Friday, July 4, 2008

update on asher's pump. and i'm apologizing ahead of time, but seriously, Kangaroo sucks.

have you ever made a decision you later regretted? i know, stupid question; we all have. well, here's mine: choosing a Kangaroo pump for asher! seriously, what a terrible company to deal with! for sooooo many reasons. here's a summary:
  1. the technical support number is nowhere to be found, other than perhaps in the pump's manual.
  2. you have to order the manual separately.
  3. they don't tell you this, until you get the pump, figure it out on your own, but then run into difficulty with it. i'm not joking.
  4. the tech support number is not on the Kangaroo website.
  5. they do not give out their tech support number to pharmacies which distribute their pumps.
  6. if you experience difficulties with your pump, say, on the weekends, you're S-O-L. tech support doesn't do weekends. or evenings. again, not joking.
  7. they do not provide pumps to distributors (like the one we deal with). this means that, if you run into difficulty with your Kangaroo pump and say, it dies, you cannot get another one until your is repaired or replaced. the pharmacy/distributor must lend you another kind of pump. not another model. another company altogether. still not joking.
  8. if your your pump dies (eg, the motor burns out because you run it 20 hours/day to feed your child, which, you'll note, is the very thing it's designed to do), they will only replace it with another pump that is the same model as your first one.
  9. if your replacement pump dies (eg, the motor burns out because you run it 20 hours/day to feed your child, which, you'll note, is the very thing it's designed to do), they will only replace it with another pump that is the same model as your second one, which was, you'll remember, the same model as the first one, which burned out only 5 months previous.
  10. if you cause a stink and tell people in customer service that their pump is "crap" and you refuse to take another one of the same model (Kangaroo ePump, for those who are wondering), they will offer you the smaller version of the same pump.
  11. if you mention that you much prefer the models similar to those in hospitals, they say, "too bad, it's this or nothing. you can always get a pump from another company, you know."
  12. in case you're wondering, enteral feeding pumps can cost around $1000. the ePump costs $1500. still not joking.
  13. they must be aware that the average family does not have an extra $1500 for another pump, so really, you're screwed and have to go with Kangaroo and take their stupid crappy pumps.

but heather, i'm sure you're wondering, don't you have some government funding which pays for most of asher's enteral feeding supplies? why, yes, as a matter of fact, we do. it's through ADP (Assistive Devices Plan, or something like that). well then, heather, the answer is just so simple! they will cover the cost of a new pump, so just find one you like and order it, duh! ah, but the answer is never so simple, gentle reader. you see, ADP will only cover the cost of a pump every 5 years. that's right, 5 years. asher's only had this funding less than one year, which means, you'll note, that we still have over 4 years until they will cover a new pump for us.

so you can see my dilemma. i don't want another kangaroo pump, because they are crap. and more info you may need about his pump dying:

  1. asher has not been gaining weight the last month or so. (he's being closely monitored by a dietitian, so i know this for a fact.)
  2. asher is supposed to get 920 mL/day of formula to meet his minimum calorie requirements and gain weight as necessary.
  3. by the end, the pump was only delivering approx 840 mL/day.
  4. that's a difference of 80 mL, which is equivalent to 80 calories (which is a lot when you're only getting around 900 kCal/day).
  5. again, asher has not been gaining weight during the last month or so.
  6. until we got the loaner from Yurek's. he has definitely gained weight in the last week - you can tell when you pick him up.
  7. the loaner we got from Yurek's is not a Kangaroo.
  8. i love the loaner pump we got from Yurek's, and would love to get a pump like that for asher.

again, here's my dilemma. i could, in theory, call the lady back from Kangaroo and say "thank-you ever so much for your 'help', but let me tell you what you can do with your ePump. ... and once the doctors have pulled it out again, do let me know how the surgery went; i'd be ever so curious." but that's only in theory. in reality, i would never say that. i wouldn't care how the surgery went.

but seriously... i don't want another kangaroo pump. i'm quite enjoying the Patrol pump we have at the moment. truly, a delightful pump. so easy to work, even asher has figured it out (i'm not joking here, either. just ask my mom). here's the link, if you're curious:

truly, a delight to work with. but note the price. and that's an american site; i couldn't find a canadian one, but since we have one of these pumps at the moment, i know i could get one. i'd just have to go through the pharmacy home health department. too easy, really. except for the obvious detail here:

i don't have the money for one of these pumps. the only pump i can afford is the one Kangaroo will send me for free. that asher needs. because he's entirely tube-fed. so he needs a good, quality pump that won't burn out and die in a few months. and given our record with the ePump, i'm almost certain it will happen again. and the one they're sending us is the smaller version, which may very well die even sooner.

now, i could try on monday to track down a contact at whichever ministry runs ADP (i think it's community services, but i'm not sure) and plead my case. and hopefully, someone will be sympathetic and approve funding for a new pump. but given that's it's the government, i doubt that will happen.

but please don't take this the wrong way. i'm not asking for money here. i know it sort of sounds like it, and i'm sorry, because that's not what i'm trying to do here. rather, i'm trusing God for a miracle. i'm trusting God for this miracle: money for a different pump. i need to feed my baby. i need to ensure he has quality equipment to do that. but i need money in order to purchase said quality equipment. so, please God, provide us with a way to get a new pump.

ok, venting is done. you can now resume your life. and i'll keep panicking and worrying, and everything will be just like it was before. have a great weekend! :) h

UPDATE: while perusing the internet, i found a different pump i would love for asher. the link is on the sidebar. the EnteraLiteInfinity. check it out! too perfect (as long as it works!).

No comments: