Ratios and rackets

15 11 2010

A couple quick things this week.

I’ve really been trying to tighten up my control, so I’ve been playing around with my lunch and dinner insulin-carb ratios.  I prefer to sit at 1:6.5, but that isn’t an option on the Animas.  I know that others, particularly those with insulin resistance, might appreciate having a few more options once you get below 1:10.

Another issue is that the pump is LOUD.  I use the combo bolus a lot and every 3 minutes I will be reminded of it.  ><  My work is relatively quiet and when I bolus for my Lean Cuisines, everyone in the office can hear it.  It’s great that the Animas is physically discreet, but I would love for it to be aurally discreet as well.

Questions about Animas pump

6 10 2008

I know at some point, I’ll need to replace Lucy.  I was poking around Animas’ website, and they have a GREAT demo of their pump.  I played with it a bit, trying to see how the things I do with Lucy would translate to the Animas.

One thing I noticed overall, is that there are WAY fewer customization options.  For example, when I want to do a meal bolus based on carbs, I can customize the scrolling amount (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15).  However, I didn’t see that option on the Animas.  There are a lot of other things I didn’t see, which kind of surprised me.

The major thing I found, though, is with the meal bolus itself.  I entered my carbs, entered my blood sugar, and it gave me a suggested amount (based on carbs, BS, IOB, etc).  HOWEVER, the amount to deliver defaults to ZERO, NOT the amount suggested.  In fact, the default button is the “Go” button.  If one were just to hit “OK” through all the prompts after entering your info, you would in fact deliver NO insulin for your meal.  This seems like a bad idea.  I would hate to take the time for every single bolus to scroll up to the suggested amount.  Is there a setting somewhere to change that?  I couldn’t seem to find it.

Relatedly, after you hit Go to deliver, it shows that your insulin is delivering and you hit any button to cancel.  Are you just supposed to sit there and wait for your bolus to finish delivering before touching anything else with your pump?  What happens if you accidentally press buttons?  All this seems like a sure recipe for accidental highs.

I am also frustrated with the interface for changing inuslin/carb ratios, correction factor, etc.  Each segment has its own screen, so it’s hard to see the big picture.

Anyway, I’m sure people who use the Animas all the time have a better idea of how to use their pump.  But for now, it looks like I’m sticking with my Cozmo.

Diabetes symposium rundown

9 11 2007

Last night, there was a little diabetes symposium thing at a local hospital. It was a bit of a drive, but the event was free, so I decided to check it out.

There were a number of booths for vendors, which was cool. I got to talk to people from Animas, a local shoe specialist, Abbott, Cozmo, Symlin, Omnipod, Dexcom, and other various local companies. And of course, there was TONS of free stuff. I managed to snag a Freestyle Lite!

Talking to the lady from Animas was nice. When I was looking into pumps, I wasn’t able to see an Animas in person, which definitely affected which pump I chose. I like the screen and the menus seem easy enough to use. I picked it up and asked if there was a way to change the screen contrast. The lady said there was, but I was like, “No. I want to see if I can figure it out myself.” Now, I had never touched an Animas before and had no idea how to use the buttons, but I was able to pick it up extremely quickly and I adjusted the contrast. Animas definitely gets points for that!

I looked at Symlin briefly, but I don’t think it’s going to be right for me. I don’t have particular problems with post-prandials being too high; it’s mostly that I want to lower all my numbers slightly overall. They do say that you’ll be using slightly less insulin and therefore have slightly less weight gain, but I’m pretty small already so it’s not a huge issue.

The Omnipod was neat. They gave out little plastic shells of the Omnipod to show what the size is. The pod itself seems pretty small, but it does stick up quite a bit. I generally wear very fitted clothing, so I’m not sure where I would be able to hide it. Also, the controller device seems HUGE! There’s no way I could clip that onto my pants and I would probably have to buy a bigger purse just to fit it. Sorry, Omnipod, but you just don’t fit my needs.

I have saved the best vendor for last: Dexcom. The guy was super nice and funny. I was really excited to see a unit in person. The transmitter thingy that goes into your body seems small enough. It’s a bigger profile than my infusion set, but much smaller than the Omnipod. The controller device, however, is still slightly large for my tastes. I had seen Bernard’s video of it and it didn’t seem that big, but I guess he just has larger hands than I do? So, I asked the guy where I would carry it since the range is only 5 feet. I don’t typically have pockets, and it’s probably too big to tuck into my sock. He said that they have a clip and I could have it on my pants, just like my pump and I could whip them out of their holsters when I needed them. Then he made a quick draw motion with the unit like he was drawing a gun. I had to laugh. =D

Hearing the guy talk about the Dexcom (his wife uses it!) makes me want one soooo bad. I would love to see trends and averages and have data every 5 minutes. There’s a reason Wil picked his CGMS over his pump when it came down to the wire. It’s clearly the best new technology out there. The guy said I was lucky because I have the only insurance in the area who will do a pre-auth for it, so I can find out if they will cover it before I buy it. Nice… It’s still going to be too expensive right now, but I will definitely be getting one before we are seriously thinking about having kids. Someday…

Moving on the guest speaker. That was…. next to useless. I think I should now point out that I am pretty sure I was the only Type 1 there. There might have been one guy that I saw who had a pump with some tubes, but I’m not 100% sure. Of course, I was easily the youngest person there. As such, most of the guest speaker’s comments were not really relevant to me.

Health care professionals and educators are struggling just to get Type 2s to test AT ALL, much less multiple times a day. Insulin is more of a side note instead of the entire focus, like it is with Type 1s. Most of the suggestions that the guest speakers used I was already doing. Count carbs, test before each meal, stay active, etc. They also suggested to keep an A1c below 7%. That’s a noble goal for Type 2s, but that’s just not good enough. I want my A1c below 6%. I’ve already got it down to 6.3, but I want it to be even better.

You would think that having diabetes would unite Type 1s and Type 2s, but it just seems that we are in completely different worlds. Talking to a few of the other people made me realize that I know way more about diabetes than any of them do. No wonder they struggle with getting their A1c down! It makes me think that I would enjoy a position in diabetes education, even if it was volunteer-based once a week or something. I will definitely have to look into that.

As a final note, I would like to share what was on the snack table: fruit, crackers, non-diet soda. Ummmm….. yeah….. To their credit, they did put out a cheese tray later and there was some hot water and tea, but still… You think they would pick better food for a DIABETES symposium. Yeesh.