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Thursday, 22 January 2015


Let's start this post off with something amusing. A few days ago my 3 hour CGM trace totally looked like a cat. Excuse the bad BGL. Apparently my supposed carb-free meal that I bolused 2 units for anyway is not all that carb free.

Moving onto the important stuff. Yesterday, a 4 year old boy from Perth recieved the 1st MiniMed 640G pump. I had the opportunity to play with one of the pumps last week, so I thought it only fitting that I should wake myself up enough to ramble about the new pump, and how in love I am. And how super jealous I am of that 4 year old kid.

This is just a first impression based on an hour of asking my rep loads of questions; but I'm preeeeeety sure if I was one of those people who married mundane random objects then I would be saying my vows to the 640G pump come May instead of my fiance. If you're reading this my dashing H2B, sorry darling. Girls just like men who save their lives. And my pump does it more than you do.

The 640G. Here we go. Aesthetically, if you're a boy, you're gonna love it. If an insulin pump could have muscles, this one could have rivaled Arnold Schwarzenegger at his peak. It looks strong, and sturdy, and ready to do some life-saving business. I will definitely be upgrading to the pink model (the 640G comes in pink, blue, opalescent white, black and purple) come upgrade time, because I am a girl....and I like my pumps to look pretty. All the pumps have a black base, with a coloured front. You can choose to stick the colour onto the back as well or leave it plain. Personally, I hope they release decals or gel cases for it as with the previous models of pump. Size wise this baby is only a few mm more than the previous models, probably to help with all that new waterproofing!

The new 640g

Now here's the fun part, all the exciting features that I am still trying to wrap my head around. As always with me, let's do a list!
  • Bigger, brighter, better screen. Actually I don't think its bigger, but it is certainly brighter and better. The screen is now colourful and has a light-sensor that will change the back-light according to your surroundings. No more squinting in the sun and groping around blindly at night.
  • The screen displays more stats at a glance. It tells you how much active insulin you have on board without having to go into a stat screen anymore. If you have CGM on the graph is displayed all the time. There is a display at the top of the meter for insulin left in the cartridge & battery, as well as a visual for when your next calibration is required for CGM. There's probably some other stuff that I forgot already.
  • Menus are almost the same, but with some added features, such as the ability to choose which bolus types you want to have activated. For example I use Normal & Dual Wave boluses quite often but I haven't got the foggiest idea what a Square bolus no need to have that activated.
  • There are options now for a pre-set temporary basal. As with the last pump you can add more than 1 basal pattern, but you can now add temporary basal patterns of a predetermined time length and strength. So you can pick a preset exercise temporary basal, etc. You can also NAME these patterns, so you don't have to remember what pattern A, B and C are meant to stand for.
  • Again 2 reservoir sizes :)
  • Waterproof!!!! Although I never needed it before as I am such a bad swimmer, I do feel confident in the fact that I can accidentally fall into a pool with my pump on now if I should wish it. Or get caught out in the rain, which is actually very likely for me as I love love rain.
  • Customisable alarms.
  • Meter that talks to the pump, with a better margin spec than the original (15% as opposed to 20). The Meter also has a strip port light for late-night testing. And my personal favourite that totally won me over to actually trying the meter: DOUBLE-DIP strip technology. Yep, you read that right. NO MORE NOT ENOUGH BLOOD ERRORS! Does anyone else realise how much money I will save on wasted strips because I didn't get enough blood. (Just clarifying: double-dip technology means you can add more blood to the strip if you didnt put enough on the 1st time).
  • Glucose meter boluses for the pump. It does not use the bolus wizard, but you can use preset boluses on it. Eg. you can save a 'breakfast', etc. bolus if you eat similar carbs for that meal and just select that bolus on your meter. Soooo if you were like me, and say, getting married and did not want to pull your pump out all the time, you could do your wedding tasting prior to your wedding, count the carbs and save it as a specific bolus that you could access off your meter. Not counting carbs on wedding day? Check. Also perfect for girls who don't want to grope around their tops to bolus on nights out.
  • Glucose meter is the download USB. I have 3 and I have lost them all, but I don't lose my meter.
  • Infusion Set change alarm. Yep, you can tell it to remind you. Which is perfect for me because I forget and then find out halfway through the day that I have run out of insulin. Whoops.
  • The pump clip acts as the battery-opening tool. So you can finally bank all those 10c pieces you keep lying around just for this use.
  • You can stop a bolus delivery in progress with a quick stop bolus button during delivery, instead of going through the menu and having to suspend the whole pump and then restarting the whole pump again.
The new 640G, Sensor & meter in real life compared to the brochure

There's probably a bunch more stuff that I didn't get to see.

Which brings us to the CGM. New Smartguard technology. I know they would have done some trials and if I did a Google search I would probably find some statistics to throw at you about how well it really works and all that jazz. But honestly, I'm diabetic, I deal with enough numbers already, I don't want to look at statistics. I just want to look at what it does. Which is to try to stop hypos, before they happen.

