Continuing Connections – #DBlogWeek Day 7

DOC (diabetes online community) is a fantastic way of making connections with others who are travelling the same route as you with diabetes, it is also a great place to ask questions and find out about different technologies, coping strategies and maintenance ideas.

DBlogWeek has been an incredible way of broadening my circle of known DBlogs, there are two ladies that I need to thank for introducing me to #DBlogWeek. First is a lady that I found on FaceBook Arlene who writes the wonderful blog Cut the B.S.!…I mean Blood Sugar!Β I highly recommend checking out her blog, it is easy to follow/read and I enjoy it πŸ˜‰ The second is the fantastic Karen of Bitter~Sweet DiabetesΒ who is the founder and host of DBlogWeek. Not only has she got a fantastic blog but she has a list of all the people who have taken part in this years DBlogWeek here so that if you want to find some new DBlogs or just see what else is going on out there you can have a wee browse. I think there are around 200 so plenty to choose from and you are sure to find something that you like among it all πŸ˜‰

I will, over the course of the next year, work my way through these blogs to find new reading material but this week three blogs in particular stood out to me. First up is The Grumpy Pumper, I feel dreadful admitting this but I have been following the Grumpy Pumper on Twitter for months but have nit gotten around to checking out his blog and the answer is yes, his blog is as good as his tweets! He has a humor about him that I could not possibly recreate and I enjoy immensely, it may not be your cup of tea so go in with an open mind but I do smile when reading it.

Second is The Trials of Type 2 Diabetes. As someone with T1D I have gotten constantly frustrated with people making comments about me or my illness that, I feel, only apply to people with T2D. But as I have ‘grown up’ I have started to research ‘what is T2D,’ what is the disease process, who can get it, why do people get it, what are the influencing factors etc etc. The more I have researched the more I have understood about the disease process, risk factors etc etc but I have never actually been able to talk to someone with T2D to get an idea of a comparison between T1D and T2D. Far as I found (so far) this blog was one of the only ones for T2D taking part in #DBlogWeek (I could be totally wrong about that!)

Third and final was the blog Defining Diabetes and Mental Health.Β This blog seeks to bridge the gap between diabetes and mental health and get talking about how really they go hand in hand. As an occupational therapy student I have learnt a lot about mental health and it’s impacts/correlation with those suffering from physical ailments but it has only been in the past maybe 5years that I have realized the impact that diabetes has on my mental health and I have never found anything talking about it openly. Until now. I have not read all of the blog posts available on this site but from what I have seen and the description they offer I think it looks great and would really recommend it to all PWD because it is an area of life that all too often goes under the radar or people dont want to talk about.

Those are my new picks from #DBlogWeek I hope you enjoy having a read through them as much as I have. A huge thank you again to Karen for arranging #DBlogWeek and to all those who have participated, it has been a fantastic week πŸ˜€

Hope

Favourites and Motivations – #DBlogWeek Day 6

Finally! I’m only one post behind now, the catch up is working πŸ˜›

Today is about my favourite bloggers in the DOC (diabetes online community) and/or what motivated me to start blogging.

I have only been involved in the DOC for the past kinda 6months (I’m a late bloomer when it comes to technology hehe). The person I have to thank for this is the incredible Ally a.k.a. VeryLightNoSugar click that link and check her out! I first discovered Ally on Twitter (she’s under VeryLightNoSugar again on there) where I clicked on a couple of her blog links. This girl is phenomenal! She tells it like it is, which I appreciate more than I am able to express right now. So many people sugar coat diabetes and down play the tough stuff, while Ally doesn’t make a huge drama of it she does explain it as it is. The reason I love this so much is because I always felt guilty for finding certain aspects of diabetes difficult or struggling to get my head around something, it was like ‘suit up and get on with it’ and when I wasn’t able to do that with the ease I felt I should it was devastating. Knowing that for someone else diabetes makes x, y and z a little tougher was fantastic! Seeing new ways of approaching these different aspects was fantastic too, suddenly I didn’t feel alone and I was normal. These are the reasons I am recommending Ally, this and she is a brilliant writer. So you really should check her out, you will enjoy it, I promise πŸ™‚

