Over the past few weeks, diabetes has been putting some unusual thoughts in my mind. I have been…
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…feeling justified, when the kinked sensor wire confirmed that I made the right choice in yanking it:
…feeling victorious, when a quick response to a CGM’s “Predicted Low” alert prevented off a subsequent “Low”.
…feeling curious about the story of the person who left the pizza box labeled “Gluten Free” in the office fridge for a week:
…feeling wasteful, after burning 25 glucose tablets over one weekend while attempting to assemble a backyard ice-skating rink:
…feeling addicted, when replacing a CGM sensor in a public restroom was more enticing than going without one.
When I think of an advocate (outside of the diabetes-realm), I think of someone who steps up to bat for the little guy. Not quite a lawyer, not quite a lobbyist. But someone with the know-how, the connections, and (hopefully) the influence to make sure somebody gets that to which he or she is entitled. An advocate is someone who brings the qualities to empower someone else who may feel they are at a disadvantage. Or, maybe, they bring the time and effort to fight the necessary battles on behalf of the person whose time is too consumed with the very thing that necessitates the battle. It’s often a one-on-one sort of thing.
For a student who is unable to climb a flight of stairs, an advocate may pressure a school to install ADA-compliant ramps, as opposed to shuttling the student to a different school in another town that already them.
For a parent who cannot transport their disabled child to doctor’s appointments, an advocate may help solicit donations for a wheelchair-lift-equipped vehicle.
For the victim of a crime, an advocate may help to deal with the logistical difficulties of working through the legal system, obtaining emotional counseling, or finding peer-support.
There are many types of advocates. They are often affiliated with nonprofits, some are volunteers. But generally, they tend to work with the best interests of the individual they are supporting in mind.
In the spirit of the Ten Things I posted last month, I’ve decided to follow the same path and write about a few more other things that are going on in quick, digestible paragraphs. It’s easy to read, and – to be honest – easy to write.
Each could probably merit a post of its own, but I just haven’t got the time to do it, so I present you with the Cliffs Notes.
~~ UN ~~
I’ve mentioned this before — my weight has never really been a problem for me. But now I’m starting to notice a bit of a change. My belt is moving to the next notch. When showering, I feel a bit more roundness, and my site inserters are rocking a bit more when placed on the non-flat surface. And at my last endo appointment, the scale crossed over to the next decade, causing the big weight on the bottom rail to slide over one more notch. That hasn’t happened for as long as I can remember. This must be what happens when you turn 40. I want to reverse this trend before it becomes noticeable – but having never done it before in my life, it’s tough to figure out how. But at least I now feel a bit more “normal”.
~~ DEUX ~~
While at the supermarket on Monday night, I felt a low coming on, so I bought this. (it’s not every day that I get to eat TastyKakes, and at $2.50 it’s a bargain!). It’s now Wednesday evening, and I’ve eaten 5 of the 6 packs. All because of lows. I wonder if this type of behavior is what’s leading to the item above. (Also, I’ve been keeping the box underneath the passenger seat of my car, because I’m ashamed to bring the treat inside of the house — do you think something’s wrong with me?)
It’s been quite awhile since I made the decision to keep the 530G/Enlite (pump/CGM) system. If you followed me through the process earlier in the year, you know it was not an easy decision. Not by a long shot.
But I gave it every benefit of the doubt during my trial, and the Medtronic team tried really hard to get me to like it. And you know what? It worked. Over the past several months, I’ve really grown to like the system and have been very comfortable with my decision.
The sensor works well for me, and I understand how to make it well. The pump is comfortable and familiar, and talks to all of my other devices. The CGM is not as lumpy as its biggest competitor, and when I get out of the pool or ocean and back in range of the receiver-pump, it backfills the last 40 minutes of readings so i know what’s going on. The ISIGs give me a window into the CGM’s workings and lets me know if my sensor is performing well even if it’s got a bad calibration. The proprietary non-Luer connector makes the reservoir easier to fill than with the more common method. The pump’s raised blister-like buttons make it easy to operate without looking at it (don’t try this at home). And the clear/white case gives it a cool and modern look that I had never before anticipated – nor cared about. And CareLink!
Try to take it away and replace it with another pump or CGM, and you’ll be in for a fight.
And now, after all of the angst and turmoil of my trial, they’re telling me I can’t keep it.
They is my insurance company — an insurance company that has treated me fairly since I first got on one of their policies 17 years ago. I’ve changed employers, plans, and coverages, but always were fortunate to have the same company administering them. They, through my current (wife’s) employer-sponsored plan, have been really good at providing coverage to keep me healthy rather than simply keep me alive until the next open-enrollment period.
This started out as a comment to Chris’s blog post yesterday, asking for stories on how we were first transitioned in to using a pump. Because I rambled a bit longer than is appropriate for a comment (as I tend to do), I decided to share it here. Have your own pump-start story? Please post it over there, on A Consequence of Hypoglycemia.
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From the time my first pump-ever insulin pump arrived at my door to the time I got to pop in the battery and start using it was about a month. BUT – there was good reason for that. I was preparing to go on a European vacation, and then was starting a new job when I returned. For obvious reasons, I didn’t want to “plug-in” and leave the country, and also for obvious reasons, I didn’t want to start my new pump on Day One, Week One of the new job; thing would be too hectic and I wanted to be “settled in” for a bit. So I waited until Day One of Week Two to begin my training. (Meanwhile, during that month, Medtronic had introduced the first pump with an integrated CGM – the 522 – leaving my brand-new-never-used model obsolete. I figured it was just bad luck, and didn’t know enough to see if I could trade mine for the newer one).
The CDE from my endo’s office, who is also a Type 1 and also a “certified” Medtronic trainer, came to my apartment to train me and get me started on saline. Previously in the office, she had counseled told me about what a pump can do, but not yet on how to make it do it. This is what the training was for.