Doodles for Diabetes

Remembering to bolus has been a surprisingly big issue for me lately. I’m in a point in my life where I am experiencing a lot of change and it is hard to keep my head on straight. I’ll forget to bolus constantly and it is really not helping my get my numbers back on track.

I’ve been really frustrated lately. Low after low ,after low, after low, only to end in a nasty high blood sugar. On the days when I feel most defeated (such as today) I like to inject a little humor into my diabetes care. Someone very wise once told “laugh and the world laughs with you.” My doodles help me lighten the mood and help me keep going.

ice-cream-insulindancingdonut-worry

 

 

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To CGM or not to CGM?

Happy Friday everyone!

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MONITORS because they are all over the place! I have very mixed feelings about CGM’s and I think that is the overall consensus. Some people love them and some people don’t want anything to do with them.

I started using the Medtronic MiniLink REAL-time Transmitter around 2008. My parents were really excited to be able to buy me the latest diabetes technology. They hoped that this little device could help them care for me in my sleep or at school. They hoped that this device would make my life a bit easier and keep me safer.

Unfortunately, I had a very negative experience after my second week of using the sensor. It was time to put on a fresh new infusion set and sensor so I did the usual prep work and got ready to insert my devices. I usually wore both devices on my belly. My sensor’s inserter needle went through a vein and I ended up with blood soaked jeans.

The sensor’s constant beeping didn’t allow my diabetes to go unnoticed at school. Alarms would constantly go off throughout my classes and lunch. Midway through my classes, my sensor’s alarms would go off alerting me of “extreme lows.” Every time I had one of these “extreme lows” when I pricked my finger I was well above the baseline for what could be considered low. I calibrated the sensor as directed and it would still be about 40-50 numbers off every day.

My parents and I felt that this was not a good option for me. We were sad to have wasted all that time and money into something we had our hearts set on, but we decided to keep it as back up.

It has been about ten years and the technology has improved but I don’t know if i’m ready to try again. I don’t enjoy having to wear two different devices on my body and you still need to test your blood sugar 4-5 times a day. With all that said, I would eventually like to be on a CGM again once the technology gets better. My doctors think that it would really help bring my A1C down but I still have to get over wearing two devices.

So in conclusion, I tried CGM’s ten years ago. I was not thrilled about wearing two devices and how inaccurate it was. CGM’s are being used more frequently as a part of regular type one diabetes care so there is a bigger market for them now. I had never used the Dexcom sensor but my favorite pancreatically challenged blogger Diabetic Danica uses an Animas pump with a Dexcom sensor. I found her vlog when I was in the process of buying a pump, I really couldn’t decide whether to get the Animas or Medtronic pump.

Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to bolus after a meal,

Erika

Unboxing the Medtronic 630g!

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I finally unboxed my new insulin pump! I was really excited to get this new pump delivered, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to afford it later on if my out of warranty pump broke.

Medtronic does overnight shipping so I got it the very next afternoon. This new pump came with a lot of other items as well as free samples. (I know right! Free samples for diabetes supplies? Yes, Please!)

1 – Sample box of Quick – Sets

1 – Sample box of reservoirs

1 – Black Silicone Pump Skin

1 – Pump Sticker Skin

1 – Quick- set inserter

1 – Box of IV Prep stickers

1 – Contour Next Link 2.4

1 – Pump belt clip

1 – Activity Guard

1 – 630g Insulin Pump

I didn’t think I would need to schedule an appointment for pump training, since this is my third pump, but I did have a little bit of a rough start. The very first reservoir stopped delivery as soon as I tried to fill the cannula. I took out a new set and tried one more time and it seemed to be fine after that. After a more thorough examination of the quick start manual, I finished filling in my pump settings.

I really like the way this pump can set up reminders to check your blood sugar every few hours. It has already helped me be more consistent with my testing. My biggest problem is not remembering to test my blood sugar enough so I’m very pleased that this simple feature was finally added.

I haven’t really tested just how waterproof it claims to be. The guides that came in the box say it can be submerged for up to 12 feet. I don’t know about you guys but I won’t be tossing my bionic pancreas in water anytime soon, so for me this is just an added safety feature. (For those of you who also use the Medtronic 630g and were brave enough to test how waterproof it is, how did it go?)

