Week in Review

I hadn’t planned to take the week off from blogging, but it seems that my week off of work has given me less free time than a true work-week.  Hmm.  So anyway, here’s what’s happening…

When Cannulas Attack

After all of the craziness and unpredictability that diabetes had bestowed upon me the week earlier, I decided to give the Silhouette a try again.  I guess not using my belly for months gave the scar-tissue time to heal, because it went in painlessly, to my surprise. It was also quite comfortable … for the first day and a half.

The morning of Day 3 - it should've been a sign

The morning of Day 3 – it should’ve been a sign

But by the end of day 2, it was starting to itch. I feel that the adhesive on the Sure-T, while tolerable, just doesn’t play that nice with my skin. Nor does the non-stick-frying-pan-treatment (aka Teflon) that composes the cannula. By the of day 3, I couldn’t wait to rip the damn thing out. It left a nice red, sensitive welt in its wake.

So I went back to the Sure-T. I knew my technique was a bit off, and by the end of day 2, I was ready to move the site over a couple of inches (a perk of the Sure-T). When I removed the infusion site, blood poured out. It was thin and likely diluted by one of those insulin puddles. It dripped and I had to change my clothes afterwards. But before that, I looked at the blood-covered needle/cannula and pondered re-inserting it. I even thought about cleaning it off with an alcohol swab before re-inserting, but eventually let conventional wisdom prevail and I used a new one.

Christmas in Hollis

It wasn’t actually in Hollis, and Run DMC was nowhere to be seen.  But I did celebrate the holiday in nearby Kew Gardens, Queens in a most stereotypical Jewish fashion: with take-out Chinese food. The pre-dinner snacking and the actual dinner didn’t exactly play nice with my blood sugars, and I was surfing atop 220-wave that wouldn’t break for most of the evening. Of course, the wave broke just as it was time to leave: 140 mg/dl with a couple of downward-pointing CGM arrows and a whole lotta’ bolus On-Board. So before leaving I grabbed a couple of handfuls of chocolate cake and shoved it in my mouth before heading out for the hour-long drive home.

When I got home, I carried a sleeping child from the car to his bed, then promptly ripped out that three-day-old Silhouette infusion set.

Living on the Edge

I’ve only completed one order through Edgepark so far — for Bayer Contour NEXT test strips. While my pharmacy benefit charges me a co-pay, I learned after two years that I could get them at no cost as DME (Durable Medical Equipment) through my medical plan. (Test strips….. durable? Yeah, I wondered about that too.).

I placed my order on the 19th of December. They called me two days later and said that my insurance company wouldn’t cover the entire order right away (too many strips too soon, apparently), but they could ship part of it right away and ship the remainder in January. That’s OK, I don’t need them all right away anyway.

So last night, I checked Edgepark’s site and my order status is still Pending. Pending something (wasn’t my eligibility already established when I got that call on the 21st?). So I’ll need to call them on Monday, New Years’ Eve, and find out what’s the deal with that and if they could still fulfill the order (in part, anyway) under the 2012 benefit plan. Meanwhile, I’ve still got some leftover OneTouch Ultra’s if I need ‘em.

Moral of the story: Don’t wait until Friday night to check the status of orders.

Not Hip to be Square

I just downloaded more pump data to see how my control has changed over the last two weeks.  The last time I did this (almost two weeks ago), my two-week average fingerstick and sensor glucose levels were 134 and 131, respectively.  This time, the averages are 131 and 135. So, pretty much, they’re the same (there’s a 3-day overlap, which includes a particularly bad day).

Squarewave

Yesterday was another bad day. Not entirely, but I apparently “forgot” my lunch bolus.  I didn’t really forget to bolus, but what I forgot is that my previous bolus was a square-wave. One of the most annoying quirks about the Medtronic pump is how it defaults to the last bolus.  Usually when I get to this screen, “Normal bolus” is selected, so I just press ACT and I’m on my way. I hadn’t noticed that “Square wave bolus” was highlighted, so after pressing ACT I put my pump away – while it waited for me to tell it the extended-bolus duration – and it timed out. No bolus delivered, and I had no idea this happened until the “High Predicted” alert a little later.

Please, Med-T, fix this inconsistent default setting in your next upgrade.

Kickin’ it Old School

My faux-leather cell-phone case which doubled as a pump holder/belt clip finally ripped beyond repair. I buy them cheaply on the streets of Manhattan or at a local store called Five Below where they normally sell for five bucks, but apparently they’re not made anymore. In fact, when I bought this last one and they scanned it at the register, it was discounted to just a quarter (not a bad deal!). I guess no one has cell-phones that are this size or shape anymore – they’re all sleek, thin touch-screen style, so the cases are nowhere to be found either.

So now, I’m back using the clunky hard-plastic clip that Medtronic sent with the pump. But at least I can say those twenty-five cents served me well.

In closing

The baby was drinking a ton of milk and seemed repulsed by solid food, so I naturally worried – and tested his blood sugar … again.  89 mg/dl.  Whew.

Happy New Year!!

Posted on December 29, 2012, in Diabetes. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. A QUARTER for your case! That’s awesome! Sorry that you can’t find them anymore. In this case, progress is not so good, eh?

    And thanks for posting my all-time-favorite Christmas song! :-)

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    • It totally shocked me. They normally cost $5 each and there were three of that size/shape that I could find on the rack. I took two (not quite identical, but close) and when they rang up for a quarter, I wished I had taken the third. I had no idea they were being phased out, and at such a price.

      That song always brings me back to my college days; I remember my roommate and I watching Beavis and Butt-head’s running commentary to that Christmas song!

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  2. A week off is good! I’m sure it was fun.
    Big sigh at the 89.

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  3. I hate it when infusion sets go rogue on you. I’ve had a number of messes myself. Happy New Year!

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  4. They can put a man on the moon (over 40 years ago) but they can’t make a decent cannula. I totally buy into the insulin puddles idea too.

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  5. Those silhouettes make me dizzy. They were all that was available when I first started my pump, when I first discovered the Quick Set I was in bliss. Now that I have switched to Animas, I do love my nice straight in Inset II, especially since it has a great injector.

    I am still interested in the Sure Ts though. I like the sounds of reinserting like you almost did (I totally would have)

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    • There is a version of the Sure-T for Animas; I know that Sara (Moments of Wonderful) uses it. It’s nice to not have to contemplate if it’s worth it to change the site. Usually if I question it, I just move it (easy-peasy) and then tape it down with half of an IV3000 (or medical tape or duct tape; whatever’s handy).

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