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Posts tagged ‘animas ping’


Most of the time (read: every other time except this one), the cannula is laced through the insertion needle on the insets for my insulin pump infusion sets.  But this infusion set was attacked by diabetes gremlins, because the cannula made a run for it before I even opened the spaceship pod:

Insulin pump inset ... er, outset.

Insulin pump inset … er, outset.

Scott, on Facebook, quipped it best:  “It appears that instead of an Inset, they gave you an Outset.”

UPDATED:  I opened the set this morning.  No tubing, either.  Gremlins!!

This is how we do it.

Wednesday morning, leaving Logan Airport in Boston, en route to Montreal:

TSA agent:  “Excuse me.  What is that?”

Me:  “An insulin pump.”

Their mouth:  “Okay.”

Wipe it down, test my hands, pass the screening, no issues, carry on with my carry-on.

My mouth:  “Thanks!”

Their mouth:  “Safe travels!”

Thursday morning, leaving Montreal and headed back to Boston:

Security agent:  “Bonjour.  What is that?”

Me:  “An insulin pump.”

Their mouth:  “Okay.”

Wipe it down, test my hands, pass the screening, no issues, carry on with my carry-on.

My mouth:  “Thank you!”

Their mouth:  “Bon voyage!”

Flying with diabetes: This is how we do it.


Verio Sync: Second Impressions.

[Second Disclosure Verse, Same as the First:  I have received the Verio Sync meter for review prior to the full US launch. I was not asked to write this review.  Opinions shared, for better or for worse, are mine.  Typos, too.]

It’s been about five weeks since I started using the Verio Sync, and after getting over the initial “eh, the screen isn’t as nice as the Verio IQ,” the transition was smooth.  The meter performs similarly to the Verio IQ, but it does have some potent perks.

Ahem.  Potent perks:

  • The battery life on the Sync is better than that of the IQ.  I think.  I actually haven’t seen the “low battery” icon yet on the Sync (except when the meter starts up after sticking a strip in, so I at least know the meter has a low battery icon).  With the IQ, I was charging it every five days or so, and it only lasted that long when I would manually shut the meter down after testing (holding the button down until the meter screen went blank).  The Sync turns off automatically much faster.  For now, I charge the Sync when I charge my Dexcom, which is every five or six days.
  • The syncing feature of the Sync doesn’t drain my iPhone battery as much as I’d thought, because I don’t leave the Bluetooth feature on my phone enabled all the time.  I enable Bluetooth as needed, uploading the results once or twice a day instead of every time I test.  This helps conserve battery on all fronts.
  • As a PWD who has always struggled with logging blood sugars, the app for this meter is awesome.  Not because it does anything truly remarkable (it doesn’t fly, and it doesn’t make me fly), but it does what it’s supposed to do:  automagically sucks my blood sugar results from the meter and loads them into the app.  For someone like me, who struggles with making the time to download meter results, this is extremely useful.  At a glance, I can see how things have been going, and it’s powerful motivation for me to either continue on the same path or to change the course of it … blood sugar-wise.  (See also:  things have been good the past few weeks, so lots of green on the graph.  But back in mid-December, there was more red up there than I’d like.  Something about keeping the green as the dominant color serves as incentive.  In other news, a bell just rang and now I’m craving a snack.)
  • I also saw some of my first pattern alerts crop up, which were more common with the Verio IQ.  Tagging doesn’t seem to be tied to “I ate” or “I didn’t eat” but more to time of day, seeing as how manually tagging blood sugars is a feature that was removed for the Sync.  (Again, this didn’t affect me much because after about four months with the IQ, I turned off the tagging feature.  It frustrated me that I could only be a “full apple” [before meal] or a “bitten apple” [after meal].  I needed a third icon for simply “not eating.”)

  • Another powerful bit of information for me is the ability to see my 14 day averages portioned out by time of day.  Again, being able to score at-a-glance information about when my blood sugars are in range, out of range, and free range (read: bonkers) is very useful and helps me make tweaks as needed.
  • I do not like swapping one feature for another, though.  The Ping meter had the ability to send results straight to my insulin pump, and I was to remote bolus using the meter.  The Verio IQ and the Sync do not.  And as I mentioned before, the Sync seems like an aesthetic step back when compared to the IQ.  I really wish glucose meters, as they are improved, didn’t take features away as they moved forward.

But, as previously mentioned, it seems accurate.  So far, it’s matched very well with the results I’ve seen from my Dexcom G4 sensor, and it’s also lined up neatly with the results I’ve seen from hospital-grade lab work (A1C draws).  Bells and whistles are nice, but accuracy and dependability reign absolutely supreme in this house.

So Fresh and So Clean. (Clean.)

I rarely clean my pump.  I hope that doesn’t make me a complete dirtbag (though the more I think about it, the more I should regularly clean this device that is with me 24 hours a day, every single day, and is brought everywhere but in the shower, so it’s likely to be the most filthy thing I own).

How often do you clean your insulin pump?

But honestly, I don’t make a habit of dragging it through the mud or dropping it into a plate of spaghetti, so normally I clean it when it gets grubby from exercise, the beach, etc. or when I take off the battery cap and notice that the edge of the cap looks gross.  (You know, when the cap is threaded with what looks like belly button lint.)