My favorite part about this pump so far is the meter that came with it. The Care Link 2.4 can be used as a remote for your pump. I haven’t figured out how to set it up just yet but I am excited to be able to bolus discreetly from my meter. This would have came in handy during high school when I needed to hide my pump in my dresses for dances. I had the remote control Medtronic released a few years ago but this meter is much more streamlined and built right into the meter.

I have had the Medtronic 630g connected for a few days now and so far so good! I’m sure there’s a lot about this pump I still need to learn so I will keep you guys updated!

 

Cheers,

Erika

Bolus-Free Playlist

I am always listening to music but lately the highs and lows are giving me the blues. Nothing kicks the diabetes blues like laughing it off to some seriously sweet songs. Here’s a my list of favorite sweet songs to listen to when your pancreas is being a little too naughty!

Candyman – Christina Aguilera

Lollipop – MIKA

Milkshake – Kelis

Hello Kitty – Avril Lavinge

Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard

Sugar Sugar – The Archies

Tutti Frutti – Little Richard

Sugar – Maroon 5

Candy Girl – Four Seasons

Sugar- Flo Rida with Wynter

Cake by the Ocean – DNCE

A Little Bit Longer – Nick Jonas

 

 

Diabetic Pen Pals

One of my favorite diabetes organizations Beyond Type One is doing something really cool by starting a Snail Mail Club! I love having diabetic pen pals, I’ve had a few in the past and I am totally excited to make some more pancreatically challenged friends.

A few years after first getting diagnosed, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation came out with a pen pal program. I really enjoyed that experience because it gave me an opportunity to talk to other people my age who were were going through the same experience as me. I learned as much from them as they did from me.

My favorite pen pal was the family of a three year old girl who had just been diagnosed with type one diabetes. I remember her family being so scared for her. It was nice to see the difference in their letters as they got more comfortable with the diagnosis. The security that the pen pal experience gave them from being able to talk to older children and teens helped them cope with their daughter’s struggles.

It was very therapeutic for me to be able to give hope to parents of newly diagnosed children, compare pumps, and hear about how others my age were coping.

So what do you think? Want to be pen pals?

Beyond Type One’s Snail Mail Club

Medtronic v. Omnipod- My Experience Using Both.

The first year after being diagnosed with Type One Diabetes I used syringes and Novolog insulin. It was much harder for me to control my glucose levels on syringes so after a year my parents and I were ready to take my diabetes control to the next level.

In 2007, I was finally ready for my first insulin pump! I got the Medtronic 722 Pump and had to get used to be tethered to a medical device. I love Medtronic and highly recommend them! Their pumps are really durable and they have great customer service. I was on vacation in Mexico and my pump fell into a pool and got damaged and they were able to rush deliver a new pump for the same day I got home. Just last week my out of warranty pump cracked open last week and they rush delivered a pump for me to borrow while I buy a new pump. I never feel like I am on my own with Medtronic.

In 2011 my four year warrenty was up and my parents really wanted me to try the OmniPod. I got the OmniPod and was very pleased with the tubeless pump and its self-inserter. My favorite thing about that pump is how easy and painless it is compared to Medtronic. All though I love Medtronic, their Quick-set inserter is loud and painful. Omnipod automatically inserts the cannula and retracts all from within the pod on your body. You never have to interact with the needle, which for me was a huge plus as I have a low tolerance to pain. The downside was how much more expensive this pump is. Unfortunately, after college I could no longer afford to keep using Omnipod and their magical tubeless painless pump.

In 2015 I went back to using my old Medtronic pump that I had stored as a back up. I had a year’s worth of back up supplies so not having to pay for pump supplies every few months was really helpful! I used that pump up until last week when I had an accident while hiking that cracked my pump open.

So for now I am #teamedtronic and am very excited to unbox my new 630g! What team are you on? Show your team spirit on Instagram and tag me @naughtylittlepancreas #teammedtronic #teamomnipod #teamanimas!