Advancing

I hardly ever remember to advance my little knob on my FastClix pricker. It seems simple enough, and honestly, it is… I just never remember to do it.

One thing about the Omnipod PDM is that you can set custom alerts and type in what you need it to remind you of (short ‘n sweet though… only one line of text available). So, I have one set now for each night at 6pm to remind me to advance my pricker:

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I tried putting this reminder on my phone, but that didn’t help. I usually just dismissed it. With it being on the PDM which I have to test my bg with anyway (well, I don’t have to, I choose to), and usually around 6pm to boot, I just put the alert at that time so I see it and I’m reminded to advance it. I’ve actually stuck (ha! see what I did there?) to it too, so maybe that was the key to it all along for me.

Boot Camping for Dex and Omnipod

No, not the army kind. But rather, the Apple MacBook kind.

I tried and tried to get my Dexcom and PDM to upload to my MacBook using VMWare to run basically a “virtual” Windows box. In other words, instead of booting up your computer to Mac OS or Windows OS, you would boot up like normal to Mac, and open a “program” that would run Windows inside of it, similar to how other apps are run. Cool, huh? Yeah, I thought so too. But I could not for the life of me get it to work. The drivers wouldn’t install into the Windows OS virtually, so I finally gave in and let my husband use Boot Camp to install Windows onto my MacBook.

For those of you who are lost with what all of that means too, basically, you can tell the computer to reserve so much space for the Mac operating system, and so much for the Windows operating system, and you can boot up to whichever system you need. This supposedly avoids the headache that many Mac users face when you own one, but whatever device you want to plug in is not Mac OS supported. How to do this, exactly, is still a mystery to me, and hence why I left it up to him to do it. I’m sure it’s easy, but knowing me, I’d screw it up. He’s a professional at this, so I gladly let him take it over.

This morning, when woke up, I had a fresh new install of Boot Camp and Windows 7 running on my MacBook Pro. Like a little girl, I eagerly downloaded the Dexcom and CoPilot software and prayed they would work…

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…and they did.

I cannot express how happy I am about this. Now, If I can just get my printer to work since my endo’s office is old-school and still requires paper copies and doesn’t email. 🙂

 

***For what it’s worth, if you chose to do this, do so at your own risk. This works for some, but not others. I’m not an IT person, I’m just married to one, so I have no IDEA how this was done, I just know how he told me he did it.

The Real Reason

IMG_5108Earlier last month month, I learned that my Animas Ping was actually not under warranty until July of 2014, but rather the warranty had already run out. And as much as I love the system, I don’t feel comfortable wearing it all of the time because I don’t want something to happen to it and I’m out a good back-up/as-needed insulin pump with no way to replace it other than pay for a new one. Animas did just replace it in November, so it should be okay, but I just don’t want to take the risk right now. And without going through a whole appeal with doctors note thing and possibly having a denial anyway, there’s no way I’ll get one for another 3 1/2 years thanks to my decision to get the t:slim back in December.

I have a confession to make.

I really only had two reasons why I went back to the Ping anyway. One, after going to the Diabetes Sisters event, I felt that since I didn’t have tubing or a pump clipped to my belt, that my “calling-card” was not there. That I was a non-diabetic in a place full of diabetics showing off their bionic parts. After so long of trying to hide tubing from the outside world and not show off that I wear a pump or that I have something attached to me, the one time I wanted it was then because it’s almost an instantaneous kindred-ship when you and another d-person are brought together to talk because they see your tubing, you see theirs, and there’s just that mutual “fellow pumper” feeling. STUPID, I know. {You’re probably sitting back thinking, Yep, this girl is uber-crazy. RUN!}

The final straw as to why I switched back to the Ping to begin with was because I had gone to a party and left my PDM at home with no way to bolus. Silly, I know, but I was so embarrased by it. I felt as if I had let myself down. I felt more like a diabetic then than I had ever felt because I honestly, at that time, couldn’t participate in enjoying the food because I wouldn’t be able to bolus for it. I felt so angry at myself for leaving the PDM at home and putting myself in that situation that I said I wouldn’t be stuck like that again, and that I would use the Ping since, if I left the remote at home, I could at least bolus from the pump itself.

