Tuesday, August 12, 2014

T-Slim - I'm beginning to love you...

Seems crazy, but Justin has been pumping with the t:slim for two months already. I am actually starting to love it. I admit, there are a few features I do miss about the Ping, but I would say the same about the slim if Justin switched back at this point.

Just for giggles, I took some time to re-read my two day and two week review of the t:slim. Lots has changed in two months.

One thing that I am really in awe about is the customer service at Tandem. It is AWESOME!! My local rep, the reps at FFL and even when I called on the phone recently... all awesome! This is defiantly a welcomed change after the last several month trying to deal with Animas' 45min hold times and month long delays in supply orders.

Back to the Tandem CS... You may remember from my first post that Justin's t:clip broke within a few hours of us starting the slim. Well... I called and they actually replaced it. I couldn't believe it.. for real! I thought for sure, they would just apologize, but they apparently stand behind their product and that alone makes me feel good about standing behind them. In addition to that, we have not had any more issues with the t:clips. Maybe that was just a freak thing.

I also mentioned in my first post that I needed to find the quick bolus button... found it!!
Apparently there is this thing... they call it a reference guide and it has a table of contents or something?!?!?! But don't let that throw you off... it has pictures and easy steps to follow. Perfect for a girl who is anti-directions!!
Side note: I could have just asked Justin, but we won't talk about that. I'll just be proud of my accomplishment in figuring it out and ignore the fact that he was not impressed because it was old news to him.

Moving on... One of my biggest complaints about the slim has been the cartridge change. I am pleased to say that I have found a groove and its not taking me AS long... its still not something I'll be able to slam out 5 min before the bus comes, like I did with the Ping, but I've lost the urge to jab something with the fill needle during the change process. Progress, my friends, progress.

Oh, and I gave up on the Apidra. It wasn't worth chancing... all I needed was for it to crystallize in the middle of the night and Justin end up sick. Plus, switching before school starts gave me an opportunity to get use to the Humalog again.

Justin's favorite part... With each site change comes a case change.The mix-n-match case is one of Justin's favorite things about the slim. I totally get why. He says he needs a few more colors, so I'm thinking stocking suffers... IF I can hold him off that long.

As far as concerns go, this was a big one... the reverse correction. It doesn't subtract from the suggested bolus unless your BG is 69 or under. I consider this a safety issue for the younger users. Justin is 13, and understands what needs to be done. He is capable of handling it in a non-hectic summer setting, but I'm curious to see how this goes when school starts next week.
On a positive note... when Tandem submitted the Slim/G4 combo to the FDA recently, they also added this to the updated pump. They are listening to their customers and that makes me happy. Unfortunately, we know how speedy the FDA is... sooo, there's that. You can read about it on Diabetes Mine.

Charging is one of those things that I will resolve to get better about... that's all I've got. Justin is currently riding on about 65% battery(better than my phone, which is at 27%). Luckily, the battery in the slim lasts a really long time between charges and when I do remember to plug it in, it doesn't take long to get to 100%. Its the remembering that gets me, but as long as I can remember at least once a week... we are okay. Added bonus: I plugged Justin in the other day while he was on the computer and another day while we were in the car. So there are plenty of convenient charging options.

This pump is definitely growing on me and Justin loves it. I miss my remote the most, however, especially at might when I'm standing on a shelving unit, digging under the covers, in hunt of the all mighty pancreas... loft beds are not d-mom friendly.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

FFL 2014...

I have had three weeks to organize my thoughts about Friends for Life 2014, but I'm not sure if the next six months could help properly portray all the wonderfulness of those five days. Last year I wrote all about the "truth" of FFL in pictures, and to be honest, this year was much of the same... I have many pics of friends laughing and hanging out like we've known each other all our lives; it definitely feels that way. We are family, after all, and distance doesn't separate us one bit.

I'll start out with the "were on our way" pic I texted to a few of my fellow D-Moms. Maybe a warning, of sorts, that trouble is on its way :) 

Just like last year, I found this chic... or she found me. Potato - Potato.
Sorry Meri... I posted it again(and I'm linking) without permission #becauseyoutoldmeno 
Then there was "Moms Group"...

 Pineapple drinks at the pool...

 Some race car driving...

