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.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pumping with T:slim

It's official, we are now part of the t:slim family. 

Its been less than 48 hours, but his excitement has made all my concerns take a back seat. 
Mind you, I have not had to do a site change, YET. When we went to training, the CDE did the first cartridge fill to show me how its done. We may have to revisit my stress level after I do one on my own... thank goodness for youtube, I guess.

So far the pump has been great. Aside from trying to bolus him a few times from the Ping remote(twice... for realz), I think we're adjusting to the new(by "we're" I mean Justin, btw). I need to pack away that remote so I'm not temped, but first, I need to find a meter that will use those strips(aside from the mini). I DO absolutely LOVE the Verio IQ. I plan to switch to it, but the supply hoarder in me has about 6 months worth of the ultra test strips to use. Plus, I need to make sure my insurance will cover the Verio strips... all those "non-preferred" supplies and all.

I really hope they do because the light at the end of that baby is AWESOME(said in my singing voice).
I had no idea what I've been missing all this time... I was light deprived.

So just to be all official, here are my initial thoughts on the t:slim...

I love the ease of it - even an old mom like me can figure out how to use it(although I do still need to find the quick bolus button).

I love that I can see the IOB (and the duration) right on the home screen - this feature saves a lot of button pushes(and guessing).

Justin loves it - which makes any of the following worth dealing with.

It.is.so.slow - last minute, right before you run out the door, site changes are a thing of the past. The slim goes at its own pace and there's no rushin it. It also boluses slow.

**In all fairness, I was warned about this though**

There are A LOT of confirmation screens - also warned and probably more of an annoyance to Justin then it is to me.

I do have one REALLY valid complaint though... The T:clip

He had only been wearing it for about three hours and a t:clip bit the dust.
All he did was get out of the car and bam... pump was hanging from the tube.
At almost $20 bucks a piece... these should really be a little more durable. Thankfully this one was given to us, so it didn't hurt... as bad, anyways.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Change... No Es Bueno!

I hate change. Just the thought of it makes me uneasy. It scares me.

From the outside you would never know. I adapt extremely well to just about everything thrown my way. But on the inside... I scream through the entire process. So a few weeks ago when Justin told me he wanted the t:slim, I instantly felt nauseous.

No way... the Ping has been good to us the last four years. And the remote - I love my remote.

If I'm being honest, I've spent the last few weeks trying to talk him into waiting. I've read things that made me feel this change is not a good idea. I've chatted and messaged people that have had a "less then positive" experience. But every time I tried to tell him the flaws, I could see the painful disappointment in his face and I realized that I just need to let change happen. Because Justin chooses to let it.

I have seen an immeasurable amount of growth in Justin over the last few months. Crazy growth. Growth I never thought I would be ready for since D entered our lives. He is taking control. He has done it at his own pace... In his own time. And that's okay because he's doing it and he's doing it right.

He knows how to handle his care. He knows that mistakes happen (like giving yourself insulin for the serving size(3 pks) of M&M's when your teacher only gave you one pack... oops!) and he knows how to fix it.

Even though I fear... I am so very proud of him.

The paper work has been filled out for the t:slim. The insurance has been verified, the Endo has signed off and authorization has been submitted. All we wait for now is the approval. Justin knows that he will be more responsible for bolusing since we will no longer have a remote... I explained this fact SEVERAL times. He's agreed and this change is happening. I will just need to adapt. Ultimately, this is Justin's load to bear and he should be able to manage it with whatever device he chooses. I will just be here, for back up, when he needs me.

Maybe sometimes, change es bueno.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Growing up...

My face and my voice say "GOOD JOB BUDDY!!!!", but my mind is screaming "HOLY SHIT!"

More and more Justin has been taking on his own care... the problem is there is no warning. I just get an "oh, by the way, I was 56 in 3rd period so I had some skittles and then I still felt funny on the way to 4th so I had some M&M's."

His BG was 120 at lunch, which is about 15 minutes into 4th period... soooo he rocked it. What can I say to that?

Over the past few weeks, he has self treated at midnight(we did have a chat about this). Self treated at school for lows a few times. Decided on 21 carbs for a mini cupcake(no phone call, no trip to the nurse)... he rocked those numbers too, BTW. He's even dabbled in texting me info. I'm waiting for the nurse to find out and lose it.

... the shiz has been getting deep around here.

So much for my "helicopter-mom-itis" really working hard to screw him up.

I really couldn't be more proud of him, but I am extremely scared all at the same time. All these jumbled up feelings, swarming like they are ready to sting at any given moment... it's overwhelming.

