Monday, November 9, 2009

D-Blog Day!!!!

This is my first ever D-Blog Day!! YAY, what a wonderful day!
I am absolutely exhausted from a cardio test in nursing school today and having 2 papers due, one being about 35 pages long... *sigh*

Anyway, diabetes...

I have many diabetes heroes in my life... whether they know it or not. Some of them are: Kerri Sparling of; Sara of DLife; Nicole Johnson (Miss America 1999); Ellen Ullman (; Jeff Hitchcock (; every single diabetes blogger that is out there; my aunt Christine Moore; and lastly, my aunt Judy O'Brien who lost her fight with diabetes in 2004. She was my first diabetes heroine and will forever be my heroine. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was eight years old. Labor Day weekend, 1994. My aunt Judy in that instant, became like a second mom to me. We bonded so much over diabetes stuff that we could look at each other, look at the dessert table, and just start laughing about not knowing how to count the carbs in that delicious looking Thanksgiving pie, or the hundreds of Christmas cookies beautifully arranged on trays.

I have discovered through my limited blogging about diabetes that you can truly bond with people over your random rantings about life with diabetes. I write a post, not expecting anyone to ever read it, but writing it to vent, chatter and ramble on for no reason at all, and someone comments. I automatically feel a connection with this person. No one other than a fellow person with diabetes really "gets it". I truly do appreciate people without diabetes trying to "get it", I really do, but it's definitely not the same as living with diabetes in your life every single day of every year.

I am hoping to make more and more connections in the diabetes world, so please everyone who reads this (probably all of like 2 people.... ) pass this site along so I can meet more people like me (well, not necessarily like me since I'm kinda a really weird random dork (my Aunt Judy always said it's better to be weird because normal people are boring)) but other people connected to diabetes. I just realized I think I made a new record for myself with how many parentheses I can use in one paragraph! WOO! It's the little things in life I tell you!!

One final thing... CONGRATS to Kerri and Chris for having a happy healthy, hiccup-y BSparl in the works!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dexcom Success!!

I just got like 17 or 18 days out of a Dexcom sensor! WOO! I have no clue how I managed that one, must have just had the perfect place, but YAY!!

Super stressed at the moment since we have a really tough exam tomorrow (respiratory acidosis and alkalosis, etc.) so I'm not going to post anymore... going to get back to studying.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Failed!

Sorry for slacking off for so long there guys! Nursing school got the best of me. This semester is CRAZY!! Anyway, I'm going to try to do better now.

News: I am now on the OmniPod full time, for good (I think) and LOVING it! I am also now using the Dexcom 7+. The 7+ is SO much better than the original 7 system. They say the range is something like 5 or 10 feet or so... well, I can have my Dexcom receiver sitting in the kitchen, go upstairs in my room, and it'll still be getting info. It also seems to be far more accurate than the 7 system. I am very happy with my Bionic-ness now. I have been referring to myself as the bionic woman since I have the pod attached to me, as well as the Dexcom sensor. I also then have the receiver of the Dexcom with me all the time, and I have the OmniPod PDM. I'm all techno. with diabetes, if only in that part of my life.

I wanted to publicly congratulate Kerri Sparling of for having a cute little potbelly containing BabySparl. She and Chris are going to make AMAZING parents, I can just tell. I had the privilege of meeting Kerri at the CWD Friends For Life Conference in July at Disney, and she's just wonderful. I only talked to her a couple times, only briefly, and I doubt she even remembers me, but I am a huge fan, and I consider her a friend. Kerri... if you are reasing this, I want you to know that you have helped to inspire me to wrangle in my diabetes and my blood sugars NOW so that when I am married and ready to have a potbelly of my own (sontaining a baby, not just pudge) that I'm all ready to go! I am really trying to stay on top of numbers lately, but man... with the stresses of nursing school and endlessly searching for a job... wow... stress + blood sugars = YIKES!!

