Category Archives: Insulin pump

Fathers Day on ice

This photo is from last year; I didn't get one today.

This photo is from last year. I unfortunately  didn’t get one this time.

For Fathers Day, one of the local ice rinks held a “father-son” hockey clinic. Since hockey – to a six-year-old – is always more fun when he’s with his dad (and since dad hasn’t played since last summer), the two of us left the house early Sunday morning for some ritual bonding and much-needed exercise (on my part).

After breakfast, my blood sugar was trending in the 140 mg/dl range. With dawn-phenomenon what it is (i.e. unpredictable), I didn’t know what to expect. But (at 8:14 am) about an hour before we were supposed to get on the ice, I set a Temporary Basal of 55% for the next hour and a half. It was an hour session, and if my basal returned to normal halfway through, it wouldn’t affect by BG until we were done anyway.

A few minutes after that, my CGM signal was lost. And it stayed lost for quite some time.

Granted, my sensor had already been reincarnated twice and was on its third life. It had also been reading some arbitrary and isolated LOWs overnight. But it wasn’t worth changing it beforehand, knowing it could get knocked or pulled out at any moment while on the ice. So I had decided to give it a try, and que sera, sera.

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Photo Friday: The Hover-bubble


It looks like an air-bubble in the tubing, but it’s not. I can rewind/prime/purge/(waste) insulin, but this spot doesn’t move. It just stays put.

And it’s happened before. Often.

I haven’t a clue what it is. Any ideas?

The reservoir

reservoirOne of the handy little perks of the Medtronic insulin pump is what I call the convenient “little blue collar”  (not to be confused with the terrifying death-grip of the “big blue ‘serter“). The little blue collar is used to hold a new reservoir against a vial of insulin, and has a double-sided needle to help draw the insulin from the vial into the reservoir. Compared to the clumsy syringe needle system of filling the cartridge of other pumps (such as the Animas), it’s really quite nice. The official name of the little-blue-collar is a “transfer guard”.

When you use it right — and apparently, I’ve been doing it wrong. This is according to the latest information (here as PDF) broadcast by Medtronic (I spotted it via social-media, but surprisingly not by email. I guess a letter will arrive in the mail soon).

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How to build a better insulin pump

Recently, Medtronic posed the following question on their Facebook page:

If you could add one feature to your pump, what would it be? We’re listening.

Something really impressed me about this question: the last two words. I like dialog, discussion, and patient outreach. It’s good to know they’re listening.

What didn’t impress me were some of the responses. While many of them were practical and thought-out, some of them were, to be honest, boneheaded. I won’t detail them here, as I’m not out to insult anyone, but part of the reason vendors don’t often open up the suggestion-box to the public like some of the responses you get are either illogical, impractical, or impossible (or require a cellular contract with data-plan — no thank you). Someone even suggested the pump include a cure “feature” — who wouldn’t want that? (Well, some might say the folks who make a living by treating diabetes, but I’m not one of those conspiracy theorists).

Still, there are some very simple, yet very beneficial improvements that can be made, and rather than just leave one comment amid a thousand (at last count) on a Facebook post, I’m going to take advantage of my blogger pulpit and talk about some of my ideas here. If you’ll indulge me…

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UnattachedThis morning I woke up with a blood sugar that was slightly higher than I would’ve liked. Not bad at all, mind you, but it could’ve been better (especially given my AM blood sugar spikes). So before my shower, I decided to Super Bolus an hour’s worth of basal insulin to give me a slight head-start on my day.

After my shower (which only lasted twenty minutes or so), I knew I had plenty of time before the next drop of insulin would come — so I didn’t rush. After getting dressed, I just laid in bed for a little while with the pump sitting on the nightstand. Checking emails on my phone… thinking about what the day would hold for me…


Man, did that feel nice…

(I’d better not get used to this!)