Friday, September 28, 2007

Mark Your Calendars!

October 22, 2007 I will have my saline start. October 26, 2007 PUMPING INSULIN! That's right almost a month from now I will join the ranks of all you pumpy people out there in the OC. Unfortunately the date could not be sooner because of scheduling conflicts the soonest and only time available was the week of the 8th. That won't work out for us, but hey I would rather be at my celebrating my Pop-Pop's 80th birthday. Plus my mom and I decided that it was just not smart to start the pump and go out of town for a celebration. There would be too many things to worry about and why should we add pump drama to it? So Tuesday the newest edition to my diabetes team will arrive. Then I will have a couple of weeks to watch all the training videos and get acquainted.
Tomorrow I am attending my former school's homecoming dance. For some reason this always causes havoc with my numbers. I think its the nervous excitement of seeing people I haven't seen in a while, and the fact that my friends never seem to be on time. When the schedule is off, the numbers do not co-operate. I will just treat this with the birthdays and holidays diabetes rule, it just won't count.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's Cozmo Time!

It's time for my tropical green Cozmo pump to be shipped! That's right the insurance approved it this morning! Excited? Who me? HECK YES! I am really surprised by how quickly it came through. It will be here Tuesday! Next stop, pump training and the saline start! Hopefully now I will stop driving my mom crazy about all the details. Until next time, join me in my celebratory dance party!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Comments Galore!

So instead of going to every individual site and saying thank you to everyone multiple times for each comment, when I start slacking I will just have a post dedicated to thanking the devoted readers out there! So here goes....


Albert (twice)
Cara (thrice )
Shannon (twice)
Penny (thrice)
Scott (twice)

Now to actually address some of them...
Yes, my mom is pretty amazing to put up with me on a daily basis, diabetes wise or just because I am a teenager. I'll tell her you guys said happy birthday. And she did read the post, Cara.
Penny, sorry I made you cry! To Shannon & Penny: Hopefully some day Riley & Brendon will be able to express what your love and care has meant to them.
Thanks to all for the Diaversary comments, I am no where near the perfect and always compliant diabetic, but I've made it this far. I also want everyone to know that I came to the OC at a time when I felt like giving up, but I have learned and grown so much, reading the posts and comments from all of you!
To Scott, Dr. Infamous is not getting anything from the companies. Trust me he hates the drug and pump reps more than most doctors, he refuses anything from them when they come except for an iced coffee. Even though I'm sure many of them would try to buy him way more.
And to everyone, I'm going with the Cozmo. After lengthy discussions, comparisons, website tours, talking to the reps. I can not let the fact that I like the look of one over the other, out weigh rhe medical advantages. I need the 300 unit cartridge, the pump is supposed to be a way to free yourself from some of the constant(ness) of diabetes. With the Animas, it would all become about timing and waiting for that one and a half day mark when my cartridge would run out. Potentially leading to more sleepless nights and more anxiety than I already experience. Mom faxed the papers in this morning so now we wait. Until then I'll be watching all the videos on the Cozmo site.

Friday, September 21, 2007

For my mom.

Today is my mom’s birthday and I just want to write something for her to thank her for always being there when it comes to my D-Life. Happy Birthday Mom!

I just want to tell you how much you mean to me. For so long you were my lifeline, I depended on you for not only love but my life. I remember the nights you spent sleeping in my hospital room when I was diagnosed. The night of your birthday was spent with me instead of celebrating with others. You are always there to protect me and guide me through the tough times. We have had a lot of rough patches, and yet we are still moving along in our lives. We had years when going to the doctor was not possible, because the doctor never had appointments, I was too stubborn, or things were just too bad in other areas. I thank you for letting me find my own way with this D-thing, but still making sure I was okay. This day 11 years ago you were in my hospital room or somewhere in Children’s Hospital learning how to keep me alive. Something a mother should never have to do, most kids just need love. I needed your bravery, and I know those early years of shots probably hurt your heart more than they ever hurt my body. I know it was hard. I know that watching me fight off nurses trying to draw my blood was terrible. I want you to know that I am so thankful that you never gave up on me and stuck by me, making me the young woman I am today. I love you mom! I know I make you proud everyday, but you make me proud everyday too!

