Still pumping with the t:slim

And I haven’t given up!
I thought it would be more difficult to switch pumps – it’s been many years of listening to F√ľr Elise as a reminder that, “Yo, you are going to run out of insulin.”

Thanks to some great training, and a bunch of cheat sheets, and a lot of deep breathing, I’ve survived my almost first week with my t:slim.

Some pros:
* I have a new friend and she’s a fabulous, patient, fun lady who happens to train people how to use the t:slim.
* I absolutely adore just punching in numbers as opposed to scrolling numbers on the Ping meter or Animas pump.
* I really, really like having my Dexcom screen on the pump.
IMG_2143 (361x640)* That cute little insulin puddle with the splash screen makes me smile.
* I like charging the pump instead of batteries. I’ve just been plugging it in while I’m in shower in the morning and it’s been good to go. (Now – I’m not a camper so I can see how that might be an issue for people who do the great outdoors thing.)
* For whatever reason, my numbers have been great, maybe even needing some adjustment for jumping too low every now and then. I don’t why – some have said the slower infusion speed. Whatever, I’m happy with it. (see cons…)
* It beeps if I forget to follow through on a command. (see cons…)

Some cons: (and these are not enough for me to try anything else, they’re just slightly annoying)
* The clip. The pump fell off more in one week than my previous pump ever slipped off. So I fixed it. Sort of… Duct tape to the rescue!
* The inset change takes a whole lot of time and I’m hoping it will be easier as I go along. (ya shoulda seen us doing changes 9 years ago when I first started pumping – so I have faith & hope for improvement!)
* The cartridge change has a whole lot of parts.
* It sends the insulin VERY slowly through the tubing. Like really, really s l o w l y . . .
* But – it beeps when it’s done. Huh? What’s that beep?
* It beeps and very often, I can’t figure out why it’s beeping. Kinda like having a new baby. ūüôā

Other notes…
* Will Dubois wrote about this over at Diabetes Mine back in December, 2015.
Ask D’Mine: How Speedy Is Your Insulin Pump?
* And from my friend Laddie over at Test, Guess and Go, I remembered this quote, “Tandem pumps use a patented ‚ÄúMicro-Delivery‚ÄĚ process and can take a couple of minutes to infuse a bolus.” So I wasn’t too surprised – sort of.
* My clip trick? A couple of tiny strips of duct tape wrapped around the end. Hasn’t fall off since!

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All done! Beep!

Pumping with Tandem t:slim X2

I began pumping with an Animas pump in 2009 and now…

Pumping with Tandem t:slim X2!

The delivery! Look at all this stuff!
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I did not read the manual. There are 348 pages for pete’s sake! (I hardly ever read manuals. Drives my husband nutty.)
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I had promised the trainer that I wouldn’t start it up until she had been here. But, I played with the buttons.
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I copied all my settings to Diasend, printed them out for the trainer for the t:slim.IMG_2119 (640x480)     IMG_2118 (1) (480x640)

I had ordered a pump skin earlier in the week from Tallygear.com.IMG_2124 (640x430)

On Monday morning, I assembled all the stuff. Good grief!
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Wanting to dress appropriately for this occasion – I had to choose a d-shirt.IMG_2120 (480x640)

Goodbye Animas Ping. We had a great friendship! (Taken before setting up the t:slim, therefore the clock isn’t set.)
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Who knew that learning how to use a new pump could be fun? Erica, the Tandem trainer for up here in the woods – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont – came to the house. We enjoyed lunch from a nearby deli and then we began.
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And then we hooked up Dexcom. Amazingly, my transmitter had been showing signs and warnings of departure (aka time for a new one), so we paired up a new one with the pump and my phone.
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Thanks Erica, for teaching me how to use my new t:slim!IMG_2137 (1) (640x480)

And this morning is a beautiful morning.
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Insulin Pump Training

Way back in 2009, in order to use an insulin pump, my endo’s office required a series of classes. I got to skip one class as I showed up with my Omnipod sample pod along with tons of documents about the other pumps available at the time. Thanks to the DOC – Diabetes Online Community, I was (at the time), the most well informed soon to be pumping d-patient they’d seen. And I knew I wanted the Animas. I’m so, so going to miss the remote bolusing from the Ping meter. I will really, really miss it.