But, in light of finding out I have no warranty on it and with summer being here (POOL TIME!!!), I put on my Omnipod system again. I wrote about it a couple of weeks ago and how much I loved wearing summer dresses again freely. And I have enjoyed it so much. I’ve also enjoyed painting the pods to look “pretty”. It’s also much easier to deal with than having a pump clipped to me and worrying if my kidlet is going to play with the buttons. As much as I’ve always said I feel safer with the tubes, this time, I actually don’t mind it. After listening to someone’s suggestion about pinching up in an area I usually have trouble with when it’s inserted, I’ve not really had any issues. I honestly – from the bottom of my heart – can’t find a reason as of right now to not use it. Not to mention, my bg’s have been SO much better since using it.

I’ll probably still switch off later {knowing me, anyway}, but as for the summer, it would probably be best to use the Omnipod with as much water as I’ll be around. I don’t want to miss a crack or something in the Ping and ruin it.

 

Bling That Thing!

A week or so ago, I began seeing where Cherise was painting her Omnipod Pods. I was intrigued.  As much as I love finding ways to spice up the colors of d-supplies, this was right up my ally. Come to find out, you can use about anything to paint them with, but I’ve been using fingernail polish, as it was what Cherise said she was using. And I’ve seen people paint the old used pods before, but not ones you hadn’t used, so when I saw that people were painting them before wearing them to spice up the look, I was in full-blown, jaw-dropped, “OMGosh” mode. So, you can go from medical white to any ole design you’d like with a little patience!

Today is pod change day… I’ll be putting on my freshly painted purple pod.. on my arm… out in the open.. during the summer. Something I would not have done prior to this. Now? I’ve taken the effort to bling it, why cover it?

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Summer Dress

IMG_4958Maxi. Sun. A-line.

All dresses that I used to want to wear, just never did because A) My bottom half is that of a plus sized woman, where my upper half is still in the “average” size (and barely there in some departments), so most one-piece dresses do not fit properly for my shape and B) just having to clip the pump somewhere is irritating. Yeah, I can do everything from the Ping meter remote, so that’s not an issue, and tucking away the t:slim? Well, that ain’t happening, so I usually avoid dresses if I were to wear it.

BUT considering shorts are just not for me as apparently you have to have the sleek, slender shaped legs and not mind short bottoms that ride up into your hoo-ha to wear these days (or at least that’s how I feel about them.. most people other than me look fine in them.. plus sized or size 0), I have to look at other options or else endure the heat in long pants.

So I’m looking in to dresses again. And, since I’m on my tube-break and am using my Omnipod system again, it makes things a lot “free”er. I remembered a commenter once asking me if when I inserted the pods in my thighs, if I “pinched up”. I thought it was silly since I’m not in any way, shape, or form “tiny” in that area and wouldn’t have a chance of it hitting muscle, so I just never did. I didn’t think it was necessary. Well, lo and behold, I did pinch up this time just to see… and by golly, it worked. Don’t quite know why yet, but it did. My bg’s are just as good as if I had placed it on my stomach site.

So, if I can find a few more dresses to wear, I may just take a summer long tube-break. It’s nice to be a bit free.

 

painted pod

(Oh, and speaking of podding, did you know you can paint yours? Yeah.. so, you can apparently paint them with fingernail polish to add a little “bling”. There’s even a Facebook group to share your photos in!)

I Don’t Need Tubes

no tubes neededI have to keep repeating this to myself.

I’ve been on the new Omnipod system for 6 weeks and so far, it has been a great experience. I’m still reluctant to say that I “love” it, but I’m definitely in “like” with it. Very much so.

The current system has been working beautifully for me and my blood sugars like it a lot. That it’s super convenient and has made me feel the most free that I have ever felt being a diabetic. No tubes, all-in-one device that checks my sugar and controls the pump in one, freedom to wear whatever I want and not worry whether or not my pump is in an easily accessible spot. No losing the pump in the bedding. No tubing for the kid to pull on or buttons for him to curiously press.  It really has been a great experience. I have always been able to trust a tubed system much easier because it’s what I’ve always known. And honestly, that’s really the only thing currently freaking me out about this new system… no tubes.