Teen Dances... CWD takes very good care of our kiddos.


and a whole lot of fun with friends.

I admit, I go to FFL for myself just as much as I go for Justin. It's a time for both of us to be surrounded by the feeling of "same". Almost five years ago(next month) I started this blog. At the time I felt lost, alone and in a dark hole that continued to spiral deeper and deeper. Then I met a handful of ladies...

MeriHallie and Heather were among them. We all "clicked" and have remained friends, even after the Sunday night chats dwindled away. I owe them, along with a few others, my sanity. Without them... I would be a crazy(ier) mess. 

Not that the kids mind since they are too busy to care where I am anyways...

Leighanna was excited  Sweets come to FFL this year and really loved hanging out with her.

And Justin seems to find his voice while were there... that's a good feeling. 

On Sunday morning, it was really hard to say goodbye to those I love more than words... 

We hung out...

and laughed...

Until they literally dragged us away...

I missed them as soon as I hugged their necks goodbye.
Until we meet again my friends.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

T:Slim - Two weeks in...

Justin has been on the t:slim for two weeks now. You can read all about my initial thoughts here.

Justin is still loving it, of course. I feel is has its pro's and con's.

When it comes to being user friendly, I'm not sure it could get much better. The touch screen for adding carb amounts and bg #'s beats the thumb aerobics it took to get all that info into the Ping... AND if you mess something up, you don't have to start all over. BONUS!

Changing carb ratios and basal rates... super easy. You don't have to button push through the entire list just to change one rate... choose the one you want, and tada!!
I do have one complaint about the way this is set up though... On the ping the basal rates, i:c ratios, ISF and bg target all had separate screens for you to set them up. All of this info is in one place on the slim. So say Justin's basal is .625 from 7am to noon, but I need a different i:c ratio for breakfast and lunch... I have to set up a whole new block within the profile... so both blocks will be exact basal except for the i:c ratio. This is by no means the end of the world, but I can foresee it getting confusing when Justin is trying to read off all the settings to the Endo(as he does at every appt). The CDE even questioned why I had like 3 blocks with the same basal rate... and it was because either the carb ratio or the ISF was different.

Again, not the end of the world, but I prefer them separate. Maybe I just like the info in different screens because all the numbers, all at once, can become overwhelming.

I consider this a safety fail for the younger users... It doesn't subtract insulin to correct low-ish bg's. For whatever reason, the slim does not start subtracting insulin until they are 69(or below). So if he's 70... I have to manually subtract insulin from the suggested delivery so that he doesn't end up low(ish) again. This may be a HUGE challenge when school starts. Justin would have to know his different sensitivity factors and targets(they vary during PE etc...) in order to do this on his own. On top of that... he actually has to remember to do it in the first place. Not sure why Tandem would give the pump the capability to subtract, but not let it base it off the target rate rather then what the standard low bg may be. Maybe we were just spoiled since the Ping did this for us.

Site changes... holy mother of crap they are a pain in the ass!!!! I'm not even going to abbreviate it... that's how bad it is. As easy as the touch screen feature is... they sure didn't mimic that ease of use into the cartridge fill. Granted, I have waisted a little less insulin with each cartridge change, but the process is lengthy and frustrating. To be honest, if Justin didn't love it so much... this may have been a deal breaker for me.

Apidra(sigh) - when they said it didn't work in this pump, they weren't kidding. I was in hopes that we would be one of the lucky ones that didn't have any trouble, but no such luck. For us, the Apidra stops working around the 18th hour in the slim. This means extra site/cartridge changes... kill me! Only six vials of Apidra to go... I'm trying not to throw away money, but I probably won't last that long.

Charging the t:slim... one day, I will actually remember to plug it in while he's in the shower. One day! The battery does last a while... thank goodness. I think I've only charged it twice since he started wearing it two weeks ago and it hasn't died yet. Can't say the same about the meter though. It will be nice not to spend all that money on batteries anymore.

Speaking of the meter... I still love the Verio IQ(aside from the need to charge it thing). Strips take way less blood then the Ultra strips and I have not had an error yet. I managed to score a Verio sync too... so I'll have to try and compare the two when I get a chance.

I am in hopes that the site changes will get easier. Cross your fingers for me.

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