Category Archives: Personal

Pager Error

This one beeps AND boops (and beeps again)

This one beeps AND boops (and beeps again)

Early this week, I was in line to get my lunch (the same line where I had that d-encounter a few weeks ago), and the woman behind the counter asked me the question, in an incredulous tone “does that thing still work?”

Huh? I wasn’t sure what she was talking about, or if she was even talking to me. But she might have been talking about my pump, and being the same one that gave me problems during that encounter, I started to worry that something may be wrong.

“I thought that because now everyone uses cellphones and iPads…”.

Oh, now I get it. It’s the old Pager Error.

“No, it’s an insulin pump”.

(Blank stare)

I pulled it away from my hip and displayed a length of tubing. “A medical device…”


“For diabetes.” And then… “yeah, it still works.”

And that was it. I wasn’t about to explain what diabetes was. I was hungry, and the people behind me in line were getting impatient.

530G: Good expectations


My reenactment of this.

Like some other d-bloggers, I was invited to test-drive the new Medtronic 530G pump (formally the “Medtronic Minimed 530G with Enlite”).

To be honest with you, I didn’t immediately jump at the opportunity.  I had a few reservations and took some time to think about it, but ultimately decided to give it a go.  I’ll discuss that thought process in another post.

But for now, I think it’s helpful to express and document what I expect out of this trial and this baby-step towards a closed-loop system. Only then can I deem this a “success” or not.

So what do I expect out of this system, that my current Medtronic Revel doesn’t offer?  Well, not a whole lot. Not a heck of a lot has changed since the previous version. But what has changed is pretty big. Or small. (Depending on how you look at it).

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Awkwardly avoiding awkwardness

Embed from Getty Images

My office building is home to probably nine or ten different companies. The cafe on the first floor serves all of them. I had just started my dual-wave bolus and placed the order for my lunch when I felt the unexpected and repeated vibration coming from my hip.

Bvvt. Bvvt. Bvvt. Bvvt…. (I’m not sure how many times, but it was a lot. Also, is that how you spell the sounds of a vibrating insulin pump?)

MotorError_Jan2013When I checked the pump to see what was up, it  turned out to be a Motor Error. It was the first one in a year, I think — I certainly haven’t been plagued with them as I was at an earlier time. Having been through these in the past, I didn’t panic. But I did have a bunch of thoughts go through my mind.

  • Did I bump it or go near any strong magnetic fields lately? (No.)
  • Do I have time to run to the restroom and restart the pump before my food is ready? (No).
  • Could I possibly remember all the variables I just so meticulously calculated into my dual-wave bolus, and then factor in what’s been delivered already, so that I can do it again? (No.)
  • Are the insulin gods conspiring against me in retaliation for filling a medical device with an alcoholic beverage this weekend? (Possibly.)

My thought-process was then interrupted by a voice coming from my right, asking a person behind the counter if he could see the package of whole-wheat wraps. He wanted to check the carb-counts.

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True confessions

test canceled

Have you ever applied blood to the test strip, and then in haste, removed and thrown out the strip before the countdown reached zero and the result was displayed?

I have.


Have you ever pricked your finger, then forgotten which one you chose, leaving you to squeeze three or four different digits looking for the surprise appearance of blood?

I have.


Have you ever harpooned yourself with a CGM sensor, only to have it fall right out again because you forgot to first remove the adhesive covering?

I have.


Have you ever lost your place while counting to four? (One glucose tablet.. chomp-chomp; two glucose tablets… chomp-chomp; four…no… wait…two…seven…eleventeen…?)

I have.


Have you ever tested your blood sugar… thirty seconds after testing your blood sugar…because you’d forgotten that you’d done it already?

I have.


Have you ever fasted for a blood-draw which, as it turns out, didn’t require you to not eat beforehand?

I have.


Have you ever awoken in the middle of the night, groggy and hypoglycemic, to find that you only dreamed of testing and treating the low, but never actually did it?

I have.


Have you ever confessed – publicly to the world – some of the absolutely boneheaded things you’ve done that left you feeling dumber than dirt?

I have. And I’m quite sure I’ll do all of them again.

Short & sweet

Life’s been hectic and blogging time’s been scarce, but I’ve got a few moments to share this quick anecdote:

On Monday night, I had pizza for dinner before lacing up the skates to help out at my son’s hockey practice.  The pizza means I had an extended (dual-wave) bolus in action; the skating means I had a reduced temporary basal in effect. I felt kinda foolish, taking such measures which essentially cancelled one another out.  But you know what?

It worked.

(Maybe the message would be more dramatic if I had a photo).

* * *

Meanwhile, please go read Sue from Pennsylvania’s post at Test, Guess, and Go.  You may not think Medicare rules may apply to you, but someday they will. And as more and more private insurers follow a “standard” (i.e. Medicare), this could get worse before it gets better… unless we make ourselves heard! [UPDATE: link to Sue’s post corrected!]