Monday, October 19, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...

The Good:

I've been on my pump for almost a whole week and I am enjoying it very much! I don't know if I have said this but I really love not having to take a shot all the time!! I have had some interesting numbers over the weekend so we will see what the doc says tomorrow and if he changes anything. I tested out the temp basal rate function while I mowed my grass on Sunday. This is basically a function that I can use to tell the pump to give me less insulin while I do physical activity. So I told it to give me 50% of my normal rate for an hour. I don't know if I just didn't eat a big enough snack or need to go with a higher percentage because I still got low. Oh well, its still a neat feature and I'll keep playing with it till I get it right. I also got this leg band that I wear at night to sleep in. It holds my pump nice and snug and is actually quite comfy.

The Bad:
Well on Saturday we had to put our diabetic cat Ashes down. It was a sad day. He had been diabetic for 2yrs and the past 6mo or so have been pretty rough for him. He was good cat and very lovable. He did have a great 15yr life though so that is a positive. Im sure his little sis Zea will miss him even though she may not act like it. It was kind of neat sharing this disease with a cat for a while and definately a great conversation peice. I will miss that the most.

The Ugly:
I guess there really isn't any ugly, I just figured I should finish the phrase...hehe.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

No more needles....kind of

So I made this realization yesterday that I will no longer have to carry needles with me. One of the first thing I did to get ready to be on the pump was to transfer to my new tester. I really liked my old tester but the new one sends my sugars automatically to the pump so it just makes since to go to it. Luckily it uses the same test strips, not only that the test strips that came with the tester are the same code as the ones I have now! So after I mixed the two containers into one, I started moving over my lancets and needles. Then it dawned on me, why am I moving over my needles? It was a happy moment. A little later that day I was standing next to Alyssa and put my hand in my pocket and found a cover to a needle. I looked at her and said "Hey! You are going to be soooo happy you wont find these in the washer anymore!" I thought she would really like this idea, but she just rolled her eyes and said you are such a dork. I can't argue with her there, but I know deep down inside she was happy as can be! HAHA!!

Now I can't say I don't have to carry some kind of needle, because it is good to have a syringe near by just in case something goes wrong with the pump I can still get insulin. Let that be the tip of the day, hehe.

T + 1 Day

Its been 24hrs since being on the pump and............I think I really like it!! First thing in the morning was my training with Cathy and it was fantastic! She told Alyssa and I everything we needed to know to get me going and I think doing the pump training helped out a ton! It made all the things she was telling me review for the most part, except for some good stuff that wasn't in the book or training. Thanks Cathy! I really have to thank everyone at Medtronic because they have been wonderful! During the training I learned that Cathy and my sister have actually worked together on JDRF functions so it was good to have a personal connection with her too.

I think the thing that surprised me the most was how long the needle is to insert the silhouette (the place the insulin comes out of). I have to say that the insertion process is very painless, so that was nice. I got all hooked up and was off to work. When I got in I showed it off to a couple of people then went on with my day. Had a normal lunch with 70g of carbs and a BG of 187. So the pump said I want to give you 9.1u of insulin. I thought that was a little off so I looked to see the explanation and it said, 8.7u for food, 2.2u for the correction to get me to my goal of 110 then since i have 1.8u of active insulin still working I'm not going to give you the math works out like this. 8.7+2.2-1.8=9.1u. So I said Ok, do it! It took about a min or so then I heard the beep-beep-beep...telling me it was done.

About 2hrs after lunch I checked my sugars and they were 158 an hour after that 38!!!! This kind of freaked me out b/c I haven't been that low in, well ever! So I drank my juice and rechecked in 15min and was back up to 93 so I felt better. Maybe it was a fluke or something. Then around 2hrs later dropped again! This time to 53, but really doesn't matter? This really scared me a bit because I didn't want this to keep hapening through out the night. So I called Cathy real quick and she told me to eat something with protein to help keep them up. So I made myself a PBJ and sure enough that helped a lot. By dinner I was 127 and feeling great! At bedtime I was 113 and no lows in between. Wheww!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Last Shot!!

So today is the day before my pump start and I am very excited!! Over the weekend I have had to change my Lantus schedule from taking it at dinner to lunch for 2 days then breakfast for 3 days, then I would be off of it totally! I took my last shot of Lantus at 7am this morning, now I don't know what I am going to do with the extra two pens I have! I guess I'll just save them for a rainy day :)

I am sitting here and watching my crazy cat jumping off the walls and it got me thinking I sure hope she doesn't think the tube to my pump isn't a new toy for her! I think she will be ok. Anyways, not only am I done with taking Lantus shots but I am technically done with my Novolog shots too! I know it is possible I could and will probably have to take a shot from a syringe but the day of 3-5 shots a day are over! Tomorrow is a new day and I get to basically start fresh, just like I did 6 years ago.

The MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time System

So I met with Amy from Medtronic and she showed me the ins and outs of the pager sized pump. She let me hold it, push the buttons and clip it on my belt and pocket to see what it felt like. She showed me how to put the insulin in connect it to the pump. I was able to see a what the infusion set looked and felt like up close and suprisingly it wasn't that big.

So the last thing I go to do was stick the infusion set on top of my skin and connect it to the pum as if I was actually on it and see how the whole thing looked and felt. I was very happy on how it really looked just like a pager!! But I knew that his was going to change my life not be nusance like a real pager is.

At that point I was ready to go! I got all my insurance settled and put my pump on order. I was surpprised when I got it just two days later!! The bad thing was I couldn't do anything but look at it for 2 weeks. My doctor makes all his new pump patients go through a beginner class of carb counting and pump management. It is a 3hr class but well worth it, especially if you don't know how to carb count. Luckily I do so I was able to help others around me if they needed it. We even used my carb to insulin ratio as an example. I would recomend you going to this even if it isn't mandatory, plus you get to play with a pump while you are there. It ISN'T a high pressure sales meeting so don't think of it like that. Lisa, the trainer who lead my meeting, was terrific. She really is there to help, even if you aren't on a pump. I also completed an online pump school, which you can find here, and it really showed me a lot of the things the pump can do and teaches you basic carb counting too. Now I have done all mandatory pre-requisits and have to wait one week for my pump start!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Omnipod

The Omnipod system. I first thought what a great idea! No tubes and everything is done from a PDA! Sign me up. I got the test kit home and tried it on. I have to admit, it wasn't that uncomfortable. It was more odd feeling than anything, but I thought I could get used to it. I put on my stomach and wore it for three days. It did itch a little bit and was kind of weird when I forgot about it and happened to scratch my stomach and this thing was there. So after the three days I was pleased and was going to tell my Dr at my next visit what my next steps should be. I got to my Dr and told him that I tried that out and he was pleased but he wanted to show me the Medtronic Paradigm system too. He was telling me the Omnipod isn't that bad of a system for kids or anyone who is reluctant on getting a pump because it is easy to use and easy to hide. So he took me over to another room where they had a computer set up and proceded to login to a web based interface that the Medtronic pump connects with. Now being a tech geek this immediately sparked my interest. He showed me all the graphs and log book features that he or I can go back and review. For example, if I am having an issue getting my sugars under control for a certain time during the day, I can call him up and tell him too look at my logs and see if he can help me out. He will then log into my account and see exactly how many carbs I have eaten, my basel rate and any boulus I gave my self. If I have the continuous glucose meter he can see where my sugars were the whole time. This just blew me away. The Omnipod didn't seem that high tech to me. After my visit I had decided to go back to medtronic and talk to another rep. This time I wanted to test it out and talk one on one. After that visit, I was sold.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Money Money Money!!!

I have always liked the Pink Flyod song Money, but some how when I got the price it was going to cost me to get my pump even that couldn't cheer me up. Now I had no idea how much these things cost so when I got my total I was kind of speachless. I had a fairly large deductible, but I was thinking there is no way I was going to hit that. But I did and more!! Medtronic does have a great no intrest payment plan but at the time I was still paying off my wedding and some other things so I decided to hold off. Two years later and my RPN asked me again, "Have you thought about a pump?" I told her the story and that my wife was thinking she wasn't sure about the tubing and she mentioned to me the OmniPod! What a pump without tubes!! Sent me home with a test kit to see how I would like it and said to come back and tell her what I thought. So I did and can I say I was impressed!!

Decision Time

Well, I made the decision to go on an insulin pump. It only took me 3 years!! It all started when I was 25. I had a good job, decent insurance and great healthcare team. I was finally getting used to the idea of takingmultiple shots a day and didn't have that bad of an A1c. It was hovering around 7. I was pretty proud of myself, then my RPN asked me if I had thought about a pump? I said not really, I thought mostly kids wore those. I was wrong. It is a great thing for kids but people from all ages wears them. So she gave me some pamphlets and I went home and looked them over. The medtronic one caught my eye right away. I called the rep and she wanted me to go attend a class where they talk about their productsand we could holdthem and play with them. I was all about it. So my wife and I went. It was a good experienceand really got me excited to get it. Filled out all the paper work and awaited the call to see how much this was going to cost me.