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.