31
Jan

I did this to myself

I know I have no right to complain.
My site was on day 4, and as an upper-butt-cheek-infusion-set, it has seen quite a bit of wear over the last 4 days.

My 6-day-lifespan sensor was restarted and was on day 8.
I postponed changing my site and sensor last night. "It's wasteful to change a site when I still have a half-day of insulin left."   "The infusion set doesn't even hurt that much. I'll just sleep on my other side again tonight."     "That sensor worked so well for its first round! It will be fine for a few more days."
The lies we tell ourselves to justify not having to change a site. Not having to feel that jab, twice, as two devices are inserted for 3- and 6- day spans (or 5 and 10, if you tend to stretch out your supplies like I do). All of this led to me sitting at work this morning with a splitting headache and a thirst like you wouldn't believe (I'm at almost 2L of water so far. Been at work for just over 2 hours). Cal reminder alarm prompted me to check my BG and to be quite honest, I probably wouldn't have bothered if not for that alarm. My cgm had me at 8.4 and dropping, so I wasn't worried.
Still, though. I should calibrate.

Fingerstick, 18.6 (335 mg/dL).
Well, then.
Working on a set change with this kind of headache is challenging. I rip open an alcohol swab, then stop. Squint. Rub my aching temples. What was I doing? Oh, right. Syringe, wipe top of insulin bottle. Use now-disconnected pump to calculate the correction dose. Deliver correction.
Another alcohol swab. What was this one for? Wipe top of insulin bottle, feeling vaguely like I've already done this. Think back, pushing through the throbbing haze of red that clouds my head and makes coherent thought a distant memory. Aha! Yes, I did do this.
Do it again. Change infusion set. Charge transmitter. Replace sensor. Look at the mess of medical waste and wonder why I didn't do this yesterday.

Looks like I have some tidying to do...

14
Jan

Openaps progress, January 2017

I've got the pi recognizing my pump. I can send commands from the pi to the pump. Working on reports (I think) to summarize data now.
I'm also learning that there is an entire community of openaps folks online who provide tons of help, suggestions, & encouragement. Exciting stuff!!

2
Dec

A bit of excitement on a Friday afternoon

This was this afternoon's little slice of joy: learning that some hardware got delivered!

Canada post delivery notification

One piece of what I need to build myself an #openaps rig has arrived! I've got enough now to get started.

Hoping to make some progress this weekend :-)!

28
Sep

Mildly interesting news

& I promise that a fair bit of thought went into this post name. I can't call it a big change. I tried to be excited, I really did, but a vague possibility of a new device that will be available in my region in an unspecified* number of years** is not really something that makes me feel particularly optimistic.
Still, it's a new development, and I do believe that any move towards a true artificial pancreas is a good thing -- even if it's likely to be a little while before it makes it to Canada.

So here, behold. Medtronic's latest and greatest: the 670g.

*The lovely Medtronic Canada staffer who took my call this afternoon assured me that across the corporation, staff have no knowledge of anything involving Canadian device approval. She clarified that it is not a case of them being prevented from discussing yet-to-be-approved devices; rather, Medtronic has said zilch about the 67og's availability in other countries.
**Just a guess. "Years" is hopefully a bit of a stretch. I imagine its probably going to be 1-2 years, especially since they're not even going to ship in the US until spring of 2017.

6
Jul

Keeping it together: Wedding Planning Edition

I thought I have been doing quite well.
Sure, I've had a few more lows than usual. Sure, stress can do that. And sure, I keep having to remind myself after treating these lows that maybe it's time to slash away at my basal rates so these lows happen less often, but then I forget right up until the next 2.7 is staring me in the face.
Then this happened,  and I found myself sitting in my office 2 days ago with an empty pump and a 6-day-old infusion set. That may be the norm for some, but I usually try to keep to a 3- or 4-day site rotation, so 6 is a bit much. Limiting sets to 3 or 4 days usually easy for me, since I've never made it past day 4 with any insulin left in my reservoir.
I think at this point it's safe to say that despite my best (okay, my medium-est) efforts, wedding planning has bested me. Diabetes care has fallen by the wayside. I'm still here, still bolusing for food and chowing back on glucose tablets when I'm low, but being proactive about my self-care is taking a backseat to all of the wedding stuff.
So, step 1 has been Recognizing The Need For Change. I guess step 2 is actually doing it.  On that note, I will upload my cgm data to Carelink when I get home tonight. I will. Tonight.
I mean, not right away tonight. We have a meeting with the wedding DJ after work. But after that. Definitely.

10
Sep

Ben says WAKE UP (or, Blood Sugar Dog to the rescue)

Pump says low.

Melody says shhhh pump, I  sleep.

Boyfriend is not home.

Pooch says NO HUMAN WAKE UP YOU ARE BEEPING WAKE UP EMERGENCY OMG OMG OMG.

image

Low alert

Thx pooch.

5
Jun

News from Medtronic: the Minimed Connect

I saw something cool on my Facebook feed tonight: Minimed Connect will be available in the US sometime in the Fall of 2015.

