25 and Counting

NaBloPoMo, taking the plunge… November 2, 2009

Filed under: CGM's,Family matters,insulin pumps,Uncategorized — Emilie @ 2:52 am

With NaBloPoMo starting today, I thought it may be a great way to get back into the daily grind of blogging.  A lot has happened this past year, and a lot has stayed the same.  Over the course of this coming month, I’d like to catch up on what’s going on in my corner of the DOC:

  • Got a new pump!  After a unintended pump vacation (aka – my Minimed Paradigm 722 beeped the fatal button failure error while I was on vacation, hence having to use a pen for the July 5th weekend), I decided to take Animas up on their offer of a Ping for the low price of $900.  I exchanged my Minimed for a $700 credit, hence my relationship with a new (waterproof) pump began.  I’ve been on it since August, and while I do miss the simplicity of the Minimed menu and bolus wizard, I really enjoy being able to stash the pump and bolus from the meter.  Oh, and the most important question – I got a green one! 
  • Got a new CGM!  After kicking my Paradigm 722 to the curb, it was time to evaluate the CGM issue.  I fear living without this technology, and honestly I had been losing my patience with my Minimed CGM.  More often than not, it was spitting out numbers way too far off from my meter.  When I calibrated to try to reconcile the two, it would send out CAL ERROR, followed by BAD SENSOR.  It would be so far off, that it would screech all night saying I am low, and upon checking my meter I never was under 90.  I ended up not wearing it for weeks at a time, and that is not acceptable!  I made the decision to switch to Dexcom, and have been amazed at the accuracy and length of time I can make a sensor last.  The one I am wearing now is on day 10, and still spitting out numbers within 20 points of my meter!  
  • Baby #2…While the decision to try for baby #2 via a gestational carrier was made, the process of making it all happen has proven to not be as easy as I thought it would be.  We discovered some fertility issues on my end, went through a successful cycle in August, and I had 3 eggs that fertilized and made it to blastocyst.  Our amazing carrier went through her portion of the cycle as well, and the first attempt did not work.  We are looking forward to the next round, and I am trying to stay positive and keep myself busy so as not to obsess over things I cannot control.  
  • Speaking of things I cannot control:  Our daughter is now 3 and a half, she is amazing and learning so much each day.  For only being 3, she has started showing a lot of interest in my diabetes.  She will often ask me if I am low if she sees me drinking juice, and will offer to help change my infusion sets for my pump.  I let her do the swabbing of the IV prep wipes.  She is so kind and thoughtful, I really don’t know how we got so lucky.  When I think of all the horrible things that have happened these past three years, she is certainly the one thing that I have in my life that makes all of this worth it.  

   Here’s to this coming month, good things to come, and catching up…


REQUEST FOR CGMS: (hopefully won’t be) DENIED BY INSURANCE July 2, 2008

Filed under: BG numbers,CGM's — Emilie @ 2:38 am
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Today, thanks to Gina at Tu Diabetes, is CGMS Denial Day.  While I am still awaiting word from my insurance company as to whether or not my Mini-Link CGM sensors will be covered, I wanted to join others in making sure insurance companies understand that CGM coverage is medically necessary.

I’ve had several bad hypoglycemic episodes, and I’ve noticed that they’ve become more frequent since I tightened up my control after I got married and starting thinking about pregnancy.  While my A1c’s dropped to the low 6’s, the cushion I had between being low and not low diminished.  Being in the 60’s pre-meal was a good thing, especially when pregnant, it gave me more room to bounce from 2 hours post-meal.  This way I ensured my 2 hour readings never went over 125 while I was pregnant. 

With these lower numbers, I’ve become unaware of my lows until they hit in the 40’s.  The first bad low happened when I was 9 weeks pregnant.  I had apparently just hit a point where my insulin needs were dropping, and my changes did not keep up.  My husband and I woke up on Sunday morning.  I was apparently telling him about a necklace I had gotten the day before.  When he changed the topic, I kept talking about the necklace, and was not able to answer his questions.  He got concerned, asked if I was low, and when I didn’t answer, he pulled out my meter and tested me.  37 flashed back at him.  He fed me some orange juice, tested 5 minutes later and I was stil in the 30’s.  He called 911.  I came to as the paramedics were pumping dextrose into my forearm.  I was embarrassed, and very scared of what harm I may have caused our baby.   

AFter Naomi was born, I had another incident where I woke up unresponsive.  Josh tested me, I was low, and he could not feed me juice, so called 911 again.  I came to on my own before the paramedics arrived.  Every night, Josh asks me if I have tested.  I know he is scared that I will wake up unconscious, as my lows don’t seem to wake me anymore. 

