Time to Recharge… The t:slim.

On my post, First Week Review – #tslim, my good friend, Bennet stated his curiosity about the battery life of the pump. So as of that morning’s charge, I decided to try it out. (READ:: If you have a t:slim, please follow the instructions in the manual and charge as requently as possible and do not make it a habit to drain the battery. This was strictly for curiosity… not to be repeated…. in other words, don’t try this at home.) That post was on December 11th… and it’s now December 20th, and my battery is just hitting 15%.

I'm now officially FREAKING UNCOMFORTABLE and need to charge for my sanity's sake.

Since I have a desk job, I can easily just plug my t:slim into the power outlet at my feet and let it charge. Others who maybe work on their feet or have to move around a lot probably would benefit more to charge it while they’re in the shower and getting dressed or something similar. That way you’re not “tethered” to the wall too. Or, you can charge while surfing the net, reading blogs (eh-hem…) or if you’re close enough to one at the dinner table, go for it. If you drive a lot, keep the car charger in the car and just top off on your commute. There are so many options for charging this pump. Yes, it’s another thing to think about, but it’s also like having a cell phone – you know you have to charge it, so it ends up not being that big of a deal. As with all things diabetes, you have to learn how to adjust it into your life so that it’s just another step you know you do but don’t really think about.

Charging....... (Somehow, in my head, I hear it saying "Charging" like the little Wii Fit voice says "Calculating..." and "Ooo" when you step onto the balance board.

As for the time it takes to recharge it: Tandem says that it takes 1 minute per 1% of charge. So, in all likelihood, I’m gonna be here a while… about 85 minutes (which I would be anyway)… waiting for it to charge to 100%.  The time is ticking. I started the charge at 10:08am (EST) and am waiting…..

10:28am and I’m at 45%…..

I feel like I need to have some sort of music playing while we wait.... SAAAANTA Claus is comin' to town! ( by little Michael Jackson. You're singing it in your head now too, huh? No? K.)

10:46am… 70%…..

Almost there!How abouta cute baby Santa picture??? ---->

Saaay Cheeeze!

Okay… so here we are at 10:07am… and we are at 100%!

100%! Yay!!

And, if I go into the history screen, you can see when I plugged it in, and when I disconnected. That’s one hour, people! One hour to completely charge from 15% to 100%.

History logs EVERYTHING!

So, there ya have it folks. While you don’t have to charge every day, it is recommended. And, if you do go a while – MAYBE 2-3 days, you should be okay too. Just be sure to keep a way to charge it with you just in case. 

If you guys have any other questions about the t:Slim, please leave it in a comment for me. :)

Advertisements

Readjusting on the t:slim

Since starting on the t:slim, I’ve seen MUCH better numbers in my glucose levels. Still, I have no idea why they are, but I’m completely excited about it. I have noticed, though, that I need to fine-tune some areas, like my Correction Factor and a couple of minor things. So, what else to do but pull out the number one go-to pumper’s manual?

Only the best book for pumpers!

That’s right. I pulled out my brand spankin’ new copy (Okay, I ordered it back in September and am just reading through it again) and started back over. I’m going through looking at calculations and suggestions to see what the best course of action to do would be. And, since my Correction Factor seems to be my worst enemy, I’m starting with that one.

Super Customize-able basal rates and factors!

So, I took my old one and conservatively added 5% to the number, and I have gone from a 1:65 to a 1:72. I have NEVER used a weird number that didn’t end in a “0″ or “5″ for a factor, so this is all new to me. Also, note my basal rate has also ended in a new number… a “0.x2″. The ability of this pump to do such small increments is astounding to me!

Super customize-able settings!

Oh, and I’m also testing my insulin duration. Not just by the hour mark, but by the minute. 4 hours is too short, and 4:30 seems long… so why not go middle-road, eh?

Granted, I know day-to-day is going to throw different challenges, but if I can get an overall average that keeps me on-track like, 75% of the time, I’m okay with that.

So, off to readjust and fine-tune. Happy Monday, peoples!

