Ping!

I wanted to write this blog earlier this week, but I’ve actually (gasp!) been fairly busy at work.  What the what?!  Today is my 4th full day on the Ping.  So far, so good.  I had my appointment with my CDE on Monday afternoon and we set up my basals to be much lower than they were previously on the Paradigm.  When on the Paradigm, I seemed to go low if I didn’t eat and as someone who’s trying to shed a few lbs, this is no bueno.  Right now I’m on the following basal rates:

Midnight – 8:00 am – 1.0 Unit Per Hour
8:00 am – Midnight – 1.2 Unit Per Hour

Very complicated and complex, right?  For those non-Diabetics who may read my blog, the basal rate is the continuous stream of insulin my pump is programmed to give me.

My bolus rates are dependent on my Insulin to Carb ratios, Blood Glucose, Insulin on Board, and Insulin sensitivity factor.  Learning Time!  (I will quiz you later)

  • Insulin to Carb Ratios: Number of units of insulin I need for X number of grams of carbs I’m eating.  Mine are 1 unit per 12 grams of carbs for breakfast and lunch, and 1 unit for 10 grams of carbs for dinner.
  • Blood Glucose: Amount of Glucose (Sugar) present in my blood.  Vampires dig it.
  • Insulin on Board: The amount of insulin still present in my bloodstream based on my last bolus and current basal rate.  The pump figures this out.  It is much smarter than me.
  • Insulin Sensitivity Factor: This is the amount your blood glucose is lowered by 1 unit of insulin.  Mine is currently set to 40.

So far with these settings I think my readings are OK but there is definite room for improvement.  I’d like to be in the green as much as possible.

DailyTrends

Seeing as the spikes are generally post meal, I imagine my Insulin to Carb Ratios will change.  Especially after breakfast because coffee seems to hate me  but that is to be determined by my CDE, hopefully by the end of the day!  I’m excited to get tighter and tighter control.

Even though it’s been a while since I’ve pumped, I have noticed some things about the Ping that are different from the Minimed Paradigm:

  • There is a lot more button pushing.  You have to dial in your blood sugar as it doesn’t automatically display on the pump like it did with Minimed’s (MM) equipment.  I think this is a copyright issue with Medtronic a safety feature.  Not a huge deal but something to get used to.  I like bolusing right from my pump, but maybe I’ll have to train myself to bolus from the meter remote so I can skip the step of having to input my BG.  Those extra 10 seconds at every meal add up!  (Sarcasm)
  • Filling the Reservoir is more cumbersome.  The transfer guard that MM has is pretty slick.  Again, not a big deal just takes a few more minutes when I’m changing my site.
  • The infusion/insert seems to be smaller.  I like this.  I am using the 9mm Insert.  I was using the Silhouette with MM.  The size difference may very well be due to the fact that I’m now using a straight set rather than an angled, but so far I like it.  It makes me more eager to try different sites.
  • The all-in-one inserter has its pros and cons.  I’ve only done one site change without the watchful eye of my CDE so I am sure that it will get easier as I get used to it.  It seems a little more awkward than the MM, but at the same time I like that it’s all-in-one.  Makes travelling easier and I always would lose those inserters that MM provided.  MM does have the Mio which looks comparable to the Insert, but I have no experience in using it.
  • The display and menus are different.  This is just something that takes getting used to.
  • It’s so pretty.  Really.  The Animas Ping is just prettier than the Paradigm, in my opinion.  I love the silver.

So this is my review of the first few days.  I continue to be a work in progress.

Last day of vacation!

Whenever I go on vacation, I get what the Hubs calls the vacation blues.  I’ll get sad when we’re on like, day 2, of vacation.  “We only have 5 days left!  Wah.”  The Hubs reminds me to just relax and enjoy and I think the past few vacations we’ve gone on, I’ve been getting better at savoring the moment and not being grumpy pants that vacations don’t last forever (until we win the Powerball).

Today is my last day of my extended pump vacation.  Since my Endo’s office was able to get me in earlier than anticipated, I haven’t really had time to get the pump vacation ending blues.  But, there are definitely a few things I will miss about being un-plugged:

  1. Wearing dresses is so much easier w/out a pump.  Seriously, those leg pouches, not comfy.  Wearing the pump between your boobs, well, not so comfy either.  And it’s real attractive to go fishing for your pump in your cleavage when you’re out to dinner.  No, I’m not getting frisky with myself at the dinner table…
  2. Sexy time.  Let’s get real.  “Hold on honey, let me disconnect” isn’t exactly sexy foreplay.  It is much easier to be spontaneous when you aren’t a cyborg.
  3. Swimming, beaching, hot tubbing.  Not that I do these things often, but again, easier w/out a pump and having to disconnect.
  4. Exercising.  The bouncy-bounce-bouncy-ness of the pump while working out can get really annoying.  They need to make pump sport bras or something.
  5. I feel like diabetes isn’t as in your face when on MDI.  Granted the multiple injections every day are a reminder, but you can almost forget you have the D in between them.  The pump is connected to you 24/7, it’s visible to others, it beeps, it makes you bump into things (Am I the only one who is constantly grazing doorways?), etc.  It’s a constant reminder that you need a machine to do what your pancreas was supposed to do.  Seriously, pancreas…you had one job.  One.

However, all that being said, I’m pretty excited to go back on pump therapy.  I think I’ve made the right decision moving to the Animas Ping/Dexcom combo so I can get that elusive 7.0 (or lower) a1C.  The Ping is pretty nifty as it has a meter-remote so I can bolus right from my meter (makes wearing dresses a little easier, no boobie fishing here!).  It is water proof so swimming and such is a bit easier, although I do anticipate I will still disconnect, but this way if my Hubs wants to throw me in the pool, he can.  Exercising and sexy time…well, it is what it is.  The Hubs doesn’t make me feel any less sexy just because I have an extra step to take before getting busy.  (Thanks, honey!)  The bouncy-ness of the pump while exercising will probably always be a matter of trial and error.  I’ve found that wearing shorts/capris with compression fabric around the waist and turning the pump in towards your body helps a lot.

As far as the in your face-ness of the pump…well, I’ve been working on embracing my diabetes.  This is me.  Take it or leave it.  And, if nothing else, it’s a conversation starter.  “Why do you wear a pager?  Are you a doctor?”  “OMG, pagers are sooooooo 1996.”  “My nephew has a pump, but his is blue.”  I also like getting “the nod” from other pumpers.  We pumpers know what’s up.

And, if all else fails, there are always pump vacations to be had.  But I do imagine that once small human is created and comes into our lives, I really will be appreciative of the convenience the pump provides.  So right now, a few hours before my new cyborg life, I am feeling excited, empowered, and surprisingly not very blue.  I am going to relax and enjoy this trip!