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My Backup Plan When My Insulin Pump Fails

The other night I was up late working and needed to rewind my pump and fill up a new reservoir. I knew the battery was low, but I was hoping I could just make it to the morning because I was in my office where I didn’t have any spare batteries.

While in the middle of rewinding the pump alerted me that the battery was dead and the pump needed to be restarted. Once I restarted, I tried to rewind the pump again, but I could tell that it already finished rewinding.

I attempted to rewind and it would get another area and need to be restarted.

This just kept happening over and over and over.

At that time, I knew the pump was having some sort of motor issue and was done.

This was at about 1:45 AM.

The back up plan was needed.

Luckily, I always try and keep some form of long-acting insulin at home. I usually get this from my endo as samples that haven’t been used and she needs to get rid of.

I took a lower dose of what I would normally take for basal insulin because I knew I had a lot of insulin on board at the time.

First thing in the morning, I called Medtronic and went through the troubleshooting and determined that indeed the pump was not going to work. Since the pump is under warranty a new one would be sent out to me overnight and I would receive it by noon the next day. That’s almost a 24 hour turnaround time.

Replacement MiniMed 630G Insulin PumpPretty amazing.

The point of the story here is that we all must have a backup plan if using an insulin pump.

Do you have one?

Do you have any long-acting insulin? Do you have your pump settings saved? Do you know how much basal insulin you need?

If you don’t have a plan yet, then I highly recommend speaking with your doctor or healthcare professional in order to create an insulin pump failure backup plan.

As I was finishing this up, I heard the horn.

There was the big brown truck with my replacement pump.

Time to get connected again.

Here’s a link to the first unboxing of the MiniMed 630G, this should bring back memories.

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I’ve Ran Out of Infusion Set Placement Sites

My infusion set sites are becoming more and more difficult for me to keep fresh. I can’t wear an infusion site on my stomach. I’ve explained this in the past, but basically, I’m too fat. I have too many “rolls” in my stomach that when I bend or stretch or exercise, the rolls do what they do and roll up. When this happens, no matter what kind of adhesive is being used, the site falls off.

I’ve tried different infusion sets over the years with the trials of all the pumps that I’ve used and they are all the same. So, I just don’t think there’s much that can be done about it.

So, I’m stuck with the upper portion of my buttocks and the mid to top area of my quads. There are only so many spots in these areas that I can inject an infusion set. This is why I take so many insulin pump breaks because I just need to allow these areas some time to “heal”

The other issue is that I use too much insulin. I’ve decreased my usage compared to the last several years, but it’s still not where I want it to be. This leads to the area under the site filling up with insulin too quickly and then pushing up on the cannula which then leads to the infusion site leaking.

This then leads to frustration, which leads to pump breaks, which leads me to not want to be surrounded by all this diabetes technology and just taking it old school to no pump or CGM. That can sometimes lead to bad news, however, I’ve had some success in the past with using Tresiba and Novolog, but that’s a different story for a different time.

All that being said, I am still excited for the MiniMed 670G and can’t wait to get started on it (don’t know when I will yet).

Any recommendations from y’all on some more interesting places to try the infusion site?

Any and all help is totally welcome.

Do Not Use Dollar Store Batteries for Your Pump

About two months ago, I had a low battery alert pop up while I was at the dollar store, so I saw a pack of 10 AAA batteries at the dollar store and decided to just buy them and use them. Well these batteries last less than a week. So, my first recommendation is to just not use them unless it is an absolute dire need to use it.

So, the reason that I am bringing this up today is because last night, I had a little low battery scare. I knew that I had to buy new batteries because I only had a few dollar store ones left, but I thought I could make it until next Tuesday when I fly back to PA because my mom usually supplies me with like a years worth of batteries for my pump, so why go and spend $5 on batteries right now?