On Monday, a Tandem trainer is coming to our home to do the T:slim X2 start up with me. I’ve been good. I haven’t started it – yet. And to be honest, I probably won’t before we meet on Monday. I know, I’m a wimp. But – I’m a very organized wimp. I no longer have the Animas stuff on my computer after a lightning hit last summer – but got my pump settings downloaded using Diasend. I also have all my recent Dexcom numbers thanks to Clarity.

IMG_2127I’m now a Medicare patient but – have enough Dexcom supplies to last me for a couple of months. So – I don’t need to order Dexcom stuff and so… Medicare won’t know/care that I’m using my iPhone to get my Dexcom info. That whole iPhone thing drives me nuts. We do not live close to an ambulance service. If I had an issue it would take awhile for help to arrive. Having the “Share” available so there are two of us to get any low alerts, helps keep me alive. My transmitter is almost dead but I have two in the box to go when ready. (I’m frugal and annoying.) I’m using expired/almost expired sensors and so far (knock on wood..), so good. Although – tonight it said I was HIGH (I’ve never seen that) (see those two dots up there at 400? NOT!) when the number was around 120. Did a couple of calibrations and it seems to be settling down.

IMG_2126And this evening? Well – the snow is gone, the Official Ice Out – a VERY big deal up here on Lake Winnipesaukee – has been announced and we were able to enjoy a cocktail on the porch. Life is good.

 

Day 2 – D-Blog Week

Click here for the The Cost of a Chronic Illness – Tuesday 5/16 Link List
Insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies can be costly.  Here in the US, insurance status and age (as in Medicare eligibility) can impact both the cost and coverage.  So today, let’s discuss how cost impacts our diabetes care.  Do you have advice to share?  For those outside the US, is cost a concern?  Are there other factors such as accessibility or education that cause barriers to your diabetes care?  (This topic was inspired by suggestions from Rick and Jen.)

I’m getting ready to transition to Medicare – and that scares the sh*t out of me.

Back to Medicare – I’m petrified. We’ve scheduled an appointment with a local woman (she sounds really young but was well recommended by a local insurance agent) to analyze and look at what we can do as far as plans – advantage, supplement, prescription. She said, “You’ll need to have a list of any prescriptions you use.” Poor girl – she’s going to be awed. (Or she might just run away from us!)

I NEVER thought I’d be working at my age. We both worked hard to make it possible to retire and enjoy our retirement. Diabetes brought that to a screeching halt. For new d-friends, I was dx’d at age 55. I’ve said I’d give up my pump before my Dexcom if given a choice. I know they’re approved now but – it looks like there will be some bumps before it, Dexcom, is totally available.

And… it truly and honestly bothers me immensely that there are people who are not able to afford the d-medications that they need to stay alive. Give me a break. NO ONE should be denied medications needed to STAY alive.

PS – I truly LOVE comments and I know everyone else does, too. But… I’m going to do comment catching up after D-Blog week. If I do comments now they’ll all say, “Nice!” or “Thank you for posting this.” I’m really looking forward to meeting new bloggers and catching up with some of “been around for some time” bloggers.

2016 Diabetes Blog Week – Wednesday

Click for the Language and Diabetes – Wednesday 5/18 Link List.
There is an old saying that states ‚ÄúSticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me‚ÄĚ. I’m willing to bet we’ve all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes. Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don’t care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to ‚Äúperson with diabetes‚ÄĚ versus ‚Äúdiabetic‚ÄĚ, or ‚Äúchecking‚ÄĚ blood sugar versus ‚Äútesting‚ÄĚ, or any of the tons of other examples? Let’s explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.

