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MDI and I Don’t Hustle and Bustle July 11, 2014

Posted by laosita in diabetes.
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City folk and country folk are two totally different characters. The love of noises (or lack thereof), daily expectations and even waking hours seem often to trend in opposite ways. While visiting Chicago awhile back, I wondered if diabetes management choices differ as well. More specifically – insulin pump use.

I used a pump for a couple years before deciding that multiple daily injections (MDI) is currently the better fit for me. Except while traveling. For airplane and flexibility-required journeys, I often switch to the pump. Except I forgot that. (How do I forget to switch insulin delivery systems? I don’t know. It’s kind of a big thing). But man did I miss the pump in the hustle and bustle of a big city.

I missed the option to change a basal rate when a walk through the city, a bus wait or a restaurant wait was longer than expected. Or shorter. Or more strenuous. Or completely changed because an alternate public transportation option became available or the original choice restaurant was more crowded than the one twenty minutes away. Or group plans change because somebody else was dealing with city stuff (aka, the above stuff).

I feel like country (or even suburban) dwellers do not face these diabetes speed bumps on a frequent or as extreme basis. Restaurants do not seem as crowded so I can usually more safely do insulin before I eat. Public transportation? Uh… we’re working on that. The day is just a bit more predictable, and if plans do change last minute it is probably to something I’ve dealt with before (first choice restaurant is full…no problem, I probably have eaten at one of the other 10 options).

City life for me was just a bit more unpredictable in ways that were difficult for me to handle with MDI. Even removing variables like being on vacation and never having been to Chicago before, I think a pump still would have been easier to work with. City dwellers – are you on a pump or is MDI working for you?


Diabetes Santa God! Or…I’m Addicted To My CGM. (Part 2) December 4, 2013

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Part Two…Continued from, Part One, when I’d just contacted a local D-member!

  • At work, less than 24 hours preflight: No success with a charger, but local D-member had an older Medtronic CGM she was willing to lend me.

I’ve never used Medtronic anything. I’ve heard mixed comments about the system, including its less than reliable sensors and its harpoon insertion situation. And I’d be carrying an extra pump as the receiver. Was it worth it? I tried to think logically. But as the nerves and what-if scenarios ballooned in my imagination, yes, it would be worth it. Learning a new system in half-hour, less than 12 hours before my flight added to my nerves, but I felt comforted and protected knowing I would have a CGM system during the diabetes disaster that is Thanksgiving. HUGE SHOUT OUT to the local D-member.

And then I pulled into my driveway.

I walked towards my front door. And held my breath.

There.was.a.box. I’d ordered other items this past week, but this box, this possible gateway to complete relief, was perfect Dex transmitter size.

I slowly walked towards this box, my eyes fixated on the return address label, knowing exactly what it needed to read.
Byram Healthcare.
Could it be? Is that even possible?

I carefully lifted the box, fumbled to unlock the front door, and walked inside. Everything else fell to the floor but this box.
Scissors! Where the fuck are my scissors? Ah ha! I carefully cut open the box. I lifted the sides of the box and peered inside.
Nothing but a transmitter could fit in with this packaging. I pulled out the brown packing paper.

There it was.

I felt like the M&M® in the M&M and Santa commercial, “They do exist!”
Some Santa, diabetes god, leprechaun, unicorn was on my side. And I realized how much trust and dependence I have with these devices, the ones that offer me protection, safety and let me live my life how I want. And for that I am thankful – I know others do not have that luxury for which to make complaints.

Diabetes Santa God! Or…I’m Addicted To My CGM. (Part 1) December 3, 2013

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Part One…
I had a sneaking suspicion that my warranty was about up on my CGM system. I had to switch to a 3rd party supplier, who I haven’t quite figured out as opposed to DexCom direct. I called 3rd party company, and wouldn’t you know – my transmitter expired in spring.

No, Ms. 3rd party company, I have no Low Battery screen alerts from Dex. What, my receiver’s warranty is up in two weeks? Great – can I just wait and reorder both things at once? Cool, I’ll do that. Talk to you then.

