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Levemir and Apidra – My New Best Friends

levemir-flexpenA couple of weeks ago I started thinking about taking a break from the pump.  The reasons for doing this have been adding up for a long time, but I just always told myself that I would never go off of the pump because it just made my life so much easier than it was when I was on MDI.  That easier life began to change.  Over time my sets started to leak after only 1-2 days, when I would have a hard workout the set would start to peel off, injecting a Quick Set infusion set began to hurt a little bit more every time that I inserted a new one,  insurance changes made it more costly for me to pay for infusion sets (pay out of pocket) meaning that every time I lost a set or it leaked, it was about $10-15 I was losing (luckily the DOC is awesome and there are several people that helped me out during this time).

These were the main reasons for wanting to head off the pump for a little bit.  It was also the fact that corrections with my pump are not working as well as when I use a syringe or a pen and take a correction bolus.  The final reason is something that may not be true, but I definitely feel it has some thing to do with each other.

Since I have been on the pump, I have gained nearly 50 pounds.  I’m not blaming it on the pump, but I don’t think it’s just a coincidence.  When I was taking MDI’s, I counted carbs better because I only wanted to take one shot.  On the pump, if I mis-calculated, no problem, I just hit a few more buttons.  When I was on MDI’s I didn’t eat a second portion because then I had to dial up another shot, but on the pump, I went ahead and had that second plate, or random bag of chips or snack here and there, because all I had to do was hit a few buttons on the pump.

Just hitting a few buttons on the pump is also one of the reasons why I loved the insulin pump.

After many discussions with family and my doctor, and with the help of now having a Dexcom to better track my BG, I have decided to switch back to MDI.  I will be using Apidra pens and Levemir pens.  When I was using MDI back in the day, I used Lantus and not Levemir, but I’m giving it a shot.

So, here goes to being back on MDI.

Finally Some at Home Dexcom Reporting

If you know me, or have seen any pictures of my technology, you will know that I am a Mac user.  After spending the first 23 years of my life hating Apple, for no apparent reason, and thinking that people that used Macs are a bunch of dorks, I made the switch to an iPhone several years back and then the conversion took place quickly.  iPad and then a Macbook Pro.  I do use VirtualBox on my MBP, but I don’t ever use it, because just like with any Windows machine, there are updates and installs I have to do every single day.  So, when I don’t use it for 30-45 days, it takes 2 hours just to go through all of the updates.

Without being able to run my reports for my Dexcom on my MBP, I could only get reports when I went to the endo, and that usually only consisted of the last 7 days.

I have an old laptop from my Windows days that I have been wanting to re-install Windows, clean it up and be able to run my Dexcom reporting on there.  After about a year, I finally got around to it and I installed the Dexcom software and ran my own Dexcom reports at home for the first time since I’ve had a Dexcom.

As much as I hated working with Windows again, I was just as excited to finally have access to data that I’ve always wanted.

6 Month Old Dexcom Sensors

It was time to insert a new Dexcom sensor yesterday, so I decided to use one of the sensors that expired in November.  I was a little weary of using a sensor with that long of an expiration date, but I figured that I better use it now before it gets even further past the expiration date.

Long story short, the first 24 hours have been pretty spot on.  There was a little stretch of having a wacky BG reading, but that is no different than a sensor that isn’t expired.  My main concern is that the sensor won’t give me a full 7 days, or even longer, but we shall see.

If you are reading this, please remember that I am not a doctor, I never wanted to be a doctor, and I never will be a doctor. I don’t give medical advice because I am not qualified to do so. What I do to manage my diabetes may not be things that you should do to manage your diabetes.

Let me know your past experiences with older sensors.

 

One Heck of a Dexcom Ride

The other day I went on one heck of a Dexcom ride.  I don’t like roller coasters because I have a serious fear of heights and have a firm belief that my death will come by way of a poisonous snake bite or a roller coaster coming off the tracks.  Therefore, I avoid roller coasters.  However, I cannot avoid those diabetes blood sugar roller coasters at all times.  Even though I try to, they still occur.

