The End.

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I’m sure I’m confusing a lot of people by owning two blogs and one Tumblr account that’s sort of a blog but not really, so I’m condensing things down a bit. That, and with everything going on with my t:slim and all, I just don’t feel right having a blog devoted to it. So, I’m not going to be blogging on this page any longer.

To read more from me, you can visit http://Sugabetic.me and follow my posts there. It’s a jumbled up mess of thoughts and everything else, but it is what it is and I’ve had it for almost 5 years now, so I think I need to keep all of my major stuff collectively in one place. Be warned. It’s more of a diabetes diary-blog of sorts, so you never know what you’ll encounter there!

One Year Later….

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It’s been one whole year since I received my Tandem t:slim insulin pump. It’s not been all rainbows and unicorns, that’s for sure, but I am very blessed to have this pump. I want to make it work so badly – both out of loving the interface of it and the looks (I mean, come on… I can change out clips to fit my mood and not be bound by one pump color? Score!) and the simple fact that my insurance paid a butt-load for this little piece of machinery and I feel it’s my duty to do my part.

So far, since my last restart (shhh! Don’t tell my endo yet!), things have been going well. I’ve been taking some new tips into consideration when setting it up and it seems to be helping. I still can’t get over the loss of 40-50 units per cartridge change, but it’s something I’m going to have to suck up and get over until they can improve this in the pump.

I’m hoping that maybe it was just a rocky start with the pump and that things will go smooth from here on out.

Round… Oh I’ve lost count.

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I’m trying something new. Before, I had some theories as to what was happening. Now, I’m testing them out.

Stay tuned.

Putting It Away

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After this morning’s visit with my endocrinologist, we have decided to suspend my use of the t:slim insulin pump.

I’ve had a good run and a bad run with it, and it seems that maybe this pump is just not for me. I’ve had a lot of issues lately, some that were happening with the old pump that we thought were fixed by the replacement, and some new ones. As of the 7th of this month, I had started on MDI for a couple of days and then a couple of days later, I went back to my Medtronic pump, both with better results than the t:slim. I don’t want to say that the t:slim is a bad pump, because it apparently works great for some. But for me, it doesn’t and it’s just not a good fit right now. I hope that they are able to improve upon their design within the next couple of years, and maybe I’ll go back to it.

As of now, I’m following his orders and staying on the Medtronic Revel. Thank you to all who have followed me over the past couple of months. It’s been a joy to blog about my t:slim adventure for you.

A Few Things

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I don’t want to have a blog of complaining, as many would probably think I’m doing, but there are a few things that I both like and dislike about the t:slim throughout my time of using it. These things come out of both just daily use of the pump itself and out of comparing it against other pumps that are out on the market.

Things I like:

Built-in “safety” mechanism whereby you are not exposed to the entire cartridge of insulin, but rather just 0.3 units.

Touch-screen makes for easy input.

Personal “profiles” instead of separate categories for each thing such as basal rate, bolus calculator information, etc. It’s all in one place. Not millions of other places.

It’s tiny. Doesn’t take up a lot of room.

Upload doesn’t require anything special other than a standard micro-usb cord.

You don’t have to upload to see a data-snapshot of how your week or month is going as far as insulin delivery is concerned.

 

 

Things I don’t like and wish could be changed:

The cartridge system. I do not like the “bag” idea as it seems to create more problem than it’s worth. If there were a way to create a better container that would act similar to how an insulin pen cartridge works, that would be better. (Maybe if there were, instead of a bag, a vial with a stopper inside of the cartridge container that would adjust to the amount of insulin? I’m no scientist, but I do believe this system could be improved upon.) It could still be a syringe-type cartridge (similar to how the Omnipod system works, and would be filled the same way as well), but without a piston rod pushing the insulin. The mechanism pulling the insulin out of the top would be similar to how we insert a needle into a vial to remove insulin now, but it would just remove 0.3 units at the time. I think this would cut down on a lot of the problem with the pump not calculating the correct amount of insulin in the pump as well.

Speaking of how the pump determines the amount of insulin, I don’t like it. While I see the need for it to subtract out 20 units for a “cushion”, that’s half of a days worth of insulin for me. Why not, instead, let us fill it, type in how much we put in (say, 200), and let it subtract off 10 units (leaving 190), and then let it subtract out just what we prime, and not another 20 units (thus if I prime out only 15 units, the pump would then show a total of 175 usable insulin units, not 160).

The “pig tail” connector. This thing is cool yet irritating. Bubbles get caught in this thing frequently either due to air in the cartridge bag being periodically pumped out or the connectors not being tightened enough. Problem is, I check my connectors frequently and somehow, they become loose. If there were come way to create a connection directly to the pump cartridge similar to how the makers of the Snap insulin pump have done, that would eliminate not only the pigtail but also keep the original idea of eliminating the bump connection on other pumps such as the Medtronic and Animas brand pumps.

Some have complained about feeling as if the pump doesn’t have consistent basal delivery. While I haven’t experienced this myself, I feel that for those who have, it could be an issue with the way the cartridge and pigtail connector are made. And, if air gets into the pigtail connector, it can affect delivery. So, please, find a way to fix that!

Confirmation screens. OMG, the confirmation screens. I really don’t see where all of these are needed. What if, similar to how a Quick bolus is deivered, instead of having tons of confirmation screens (yeah, like the “Dude, you’re above your target BG!” one? Duh, I know this already), why not, after plugging everything in and receivign the suggested amount, we just press and hold the “T” button for one second and let that take the place of the dozen “Are you SURE you want to deliver this bolus??” screens that are supposedly safety measures because it’s a touch screen pump and the FDA doesn’t want us butt-dialing doses. Pressing the “T” button would be a definite “YES, deliver my bolus” confirmation over a tap on the screen.

 

Bottom line? I like the pump. It’s keeping me alive, and does it rather simply. I just wish there were things I could change about it.

(And, as an additional wish out there… I wish I could just plug my meter into my pump and download every reading into it, so that if I look into the history of the pump for the Summary, you would also have BG averages and maybe even graphs in there as well. Sort of like a portable t:connect.)

Orientation

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There are a number of things that I like/love about the t:slim. The orientation is not one of them. Just like most all pumps (except for the Omnipod PDM controller) are landscape oriented, meaning that it is longer than it is tall. While this is okay and probably will be super helpful once Dexcom integration is here, it just doesn’t help the pump sit comfortably in your hand for one-handed operation. Being a mom and everything else that I do, I usually have both hands busy with something, and if I can bolus single-handedly while being able to hold my crying kid, I consider that a huge win. I can usually bolus single-handed now, but I’m reading sideways. If the pump could be portrait oriented, it would be so much easier!! But, of course, this is just a wish. Doesn’t have to be a priority, but I would absolutely LOVE this!! (And once Dexcom is integrated, maybe let those screens be the only ones that are landscape?)

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Smurfing

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Smurf_Wallpaper_oiq2

There’s a new Smurf… didn’t ya hear?

It’s Pumpa Smurf!

Nooo… not Papa Smurf….

PUMPa Smurf!

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Haha!

I love being able to mix and match the t:clip cases to fit whatever I want it to look like.

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