Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hello, Larry, Well Hello, Larry...

Given that I've now completed my first decade of being an insulin pumper, I'm at a crossroads on what to do next.

Should I stay or should I go? Temporarily, that is.

Though I'm a fan of insulin pumping, it does take a toll on my mind and body. The signs are evident whenever I pull up my shirt and examine my stomach where I most often put my infusion sets. Last year, I took a several-month hiatus to give my mind and body a break and it did wonders. I wrote about it then, but I'll reiterate it again: In a way, this Pump Hiatus was "freeing" in the sense that I could walk around unconnected and unhassled and just do a shot whenever I might need to consume some carbs. Multiple Daily Injections worked well for me, and that period between March and September resulted in my A1C dropping by a whole % point!

It was pretty cool!

But don't get me wrong: I LOVE insulin pumping. The more detailed control. The D-Math it helps you with. The constant stream of insulin and flexibility in eating and life-living you have.

So, before embracing another break, I'm going to turn once again to Larry The Loaner CGM. You remember him? The Minimed 522 that I was able to borrow from a fellow PWD who is a pump rep in my area. Well, I have many sensors and reservoirs to use it, and I really want to get some use out of the CGM capability that my non-CGM 722 model doesn't offer and I'm not really up to purchasing/hassling insurance about at this point. Larry has been sitting in the house, waiting to return to the owner, but schedules just haven't permitted that.

But finally, we've settled in for another trial-run to get things back to where they should be before that next break. Trend watching and tweaking. "Control," even though I'm not the biggest fan of that term.

So far, it's been a solid experience for the past few days. Haven't actually gone above the 220s, which I don't recall the last time that happened. I've been so used to going high in the evenings thanks to non-accurate carb counting and dosage, that this feels pretty good.

Of course, nothing is perfect - and I say that knowing we're talking about CGM and Blood Meter Accuracy here. Other photos illustrate this problem perfectly:

Um... Stop lying to me, Larry. Totally not cool.


First, Larry starts vibrating to alert me of a Predicted Low.

However, a BG Test shows he's lying. Accuracy of my One Touch meter is not ensured, so we double-check... And get a 130.

Son of a...

"C'mon. What the...," I mumble.

A second check reveals a 162. Still doubtful and now annoyed by this lack of accuracy, I test again and on this third check see a 140 mg/dL.

(Sigh.)

Larry vibrates again, this time indicating that my BG is continuing to dip into the low 60s.

"Whatever, Larry. Stop freaking out. You're obviously hallucinating."

Don't let this little exchange dissuade you from Larry, though. He's actually been pretty reliable since starting back up on Saturday. We'll see how that holds up over time.

Either way, we're doing fine for now. He brings me a sense of accountability and constant monitoring, that I'm actually a part of what my body is doing and that my management is in fact at the forefront and can't be ignored.

That's something, even if it's in my head.

Once we move forward a bit with some real-live CGM data, I will again consider whether it's prudent to embrace another Pump Hiatus.

Larry, glad to have you back at my side, even for a little while. You're looking swell so far, Larry, Still goin' strong. You've warned me when the room starts swayin', Larry, and I know to test when you're crowin. Glad to have you back, Larry. It's so nice to have you back where you belong!

3 comments:

Ronnie Gregory said...

Tell Larry you are on to his hallucinating ways and Larry 2.0 is on the speed dial unless he shapes up..lol

The DL said...

I have the same issue with my sensor!!! Grrrr

Lora said...

Dexcom does the same thing... its especially annoying in the middle of the night.

Beep.Beep.Beep. Buzzzzzzzz... ACK!