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Posts Tagged ‘insulin pump’

So, not a lot to report here. Life has settled down a lot. My husband and I had a relaxing, laid back weekend to make up for last weekend! My blood sugars have been pretty good. I’ve been having lows before dinner, and before lunch. Saturday and Sunday my blood sugar was just high all day. Nothing I did seemed to bring it down, it just stayed at 200! I think it was because I was on my weekend basal, but I was getting up at 9am. I usually don’t get up until 10 or 11 on the weekend. Anyway, so now I’m not sure if I need to use my weekend basal rates anymore or if I can just use my regular ones! This is a learning disease for sure! It seems to be always changing!

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It happened again! I can’t believe it and I am so irritated by it!

I worked at my mom’s shop on Friday. We didn’t work hard, we goofed off more, and just hung out. We sampled some new juices she had, and talked. I was there from noon – 4:30 when I headed home. Before heading home I thought I felt a little low, but I was in a hurry, so instead of testing my sugar I just ate an orange, and drank some juice before getting in the car to drive home. I texted my husband on my way home to see how his day was. He got off work at 5, so he would be home just a few minutes after me. Since he was going to be home right after me, I didn’t mention that I was just then on my way home.

When I got home I went in and played with the puppy for a few minutes. I sat in her chair with her…….and the next thing I know I’m dreaming. My dream is about being in a diabetic coma from a low. I can hear people talking about someone who is in a coma and asking questions of someone about it. I am just thinking, I am so glad that is not me, and this is just a dream. I feel cold, so cold that I am shaking profusely and can’t get myself to stop no matter how hard I try. And wait, now I hear the puppy barking in the background, and someone says “small poke”. Was that to me?? The voices start to clear up and I realize that I’m not having a bad dream, this is real, and it’s me who’s in a diabetic coma.

Oh crap, I thought. I wanted more than anything to just wish it away. To keep my eyes closed and turn it into a dream. But I knew I couldn’t. I opened my eyes to 4 paramedics and my husband, all gathered around me on the couch. I didn’t know what day it was, or what time it was. It looked like afternoon, judging from the sunlight. I thought that was weird, because it should be morning right?

The paramedics asked me questions…..”Do you know who that guy is?” they asked, pointing to my husband. I nodded and my brain quickly said, “My husband” but it was much harder to get my mouth to form the words and get them out.  It probably sounded more like “Ay Usand” Ugh, I felt like a retard. Nothing is more frustrating than knowing how to say it correctly and thinking so clearly, but speaking so slowly and unclearly. They asked me if I could tell them his name. I mumbled it the best I could.

When I looked at him he looked so stressed out. He mouthed, “I’m sorry” at me. I knew he hated calling the paramedics because he knew how much I hated having them there.

They tested my sugar again and it was 121, so they packed everything up, took my iv out, and were on their way out. Once they left I asked T what happened. I had no idea what had happened. He said when we got home he found me passed out in Emma’s chair, with Emma freaking out, barking at me and scratching at me. He had no idea how long I’d been home, so he didn’t know how long I’d been out. He tested my bs and it was 22. He got some fast acting glucose gel out of the cupboard and squirted some in my mouth. I spit it out. I don’t know why, but I fight him tooth and nail when he tries to help me! He put more in my mouth and tried to pour some juice down my throat to wash it down. I spit it out again, and he said it sounded like I was going to choke so he stopped trying that. He tested my sugar again and it was up to 28. He was relieved and thought he could get it up. He waited a little longer and tested again and it was back down to 21. When it started going back down he called the paramedics. He said it took them a half hour to get there, and when they tested my sugar it was down to 16. Thats the lowest it’s ever been!

They hooked me right up to the iv and pumped in the dextrose, and T said that in 30 seconds I was waking up. They did another finger stick on me a few minutes later (Which hurt like the dickens by the way, and actually STILL hurts!! This is why I don’t do finger sticks!) and it was 121. It’s amazing how fast that stuff works!

I am so irritated that this happened while I was awake! I could understand my other one a little, since I have a hard time waking up when I’m having a bad low, but this, this is not ok with me at all. And I didn’t feel bad, I just felt tired I think, because if I remember correctly I just decided to take a little nap. Although it wasn’t a nap at all!

