Thursday, July 9, 2015

"Blu blu blu CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP!"

My impression of an Animas Vibe reboot, as enacted just now on the phone with tech support.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

That disheartening moment post-endo visit

when you realize all your usually-miserable, incredibly high overnights are NOT incorrect basal rates:

Which means, instead, that your body chemistry was completely changed by pregnancy and now you have to start all over from scratch and figure out the new way you have to bolus for anything with fat or carbs.

Friday, March 7, 2014

And then there were two.

In case you hadn't noticed the date stamp of my previous, last post, allow me to highlight that sucker for you:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

Yes, friends, that would be October 9, 2013. It was shortly after my little sister's wedding in California and a family trip to "Dih-ney-lahhh!" (L was in love and would have threatened to run away to Minnie's house, if she could have conceived of the idea herself), which was followed by a whole lot of very preggo waddling, a lot of panicked prepping at work to get things settled and then, y'know, a baby:

Little W, born November 4, 2013

Despite all my VBAC studying, the little dude arrived via c-section - a story for another day - and, unlike his sister, he managed to avoid the NICU. He was a big boy (8 lbs!), and continues to be (4 months old and wearing 6 month jammies!) take that, HCPs who kept alluding to my diabetes whenever his size came up.

The two of them make my heart virtually explode every time I see them together. I'm filled to bursting with ooey gooey love for my kids (KIDS! PLURAL!) and am beyond grateful that I have them both. I am also shocked at how woefully unprepared I was to deal with two children under the age of 3 in the same house. OMG. If I were an octopus, I still wouldn't have enough hands to do everything that needs doing.

Hence the rather impressive neglect here. However, I returned to work a few weeks ago, W is a little older (read: nursing less often, sleeping more consistently), and I hope to get back into the swing of things. Until then, some pictures from our time apart:

Most forlorn flower girl ever!

Rockin' my Ping pre-surgery

My twentieth diaversary!

L's first time playing in snow

Two-month pediatrician appointment

Oh, these troublemakers...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

UPS, you're doing a bang-up job!

It wasn't like the package was anything important. Like, you know, medical supplies.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ignoring the Faux Lows...

This is a pretty nice graph for the third trimester. I'll be sure to look at it next week when all my basal rates need to be blown up again.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The hand I was dealt

Kerri at Six Until Me just posted a well-wrought piece about living with diabetes and what the utter endlessness of it can do to you. It's beautiful, and you should read it: "Filling Back Up."

A chronic disease can be soul-sucking. It's exhausting, and overwhelming. Diabetes and its ilk is basically a neverending marathon - and we all know what happened to the original Marathon runner. So, like many other PWDs, Kerri's post rang painfully true. It resonates.

But that's not really what brought my own fingers to the keyboard today. This did:
I wish I had a more gracious outlook on my experiences with diabetes, but I don’t. I wish I felt that it was some kind of blessing, but to me, it isn’t. It’s a thorn in my side that digs in deeper with every passing anniversary, but fuck you, diabetes. I’m tired at times, but I’m not stopping. I’m afraid, but I’m still going.
In the past few years, I've seen a lot of people asking a lot of variations on the "gracious outlook" question "How has diabetes benefited you?" And there are a whole host of ways to answer that are all essentially true: diabetes has made me a stronger person, more capable, self-reliant, independent, blah blah blah. I just don't think that "benefit" happens because it's a hidden blessing or a good thing in your life - MANY horrible, crappy experiences form who you are. If you've grown from it, to me, it means you've managed to find some way to make the bad hand you've been dealt not a complete waste.