11 years.

These are the things I remember:

Peeing a lot, so much that my grandpa bought me a training potty for our trip home from his house in Pennsylvania.
That was the last trip we took without knowing.
Wetting the bed, and being thankful that I slept on the bottom bunk.
Thinking there was something completely wrong with me and I was a baby for peeing the bed.
Being scared of that final doctor’s visit before it all changed.
Running around the doctor’s office like a banshee refusing to get my blood drawn, and the nurse giving me this little elephant that was attached to her stethoscope.
Going to school one morning, hearing them call my name on the intercom. Seeing my mom, dad, and sister waiting for little me by the exit door of school. (In my mind they are all wearing trench coats.)
Complaining the whole way to the hospital about wanting chicken.
Asking where we were going, a hundred million times.
Being admitted, meeting a boy whose name I can only remember starting with a J, too. He was also diagnosed that day.
I still had no idea what was going on.
Meeting the doctors.
The shots.
The breakfast of eggs, wheat toast, cereal, milk, and juice
I ate that breakfast everyday, even when I went home, I was so hungry then.
The cable tv.
The hospital room fit for a child princess.
The saline vials, the practice classes.
The cafeteria.
My mom sleeping in my hospital room.
My father and sister coming every day after school and leaving at night when visitors hours were up.
Being scared and not knowing.

These are the things I remember.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Decisions, Decisions!

Fun birthday! Lunch with the parentals, test drove some cars! Well okay I wasn't driving them, my dad was...but whatever. Looks like when the time comes I will be getting a Scion xB, you know the little box car you see scooting down the road, dream car number two. The first dream is a Mini Cooper, but that is out of the price range. So we get home from a wonderful dinner, and there are a few birthday messages on the answering machine. Along with one from the good old Infamous Endo, "Hi this is Dr. Infamous, I just wanted to make sure you really want to go with the Animas, okay thanks call me back so we can talk about it!" Okay Dr. Infamous, you have already planted seeds of doubt about my Animas dreams, I sent you the paper work to make sure... And then you call. So okay fine fine. I look it all over again. Go to the websites, look at the comparison chart. Fine tomorrow we will send in the Cozmo one, to tell you the truth I only didn't want it because I wanted the color screen of the Animas. But it is stupid not to go with a pump that basically will do the same things for me, covers my major concerns (waterproof, luer-lock, 300 units). So what is this change of heart number 45!? Well I guess with age comes wisdom! Cozmo it is!

PS. Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday it means alot. I haven't been returning comments, but I will get to everyone individually! Good Night!

Sweet Sixteen!

Well according to my family it's not official until this evening. But hey I'm 16 today! On the diabetes front I had 5 birthdays until my little world was turned upside down. The plan for the day is school work, lunch with the parental units, and then the whole afternoon at an autopark!! No, I am not getting a car for my birthday, but a girl can dream. For now I'll settle for my favorite present my new digital camera. Have a fabulous day everyone! I know I will.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Quick Update!

Sorry, I drifted off for a bit. Planning a birthday party, researching insulin pumps, waiting for CGMS results, doing school work, and cleaning have kept me very busy!

The results are in NO dawn phenomenon. They saw a slight spike in my morning numbers, but not enough to call it dawn phenomenon. The CGMS also indicated that I could use some tweaking with my insulin to carb ratio around dinner (or when I start pumping my basal rate). My doctor is concerned that there will be some sort of problem with insurance coverage if I go with the Animas 2020. He thinks that since I might be taking close to 100 units a day (based on the amount of insulin I am taking now) that the insurance won't want to cover the fact that I will have to change reservoirs and infusion sets basically every 1.5-2 days. He says that the Animas will have about 180 units after it is primed, compared to the OmniPod which will take less units to prime from its original 200. The thing is I can't see how a less than 20 unit difference will matter that much. No matter what, I will not make it to the third day. Unless by some crazy miracle my insulin needs change dramatically with a pump, which I am not counting on. Any opinions? Am I missing something here? I think I will email the Animas rep we are in contact with to see what she thinks about it all.

