One Month

It’s been one month since I started back on the t:slim pump. I have to say, it’s been an adjustment from being on the pod for so many months. I can’t believe how quickly I had become “used” to it, but I did. I was worried that I would be bothered by wearing a tubed pump again, but so far, it’s been fine.

I have been keeping an eye on my sugars as well as my t:connect account and things are going just fine with both bolusing and uploading my pump. The problems I had before with highs all day are gone, with the exception that last week was my period and things are always wacky around that time, but they’ve leveled back out and my sugars are back to their more predictable pattern, and the t:slim has been working just fine right along with them. T:connect is working beautifully, no double or triple data in there at all, and that makes me happy.

Earlier this month, I switched over to using my Freestyle Lite meter and it’s been bugging me that I couldn’t upload it. When speaking with my hubby, he made the point very simply that if I had more money in strips than the cable, then I needed to order the cable. I currently have about 3 more months worth of strips left, so indeed, I have more left in strips than it would cost for the cable… so I broke down and ordered one last week. It finally came today and I’m shouting “hallelujah” because my reports are finally looking right since all of the data is there. 

Speaking of t:connect, there are still some glitches in the system, but I’ve heard through a little birdy that there is going to be a software update release next month, so I’m hoping those will be fixed. I’m also hoping they will have the ability to upload the Dexcom for a more complete picture of what’s going on, or at least more types of meters (like the Nano), but that’s not confirmed at all and is (I’m sure) a simple daydream for now, so do not quote me on that at all.Image

I’m so glad that Tandem has come out with more colors of the t:clip during this time as well. I was hoping and praying they would have the teal one voted in as a new color, and it was! So welcome to my new design, complete with teal-clip-cased t:slim!

Also, I may add a page later for questions that you guys can submit to me about the pump or anything diabetes related, so keep an eye out!

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Pumping Along

So it’s been almost a week since I received my replacement t:slim and things seem to be going okay with it so far. I have uploaded a few times and all of my records are matching in percentages on the dashboard and the logbook is logging correctly (verses recording boluses and carbs 3 and 4 times over).

We did have a little bit of a hiccup in t:connect that neither I or can the rep at Tandem figure out how it happened, but on Saturday, there was a note added into my account that I had eaten Kashi rice and chicken of some sort… which I didn’t. I didn’t even make a note in there Saturday, and no one has access to my account. In fact, the only reason I use notes anyway is to mark the start of my monthly visit from Aunt Flo or any other wild, out of the ordinary occurrence. When I called, I suggested the thought that maybe I had received a refurbished pump and someone still had access to an old account with that serial number. The rep told me that they had sent out a brand new pump, so no one had ever used it before. So, that makes me feel a lot better knowing it wasn’t just a wiped and reprogrammed pump like other pump companies do. (It also explains why they are a little more rigorous in their questioning whether to replace a pump you have or not.)

Other than that, I’m doing okay with the pump. I’m trying to retrain my thinking on how to bolus in that when you read the screen, the first thing you see is the carb button. Seeing as how the first thing I do is test my BG and enter that into any other pump I’ve ever used, that’s what I’m accustomed to doing, so I end up entering the BG into the carb section. Retraining myself to read and enter information from right to left is odd, but seems to be working so far. And right now, entering the correct information for BG records is very important because I’m using my Freestyle Lite meter that I’ve had tucked away forever in efforts to use up my stock of strips, and I don’t have a meter cable yet (ordered it… it’s on it’s way) to upload that data and get a better picture of things.

Now, if we can just get Dexcom data to upload into t:connect, I’ll be one happy camper.

Out with the old… In with the new!

Sorry for the long hiatus. I’ve been working on trying to figure out why my sugars were so off the charts high, even with increased basals, ratios, and all of that good stuff.

After fighting and fighting with it, I decided to see if maybe my pump was the issue. So, I switched off of the t:slim and put a pod out of my minimal stash on to see if my sugars responded. If not, then I was going to assume that I had one massive cold or other illness about to come. If so, then I was calling Tandem.

Lo and behold, it was the pump from what I could tell. After three bottles of new insulin opened (which one will be wasted by the end of the month), 4 cartridges and 6 sites, nothing made the sugar budge to come down other than running a 40-50% increase of all insulin being delivered (basals AND boluses). Within two hours of wearing a pod, my sugars returned to normal, with no increase of insulin needed.

I called Tandem and explained the issue. Due to them being a new company, they can’t exactly just replace pumps off of suspicion, they need proof. So I was denied a replacement at first. I pressed on, and even had my endo write a note stating that he also felt it needed to be replaced and that the one I had couldn’t be trusted. What finally allowed me to get a replacement was that I had put my first t:slim to sleep earlier in the year (like, around April) when I was going to go off of it until they fixed an issue the pump has with reverse-correction (well, it’s not really an issue.. just a lacking feature that’s being fixed soon) and by doing so, it messed up something in the memory mechanism of the pump. Seeing as how that was the only thing that could be technically proven over the phone, I stressed that even though that was the only thing they could tell on their end, there was no way of knowing unless they had the pump back to inspect it that if by putting it in shelf mode that something else had happened. (So, whatever you do.. if you have a t:slim insulin pump.. NEVER EVER PUT IT IN SHELF MODE unless you’re sending it back to Tandem!)

