Bolus Advice: MDI With Less Math

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I went to the beach for the day after church. It was a nice, cool, breezy day and it was good to get away and relax for a bit.

We were on our way home, and we stopped to get a frozen yogurt treat with the kids. I bolused with my pump, and half way through, I received an occlusion. The second one for that weekend.

True, this may not be a big deal, but it was the final straw for me. It’s true — occlusions are things that come with the territory when using an insulin pump, and that specific event isn’t what had me frustrated. It was a lot of things:  having a curious baby who likes to pull on my tubing, sites that were seeming to fail after just 2 days, and the more and more frequent “bleeder” sites.

That last occlusion was it. We made it home and I pulled out my Levemir backup pen that my endocrinologist always gives me to keep on hand in the case of pump failure. I had no idea how this was going to go, but my frustration outweighed my fear of the unknown-to-me territory of MDI (multiple daily injections).


I took my total basal amount, added 20%, took the injection, and unhooked my pump. It’s been in my desk drawer ever since.

As soon as I injected the Levemir and started to get ready to inject for supper, I felt overwhelmed by things like accurately calculating doses and keeping up with IOB (insulin on board), and I quickly emailed my Accu-Chek rep and pleaded with her to chat with me that night or the next day to set up my Connect App in my phone.

Why would I need her?

See, Accu-Chek now has a meter, the Accu-Chek Connect, that connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and you can see your readings, log food and insulin doses, and even program the app to text your readings to a family member if you need help.


It also has an option for Bolus Advice. With this enabled (via prescription from your health care professional), you can use the glucose number that is sent to your phone to calculate insulin doses if you are a MDI user. To me, this is great because it’s like having the best part of the pump without the pump!


The app even lets you see how the calculation works, and whether you need to increase for correction, decrease for active insulin, or if you’re low — how much food to eat. It’s really intuitive.


I honestly don’t know that I would still be on MDI if it weren’t for this app. I’m loving being pump-free without having to be bogged down with math.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be on MDI, but I don’t feel as if I need to rush. I feel comfortable to be pump free as long as I have help calculating my doses and keeping up with active insulin — which is exactly what this system does.

While the meter was provided to me at no charge, I was not asked to review it. This is my honest opinion from the bottom of my heart. I cannot be more thankful that there is a company that not only wants to create an insulin pump product, but also to help those on MDI to have the best care possible.

FridayFind – The FastClix

Last week, I wrote about the CVS promotion that was going on at the time where I was able to get an Accu-chek Nano meter with new Fast-Clix lancet device for free (pretty much, after a mail-in rebate) and, thanks to CVS’ Reward bucks, get yet another one.

While I do not have any strips to be able to do a review of the Nano meter, (why oh why do meter companies not include the usual 10 strips any longer is beyond me. Cause they should!) they did include 2 lancet drums per new meter, so I was able to start using the FastClix right away.

At first glance, it’s black. Not a big fan of that. I wish it were like my Ol’ Blue (Not the dog, my MultiClix lancet device).

Accu-Chek FastClix Lancet poker

It’s built different in that, as it claims, it’s one-click action to poke your finger. Just place, push, and your finger is poked.

The white button on the side is for advancing the lancet. Granted, Ol’ Blue could just be twisted on the end, but I never remembered to do it. With the button placement on the FastClix, I remember it more often now. I kinda do things backwards from the MultiClix. MC: Push to load, press to poke. FC: Press to poke, push to advance lancet. Still two steps, but I’m at least “changing” my lancet more often, which is a good thing.

One thing I think is pretty awesome is how you can tell if you’ve advanced it without advancing it. If you look in the poker hole, it’s either a black hole or it looks like there is plastic. If it’s a hole-hole, then it’s already been used. If  it looks white like there’s some sort of plastic under the lancing hole, then it’s advanced to the new one. See?

Brand new drum. No holes yet.
Two used lancets, Four remaining

Here it is in action:


In the end, my only complaint about it is that it’s black. Standard medical black. Hey, why not give us “skins” for it like you have for the Nano meter, Accu-Chek? That’d be cool! Plus, it would give extra “grip” to it, yes? 😉 I do think that the new design does, however, make me more apt to “forward” my lancet more, making for healthier poking.

Suga-rating for this week’s FridayFind?

♥♥♥♥♥

5 out of 5

 

I was not given the Accu-Chek FastClix for free from Accu-chek. I just happened to find the Nano meter on sale at my local CVS and one was included in it. I paid the $9.99 up-front out of my pocket and am awaiting it to be rebated to me through the use of the rebate form included in the box.

 

Free Stuff

Okay, so there’s a buzz going around the twitter DOC about the new Accu-chek FastClix. I have been eyeing it since I saw Sara’s video and post about it. I’ve been trying to find one of my own for as cheap as possible {Read: a baby drains your funds like no other!}. This morning, I went to CVS, with full intentions on just biting the bullet and paying $20 for a meter I wouldn’t probably be using just so I could get the clicker. While I was at it, I grabbed a box of lancet drums too… yet another $18.

When I got to the register, lo and behold, it was on sale. $9.99 with ExtraCare card. I didn’t have mine, but the totally awesome and oddly cheerful guy at the register let me use a new one.  YEY! I felt so much better about my purchase when I got back to my truck. I knew already I’d just have to eat the cost of the lancet drums, because just as strips, those don’t go on sale (or not that I’ve ever seen) and my insurance will not pay for lancets, even with prescription. When the receipt printed, I had a coupon for $9.99 ExtraCare bucks to use in the store. I thought, Hmm… wow… they must have scanned that card a lot. But upon closer look at my receipt when I got into work this morning, I saw this:

"Here are your ExtraBucks Rewards for having purchased select Accu-chek Nano Meters:"

Heck Yeah again!! So not only is the meter on sale, but they are pretty well giving you the purchase price of the meter back! So, in essence, it’s FREE! Not to mention, inside of the box, you have a mail-in-rebate card for up to $15 of the purchase price with copy of your receipt…. so you get yet another $9.99 back, you just have to wait 4-6 weeks to get it.

I don’t know how much longer it will be on sale, or if the offer is available everywhere (although I would think it would be since CVS is a chain store, but I have been wrong about that before). All I know is I’m probably going to go back on my lunch break or after work to get another one. YEY!

And, maybe, I’ll get the rebate money back in time to buy another box of those expensive lancet drums.

***UPDATE*** I went back at lunch and was able to get another meter with the ExtraBucks Rewards coupon for FREE. I didn’t even have to pay tax! And, once again, I got another ExtraBucks Rewards coupon for $9.99. I doubt I’ll get another one though. I may use it for another box of lancet drums though. I also may use the $15 copay card in the box to get a box of strips and test out the meter for a FridayFind post! It looks awesome and kinda cute.