So 30 minutes later we tested my sugar again and it was 83….going down. So T gave me a piece of bread with jelly on it to get it back up. I ate it while he held me, wrapped in a blanket because I was freezing. I was still shaking and having a hard time moving and talking quickly. My shirt and hair was sticky from when I’d spit out the gel and juice T had tried to give me. As soon as I stopped shaking I got in the shower. It warmed me up and cleaned me off.

After my shower we tested my sugar again and it was 171, going up. I started making dinner while T worked on a work project. A half hour later dinner was ready and I tested my sugar again. It was up to 298!!! Ugh, I felt like crap with it that high. Nauseous!! Of course I didn’t want to take to much insulin and have another low, so I gave myself enough for dinner, with about 5 units extra, which should have brought it down about 200 points.

I tested an hour later, 348. Now I was getting pissed. Again, I didn’t want to over-do it with the insulin, so I gave myself 4 more units. I still had a little of my insulin from dinner working for me.

I tested an hour later, 398! I couldn’t believe it! Really?? I took 5 more units, and one hour later I was down to 312. At least it was going down! An hour later I was in the 200’s, and an hour later, right before bed, I was down to a comfortable 107!

So, my low started at 5pm, and the repercussions from it lasted until 2am!

The important part is that I am ok. I don’t know why it happened, but I don’t want it to happen again! I test my sugar every 2 hrs now while I’m at work and report the reading to my husband. When I’m with him, he can always tell right away when I am having a low. He says he can see it in my face and eyes. It’s when I’m not with him that we’re worried about.

I’m hoping this won’t ever happen again!

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First of all, my apologies for not posting for so long! I have had an overwhelmingly busy couple weeks!

My mom called me Friday evening, the 20th of February, and told me that she and my dad had just finished booking an all-inclusive resort in Cancun. My hubby and I went to a resort in Cancun last year and came back telling them how wonderful it was and how they HAD to go! So they did it. My mom asked if we wanted to go with them….which of course we did, but it just wasn’t in the budget. She said she knew that, and thats why they would pay half! They were already getting a screamin deal, so our half for 7 nights in an all inclusive resort in Cancun, with airfare, would be $1000! What an amazing deal. We couldn’t turn it down! So, thanks to my wonderful parents, we are leaving on March 23rd for Cancun! We’re just going to stay in our resort, eat, drink, and lay on the beach or swim in the pool! I am really looking forward to it. This is the first year that we haven’t planned a vacation at all, but things worked out.

I guess that just goes to show that I need to trust things can and do work out. I have been unbelievably discouraged lately because my husband and I have been trying to concieve our first for a year now, with no luck. I don’t know if there is anything more frustrating. I have been living the healthiest lifestyle, and DH has been doing his best as well. But I understand his frustration when he goes 2 – 3 weeks without a drink, and it doesn’t seem to be making a difference anyway. He likes to have a glass of wine or 2 in the evenings, or a bottle or two on the weekends. Honestly, so do I! But we’ve flipped our world upside down trying for this, and still nothing. Meanwhile, I feel like all my friends, even those who weren’t planning or trying for a baby, are getting pregnant. The reason this month is especially discouraging, is because after this cycle, if I’m not pregnant again, I have to start the uncomfortable and expensive medical testing to see if there is something wrong with me.

Don’t I have enough problems? Why is this being added to the mix? I don’t know, but it sure is discouraging.

Enough of that! That has nothing to do with diabetes! I have been working with the bolus wizard for the past 3 weeks. I am still making little tweeks, but over all it’s going well and I like it. I had an appointment to review my progress with my doctor yesterday afternoon. I like my doctor, and type 1 diabetic doctors are hard to find in my area. However, sometimes she seems more stumped by my numbers than I am. She usually has some great advice and great things for me to try, but yesterday she just seemed bothered by the fact that my basal went from 1u, 1u, 1.3u, 1.2u, to .1u, and back to 1.4u. I explained to her that I have lots of lows in the morning and I tend to be high after lunch….but it just bothered her. Maybe it should, but it’s working and I just figured it out and I don’t want to have those terrible morning lows anymore! She wants me to even it out. Also, she is as stumped as I am that my sugars have so many inconsistencies. One day it’s doing one thing, and the next day it’s doing something else. This was the whole reason I originally asked for the CBGM. Since she couldn’t get my insurance to approve it, she wanted to work with me to try and fix my problems manually. Which I am all for, but it is frustrating to me when my doctor seems so confused.

