After a few months of waiting it is finally here, my new Tandem t:slim insulin pump! I am pumped (nice pun eh?). Unfortunately it took several months for me to actually get the pump but the wait is finally over. Last week I received confirmation that my health insurance provider deemed the pump to be “medically necessary” and have decided to cover some of the expenses. So here I am a week later with my brand new insulin pump and just in time for my birthday too!
The only down side is I have to wait until Friday before I can hook my self up. Well I guess I don’t have to wait but it is advised that I do. On Friday, the Tandem rep in my area is coming over to my house again to help me get setup with my basal rates and to train me on the pump. Talk about good customer service, eh? It’s not every day a company sends some one to your house to help you out. She has been nice enough to contact my doctor and endo to get my basal rate information so she can fully help get me started pumping.
I am really looking forward to start pumping as well as beginning my life as a complete diabetic cyborg! I have a feeling this pump will be a game changer!
Today I have officially signed up to participate in the Tour de Cure in Houston on September 21! For those who do not know what it is (or do not want to click the link to find out) it is bike race put on by the American Diabetes Association to raise funds for Diabetes research. There are several different lengths of track: 10 miles, 27 miles, 47 miles, 63 miles, and a little over 100 miles. So there is a track for just about any cyclists desire or skill level. Whether you are a casual rider or a die hard cyclist or somewhere in between, there is a place for you.
I have signed up for the 27 mile track, and I feel that will be a good starting point for my cycling career. As of right now can do about 10 miles around my town so we will see how challenging the 27 miles will be. The race isn’t until September so I will have a lot of time to train as well. This will not only be my first diabetes fundraiser as an adult/diabetic but this will also be my first cycling event in general. My parents got me a fairly nice new bike as an early birthday present which is very generous of them to do, and I have been riding a couple miles everyday since I got it. My thighs hurt! But I love it; it is so fun to ride!
I have signed up for Team Red which is a national team open for all people with Diabetes or people whose lives have been affected by diabetes. We get a nice red jersey so spectators can spot us easily and direct their words of encouragement our way.
I am very excited to participate to help raise money for such a worthy cause and have fun doing it. I also hope very much to meet people and hear their stories and hopefully be able to tell my story.
If you would like to help sponsor me just follow this link or if you would like to donate towards Team Red as a whole please follow this link.
Every little bit helps!
This post is my June entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/june-dsma-blog-carnival-3/. I participated in the May blog carnival so this will be my second attempt/second go at a DSMA Blog Carnival and hopefully you will enjoy this one as much as you liked my last one.
The prompt for June is:
Regardless of which type of diabetes you have – T1 T2 or T3 – you probably use one or more diabetes devices on a daily basis. For this post, when we refer to devices we mean blood glucose meters, insulin pens or pumps, and all other diabetes medications. This month we’re going to revisit the May 15th chat on Diabetes Devices and really think about what we use. We’d like to know:
How do you select the diabetes devices you use? To others looking into new or replacement devices, what would be your best advice to someone shopping around?
I use the OneTouch Ultra 2 blood glucose meter and a OneTouch lancing device. They were the devices my doctor prescribed to me when I was first diagnosed, so I have not/did not shop around for any other glucose meters. I am unaware if there are other “better” ones out there, or if the one I have is top of the line, or if there is even a big difference between glucose meters. That being said, I have zero complaints with the meter. It is very accurate (from what I can tell) and you do not need much blood for the test strips which is definitely a plus.The supplies might be a little pricey but I figure most all diabetes supplies are expensive.
Two other essential devices are my insulin pens. I have a pen of Humalog and a pen of Lantus and obviously as a type 1 diabetic, my insulin “devices” are very important to me. For those who don’t know, the Humalog is the insulin I use before meals to counteract the food I eat, and the Lantus I take once every day and it is my long acting (basal) insulin that keeps my blood sugar in check for 24 hour periods. Although within the next couple of days/weeks I will be getting the t:slim insulin pump so I will no longer be needing my pens except for emergencies if the pump breaks down or something. Now, I did shop around for other pumps (looked at brochures and watched videos) but the t:slim really stood out as the pump for me. The sales lady made it a point to address how the t:slim was designed by diabetics where as other pumps were designed by engineers with diabetics in mind. I think using a product that is for diabetics by diabetics speaks volumes about that product and how people with diabetes can benefit from it. I look forward to beginning my life as a pump user.
Another device that I use and think very highly of is my Dexcom G4 CGM. For anyone who does not know, CGM stand for Continuous Glucose Monitoring. I wear a sensor in my abdomen which transmits my blood sugar levels every 5 min to the device shown above which plots it on a graph. It also tells me if my blood sugar is rising or falling too rapidly so I can react to it faster. I find this device almost invaluable and urge every person with diabetes to look into getting a CGM. The CGM has made me very much aware of my blood sugar trend and just how much food/insulin affects my blood sugar. And more importantly it made me aware that I was dipping low during the night and have since adjusted my basal insulin dose accordingly. I did a little research on other CGM’s but I felt Dexcom has the best system out and will have the best system in the years to come. Some of the brands of CGM take blood sugar readings every 20 minutes and have a start up time of 10 hours, while the g4 checks every 5 minutes and has a start up period of 2 hours. Those were big selling points for me. Although a potential negative I have found with wearing a CGM is that I feel naked and vulnerable if I have to go a long period of time with out it (which is not very often thank god).