What motivated me to get blogging, especially when there are so many fantastic DBloggers out there already. Pretty simple really, my journey with diabetes is all subjective (from my stand point), no one could turn around to me and tell me I was wrong because it was my feelings and thoughts and attitudes toward something that I was going through. For me this was comforting because I am not one for confrontation or debating who is right or wrong, it intrigues me greatly to see and understand why people experience things differently and I was keen to see if anyone else was similar to me and if so how did they approach things. The main reason I started blogging through, was that I couldn’t find anyone in their 20’s in New Zealand who was doing it. Healthcare is very different here from in the states and while I love hearing how things work overseas, sometimes you just need to know whats going on in your own backyard. I grew up feeling very along in the diabetes world, I had no one my own age, or older to look up to or talk things through with. I feel that had I had this I would’ve grown up with a very different attitude toward my diabetes. Because of this I wanted to try and be this person for younger girls in my neck of the woods (or anywhere for that matter). I attended a diabetes youth camp for younger children at the beginning of the year and this is where I really found my want to help out younger kids with T1D. I was asked a whole heap of questions by the young girls (that I am sure they wouldn’t be as keen to ask a non-T1D) and when they found out I had diabetes it there was a lot of screaming. I want to show people that they can grow up to be whatever and whoever they want dispite having diabetes, that it is a big factor of their lives but it does not have to control them, and that they can grow up healthy and their diabetes not effect them any more than it has to.

It all sounds terribly mushy doesn’t it? But there is the truth of all of it. I do hope that I am making some kind of impact on those that read my blog (a good one preferably!) Even if I never get to see it, knowing that it could possibly be the case is more than enough πŸ˜‰

Foods On Friday – #DBlogWeek Day 5

Today is all about food…this is a bit of an iffy subject for me, in my world food is for fuel, I often don’t enjoy what I am eating and only eat it to regulate my BS (blood sugar). In saying that there are a few foods that I really do enjoy when given the chance and good BS πŸ˜‰ so we will see how this goes, I will try and explain why I have chosen what I have to eat throughout the day and I’ll tell you what I have to do in order to be able to eat it and have a reasonable BS afterward.

I thought a good way of connecting my diabetes into this post would be to show you a standard day for me on Diasend, so I have screenshoted Saturdays record and I will walk you through it all πŸ™‚ I wont explain all the information on the graphs etc because I feel it is pretty self explanatory but if you do have any questions please feel free to ask them (I do understand that looking at this from a non T1D point of view it may seem rather confusing).

Oh and I have used Saturdays information instead of Fridays as Friday got away on me and I attended a friends garden party in the evening which is not my norm and which also entailed a beautiful potluck and alcohol (neither of which is great for a PWD trying to carb count hehe but it tasted so good!) so I figured that giving you a standard day would possibly be of more use πŸ˜‰

Lets get into it then πŸ™‚ carbs that I consumed are in the lower table just above but I will tease them out and give explanations of what I ate and why etc etc.

08:46 – Breakfast – 24g = porridge. I try to always have porridge for breakfast, I find it is a good slow release and doesn’t contain any added sugars or sweeteners. I also have the problem of feeling sick in the mornings and not wanting to eat anything at all but having diabetes doesn’t let me act on that feeling, when I do have breakfast I often have very distorted taste and I figure porridge is bland so it’s not as upsetting to my taste buds hehe. This feeling is always exasperated when I wake up with a high BS (I don’t know if any other PWD have this or if it is just one of my irritating qwirks?)

12:53 – Lunch – 30g = cheese toastie. Now I realize that not everyone reading this will be from New Zealand and we have very different terminology from the USA so I shall expand on what a cheese toastie is. You take two pieces of bread and butter them on both sides (this will make sense in a sec), next you place cheese and pineapple inside like a sandwich. Finally you place all of this in a toastie maker (I think this is also called a sandwich press?) What you end up with is toasted bread with melted cheese in the middle that is about 90 Degrees Celsius and burns you as you bite into but you are caught in a trap because as you pull away you realize the cheese has stuck to your mouth and is now stringy and looping everywhere. It is hilarious to watch people eat and tastes really good!

16:40 – Afternoon Tea – 21g = Cheese roll. Another New Zealand phenomenon hehe, this time you do the same thing but instead of pineapple you put chives and spring onion and you roll the bread into a roll before toasting (so good!)

