Ashamed American.

This isn’t really diabetes related.  But it’s about a huge part of my life – my twin sister.  Many of you may know that her house in Staten Island, NY was ruined by Hurricane Sandy back in October of last year.  Her and my brother in law have been through absolute hell since then, trying to get their house repaired so they can move back.  Sadly, that is not feasible and they are trying to work out an alternative plan.  I actually wrote this some time ago and forgot about it.  It came up while talking with her over this past weekend and I thought I’d put it out there.

Imagine living in a country where you pay a decent amount of money each year toward government provided services.

Imagine paying for insurance every month, year after year, to cover your home and belongings in the event of a disaster.

Imagine living in a flood prone area and paying extra in insurance to protect your home and belongings in the event of a flood.

Now imagine surviving a major flood resulting from a super storm with a house, the one that is covered by both flood and home insurance and state and city taxes, that is almost completely destroyed. You would think your house could be rebuilt with the coverage you’ve been paying for, right?

Think again. In the US, NYC and NJ no less, there are thousands of families who have homes and businesses ruined from Hurricane Sandy. It has been just about 8 months since the storm and not one thing in terms of recovery has changed. The red tape that President Obama claimed would not play a role in the recovery from Sandy, is all over the place. Insurance companies are not paying for total damages, sometimes nothing at all. Banks are withholding insurance checks from clients. Mortgage companies are penalizing homeowners for not being able to pay mortgages on a home that is unlivable. And even padlocking those homes illegally.  It is a disgrace that this is how our state, city and government officials are allowing the recovery efforts to go. I am ashamed to live in a city, state and country where this kind of thing happens and its citizens are allowed to suffer like this.

Help me Choose. Please :-)

Medical alert bracelets. They are certainly not what they were 30 years ago when I was a child first diagnosed. Or even 10 – 15 years ago as an adult, veteran person with diabetes. Lucky for us that are in need of some form of medical identification, there are organizations like Lauren’s Hope that offer such a wide variety of ID’s that are actually quite nice looking. Pretty, if you will, for the ladies.

I have been wearing the same Lauren’s Hope medical alert bracelet for probably about 2 years or more now. It’s been with me through showers, getting tattoos, illness, workouts, daily commuting, sleeping, in Costa Rica, Barbados, North Carolina, Indianapolis, Boston. I love it and get a lot of compliments on it. Fortunately, I have never needed to use it other than to point it out to a TSA agent in a foreign country. But I like the peace of mind it gives me that the information is there should I need it.  However I tend to get bored with my accessories and like to have a variety. Lucky for me my friends over at Lauren’s Hope are offering to provide me with a new one so that I can try it out and review it for my readers! But I need your help. I cannot decide. They have so many to choose from, that fit my taste even, that I was hoping you could all vote for the one you like best. Once I receive the chosen bracelet, I will put up a product review for all of you. And there may even be a surprise for you later on!

Below are the three bracelets that I like. Please leave a comment here on this post with your choice. All comments must be received by this Friday, June 21st at 3pm EST. I appreciate your help! And if you haven’t already, take a look at what Lauren’s Hope has to offer. I’m pretty sure you’ll find something you like 🙂

Shades of Silver

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Olivia

 

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Eye Candy

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*Please note that although I am receiving a product from Lauren’s Hope at no charge, I am not being paid otherwise. The opinions of their products and services are my own. I think it’s unlikely but if I happen to dislike the bracelet I receive, I will be honest about it and include that as part of my product review.

New and Improved.

So it has been almost 3 weeks and a full box of pods since I have been using the new OmniPod system and thought I’d get a review out there for those who may be interested.  The first users that I know of were Melissa and Sarah that provided reviews as well.  I did start with a failed pod on my first try.  And I admit I was a bit concerned after that happened.  However it must have been a fluke since the rest have worked just fine.

The biggest difference, in my opinion, are the pods.  They are significantly smaller, thinner and lighter as advertised to be.  Are they still somewhat bulky?  Sure.  You cannot compare it to an infusion set.  However, compared to the original pods, there is a noticeable difference.

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Keep in mind that the original pods never bothered me in terms of getting in the way or showing through clothes.  But who doesn’t want a smaller, lighter pod to wear?  There is a new pink insert on the top of the pod that should be noticeable if the cannula is inserted properly.  They also changed the cannula color to light blue to be more visible after being inserted.  I however, find the blue cannula to be no more visible than the clear on the original pods since they also changed the housing edge of the pod to black.  Maybe it’s my vision but also not a big deal.

The PDM also went through a makeover.  It looks different on first glance since it’s black and not blue.  Other than that, it’s the same size with the same buttons on the front to operate it.  Nothing new to learn there.  There were many additional confirmation screens added to various functions of the PDM.  The main one you will notice immediately is the PDM ID screen.

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You must set a name and color for that screen and this will come up every time you turn the PDM on or enter a test strip for a BG test.  It can be a small pain in the rear to do this constantly but I have gotten mostly used to it.  I did not see the need for a safety feature like this however after viewing the training video, I can understand the need for it in say families that have multiple pod users.

There is a reminder an hour and a half after a new pod is activated to test your BG.

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The IOB (insulin on board) calculation has not only changed but is also now visible on the status screen, something I am extremely happy with.  There are times when this information is invaluable and one should not have to scroll through various menus or screens to find it.  Readily available – the way it should be.

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In the original system, IOB was calculated only with correction boluses.  With the new system, when the suggested bolus calculator is turned on, it will account for both correction and meal boluses for insulin on board.

There are also two new screens during the pod change process.  One showing more explicitly how to remove the pod’s needle cap and one showing how to properly apply the new pod.

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There is a new vibration mode for alerts.  I have most of the alerts/reminders turned off so the beeping of the PDM was never a bother to me.  But I still appreciate having this new option.  The functionality of the new PDM is not totally different.  And I think that can be a good thing for many.  Mainly a few new steps to get accustomed to, which I have already.

Overall I think the changes made by Insulet to the OmniPod system were good ones.  And I look forward to more positive changes to their system in the future.  Although hopefully the next ones will not take so long for us to see.

*Please note that since I am a current user of the OmniPod, I have not yet been upgraded by Insulet but instead purchased the new PDM out of pocket from a diabetes supply distributor.  I expect to still be officially transitioned at some point.