So, now she wants to see me again in 2 weeks, and she wants to have her type 1 diabetic pumping doctor friend come meet with me as well, and hopefully be able to clear some things up.

I am having LESS lows which is great, but I am still having lows and I am so tired of it. I’ve decided to set a weekend “pattern” (I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before) since I ALWAYS have a horrible low if I sleep in…and I sleep in every weekend! I tried that for one weekend day last weekend, because I thought of it Saturday morning after my terrible low. Sunday my blood sugar was just fine and I slept in until almost 11! I changed it so in the early am I am basically taking no basal. It seems to be working.

I don’t understand why it goes so low on the weekends when I am sleeping. Even on the week days I usually don’t have breakfast, and my sugar doesn’t drop low. Of course, this stumped my doctor to. But we have to do what works.

So, thats where I am right now. I am hoping for no lows this weekend, and no highs either! Have a great weekend everyone.

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I don’t know about you guys, but I for one, got tired of all the questions people had to ask about my pump when they could see it.

When I first got my insulin pump, I wore it on my jeans waistline using the clip Minimed provided. So it stuck out like a pager or cell phone on a clip would, only bigger and with tubing coming out the top. If there is one thing I try to avoid, it’s sticking out.

I would get several questions everyday from people. Here’s what a normal conversation would go like:

“What is that?”

“It’s an insulin pump.”

“What does it do?”

“I’m a type 1 diabetic, which means I need insulin to survive. This pump gives me the insulin I need.”

“Oh. How does it do that?”

(the part I hated explaining)

“Well, I put in a small cannula that attaches to the put through the tubing and it gives me the insulin.”

“Can I see?” (kinda rude….personal space people)

“Sure.” (pull up shirt a little to reveal infusion site)

(Look of shock on questioners face….GASP) “That whole thing is in you? That must hurt!”

“No, the whole thing is not in me, just a thin flexible cannula. It’s thin a short like a needle, but flexible so it doesn’t hurt me.”

“Oh.” (with a look that says they don’t understand at all and think I’m a freak machine)

It’s just easier to avoid that conversation all together! So, right away I tried to find ways to hide it. The tubing doesn’t always make it completely hidden, and it is a good size rectangular chunk of plastic so to some extent it is visible, but my favorite hiding place is just my back jeans pocket. The tubing comes out the top and I stuff it down my under-ware, so some people may see a little clear tubing coming out of my back pocket, but no one has asked about it. And you can tell something is in my back pocket, but it could be anything….a cell phone, IPod, PDA….they don’t know.

I do go through jeans faster because they get worn out where the pump always is. Darn it! But it’s worth it.

Another good hiding spot is in my bra. As I am not well endowed, that one is a little tougher for me to pull off. I have to have the right shirt to hide the rectangular lump. But when I do have the right shirt, it works like a charm!

If I’m wearing a low cut dress I will just wear some tight under-ware and put it in the top of them, on the waist band part. That works great, although sometimes it slips down and that is uncomfortable! I’ve also had to fall out completely and all the sudden it’s swinging below my skirt between my legs. No one has caught that before me YET. Or if they have, they haven’t said anything. 🙂

Anyone have any other good hiding spots or similar issues? Anyone else tired of all the questions??

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When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, all my doctors suggested that I get an insulin pump. At the time, the whole thing was new to me and just the thought of shots scared me! The thought of attaching something to me scared me much more. Especially since I had no idea how it was attached. I am not a fan of pain at all. So I told the doctors I was not interested in the pump then.

I took insulin shots for about 3 years before deciding to research the insulin pump more. I was tired of the up and down blood sugar patterns I was having, and I’d heard that the pump provided a much more even range.

I looked insulin pumps up online and found lots of information about how wonderful they are. I tried to find pictures of how you attached them to you, and I couldn’t find anything! I wanted to see pictures of how the process worked before I committed to it. How big was the needle? How did you get it in you? Did they just leave a needle in for the 2 – 3 days it was in before you changed it?

Since I couldn’t find any photos, I took it upon myself to take pictures of myself going through the process. Maybe it will help some other scared type 1’s thinking about getting the pump and wanting to see some photos! I hope so!

