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Posts tagged ‘Animas’

Airplane Mode.

When it comes to traveling by airplane, I follow all of the rules (if you don’t turn off your cell phone when it’s time to take off, I’m the one shooting you panicked looks, which is how my face remains for the duration of the flight).  Until we’re up in the air, I leave my Dexcom receiver fully shut down and when I was using the Ping meter, I kept the RF (radio frequency, aka the automagic shuttling of blood sugars from my meter to my pump) shut off.

imagine my delight when I finally figured out that pressing the button on the side of my Verio Sync twice in rapid succession would put my meter into airplane mode!  (IMAGINE IT!!!)

(But did I test in my seat on the airplane?  I’ll never tell.  ;) )

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.

 

Close, but(t) not close enough.

“My mom?  She has brown hair and a red shirt,” said my daughter’s playgroup friend, climbing up the jungle gym.

“My mom is over there.  She has a pump in her butt,” my daughter pointed towards me and waved, causing me to quickly answer the look of surprise on the other parents’ faces with a brief, panicked explanation of the insulin pump connected to the top of my left hip.

 

Diabetes Art Day Outtakes.

Before we settled on paper dolls for Diabetes Art Day, there was an unnatural exploration of cats and a finger painting app on the iPad (don’t read that sentence too fast or it will give you an unintended mental image).  This is what happens when the snow keeps falling and it’s far too heavy and constant to shovel so you’re stuck at home, taking art direction from a three and a half year old:

“How about we put the pump on Siah?”

“Sure, like this?”

“Yeah, only the tubing is across her belly button and she’s going to get stuck to the doorknob for sure.”  (Birdy doesn’t know much about diabetes, but she knows I end up tethered to things more often than I’d like.)

“Hey, is that Siah’s Dexcom?  On her leg?  Like you wear!”

Silence.

“I don’t know what any of that is, Mawm.”

“That’s Siah.  She’s wearing a blue circle pin for World Diabetes Day.  And behind her is …”

“Jail!”

“Nope.  A calendar.”

“We need one with Loopy.”

“Okay.  Here’s the Loopster with some glucose tabs.  And glucose tab dust all over her fur.”

“Whoa blood sugars are dusty.”

“Yes they are.”

Hacking Diabetes.

(Seems like that post title should end with “to bits!!” including a defiant shout and then the popping open of a can of Diet Pepsi.  Or something less specific.)

Last week I traveled to Melbourne, Victoria to present at the International Diabetes Federation World Congress.  Long, Inception-esque flight.  Excellent flight attendant.*

My presentation was anchored in the “Living Well With Diabetes” track, and I homed in on the tips, tricks, and hacks that people with diabetes are using to streamline a cumbersome disease.  But the best part, for me, was getting the folks in attendance to share their tips, and to get discussions brewing between attendees.  A lot of the discussion was built around integration of diabetes devices.  “The technology we have available to us is amazing, but if we don’t wear it and use it, it’s useless.  Doctors prescribe these tools for us, but as a community, we learn to truly integrate these things into our lives.”

  • We talked about the Dexcom-in-a-glass routine, and other patients mentioned putting loose change in the same glass to further amplify the rattle.
  • I mentioned (or at least I think I did) the CGM/earthquake application hack, as well.
  • Keeping things “stuck,” in terms of devices, generated some good discussions.  We touched upon different tapes/stickies we use (Opsite Flexifix, Tegaderm, Skin Tac), and I brought up the Toughpad solution I’ve used for my sensor rashes.
  • A few HCPs in the audience shared tips they picked up from their patients.  “One of my patients had a tough time remembering to take her nighttime insulin dose, so I suggested that she tape the pen to her toothbrush.  It’s something she uses every night before bed!”
  • A patient talked about the time she swapped her basal dose for her fast acting dose.  “I spent that whole night eating.  Never again!”  To help remind her to note the difference between her two insulin pens, she wraps brightly colored duct tape around her fast-acting insulin, so she is forced to note the difference.
  • We talked about diabetes devices and their wearability, and I shared the insulin pump/wedding dress pocket idea. The pump-in-a-trouser-sock trick was also mentioned.

Whether we’re talking about how to best (read: most comfortably and practically) use diabetes devices or highlighting the need for peer-to-peer support, the discussions are important because diabetes does not exist in a vacuum.  For me, I hit diabetes management stride when the tools – glucose meters, insulin pumps, CGMs, logbooks, medications – are in my control and fit into my actual life.

If there’s something you do to make diabetes easier and you’d like to share it, please do!

*Huge shout out to Rachel, the Qantas flight attendant who only ridiculed me a little for “losing” my phone (only to realize I tucked it into my book bag during a jet-laggy moment) and was the epitome of excellent care and service for for a nervous flyer like me (QF 94 on 11/30 from LAX – MEL, and again on QF 93 on 12/8 from MEL – LAX).  Already writing to the Qantas management team to highlight her kindness, but writing it down here on the off-chance that someone who works for Qantas has diabetes.

Knotted.

In knots.

How does this even happen?  Do I chase my tail all day long?

Link Circus.

My email inbox is swollen with resources and links and stuff to share, so I’m plunking it all down here before I forget.  Yes, that’s my system:

  • I’ve been following Kelly Close’s experience on the artificial pancreas with great interest, and you can, too, by checking out her Twitter feed.  The photos and video are amazing.

  • (And if you sign up to receive the diaTribe newsletter, you’ll be eligible for a free ebook about Targeting a Cure.  Details here!)
  • Gorgeous post from Melissa at Sweetly-Voiced:  “To people with diabetes, the word complication is code for “quietly life-shattering.” It’s a code word for failure.”
  • There’s a new article in JDRF Countdown about What T1D Teaches, about the lessons we learn from diabetes.  “What you learn overall, as a person with T1D or as a loved one who cares for someone with T1D, touches so many aspects of your life other than the food on your plate or the insulin in your syringe. Living with T1D, in any capacity, gives a perspective and insight that doesn’t live within the box of T1D.”  which contributions from some lovely folks in the DOC, like Meri, Pete, Leeanne, Samantha, Kelley, Kate, and Sean.   (And this is my favorite quote, possibly ever:  “Screw this, I’m eating cake!”)
  • I can’t unsee it.
  • Californians debate over who can administer an insulin injection at school goes before the CA high courts.  As someone who was in grade school before 504 plans came into play, I’m amazed at what it takes to manage the complexity of diabetes in today’s school system.
  • “But for crying out loud, if you throw me in a race with 1,000 other people and I’m clad in sunglasses and a hat and essentially draped in anonymity and more-or-less looking like everyone else about to make a run for it?  I’ll break out in hives, riddled with fear and panic.”  More about my fear of public exercising over at Animas.
  • Non-diabetes related, and ripped from The Bloggess, but I had to share this comic because it scared the pants off me.  It’s safe for work, but might make you scream.
  • Are you app-happy?  (Or are you an apphole?)  Talking about some of the apps that I actually use, over at The DX.
  • I think what strikes me most about this video of a teddy bear surgery is the voice of the narrator.  He seems to feel every bit of the pain of the teddy bear, and at the same time, he doesn’t care in the slightest.  Totally memorizing.
  • 10,000 views equals out to  $10,000 donation to the Diabetes Hands Foundation – can you help?  Sharing the link is awesome, but watching it a few times on your own is even awesomer (<– mangled English), so get on that.
  • “I think for me, the hardest thing about diabetes is that there are no days off.”  Short but poignant birthday post from my dear friend Karen.

I’m off to forever delete that animated .gif cartoon thing from my brain, because since I’ve watched it, I haven’t slept.  Or at least not properly.

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