New pump

I got a new pump today!

I got a "Motor Error" and followed the prompts. Esc+Act to clear. Remove & re-prime reservoir. Called Medtronic to ask "soooo... why did I get a Motor Error?"

The very kind Medtronic rep had me describe the situation, and decided that my pump had to be replaced.

(Only 2months in & it's already broken? Yikes...)

I have an injection (actual injection! With a syringe!) to cover me for dinner. Around 50 minutes later I had my new pump. Say what you will about Medtronic pumps, but they're damn good about supplying a replacement.

Reset my old pump's settings (uploaded via carelink) to the new pump, linked it to my meter and transmitter, annnnd....it looks like I'm good to go :).

I must say...It's been a heck of a night!


At least I've had stable cgm graphs tonight...I know cgm isn't an exact representation of bg levels, but a stable cgm still makes me feel a bit better :).


CGM Start

CGM start day was... interesting. I got up early to do a set change before breakfast, and since it was an important day, naturally my pump kept giving me "NO DELIVERY" alarms. Every time. I don't know what caused it, but something about the set was blocking the tubing. Infusion sets are expensive, so I really wanted to try to make this one work. I tried reattaching the plunger to the reservoir and manually pushing insulin through the set -- no luck there. I swapped out the new reservoir for the old one, as it still had a few units in it -- & this time, manually pushing insulin through the set worked. I reattach the new reservoir, prime the tubing, and this time it all works just fine.

But wait! It gets better!

I got to the hospital and met with my nurse, the Medtronic nurse, and John (someone else who sees the same endo as I do), and we sat down in a conference room to start the training. My nurse showed us, using a "training" sensor and a pillow shaped like an abdomen, how to do the full sensor start.

We got the chance to use our own "training" sensors to do a practice run first, and I'm glad we did. My sensor jammed up in my serter and failed to insert. It turns out the tape got caught and was preventing it from inserting the sensor :(!

They gave me a new practice sensor, and the second time went off without a hitch, so John and I prepared to insert our first *real* sensors. I chose to put mine on my back, still above the belt line but very far from my abdomen. I know it would have been easier to do it where I could easily see what I was doing, but I also know that having something in my stomach for 6 days would drive me crazy.

I picked a spot, inserted my sensor, waited 5 seconds, and removed the serter. Voila! It was in!

Before even removing the needle, I twisted to pull the top of my skirt down a bit so I could see the sensor clearly.. aaaaand in the process, I rip out my infusion set.

& to make things even better?


So that was fun - being the person who's bleeding from her butt (the top of my butt....but still) while everyone waits for her to catch up. Awesome.

I took a second to remove the sensor needle and apply the overtape at this point. I also used some Skin Prep around the sensor at that time, as I need it to keep things stuck (showers tend to dislodge infusion sets when I don't use Skin Prep 🙁 ), and the Medtronic nurse told me that if I used the Skin Prep prior to inserting the sensor, the sensor would get gummed up by the Skin Prep and might not work properly. I had no idea!

She said it's not a problem to use it as long as the Skin Prep (or any other product that makes skin sticker) is applied around the sensor after it's already in the skin. It felt extremely awkward to try to wipe under the sensor-tape with a Skin Prep swab, but despite that it still seemed to work ok.

My nurse brought me a spare infusion set, so I just swapped it out for a new one. My reservoir was still working and thankfully didn't give me any more "no delivery" alarms...

Medtronic sensors need about 5 minutes for the sensor to "wet" after they're inserted into the skin, so I spent that time setting up my new infusion set. After that, It was time to attach the transmitter and tape the whole thing down.

Overall, I guess the whole thing went pretty well. A few relatively minor setbacks (a test sensor that jammed, a yanked-out infusion set...) did occur, but honestly if I'm ever going to have a sensor-insertion-experience that's filled with drama and unexpected events, it's prbably best that it happened at a hospital :P.

I've since inserted one new sensor, which went fairly smoothly. I can't say I'm comfortable with the process yet, but hopefully that part will come with time.