The first step is to gather the supplies you need. I use the minimed paradigm 722 insulin pump and they have the option of a quick-serter. It is a spring loaded gadget that you put the needle part of the infusion set into, and then just press it against your skin and push the tabs on the side and it quickly plunges the needle in. It rarely hurts. Most of the time I can’t even feel it.  I know they have other options for putting the infusion set in, but this is the one I chose.

Here is a photo of the quick-serter, humalog, new reservoir, new infusion set, and iv prep.

Quick-serter, humalog, iv prep, reservoir, infusion set

Quick-serter, humalog, iv prep, reservoir, infusion set

Once I have everything, I load the new reservoir with humalog insulin. To do this I take it out of the plastic packaging, pull the plunger to the end of the tube, and then put the humalog vile on the blue connecter. I then push the air from the plunger into the humalog, and draw the insulin into the reservoir. Just like filling a syringe, only a big one.

Filling reservoir with humalog insulin

Filling reservoir with humalog insulin

Just filled reservoir
Just filled reservoir

Once the reservoir is filled, I can remove the plunger. The plunger is just screwed in, so I just unscrew it.

Just filled reservoir, plunger detached
Just filled reservoir, plunger detached

Next I open the infusion set.

New infusion set, just opened

New infusion set, just opened

Take it out of the plastic, and take the paper off the cording. I am now ready to attach the infusion set to my newly filled reservoir. You’ll see on one end of the cording there is the needle surrounded by adhesive, and on the other end there is a round knob looking thing with a small needle inside. To attach the infusion set to the reservoir you take the knob end, put it onto the top of the reservoir, and turn it until it clicks. Once it clicks it is locked on.

New reservoir filled and attached to infusion set, ready to put in pump

New reservoir filled and attached to infusion set, ready to put in pump

Now that the new infusion set it ready, you can rewind your insulin pump. Before you rewind it you will want to disconnect the old infusion set from your body.

Pump notification that it's ready to rewind

Pump notification that it's ready to rewind

Pump notification that it's rewinding

Pump notification that it's rewinding

Once it’s done rewinding, it will notify you and you can take the old reservoir out. This is done by just unscrewing the reservoir from the pump.

Old/Empty infusion set and reservoir taken out of pump

Old/Empty infusion set and reservoir taken out of pump

Now you are ready to put the new infusion set into the pump. You just need to screw the new reservoir into the reservoir opening on your pump. Once it’s in you need to prime it by pushing a few command buttons on your pump. It will have prompts to guide you through. Priming means you fill the cord with insulin. You are done priming when you see insulin coming out the needle end of the infusion set. Once it’s primed, you can set the needle end of the infusion set into the quick-serter. Pull the needle cover off the needle, and the adhesive covers off the adhesive. Pull the end of the quick-serter back to spring load it. It is now ready to put on.

new infusion set prepped in quick-serter, ready to put on

new infusion set prepped in quick-serter, ready to put on

Now you need to cover the area you are planning to put it with IV Prep. This disinfects the area and it is a little sticky, helping the adhesive stick better. Plus, I think it numbs the skin a little, but that’s just a personal opinion! You just wipe the iv prep on with the cloth it comes on, and wait for it to dry. You can feel your skin and when it’s dry your skin will feel dry but a little sticky.

What IV prep looks like once dried on skin

What IV prep looks like once dried on skin

Now take the quick-serter and press it to your skin where you want the new infusion set to go in.

Quick-serter loaded and ready to insert new set with the push of a button

Quick-serter loaded and ready to insert new set with the push of a button

Squeeze the buttons on the quick-serter and the spring loaded section will release and very quickly plunge the new infusion set into your skin. Remove the quick-serter. At this point the needle will still be in you.

Infusion set right after inserting, before removing needle

Infusion set right after inserting, before removing needle

Pull the blue cover off (which has the needle in it) and wallah, your new infusion set is in! The needle is surrounded by a very thin, very short, flexible cannula that is left under your skin which is how the insulin gets into your system.

Infusion Set

Infusion Set

Your pump will guide you through your “fixed prime” which is just giving you a little insulin to fill the cannula that is in you. Once you’ve done that, the pump will say it’s ready to work! You’re done!

