LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Friday, August 09, 2013

Mad Science Two: Up on the rooftop

Pumps get dropped. It’s just part of life for a pump. And pump companies warn you that if your pump gets dropped that something…. bad… could happen. Its delicate circuits might get scrambled. Its moving parts could get jostled. Its casing might get cracked, leaving an opening for water to get it and short-circuit the mother board, causing the mother of all pump failures.

The Snap isn’t drop-proof, but it’s the first pump to quantify the risk of damage after a drop. It has a drop sensor in the body. I guess, more correctly, it’s considered to be an impact sensor. To be honest, I did drop the Snap once, onto a tile bathroom floor at a Holiday Express no less, but the pump didn’t seem to mind. That was about a four-foot drop to a hard surface. I can’t find it in the manual or on their website, but I think one of the Asante people told me they felt the traditional FDA guidelines for pump drops of only a couple of feet were silly, as most dropped pumps are dropped from at least waist height onto hard surfaces, so for an extra measure of safety the Asante engineers shot for a six-foot survivability. And they added the drop sensor, which (perversely) was so innovative it delayed FDA approval of the Snap system for months—further proof that no good deed goes unpunished.

The impact sensor in the Snap will shut down the system if it detects a big enough impact to damage the pump’s parts. Naturally, I wanted to test the drop sensor for myself.

So the first thing I did was to take a used body and hold it as high as I could. I’m about six feet tall and my arms add another couple of feet, so I dropped the body from about eight feet onto my library floor. Now the floor looks like tile, but you need to remember that I’m working-poor, so it’s really self-sticky linoleum tile from Home Depot.

Down plummeted the pump. Ka-thwack! It bounced once. Clunk!

I slipped the Snap out of my pocket and unsnapped the active body. Then I slid the skydiving body into place. Snap! What would happen?

Snap said: “Pump body connected.”

Apparently, it was undamaged. It was time to get more aggressive. Next step, the ladder test.

Down plummeted the pump. Ka-thwack! It bounced once. Clunk!

I clambered down off the ladder, slipped the Snap out of my pocket and unsnapped the active body. Then I slid the skydiving body into place. Snap! What would happen this time?

Snap said: “Pump body connected.”

Apparently, it was still undamaged. OK. No more messing around. Next step, the roof test.

Standing on the very edge of my roof I dangled the hapless pump body over my porch far below. So long, sucka! I dropped it. Down plummeted the pump. Ka-thwack! It bounced once. Clunk! It came to rest in the coiled-up garden hose.

I clambered off the roof, down the ladder, onto the porch, slipped the Snap out of my pocket and unsnapped the active body. Then I slid the skydiving body into place. Snap! What would happen?

Snap said: “Pump body connected.”

Having failed to break the pump by dropping it from as high as I can reach, dropping it from a ladder, and dropping it from the roof of my house, I had only one card left to play. I gave it to a eleven-year-old boy.

My son Rio son grabbed it by the tubing and swung the pump body wildly around his head like biblical David with the sling shot, then let it fly against the house. It impacted with a sickening thud.

If this fails, I thought to myself, I’ll rent a plane and drop the damn thing out the window over a shopping mall parking lot.

But there was no need. Where I had failed, Rio succeeded:

Well, not dropped so much as flung.

Next week: A ’graph or two on graphs


Blogger George said...

Rio looks awesome! Every time I drop my pump I FREAK OUT. I had one a while back decide to empty 60 units into yours truly so drops worry me.

The Snap is sounding more and more like a front runner for my next pump.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Mike Hoskins said...

This is so great, Wil. Thanks for the hands-on science experiment, and thanks for participating and helping prove the destructability and safeguard of the Snap body! Very cool. I am intrigued by this aspect of Asante and think they deserve kudos for going above and beyond, after simply using their heads.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous LB said...

One question: Who provided the adult supervision? Your wife or your mom. Nice experiment!!

6:15 AM  
Blogger Bernard said...

Wil, pump companies should hire both of you to test their devices!

I didn't know you lived in a Black and White world. Seriously, great photos. Thanks for doing this. And yes all pumps should have an impact sensor. The t:slim apparently has a temperature sensor which is also a great idea.

9:53 AM  

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