(Oh, and I know some of you were wondering about the battery usage and how long it would go between charges last week…. I haven’ t charged it since Tuesday, and I still have 45% battery power left. And charge time is noted in the manual as being 1 minute per 1 percent – so if I let it go down to 10%, it’s going to take 90 minutes to recharge.)

First Week Review – #tslim

I have officially been using my Tandem t:slim insulin pump for a week as of this evening, so I thought it would be a good time to share my thoughts on this new technology of the pumping world.

As stated in my prior posts, Tandem was very smart when they designed this pump. They went after simplicity and usability as well as great functionality. They have brought pumping into the 21st Century by using a touch-screen for pump operation, as well as making it rechargeable verses the use of batteries.

Doing anything with the pump is very easy and simple. Just a few taps and you’re done. One statement I see a lot of people making is that they don’t like that you have to unlock it with the 1-2-3 code. While it does take a few seconds to do, it honestly doesn’t take long at all in the grand scheme of bolusing. I can truly bolus faster with this pump verses my older ones because there is no scrolling to do. Even against the Minimed Revel that has the BG readings automatically sent – it’s still much faster. And, if you need to “pocket bolus”, you can still do so with the Quick Bolus feature of the t:slim using the ONLY button it has.

Changing the cartridge – which was the scariest part for me – was actually pretty easy to do on my own. The on-screen instructions make it SO simple. People who switch to this from the OmniPod or Minimed (I don’t remember if Animas has them or not) will feel “at home” with the screens because they are very similar in how they walk you through the process. The only thing is that the screen seems to time-out pretty fast if I keep it on my usual 30-second time-out, so last time I did a change out, I switched it to 120 seconds (2 minutes). I did this simply because even though if it times out and you unlock it, it takes you back to the screen you were on, unlocking it multiple times during a cartridge switch is not fun. (Though it is a VAST improvement because that was my biggest gripe with my Animas – it always timed out on me and I had to go back through the screens to get to what I needed. BIG pain in the butt.) This makes it easy and I didn’t have to unlock it at all during the change.

Charging. This was part of the system that had my curiosity up, and I know it does for a few of you as well. I have to say, this pump keeps a charge very well…. much better than I expected since this device runs all day, every day, without end.  I have only let it get down to 85% once, and otherwise, I usually “top off” the battery every other day. Since it uses a micro USB connection, you can pretty much charge this thing anywhere – with a computer, wall outlet, or car charger. Granted, the car charger they sent is funky because mine “whines” while it’s charging my pump. Usually, though, I charge the pump when I’m sitting at my desk because I know I’m going to be there a while, and it only takes about 5-10 minutes to charge it. I have even charged it just taking Kip to daycare. The only thing is that if you choose to charge while you’re connected, you have to remember that and not just jump up and go. That’s why they suggest charging it while you’re disconnected and in the shower. I’ve just not done it yet because I’m leery about having something plugged into the socket while I’m in a steamy shower. I know it shouldn’t cause any problems, but I’m also not going to try it out myself.

Oh, and I know some of you have wondered about the waterproofness of the pump. While, yes, it’s only rated for 30 minutes at 3 feet (IPX7 rating – as are most pumps now except the Animas), I think others have tested it longer. And some even wonder about the charge port – I know I did. From what I was told, the port is sealed from the inside against water damage. Now, I’m not a tech/electricity expert, but I’m just going to trust them on that one. I test the ability of a lot of things, but that one I’m not going to. I’ll trust their word on it.

Otherwise, me and Mr. Pump (I haven’t gotten a name for it yet) have been getting along great. As a matter of fact, I have had to readjust EVERYTHING (basal rates, bolus calculations, carb factors, correction factors….) more than once to a lower setting. I don’t know why, but the only thing I can figure is there has to be a correlation between how my body absorbs insulin and how this pump delivers it. I’m not the only one either. Jenny from sugarbeat111.wordpress.com also has had to lower her rates too.