I used to worry about the words. I’m old enough now that most of the words don’t bother me.

So for today, I’m going to go spend some time reading and commenting!

Oh wait! Medicare & CGMS
Those two words (ok – those five words) are on my mind every single day.
Have you contacted your state government officials to let them know that it’s VERY important that Medicare approve CGMS’s?
Please take the time to do that. Please?

It’s easy!

Follow this link. And thank you!

http://jdrf.org/take-action/advocacy/cgm-medicare-coverage/

And – as much as I love comments – given a choice, please follow the link and contact your state’s government officials and SKIP leaving me a comment.

Thanks, again!

Colleen

 

Still blogging after all these years…

I’m going to do the bullet thing because…

I can!

  • We each got a Fitbit for Christmas. When you’re older and there’s no you know who, you go to the store together and buy the presents. (BB&B Coupons!) He is way ahead of me when it comes to the steps. I’m even on the treadmill (yes, again) (I dusted it off) and he’s still ahead.
  • Sigh…
  • We still do a couple of surprise gifts for each other but don’t go overboard. (We do not need more STUFF!)
  • I just heat sealed/bagged 4 dozen plus cookies. I don’t want them to go bad and I’m sure they’ll be a yummy treat in the greyness of February.

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  • Shoveling snow is good for my blood sugar.
  • Eating the most incredible chocolate chip cookie – which I’ve decided might be around 35/40 carbs – destroyed the joy of shoveling. But it was worth it.
  • Sigh…
  • I’m looking forward to a quiet New Year’s Dinner with friends. It’s an early dinner and in all likelihood – we’ll be asleep long before midnight.
  • I like using Dexcom G5.
  • I like using the iPhone as my receiver because – if I misplace it, I just have to call it.
  • I silence the iPhone at night and use the Dexcom receiver to beep and do the “shake, rattle, and roll” thing.
  • My new car does the Bluetooth thing with my phone – WHY can’t it show my BG on the car screen? (That would be nifty!)
  • If my parents were still alive, today would be their 67th wedding anniversary. They were pretty awesome parents!

My grandmothers and my parents.

My grandmother on the right probably was a Type 1 Lada, before there was such a thing. She was diagnosed in her 20’s with “adult” diabetes.

DesmondWedding

 

I Did It

2015-12-17 01I did it. I ordered the Dexcom G5. I have it.

(The ordering process is a whole ‘nother blog post…)

I just did the fake “Yes, I inserted a new sensor.” this morning so it’s been¬†one whole¬†week!

I like it. I really like it.

I leave the receiver at home while I’m at work. I only have to find my phone and that’s not so bad since I can call it if I lose it. And hope that I haven’t shut off the ringer.

I’m still figuring out some stuff. I still don’t have a clue how Diasend is going to work. Or even if it works.

Clarity works – automatically from the phone so that helps.

Phone staying charged hasn’t been too bad. I bought new, longer charging cords for the bedroom for each of us so that we’re not having to unplug it just to look at it.

M’s had more no info issue than I have. He’s on as a follower/sharer. I’m not sure what the¬†problem is (or what I did wrong…)¬†but it’s been better the last day or two so maybe it’s not a problem. I wish.

I’m using the receiver at night and putting the phone on vibrate.¬†The receiver is¬†in a glass dish on my nightstand. I almost always hear it so, it works.

I had a couple of questions and ended up speaking with a CDE at Dexcom. She was very helpful – has Type 1 – and wears a pump and Dexcom.

I’ve said this before – I may have written it before but… If I could only have one D-machine, I’d choose Dexcom.

Keep writing those letters to your representatives and senators. We need Dexcom and other CGMS to be approved (and paid for) by Medicare. And it’s not just those of us of a certain age that need your help with this. Medicare approval helps all of us when it comes to having and using a CGMS that’s provided by insurance.

Speaking of which, our insurance changes January 1. I have NO clue what’s going to be covered/not covered, etc…

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holiday or a Nice Day. Whatever make you smile and feel good!