(more…)

Silhouetting for the First Time

As most of you know, I lost my insurance a couple of months ago and since then I have been scrambling trying to find the supplies that I need to get by until I’m able to properly budget for all the crazy costs that are occurring now.  During this time, I was able to try out the Silhouette infusion sets for the first time.  I have been pushing this off because, well, they kind of scared me because I knew they had a lot bigger of a needle.

I do not have the insertion device, so I knew that I had to go at it all by myself.  This was pretty terrifying, especially the first time.  It went in pretty easily, but then again, I’m not even sure that it went in all the way.  The whole 20-40 degree angle insertion thing was a little tricky.  It reminded me of the Medtronic CGM insertion device (which I dislike strongly as well).  Overall, there was no blood, no screaming, and nothing too crazy. (more…)

Down to the Last Set

It all came down to the last set. No, I am not talking about Wimbledon, even though watching Nadal getting upset was an exciting match to watch.  I am talking about infusion sets.  I had mentioned previously that I was getting very low on infusion sets.  I had a box of infusion sets sitting in my diabetes storage bin, so when I went to open it, it was empty.  This is why being lazy is not a good idea.  I opened the box and dumped all the infusion sets out, like I usually do, except I didn’t take the 2 seconds to throw it away, but just put the box right back into the storage bin.  At this point, there were two left. (more…)

Infusion Sets not Lasting Long

Lately, I have been going through infusion sets like it is my job.  I wish I was getting paid for this job though.  Normally I can keep an infusion set in for about 4-7 days before I start experiencing any weird effects or begin to think that maybe some insulin is leaking.  However, it’s been about 2-3 days at most before I can feel and smell it leaking.  I don’t know what it is lately, but it’s really starting to piss me off.

It’s a new year so my deductible is back in business again, so I really would prefer to not have to order supplies for a few months, but diabetes doesn’t really care about that does it?

I have been eating a little unhealthy lately, so the extra insulin could definitely be a factor, too much insulin to the same site too quickly.  My fridge died on me 2 weekends ago when I was camping.  I had a mini fridge to store things that needed to be cold, but the new fridge did not get delivered until yesterday after a bunch of nasty phone calls to Sears.  I didn’t go grocery shopping within that time period because I had nowhere to store all the cold food.  So, I have been eating out a lot over the last few days, not good.

The good news however, is that that fridge is here, and I’m going grocery shopping tomorrow morning, and I can’t wait to fill it with a bunch of veggies and healthy food.

Well, I hope you all have a great weekend.

Testing Out Other Insulin Pumps

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes back in April of 2004, I was on MDI using a Humalog insulin pen and syringes to take Lantus at night.  I was doing fine with this, and was actually eating healthy at that time and staying at a good weight, but I decided that I wanted to try out an insulin pump, it just sounded so much easier.  I am glad that I made that decision 5 years ago.  There are definitely things that I don’t like, especially the fact that I now eat anything I want, whenever I want because it is just a few pushes of buttons on the pump.  At the time, I wasn’t really given much of an option on a pump.  Also, at that time I didn’t know anything about diabetes.  I knew I had it and that was about it.  I had it less than a year before I went on the pump, I wasn’t blogging, and I wasn’t looking on the internet for information.  I was given a Medtronic 712 I believe they were called at that time, I can be mistaken.

I loved the pump.  I loved the way it worked and how it helped me manage my blood sugar levels a lot better.  Then I got into finding blogs online and just reading them and learning that there were other diabetes companies that existed other than Medtronic and One Touch.  I spent some time working for a diabetes supply company, so I had access to a lot of different products from different manufacturers and found out the benefits of all these different pumps.  I also learned more as I blogged longer and met more people using different kinds of pumps.  So, this finally leads me to the reason of today’s post.

I have been happy with Medtronic, but I’m not 100% loyal to Medtronic.  I would like to try other pumps.  I would love to try or test out the One Touch Ping and Omni Pod.  I have been given the trial pod for Omni Pod and I have worn it and I loved it.  The only issue is that I would be changing out the pod every 1.5 days based upon the amount of insulin that I use.  If I lose weight then the possibility of my insulin usage can go down and then I can use an Omni Pod.