17:36 – I was hungry – 27g = lammington (sponge with icing and coconut). Basically I hid two of these in my room so my younger brother wouldn’t eat the whole packet and I would actually get one, anyway, it was staring at me and I was hungry so it made sense.

18:09 – Curiosity – 16g = sour jelly beans. I found these fancy jelly beans I was given for Christmas and felt the need to try them then and there without having to wait for a hypo πŸ˜›

19:46 – Dinner – 30g = grilled chicken and steamed veges. It’s fair to say I was not overly hungry at this point but needs must πŸ˜›

20:03 – Lack of Self Control – the jelly beans were calling…

22:19 – Too Much IOB (insulin on board) – 10g = jelly beans. I tested and was perfect but I had over 1unit on board which was enough to send me into a hypo, it was logical to eat enough to cancel that out.

22:28 – Where is my brain?! – 21g = another lammington! At this point I must confess something, I was skyping my boyfriend and so was completely preoccupied when I was eating the jelly beans 10mins ago, I bolused for them, when the entire point of eating them was to cancel out my IOB! (Men! They just mess with your sugars!) So as a second cancellation of IOB I had my last lammington.

Whenever I had any of these things too eat I have to calculate the carbs that I am consuming I do this one of three ways: I weigh my food and enter it into Calorie King, here is the link if you want to have a look (I think it’s fantastic); or if it is something I eat regularly such as an apple I know the carbs and can just enter them from memory; or for things that come in servings I will weigh out a serving portion and use the information provided on the packet πŸ™‚ after I find out the carbs I enter the total into my pump and a calculation is run based on my I:C ratio (insulin carb ratio, how many units of insulin I need per gram of carb) and that insulin is given to me.

When I am at college I will make myself a packed lunch and when I was learning to carb count (and if I have anything new in my lunch box) I will write the carb total onto the gladwrap of the food item. It looks a bit daft but I find it very helpful when I am on the go or trying to concentrate on other things and busy.


The main thing i would like you to take away from this post is that PWD can eat anything that they want, we aren’t allergic to sugar and we wont die if we eat it as long as we have the appropriate insulin to cover it. I don’t normally eat so many sweets but every now and again it doesn’t hurt πŸ˜› Β Some people do this via carb counting others have other methods. For me I HAVE to have three main meals a day and if I do not have a small snack mid morning and afternoon I will go low (as I did at lunch today because I didn’t have morning tea). Everyone has certain things that they have to do every day to keep themselves healthy, mentally and physically, everyone’s list is different and mine includes having to eat at certain times and calculate what I have eaten. It feels really overwhelming at first but as you do it, it becomes second nature and a lot easier.

If you have any questions about carb counting or how I do things or need clarification on anything please feel free to ask. I’m not a Dr so cannot give you any advice or direction that regard but I have learnt some tips along the way that make things easier πŸ™‚

Changes – #DBlogWeek Day 4

Changes that I would like to see in the world of diabetes. Well if I could change anything about diabetes and an illness I would make it non-existent, Β so I guess there is not much to talk about in that area hehe. Instead lets talk about the equipment and technology available for PWD (people with diabetes) and my (very limited) thoughts on those πŸ˜‰

Lets start off with the technologies that I use on a daily basis:

Glucose Meter

Insulin Pump

Diasend (an internet platform for uploading and looking at the information/history of my pump)

Calorie King (for counting carbs)

I am extremely thankful that I have these technologies available to me instead of having to pee in a cup and and taste it or use a horse needle to to inject an un-calculated amount of insulin in the hope that you get it all more right than wrong.

I’ll start with the glucose meter (excuse me I am about to get very very excited here!) Have you seen the new Abbott Freestyle Libre?!! Oh my goodness if you haven’t click the link and have a wee look before you finish reading thisΒ http://www.freestylelibre.co.uk/Β basically it is a glucose monitoring system that has two components: a receiver and a reader. The reader is a small disc that is inserted into the upper arm (it lasts approximately 14days) you can then scan this disc with the receiver (this part can be done through clothing and takes 1second) to receive a glucose reading. No pricking, no waiting for the monitor to count down, no only having a certain amount of strips available every day or trying to coordinate yourself when your low or on the go. Anytime you want a reading, just scan yourself! This is beyond brilliant! I cannot talk this system or idea up enough! (can you tell I’m excited about this?) The only downside is that I am in New Zealand, which is pretty much the last inhabitable place on the bottom of the globe, so the rest of the world (it feels) has access to this technology and there is absolutely no release date set or even planned for New Zealand. It is beyond frustrating but something I am holding out for so desperately! And if anyone who is reading this has any experience of this tech please, I would love to know what it is like and whether you like it or not πŸ™‚