 

What is Minimed Connect? It's an uploader that sends pump and sensor info to a smartphone, which then reads it via the smartphone app and lets you view your pump info via phone. It doesn't allow you to control  your pump, but it does let you set a "text message threshold" which will send out a text to friends/family/loved ones if your sensor glucose levels are too high or too low.

The uploader also sends your sensor data to your Carelink Personal account every 24 hours, so those reports will always be up-to-date in case you or your doctor want to log in and check out that info.

I feel like this will help out with the "pump alarms aren't loud enough" problem. It will definitely also be nice to have Carelink data updated automatically, rather than the current system that requires that the user manually upload their data (in my case, frantically the night before every endo appointment :P).

 

The article (and the ensuing comments) mention that the release is in the US only, and will cost around $200. They do not expect the device to be covered by any insurance carriers.

 

The comments also mention that they have no info about a Canadian release for now. I hope they provide an update about the Canadian release sometime soon!

2
Jun

When health stuff is all I've got going on

Sometimes I feel like diabetes doesn't leave me with very much left to work with. When I ask someone how their weekend went and in return they ask me the same, I sometimes struggle to come up with a description for my days that doesn't revolve around diabetes. I have entire days where all I can remember is the thirsty, bloaty, exhaustion-filled highs that wouldn't come down or the trembling, sweaty lows that shake me to my core.

 

I know that life isn't all about taking care of diabetes. Health and disease management should only be one part of a complete and balanced life. It makes me wonder, at times, what has to give in order to find that balance. Do you give up on tight BG control in order to gain back some flexibility in life? Or give up some of life in order to achieve a better A1C? The bums-me-out-that-it's-one-or-the-other thing aside, I feel right now as though I'm erring on the side of better BGs, and as a consequence I'm missing out on other things.

 

I need to figure out how to fix that. Until I get to that, you can find me working on some solid non-diabetes-related lies to tell people when they ask about my weekends.

 

13
Apr

Bargaining?

I sometimes find myself negotiating with myself to downplay the gravity of my diabetes care. "Oh, I've been waking up high all week? ...Yeah, but yesterday I tidied the main floor AND vacuumed. PLUS, I emptied the garbage for the whole house this week so that Boyfriend didn't have to, because on garbage night he was out at his mom's place fixing that crack in the drywall beside the kitchen counter, so he would have been too tired to do the garbage, soo......yeah. I should get a pass on the diabetes thing. I'm obviously too busy to retest overnight basals."

 

"I wore an infusion set for 5.5 days last week? Yeah, BUT the DCM at work (A manager who is, I think, 5 or 6 managerial levels up above my boss) came to our office with a rush request on a Friday afternoon, so I stayed suuuuuper late on a Friday. I was crazy-efficient though! I produced everything that they needed for their meeting on Sunday!"

 

Or, my favourite, "I wore an infusion set for 5 days again? Well, that's 5-days-ago-Melody's fault. She shouldn't have filled the reservoir with enough insulin to last 5 days. She should've only filled it with 3 days' worth."

 

 

 

Sometimes I wish I knew some other actual, real-life diabetics, so I could figure out whether this is a thing we all do. I feel as though if others do it too, that makes it less bad. I'm sure there's a word for that.

3
Mar

Bubbles!

I want to ask Medtronic what they recommend when pump-users find laaaaarge air bubbles in their tubing.

Bolusing it out (while disconnected, of course!) might work, but it will count all of that insulin as IOB/Active Insulin, which can severely mess with bolus or correction calculations for the next 4 hours.

Re-priming it isn't as simple as it seems. In order to re-prime you have to let the cartridge rewind, which requires removing the reservoir from the pump.
Problems with this:
1) The little plastic nubbins that lock the reservoir into place tend to break off when the reservoir is removed from the pump. I have not found a way to be gentle enough to keep them attached while removing the reservoir.

2) It counts this re-prime as a set change, which will skew data on how frequently set changes occur.

 

 

This issue was particularly frustrating on Friday, as my workday started with a LOW RESERVOIR alarm on my pump.

I checked my settings, and - grrrrr - I was a day overdue for a set change. I guess the set had just been comfortable enough that I didn't notice I was on day 3 on Thursday. The LOW RES alarm wasn't a problem though, as it triggers the alarm when I've still got 20 units left in my reservoir, and 20 units is more than enough for basal insulin over my workday plus a lunchtime bolus for food.

The story doesn't end there, though!

Not long after the low res alarm, I visited the bathroom and had a chance to actually look at my infusion set (it was sitting in the top of my thigh). I was quite surprised (and more than a little upset) to notice that my tubing was decorated with tiny spots and differently-coloured flecks. Closer inspection revealed that I actually had some pretty huge air bubbles all along the length of my tubing.

I removed my reservoir (breaking one of the two tiny clips in the process) and restarted the set, which allowed me to re-prime my tubing... but by then I was down a few more units of insulin in my pump. By the end of my workday, sitting there with only 4.4 units left in my pump had me a bit on edge. Grrr!

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