Along with insulin pumps, I would love to try out the Dexcom CGM, but I just haven’t had a chance to do so.  I have used the Medtronic CGM in the past, but haven’t used it in nearly a year because I haven’t had any sensors and some issues with the insurance company.  Starting next year I will begin using a CGM again.  Whether it is Medtronic or Dexcom, it is one of my top goals for 2012.

For those that have used multiple pumps, not those that have only used one and will tell me how much you love it, but only those that have used different pumps, which have you liked better and why?

I appreciate any responses or feedback in advance.

Oops, That Blood Sugar was my Fault

Yesterday was one of those days.  You know, the days where you blood sugar goes from like 160 to 450 within a few hours and you have no idea.  Mainly because you didn’t test your blood sugar for almost 6 hours.  Sunday’s are my relaxation, cleaning, and shopping for the week day all in one.  I ate lunch and bolused and my blood sugar was fine.  When dinner time came I realized that I was out of my insulin in my pump, which is weird because I never let that happen.  Thinking back on it, I do remember hearing the warning beeps several times throughout the day, but I didn’t do anything about it to check and see how much insulin was left.

In a sense, I pretty much just told myself that I knew I was getting low, but that  didn’t have to do anything about it right then and there.  Not a good idea.  This is what leads to blood sugars of 450.

Luckily it came back down.  I am writing this post now at about 6:30 in the morning and my last sugar level was 219.  A hell of a lot more acceptable.

Well, have a good day everybody.  I am very close to making a few huge announcements.  I can’t make them yet, but soon, hopefully, very soon.

Airport Security

I know there has been a lot of discussion lately about airport security and the new guidelines and the new types of screenings that show images of your body and what not.  I was first going to post about the issues that I already have to go through, as well as other diabetics when going through security.

As is right now, when I get to the security gate, it’s not just taking off a jacket and worrying about taking my shoes off, but I take my computer out of the bag, take out the bag of insulin and supplies and put that in it’s own separate bin that way I don’t have to get an individual search, even though that still happens most of the time.  I also disconnect my pump and put it through the x-ray machine as well because my clip sets off the metal detector, so it’s easy to just disconnect for 10 seconds then it is to unclip it and then re-clip it.

After that, it’s over.  I dont have as many issues with my security checks as I did when I was using insulin pens and needles and syringes.  At that time my bags were checked a lot.  I’ll be taking a lot of insulin with me for this trip since it is for Thanksgiving, so I already know there will be a lot of carb intake, ha.

Well have a great day ya’ll

Sugar Free Saturday Volume 2

Well, last week I decided to go back to trying my Sugar Free Saturday way of cutting back on my insulin intake so I can possibly get that OmniPod I want so bad.  Sorry if you are tired of hearing about how I want the OmniPod, but it is the only way to continue to remind myself what I am fighting for, why I am eating a salad at lunch or a half of sandwich instead of a whole foot long sub or food court chinese food.  It is all because I am losing weight to make lifestyle changes.  There is going to be some sugar in my food intake tonight, unless the wedding that I am going to doesn’t serve the cake until after midnight.

Speaking of which, this post isn’t going to be long because I have to get ready for this wedding that I have to go to tonight.  Going to weddings are not really fun in my mind, but I try to make the best of them.  I have to make sure that I always take an extra infusion set and insulin, and strips and anything else that I may need because there is no going back to get more supplies or leaving the wedding earlier.  Unfortunately, that happened to me one time.  My cousin got married back in 2007 and I flew back home for it because I was in the wedding party.  Well long story short, the reception was at a campgrounds about an hour away and we were to spend the night there.  About 2 hours into the reception, I realized that I only had about 15 units of insulin and forgot to bring more. So I had to go all the way home and miss the whole night of fun and time with the family.

Well, have a great day everybody.  Only one more day until World Diabetes Day.