Yesterday, I received the replacement t:slim. Since I had only been wearing the pod for one day and I’m limited on how many of those I have left, I decided to wait until Friday to put on the new t:slim. Then, today, I started thinking… maybe I need to just suspend the pod so I can use it again if needed, and put the t:slim on. So that’s what I’ve done.

So far, I’ve noticed a few things that my first t:slim didn’t do the same way, so I’m thinking maybe there was something really messed up with it and I didn’t know it. All I can say is that I’m thankful that Tandem did replace it. And, also I’ve bolused for a pretty good sized lunch and it still seems to be working just fine.

(Pic used from my main diabetes blog)
(Pic used from my main diabetes blog)

Replaced

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Due to the fact that I had put my pump to “sleep” back in April when it really shouldn’t have and it messed up quite a few things in the pump, the nice people at Tandem replaced it for me.

So, whatever you do… do NOT ever put your t:slim into sleep mode unless you’re sending it back to the company! Serious damage can happen to the memory of the pump. I had made a post on how to do this in April, and am removing that post as well as the video because it is definitely something you should NOT do just for pump breaks.

I’m currently wearing a pod because I was unsure of 1) if they would replace the pump and 2) how long it would take to get it. Well, the new one was overnighted, and I have until Friday for the pod, so I’ll be wearing it until then. I would switch back now, but I have only a few pods left, and I’d hate to waste this one knowing I couldn’t use it ever again.

Feature Wish

I wish, in the easeness of the pump, that when duplicating the profiles, you could choose to have it duplicate as-is, or simply duplicate and adjust up or down by percentage all of the factors. So if you chose to increase all factors by, say 15%, not only would your basal rate increase, but so would your I:C ratio and insulin sensitivity factor.

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There are times when I am really insulin resistant, and times when I’m insulin sensitive (thank you, Mother Nature). Then, there are also those times I’ve filled the cartridge with the “bottom of the bottle” insulin that isn’t as potent as when the vial was first opened. I wish there were a way other than setting a 72hr basal rate that I could just easily copy a profile and have the pump automatically adjust the basal rates, IC ratios, and insulin sensitivity factor based on that percentage increase or decrease.

The whole idea behind having profiles in the first place was to have one central location to change any and all factors without going to multiple menus. When adjusting for varying sensitivity, wouldn’t it also make sense to be able to temporarily switch all contributing factors in the world of insulin delivery?

I mean, the set up is pretty darn easy as it is anyway, so this isn’t a complaint at all. It’s so much easier to switch a profile than it is a basal rate THEN everything else individually. I could easily do the math myself, duplicate the profile, and just adjust everything in the profile except the time slots. Just thinking maybe it would be one more way the t:slim could be that much easier to use.

Or, just have two options for temporary use: Temp basal and Temp profile.

Clothes

The hardest thing I’m learning to live with now is where and how to wear the t:slim. The t:clip case, as I’ve mentioned, is not the best made thing in terms of where the clip is placed, but it is a good protective case. For the most part, my pump stays clipped inside of my pants pocket or waistband. Other times, it’s in the side area of my bra under my arm (which is when I’m super thankful for the slimness of the pump because unlike the other pumps I’ve worn, I can barely feel it there, and it doesn’t look too much like an extra boob).

This summer, I went shopping at my local Belk store to hopefully find some shorts that fit my odd-shaped body. Jean shorts are too thick to adjust the waist in and for the most part, they stick out too far in the back. I also hate having to wear a belt, so those are out of question for me. So, I tend to go towards the Bermuda-length fabric (non-print) style with the no-gap waste band. These, I can wear for weekend and work, so I’m all for.

But the main thing I love about these? They have a decorative “coin” pocket. Nothing much can fit in them unless they’re made to carry a few dollars or a credit/debit card, but it just so happens that my t:slim fits PERFECTLY into this pocket! So I can wear the pump “naked” in the pocket and no one sees a pump clipped to my side.

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Breakfast’s a Witch

I’ve done very well so far on my t:slim with lots of tweaking here and there. I’m actually excited about using it again.

But there’s one thing that gets me… every.single.day.

The b word.

Breakfast.

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Without fail, my BG will be great until an hour or so after I eat. Everything looks great, I’ve prebolused at least 20-30 minutes ahead, my meal doesn’t spike with in 30 minutes after eating like usual.. and BAM! It hits. I end up correcting every time, so I’m thinking I need a higher insulin-to-carb (IC) ratio in the morning for breakfast than any other meal.

It seems that I’m slowly ironing out the bumps here and there. But it’s also as if I get one ironed out and another one pops up. But that’s life, right?