Category Archives: Minimed

Time Flies.

Hello.

So it’s been over a year since I’ve last posted.  And I think that’s okay.  That just means I have a lot of important things going on in my life and nothing exciting to share 😉 I thought I’d not only give the site a make over but also provide some kind of update on what went on in the past year that flew right by!

The hubby and I took a couple of trips last year – back to Turks and Caicos (where we honeymooned) (and thankfully before the hurricane season), Boston, which is our favorite close-ish getaway spot and Alexandria, VA for the Diabetes Unconference.  Looking forward to doing some more traveling this year as well.

Health wise I am doing okay.  Totally recovered from the elbow surgery I had at the end of 2016.  I was very pleased at the outcome of that and it’s great to have a fully functioning arm again!  Anxiety wise, that is mainly under control although I did have another bout of panic attacks at the end of last year.  Those are not pretty.  I would not wish them on anyone.  Ever.  My PCP was extremely helpful during that time and sadly she has left the practice since.  So I cannot even thank her.  Cue the sad face.  I’ve had some PT recently for my existing back issue (spinal stenosis) which was becoming very bothersome.  I’m not sure if the PT actually helped but the bothersome-ness has lightened up a bit so I’m glad for that and hoping it continues. I had my first mammogram in the summer and had to actually go back for an ultrasound.  And then was asked to come back in 6 months to repeat both.  Talk about nerve wracking!  Thankfully all seems to be fine in the boob department.  I’m still dealing with gastroparesis flares.  It’s been a while since I’ve met with my gastroenterologist so I’m seeing her again soon.  Not sure if there are any new treatment options or not but it will be nice to catch up with her and discuss stuff.

I was able to try out the Freestyle Libre system a couple of months ago.  I used it in conjunction to my Dexcom system since it does not send alerts of low or high blood sugar readings.  And I do not want to go without those.  Otherwise it’s a great system.  Very easy to insert a sensor, the sensor is nice and small and very slim, accuracy was very good for me and very convenient to just hold the reader up to the sensor for a reading as opposed to doing a finger stick.  The 12 hour warm up period (for the US version) kind of stinks.

My portable pancreas has recently gotten a make over.  I am a long time OmniPod user (love that pump!) and Dexcom user (love that CGM!).  However I do like to have, or at least try, the latest D technology that is out there.  One thing that other pumps have over the OmniPod in my opinion, is more precise I:C ratios.  I am very insulin resistant so have pretty low ratios.  Even those don’t work well for me sometimes yet my endo hates to lower it even more.  With the Tandem and Medtronic pumps, you can have ratios lower than whole numbers, which seems to work in my favor.  Last year I traded in my Animas Vibe pump (before they actually announced they were going out of the pump business!) for the Medtronic 630G.  It had been a long time since I used a Medtronic product but I was pleased with the changes they made.  I liked the pump but it was my back up.  Shortly after that, the 670G hybrid closed loop system came out.  I didn’t think I was interested in that at first so didn’t initiate the upgrade program.  However, after some months of hearing experiences with it, I began to wonder if it would benefit me.  So I recently upgraded to the 670G and started in auto mode yesterday.  More to come on that………..

If I didn’t bore you to death, and you’re still reading, thank you 🙂 I will try to check in more often around here!

 

Diabetes Art Day.

So today is Diabetes Art Day.  I am SO happy I wasn’t as late in posting this as I thought I was going to be.

I loved catching up on the art day submissions little by little during the day.  I admire everyone’s creativity!  And a special thank you to Lee Ann, for starting such a fun event 🙂  I’m not all that creative but still love to add what I can come up with.  Usually Joe helps me out but this year I had the help of another friend.

I hate when I have bad diabetes days but hate it even more when my friends do.  Truth.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday.

I am an adult.  Yet like stated in my blog bio “I love cute furry animals (of both the live and the stuffed variety!)”  Evidence of this is my own Build-a-Bear collection pictured below.

Since I already had my own stuffed animal bunch, when I heard about Medtronic’s Lenny the Lion, and especially that he was available for purchase, of course I had to get myself one!  He is the softest, most cuddly lion around 🙂

I think it’s great what he stands for and wish when I was a little child with diabetes, something like Lenny was around.  But since it wasn’t, I’ll just have to enjoy him as an adult 😉

Impressions.

It’s been 6 days using the OmniPod insulin pump system for a trial period.  After the first few hours, I had a very positive first impression.  I am going to share what the following days have entailed as I know a few people have shown interest in my experience.

The first pod that I had placed on my back was scheduled to expire Friday evening.  That morning as I was riding the railroad to work, I noticed the batteries in the PDM were running low so thought I’d change them while I thought of it.  (I never let the batteries on any of my devices, diabetes or not, run all the way out) After putting the new batteries in, the PDM asked me to reset the date and time.  I didn’t think this was odd at first but then it told me that a pod deactivation was required.  No bueno.  Especially on the train.  I didn’t exactly know what was going on so in a panic, I texted Cherise who told me that it wasn’t normal for the PDM to do that during a battery change.  That made me feel better.  A little.  Since the PDM wasn’t allowing me to do anything else but deactivate the pod, that’s what I did when I got to work.  Luckily I had another with me and began the process to activate and insert a new one a bit earlier than planned.  This one I put on my right hip.  I went through the insertion process with no issues and the rest of the day went fine.  I also confirmed with the OmniPod CDE that this indeed was a fluke and should not happen.