This is going to be a busy week for me, Wednesday is my 16th birthday, Friday is my 11th DiaVersary, Saturday is my Sweet 16 Party and also my mom's birthday. I'll be back at some point during the week with something to say. Wishing a great week all!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My New Friend Connie

Connie is the super cheesy name I have given my borrowed Con(nie)tinuous Glucose Monitoring System, which came home with me from the Endo on Wednesday. Tomorrow I will mail her back to the land of medical professionals.
I have spent over 72 hours wearing this CGMS. I have had a few comments about the sensor and system. As for sensor size to me it looks similar to the REAL -Time Transmitter. I have take pictures to show this, using MiniMed’s quarter comparison.

The back of the sensor with the adhesive still attached.
(This adhesive was harder to remove than the excessive tape)

The sensor as flat as I could get it next to 3 quarters.

Next to a quarter aerial view.
(I think this picture proves it is actually smaller in size than the REAL-Time.)

As for not having “Real Time” information. For me I really am not interested in CGMS as a long term part of my diabetes management (for now). I understand that the information provided can be extremely valuable to some people, but I know that I would become completely consumed by the data. Chasing numbers, correcting like crazy. I am somewhat if not completely OCD with a lot of things, and I know that the information would drive me crazy. Instead of being helpful, I think it would cause more problems. In my case this 3 day study was to identify if I have do indeed have Dawn Phenomenon and also to pinpoint high postprandial numbers after my evening meal. This is all in preparation for pumping and setting appropriate basal rates. I think if I were ever to use a CGMS again it would be for something
similar, just a short period of time. For instance if I was having over night lows, to see when the dropping started, etc. Now I am not knocking those who use CGMS as a part of their daily diabetes care, but I know it’s not for me.
I did learn a few things from being attached to something. I can do it, that was probably one of my biggest concerns about pumping. This has been a great prep for my saline trial, then pump start. I have definitely been “grabbed” by door handles. But I was able to do everything I do regularly with no interruptions. I slept comfortably. Went shopping for my sweet sixteen party dress. Made it through a
horrible bout of seasonal allergies. The weirdest part was the shower pak thing, I felt like some sort of medical tourist with this protective plastic purse around
my neck. But instead of a camera, I had my CGMS hanging there. Overall it has
been a true learning experience. I am sure when I actually see the data I will learn a lot more.

(I apologize for the wonky layout, I copied over from Word and it went insane.)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Jilly Jill and the Pumpy Bunch

(You will understand the title by the end of the post.)

So it’s just after 3 am. What am I doing awake you may be asking yourself. Unfortunately my seasonal allergies have kicked in and I am all stuffed up so sleeping is just not working out. Plus, I woke up at about 1 am checked in at a falling 84. So I ate a few lifesavers just to bring it up a touch, and to prevent sleeping through the inevitable low I felt coming on.
Anyway so my mind started turning as it does when I have nothing to do with myself, and what did topic did my brain decide was right for the wee hours of the morning? Pumps. What else is new? Lately if it’s not my Sweet 16 Party, it’s Diabetor knocking on the door of my brain. So what am I thinking you might ask? Which pump of course! Animas or Omnipod.
The only reason that the OmniPod is even back in the running is because my doctor suggested investigating them, and having the reps do the insurance leg work just to see what kind of coverage we could get. In the beginning I was all Omnipod all the time. NO TUBES! HECK YES! Insurance shot down our inquiries so I decided what the heck traditional pumps I could do it. My research took me to every pump possible, even ones not available in the US. After reviewing each pump pretty thoroughly, Animas was the front runner. It has what I want features wise, I like the OneTouch meter is works with, its waterproof (Yes, I know it can still flood if it has a tiny crack, but that’s what the warranty is for), I like the loaner program, the customer service has been excellent and I am not even a pumper yet. And to tell you the truth I like the look of it, and if I am going to have to live with it for the next 4 years I think that’s kind of a big deal.
As I rolled around in bed trying to fall back asleep, I thought hey I have this CGMS thing attached and I barely notice the site. I can sleep on it, without feeling it at all. Could I do that with an OmniPod? I kind of doubt that I wouldn’t notice I was laying on about a half egg sized piece of hard plastic. You can’t see the site under my clothes (for the CGMS and I am assuming it would be the same for an infusion site), so what if the wire/tubing hangs loose? With an OmniPod will you see it? Probably. I mean come on I am a teenager, I do not want some weird blob sticking out on my already somewhat pudgy stomach. Another thing I like about the infusion site with tubing is that I could move around the actual pump. Pocket, waistband, thigh thing, you name it, the pump moves! OmniPod not so much, I don’t think that makes diabetes a “smaller part of life”, I know myself it would make me so annoyed and self conscious. I also think it’s a bit wasteful? Little batteries, a crap load of plastic, and probably some insulin goes in the trash with each pod. Now I am not knocking anyone who has the OmniPod or who will choose it. But I know now that it isn’t right for me. Oh and I forgot to mention the fact that it will be extremely sad that I won't be going with OmniPod, because I really love to call and listen to the reps with Boston accents. Yeah I know weird. Blame it on Mark Wahlberg.