Insulin Pump, I have the Animas Vibe Insulin Pump. To be honest there is not a great deal I would change about my pump. I would love if it was slimmer as I find there are some styles of clothes that I have stopped wearing because they look quite silly with my pump, so I feel it does effect how I look in more ways than just having a box attached. My boyfriend thinks there should be a form of pump that is a set and forget, so that you don’t have to carb count and input info etc etc. Now this would be absolutely fantastic but there is a small part of me that has come to rely on the control I have over being able to choose the amount of insulin I have etc. The Dexcom, now that can link in with my pump and send it a glucose reading every 5minutes but, it is up to me to keep an eye on this info and choose what to do with it. I would love if my pump would register the readings and give me corrections based on the readings, taking into account IOB (insulin on board) etc, this, I feel would make my control super πŸ˜‰

Diasend, this platform takes all the information my pump has collected and does some mathematical magic to come up with pie graphs, charts and stats all about my carb intake, insulin taken and BS (blood sugar). It’s fantastic, I can email it through to my endo or DN (diabetes nurse) and they can sit wherever they are and give me advice on what I need to change. It’s brilliant. the only thing I would love to see with it is some sort of introductory video that explains what you can do and how to do it, it’s a bit of a have a play and see what happens kinda set up.It would also be quite handy to have it as an app for the HCP (health care professionals) as they could look at it easily on the go.

Last but not least is the app/website that I use to calculate my carbs so I can have the appropriate insulin. Call me too controlling if you like but I weigh everything I eat, unless it comes in single servings and the packet lists how many carbs is in that single serve. I find that with a pump it pays to be exact and the only way i can do this effectively is through weighing. Calorie King allows me to search a particular food or ingredient. There are some staples like wholewheat or brown flour that for some reason are not in Calorie Kings data base, which is slightly frustrating. On the whole I find the website a great deal easier to use than the app but if I have my way with carb counting I would have a tiny device that I could scan my food with and it would send the carb content directly through to my pump and my pump would give me the required insulin πŸ˜›

I know, I know a lot of what I have said is rather futuristic and largely unobtainable (especially the later) but I do think that there are many elements we could add to today’s technology that wouldn’t necessarily take a heap of brains to do (well more brain than I have but I’m positive you can find that out there) and those changes can and will make a huge difference to how diabetes in managed and (I think) change the lives of PWD for the better πŸ™‚

Clean It Out – #DBlogWeek Day 3

Clean it out, well I guess depending how you approach it this could be interpreted two different ways.

1. Cleaning out the emotional pa-lava that seems to accomplany T1D

or

2. Clean out the stash of diabetes paraphernalia, medicine, devices and god knows what else that every PWD seems to have hidden somewhere.

To attempt to ease myself into this weeks blogging I have gone for the later (and for your sake too as I am sure neither of us would cope too well if I unlocked that other closet!).

So here it is, the ‘diabetes stuff’ from my draw, cabinet and a banana box under my bed, everything that I could find that was diabetes related that I own…must say I am slightly embarrassed.

