Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pump Surgery

I have been on-call this whole month and it has been chock-full of interesting patients, though the majority involved issues with every hormone besides insulin. Keeping my head above the proverbial water has been a struggle.

So, of course, life decided to throw me a few more challenges in the midst of the work-related ones. Nothing serious - just annoyances like flat tires and stolen credit cards. And tonight I had my own medical issue that stole my attention away from the many tasks on my to-do list.

It started with a simple need for a pump site change. Then I got that low battery warning. No big deal, except that the battery cap on my pump appeared to be cemented on. I pushed and pushed and pushed the quarter against that plastic slot like it was the only job I had and it did not give me a hint of a budge. I pushed so hard that the plastic started to deform, causing the quarter to slip and slide out of place with each push. I started to doubt my approach.

Lefty loosey, righty tighty, yes? YES! I was definitely lefty loosey-ing, but without the loosening. It figures my husband was working late on the one night I REALLY needed him, haha.

I broke down and called the pump technical support, and the nice lady on the other end of the line suggested I find a pair of needle-nose pliers to help pry that battery cap off. She was willing to wait for me to find some, but I knew that was a lost cause. I went for a different kind of tool.

Rummaging through my husband's desk, I found a pair of surgical forceps -- medical pliers! They are normally used for grabbing on to surgical suture or vessels or skin, but I used them to operate on that battery cap and operate they did! It was off in less than 5 seconds.

We may not have the most traditional toolbox in our house, but it gets the job done!


  1. Those things are great! I bought a few of them on Amazon (non-surgical, non-sterile) --- they're great for retrieving the string that got lost inside the sweatpants waistband...

    1. Ahh brilliant! I'll have to keep that in mind when the lost-sweatpants-string day comes.

  2. i had to change a battery this week (how often do we do that? it always takes me by surprise--is it about...monthly?) and i definitely made the plastic penny slot fairly deformed. i hope i remember to change the deformed old cap next time.

    1. Heads up: I was told I would NOT be charged for shipping if it was shipped with the next box of pump supplies. But I had JUST received a shipment, so I decided to pay for the shipping so I could get it sooner. It was $5 -- not breaking the bank -- but annoying considering it is plastic and the size of a coin. Pfft.