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Thread: Joel Connable Died

  1. #21
    nicolep, the same organization you cited in your post above has the story about a pump malfunction in which too much insulin was delivered. Here it is:
    Not a member, effective January 28, 2019

  2. #22
    Alan, are you serious? Well wow, what a "treat" for you to become diabetic in 1976, you know with a cure...A CURE!!!...merely a few years in sight. GRR! That is so annoying and a completely irresponsible thing for a medical professional to say. My husband was having knee surgery one time and when they tested his fasting glucose before he went in, the nurse said "I don't think you are diabetic anymore! your fasting glucose is perfect." and she was dead serious and declaring like it was an actual medical miracle. I mean really, what kind of thing is that to say to someone? What if he had taken her seriously and really bought into even just the thought that he was magically cured? What a complete disappointment that would have been. Luckily he is smarter than that, because he lives with the disease every day and he knows better, but still. It is such a misunderstood disease, even by medical professionals…including some endos! Unless you live with this terrible disease or you love someone who suffers from it, people are usually pretty clueless about it and say some really stupid things.

    Another time, an EMT (that was called to our house during one of my husband's seizures) called in to the hospital that my husband was on Vetsulin. With 20 bottles of Apidra in the fridge, he fixated on the 1 bottle of Vetsulin, which was the insulin for our sweet dog who was also diabetic. I mean, what does the word “Vet” imply in the name Vetsulin? They pulled me aside to ask why I was letting my husband take dog insulin. I mean, what the HECK. It was after this incredibly frustrating experience that I learned how to give the glucagon shot myself. Now I can bring my husband out of a really bad seizure before the EMT’s would even arrive to our house, so something good definitely came out of that. And I’m sure seizures are different for everybody, but my husband’s are usually pretty bad. He has cut his knuckles open before from his hands hitting the headboard or nightstand, etc. They scare the crap out of me every time, and each and every time I am beyond grateful that he has come out of another one safely. Most of us feel protected and safe when we are snuggled up in our own bed, but nighttime is one of the most scary times of day for some diabetics…especially those who do not have any sensitivity as to when they are getting low.

    My husband has had endo nurses flat out yell at him to “stop getting low”. Thanks, that is incredibly helpful. Really appreciate the help! You know, it’s just sooooooo simple…just “stop getting low”, duh! That could not have been less helpful or supportive.

    And even though I could go on and on, this is the last share. A friend of mine who is also Type 1 had surgery about 10 years ago and had to spend the night in the hospital. He asked for his insulin and the nurse said “you can’t have insulin! you just had surgery!”, and she would flat out not let him have access to his insulin. For whatever reason he did not push it. If I had been there, I would have demanded she give him his insulin, but it is always easier to advocate for someone other than ourselves of course. In the middle of the night his blood sugar soared to 510 and he now felt worse from that than anything else! He demanded to talk to his endo and called him in the middle of the night and the endo said “hand the phone to the nurse”. The nurse immediately gave him his insulin and let him manage his diabetes until he was released. That is inexcusable!

    On that note, I am SO RELIEVED to see you guys poking holes in the statement released by the family. I was incredibly confused about what they said from the moment I read it. No disrespect intended, but I think it is outrageous for the family to strike panic in so many people by saying what they said. To me, it almost seems like they are trying to cover something up. And again, I cannot stress enough that there is no disrespect intended, but this is a quote from them: "The lead line was disconnected without his realizing it. It was one of those accidents of fate." An accident of fate??? Are you serious??? Something is just really fishy about all of this. I agree with everything stated above, and I have to think it IS possible Joel disconnected the inset himself when he realized he was getting too low. If the pump had "malfunctioned" and had become disconnected, Joel would most certainly have detected the problem through the usual diligence of self-care and testing that is required with being diabetic. As his parents, they would surely understand the disease and the insulin pump technology, so why the conflicting statement? And why has Joel’s wife not gone on record with a corrected statement? I would DEMAND a corrected statement be made if someone had misspoken anything about my husband. So my thought is that they are 1) trying to cover something up, or 2) they are genuinely clueless about his disease and how the insulin pump worked and have therefore, unintentionally released the irresponsible statement that simple does not make any sense.

    I’m sure they are all deep in grief, so it is understandable that dealing with the media is not at the top of their list right now. My heart breaks for them and I cry for them. It sounds like Joel was a beautiful person inside and out, and I am devastated at the thought that he suffered alone and also lost his life. His poor dog probably felt so helpless laying there next to him. The whole thing is absolutely heartbreaking!

    And don't even get me started about the cure. There SHOULD be a cure and I believe a cure could even be available, but billions of dollars are being made to treat the disease instead. Pretty much every single medical advancement out there still requires poking and injecting oneself, which is very painful and invasive. Most people would not be able to handle a diabetic routine for one week, let alone a lifetime. Diabetics never get to just "take a day off" or have ANY type of break from it. Alan, I cannot imagine what a gift it is to no longer have to life with this terrible disease. I think that is wonderful and I am so, so happy for you! I can only imagine that you appreciate life on a whole other level from most people. I bet it was hard to break those habits at first and that the emotional part of no longer being diabetic was an incredibly challenging thing to deal with. I am really excited to read more about your transplant at the link you shared. What a story that must be, and I cannot wait to read it!

