What Makes you mad? Where is your line in the sand? 1 of 2

What Makes you mad? Where is your line in the sand?     

     Well here’s one of mine.  As most is not all of you know on September 3, 2013 I was admitted into the ICU due to a unintentional doctor induced overdose of Fentynal which is approximately 1000 times stronger than Morphine and I was injected with 40ml directly into my stomach.  I was intubated, given CPR, supplied 4 1/2 -5 bags of the antidote medication which the nurse stated the normal amount they use on a normal overdose is 1/2 a bag.  I was out of it for three days with the first two being up and down.  Now the very next newsletter that the manufacture of the unit, Medtronics puts out after my incident has a guy, Hank talking about how easy the pump is to deal with.  I have attached the link to the site and also give you some of the highlights here, along with the questions they asked him.


Approximately 3.5″ dia. x 1.0″ height

  • What things can I ask my doctor to get the most out of my drug delivery therapy?
  • A: “It really pays to keep a pain log” and “When it’s time to replace your drug pump, ask your doctor about any new innovations” You have not even had a pump put in and your talking about getting your second one?  The pain log is a good idea, however I write down the time when I notice a difference in my pain and not hour to hour.
  • Before traveling, do you take any special precautions with your drug pump?
  • A: He talks about the Medtronic ID card and how it gets him places.  You still can be scanned and you do need to inform security prior to doing so.  He does mention a major benefit and that is the Medtronic Physician Finder via their web site.  This allows you to find certified doctors around the are you will be traveling so you know  where to  go encase of an emergency.    
  • Do you ever experience an overdose or underdose of medication with your pump?
  • A: Here’s where his answers are interesting.  He mentions breakthrough pain which is pain felt when you over do it and the pain is to intense for the pumps programming.         If  you have a Personal Management Device (Bolus Device) you are able to give yourself a boost of medicine to help with the pain until it subsides, nothing to do with          the refill overdose that I experienced.
  • Did you encounter any challenges from your insurance company or your doctor when getting the my PTM personal therapy manager? How did you overcome these challenges?
  • A: Some insurances companies may deny the PTM at first but when they see that it can reduce the overall daily medicines it is actually a benefit.
  • What was your pump replacement experience like?
  • A: Like any surgery there is some pain although minimal. My last recovery time was 3 days.  It’s important to know that the SynchroMed II pump will last a maximum of 7          years. My pumps each lasted about 5 to 5½ years.
  • Do you have any tips for the pump refill procedure?
  • A:  First rule is, verify with your doctor that you’re getting the correct medication.  
  •      Second, One trick I learned was to take a deep breath just as they insert the needle. This seems to distract from the sting and makes the pump a little easier to                     access. It works for me.  And me also.
  •       Third, after the refill is completed and your pump updated, ask for a copy of the print out.  All the vital pump and medication information should you or another doctor           need it, and it includes your alarm date, medicine and dosing. If you do not have a myPTM, it will include any scheduled programming; if you have a myPTM, it will             indicate the bolus amounts and timing intervals. Any good doctor will hand you a copy of this and any medication refill scripts you may have and go over the report.
  • Last, remember to schedule your next refill before leaving the doctor’s office. It’s very important to make sure you show up for your refill at the scheduled time. 

Here’s the link to the original newsletter I received:


     I was informed that it is best to keep blog post to under 1,000 words if possible and since i have far above that amount I am going to break this post up into two parts.  The title will show which one you are reading.  I apologize in advance for the length, but as most of you know once you get started on a topic your highly motivated by the number of words does not matter.  Thank you for reading my blogs, visiting my site “pickyourpain.org” and I look forward to all your comments, positive or negative.  Here’s wishing you and yours a very merry holiday season. 

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