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Posts from the ‘Diabetes Products’ Category

Pump Peelz Gift Card Winners!

Giveaways are fun, but the entries received on this Pump Peelz Superhero gift card giveaway were truly awesome.  From Sir Lancet-a-lot to Carbo-Man to Madame Betta, the superheroes created by insulin-infused imaginations are incredibly fun.  And now, on to the winners!

The superhero call:

To enter the giveaway, you need to leave a comment on this post that includes a fictional diabetes superhero name and that superhero’s special power.

Through a fastidious screening process that included (but is not limited to) which entries made everyone in my house giggle and which ones the cats sniffed the computer screen longest for (<– this part is not true … perhaps), the entries have been narrowed down to three winners.

THIRD PLACE:  “Agent Sticky”. Who happens to be able to scare any Dexcom sensor or infusion site into actually sticking on someone’s skin until they want it to come off, even if they go swimming. Or bump into doorways, as I’m prone to do when I cut a corner too hard. I’m picturing a cross between Agent K from MIB and Coulson from The Avengers.  — submitted by Morgan T

SECOND PLACE:  “My superhero is Queen Islets of Wonderhans, who can cross her arms and stomp her feet and create perfectly working cells that make insulin again.  Why not!?” – submitted by Lucia Maya

And … FIRST PLACE! “My super hero would be Master No-No Carb. His super power would be to remove all carbs in your favorite foods by using a super high powered vacuum to suck the carbs out all while leaving the sweet goodness behind.”  -  submitted by Andrea

Our first winner will receive a $25 gift card, the second place winner gets a $10 gift card, and third place wins a $5 gift card.  Winners, you’ll receive an email from me connecting you with Scott and Emily from Pump Peelz, and they’ll send along your gift cardCongratulations!! 

Pump Peelz Giveaway: Now with More Superheroes!

You guys.  The team at Pump Peelz (Scott and Emily) have returned with new designs for their very clever diabetes device decorations and a very generous gift card giveaway for Six Until Me readers.  That’s all the lead-in I’m giving because that’s all the lead-in you need.

GIVEAWAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!

To enter the giveaway, you need to leave a comment on this post that includes a fictional diabetes superhero name and that superhero’s special power *.  The contest is open as of right this second and it closes on Sunday (1/10) at 7 pm ET.  Three winners will be announced on Monday morning, with the first winner receiving a $25 gift card, the second place winner earning a $10 gift card, and third place wins a $5 gift card.

(First, second, and third will be determined arbitrarily by Loopy … or me.)

Thanks, Pump Peelz team, for providing another fun and one-of-a-kind giveaway!  I’m looking forward to seeing the entries.

(* After consulting my daughter, she decided that the superhero would be “Super Diabetes Guy/Lady” and their special power would be touching their nose and either giving, or taking away, someone’s diabetes.  Then she touched my nose.  “Took away your diabetes, Mom,” but then, a second later, “Mom, gimme your nose so I can get this diabetes off my finger.”)

 

Small Victories.

My only resolution for 2016 was to write more. Not necessarily here on my website, but wherever the words seem to come most comfortably. I have a few fiction ideas I’m fleshing out here at home, but blogging has always served as a way to unknot some of the thoughts in my head, mostly centered around my disease. Once my disease angst is unknotted (with blogging being the mental equivalent of gently tapping a fork against a knotted necklace chain until it goes slack and gives up), my mind feels better about diverting thoughts to things that are More Fun.

The problem with blogging is that it’s a public forum. Which means that I sometimes write with readers, or perceptions, or assumed judgments in mind. Sharing while simultaneously panicking doesn’t make for good writing, and more importantly, it takes away from the whole therapeutic/fun aspect of blogging. SO. I’m trying to blog like no one’s reading. Which means there may be more fractured sentences. And shit that doesn’t make the most sense. And probably less-than-lovely language, but oh well.

