Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Heart of the City Half Marathon (and the Medtronic Mishap)

A few months ago, on June 3rd, I ran the Heart of the City Half Marathon in Burnsville, MN. I ran into my knee problems after this half, basically cutting my running season short . I did awesome on the run, feeling great throughout. The first half marathon I ran was just icky throughout. I crashed at 10 miles, I mean, completely crashed and walked/staggered the last three miles. This one I was much better prepared for and I ran basically the entire thing and finished with a time a full 7 minutes and 45 seconds faster than my first half marathon (Earth Day Half Marathon in Saint Cloud, MN). The fact that I was able to finish this run, which I had trained for MONTHS for, was a miracle in and of itself, and I have to thank Medtronic for this!

The day before the run, I planned to leave work at noon and head out to Saint Paul to spend the night up in the cities with Bob, so I would be close to Burnsville. This particular morning at work, I decided to change my pump from my leg to my abdomen to prepare for the race tomorrow morning. I didn’t want a new site, and I certainly didn’t want a leg site for a long run. As I’m priming my pump, it dawns on me that my pump will not progress past the initial prime phase to a fixed prime. The thing had BROKEN!

I called Medtronic practically in tears. I knew that they would have to deliver me a new pump and that they wouldn’t have it to me at least until Saturday afternoon, too late for the race….There was no WAY I could run a race on injections. There were just too many intangibles; I wouldn’t even know how to start with that! I felt like I had just thrown out all my months of training, long runs, all of my preparation because of a pump failure. I felt DEFEATED by my diabetes.

Medtronic gave me the response I expected. We’ll need to replace your pump……blah blah blah. I interrupted the customer service rep, basically frantic, my voice a few octaves above normal “ You don’t understand! I’m running a half marathon tomorrow and I need this pump TONIGHT! Or I can’t run. The race starts at seven, I need that pump NOW!”

This awesome customer service rep arranged to have my pump put on a plane, on an actual seat, that DAY to be picked up by a courier which would be hand delivered not to my address, but to Bob’s apartment so that I could have my pump in time for the race. I called them at 7:30 am and received my pump at 5:30pm. Just in time to put that baby on and have a humongous dinner and set my overnight basals in preparation for my long run.

My blood sugars were perfect during the run, and I remember several times, especially after mile ten, as I was still running, raising my arms to the heavens to praise God for giving me such an awesome ability to use my body in such an AWESOME way! I could not have done this race if it weren’t for Medtronic willing to take that extra step to make sure I had my pump in time.

Now, if they would only address the whole “pump breaking” thing. I’ve had my pump two years and this is ONLY the third time it had broken…..


Bernard said...

Even though it's a little late - Congrats Sarah, you are awesome. I don't think my knees would stand for it.

And way to go Medtronic customer service. Talk about going the extra mile.

Melissa said...

I feel your pain on the broken pump issue (twice in one year for me).

Congrats on the race--I agree with Bernard, I think my knees and ankles would have something to say, never mind how bored I get doing any one thing for too long :)

Sarah said...

Thanks Bernard and Melissa...This story about the happenings with Medtronic was a story I really wanted to share, even though it is rather overdue. I, however, did not have a blog back in June! I can't explain how good it felt for everything to end up working out. I was pretty upset when the pump broke. All those months and months of training and all the effort that I put into finding babysitting and rearranging everyone's schedule just seemed for naught! Im glad it worked out, I was truly truly blessed!

Scott K. Johnson said...

What an amazing story!

Great job on the race, and I'm so glad that Medtronic went the extra mile to help you - that was huge, and speaks highly of their service.

What a stress for you - but it worked out wonderfully!

Anonymous said...

I realize this is an older posting, but it's certainly a welcome sight to see a type 1 diabetic having accomplished the goal of a half-marathon. That's what I want to work towards now, and I've found some good ideas in the postings about this and exercise of things to watch for.