On another topic... in class a week or 2 ago, we were learning all about diabetes *yawn*. My teacher asked me to interject thoughts, corrections, etc. abotu being a person with diabetes for the past 15+ years. I think I pissed her off when I corrected her saying that there were 4 types of insulins... Regular, NPH, Lantus, Lente... umm... well, how about Humalog, Novolog, Apidra, Levemir, Ultralente.... not sure if I'm missing any others in there or not but WAY more than 4 kinds of insulin!! When we finished up lab and were in lecture, she was annoyed, I could tell. She then started talking about a hypothetical scenario while staring me down the entire time since she knows I have diabetes. This is what she said... "So, let's pretend you're a nurse who happens to have diabetes. Your patient codes, but your blood sugar's low. Your patient is DYING. What do you do?!" I whipped out my Dexcom and quipped in with some comment along the lines of "Well, that's why I have THIS - so that won't happen!" Then Instructor witch lady comes back with, "Maybe nursing isn't the best field for a person like that" meaning me... because I have diabetes! I am fuming just remembering it. I was ready to jump across the table and punch her in the face. I went home that day and was shaking, crying, and so peeved I didn't know what to think, do, anything.... GGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

I am not generally a person who lets stupid people get to her..... I really don't let much get to me. I am a sensitive person, but I control my emotions, I hold stuff in (not super healthy, I know). How do you get over a comment like that? I have wanted to be a nurse since I was little... bitty little. I have never had a high or low I couldn't handle myself. I have never passed out from anything. I am super cautious when at work, especially when it comes to patient contact and procedures. I know in my heart I can be a nurse and I will be a nurse, but her words are still hurting, and making me question the what-ifs about being a nurse with diabetes. How do you get over something like that where someone basically tells you that you can't live out your life's dream?

Thursday, August 27, 2009


After going back to the Cozmo after trying the OmniPod for a bit and the Animas, I realized how much I truly liked the OmniPod. I really really like not being attached by tubing to a device. It works for me. I am thinking, at least for now, I will be sticking with the OmniPod. Who knows what the future will bring for pumping for me, but for the time being, I am loving the freedoms that the OmniPod affords.

More to come later, after my craziness of a new semester of nursing school calms down some.

Friday, August 21, 2009


I got the Solo micropump demo packet in the mail today. I tore into that package like a little kid on Christmas morning! I am very impressed with the Solo pump thus far. The demo packet includes written information (not super specific sadly about the functions, etc.) and a demo cradle and pump module. For those of you not very familiar with the Solo patch insulin pump by Medingo, check it out here -----> .

This adds another delay into my pump decision. After going back on the Cozmo after a couple OmniPods that I had to pull because of leaking with the cannula still in place, I realized how much I truly liked having a tubeless pump. So where do I go now? I am debating between either sticking with the Cozmo as long as I can until the Solo comes out in my area of the country, or getting the Minimed now and revisiting the idea of the Solo after 4 years with Minimed, or if I get new insurance sooner, as soon as I would be able to get a new pump. My concerns are this: Going with a first generation pump, what if there are kinks still not worked out? I would think kinks are inevitable with a new product that is attached to you and working 24/7/365. Is this a reason to either not go with the Solo or hold off, or can I assume the customer service will be adequate enough to be able ot handle anything that may be thrown at them?

This decision process is not getting much easier!
What do you all think of the Solo? Leave a comment!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Battle of Minimed vs. Animas

Here are my thoughts thus far. I still have yet to make a pump decision and want to decide soon.

  • I prefer the Minimed menus to the Animas ones. I find them personally easier to navigate.
  • Animas only holds 200u at a time in the reservoir. Minimed can hold either 176 or 300 (with the 7XX models).
  • I don't like that with Animas, you have to rewind and re-prime every time you change the battery.
  • I like that with Minimed, when you calculate a bolus using carbs, BG, etc. that the result is auto-populated into the recommended amount that you can then tweak rather than having to scroll up to the recommended number like you have to do with Animas.