    For everyone posting on here, I have really gotten a lot out of reading what you have shared. We’ve never gone to support groups or anything like that, but this felt like one and it was really nice. I appreciate being able to share with people who know what it is like to have diabetes, and who use the same lingo and who understand how scary this disease is and how all-consuming it is. Thank you very much!

  3. #23
    To Wife of Type 1 Diabetic: thank you so much for your very thoughtful post and for joining us. I would just like to make a couple of comments.

    In 1976 when I first became an insulin-dependent diabetic there were many news reports about "great advances" towards a cure. I was an Associate Producer at CBS News at the time and I carefully followed all of the news by checking directly with the researchers. There was no Internet back then and access to such inside information was not like today when everything is a click away. It wasn't that one doctor saying it to me -- many researchers all over the world were saying it and believing that a cure was close. They were already experimenting with islet transplants and thought that procedure would be perfected soon.

    I was a diabetic for 32 years, and while I had a pancreas transplant it does not cure diabetes. Transplants are treatments, they are not cures. And that 32 years of being diabetic did take a toll. Currently I am going through laser treatments of both eyes to stop the diabetic retinopathy which flared up about six months ago -- and I have had bouts of blood leaks that caused temporary blindness.

    I really had no idea that pumps were controversial until this happened and I started to read the reports about malfunctions.

    Diabetes is a long term, expensive disease, but it lacks the interest and attention that other diseases get and for that reason it could be on the short end of the stick for research dollars. Part of the problem is that many people believe "diabetes can be managed" and diabetics for the most part appear "normal" and do "normal things" and the damage being done that leads to disability and death is for the most part invisible.

    Because the police made the discovery about Joel's tragic death, there might be a coroner's investigation. That would tell us if there really was a "malfunction" or if there were some other cause.
    Not a member, effective January 28, 2019

  4. #24
    Just checking back to see if anyone has heard anything more on this. I tried googling around, but it's just old news from the original stories. I dont see any follows ups.

    Interesting tidbit. I had a pump malfunction. (same one I've had in the past) I went to change my battery. I had a low message, sort of like you get on a camera or anything that shows you when it starts to get low. It shows a picture of a battery with sections and the sections start to disappear. If you wait long enough, you will get an actual "alarm" telling you that you are running out of time. I usually try to time this with when its time to change the infusion site, as most pumpers probably do. When you change the battery, you usually have to "prime" the pump as well and its a small hassle. Just easier to do it all at once. Anyhooo, when I changed the battery, I had to reset the time and date. NOT USUAL. And, like I said, this happened one time before. I called my pump company, which is Animas, and they asked me a few standard questions. Right away they said, there must be a problem with the chip, we dont want to take ANY chances, we are sending you a new pump by UPS next day air and you will have it tomorrow, can you be there to sign for it? They sent me a tracking confirmation and I see it should be here anytime. I live out in the boonies and UPS doesnt usually show up until 4:30.

    It just got me to thinking again about Joel and I should would like to know the outcome. Obviously, I know the outcome. But, I would like to know the reason. I hate for the pump to be blamed unnecessarily.

    Hope everyone is well.

  5. #25
    Thank you for checking back. I have also been checking the various news sites for an indication that there was an autopsy and some finding. I have seen nothing. I want to respect the family but I think if there was an autopsy the results should be announced. I don't know what the law is in Washington and perhaps the family could have requested that no autopsy be made. I would hope that someone -- even Joel's TV station -- would have had a follow up report. Even an organization for diabetics should have been on this. Too many people could be affected by what happened.

    Will you find out from the company if there was an actual defect with your pump?

    Take care and best wishes for the holidays.
    Not a member, effective January 28, 2019

  6. #26
    I still have a world full of sympathy for Joel's wife, dog and family. They are in my thoughts and I wish them peace during their grieving process...but it is good to know that others hope updated information will be released as well. I agree that too many people could be affected by what happened. The misinformation needs to be corrected and I hope someone will take that as seriously as we do.

    My husband's pump malfunctioned after he had traveled and gone through airport security. He didn't know at the time that his pump could be damaged by the x-ray machines and full body scan, and that he should always request a pat down instead. About a week after his trip, his Medtronic pump threw a prime error out of nowhere and completely died. He called Medtronic and learned that this is a known issue, even though the TSA agents assured my husband that his pump would not be damaged. Way to go, TSA! Of course they are not held accountable for this at all.

    His pump failed on a Sunday night, so he had to call the on-call endo to find out how to immediately transition back to shots. Luckily his doctor had given him a few insulin pens as a backup for a remote trip he was planning to take, so he was able to use those. His pump was still under warranty, so Medtronic shipped a new one out overnight that arrived on that Tuesday.

    I'm sharing this, 1) to make sure the word is spread about the problems with airport x-ray security and insulin pumps, and 2) to share my husband's only experience with a pump that has malfunctioned.

    Smore9564...I'm happy to know Animas sent you a new pump. I love to hear about responsible business practices and excellent customer service, especially when it comes to such a critical piece of medical equipment like your insulin pump!

  7. #27
    Hey there. I forget what their wording was.. but they did say it was some sort of "problem" or known "issue"... they didnt really call it a defect, per se. Maybe they know something and dont want to say.. I dunno. But, both times they said "lets not take any chances" and overnighted a new one. Or maybe refurbished.. I dont exactly know. They seem to handle things quickly and I've been happy with them.

    Still think about Joel a lot! =(

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