Pump Update


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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.

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Diabetes Blog Week- Day 3


Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.

So for today’s topic I feel a little limited in what to write about. It seems other bloggers have had tons of experiences with diabetes and can draw upon many memories, good and bad, to write about. I only have less then a months worth of experiences to conjure up, opposed to years worth like many bloggers. It feels like almost every day creates a new memory for me. Take last week for example: 4 days last week I got less than 3 hours of sleep per night because my blood sugar kept dropping below 55 and my Dexcom sensor kept beeping at me (I felt fine even at 50, but not fun). So I had to change my Lantus dosing and have caught back up on sleep. And today, I ate the same things and took the same amount of insulin as previous days that I had consistent blood sugar readings, in the 80-90 range, but today I somehow dropped into the 50’s and couldn’t even begin to guess why. So everyday is a new memory and learning experience. But to write about my fondest memory, I will recap my story for everyone who does or does not know it.

I was diagnosed with type one diabetes on April 22, 2013. About 3 weeks leading up to my diagnosis and subsequent hospital stay, I began to get sicker and sicker. I lost about 50 pounds in 2 months, I got fatigued to the point of having to lie down/nap after walking up the stairs, I got dehydrated, I could never retain any liquid and I urinated all the time. I did not know this at the time but these are symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) and this is what put me in the hospital for a night. But the scarey thing is that I was going on with everyday life despite being as sick as I was. I was driving myself around, going to class, going to work, and I even went to the gun range and shot shotguns with my brother (yikes!). But luckily nothing bad came from the guns or the driving.

After several weeks, my weight loss never ceased, I never started feeling better, so it became time to go to the doctor. I met with the family doctor and he took my blood and made me pee in a cup, and just by my urine gave me a 98% chance I was diabetic due to the quantity of blood sugar in my urine. Just to be sure, he gave me prescriptions to fill for insulin and told me how much to take, then sent me home till the blood test results came back the next day.

He called me 3 hours before our appointment the following day to tell me to come in and see him. He tells me what I already have figured out: I have type one diabetes. He also tells me if he could have done something differently he would have put me in the hospital the previous day because the blood tests show just how sick I actually was. So here began my night of no sleep, IVs, blood being drawn every 2 hours, and blood sugar tests every hour at the hospital. The main reasons I was put into the hospital was for the DKA, dehydration, and low (bordering no) potassium. Something about DKA depletes and doesn’t allow you to absorb any more potassium. The worst part of the whole hospital stay were 10 IV bags of potassium, which do not feel good at all being pumped into your veins. The potassium must be thicker then the other IV fluid because it hurt. It felt like something was so cold in your veins that it burned. I hope no one has to experience this, it is not fun at all.

So that is my fondest diabetes related memory, and probably always will be. It’s the day my life changed forever. But hopefully in the years to come, I can accumulate many more good memories then bad ones, especially related to diabetes.

New Adhesive for the G4


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I ordered some highly recommended adhesive from amazon a couple days ago and it finally arrived. The OpSite Flexifit is the best option if one wants to wear their Dexcom sensor for more then the recommended 7 day time period or if your sensor adhesive is not sticking well to your skin. I bought the 2 in wide, 11 yard long roll, so hopefully that will last me for a long time. This adhesive is widely used by hospitals and other medical personnel for procedures because it is transparent and sticks to skin (which can get oily/sweaty) very well. When I was in the hospital for my DKA, they used some of this adhesive to secure the IV leads onto my arm.

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A New Low


Yesterday night I hit a new all time low. My other post mentioned how my lowest blood sugar level to date was a 91, now my all time low (that I know of) is a 54. Luckily I had my dexcom system alert me to the decreasing blood sugar levels.

The weird thing is that I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. So this leads me to believe that I have been dipping low in the middle of the night all along ( yikes!). Another weird thing (I have not decided if this is a good thing or bad thing yet) the only symptom I displayed was shakiness. So this brings three things to mind:

1. I was not low enough to have other symptoms

2. I have a tolerance to low blood sugars

3. I have hypoglycemia unawareness

Dexcom G4: It is Finally Here!


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It is finally here! My brand new Dexcom G4 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system. I am pretty pumped about this piece of technology. The main reason I got this system is to see how my blood sugar levels are during the night while I sleep; going too low while sleeping is a fear of mine. For those of you who do not know what this is, it checks my blood sugar levels every five minutes and plots it on a graph. The picture above is the Receiver. It is a portable handheld device with a screen that shows my current blood sugar level and graph that shows the trend (going higher or lower). One of the best features of this device are the alarms that sound when ever your blood sugar levels go outside of the high and low parameters you set to help you avoid hyper/hypoglycemia.

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The picture above is the transmitter. It is hooked into a sensor that is in your body to monitor the sugar levels.  This transmits to the receiver every five minutes to give you a play-by-play as to what your blood sugar is doing.

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Pictured above is the senor applicator. It is a plunger-like device that uses a small needle to insert a sensor probe that is attached to an adhesive pad that the transmitter locks into.

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Here is the transmitter/sensor combo on my skin (apologies for the body hair). This first insertion felt a little uncomfortable and so did wearing the patch, but now that I have been wearing it for several hours I don’t even notice it.