So while my current pump has low glucose suspend, which suspends the pump on low glucose, Smartguard has predicted low glucose suspend. Basically it will try to head off the big bad hypo bear before it even attacks by suspending insulin delivery before you get hypo to keep you in a hypobear-free territory. Once your glucose is stable or rising again the insulin pump will resume insulin delivery so you don't get high as a kite either.

It is a good point to note that the transmitter is different - it has a G written on it (and probably is more advanced too) - so you cannot carry over your old transmitter to use with the new system. However I have always gotten my transmitters on great deals, so I wouldn't be surprised if they offered you a deal on sensor start to help with set-up costs.

I should probably leave it there for now and let you all revel in the fact that technology is 1 step closer to the closed-loop/artificial pancreas system.

Disclaimer: Medtronic did not ask me to review or write about the new pump. I just like new technology and wouldn't have left them alone until they let me see the new technology for myself.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The arrival of Luna Lovegood.

Luna Lovegood came into my life this past hot, humid Monday. Her arrival was announced by the sudden screaming of an air raid alarm my doorbell*. I waited 5 days for her to arrive. 5 long, confusing, up and up blood sugar days.

She was hurriedly thrust through my doorway by an irate muggle delivery man, who demanded I make an unbreakable vow before I could take her. I signed my life away for her.

In awe, I took this beautiful being into my home. I carefully pulled her from her travelling confines and set her up at the table. Gazing upon the power of her. Staring at the beautiful blue.

Hurriedly, I couldn't wait anymore. My new pump. I had forgotten my morning Levemir so she had arrived in perfect time. She sang as I set her up. I hated the singing and told her to shut up. I quietened her to a hum, as I set about tasking her to become my perfect companion.

I connected her up. Relief flooded through me.  Luna Lovegood, the carefree spirit, allowing me to be me again. And doing some serious magic on my BGLs.

* - I'm not even kidding. Everytime someone rings the buzzer to my unit, I think we are under attack.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Dear Jamie Oliver (An Open and Angry Letter)

Dear Jamie Oliver,

I don't know what you hoped to achieve with that blown-up piece of ass that you put on display today. Something about clean water apparently. Unfortunately, That's not what I saw. I just saw someone being wrong about diabetes. Again. So I will let you know that you are not making a new and profound statement about the correlation between certain foods and drinks and Type 2 Diabetes (Yes - there is more than 1 type of diabetes...something you clearly did not even consider when erecting your gigantic 'advert about how little you know of diabetes' coke can)

I guess you did achieve something: You once again brought diabetes to attention in a light that practically begs us to be ashamed of ourselves for having diabetes. You once again told the public that this is something we are doing to ourselves (through our decision to drink certain drinks or eat certain foods). The public doesn't make the connection to stop drinking coke as it MAY be a causation to diabetes. The public just sees you purporting to play the blame game with PWD's (person with diabetes). They will see this and follow suit.

You are not making any statement at all that the public hasn't been told at least 1008103427 times already by various health organisations. So here's a tip: stay out of it. Because at least the health organisations do it with tact, and facts. The health organisations don't just go about erecting huge signs of ignorance everywhere they go to try to make their point.

In fact, for your point to have been even remotely construed as close to a real fact you would have needed to label that coke can with: "Type 2 Diabetes proven to be caused exclusively by drinking coke all day, where the patient has undergone studies to prove that they exercised, ate otherwise healthily, had no family history of type 2 diabetes, had never taken any drugs or medications that might aid in developing type 2 diabetes and been blessed with amazing genetics, not be caused by having an old and tired pancreas and not be of Aboriginal, Indian, Chinese, or any other ethnicitiy that predisposes to Type 2 Diabetes". It might have taken up a lot more space on the can, but at least it wouldn't be insulting or degrading to anyone who currently has diabetes. And it might have actually informed the general public about diabetes and its causes instead of continuing to instill the mistaken sense that 'we did it to ourselves' towards diabetics, that trust me, we already feel from the general public.

I have had Type 1 Diabetes (not related to an intake of Coke in any way, shape or form) for nearly 3 years now. I haven't had a drink of coke in over 5 years now. I bet your mind is blown right now. Somebody who was young, fit, healthy and DIDN'T drink coke got diabetes.

Diabetes isn't the only obesity, coke-drinking related disease out there. If you wouldn't plaster 'Stomach cancer' across the abomination that you dragged out today, don't drag diabetes into it.

Jamie Oliver, for some reason your ability to make food has made you somewhat of a celebrity. You have the power to influence people. And today you abused that power to bring diabetes into something that it didn't need to be brought into. You are talking about access to clean drinking water in Californian schools. What does diabetes have to do with this? You could have talked about dehydration, which I would assume would be more prominent if clean water for drinking is not provided. Or kidney problems, probably miles more relative than diabetes,

In fact, as 1 commentor on your post pointed out - Coke can actually SAVE the lives of people with diabetes (all types) during hypoglycaemic episodes.

Given that celebrity is as celebrity does and doubtless you'll stick your hand into the diabetes pie again, I hope that you can grow from this experiance, and consult with the people you are hurting before you hurt them. Maybe approach your local diabetes body and get their advice?

You might find it'll be better recieved next time if you do.

Most sincerely,

-Someone your ignorance hurt.