[ clumsy segue ]

I’ve been making use of Dexcom Clarity over the last few weeks and while it’s humbling to see my blood sugar graphs plotted out in full color folios, but there is a certain power to logging and reviewing my blood sugars.  (Huge sigh here because I make progress when I fastidiously review my blood sugars, which means I should continue to review my blood sugars, which I hate because is a tedious pain in the ass.  That’s kind of a diabetes theme:  tedious pain in the ass.)

Applications that actually DO SOMETHING USEFUL and don’t require extra work are my favorites, like the One Touch Reveal app that my Verio Sync uses and the Dexcom Clarity one.  Checking my blood sugar is mildly painful; reviewing data compilations should not be.

My numbers are improving, and with them, my mood.

This A1C is not entirely accurate (as it changes every few days when I review the PDF downloaded from Dexcom Clarity), but it’s very close to where my lab work pinned me, so I’ll fucking take it.

Also bringing much joy this week? These Tweets:

Unrelated to anything:  I found this sleeve smiling at me the other day:

And now it’s smiling at you.

New Year, New Disclosure.

Disclosures are important, so I’m making a new one today, and my disclosure policy has been updated accordingly.  There are some big changes on deck for 2016, with the first one being a change in some of the companies I’m partnering with.  Which is why I’ve decided to end my contract with Animas, because it was time for a change.

I wore a Medtronic pump for seven years before switching to Animas, and I’ve worn my Animas pump for the last six years.  Both of these pumps are solid insulin delivery devices and worked great, and Animas has been wonderful to work with and for, and I’m forever grateful for their support over the last few years.  But change is necessary at times.

Over the last two years, I’ve had some non-diabetes health hurdles (everything is fine, promise) and those issues put a different lens onto how I viewed my diabetes.  I wanted frustrations with diabetes kept at an absolute minimum.  Sometimes that meant ditching all technologies for a few weeks in order to give my body some breathing room, and to give my mind the opportunity to focus on the basics of my diabetes.  (I did MDI a few times this year, for several weeks, and it was good to revisit that method of delivery.  I learned, and relearned, a lot.)  Sometimes that meant acknowledging that the features I needed and appreciated were allowed to change.

But ultimately, it meant that I needed to let myself move on to different technologies that better suited my diabetes needs these days, and to different opportunities that fit where I’d like to lend my voice.

So here’s the disclosure:  I have signed an agreement with Tandem Diabetes Care.  My new agreement with Tandem went into effect on January 1st, and includes compensation for consulting services, including speaking on Tandem’s behalf at diabetes-related events. When speaking on Tandem’s behalf at such events, my relationship with Tandem will be disclosed to the audience.  (They won’t be involved in everything I do this year, so I’ll make sure I disclose appropriately when they are.)  With my physician’s prescription, Tandem provided me with products at no charge, including a loaner Tandem insulin pump and the cartridges and infusion sets I need to use the pump. Tandem does not compensate me for content on Six Until Me.  All of the content on Six Until Me remains my own, per usual, so my apologies that things aren’t suddenly going to become All Professional.

I’m really looking forward to working with the team at Tandem, and continuing to draw inspiration from the diabetes community as a whole.

And getting back to blogging.

And finding where the cats hid all of Birdzone’s hair ties.

Second Impressions: Dexcom G5 Mobile.

Disclosure Up Front (where it should be)I have a relationship with Dexcom that includes receiving my continuous glucose supplies at no cost.  More details are outlined here on my disclosures page, but please know that the bias I’m bringing to this is pretty significant, not simply because of the working relationship with Dexcom but also the fact that this CGM has been part of my diabetes care plan since 2006, so I’m in deep for a dozen different reasons.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

It’s been about a month since suiting up with the Dexcom G5 (upgrading from the previous G4 iteration) and so far, the transition has been way less jarring than I had anticipated.  Here are some second impressions:

The Parts I Like:

I was initially concerned about phone battery life, but I haven’t seen any significant change since switching to G5.  (Must be noted:  I upgraded my iPhone two weeks before starting on the G5, so any battery improvement was a big deal after switching from the iPhone 5s, which would eek down to 80% an hour after unplugging.  Also, I didn’t realize until very recently that you can double-click the home button to bring up all active apps and then close said active apps.  These two changes have improved my phone battery life exponentially.)  But having the phone as the sole data receiver has made me fastidious about bringing a back-up battery charger everywhere I go.  Which is not a new thing, but now feels like a necessary thing.

