In probably about 1 hour, this will just change to say: LOW
I have a spare pod in my purse and another spare pod in my desk here at the office, along with a vial of Apidra, so I’m not really being daring or living on the edge because I can just fill and affix a new pod whenever I need.
What’s going on here is that I’m getting a message. The past several pod changes have cut it quite close with the amount of insulin I have right there. I also think that LOW for below 5U is wrong, because I bolused 6 units on a pod that was reading LOW once… but that’s not a good normal for me.
Oh yes, back to the message. I need to start putting more insulin in my pods because I’m using more. My insulin delivery history has climbed slowly over the past few months and since both basal and bolus amounts are up, I believe that I’m not only eating more carbs but also requiring more insulin.
On the bright side, I know I’m not wasting insulin!
I sat behind the closed door of my office during a rarely taken lunch break. I had turned my phone on speaker in order to type while on hold, cringing at the choice of hold “entertainment.” Through the hold programming, I learned about absorbent dressing, mini-catheters and other medical equipment that makes you squirm to think about it. I was calling to find out when my pending order for my CGM sensors would ship out, but I got an education on wound care and ostomy products while I waited and hoped that phone volume wasn’t too loud that my coworkers were being educated as well. Sound carries strangely in our office.
Sometimes the things that I need to do in order to manage my health are uncomfortable. Even more uncomfortable than giving myself shots.
Sometimes the things that I need to buy in order to manage my health, make me look young for my condition. Like nutrition shakes that feature elderly people on their ads.
Sometimes the things that I need to carry with me in order to manage my health make me look like a drug addict… who doesn’t carry needles in their purse?
Sometimes the facilities that help me manage my health further the stereotype. My diabetes center shares a building and a lab with a geriatric medical office.
Not matter how awkward it is, I need to plug through it. Discomfort, appearances and stereotypes shouldn’t deter me from doing what I need to do.
Neither should insurance paperwork or long periods of time on hold… but sometimes they do.
I have to say that I envy people who don’t give their health benefits a second thought. Who don’t research all 12 of their doctors, but just stick with the one or two that they’ve always used. I envy the people who can say they “feel like a pincushion” after donating blood or getting a shot. I really envy the people who can eat without math or not pass out at a blood draw.
Despite all of the draw backs, I’m thankful for my life, and health, with diabetes. If I didn’t live with type 1 diabetes, I would have died from it… so being on this side of the dirt is not something to take lightly.
Dexcom vibrated on the nightstand and I ignored it. I heard it, but I ignored it. It vibrated again, but this time was accompanied by the ear-splitting “beep” alarm. Instinctively I threw out my arm and dragged the glowing receiver in front of my face. It said I was high, reading me at 184 and the time registered as 4:15 am. I rolled over onto my back, holding the receiver on my chest and allowed my eyes to droop closed again and the screen’s glow lit up the entire bedroom.
“Are you going to handle that,” mumbled Brad, causing me to open my eyes again. I didn’t want to get it, I just wanted to go back to sleep. I reluctantly pricked my finger and tested while my husband stumbled to the bathroom.
“What was it?” Brad asked when he climbed back into bed.
“It was 141, I didn’t need to be awake,” I complained and went back to sleep.
The longer I live with diabetes, the less annoying the various aspects of self-care become. I’m pretty sure that I will never stop being annoyed with the sleep interruptions though. Read the rest of this entry
Diabetes completely kicked my butt the other night. A stressful, unexplained high + a drastic fall and shakey, sweaty low + lack of sleep and a low-hangover basically turned me into a Monday morning zombie… as if Mondays aren’t challenging enough on their own!
Instead of tossing on khakis (or jeans!) and a random top then dragging myself into work, I opted to go with an outfit that I’d recently discovered while cleaning out my closet: a black pencil skirt and a hot pink spring sweater.
I’ve found that if I feel like a zombie and dress like a bum, I end up being a bummy zombie all day, which on weekends and sick days can be a welcome break, but on a Monday when stuff needs done… bummy zombie is NOT an option. Wearing a nice outfit and make up even when I would only be leaving my office for more coffee/tea and bathroom breaks made me feel more… human. Not only that, I got compliments from coworkers on how nice I looked. Dressing for the mood I wanted to be in, distracted everyone (including me) from the mood I started my day with.
Do you have a go-to tactic to keep from being a zombie after a rough night?
Third Time’s a Charm?
Speaking of diabetes…. Last night I couldn’t resist snapping this picture of my PDM collection:
A couple of weeks ago, two pods in a row failed in priming. Halfway through the automatic priming process, they emitted their ear-splitting sound and the PDM said that insulin delivery was stopped and for me to change the pod. Umm? I was kind of trying to do that already.
I set the pods aside to call OmniPod when I had the time and patience. Then my PDM kept getting communication errors, even when it was two inches away from the pod. every time I retried it, it worked so I moved on with my life. It’s amazing how willing I am to just live with some inconveniences instead of pick up the phone.
