Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back in the D-Saddle Again

Aerosmith said it best when they coined the phrase, "Back In The Saddle Again."

So, in honoring that great rock song and also the classic Gene Autry film by the same name, I offer my own D-Version of that saddle-ness recaptured.

Now that my five-month Pump Hiatus has come to a close, I've reconnected to my trust Minimed 722 Paradigm and am back in the pumping game.

It's been a long MDI adventure, but one that I'm glad to have experienced. You may remember that I had no issue with my pump as far as how it enabled me to live a more free D-Life. Just with not rotating as often as recommended by the powers that be, for nine years of mostly continuous pumping, took a toll on the body. It just got to be too daunting and frustrating to endure the pump site changes every handful of days, and the prospect of non-working sites and gushers just got to be too much. So, we took a bit of a break.

That led me to realize that it wasn't the pump that was dictating my D-Management trends, but rather my own hands. Having to stab myself with a needle every time I ate, or when the sugar was high, gave me more reason to think before putting anything in my mouth. Not only was it the simple fact of not wanting to stab myself with a needle, but it was also the convience factor of not wanting to take the time before a meal. Especially when out in public. The hiatus helped me not be so lazy, and as a result I saw an A1c drop by a whole percentage point. Granted, some things were more difficult - like adjusting to the dawn phenomenon and how the insulin-life lasted longer. But ultimately, it was a good experience.

My first days back to pumping were good, with mostly stable BGs and just a couple that went into the low 200s - a direct result of my SWAGing when it came to carb counts. Dipped down into the 50s a few times, but nothing that I couldn't handle and get back up to safer levels soon enough. Over the weekend, we did see a couple higher ones thanks to pasta and even more reckless SWAGing, but it was so much sweeter to correct by hitting a few buttons rather than injecting massive amounts via syringe. Bonus, there!

Not only was bolusing easier, but tracking is much easier too! I was able to not have to rely on my memory as much and recall whether I'd taken the insulin or Lantus at a particular time. My pump memory helped on this front, and then I was able to upload those details onto the Carelink program.

Getting back into the Minimed game helped me once again wonder about whether I wanted to start exploring a CGM. You may recall that earlier in the year I'd trial-tested the Navigator and Dexcom, but hadn't gotten around to the MM before stepping away from pumping. Now, that's on my mind again and I'm curious about what Minimed offers through the Guardian, the Paradigm Revel, and of course whatever is in the pipeline.

A D-Meetup at lunchtime Friday solidified my curiosity. Meeting with Ryan Sellers, a longtime Type 1 who happens to be our Central Indiana sales rep for Minimed. We had a chance to talk personally and delve into these issues when meeting at Panera Bread. As Ryan was in sales mode, we talked about his starting at Minimed a few years ago and how he'd gotten into that area, then delved into differences in pumps and what's in the pipeline. He noted that he's taking part in the Tour de Tahoe bike-a-thon that the JDRF is participating in for the first time later this month, and we agreed that he might guest-blog about that experience once he returns. So, this was an all around great D-Meetup!

So, the return to pumping has been good so far. Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things, and then hopefully venturing into the CGM sandbox at some point before long! Exciting times ahead!

7 comments:

Reyna said...

WOW. I cannot imagine taking a break from the pump...but again I am just a "pump manager" not the wearer. Joe has a couple of spots on his tush that don't absorb well...and that is the only real estate that he has at this point in time for me to put his sites in.

Thanks for sharing and interesting on the A1C drop...

We use the Dexcom 7+ CGM and love it, but Joe ends up wearing an extra device...hopefully soon Dexcom and Animas will be married.

Sysy Morales said...

I'm also looking into a CGM, just not sure I can afford it right now. Everyone is always suprised to hear about someone's A1c dropping with shots as if it weren't possible. I find it interesting because I can keep my A1c at 5% without the pump AND I'm less stressed this way. As you can see you can do it either way and I'm so glad you recognized and wrote about how its the human factor that makes the biggest difference :) Our decision making skills are much better than any gadget.

Alexis of Justices Misbehaving Pancreas said...

Glad youre back to pumping, there is a freedom with it that you dont have with MDI but it goes the other way as well. Justice prefers MDI, even with the Ping arriving he would go back in a second if he could.

I hope your number continue to behave for you. Let us know if you start rocking the CGM!

Abbey said...

Wow. It's so interesting that you wanted to do MDI. I would be scared out of my mind to go back to injections. I feel as if I wouldn't have any idea what to do. I have a minimed and cgms and have really come to like it. The cgms took some getting used to, but is totally worth it.

med464 said...

I love my pump I have taken 1 pump break and came to many of the same ideas as you did. I use the 722 and CGM with it I love the all in one feature it is great for me and while it is not a replacement for bg checks it helps me to see where changes need to be made and how foods and exercise effect me. for me the CGM was the right choice.

Anonymous said...

I have been a type 1 for 28 years and more than 10 years on MiniMed pumps. I tried CGM a few months ago when I upgraded to the 722 and really struggled with it... especially the support from Minimed.. I was given conflicting information about some troubles I was having, and the written information that comes with the product is incorrect... so I am lost, and too busy to waste time trying to figure it out.. does your Minimed friend know where I can get complete and true information about the Minilink device??

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

It's been good to follow you as you took the break. I'm glad to hear that pumping got off to a good start.