Animas Ping Story

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    One of the reasons why I initially chose the Animas Ping over other insulin pumps was because the company has a great reputation for service.

    Recently, I put this quality to the test and was more than impressed. Here’s what happened:
I’d headed out on an eagerly awaited three day wellness retreat, about three and a half hours north of Toronto at a small 13 room inn just outside of Bancroft, Ontario.

    My friend and I arrived, excited at the prospect of doing pretty much nothing for three days. After I got settled into our room, I put on my bathing suit and trusting the Ping’s ability to stay waterproof, jumped in the lake and swam for a few minutes, cooling off after the long drive from the hot and sticky city.

    All was well, and we continued with our activities, heading on a long walk in the woods, eating a light dinner and then watching a movie. At 11 p.m., I called my husband back home to wish him a good night, checked my blood sugar (it was 6.7), had a quick snack, and began to drift and began drift into sleep.The perfect ending to a great day —

    Until my pump started beeping and flashing. I quickly pulled it out of my pajama bottoms, and saw the dreaded “remove battery, call for service” message. Impossible, I thought (actually, I think the words I used were slightly harsher). So, I removed the battery, and was quite dismayed when a few drops of water dripped out of the battery containment.

    I did a quick visual inspection of the pump, and saw nothing out of the ordinary, so I wiped down the battery and put it back in the pump, figuring that what was happening to my dear pump really wasn’t….

    “Remove battery, call for service” appeared again, along with the loud alarm noises. So I removed the battery and called the 1-800 number on the back of my pump. I explained the problem, and the person on the other line told me to take a look at the pump — perhaps there was a small crack somewhere that had caused the leak? Not being one who has dropped my pump more than once or twice in the year and a half that I’ve had it, on carpet, I didn’t think this was possible, but on very close inspection, there was, in fact, a small crack on the battery section, just below the cap.

    “You may have over-tightened it,” the service representative explained. ‘No worries. Let me get someone from Canada to call you back.”

    Within five minutes, a service rep from the Toronto area called me on my cell, and after a quick chat, assured me that she could have a pump for me by 3 – 3.30 a.m.

    I was shocked. Where I was staying was quite remote, on back country roads lit on this particular night only by the occasional flash of lightening.

    “Yep, we’ll have a pump from Barrie sent up. What colour is your pump right now?” 

    “Blue,” I answered. 

    “Alright,” she said. “If you can meet the driver that would be great.”

    I hung up, and then paged my doctor to make sure I knew what to do in this first ever time without the pump. The strategy we came up with was to test every hour, and because I carry an emergency supply of needles and a vial of insulin, I would correct any highs if necessary. (Thankfully, I never crept up above 10 or so, thankful that the meal I’d eaten at this health retreat had minimal carbohydrates and, if anything, I was worried about going low overnight just before the pump alarm went off, so had gulped down a 10 carb fruit leather has a precaution, when my pre-bedtime test was 6.7 and my status still showed some IOB.)

    I set the alarm on my iPhone for the next three hours, checked my blood sugars, and then, at 2.45 a.m., I crept down into the lobby of this small inn, waiting for a delivery which I still didn’t believe would actually happen.

    At 3 a.m., the unmistakable sound of car tires on gravel caught my attention, and I ventured out into the darkness to greet the driver and pick up my package from Animas. Right on schedule.

    I went upstairs to my room, and luckily had decided to bring my lap top with me at the last minute — the ezManager Max program held the key to all my programming adjustments, since I’d downloaded everything two months earlier for my appointment with my endocrinologist.

    I changed my inset, filled the reservoir, and re-attached to my Ping. Somehow, I fell back asleep, and awoke the next morning with a 5.5 blood sugar. At 9 a.m., my cell phone rang — this time, the Animas rep was following through to make sure I’d received my new pump and that I understood the directions for returning my old one.

    Now that’s impressive service.
    Karen s


    I just bought an Animas Ping for exactly the same reasons as you – LOVE OneTouch products since Day 1 (11 years ago now), and J&J has a fine reputation. Am currently on a clinical trial on the Medtronic Veo, which is a great pump too *EXCEPT* the display is near impossible to read and the Bayer meter that accompanies it is even worse – imagine in this day and age no backlighting on a device that is used by people of all ages – and many older people like myself (well, I consider myself “older” at 55) whose eyesight may not be as good, just as a result of having this dreadful illness.

    I’m so happy to hear of your great story and service, Karen, thanks for sharing. I’m now double-convinced that I made the right choice!


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