Learning from the D-Blogs

I have always enjoyed learning something new. I’d prefer that my new knowledge NOT be related to Diabetes but – you take what you can get.

I keep juice boxes in my car most of the year. And I have to be honest, sucking down a box of hot juice in August is not fun. But, even less fun is trying to suck down a partially frozen box of juice in February. Only happened once because – I enjoy learning.

But – I didn’t know that glucose tablets don’t freeze. And I doubt that heat kills them so – My jumbo jar of Wal-Mart glucose tablets will now stay in the car – hot and or cold.

Where did I learn this? That Canadian D-gal – Scully and her Hacks!

Inserting Dexcom by myself in my arm? There are several d-people who have recorded a bunch of “how to’s.”

The one that helped me was Kim’s – a couple of years ago. I was quite annoying with my Yay! I did its! on Facebook that day. I still ask my husband for help most of the time – cuz it’s easier. But at least I know that I can do it, if I have to do it.

And – I don’t use OmniPod but – the first time I watched Caleb do his –¬†by himself (with a little help/advice)¬†– I was just as thrilled as if I’d been his mom. He was so¬†proud and it gave me the courage to keep on working on this d-stuff, even when it’s not easy. He’s older now – and even cuter!

So – d-bloggers need to keep on teaching. You never know who you’re giving some much needed courage to keep on keeping on.

 

Me & the Anesthesiologist

And by the way, he was one of the cutest anesthesiologists I’ve ever seen. Not that I’ve met a whole lot of anesthesiologists…

When you reach a certain age, a colonoscopy is recommended. The one this week was my third. I’m on the five year plan as they’ve found and removed polyps each time. I don’t whine as I had two good friends who died due to colon cancer.

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And as much as I¬†hate, hate, hate doing the prep thing… I really, really hate it…

And this year, I decided to fix an abdominal hernia that was becoming annoying.

So I did both this week. (Oh, and my husband is a saint.)

2015-04-08I did the prep. My blood sugars were really quite amazing during the entire time. A couple of quick lows that a few sips of regular ginger ale took care of nicely.

Arrived at the hospital at 8am and began the whole prep for surgery thing. (And Dexcom and the hospital meter matched – the nurse was awed. So was I…) This was my first time with general anesthesia (2 C-sections but that’s been all). The nurses were awesome and everyone wanted to look at Dexcom. They hadn’t seen one. And they wanted to know who implanted the Dexcom transmitter… They were surprised when I said I did it¬†once a week – by myself.

I cannot tell you how many times this was said, “You must be a very brittle diabetic.”

Um, no. The pump and the cgms are tools used by any person with diabetes. Even the youngest children have them. “Really?!”

And then the anesthesiologist arrived. And he asked how to work the Ping and the Dexcom. Quick lesson with a strong reminder¬†that a finger stick had to be done as confirmation of any Dex info that was going to result in insulin or glucose¬†– ¬†and I was down the hall and out. The Dexcom was placed on a tray – and the Ping was hooked to my hospital gown’s neck. I checked my dex and history button later and there was a 200 with a one unit bolus halfway through the surgery.

When I saw¬†the anesthesiologist¬†after, I told him it was awesome that he’d used them. He wanted more info about Dex. I told him I was especially appreciative of the Dexcom when driving.¬† He told me his father had Type 1 and had a car accident due to a hypo. I told him I’ve had several times where I either pulled over to treat or didn’t even leave work when Dexcom alerted me to a lower blood sugar.

So, my innards got¬†cleaned and checked and I’m good for another five years.

And the weird lump on my abdominal area is gone (well, I think it is – there’s a huge bandage there right now – I get to take it off and joy, joy take a shower tomorrow!).

Oh – and one of the nurses has a sister with Type 2. She said she knows her sister wishes she had someone to talk to about Diabetes. I let her know about the DOC and will be sending her some blog addresses.

Oh – then it snowed last night. A couple of inches. Sigh…

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