So when people ask me that, I bristle a little. I know why they're asking, I get it. But I'm just not really on that page. Instead, I'm with Kerri's "fuck you, diabetes." To me, that's it. A LOT of what keeps me moving through burnouts and logging and complications and all the 2-steps-forward-1-step-back is the FUCK YOU. My inner rage about all the diabetes bullshit I have to deal with fuels 90 percent of my self-care. "Oh, I just don't know how you can stick yourself every day!" and  "Oh, I could never have to watch what I eat like you do. How do you live without pizza?!" You know how? Because I'm pissed that I have to, and I'm not going to let my bad luck dictate my health. I am fiercer and stronger and more determined than the hand I was dealt. I do it to prove I can, to flip the bird at fate.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Jumping ship to Animas

My Animas Ping arrived a little over two weeks ago, and I finally had my pump start on Monday. I'm still waiting for a few more days to pass before tossing out any opinions on the system - learning curves are hard, and four years on the Minimed Paradigm has made the Ping seem like work. But until I have a few more set changes under my belt, I thought I'd tackle a question Scott threw out there: Tell me, what made you leave Medtronic?

It's a good question.

When I first decided to try pump therapy, I did a bunch of research, read a bunch of blogs, and asked my CDE for her opinion. (The DOC and Twitter were not such a ready resource for me in 2009, alas.) The big bonuses to Minimed seemed to be 90% the integrated CGM and 10% the ability to upload records easily for my CDE - an important perk, as the whole point was to prep for pregnancy and I knew there would be a lot of data flying north to 168th Street. But...I had an incredible crush on the Animas pump. Everything seemed so much more slick, so polished! And it was waterproof! And had a loaner program for travel! And! And! And! But I didn't want to be swayed by fantastic visuals or well-done marketing or bells and whistles that didn't speak to basic needs. I wanted the pump that worked best for my self-care, and that was CGM and data transmission. So, Minimed Paradigm it was.

But picking a pump after nearly 16 years on MDI - without personally knowing a pumper, or having the advantage of trial use - is kind of akin to buying your first car without ever having driven one. How could I possibly know what I wanted the pump to do? How could I know what features would be useless and what would drive me crazy? I couldn't, obviously. So I picked and crossed my fingers that I'd made the right choice.

I knew I'd made a horrible mistake roughly a week after first using their CGM. Inserting a sensor was like harpooning myself. There was a lot of blood, and blood jacked up the sensor. The calibration was frustrating. The taping of the little shell was annoying. The data was inaccurate. For me, the Minimed CGM was an abysmal failure. And it was 90% of the reason I'd decided to get that brand of pump...

I started Dexcom 6 months after I went on the Paradigm (i.e., as soon as the CGM warranty was up and I was eligible to apply again to my insurance). Such a different experience! I was in LOVE with my Dexcom. SO in love. I was sad it wasn't integrated, but it worked so much better for me that I didn't mind having to go through some extra hoops or carry an extra piece of gear. I started the countdown to pump warranty expiration shortly thereafter.

So that's the biggie, I think. I'd decided to do the Minimed because of features it had that the Animas didn't, and then those features kind of sucked. But after four years of pumping, I can also tell you that there are a few other items that have been added to the list of why I jumped ship for the Animas:
  • remote bolusing option (a HUGE plus when you're wearing a dress)
  • IOB displayed right on the pump - no need to do a BG, or fake one, to get the bolus wizard to tell you how much active you still have
  • waterproof (bigger deal now that I have a toddler - they're walking cyclones, and better safe than sorry)
  • better/less-painful insertion (confirmed after 2 set changes, but prior to that I just KNEW any other option had to be better than the brutal Sil-Serter)
Beyond that awesomeness, there are still beautiful things on the horizon! In April, Animas submitted the Vibe - which is integrated with Dexcom! - to the FDA. And rumor has it that the folks at Animas really do like their Verio IQ meter, as do I. Who knows what could happen there? My dream is to have a magical pump with Dexcom integration AND the Verio IQ as the pump's radio-synced meter. A girl can dream, can't she?

Like most things diabetes related, picking a pump - and sticking with it year after year after year - boils down to what works for each person. (And, for me, what my insurance has to say about it.) For me, I've wished for the Animas for 3.5 of my 4 years with Minimed. Minimed was great, and I can't complain about anything but their CGM system. But it was never the right pump for me.

So, Scott, that's why I jumped ship! Rest assured, though, that I'm still running on an Energizer battery - albeit AA - just like you are.