Another thing that keeps standing off to the side… like a dirty old reminder.. is how when I used the first version – the one with the bigger pods – I kept getting errors and pod failures.  I’m constantly worried that it’s going to happen again, so my guard is never down. I’m having to keep telling myself that it’s okay… to relax… they fixed a lot of the problems they were having. I’m trying to get over the worry and fear that it’s going to happen again. If I were anyone looking into getting this pump and never have used Omnipod before, I would jump on this in a skinny minute (seriously… you should…  They’re still offering the Cut-The-Cord program!). I would totally and without a doubtful bone in my body would tell you to go for it, and actully, I still would now. My fears are from the old system, not this one. And, bluntly, I need to get over it. I’m trying. I’m working through it.

Learning to trust a piece of technology that had failed me before is hard. I know others who have the old system and have loved it since day 1. I know others who ditched it months into using it. I have to learn that 1) it’s okay to not have tubes and 2) trust the new system… it’s been redesigned. You can’t compare the two because they aren’t the same.

Now that everyone knows how much of a nut-case I am, if any of you have any questions about the new system, feel free to ask. I’ll be glad to try to answer them.

Mush and a Promise

There are times when I just shouldn’t be left alone to think. And it’s not that I have too much time to think, it’s just that once I start thinking about certain things, like insulin pumps, my mind is completely consumed by each one’s pros and cons and which one I like better or which one I think would work for me better.

Over the past, well, almost year, I have been doing too much “pros and cons” thinking instead of just stepping back and looking at the picture overall. Instead of comparing how they fit me, I’ve been comparing them against each other. So, after long thinking and irritating the life out of my friends, I’m lightening up the load.

I’ve called Accu-chek about the Spirit pump I had (out of warranty), and they are sending for it so they can dispose of it properly, and a few friends have claimed the other systems (the MM Revel and older, bigger pod system) I had after offering them on Facebook. I feel so guilty having what I do when others out there need pumps but maybe can’t get them or only have one and have no backup system.

So, that will leave me with the t:slim in the arsenal of pumps that would just be sitting around. I’m working with Tandem now to see if I can get approval to return it. It’s a long shot, but we’ll see how it goes. With no promise of when the update will be released to fix the issue of safety I have it it, I just don’t want it sitting on a shelf for possible use. I’ve also given out the accessories that I bought to go with it, so I’m down to what it came with.

That will leave me with the Animas Ping and the Omnipod (gen 2) system. Both of these work well with me and my needs, and I don’t mind trading off every now and then. The Ping will be good for if I want to rotate leg sites because I just can’t get good absorption with the pods there. It will give a break to my stomach and sides from using the pods. I think the benefits of the upgraded pod system are wonderful, and being tubeless is a definite plus, though it still gives me the hebegeebies. And, if I know we have something big coming up, like, say, beach vacation, I can take either system and not worry at all about the water.

So, with all of that being said, I leave you all with this promise… which I have signed:

pump promise

And I have Erik and Cherise to hold me to this. If I don’t, they have permission to go bat-snap crazy on me and take any and all pumps away from me and make me deal strictly with insulin pens. That, in itself, is enough to make me want to not say another word.

I’m confident in the fact that I do not want to give up my Dexcom for another brand nor do I want to switch insulin brands again.. now I need to be confident in my choice of insulin delivery and get over it and move on.

Reset

So the rumors are true.

If you own a Tandem t:slim insulin pump and put it into shelf mode for any reason, you will wipe every bit of memory it has. No personal profiles, no alarm/alert settings, nothing, nada will be saved. Even the time/date will be off.

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I took my t:slim out last night just to see how much charge had remained over the past 5 weeks of being in “storage” (a.k.a, my bottom drawer of my d-supply case). It had 80% left out of the 100% charge that I had stored it away with. So, 20% loss isn’t technically bad, but for those of you who maybe got one and maybe didn’t like it so you switched to another system and put this one into shelf mode, you may want to pull it out and charge it every couple of months or so.