My only complaints are the case and the screen protector. The case is bulky and unattractive. I have been working with Donna from TalleyGear to make a custom case for it that can be used on a belt, though not a clip. The screen protector? Well, I got a 2 pinholes in it the first time I tried to take the cartridge off. Apparently I had something on my table that I didn’t see and it punctured it or else put pretty small dents into it… either way, they bother me. I called Tandem and the rep that I spoke with said he was going to find a couple to send out to me. YAY! Until then, I may look around to see what I can find. I have always been a HUGE fan of BODYGUARDZ screen protectors for my devices, and they custom cut pieces  but they don’t round the corners off… and I’m a terrible cutter. We’ll see… that part is still out for debate on what I want to do.

Do you guys have any other questions about the t:slim? Leave them in a comment below and I’ll answer ya as best as I can. :)

T:slimmin’

Last night was the night. I was able to FaceTime my local trainer and be trained to use my brand-new t:slim insulin pump! I had everything together and ready to make the training as fast as possible because I also had choir practice to attend right after. I had my syringe pre-filled, new site inserted, and everything laid out where it needed to be. I thought I’d be smart and program my basal rates in too, but she had me delete everything and reprogram it just so she could see that I knew how to do it… which is totally okay with me.

Training was so simple! I was even able to hold my fussy 16-month old during the whole process (except for filling the cartridge…don’t worry, I put him down for that).

One thing that I noticed, though, is when we got to the “Fill Tubing” stage, it took a large amount of insulin compared to my Animas prime records. Usually, it only takes about 11-13 units to completely prime the tubing. Last night, it took 22.. a whole 10 units more. I was curious about this, but my trainer must have read my mind because she told me it’s due to the connection… and that makes sense. See, in other pumps that use a luer lock connection, there’s a small tip on the cartridge that goes inside of the connector of the tubing, so there’s really not much wasted space, if any. With the way the t:slim works, there is a “pocket” created because there’s a slightly bigger connection area. Not that big of a deal, but that’s what I was told was the reason for the “extra” units. Plus, I had to prime a couple of units after that to get excess bubbles out of the tubing. No big deal.

My biggest and ONLY gripe right now is that as of last night, I have no way to upload my pump… so I’m going it manually. Some have suggested a Kevin chart? I haven’t the slightest idea what that is, but I’ll be Googling it later.

Also, I hate strongly dislike the case/slider. It’s like an OtterBox for the t:slim. I mean.. I may be wrong… but the whole thing about this pump is that it’s sleek and small and stuff…. well, if you use the clip, it’s not at all sleek and small. It’s quite bulky, actually. I cannot WAIT for the t:clip to be available. I am SO going to get a PINK one and a PURPLE one!

My biggest LOVE of this pump so far? I bolus in like, a 4th of the time verses my Animas Ping. Woot! LOVE LOVE LOVE! And remember when I posted about it before that I thought the delivery time would be an issue? It’s not.  I rarely bolus over 5-6u per meal, and that’s delivered in just a couple of minutes. And truth be told, I can’t even hear it delivering.

My second biggest LOVE is the IOB showing on the FRONT screen! EEK! I thought I would miss not being able to see what basal rate I was getting on the front screen like it shows on the Ping, but honestly? I don’t. IOB is much more important and not having to scroll to status screens to see it is AWESOME. Why? Okay, so here’s a scenario: You check your BG after your meal and you see that you’re 218. Wow… that’s higher than normal for you. How long has it been since you bolused? Should you bolus again? Just tap the wake-up button and you can see that you have insulin still working and how much. If you feel that it’s not enough and you need more, all you have to do is unlock it and calculate a bolus. IF you need more, it will suggest it. If not, it will tell you that you still have X.XXu still working and if you bolus more, you could go low later. YAY! Love love love love love love love that. The ability to know right away about IOB helps me to be more aware of it and possibly not rage bolus as much.

I’m a total tech-geek. I love new technology. Granted, I am admittedly VERY excited about this pump. These are just my first impressions of it right now, so I’m sure I’ll have more to say in a week or so. I’ll keep you guys updated as I go, especially after a few cartridge changes. I’ll keep ya posted.