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Verio Sync: Unanticipated Glitch.

The Verio Sync meter and I have been happy friends for a few years now, starting back in late 2013.  (Here’s that first post, with disclosures aplenty. Second impressions are here.)  

I honestly can’t figure out why more people aren’t using this meter.  It’s fast, it’s accurate, and the Reveal app is awesome.  This meter has been the best fit for me in the last few years, which is a big statement because I historically revolt against excessive change when it comes to diabetes tech.

Bottom line:  I like this meter.  Quite a bit.

Footnote on bottom line:  Until last week, when I tried to upload my information to the app, which had been recently  updated on my phone, which meant the app needed all of my information again, only to realize that the PIN had worn off my meter and I couldn’t enter it into the app.

Holy run-on sentence, but the end result is no PIN?  No upload.  No upload?  No data access.

Pain in the ass, that is.  Had I known, I would not have updated the app on my phone.  Had I known, I would have written the PIN down on a piece of paper.

But wait a second … I was just at Joslin with my endocrinologist, and she was able to plug my meter into her computer and upload my data.  No PIN, no hassle.  She had some magical data system that siphoned my health data into their files.  How come my doctor can access my data but I can’t?

The guy who talked to me for ages on the One Touch customer service line was very nice, and very helpful, only ultimately couldn’t do anything other than offer to send me a new meter (which still has not arrived).

“You’ll receive a shipping label to return the old meter,”  he mentioned.

“Can I wait a few weeks to return it?  I want to see if my doctor can get the data off that meter before I send it back.  I want those numbers, if I can get them,” I asked.

“Sure thing.  Not a problem.”

So he was very nice.  But the underlying problem here is that the data on that meter is mine.  My glucose data, generated every morning, every time I eat, and every night before bed.  It’s the specifics of my diabetes day, dictating the content of my dinner plate and influencing the integrity of my CGM sensor.  That information is mine.  And yet my doctor has the key to open access but I do not.  She has a “pro” account but I’m managing my disease daily, and yet I can’t access my own data from my own machine.

This doesn’t make sense. It’s my data! This problem can be fixed once patients are given the tools to manage their condition, instead of information being held behind a wall of medical privilege. You know … once we’re viewed as “pros,” too.

 

What Does the DOC Mean to You?

This video is one of the last ones I did for Animas, but it’s one of my favorites because it features some of the friendliest faces in the Diabetes Online Community.

Much love to the folks who offered to share their perspectives on the diabetes community, and thanks for being part of the family.

If you are up for chiming in: What does the DOC mean to you?

Lucky.

Low blood sugars have become moments that scare me more now than they did when I was younger, mostly because the symptoms of my lows have all but disappeared until I’m deep into the 40’s. It’s shocking to my system to have that gentle lag and foggy confusion suddenly open into the abyss of a properly symptomatic low, bringing about the sweat and shaking, confusion and disorientation.

But lately, I’ve been thinking about how lucky I am to have the ability to go low. Hear me out on this … it makes sense in the long run.

During the course of any given day, I’m able to deliver a basal rate of insulin that keeps my blood sugars under control, and I can take a bolus of insulin to cover any meals I’m eating. I have the option to correct a blood sugar of 140 mg/dL back down to 100 mg/dL with precision dosing from an insulin pump, insulin pen, or even a syringe. I can micro-manage my blood sugars throughout the day in efforts to achieve an A1C and time-in-range that gives me the best chance of good health for a long time.

It’s not a question of “will I or won’t I get insulin today?” My biggest worry is how in-range my numbers have been. Diabetes, no matter where you live, is not a pleasant disease, but in a country where my access to insulin is not a panic point, I realize how lucky I am.

And I know what I can do to help those who aren’t as lucky.

Yes, more of this Spare a Rose stuff.  But you guys. It takes just a minute to make a donation to Spare a Rose, benefiting Life for a Child. Hang on … I just did it.

I made good on my promise to donate a rose for yesterday’s Super Bowl game (during which I paid little attention to the game itself and was a bit more confused by how many babies truly are credited back to Super Bowl shaggings). A five dollar donation is one full month of life for a child with diabetes in a developing country.

Can you spare one rose today?

 

It’s All About That Rose, That Rose … So Spare It.

Today, people will be watching a football game and cheering on their favorite team (and my mother will be in a sports fan version of mourning because the Patriots are not playing).  I want to remind you that it’s all fun and Big Games until someone loses an islet.

(Yes, another diabetes post.  On a diabetes blog!  Go figure.)

Even though the Superbowl is today, my eye is still on the Spare a Rose prize.  Please throw some support towards the Spare a Rose campaign.  With this one, we can all win big.

For a little extra fun, join the discussion on Facebook about Team Game or Team Commercials, pick a team, and donate an extra rose if your team “wins.”  Or loses.  Either way, it will be a nice change to pace to watch a pile of people battling on Facebook about something other than politics.

Airplane Site Changes: A Grost.

Earlier this week, I flew to San Diego to visit with the team at Tandem and brainstorm some plans for 2016.  It was a quick trip (managed to land right when that weird storm was picking up speed – made for a very exciting landing and also reinforced my hatred of flying), but a productive one.

On Tuesday morning, before leaving for the airport, I needed to change my pump site.  In the winter, my skin has a tendency to become scalier and more irritated than in the warmer months, so skin real estate is a real issue, and site rotation is important, yet it’s challenging to find a place that wasn’t already somewhat rotten.

Against my better judgement (and mostly because I was in a hurry), I made the mistake of inserting my infusion set onto the back of my hip.  Normally, this placement is awesome and totally out of the way, but that morning, I managed to stick the site exactly where my waistband was situated.  It was also exactly where I would put my hands when pulling my pants on or off, making it a high traffic site.  But whatever – I was in a hurry, the skin was good there, and I’d just be really, really careful when sitting / visiting the ladies room / getting dressed.

I made it about six hours before I ripped the site off completely.

This moment happened at the end of my five hour flight home from San Diego, as the plane was starting to land.  Thanks to a paranoia about blot clots (hat tip to that pesky Factor V Leiden bastard), I drink a lot of water on long flights and get up from my seat very often.  (Apologies to anyone who has ever sat next to me on a plane.)  I wanted to duck into the bathroom very quickly before the plane landed, and in my haste, ripped the pump site out with swift precision.

Blood streamed down the side of my hip. Not optimal.  In a panic, I looked at the bathroom walls and door to make sure my grossness was contained, and thankfully it was, except now I had bloody paper towels and the plane was descending quickly and fuck I needed a new site in a hurry.  After cleaning myself off (stuffing the bloody paper towels into my pocket because I didn’t want to throw them in the garbage), I went back to my seat and said a silent thank you to my always-over packed carry-on.  A large Ziploc plastic bag that carried snacks and glucose tabs was emptied out and became the medical waste bag.  As the flight attendants were preparing the cabin for landing, I grabbed my extra infusion set and stuck it into my stomach without anyone noticing.  A quick fill of the cannula and I was back in business.  My horrible paper towels and infusion set garbage were contained and concealed without issue.

THIS IS WHY I OVERPACK.  Every time.  I get some flack for keeping an infusion set in my purse all the time and for carrying insulin pens, too, because rarely, rarely is there an issue.  I could not have foreseen the need to change out my site at my seat on the plane (fuck you, Miss Manners), but when I ripped out my site, it was less jarring to discreetly change my site than to spend the next two hours driving home to Rhode Island from Boston without insulin.

The moral of this story?  Insulin is necessary on the ground and at 37,000 feet.  Be prepared when you travel.  And for crying out loud, bring back ups because Insets are only available in first class.

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