Also, Erik and I had talked about my maybe needing to use it one week out of each month or two just because it’s not like a traditional pump being chargeable and all, and thought maybe it would do some good. Certainly couldn’t hurt, and I have the supplies to do it. I knew everything would be wiped, but I wasn’t expecting it to be wiped completely.

The only thing I felt uncomfortable about when I switched from the t:slim to the new Omnipod system was the lack of tubing. For some reason, I’ve just never minded having it and felt safer with it. Crazy, I know, but that’s just how I’m wired I guess, but as of hooking back up to the t:slim last night… I actually couldn’t stand it. I hated checking with one meter, then pulling out my pump to dose. If there’s anything that I absolutely love about the Omnipod system is that everything can be done within the remote. (Tandem, I think you’ll be on to something even bigger if you had a way to control the pump remotely. hint, hint!)

I think for now I probably will just use the t:slim as a “break” from the Omnipod every now and then. As of earlier this week, I did get a call from Tandem (after I asked if I could return it) stating that they are working on the reverse-correction issue and will be releasing an update shortly. When I asked for a time frame, one couldn’t be made certain other than it will be within the year. Maybe after it is fixed, I’ll go back to using it as my primary and the Omnipod as my backup. Only time will tell.

🙂

IOB on the New Omnipod PDM400

A common question amongst existing users is, “How exactly does the new PDM calculate the IOB (Insulin on Board)?”


So, I made a video. This was just a quick one. I plan on making another one later that gives all scenarios – IOB for meal only ( BG in-range ), IOB for meal + correction ( high BG ) and IOB taken into consideration for a low before a meal.

If you have any questions about this or anything else as to how the new system compares to the old one, feel free to email me or leave a comment! 🙂

Three Weeks

It’s been three weeks since I started on the Omnipod system with the new pods and PDM. While I’m hesitant to say it, I am really really really liking the new system. (Note, I’m not saying the other 4-letter L word yet.)

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Other than the inclusion of the Insulin On Board being calculated correctly now, I can’t tell what the difference is between the old system and the new one other than it just seems to work. My only theory I can think of is that since the pods are smaller and weigh less, it doesn’t move around as much as the old ones do and are less likely to be hit or knocked around which can interfere with insulin absorption and site inflammation over time. I do still wear them on my stomach simply because I’m still getting my basal rates adjusted properly and when I get those right, then I know how much to change it for other sites (I have increased resistance if I use say, my thigh instead of my tummy area).

Cosmetically, I do really like being tubeless. And since the pods are smaller, they’re more easily hidden. No one has to know I’m bolusing for lunch or looking up my insulin needs over the past 7 days. No questions or odd looks as to why this device has a weird tube going under my shirt. I feel free. Almost like I don’t look diabetic anymore.. silly I know… although the sensor on my arm sorta gives it away… but even that can be placed elsewhere too. No more “What’s that thing in your pocket?” “What is that cord to?”. Just me. Granted, there are ways to do this with a traditional tubed pump, but not always. And OMYGOSH how nice it is not to have to feel around for my pump in the morning and fish it out of the bed sheets or make sure it’s clipped to my bra when I go to the bathroom for fear I’ll rip it out if it’s attached to my pants.

I had to switch to using Novolog because, though I love how Apidra works the speed in which it works, it’s just too finicky not even close to 48 hours into a pod. I have great numbers for the first day, but then they’re sorta wonky the second and just flat out uncontrollable after that. With Novolog, I’ve been able to keep a pretty steady and predictable range when I try. It simply amazes me how some people can and have to use Apidra, some Humalog and some Novolog – and what may work great for me is a total crap-shoot for you.

So, more and more it’s seeming like the pod and Novolog are my winning combination. Only time will tell. I’m not going to make any promises though. I’m still not going to profess any love to it and marry it and all that, but I’m making good friends with it. 🙂

 

If you’re thinking of switching but are still in-warranty with your current system, it seems as though the “cut the cord” program is still in-place until April 30th. So go ahead and call now so they can get started on your request. 🙂