  • You have more tweaking abilities with the Animas because of the ability to do 0.025 u / hr. basal rates.
  • Minimed, you are restricted on which sites you can use (only theirs - unless you want to risk voiding the pump warranty by using the luer-lock adapted ones). Animas, you can use any luer lock pump site.
  • I prefer the Dexcom to the Minimed CGMS, and Animas will eventually be integrating with the Dexcom.
Well... so far it looks like Minimed's in the lead by ONE positive aspect. If I'm forgetting anything major that I need to think about with my decision between the 2, please leave me a note in the comments as a friendly reminder. Thanks!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pump Trials (and Tribulations)

I fought constant lows basically from the first hour on the pod. I'm not sure what caused them, other than that I was able to figure out it was a Cozmo vs. Pod thing since I had the same EXACT settings on the pod as I did on the Cozmo. Pain in the butt! When I finally figured out the right amount of basal for the pod (85% my usual Cozmo basals) the pod had about expired. I'm now a bit afraid of the pod, and kind of turned off of it because of all the lows and a couple days of trying to figure out what caused them, what to change, etc. (and one night, dropping from 94 with food on board and less insulin to cover said food, to 29 in ONE HOUR!). I am now using the Animas with insulin, and my blood sugars have not been over 168, or under 78 since I started that (again with my Cozmo basals). I am liking the Animas a lot more than I thought I would. I have this gut feeling that I will end up with a tubed pump again as my decision, but I still REALLY like the thought of a tubeless pump and just having the PDM. Maybe when the Medingo Solo comes out, I'll go for that. In the meantime though, still trying to figure out what to do NOW about pumping. I'm thinking I'll do either Minimed or Animas, and I have the OmniPod stuff already, so I can always use that if I want a break from being tied to something, or if I have a wedding or event to go to where I'll be wearing a dress. I'm liking that I can now have options if I go with a different pump from the OmniPod, but also, if I DO go with the OmniPod, I already have a month of supplies too.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Double Barreled Pumping

Off I go... long story about the Animas trial. Vicki is my Animas lady. She was supposed to be at my house at 5:00pm. I hadn't heard from her at 5:35, so I e-mailed her asking if she really did mean this week, or if she meant to say next week for the trial. While waiting for her response (since I was SO SURE she wasn't coming tonight) I started a pod in me. Then, I got an e-mail saying she was 10 miles away! Oops! Maybe I shouldn't have started the pod just then. I also saw I had a voicemail from her from 5:00 saying she was stuck in traffic. Oops again! In my house, there are areas where one minute you'll have perfect cell reception, and the next minute, NOTHING! Apparently she called during one of those NOTHING times.

So fast forward to about 6:25 or so when Vicki shows up. MAJOR TRAFFIC!!! Anyway, I had to explain to her why my Cozmo pump was sitting on the kitchen table (for settings of course) and why I had a pod on (to try their product of course). We ended up setting me up with saline in the Animas, then when this pod expires, I'll switch to insulin in the Animas and actually try it out for real. I get to ahve the Animas loaner pump for a week give or take.

Right now though... Double Barelled Pumping! WOO!

No worries... I will report back with my super scientific results of the findings when I'm all done.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's HERE!!!

The OmniPod arrived, and like a little kid, I have it completely set up and ready to go, but not on me yet. I also have the Animas lady coming tomorrow for their pump trial. It's raining pumps!