Here’s what we have: 3x novorapid pens (from when I was on MDI and in case I ever need to go back); 1x humalog pen (since when did I use humalog?  I mean I have reactions to it! Well the three packets of humalog insulin in the fridge state it was at least 6years ago and yes for some unknown reason I still have those vials of insulin too); 5x blood glucose monitors, 1 from about 9years ago, 1 from 8years ago (that I didn’t like), and three from the past 8years, 1 that I am using and 2 back ups (you know in case one dies and the other is eaten by a hermit crab, or the company goes out of production!); 6x finger prickers (I think I have hoarding issues with these wee gadgets); 2x packets of lancets (surprisingly enough I am steadily working my way through these, as I change the lancet every two-three days); 3x boxes of pump cartridges; 5x boxes of pump infusion sites; 2x boxes of pen needles; 7x boxes of ketone strips; 1x container of ketone sticks (thats right, when I was younger if you got sick you had to pee on a stick to find out if you had ketones! As if being sick needed to be worse!); 5x boxes of testing strips (I have a serious fear of running out of these!); a heap of emla patches and cream (I had a huge fear of needles and it took every numbing agent and nice talking nurse out to get me to have a blood test and even then it ended in an anxiety attack, I have managed to overcome this paralysing fear in the past three years but for some reason I still hold onto these, whether it is to remind myself of how far I have come or in case I ever go back I am not sure); 4x manuals (I think I flicked through one once to find out what the reading E-3 was, seemingly it means my meter is too cold to function hehe); heaps of these little red ‘I have diabetes’ alert cards that my Mum is always trying to get me to carry with me; a container of insulin that has surpassed its used by date (I always feel so guilty when this happens 😦 and I never know how to dispose of it safely so it just gets kept); 80+ alcohol swabs for site changes; hyperfix (a medical tape for creating safety loops with my pump tubing…turns out I’m allergic to the stuff); another form of medical tape (same purpose but so far no reaction); 2x glucagel (for when I go really low and cannot eat jelly beans or drink coke); a bag of jelly beans; a packet of gingernuts (these are my post hypo carb); my blood kit (this contains enough of everything to keep me going for probably a week hehe, you kknow just in case we get invaded by zombies at school and I don’t get home for a while or something); and I have a fridge compartment full of insulin and glucagons.

Do I need it all? I mean really? It seems like a ludicrous amount of stuff to keep one person running, doesn’t it?

So I went through it all, sorted out expiry dates and removed things that I haven’t used in years or is not a backup/will be needed within the next three months (and still be in date when it is needed). I amanged to dispose of a box of used site inserters and three boxes of out of date ketone strips. Thats it! The rest I will use within the next three months or will need should something break, die, explode, be dropped etc etc.

It’s confronting, to me, a PWD (someone who has been a PWD for 18years), that this is what it takes to keep me standing, to keep me breathing. And all because my immune system decided to wage civil war on my pancreas, one tiny act and the life of life support needed after is this. I admit, I try not to look at it all very often, that is probably why it is stored in different places all over the house and why things run out of date without me realizing. I don’t like to see it all because it reminds me of what I have to do every day to stay alive, reminders that I can do without and often have wanted to hide away from the world. But this is it, this is my life and I will embrace it, run with it, collaborate with it, fight with it, live with it and love with it. It is not all that I am but it is a component. One thing I will change however is making sure I regularly check my expiry dates and throw out or giveaway what I am never going to use or what is expired hehe.

So there you have it, I’ve cleaned it out and done a bit of reorganizing as it went back in, but some of it is getting biffed and is staying out permanently πŸ˜› Have a great day guys!

Hope

Diabetes Blog Week

I knew it was coming up but did it cross my mind to actually go and research what it was? No, no it didn’t, until today. Ach well, better late than never no?

What is Diabetes Blog Week (Dblog week)? I found myself asking the same question this afternoon as I flicked through Facebook. I have only joined the diabetes online community (DOC) this year so many things are new to me, including this week of blogging. Let me attempt a brief explanation and I’ll also give you a link to the incredible lady that got the ball rolling πŸ˜‰

Dblog week is in it’s 6th year and was started by Karen whose blog isΒ http://www.bittersweetdiabetes.com/Β the idea is that over the course of a week (7days) the DOC have access to a list of blog themes, or ideas, one for each day and they attempt to blog about them. You can sign up for Dblog week on Karen’s site and there you can also access a list of all the participants for that year (what a fantastic way to find new Dblogs, right!) Karen explains this all much better than I do, so if you are wanting more information I really suggest that you click here ->Β http://www.bittersweetdiabetes.com/2015/05/diabetes-blog-week.htmlΒ and also click <- there if you are wanting to sign up πŸ™‚

Why am I doing Dblog week. Well, this blog has been neglected, partly to my being busy with study and health but mainly due to my lack of ideas for posts. To me it just makes sense that while someone is offering the ideas I should grab hold of them πŸ˜‰ having looked at the blog themes/ideas for this year I also realized that there were a few in there that I wouldn’t have come up with myself, nor would I have been keen, without prompting to undertake. SO why not take the opportunity. I also get the chance to check out many other fantastic Dblogs so I can’t really loose πŸ˜›

