Friday Five – Post Holiday Meltdown Edition

1) Okay – maybe that’s a bit extreme. My blood sugars could have been a LOT worse yesterday than they were. I topped off at 303 mg/dl and kinda just stayed between 180 – 250 for the rest of the afternoon. I finally just over-bolused for my dinner and came safely back down to 80-ish by bedtime. However, it appears I still need more basal insulin in the early morning hours because my 3 am checks still yield results in the 160s. Sigh.

2) I fell asleep at 9:30 pm and missed all fireworks displays. I didn’t really care. Between my pain killers, the 100+ degree heat and humidity, and the fact that I watched the hubs run a 10K at 8 am that morning took a toll on my energy level for the whole day. Plus – all the food and wonky blood sugars? I was happy my 4th was fairly low-key.

3) I woke up from my slumber to discover that Medtronic has voluntarily recalled my model of pump reservoirs. But apparently not my Lot of supplies. Otherwise, I’d have to send in 7 boxes and play the waiting game. If you kick it old school and use a Medtronic Paradigm… check your boxes.

4) The studio hosts a contest every July to boost revenue and referrals. Everyone is put on a team and gets points for attending classes, bringing in new people, participating in special events, etc. I’m on the Blue Team this year. This makes Blue Fridays that much easier to participate in. I have lots of blue sparkles that I need to make use of.

5) My head made it through yesterday with little incident. (Sans the slight pressure I got when laying down to sleep on my right side.) My doctor follow up is today and I’ve been referred to get an MRI. The problem is that most of my triggers occur with loud noises. MRIs are very loud. Even with earplugs, I’m not really sure how I’m going to survive that 20 minutes.

June DSMA Blog Carnival

June’s Prompt: 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?

It’s simple really. What will my insurance cover for me at little to no out-of-pocket expense or what can I get for free?

I’m a Medtronic Minimed user by default. My old HMO had a contract ONLY with Medtronic so that’s what I was ordered when it was decided that pump therapy was the way to go. So I didn’t even get a chance to research Animus, et. al. My insurance was going to cover a Minimed… the end.

Same goes for my One Touch meters. The HMO didn’t cover the Accucheck brand strips – so all of the fun meters I saw and wanted to try were unavailable unless I wanted to pay full price. And as a poor college grad, why the hell would I want to pay full price for anything when I could get it for 20% and or free?

My new HMO is a bit more flexible. Apparently I can order strips for my Bayer Contour Link with no problem or added expense pending I didn’t already fill a 3 month supply of One Touch strips.

That said, I wish I had done more research before blindly calling Medtronic and ordering their CGM. Yeah – I didn’t like the idea of carrying around two devices all the time, especially when I barely have the pocket space to fit one. So having the one inclusive device was very appealing to me. However, given all of the issues I’ve had with my Minimed CGM, I really wish I had just stopped, thought about it, maybe tried it out (which I wasn’t sure I could do), asked more questions, etc. But I think I was so excited at the prospect of even being able to get one for the first time that I just jumped on the most readily available option. (My old HMO also didn’t cover CGMs unless you were deemed “brittle,” which… I don’t understand why.)

I’m happy to have the technology that I do. But my decisions really come down to the bottom dollar. I’m stubborn enough to not want to pay an exorbitant amount of money for my care, especially if I can get something that works “okay” or “half-way decent” 85% of the time. I’m excited when things are covered at all.

If you are looking for a new device, and money is no object, kudos! Explore all of your options and figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle. Don’t want a meter that take more than 10 seconds to give you a reading? Don’t get one – there are plenty of other options out there. Check out websites, reviews from other users, call and harass customer care.

If money is an object, consult your medical insurance, HMO, and docs to make sure THEY haven’t already made the decision for you like they did for me.

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/

The CGM that Cried Wolf

(c) someone talented on the interwebz

(c) someone talented on the interwebz

I know MiniMed CGMs are known for their quirks and inaccuracies. However, I’ve gotten up one too many times in the middle of the night to find out that my sugars aren’t what my CGM says they are.

Last night was no exception. By the 4th wake up call and checks to discover that my sugars were safely in the 80s, I gave up listening to my CGM. I even restarted it because it said I had a double arrows down to 56 when I was actually 102. I just wanted sleep, damnit.

At around 5:30 am, I got another low alarm. This time for about a 74 mg/dl. Fine. Whatever… I’m sure I’m okay and 70 is actually an ideal fasting blood sugar for pre-pregnancy prep. So I continued to sleep until my alarm went off at 6:15. But man, I was hungry.

Woke up to a blood sugar of 56 mg/dl.

Oh… I see how it is. <sigh> This is what I was afraid of.

Shots were never this complicated

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I was a child with diabetes in the 80s so I had my fair share of analog technology to assist me with control. Ketone strips that were used to find high blood sugars rather than glucose monitors that gave results in 5 seconds or less. And if you had a glucose monitor, it weighed 2 pounds and took approximately 2 and a half minutes to produce a result after multiple steps. (And a crap ton of blood.) Then there was my insulin regiment of NPH and Regular, given multiple times a day in a syringe. No continuous glucose monitors. Insulin pumps were in their very early infancy. You just lived with what you had and the meager technology that was available  was what you used.

But it was so simple! Administration was a guarantee with shots. Whether the meds worked or not were a different calamity, but at least you physically drew insulin from a bottle and injected it somewhere.

Now days, I have to wonder if my high blood sugars are from a meal, a lack of basal or some sort of pump malfunction. (And that’s just the basics for where a high could come from.) My life seems dependent on batteries moreso than a correct basal rate.

I say all this because I finally met with Medtronic again this morning. My CGM transmitter is a dud. I need to send it back after I get my replacement tomorrow. This is probably the reason for most of my CGM woes over the last month.

This is the third Medtronic device I’ve had to return and have replaced because of some technical glitch. (Though, now I’m wondering if I needed my second pump… not that I’m complaining.)

Is this normal? Or do I just have really crap luck with technology? I mean, I work on computers all the time and those don’t crumble to Blue Screens when I walk through the door. I don’t enjoying breaking my diabetes tech. I try not to do it on purpose and I don’t think anyone does. But seriously… this is getting kind of ridiculous. Shots wouldn’t give me calibration errors or beep incessantly. They just did their job and were disposed of.

When did this become more complicated?