And then…

LOW BATTERY (go see Brian or Scott for a more colorful display)

Of course. Two days after I called about this very possibility. I immediately ordered the transmitter, which required a new prescription. I wasn’t too worried at this point – most Dex warnings about failure/low things tend to stretch out. An upcoming Thanksgiving trip weighed on the back of my mind, but I figured I could react appropriately after I received confirmation emails about the order.

  • About one week pre Thanksgiving trip: No transmitter, no confirmation emails. But I still wasn’t worried (for future reference, get worried here)(or be smarter and call the company).
  • Three days pre Thanksgiving trip: Transmitter starts consistently losing communication with the receiver, even when less than one foot a part. Still no confirmation emails.
  • Day and a half pre Thanksgiving trip: This transmitter isn’t going to make it. Now I am a little nervous, but I’ve had diabetes for about 20 years without a CGM – I should be able to handle one holiday with travel using my trusty meter and strips.
  • About two hours later: THANKSGIVING! Holy Carb Motherload! Airplanes! So much alcohol! No CGM! Panic ensued. And no confirmation emails.

Now in my panic-mode, I search through my diabetes closet. No random transmitters, but I had one Seven+ sensor, multiple combinations of Seven+ transmitters and receivers…and no Seven+ chargers. I tried to plug things into other things that should probably never plug into one another. No luck. Double-arrow stress increase. In one last-ditch effort, I emailed the only local CGM user I knew.

Stay tuned…

Wordless Wednesday: Secret Pocket March 27, 2013

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Glucose gel in an easy to reach secret pocket

That’s what those cool secret inside pockets are for, right??

Day 27: Sometime from Somewhere November 27, 2012

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Today’s Topic: “If I could go anywhere…”

This topic was part of yesterday’s 20 questions. I came to yesterday’s answer quickly, and I stick to it. But, I would love to see the northern lights. Sometime from somewhere.

I don’t know enough about enough places to know where I would go if I could go anywhere. But I do know, well I think, that the northern lights would be an awesome spectacle from Mother Nature.

I’d love to make a trip of it, with whomever I spend the rest of my life. But because romantic bullshit is, bullshit; me, my pump and Dex will have a fabulous time looking up in awe.

Day 17: Don’t Forget the Toothpaste! November 17, 2012

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Today’s Topic: Write about what it’s like to travel with your condition.

I won’t get to the actual traveling part of this topic. Traveling with diabetes requires extra thought and preparation, but that’s no reason not to travel. On my front-door door frame, before every trip I make, is a post-it:


If I forget that, my trip just got a lot more adventurous or a lot shorter. But before I get around to writing that post-it, I think about some of the same things a normal person might think about, just in a different way. The temperature, electricity, fridge-access and food-access situation affects what I bring. No power means more meter supplies. Hot weather or no fridge means pens instead of vials, plus whatever I need to avoid boiling or freezing insulin. Hard to get food means extra glucose tabs and juice.

For a basic long weekend trip, I bring:

  • Meter, two to three new strip bottles, a few lancets, one finger pricker thingy, two new cotton balls.
  • Insulin pump, two to three new cartridges, two to three new insets, a few alcohol swabs.
  • Dexcom, Dexcom charger, Tegaderm, paper tape, cool clear tape, small scissors, more alcohol swabs. If the sensor will likely fail while I’m gone, and I want another for the trip back, I bring a backup sensor kit.
  • A bag of syringes, a handful of pen needles, a doctor’s letter, glucose tabs, granola bars and finally – the insulin. If a Novolog vial has about one pump refill left, I’ll bring that. Otherwise I bring two new Novolog pens. One for backup (in addition to the spare already in my purse) and another for filling my pump cartridge.

If the trip is a couple weeks or longer, or if I’m going somewhere unfamiliar, I’ll bring extra batteries (three), extra meter, Lantus, and triple the weekend list. And toothpaste. I almost always forget toothpaste.