I passed this in the stairwell:


This is my hospital's method for dealing with a coffee spill on the floor. It's technically an accurate sign, I guess...


CGM Day!

Today is CGM day! I'm on my way in to the hospital for my CGM training with my CDE, the nurse from Medtronic who does pump and CGM trainings, and another patient who sees his endo at the same clinic as I do (they sometimes do pump- and CGM-trainings in pairs).

My list of worries includes (but is SO not limited to), in no particular order:
- It will bleed for ever and I'll have to remove the sensor
- They will want me to insert the sensor on my stomach (seems likely), which will hurt (because stomach sites always hurt)
- It will continue to hurt for the life of the sensor
- I will dislike cgm because my first one started with 6 days of discomfort
- I will screw something up with the insertion
- I'll forget something and look like a tool (but I watched all of the Enlite training videos! I swear I did!)
- When it hurts, I will get all teary. I do not want to cry.

...and that's just the beginning. I know that most of these things are either unlikely (3+ minutes of bleeding) or not as bad as I imagine them to be (6 days of discomfort), but knowing that doesn't change my worry level.

Either way, in a few hours I will be hooked up to my cgm. Wish me luck!


First "pump vacation"

Last weekend I took my first "pump vacation."

It was short - very short. I had plans to go waterskiing/wakeboarding/knee skiing with Boyfriend, and since this coincided with a site change day, I figured I'd leave the pump at home for a few hours, rather than expose it to the (however slim) possibility that I'd lose it off of the side of a boat.

I think my problem was that we slept in. I had a late breakfast on Saturday, so my breakfast bolus was still in effect when I disconnected from my pump. When the time came, I figured out approximately how long I was going to be off of my pump (I figured about 4 hours), calculated my basal insulin over that time, and gave it as a bolus - then said goodbye to my pump, double-checked that my purse was loaded with juice boxes, test strips, and the Frio pack that held my Humalog pen needle, and I was off boating!

....enter low BG. I'm not sure if it was the heat (around 40 degrees with the humidity!), the stacking of my breakfast bolus + "missed basal" bolus, or the exercise from waterskiing (or trying to), but I spent the first 2 hours sucking back juice boxes just to stay above 4. The lowest I got was 3.6, but a lot of that was because I had around 8 juice boxes over that 2-hour period.

Yup -- that's 200 grams of carbs.

Looking back, I think I'm lucky it didn't end up worse than it did. I felt mostly fine throughout the day -- a little shaky at times, but overall more excited about water sports than concerned about BGs. It wasn't until later in the day that I realized just how much juice I had gone through. 

At least it helps me to realize that next time I want to take a pump vacation, there's a lot more to consider than just my "missed basal" insulin. Stuff like IOB (insulin on board, or Active Insulin), outdoor temperature, and exercise had a HUGE impact this weekend. I wish I could have anticipated that.

When bad things happen, my tendency (like that of many people with diabetes, I know) is to give myself crap for letting it happen. I'm trying to be better about focusing on how I really did try - I tried to figure out how much background insulin I needed, and I didn't think it would be so hot once I was in the water, so I hoped that the effects of the water would negate those of the heat. I really did try.

So much of the daily diabetes-things seem unpredictable and (semi)uncontrollable sometimes. I'm trying to take credit for the "good" numbers, but also trying to give myself credit for trying even when it doesn't end up going so well.

Saturday did not go well. I am lucky that it wasn't worse.

I am happy that I didn't ruin a fun day with diabetes-related "sick people stuff" that would have held up our water sports.

I am very, very happy that I had enough juice boxes around to keep my sugars from completely tanking.

On top of all of that, I can also say that I've learned something. It could have been worse, but it wasn't, and I can remember this next time I plan to take a short break from my pump.

I am feeling encouraged by the fact that I'm considering this as a learning opportunity. I certainly don't want to downplay what could have been a very serious, very dangerous situation, but I also don't want to dwell on it.

On a lighter note, I hope you had a fantastic Canada day! Cheers, folks! 🙂

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