I am starting things on the backfoot (a couple of days late) so there will (hopefully) be a couple of days that I post two posts in one day, I hope this isn’t too irritating and trust me it is not something I plan to make a habit of πŸ˜‰ at any rate I hope you enjoy this week and I really do encourage you to check out some of the Dblogs on offer this week too, you never know, you might find a new fav πŸ˜‰

Infusion Confusion Part II

I’ve finally gotten around to writing my personal experience of pump infusion sites, so here we go πŸ˜€

I started off with the inset II-6mm, which is easy peasy to put in after about two weeks of using the sites I began to feel a burning sensation under the skin whenever I bloused, it was just a slight niggle to begin with but it grew to an intense pain as if someone was holding a burning cigarette to my skin. I wanted to rip the site out it was so sore and I was beginning to get pain when the pump gave me my three minute basels too. Needless to say things were not looking good.

I contacted a friend whose daughter is on the same pump but she was using a different site, the comfort short. She gave me a few comfort short infusions to try to see if the difference in angle and depth made any difference. (Here is where I admit that I was too scared to use them and put up with the pain until I saw the nurse a few days later). Upon seeing the nurse, she said the same thing, to try a different infusion and gave me some comfort shorts (with inserers). She walked me through using one, so there was no backing out of doing so!) Three hours and a few boluses later I checked in with her to see if the stinging was still there…it was gone! No sting no pain πŸ˜€ Woohoo!

At my next site change I again used one of the comfort shorts with the inserter…only this time things just didnt quite go to plan :/ (I find the inserters for the comfort short very fiddly and it is easy to make very small but costly mistakes). I didnt manage to hold the canula in the right position when pulling the needle back out and managed to pull the canula partly out to. Sigh, rip that site out and start again. This time i used to comfort short but without the inserter (I will admit to freaking out at this point due to the fact that I was holding a 3cm needle against myself and readying to plunge it into my flesh O.o ) my fantastic father stood next to me pinching my arm to try and distratc me, which odly enough had a great effect. And the needle went in smoothly, I found I needed a bit of help holding the canula and taping the adhesive down at the same time (I can now do this on my own at a push, but it is so so much easier when someone else can lend a hand).

At the end of it all I got a new script for the comfort short insets and I was away laughing, only the pharmacy has a ruling that you cannot swap a script. So I was stuck with two boxes of the inset II and not quite enough site changes in the comfort short, what to do? I couldn’t use the inset II because they were so painful but at some point I was going to have to. This is were I came up with the idea of trying the inset II’s in my arms and legs. I have plenty of meat in my legs so that wasn’t a problem. I found that if I put the sites in my legs I couldn’t wear tighter fitting jeans because they rubbed and irritated the site but that is an easy thing to get around, site in leg=wear looser trousers. I found putting te site in my arm rather challenging as I only had one hand, but this is were the auto inserter really came into its own and under the watchful guide nice of my boyfriend via Skype I got it in no bother and even found an MP3 player arm band to fit the pump in when I wear it on my arm πŸ˜‰

  
Remember that if the first site you try isn’t quite working for you you can always try another until you get the one that is just right for you 😊 as always if you have any further questions or are needing any clarification please just sing out.

Hope

Infusion Confusion Part I

Infusion sites. There are quite a few to choose from, based on: your pump brand, auto or manual, straight, angled, short needle, long needle, Teflon canula, steel canula, if you play contact sports etc etc etc the list really does go on and on. In this post I will just explain the pros and cons for each and the next post I will explain my experience so far 😊

For me and my Animas Vibe I have a choice of three different sites:

The ‘Inset II’ available with an auto inserter or manual (without inserter). Available in 6mm or 8mm canula. This canula goes in on a 90degree angle. The inserter is easy to use and great for people with less manual dexterity or younger children. The inserter itself becomes a self contained sharps container which is handy if you are out and about but very bulky.