I haven’t had one in a while, but boy did I have one on Wednesday.  Tuesday night I was high, near the 300’s.  By the time I woke up in the morning, I had it down to about 120-ish.  Then I ate lunch and it went back up.  Right before dinner I went low to about 60-ish.  I was going to be eating chicken and rice, so I figured I would wait until halfway through my meal to take my insulin because I didn’t want to go super low while I was eating.  That’s when the steep increase at the beginning of the coaster started.  I went from a bg of 70 to a bg of 370 in under an hour.  I have NEVER gone that high, that fast.  In fact, I didn’t even think it was possible.  If it wasn’t for testing my blood sugar to make sure my Dexcom was giving me the right numbers, I would have never believed it. Read More

Blinded vs Unblinded CGM Usage

During one of the Roche Social Media Summit sessions, the idea of blinded vs unblinded data was brought up. I’m not going to go into detail on why it was brought up or in regards to what product, because I just want to discuss the concept as a whole.

First, let me explain what blind vs unblinded data is. Blinded data, in regards to diabetes, is data that is collected in which the patient does not have direct access to. For example, if a patient is put on a 7 day trial of a Dexcom (or other CGM) to either trial the product or to have a 24 hour look at a patient’s blood sugar levels. This data will be used by the doctors to make a decision on your treatment plan. If the data is blinded then you as the patient cannot see the real time data, but will be shown graphs by the doctor after the determined time frame has passed. Read More

Endo Appointment, Bad A1C, and Apidra Costs Too Much

I just got home from my endo appointment about 20 minutes ago, and I wanted to write this blog post while everything was still fresh in my mind.  First, let me mention what some of my thoughts were going into this appointment.  I knew my A1C was going to be high, actually, probably the highest it’s been since being diagnosed.  Why did I think this?  Because my meter results over the last three months say so.  I also knew that I did not wear my Dexcom at all during the last 60 days, so I knew that was going to be a point of discussion.  Finally, I did not reach my goal for my weight loss.  Now, onto what happened. Read More

16 Successful Dexcom Days Finally Ended

My 16 day adventure with Mr. Dexcom has finally ended. Actually it ended last night. It ended on my choice as well, not on Dexcom’s. Last night, the 16th straight day of the same sensor working flawlessly, I decided to go for a swim and get a little workout. My back was beginning to hurt again, so all I wanted to do was just lay in the bath tub and relax for a little bit. I noticed that the Dex was losing its stickiness and with a hot bath, it would most likely come off soon. So, I decided to just remove the Dexcom sensor.

As soon as I did it, I regretted it. I realized that I was only about 3 hours away from my first no-hitter. That really pissed me off. Then, I also realized that I was freaking out because I didn’t know what my blood sugar was just by looking at the Dexcom. My blood sugars were by no means perfect, but overall, in those 16 days, they were a lot better than what they are in a 16 day period without the Dexcom.

When I first got the Dexcom last December, I wore it for 4 days right away and I loved it, but I didn’t put a new sensor in until almost 2-3 weeks later. After that sensor it was almost a month until the next one. Tonight, I realized that I can’t live without it, well, I could technically, but I don’t want to. I want to have a CGM on at all times. First thing I did this morning was put on a new sensor.

I didn’t put a new one on last night because I knew I was having pasta for dinner and that my blood sugar would most likely go high. I didn’t want to insert a sensor with a BG that would be at about 300 when I inserted and would drop to about 120 before bed, too much funkiness for it to handle.

Now, the only difficult part? Downloading all the graphs. Dexcom, can you please just make a Mac compatible software? I have a virtual machine on my Mac, but I use it…maybe once every 6 months, and that’s being nice. And one of the reasons I don’t use a PC anymore, every time I log on to it, there’s about 50 security updates and it takes 3 hours just to load them all and it’s not worth it to me. Why must companies force me to live in a PC world?

One thing is for sure though, I love my Dexcom!

New Dexcom Milestone

Yesterday I reached a new Dexcom milestone since I first began using the Dexcom last year.  I have only worn the Dexcom six times since December, so I have not been very good about it, but it was one of my 2012 goals that I wanted to begin wearing it more often.  Why? Because my blood sugars are incredibly better while wearing one, I think just about everybody can say that who has had the priveledge of using one.

