muddybrooks

My experiences post total pancreatectomy.

My D Tech Addictions!

on February 2, 2018

This week’s adventures in my Diabetes Dance has made me consider how blessed I am with my ability to have access to and utilize the current, most up-to-date diabetes technology. As I have spoken about in the past and have shared here, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & with many friends and people I know, I’m extraordinarily blessed to have the private insurance coverage I have, and therefore the ability to use the new, technologically advanced Tandem T Slim X2 insulin pump along with a pump integrated with my state of the art (at the moment until the next iteration is approved by the FDA) Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM (continuous glucose monitor). I also have, what I believe, to be a great glucose meter, the Verio IQ, as well as the sufficient amount of strips needed. But please know that not a day goes by that I take my access to these devices for granted!!! Nor does it slip my mind that I have the amount of insulin in my frig for my needs when many in this world of ours do NOT have that great fortune. But that’s a discussion for another post at another time.

I preface my remarks about what I do have because I’ve come to realize my dependency on them. But I’m a little thick headed, so it took going without for me to realize my dependency. Just a few days ago, I had a mishap with my insulin pump in where it became unusable after being submerged in a liquid accidentally. Of course, it happened at 3:39AM. I can remember EXACTLY what time because as I came to realize it was no longer usable, I just happened to look at the clock as the thought crossed my mind that maybe it was early/late enough to call and get a replacement. Alas, that was not the case.

I was awake enough, just barely, to realize I would need the back up plan I had in place just in case this sort of thing happened.(Luckily, I’ve not had to use my back up plan in many years!!) I was thinking at the earliest it would be 36 hours or so until a replacement pump could get to me. I took a dose of Lantus (long acting insulin) so I’d be covered, checked my BG and gave a correction of Novolog (short acting insulin), by SWAG’ing (scientific wild a$$ guessing, many thanks to Kerri Sparling for developing the term) & started to mourn the loss of my beloved and bedazzled by Pump Peelz (It was pink of course), T Slim X2 insulin pump. Unfortunately there was nothing else I could do but go back to bed and wait for normal business hours to come. (Why does this sort of thing ALWAYS happen outside of normal business hours??)

Of course, there was no sleep to be had because I was freaked out NOT to be attached. I know being attached 24/7 freaks some people out but not me. My lifeline and access to the medicine that keeps me alive had been discontinued. I knew I had Lantus or long acting insulin on board and it was a dose my endocrinologist (diabetes specialist) & I had calculated, but what if we were wrong!!?? We probably weren’t but there’s always that chance…and so the ruminating of all the “what ifs” started, so no sleep was had by me.

Fast forward to the next morning…I called Tandem and they couldn’t have been nicer nor more supportive. And, so my new replacement T Slim X2 was on it’s way & would arrive the next day!!!! Woo Hoo!!!! Success!!!! Now what???? I needed breakfast, hence I needed insulin to cover said breakfast. OK, how do I figure out how much I need??? The dilemma at hand was that my endo’s office was still closed and, silly me, I had let my insulin pump figure out my mealtime dosage for the past 5 years!! How’s that calculation go again??? I DIDN’T HAVE A CLUE !!!!! Did I really need breakfast right now?? Nope, said my math delinquent brain. Now comes the first thought of, how could I not remember how to dose myself with insulin for the amount of carbs I was going to consume??? Answer: I had become dependent on my pump wizardry to figure it out!!! But I thought, surely I’m smart enough to figure this out on my own??!! Again, NOPE!!!

This wouldn’t be the first time that day I delayed a meal due to not being able to figure out how much insulin I needed. Do you know how much that embarrasses me?? I’m an RN for God’s sake!! A former surgical ICU RN at that!!!! How could I not know this??!!!!

I called and got the info I needed from my CDE, angel that she is, but I still felt like a dope that I couldn’t figure it out on my own. This whole scenario gave me a greater appreciation for all you MDI (multiple daily injections) users out there. I know I’m a nurse but a mathematician I am not!! OK, a fifth grader can do math better than I to be honest!! But, the rest of my day & meals were fraught with fear that even though I was using a calculator, I was afraid of getting the dose of a very scary and deadly hormone (if dosed incorrectly) correct!!!!

Now, you would think that those happenings would be the end of my stressful day, would you not??? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Not even close. At 2:32AM the next morning, hours before my new pump would arrive, my CGM transmitter battery died unannounced!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!! Were the diabetes gods angry with me??? I couldn’t even guess what I had done to anger the D gods!!!! So, again, I had to wait until business hours that following morning to call for a new transmitter. Or so I thought… (Sleep??? What’s that??)

Long boring story later (Like this isn’t boring enough!!) I can’t get a new transmitter until April 1st at the earliest. As I contemplated my D tech failures and inability to have them at my disposal, I came to the realization…I’m addicted to my D tech!!!! And, I use Dexcom Share with hubby!!! He and I have come to depend on having that data at our fingertips and now we were going to have to wait until April 1st to have that again…unless I paid $599.99 out of pocket!!! I may be blessed in many ways but financially affording that is not one of them!!

So, I put my thinking cap on & suddenly it popped into my brain…Freestyle Libre!!! Maybe I could get one??? I called my AWESOME private medical insurance and due to circumstances, it would be covered if the proper paperwork is submitted by endo. Next call, endo. Yup!! He would submit the paperwork!!! Have I mentioned how blessed I am with my medical technology needs?? Not to mention my endo!!!!

My replacement pump is now up and running and may MDI users everywhere be acknowledged & given props for their math skills and patience. And I am back to finger sticks 10-12 times a day as I was in the pre-CGM days. And…I’m in paperwork limbo pending approval based on my endo’s recommendations in getting a Libre. If it doesn’t go through, it will be tough but I’ll make it to April 1st. I’ve done it before; I can do it again, albeit unhappily!!! HAHA!!!

I guess the moral of my story isn’t clear. Is it ok to become so dependent on D tech to the point I am?? Probably not. These past couple of days has definitely given me time to reflect on my diabetes journey. (I have certainly made a Word document detailing how to figure out MDI doses should there be a “next” time.) But I have come to realize more intimately how unbelievably fortunate we all are who use these devices to save our lives every day!!

Thanks for taking time out of your day to read my story.

And as always…CHECK!!!! DON’T GUESS!!!!

Until next time!!

 

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One response to “My D Tech Addictions!

  1. It is such a good thing you are Lantus on hand. I hate when my pump goes belly up. I am surprised your current Dexcom will not link with your new pump.

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