I think the self treating at midnight scared me most. He was still awake, he says, and felt it. He tested and had a juice with a side of Hershey's. He was probably just waiting for an excuse to eat the chocolate and I can't deny that he did good.I can also appreciate him not wanting to wake me up, but at the same time I had to explain to him that, though I am really proud, at night he HAS to wake me, even if its after he treats himself. See, I can compromise ;)

Now if I can only get him to remember to tell me when he opens his last vial of test strips...

OR!!! When his pump alarms with less than 20u left.

AND... if someone can tell me how to handle this...

No worries...

A day in the life of self care and party invites... please hold while I willingly jump.

Monday, February 24, 2014

When Taking Control Scares the Mama...

It was my night off. I don't get them often... Maybe once every other week or so. The reason behind that is an entire blog post in itself, so I'll save it for later. Justin tested his BG before bed and he was 189, a tad high, but he had about .40u still on board from the strawberry dessert he had at his Nonie's house; so I let him go and told the hubby to set his alarm for 1:30. By all rights, this IOB should have landed him right above 150.

In the night, sometime after 3am (it was actually 3:45am I found later) I feel the hubby jump out of bed. This can only mean he slept through his alarm. Thankfully, so we thought, Justin was sittin pretty with a BG of 145.

The next morning Justin drops the bomb...
"Before I fell asleep last night, I checked my blood and it was 49. I had some Skittles and a Hershey Nugget."

Silence(insert birds tweeting and my heart breaking into 1000 pieces)...

"Thank you for taking care of that, buddy, what time was it?"...

"I don't know", he says.

Looking back in the meter logbook it was a few minutes after midnight.

I don't think about the "what ifs" that much anymore. 5 1/2 years into this T1 journey, we just roll with whatever is thrown our way, but ever since that... I'm scared all over again.

Part of me is extremely mad that Anthony slept through that alarm. Angry that I can't even take one night off without worry. ONE! The thoughts of what if Justin didn't handle it on his own won't leave me... what if... what would he have found at 3:45?

I am so thankful Justin has started taking control and I am proud that he knows how to handle his care. But all I could do, besides praise him for a job well done (he was sitting pretty at 145 after all) and thank him for letting me know what happened, was remind him that no matter what time it is... he can come get me so that I can check him again to make sure he's safe.

I could not imagine the alternative. Praying all of out sweet children sleep safe.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Miss It Here...

I have found myself really missing my blog for the past couple months. REALLY missing it, more so than before. Wishing I had more time to sit down and really get it all out. Not that things are bad; they are actualy pretty good, but I can feel myself needing an outlet. That place where I can leave the shit, the worry, the stuff that's piling up because I'm holding it all in. I need the outlet so that I can fully enjoy the actual triumph(s) in front of me and not expload from overload. Afterall, that was the purpose of me starting this blog in the first place.

I think I took for granted the quiet time I use to have during the day when the kids were in school. At the time, before I went back to work full time, Justin was in elementary school with a nurse that was just as in tune to his diabetes as I am. She was a godsend. During the day, I had time to sit, in the quiet, and write about everything. Some things I published and some things still sit in my drafts box, years later, for me to look back on. Maybe one day I will have the courage to hit the publish button on those posts too. Back then, I had the opportunity to cry the quiet tears without anyone knowing. I miss the quiet sometimes.

Balancing work and home has it's definate challenges... doesn't leave space for the quiet time or even not-so-quiet extra time to sit in front of a computer and blog. I won't complain about my job, however, I know how fortunate I am to be able to work from home. I know how fortunate I am to be off work just as the kids are walking in the door from school. Though, as any job will, it has it's "sressful days", I really do actually like what I do. I'm grateful for that.

Diabetes has been, well...diabetes. Justin has started to step up on his own, he's trying new sites for his pump and really chiming in with how we handle cetain parts of his care. This  makes me proud and stressed all at the same time. He called me the other day for lunch, that converstaion went a little like this...
Me: "Hello"
Justin: "Hi mom, my bg is 127, but just so you know I was 50 in 3rd period so I had some skittles, and then on my way to 4th, I still felt low, so I just had some M&M's."
Me: (jaw on the floor) "okay, do what your pump says for lunch"

Did he even need to call me at that point??

On the flip side of that, he's really starting to get frustrated about being 'different". That's how he describes himself. "Different". That makes me sad. He shouldn't have to feel different. Though the cause of him feeling this way can't be balmed solely on D... all the gizomos and vibrating and blood and beeping... sure doesn't help. He asked me not not make him wear the CGM anymore... "the vibrate is loud and people stare". *sigh*

How do I help him feel less different?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...