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.


6 things for 6 years

9 11 2010

Happy D-blog Day!

To celebrate the 6th annual d-blog day, here are 6 things I think people should know about diabetes.

  1. Yes I can eat that! With the advent of insulin pumps and CGMS, there is no real reason I can’t eat whatever I want.  Not to mention that sugar-free stuff just plan tastes nasty.  If I’m going to eat the carbs anyway, it might as well be something delicious.
  2. Taking insulin is not “bad”. I do not have it “really bad” because I have to take insulin. My body simply doesn’t make insulin anymore, so I need to replace it manually.
  3. I’ve got it, but sometimes I need help. Most of the time, I am super aware of all the intricacies of what’s going on in diabetes-land.  I know that my blood sugar is going up, but it’s okay because I just ate and I know I bolused accurately, etc.  Or that I may be dropping, but that’s good because I was high before.  However! Sometimes I am low and I don’t know why and I need someone to cut me some slack and get me some Starburst.
  4. My CGMS is amazing. This thing catches everything.  It tells me when I’m high; it tells me when I’m low; it tells me when I’m going up or down too fast; it will remind me later if things haven’t improved.  Because of this device, I have kept my A1c at 6.2% or lower (below 6.0% is NORMAL) for 2 years.
  5. Diabetes is expensive. 4 endo visits, regular doctor, OB/GYN, eye doctor, dentist.  6 test strips per day x 365 days = over 2000 strips per year.  New infusion site, pump cartridge, and tubing every 3 days.  A CGMS sensor is $135 before insurance, which is only supposed to last 7 days.  The pump itself is over $6000.  I just started with new insurance, and next year I will EASILY hit the out of pocket maximum of $2500.  Probably by May.
  6. The D-OC is awesome. George, Kerri, Scott, Bernard, LeeAnn, and Allison are all household names.  You are all my friends.  And not qualified with “diabetes online friends”.  Just “friends”.  ❤

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.

Dresses and diabetes devices

11 08 2008

My best friend DP got married on Saturday, and I got to be a bridesmaid. Everything was absolutely beautiful and my diabetes was pretty easy to manage. I am still really excited about how well I was able to “hide” everything.

So, how many diabetes-related items can you spot?

If you count each part of the pump separately (pump itself, tubing, infusion site), there should be 6 things. I will post tomorrow with all the juicy details!

Things I would like to see

30 07 2008

As I use all this diabetes technology, I can see a number of things that I think need improvement.


  • A secondary high alert.  I see 2 options with this:
  1. One alarm could be set at 160, then another one at 220 (just for example).  So you would get notified when you went high, then notified again if you went really high.
  2. One alarm set at 160 (for example).  But then, if you stayed above 160 for an extended period (user-configurable), it would notify you again.
  • Different ranges for day/night.  I hung out at 130 all night last night.  This isn’t high enough to trigger my high alert, but it’s not really acceptable for overnight.  I could manually set my ranges before I go to bed and when I wake up, but that’s a waste of time.


  • Super bolus option.  I am currently doing a workaround which involves taking the basal-as-bolus via the “fill cannula” method.  As far as I can tell, the insulin given that way is not calculated anywhere in my daily totals.  Given that they can do combo boluses, super boluses aren’t really that different.

I would think that these things could be easily implemented with some software updates.  They’re small changes, but would make a big impact on my overall quality of life.  Got any other ideas?

Maybe I’m just lucky

16 11 2007

I got a few negative comments about my pump post earlier this week.  Saying that it was dangerous to start without training, or that people can be super sensitive to insulin, or whatnot.

I’ve also read a lot of diagnosis stories where people have to go to the hospital and spend a week in ICU or whatever.  I have to say, that I had none of those things.  When we tested my blood sugar and it said “HI”, we didn’t rush to the hospital or anything.

I guess I’m just lucky when it comes to diabetes.  I’ve never had to be hospitalized, I’m not super sensitive to insulin,  etc.  I suppose I should just count my blessings.

Why wait?

12 11 2007

I vaguely remember reading a few posts around the diabetes blogosphere about people who are getting pumps for the first time. They say that their pump has arrived, but they are waiting patiently for a pump trainer.

Wait, what?

I don’t know about you, but setting up a pump is ridiculously easy. One of the people even showed a pic of a Cozmo, which even has a quick start feature. It takes almost no time to get going.

While waiting for Lucy to arrive, I read the entire manual on Cozmo’s website a couple times. I learned how to fill the tubing, set basal rates, adjust all the settings, etc. I believe they even had guidelines for how to handle the switchover from pen to pump. I stopped my Lantus dose about 24 hours before I anticipated Lucy’s arrival so there would be no basal on board. I also took my basal rate and divided by 24 to get a per-hour amount, then reduced it by about 20%. Better to have small highs that can be corrected than have dangerous lows.

When Lucy arrived, I had a great unboxing and followed all the steps and hooked myself up. It took maybe 30 minutes? I don’t remember exactly. I was up and running in no time. By the time I met with the pump trainers, I had been using Lucy for a few days already. I already knew most of the things that they showed me. It made for a very quick session.

So, what I don’t understand is why people would wait? There’s no way I could just sit there with a brand new pump, waiting for a week to meet with the trainers. Are people just afraid? They make set up so easy and there are a ton of safeties, so there’s very little risk of messing up. Just do it!