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Static Electricity + Pump = Trouble


I stumbled upon a nice blog (The Life of a Diabetic) which had an interesting post about attending to your diabetes when you are attending a conference. Well worth a read if you ever find yourself having to go on the road for a while. I added a few suggestions of my own, and while doing so recalled an event earlier this year which I thought I'd repost here.

In short, I was at a conference about three hours away from home and inclement weather caused me to have to stay in a hotel rather than return home as originally planned. Due to the low temperature and bone dry air, the static electricity in the room was incredible. Sparks literally lit up the dark room every time I moved the sheets, myself, anything. Shortly thereafter, I noticed that my pump was dead. A brick. After much button mashing and trying to get it restarted I gave up and tried Minimed. I learned then that the static had fried the pump and despite some various techniques to restart it (e.g. remove the battery for a few hours), they sent me a replacement. Thank goodness for warranties.

I hadn't given much thought to the effect of static electricity on insulin pumps, but it makes complete sense. I can remember when walking across a carpet in winter would be create enough static to erase the contents of a floppy disk. Sometimes when I get out of our minivan and close the door I get a small shock of static. From some of the google results I found, this appears to be a pretty common problem.

In addition to weather, I've noticed a lot of static on the plastic slides at the playground where my kids play. The event has evidently been studied, but I couldn't figure out how to access the article to read it. Something you probably should be aware of if you are the parent of a kid with a pump.

To freak yourself out more about static electricity, what it is and how to get rid of it (buy a humidifier!), check out this article on Static Electricity and People. I found it positively shocking!!

(hehe, I couldn't resist such an electrifying opportunity! )

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