So if I don’t get anything else out of the CGMS study, I know I can be attached and be comfortable. Back to bed!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

News Flash!

I turned the monitor back on at 8:30, calibrated and it finally worked! So far so good. And apparently my sister thinks the picture/idea of the sensor site is to her like looking at someone who is missing a limb. She also thinks its just because I am her little sister and she hates that I have to deal with this. Weird. I actually find it strangely cool, maybe I'm just twisted.

It's all in the numbers...

First number.

8.2 that's my latest A1c. Down from 10.5! I guess I'll have to go change that on my tudiabetes page. I was congratulated and complimented by the IE. I knew he had a heart, and he said that basically he wanted me to work my butt off so he could feel confident in putting me on a pump. Makes sense, but still it made me dislike him for awhile.

Next Number.

3 or maybe 4, number of days I will be on the CGMS system. Here is the story. First I had my appointment with the IE, we talked shop. Pumps (OmniPod or Animas), A1c, a lipids panel I could "sell on ebay". Then my mom and I left to have lunch. Went back to the office, met another diabetic boy who was a year older than me and was going on the CGMS because he hasn't been waking up during night time lows. We did a little tutorial together. I made him go first, then I went and almost passed out. I am a "passer-outer", everything and anything I get lightheaded. I think it was more the nervousness than pain or anything caused by the actual sensor. I would explain the insertion as maybe a finger prick to the surface of your stomach. A little sting that stays with you for a couple of minutes and then its gone. The tape is worse than anything. It feels all pinchy.

The process went like this, insertion,review removal, start the one hour warm up. I got home the warm up timer went off, I was supposed to calibrate. I washed and alcohol swabbed my finger got a reading, entered it. And got a CAL ERR message, I went through the clearing and re-entering process. CAL ERR again this happened 3 times, I called the help line. The guy told me to wait awhile because continuing to re-enter could cause the sensor to fail. So I waited a bit, and did it again. The rep would inserted it said after every error clear you should check and re-enter but that contradicts what the guy on the helpline said! Ugh! So I just called again and had a more helpful person. She said to just turn it off for 3 hours to get the sensor completely saturated with body fluids (um okay?), then try again. So much for this being an easy process.

Here are some pictures:
The Monitor Shower "Paks"
< Sensor and ridiculous amount of tape.

Monday, September 3, 2007

T-Minus 1 day-ish!

Until the CGMS and doctor's appointment, suprisingly I am not nervous for it at all.
I just wanted to say Happy Labor Day to everyone! I have been very inattentive to my comments, I will catch up on those soon. My blood sugars have been pretty good minus those wake-up/breakfast ones after nights when I sleep through the 3 am alarm. I had a great weekend of good numbers while away at my grandparents house, which is extremely unusual. This is just a quick update. I will be back on Wednesday to talk about my experience with the IE and CGMS sensor insertion.