Monday, August 3, 2009

OmniPod Woes

My pod should be here tomorrow. I am like a little kid waiting for Christmas. I was very excited to hook myself up, get all the settings in, and off I go podding. Until... dun dun dun... I got a call today from an OmniPod clinical specialist (or some title like that). She said we have to set up a time for the pump start. I tried to resist and beg to be able to just start it on my own and just call her of there were problems. I attempted to blow past her incredible mind powers to make me do a formal pump start. I have been pumping for 9 years now, have done a Minimed upgrade on my own, and a Cozmo start on my own. Why couldn't I handle the Pod start on my own? I just wanted to get going with this already. And being on pens now instead of my Cozmo since I am just about out of pump supplies for the Cozmo (read: 2 sites left), I really was yearning to be back pumping (this after only what... 2 or 3 days using pens?!). So... now, my pod will be here tomorrow, and I have to resist the temptation to start on my own... until a week from Wednesday!! How cruel it is! I'm confident I'd be able to figure it all out on my own, but I'm wondering if there's some kind of liability issue with people doing self-pump-starts with the OmniPod system. Sadness... I have to wait over a week! I'm impatient!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

CWD's Friends for Life Conference

I just wanted to add a brief post (we'll see if I accomplish the "brief" part) about the Friends for Life Conference I attended in July. I wasn't quite sure how it would be going into it, if I would really like attending something where diabetes was THE focus. I went alone, and worried I would feel alone the whole time there.

I got into Orlando and took a Disney bus to the hotel. I checked in, but they said my room wasn't ready yet. So... I decided to wander around for a while and also check in for the conference. I did feel alone at this point. After I checked in though, I felt a little less so.

The bulk of the conference was built of sessions during the day, banquets, parks, and other fun in the evenings. I attended many sessions during the conference that truly affected me. Joe Solowieczyk is am inspiration to anyone with type 1 diabetes, and their families. I also was able to meet and have a very nice conversation with Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999 (type 1 since 1993). I met some very inspirational people, and even met Kerri Morrone-Sparling from Six Until Me. I had been reading her blog for... 2 years or so, and I finally got to meet the person behind the humor, kindness, and intelligence. She is every bit in person like she is online. Genuine, funny, smart...

After 5 days, the day to leave came. I went home, and was sad to leave. I didn't know what it would be like going into the conference. It was AMAZING! I spent basically the next 2 days after coming home from the conference in tears. Tears of relief, happiness, tears of anger about what everyone at the conference, including me has to go through every single day. I learned a lot at the conference and met many wonderful people who I hope will become as the title of the conference says, Friends for Life.

At home, I always checked my blood sugar under the table at restaurants, always had my pump in my pants pocket. I never had thought I had a problem with my diabetes, or a need to hide it until I went to the conference. I saw everyone checking their blood sugars wherever, whenever, out in the open, and I saw pumps clipped on anything that would stand still. I realized that maybe I was a bit ashamed of my diabetes after all. Now that I am home from the conference, I wear pump sites on my arms with tank tops, I clip my pump anywhere, showing it off, and I check my blood sugar on top of the table at restaurants. FFL made me a stronger, more outgoing diabetic. I am so thankful I was able to have this wonderful experience, and I would encourage anyone with any connection to diabetes to attend if they are able. It is a life changing experience, and I know it sounds sappy, but it truly changed who I am.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bad D accessories week.

This week, I have inadvertently pulled 3 pump sites before they were due to be pulled. The most recent, and I'm sure some of you have been there, and sorry if this is TMI... I had my site on my thigh. I had to use the restroom. I pulled my shorts down apparently a bit too vigorously pulling my site. It was a gusher and by the time I could grab a kleenex, was dripping down my leg onto the floor... so fun!

So until my Omnipod stuff comes Monday or Tuesday, I am giving in and doing a few days of Lantus and Humalog pens. Just too many problems lately, needing a brief break.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's the simple things in life....

I got a call today (sadly was in the mall getting new scrubs for nursing school, so I missed the call) from Jill at OmniPod. She said all my paperwork is in, and she was calling to set up shipping for the $50 Cozmo users deal-i-o. I missed the call. I'm sad. I got her number, wrote it on my hand since I had no paper, and when my mom and I went into a fitting room at Eddie Bauer when she was going to try some things on, I sat on the chair and tried calling Jill back. She wasn't there. So... hopefully, I will get in touch with her tomorrow, and if everything works out as it should, I am hoping to have the OmniPod Monday. YAY!