IMG_3930
Photo retrieved from http://www.nzms.co.nz

The ‘Comfort Short’ which again comes with and without an auto inserter (first photo is with inserter, second photo is without). Available in 13mm or 16mm canula. I find the auto inserter very fiddly to use and if I did not have good manual dexterity I feel I would struggle. Because the canula goes in on an angle there is a little window that the entry to your body can be seen through, this is fantastic to check if the canula is in correctly and keep tabs on any possible issues throughout use. It’s also a great canula for those that have less fat as the canula doesn’t go in as deep as some others allowing you to place it where you may not be able to place the inset II.

IMG_3928

IMG_3931
Photos retrieved from http://www.nzms.co.nz

Lastly there is the ‘Contact Detach’ a steel canula with a built in safety loop. It is not available with an auto inserter. Available in 6mm or 8mm canula. This canula is your go to if you have a Teflon allergy. It is not so great if you play contact sports. The inbuilt safety loop is a great feature that keeps your site that bit safer (lessens the chance of it being ripped out). It’s highly recommended for children.

IMG_3929
Photo retrieved from http://www.nzms.co.nz

Hopefully this gives you a bit more information about the possible canulas used for the Animas pump and helps you make a decision regarding which may suit you best.
I would really recommend that you get two different sites on your first script so that you have the ability to try more than one and are not stuck with your first choice 😊

Best of luck choosing your site type and if I can help in any way let me know πŸ˜ƒ

Hope

Pump Start

IMG_2188
January 19th, 2015 and the day has finally arrived. It’s pump start!
I have my box filled with pump and instructions and I have all my consumables from the pharmacy. These all go in a bag and I’m off to the hospital for our 9am start.

I’m completing my pump start with another young lady who has T1D (thank goodness I am not doing this alone!) 

First thing is first, inserting the cannula. This is where our pump teacher was fantastic (she was fantastic with the whole thing but this really stood out to me). She had the same site type as me and put it into her own tummy to show me the steps. Seeing someone else do the process that I had too was so reassuring! Although I did have a wee panic before inserting it…but we got there!

Next we learnt how to fill, load and prime cartridges. Set Basel rates, insulin sensitivity factors (ISF), dial up and deliver boluses. All of which we did in practice pumps with ‘pretendy’ insulin before carrying it all out on our own pumps and attaching ourselves! 

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Next we had a Dexcom continuos glucose monitor (CGM) inserted and linked these up to our pumps (which double as a receiver for the CGM) to help us and our diabetes nurse understand what is going on through our first week of pumping. 

We were done for day 1 and in record time! I think we were both very thankful as our heads may have exploded with any more information!

I had a very rough night, with my Basel rate being too high causing me to have constant lows! One of which ended with my having to wake my Dad up at 3am for help (which I have not had to do in over 9years!) but my pump instructor was incredible getting on the phone and talking my Dad through putting a temporary Basel on until she can help me fix it in the morning. 

Back at a later start of 9:30 and we’re into day 2. Today we learnt how to use our advanced features to bolus for carbs and correct for high bloods. Along with trouble shooting, we are done and I am shattered! 

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Here is my fantastic pump instructor and myself at the end of day 2, Jo, from Animas. I cannot express how amazing she was, every question we had she answered and was so fun to learn with! 

Now I was off on my own and terrified!
I was shattered from all my lows and constantly trying to remember all the information I had learnt in the past two days. But I was determined to conquer this pump and had my life to get on with.

I was extraordinarily lucky because for the next three days I had a friend in town visiting who I had been discussing my T1D with over the past month. Whilst I continued having issues with basels and corrections, lows and highs I had a fantastic friend to talk to about it and who made me feel good about getting on the pump and without realising it made me feel incredibly supported through the whole thing. Although things weren’t going to plan I felt safe going out and carrying out normal tasks because I knew someone was with me that could help.

Although my initial experiences of starting on my pump were not great I have had exceptional help and support from Animas, my pump instructor, diabetes nurse, dad and friend all of whom I cannot express enough thanks to!

If you are thinking of or are about to start on an insulin pump, please don’t let anything I have said put you off. Make sure you have a good support in place to help you through the first bumpy period and have good communication with your instructor and health care professionals. Yes it is hard, yes things do go wrong, but yes things get easier and yes everything can be fixed 😊 

If you have any questions please feel free to ask and best of luck if you are starting a pump soon! 

Hope