An email exchange with an engineer from Animas got me to thinking about this “how often do you clean your pump” issue, and I wondered if I was the only insulin pumper who didn’t have a cleaning ritual for my pump.  I try to keep the screen clean, and there are a few times I’ve wipe it down with a baby wipe (they’re useful for grubby hands and grubby pumps alike), but I don’t set aside special times to do a once-over on my medical devices.

How often do you clean your pump?

(link to the video clip for the song you surely have stuck in your head now)


“How long have you been on the pump?”

He stood next to his car, holding the gas pump to his tank, filling up his car while I was putting my debit card into the console near my car.

“I’m sorry?”

“Insulin pump.  How long for you?  I just got mine a few weeks ago.”

“Oh, I’m sorry!  I thought you meant like here, at this gas pump.  Yeah, I guess you can sort of see it, huh?”  I was wearing running shorts and a t-shirt, with the outline of my pump and CGM clearly visible underneath my clothes.  The tubing made a brief appearance underneath the edge of my shirt, even though I made an effort to tuck it away.  “About ten years.  I’ve been diabetic for twenty-seven years.”

“I was diagnosed about two years ago.  Started pumping recently.”

“Yeah?  How do you like it so far?”

“It’s good.  Better than injections, that’s for sure.”  He nodded towards my car, where Birdy was buckled in and talking incessantly about how I was putting gas in the car and how the gas makes the car go and soon we would go to the park and she could ride her bike and did that man have a bike, Mawm?

“Is that your daughter?  How old is she?”

“She’s three and a half.”

Does she have diabetes?”

“No, she doesn’t.”

“Yeah, I first learned about diabetes when my daughter was diagnosed, several years ago.  She was two, at the time.”

I didn’t know what to say.  Birdy filled in the awkward silence by yelling, “Hey, I see his pump!!  That mans has a pump, like your pump!”  The gas station stranger laughed, snapping the door shut on his gas tank.

“She’s got a good eye.  Have a good day, and good luck to you and your daughter.”

“Thanks.  Congrats on your new technology.  I hope it works well for you.”

He went inside the gas station to pay, and I finished up, climbing back into my car and buckling in.

“Mawm, he has the diabeedles like you do.  I saw his pump.  It was black, and yours is silver.  He needs to be careful in case his bwood sugar gets whoa.  Does he know the glucose tab man?  He should call him.”

My type 1 diabetes is often invisible, and evidence of its presence in my body is currently, and thankfully, limited to medical devices I chose to use to make diabetes management easier.  Going on a pump was a tough decision, and one I made as an adult, after seventeen years of insulin injections.  My pump and my CGM are external “symptoms” of diabetes, and sometimes they frustrate the hell out of me.  But other times, they make diabetes less invisible for just a moment, letting kindred spirits connect in the wild.

In other words, it was two pumpers meeting at the pump.  That’s a nice, full-circle moment, right there.


Why doesn't the alt text show up?  What the eff, ketones?!

The infusion set was on the tail-end-of-day-three-just-about-day-four, so maybe it was starting to sour.

Or maybe it was going to the beach/playing in the garden/flying kites that tousled the site too much, causing the tubing to untwist just a little bit from the lock at the top of the insulin cartridge.  (Is that even possible?)

Or maybe it was just a rogue, weird thing that’s never happened before in ten years of insulin pumping but decided to happen yesterday.

Either way, it was the fact that my dinner bolus didn’t actually end up pushing through the tubing and instead pooled up at the top of my pump tube that caused my blood sugar to skyrocket and then for my body to throw out some borderline-moderate ketones for the first time in a long time.

Ketones suck.

It was one of those perfect storm moments, where all the crap that can be unsettled is unsettled:  no Dexcom sensor on (letting my skin rest for a few days as to not aggravate skin irritations – first break in a several weeks … of course), checked the pump site but not the tubing when my blood sugar came ringing in at over 300 mg/dL (had I checked the tubing, I would have seen the huge air bubbles and noticed the jacked up luer lock connection).  And of course the high made me mad because I thought I had calculated my dinner bolus really well, so I went for a “revenge run” in the neighborhood that night, not checking for ketones before I left (stupid).

Going up the hills on my run was a lot harder than usual, and briefly considered grabbing on to drooping branches to drag myself through.  I wasn’t exceptionally thirsty, but when I took a drink from my water bottle at the end of my run, I realized I drank the whole thing in one gulp.   When I got home, I noticed that the skin underneath my eyes wasn’t just dark, it was gray.  And  I realized I had that “high mouth” taste to my teeth, the one where you feel like you’ll breathe out and actual overripe cherries covered in model airplane glue will tumble out from behind your teeth.  I should have known I was throwing ketones.  Peeing on the ketone test strip and seeing the pad change from “beige” to “raspberry” wasn’t a shock.

It took a new pump site, lots of water, a Pedialyte popsicle that I permanently borrowed from the Birdzone’s “just in case” stash, and more patience than I actually had on hand to disengage from the ketone conundrum.  Nice touch, for my body to remind me that I do need to worry about ketones from time to time by making it a six hour mess that ultimately ended in a low blood sugar. (Thank you, 3 am glucose tabs, all running amuck in the very bottom of my dresser drawer. I’m not even sure how old they were.)

You may have won this round, diabetes, but I’ll get you next time.  Next time.


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