What does this mean? Well... from day one with the pump, I have always kept my pump in my right pants pocket or clipped on the right side of my pants. Without tubing, I won't have anything attached to me that would be needing a pocket! I'll have the PDM to carry, but that'll go in my purse. I can wear pants and skirts, dresses, etc. without pockets! I am so excited! I'm already planning on wearing this really cute skirt I have and not having to have my pump clipped onto the waist of it. YAY!

Really... it's the simple things in life.
With regard to diabetes, what's your "simple pleasure"?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Can I just say that I hate what stress does to diabetes? Truly... you get stressed, so your blood sugars go up, which stresses you out even more, which raises the blood sugars even more. How cruel can we get here? I have always (as long as I have been getting stressed anyway) had a hard time dealing with how to manage blood sugars during times of stress. For me, I go up... sometimes, WAY up! It's very similar to what the adrenaline rush of going on a roller coaster for the first time does to my blood sugar. How do you deal with stress highs? For me, they EVENTUALLY come back down, but it sometimes takes a while, sometimes even days if it's stress from a final exam or practical performance exam in nursing school looming in the near future. I have tried doing temporary basal increases to fend off the highs from stress, but then I end up with overnight lows. So, I try doing a temp basal for my waking hours, and leaving my basals how they always are for the overnight hours. The problem with this is, you don't always have the same stress level hour to hour during the day. Do you just correct for them and move on feeling like complete crap from the high? That's not very fun.

So, readers (and I hope I actually have readers today) I ask you... HOW DO YOU MANAGE DIABETES DURING STRESSFUL TIMES... WHEN YOUR BLOOD SUGARS GO UP FROM STRESS PARTICULARLY? Please leave your thoughts and comments, and maybe more than just me can be helped by advice.

Patience... GGGRRRRRRR!!!

I really truly try to be a patient person, but in this case, it's not going very well. When I called OmniPod after finding out about their deal for Cozmo users (this past Friday, and the deal is up this Friday) I was told that as long as they got my paperwork and file going before 7/31, I would be okay in still getting that deal. I was also told they would call within 24 hours of receiving my paperwork to confirm the file was started and I could still get the deal pending MD approval. I had my mom fax in the paperwork from me on Monday in the morning. I am going to fax the Statement of Medical Necessity to my endocrinologist tomorrow morning. So... Monday + 24 hours = Tuesday. Today is Wednesday, late in the day. I have still not heard that they received my paperwork. I'm starting to get a bit anxious as the deal is over Friday.

In other news, the Animas people are waiting for a prescription from my endocrinologist so that I can try their pump for a length of time before making my final pump decision. I love my endocrinologist, she truly is great, and her CDE is amazing too, but they are very busy people, and when time is of the essence (I want to have tried all my pump options before my life gets super crazy with nursing school again so at that point, I can just make my decision, get the paperwork going, and just start up with a pump on some random weekend of choice) it gets kind of frustrating waiting around for them to sign a little piece of paper and fax it in.

More good news! When I was down at the Friends for Life conference earlier this month, I snuck into a focus group about Medingo's new Solo Insulin Pump that they are coming out with. The session was intended for parents and children ages 7 - 17. We went up to the room and confirmed this was the place we were looking for. The Medingo Rep at the door welcomed us (me and my roomie who also looks really young) right in, and pointed us in the direction of where the kids were to gather. Apparently I look like I am 17 years old or younger, as did my roommate. BUMMER! When we admitted to the representative that we were actually 23 and 19, she gave an audible gasp. We then proceeded to well... *cough* beg our way into the session raving about how interested we were in their product and how much we would LOVE to learn more about their pump. She smiled and laughed and welcomed us in, again telling us we would probably be better sitting with the kids since we would be the actual pump users. Anyway... where was I? Oh... I'm rambling again... sorry! It was just announced that the Medingo Solo patch / PDM Insulin Pump system has been approved to be marketed in the US. There is still no word on when the pump will be out, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. I know that breaking into the business is very tough to do, afterall... look at what happened with Cozmo (RIP), but I definitely wish Medingo the very best of luck in bringing more pump options to me and all the other PWDs out there.