Saturday afternoon, my BG started to rise for no obvious reason.  I checked the pod and saw a tad bit of blood around the cannula location.  After a few hours of rising BG, unsuccessful corrections and increased basal I decided to change the pod thinking that the absorption wasn’t fully working.  I wanted to try my arm this time so that’s where I put this pod.  I kept my basal increased for 2 hours or so but my BG wasn’t budging.  Patience? Yeah I don’t have much of that, especially when it comes to high BG.  I figured the arm site wasn’t working either (it was always hit or miss for me with infusion sets) and changed the pod yet again.  Since it was around 10pm and I was planning on going to bed soon, I chose my abdomen since I know I have no absorption issues there.  My BG came down nicely overnight.  Even a bit too much since I woke up low.  I was happy that the pod was apparently working.  Until around noon when my BG shot up to around 300 mg/dL for no obvious reason.  Since this doesn’t happen to me too often my first thought was that it was a pod issue.  But I didn’t want to jump the gun and change it yet again.  We went to a friend’s to watch the NFL playoffs and I went toting all my usual extra diabetes supplies plus my Ping pump and accessories.  Just in case.  Well things worked well and they still are going well.  So I’m inclined to now think it wasn’t a pod issue causing yesterday’s BG spike.  Saturday’s maybe since there was a bit of blood involved.  But I’ll probably never know for sure.

I have one pod left, with my current one scheduled to expire tomorrow night.  I’m really hoping to see this one through to its timely ending.  Overall I really like the system.  Being tubeless is actually better than I even imagined.  I keep feeling for my pump in my pockets and it’s not there!  It honestly feels like I have lost a part of me.  But in a good way.  I have to say the only drawbacks that I see are the size of the pods and the speed of bolus delivery like I mentioned originally.  More on those …..

The Ping pump delivers boluses very quickly.  The normal setting is 1 unit every second or the slow setting, which I use, is 1 unit every 4 seconds.  The Medtronic pump delivers at a slower rate of  0.15 units per second from what I’ve found online.  I believe the OmniPod CDE told me the pod delivers 1 unit every 40 seconds.  That’s a big difference. Now is one rate better than the other?  I’m not sure.  How I notice the difference is when I’m thinking of eating, I would have to pre-bolus more so with the pod.  Not really a deal breaker but something to consider.

Since infusion sets are so small, there are more options in terms of placement.  With the pod, since it’s bigger and more bulky, placement needs a bit more consideration.  I haven’t hated having them on my body though which is a good thing.  I think it’s something to get used to.  I feel that not being tethered may truly outweigh this slight incommodity.

Also, I know the fact the OmniPod does not factor in bolus for food when calculating insulin on board (IOB) poses an issue for some.  I’m not quite sure how I feel on this one.  Many times when the Ping would calculate me to take no insulin for either additional food after eating something prior or a correction within my set active insulin time frame, I would override the calculation to give some insulin.  Without taking too much and causing a low BG.  For me, OmniPod’s feature seems to be okay.

I’m going to make my decision in the next few days.  I’m very glad to have had this opportunity to trial the OmniPod.  I would highly recommend the same to anyone who may be considering it.  A special thanks to Leighann, Cherise, Penny and Scott for helping me out when I had questions.  Or issues.  Or was panicking.  🙂

*Once again, OmniPod had no part in this trial of their product or of my impressions using it.*

The Mio

Some of you may already know, I am extremely fortunate to own both the Animas Ping and the Medtronic Revel insulin pumps.  I’m not even quite sure how that worked out but I have both and do switch between the two.  Some of you may be wondering which one is better and in my opinion they are both very good devices, each with their own “perks” as you could call it.

One of the things I’ve always liked about the Ping is the Inset infusion sets.  They are colorful, a bit smaller on your body and come in their own insertion device.  I am one of those pump users who refuses to insert an infusion set manually.  Despite the fact that I took injections for about 25 years, jabbing an infusion set into my skin just makes me shudder!  All the years I used the Medtronic Quicksets, before using the Ping, I always used the serter device and had numerous in my possession in case one were to break.  Then a few months ago, they introduced the Mio set which to me looked very similar to the Animas Inset.  In the last order from MM, I got the Mios instead of the Quicksets and to be quite honest, they are exactly a replica of the Inset.

The picture above shows the Medtronic Mio on the left and the Animas Inset on the right.  See, they are exactly the same.  Which for someone like me, is a good thing.  The only differences (at least at the time I got them) is that Medtronic only offers the colors in the 6mm canula size where Animas offers both 6 and 9mm as well as Animas having an additional color to offer, green.  I was pleased with the new product and would recommend them to other Medtronic users.

(Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with either Medtronic or Animas and this post is just from my personal experience with either infusion set.)