The milestone that I just reached is actually getting a full seven days out of the sensor.  The previous times that I have worn a sensor, it is either fell off or there were some sort of errors with the sensor.  I finally reached that seven days and it was such a relief.  The only part that sucked about that was that I was about 2 hours away from a no-hitter, my first 24 hour no-hitter!  And then I had to restart the sensor, so there was two hours without a reading.  Once the sensor was ready for the two blood sugar tests my sugar had gone higher than my high limit, so there went my no-hitter.

When I first started using the Dexcom, I set my high mark at 200.  I went above 200 a lot when I am not wearing the Dexcom, so I figured it would be a good place to start it at.  After a while, I then moved the high alert down to 180.  I figured, if I’m going to be using this device, I might as well get the most out of it and try and get my blood sugars within that exact range that I want.  I am going to keep the high alert at 180 for now, because I am fine if my blood sugar hits the 180 mark, I can bring it down pretty easily.

It feels great when you actually reach a goal and milestone that you have set out for yourself.  Some goals seem easy to accomplish, but in reality they are not.  Confidence boosters are always good.

So keep your head up if you are failing at your goals.  Keeping working hard and success will come.

Dexcom One Month Later

It’s been about a month since I received my Dexcom and I absolutely love it.  I have only worn it about 12-13 days in the month that I have had it because once a sensor comes out, I tend to get lazy and not put a new one in for a few days.  I need to stop this habit.  I need to try a new location because the two times I tried it on my stomach, it has fallen out within 5-7 days because of intense workouts that I have been doing.  The stickiness is just no competition for the sweat.

I am going to try the sensor on the outside part of my thigh and see how that works. Hopefully that will be my go-to location.  I also have some IV 3000 that I can use for when it begins to peel off my body.

There has definitely been some huge positives that have come out of the Dexcom experience.  The most important thing, I have noticed that after every single meal I eat, no matter what it is, my blood sugar goes above 200 and then comes back down within that 2-3 hours afterwards that I would normally be testing again.  I never knew these spikes were occurring, only when they would stay high once I tested again.

There are not many negatives that I have about the Dexcom.  But there is one major main.  The software is not Mac compatible!!!!  I only use Macs, I don’t use PC’s, I refuse to.  I do have a virtual machine on my Mac that runs Windows, but I use it once every 4-6 months, so when I go to turn it on, it takes several hours just to update all of the Windows service packs and updates and all the other BS that goes with owning a Windows machine.

Dexcom, if you are listening, please create a Mac compatible software.  I think you will make the members of the DOC very happy if you did.

Other than that, Dex, you are my friend and you have taught me a lot in such a short period of time.

First Day with Dexcom

Yesterday was the first day that I used my Dexcom.  I received the package on Friday afternoon, but had a softball game Friday night, and didn’t want to use it that night.  Saturday, I decided that I wanted to try and get as much feedback as possible from the DOC, which I did so thank you all very much.  Sunday was the big day, I was finally going to insert my first sensor.

I am a former Medtronic CGM user.  I didn’t use it for very long, but I did have the CGM system and was not a big fan of it, so I just stopped using it because it wasn’t worth the pain and uncomfortableness to me.  So, obviously my first reaction to the Dexcom insertion was, “Is this going to hurt really bad?”  I loved the fact that I couldn’t even see the needle, so I had no idea how big it was.  I also liked that I was able to make sure that the adhesive was stuck on the skin just the way that I wanted it before I had to insert the sensor.  That is one issue that I have with infusion sets is that sometimes they don’t stick properly and they get all bunched up.  I also liked that the sensor and the transmitter stick to my body and aren’t flopping around.  If you have used the Medtronic CGM, then you know what I’m talking about with that big thing.

My One Touch and the Dexcom are not matching up perfectly, but they are pretty close, at least to me.  Luckily, I have not hit a high or low alert yet, but I’m sure I will very soon.  Overall, this process was easy.  Everybody who left comments and tweeted back to me or e-mailed me, thank you.  It was these suggestions that made it easier for me to insert my first sensor.

More Dexcom posts to come in the near future.