Welcome to my blog. I will warn readers now, I tend to ramble on, so I won't be offended if you get bored... especially since I will likely never know if you are bored reading my blog... or who is reading my blog anyway... well... unless you comment. COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME!

So. What got me started blogging? Well... I am an avid reader of many blogs by and about people with diabetes. I am also a person with diabetes, and I kind of honestly felt like a bit of a snoop reading their blogs all the time, and not sharing anything about myself in return. Here I am!

I am currently a Deltec Cozmo insulin pump user. As many of you I am sure know, Smiths Medical has stopped manufacturing all diabetes supplies. This means, I have to go pump shopping. UGH! I generally enjoy shopping. I also most of the time, like reading about new medical technology that can potentially help me and millions of other PWDs out there. Why am I getting so frustrated with the shopping this time? I'm basically stuck with my decision for 4 years before the warranty is up. What if I make the wrong decision? What if I think I made the right decision, but then 2 years in, am not happy with my insulin pump of choice? Honestly, this is stressing me out!

Okay... history. I used a Minimed 508 pump when I first started pumping (6/2000) then moved up to a Minimed Paradigm 500 series model pump when that came out. In June of 2006, I had a major pump fluke happen where the insulin was leaking back from the main reservoir of my pump into the body portion of my pump. This sent me into "mild DKA" because no one believed that I really truly had a pump problem, so my MD and NP kept telling me to correct with an insulin pen until my blood sugar came down, switch out all of my pump site, tubing, reservoir, insulin, etc. and then when my blood sugar was back in line, I could try pumping again and see if I would hold stable. This back and forth went on from 8am until 5pm one day, and then I finally called the MD (endocrinologist) back with a blood sugar of 400+ and said something just was not right with my pump. The NP got back to me and said I needed to go to the ER because she didn't believe it was a pump issue, but we HAD to get my blood sugars back in control. Fine... I went to the ER, they pumped me up with fluids, and insulin, and eventually, around 10pm when I stabilized, they sent me on my merry way. What happened then you ask? Around midnight, my blood sugar was back up in the mid-400 range, and I was cranky as heck. I called the MD back, and the endo. on call said I had to be admitted until they could figure out what was going on. I said fine, but I'm driving myself to the hospital (only 1/2 mile away or so, but in hindsight... DO NOT DRIVE WITH SUPER HIGH BGLs). I drove myself there, and was admitted. I called Minimed the next morning, and we figured out it was in fact a pump problem. They said that they would send me a replacement pump the next day. They did fulfill this request, but I was quite turned off of pumping by that point because I was freaked out by what happened. I talked to my endocrinologist, and we agreed a pump hiatus might be a good plan after all. I started a regimen of Lantus and Humalog. After recovering mentally from my pump breakdown ordeal, I started thinking about pumping again, but I honestly was not in a trusting mood towards Minimed. I decided to trade in my Minimed pump and get a Cozmo pump in November of 2006.

Fast Forward to about March or so of 2009: Smiths Medical announces that they will no longer be manufacturing diabetes supplies, including the Cozmo pump.

Where am I now you ask? I went to the Children With Diabetes Friends For Life conference in Orlando, FL earlier this month, and was able to see and hold all my pump options. I also had a pod put on me, and the cannula inserted. I even tried the Minimed CGMS for a few days. What have I decided from gathering all that useful information? NOTHING! I am in the process of scheduling a pump trial with Animas, I know the basics of Minimed, so I'm comfortable with their products, and I am signing up for the $50 Cozmo users deal with OmniPod to try their system for a month.

All I can say now is... any advice / thoughts are very welcome, and please wish me luck with my insulin pump decision!