourself on the head and unsuspend the pump.  (The pump doesn't know it is reattached to you, but rings every so often just to say "Hi".)

- BG reminder: you can set your pump to remind you to test your blood glucose levels at a set time after doing a bolus.  Your doctor will often ask for a post-meal BG, and your pump can help you remember to do it.

- temporary basal: when you set your pump to do a temporary basal amount, as opposed to the preset basal rate, your pump will give you a quick reminder saying "remember me, I am giving you a different rate!".

- auto off: as a safety feature, you can set your pump to turn itself off automatically after a set number of hours (mine is 12 hours).  This is meant so that if you find yourself (or someone else find you) unconscious in a ditch, unable to eat, your pump is not going to continue giving you insulin bring your blood sugar lower and lower.  In my case, if I don't bolus (or tell it what my blood sugar is) for 12 hours, the pump turns off and gives an annoying alarm!

1 comment:

  1. If you get the suspended alarm while you are wearing the pump again, you hit yourself on the head and unsuspend the pump.