Some times I wish I was an iPod or iPhone so I could just plug into a computer and upload all my thoughts and all the newsworthy information from my life. But alas it is not so. It has been a few days (maybe a week) since I have posted so I thought it was about time for me to sync my life up and upload it to the blog. This post will be straying away from the Diabeetus a little bit but since my life kinda revolves around diabetes right now, it is impossible to avoid the subject so I will be updating everyone on my ‘D’ as well….which isn’t what it sounds like….
The main reason I have not been able to post as regularly is because I am taking some courses this summer and the semester has just begun. I am taking an introductory Spanish class and it has been soaking up most of my time. And unfortunately introductory means the class is 100% in Spanish. The class itself is 3 hours long 4 times a week which is absurdly long. And on top of that I have reading to do every night, assignments over the reading, writing assignments due every week, and of course, tests I have to study for. The class itself is really fun and interesting and the professor is very entertaining, but it is just so darn time consumer. Even as I write this my brain is trying to convert some of my words/sentences into Spanish. I think I am going crazy! To top it off, I also work at a department store. So any time not spent working on my espanol, I am folding clothes at Macy’s or cleaning out fitting rooms. No me gusta! See there I go!
Now that I got all that off my chest, I will give everyone an update on my life pertaining to my diabetes. As you may or may not know from my previous posts (here and here), I am on the way to owning my first insulin pump. I received a call from the lady who is handling my case with the pump distribution company and she has given me a vague time frame on when I will actually have the pump in my hands…or hooked into my stomach, rather. She has said that in the best case scenario I could have the pump by next Tuesday. But judging by the interactions I have had with my insurance company (which the distributors are working with) I am being optimistic by thinking the pump will arrive close to 1.5-2 weeks from now. But we will wait and see.
In other news my birthday is approaching (July 11 if any one was wondering) and I have asked my parents to get or at least help me purchase a road bike. Potentially this one for anyone who cares or knows anything about bikes/cycling. My thoughts are that since I work out my upper body (chest, back, arms etc.) every other day, with the bike I will work out my legs, abs, and do some good cardio on the off days. Sounds like a decent plan to me. But more importantly, if I get said bike I am going to participate in Houston’s Tour de Cure. I have done several walks for JDRF with my parents as a youngster, but this will be my first event as an adult but more importantly as a diabetic. This will be a great opportunity to meet some new people, hear some interesting stories, get a good work out 🙂 and most of all, help raise money for Diabetes research. The event is in September so I will have plenty of time to train and raise money for my sponsorship. I only need to raise $150 to be able to participate so its not too high of a goal to reach, but the money I can raise the better, right? I will of course be writing more about this as the event approaches to keep you all informed on my progress.
I will definitely try to make more time to post here and on twitter.
But I think that is all for now. Bye!
As you know from a previous post of mine, I have been shopping around for an insulin pump to purchase. Everyone’s comments on said post were very helpful and I thank you all very much for your advice. A lot of your comments had to do with insurance coverage and until recently I had no idea what kind, if any, coverage my insurance provides for insulin pumps. I did some research and contacted my health insurance provider to discuss potential pump possibilities (see what I did there? 🙂 ). And to my pleasant surprise, they cover 80% of the cost of any insulin pump! Sure there is better coverage available but my insurance is not very good (cheap) so 80% is good enough in my opinion. In fact, I still have to call them twice a week to make sure they are working on getting the Dexcom system covered, which they barely are. They are so slow!
So all that being said, I have made the decision to get the Tandem t:slim pump. Tandem was accommodating enough to send a sales representative to my house to allow me to play around with the pump and ultimately hook myself up to it with a saline cartridge. And I must say I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the pump: the features, the size, the weight, the look; just about everything. The sale rep unfortunately was not able to give me a loaner pump to wear for a couple days, but I was able to wear the infusion set for a few days just make sure it was comfortable. And it is quite comfortable… or not uncomfortable, rather.
The infusion set I have been wearing is the Cleo 90 and it seems like a good set. I am not too sure of the differences in the infusion sets other then ones a steel needle opposed to a plastic/rubbery insertion. And one is at a 45 degree angle opposed to the 90 degree insertion that the Cleo is.
I have been in close contact with Tandem recently and so far they have superb customer service. They have a very nice and knowledge staff that is eager to help make people with diabetes lives easier/better.In fact a good few of the employees I have spoken to are diabetics or spouses of diabetics, so they know quite a bit about the D-lifestyle.
So, a few days ago I faxed them the required paper work and contacted my insurance provider to get the ball rolling so I can hopefully acquire the pump soon-ish.