If these incidents are not reason alone for coverage of a CGMS, my continued hypoglycemia unawareness struck again this past spring as I was driving home from work.  One Friday, I ate lunch at 11:30, gave what I thought was an appropriate amount of insulin to cover the carbs I ate, and got into my car at 2:00.  My pre-meal blood sugar was 124.  I did not test before I got into my car, and regret this still today.  The last thing I remember was driving past the White House.  When I came to about 10 miles away from where I remember last, I was being pulled out of my car by the Fire Department.  They kept yelling at me – is your bloodsugar low?  I could only look down at my clothes, trying to remember who I was and what I was doing here.  I hope that I had just been having a bad nightmare, that this was just a really bad dream that I needed to wake up from immediately.

I hit 5 cars and caused thousands of dollars worth of damage.  I am thankful that my daughter was not in the car with me at the time of the accident, and that I did not hurt anyone else’s children.  I have to live with the regret of not checking my blood sugard before driving, but I would not be able to live with myself had I caused anyone harm. 

The day after my accident, after I got home from the hospital, I called my Minimed Rep and told him I needed the CGM asap.  I opted to pay out of pocket, because billing my insurance would add a few days to me receiving it.  I have been working to keep my blood sugars higher over the past 3 months, in order to hopefully regain some awareness of lows when I am higher.  But my CGM makes me feel better about not feeling a suddent dip when I am driving.  My husband knows that I will wake up conscious the next day. 

Anyone who says this device is not medically necessary does not understand the world of fear that I live in on a daily basis.  If there is technology out there that can alert you to lows before they become life-threatening, why would you deny this to somebody?  And why would you wait to allow someone to have this technology until AFTER an incident has already happened?  Aren’t our lives worthy enough of having the most protection possible?  I know the technology is new, and I do know for a fact that my CGM spits out bad numbers from time to time but, good lord, it is better than NOTHING. 

Please do not deny my claim for coverage for a device that can help me be the best mother I want to be.  Please do not deny my claim for coverage so my husband does not have to worry about me every night when we go to sleep.  Please do not deny my claim so I can stop living in fear every time I get in my car.



Life as a graph… June 25, 2008

Filed under: BG numbers,CGM's — Emilie @ 2:00 am
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Don’t get me wrong, this sensor is really great.  When I am creeping up, it alarms to tell me I have eaten too much, or given too little insulin.  When I am low, it alarms to tell me I am heading into dangerous territory.  I can sleep better knowing I will wake up conscious, or without a headeache from a prolonged high overnight. 

BUT, as nifty as this piece of technology is, it is not fun to downloan your bg stats, and see this:

Not pretty.  It makes me cringe…no wonder I feel like ass most days.  This pretty much sums up all of the roller coaster ups and downs I go through on a daily basis.  It is days like this that makes me feel like those target range numbers I program into my pump are a pipe dream.


In search of new real estate… June 18, 2008

Filed under: CGM's,insulin pumps — Emilie @ 1:50 am

My pursuit of better bg numbers has led me to a real estate issue  I do not have enough stomach space to comfortably wear an infusion set and sensor in my stomach, AND have my pump clipped to my waist…Sommething had to give, so I have spent the past week experimenting with new sites for my infusion set.

I thought for sure, it would hurt to jab a big old infusion set into anything but my stomach, but I’ve been surprised.  I started last week with my leg.  It felt fine, and didn’t bother me at all, but got really red on day three.  (I won’t tell you how long I usually go in between site changes, it’s really not healthy.) 

So, on to the next leg.  This site went in over the weekend, and involved a couple of trips to our neighborhood pool.  I decided I was going to suck it up, and sport my pump accesories on the outside.  I typically have an inufsion set in my stomach, and my pump clipped to a the bottoms of a tankini, so it’s not too obvious.  But with the infusion set on my leg, and the tubing visible, it was a little scary.  I ended up doing it, and truth be told, in the kidie pool, parents are more focused on their kids than anyone’s mediccal devices, so I felt ok with it.

Enter night before last.  My leg site that i was so proud of was hurting.  It started out a little concerning in morning, then moved quickly to the anything above a 2 unit bolus would send shooting pains in my entire thigh category.  When I pulled it, a big blob of puss came gushing out (eeew, sorry).  I have never had an infusion set do this to me, and two days later there is still a welt in the spot that hurts to the touch.   

So I was back to square one…where else could I sstick one of these things?  I started thinking back to my childhood shots, and came up with my hip.  I busted out the IV prep wipe, cleaned the area, and jabbed it in.  Fortunately, my husband was near bc I could not figure out how to pull the needle out on my own.    With his help, my hip site has been holding steady for a few days now.  i think it will be good at the pool, too, since it conceals everything. 

So, I am pleased with my real estate venture so far.  I think I’ll come up with something that allows me to wear this darned sensor and be a bit more comfortable.