Last night the other shoe dropped. My 21-hour-old pod, placed on my arm and being incredibly effective, decided to throw a tantrum. I was changing after work, pulling my sweater over my head when it went off (and getting ready to yank the painful Dexcom sensor out of my leg). I went back downstairs to find my PDM with the pod screaming all the way and driving the cats crazy. I ripped the pod off and put on a new one and decided that I could stick out the painful sensor awhile longer (it was being dead accurate, so why not?).
I called Insulet customer service and spoke to the nicest lady. She asked how she could help me and I explained that I had three different issues to talk with her about and we walked through each of my problems, resulting in replacement pods being sent to me next week and swapping out my PDM.
Why did I put off calling customer service?
Most of us get pretty psyched when we see someone wearing and insulin pump “in the wild” and dish out some education when people see our own robot gear. Diabetes may be an “invisible illness” but it manifests visually a lot more than others would think.
Honestly though, being loud, proud and pancreatically challenged all the time isn’t my cup of tea. On a normal day at the office, at home or with family the arm sites and visible Dexcom sensors are no big deal. Sometimes I just want to hide in all and look like the normal, healthy person that I am. Most of the time though, the attire for those occasions doesn’t make it easy.
My pancreas was still operational when Brad and I got married, so I didn’t need to worry about the mechanics behind wearing a wedding dress AND an insulin pump like many d-brides have to. On New Year’s Eve, I didn’t want anyone eying my robot parts so I shuffled my rotation and site change times to hide my pod on my thigh and my Dexcom sensor on my backside then wore made wardrobe adjustments to keep the delicate, clingy fabric of my dress from showing the bumps. I stashed my d-gear in a clutch and commandeered on of Brad’s pockets for my PDM (I bought the largest clutch I could and everything still didn’t fit!).
Back up your settings
At Stacey’s tip, I took pictures of my basal rate, target blood sugar and IC ratio menus on my PDM and promptly saved them to the cloud. Why? Because stuff happens. Technology can have a mind of it’s own and trying to remember pump settings isn’t easy, especially with variable rates like most of us have.
Poke once, bleed twice:
Annoyed Read the rest of this entry
When Procrastination Does (and Doesn’t) Pay
There’s a lot of change happening at one time when it comes to how I manage my diabetes. First there’s the new insurance, the new year and the coming of the new OmniPods. Those things kind of coincided into a minor panic the other day.
With the new insurance, ordering my pump supplies in 3-month shipments is not the best option (hello deductible!). I halted all of my supply management orders for the time being in favor of more control over timing for not only insurance but for the new pods. The last thing I want is a backlog of old pods to push through when it’s my turn for the new system. I also didn’t want to order more before the calendar year rolled over and I had a whole new deductible to meet. It already hurt my brain to have to order another medication before the year ended and count toward a 2012 deductible that would never get met.
So after the first of the year, I ordered one month’s worth of pods logged all of my new insurance information and waiting for a shipping confirmation. My order went into pending status for a couple of days before I received an email telling me to call and pay for my pods before they’d ship. I was already nervous before that because my supply was dwindling but that order date had to be a 2013 date. By the time I received a shipping confirmation I was down to two OmniPods (plus the one stuck to my arm).
Now, stocked for the next month with pods, I feel better and the deductible that I have to deal with for 2013 is already smaller.
Stalking a Pattern Read the rest of this entry
This year felt like it flew by! 2012 has been my first full year of living with Type 1 diabetes, this month’s DSMA Blog Carnival prompt spurs a long summary of a short-feeling year.
Take a moment to reflect on diabetes in 2012 – on a personal level, on a community level, on a technological level, anything you can think of. What things stand out to you the most? What did 2012 and Diabetes mean to you?
- I made a lot of friends this year online
- I had the pleasure of sharing thoughts with members of the community and a company that makes my life better every day
- When I had questions, people answered
- I was able to advocate and educate those around me more this year
- I’ve been able to celebrate successes with friends online and offline when it comes to their health
Technology Read the rest of this entry
Alternate Title: OmniPod’s birthday gift to me.
Podders have been awaiting smaller OmniPods since before I even started using the system, but I was equally as excited to find out that the smaller pods were approved by the FDA. Here’s the story.
Shortly after the news broke on Twitter and I read up and found out that the timing for their actual availability is projected to be in February or March. It’s like a birthday present to me! As a small lady, I occasionally find my beloved pods bulky and awkward depending on where I place them so smaller is going to be better. Good things = small packages. You know the drill.
The new pods are keeping the 200-unit insulin holding capacity, which I suspect for many users is a relief. I rarely fill my pods with more than 80-90 units of insulin since I hate wasting the precious fluid and average around 20u per day in use (minimum fill is 80u).
The size reduction stats although impressive (30% smaller, 25% lighter), didn’t convey the actual difference to me. By the afternoon the lovely folks at OmniPod sent me pictures and the comparisons were enormously helpful. (Yay!) And said, “sure” when I asked if I could post them.
Check it out: Read the rest of this entry