I had doubts about using the G5 on an airplane, as well, until I remembered that Bluetooth can remain active even when a phone is in airplane mode.  I’ve had a chance to test out the G5 while traveling a few times now and the phone makes a fine receiver even when it can’t make phone calls.  This was a relief.

I haven’t traveled outside of the US yet with the G5, but I’ll be headed to Vancouver for the IDF conference this afternoon, so I’ll have a few days to see how the G5 does when my cell phone has no service.  (I’m guessing Share will be out of commission unless I’m connected to wifi.  Filed under:  No shit, Sparling.)

I really dig the Dexcom Clarity application on my computer.  I know this isn’t new with the G5, but I’ve only been using Clarity since upgrading to the G5, and it’s very nice to see the data living happily on that system.  I like the A1C predictor thing, but have found it a bit fickle.  (“Your A1C looks great today!” … three days later … “Your A1C is crap.  Go directly to jail.”)  I’m still waiting to hear what my actual blood-draw A1C is, so I can’t compare the estimation to the lab work, but I’m curious to see how close those two numbers are.

Accuracy-wise, the G5 does seem to be an improvement.  The data is spot-frigging-on with my Verio Sync results.  No complaints there.

The Parts That Could Use a Shift:

I also don’t like that the alarms on the Share are exactly the same as those on the Dexcom app.  This works great for people like Chris, who follows my Dexcom data through the Share app, but for me, I am responding to my personal alarms and the alarms for the people who Share with me.  I would like the ability to change the alarm noises on my Share app so that when a low alarm goes off, I am positive it’s mine.  In the last month, I’ve treated two lows that were not mine because I responded to the alarm noise instead of checking to see which PWD was actually low.  This is a problem unique to PWD who follow other PWD on Share, but it’s making me feel daft and changing the sound would be an upgrade.

The transmitter is bigger than the G4 one.  I was not as irritated by this as I thought I would be, but when I wear the sensor on my arm, it’s very sticky-outty, and I don’t like more space being dedicated to diabetes devices.  It would be awesome to have the transmitter the size of the G4 one.  Or the size of a grain of rice.  The transmitter also claims to work for three months (instead of the six promised by the G4, which actually ended up being more like 8 months), which means I need to order new transmitters more often.  That adds one more item to the constant “to do” list of diabetes supply crap.

The G5 sensors are the same as the G4 sensors, which means the adhesive is the same as before, which means I am allergic to it.  Toughpads are still required under ever sensor, for me, and with winter almost here, my skin is starting to have its seasonal freak-out.  (The rash is not unique. There is a Facebook group with almost 500 members in it that are comparing ways to mitigate the itch.  Come on, Dexcom — find a way to update your adhesive with as much speed as you’ve done with your data transmission.)

I use an Animas Vibe insulin pump and the G5 does not transmit data to that pump.  So if my phone dies, I can’t switch over to the Vibe as my receiver.  I look forward to when the pumps integrated with Dexcom upgrade their abilities to work with G5.  Until then, it’s annoying to take one step forward with Dexcom while standing completely still with insulin pump technology.

The Parts That Remain the Same:

I never thought I’d see streaming glucose data.  I’m so grateful that I have access to this data because this is the kind of real-time safety net my parents were hopeful for back when I was diagnosed.  I’m sorry they weren’t able to take advantage of it then, but I’m glad it’s here now.

Because otherwise, what would wake me up all night long?  The cats?  That’s so 2005.

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