Here is a picture of the needle you took out.

Infusion set needle, once removed

Infusion set needle, once removed

Of course you still need to pull the adhesive and old infusion set out. I always worried that this would hurt, but it never has.

Here is what the old one looks like. It shows the cannula that is what is actually under your skin. It’s so tiny! Especially compared to how it looks on the outside.

Old infusion set, removed

Old infusion set, removed

Thats all there is to it! The whole process only takes about 5 minutes. In writing it looks pretty long, but it really isn’t.

Any questions? Let me know!

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I was testing my blood sugar this morning, for the 3rd time….3am, 7am (waking), and 9am…2 hrs after waking to make sure suspending my pump for a 1/2 hour while I was in the shower didn’t make my blood sugar go up. It has in the past! So far so good today!

It got me thinking about testing though. Does anyone change their lancet everytime they test their blood sugar? You know thats how you’re supposed to do it! I did that…maybe the first week I was diabetic, before I decided to give it at least a couple tests before changing it. I test my sugar 8 – 12 times a day! Not only is it time consuming to change the lancet, but it would cost more in supplies also! And it would fill up my sharps container so much faster! So I started waiting for a few tests before changing it, and then I decided to just try using the same one until it hurt to test. I use a freestyle freedom meter imagesand I test on my forearm. I tried the finger stick and hated it. I could never get enough blood for the test. I would have to run my hands under warm water to bring my blood to the surface and even then I still had trouble! All my fingers were bruised all the time. It was terrible! I was thrilled to find out about the Freestyle Meter that had alternate test sites and required a smaller blood sample! It has been a life saver! Anyway, the point is that when I decided to keep using the same lancet until it started to hurt, I was able to use the same one for a couple days…. 25 – 40 tests!! So I’m wondering if I will regret not changing my lancet more often down the road. Has anyone noticed complications from trying the same thing??

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I know, it has been far to long since I’ve posted! I had a very busy weekend, and a busy day yesterday getting caught up from the weekend! But I’m back now! My husband and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary of the day we started dating over the weekend. We had a lot of fun reminising and spending time together.

I woke up this morning with a low – 54. Actually, the past few mornings I’ve woken up with it lower than normal….normally in the high 60’s though. I think it’s from the date after ovulation. I need to chart my sugars to see a clear line, and then adjust my night time basal settings so I can wake up with a 100 instead! I just wish my blood sugar trends were more consistant!

I struggled with a few lows over the weekend. One was kind of my fault. I had dinner with a friend, and afterwards we wanted to workout. Normally I wait until my insulin is done (2 hrs after eating) before working out so I can check it and make sure it’s high enough to workout. Well, she was in a hurry and I wanted to workout so I threw caution to the wind and told myself it would be ok. During the workout I noticed I was sweating quite a bit more than normal, especially for the workout I was doing. After the workout we went to a department store to look at clothes and purses. While we were looking I realized I was responding very slowly to things my friend was saying to me. Normally, my husband would have told me in the middle of my workout that I looked like I was having a low and needed to test my sugar. He can tell instantly….he says I get a vacant look in my eye. Of course my friend doesn’t know that look, and she probably just thought I was being a weirdo. Anyway, when I realized how slowly I was responding to her I tested my sugar. 38….dang it! I ate 3 glucose tabs and started feeling better within 10 minutes.

I recently learned that the reason people with low blood sugars (especially that low) can act irrational, or slow to respond…or a number of other symptoms, is that when you’re having a low your brain is not getting enough glucose. Your brain needs glucose to run effectively! A diabetic coma happens when you really don’t have enough sugar and your brain just shuts down. It says, “sorry buddy, I can’t work with this, I’m closing up shop”….and there you are, unconscious. I was glad to learn that fact though, because now when I’m feeling retarded and slow I always think, “I bet I’m having a low. I need to test my sugar.”

So, I have a few challenges in front of me. I need to fix waking up with lows by adjusting my basal settings during the night. I also need to be a little more generous with giving myself the full 1 unit of insulin to 10 carbs of food at lunchtime. I was having so many lows last month and I don’t want to have them anymore so I’m much more “stingy” with my insulin. But I must be back to normal (At least for now) because I’ve been having 180 – 200’s in my 2 hrs after lunch test. I don’t want those numbers either!

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