Charting my Diabetes

I’ve worked with the system well as aggressively, and respectfully, as I could to move my insulin pump start date up as much as possible. Given what I’ve had to deal with in simply getting this far, at some point I knew it was best to accept what I could accomplish and go from there. My final timeline looks like this:

  • Basic t:slim training and saline start on 10/1.
  • “Pump Start” class at my diabetes education center on 10/3.
  • Pump saline, and still take my proper insulin injections for 3 (?) days – I’m going to get that clarified at the class.
  • Review pump data (?) at the education center on 10/14.
  • Start insulin that same day…?

There are still a lot of question marks on that list, but dates are locked-in appointments. From there it’ll just be a matter of filling in the gaps and getting as many questions answered as possible. Considering how much of a challenge it was to get to this point, you better believe I’m going to maximize every minute I have with these folks.

One particular aspect of this process that has had a surprising impact on my diabetes, already, is the process of charting. Everything.

The t:slim, and I assume most insulin pumps, have a lot of programmable settings such as basal rates, insulin correction factors, insulin:carb ratios, and so on. In order to get the most accurate settings, I (we) need to have a reliable baseline of data to work with to start things off. I know the settings I put into my pump on Day 1 will not be the same as Day 100, tweaks will likely be made as the process of controlling diabetes is fluid, albeit fickle. But if I’m going to have the best possible experience from the start, there needs to be a lot of data to build a solid foundation for my pumping experience.

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Connections

In light of some of the conversation happening on and around My Diabetes Secret, Cherise decided to use the platform she built to address some of the topics presented without giving an opportunity for the negativity to invade the weekly tweetchat.

One afternoon a car pulled up next to me and the driver rolled down his window gesturing to get my attention. He was holding up a small electronic device that turned out to be a Medtronic insulin pump. He wanted to say hello after seeing my license plate.

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Just Talking with Dr. Korey Hood

This week I’m joined by Dr. Korey Hood and a conversation about his diabetes diagnosis, his interest in the psychology of adolescents with diabetes, his journey to UCSF, and his new position at Stanford University. There’s also some talk about planning American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions, Children With Diabetes Friends For Life conference, and Dancing with the Stars. Enjoy.

Dr. Hood lurks on Twitter at @koreykhood and can be reached via email at kkhood at stanford dot edu.

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What You Make Of It

I had a lot of thoughts about this comment. I asked Twitter for feedback and got some good responses there. I also shared this on Facebook and got some good feedback there as well. I felt like writing more, but then Dayle and Kerri said all I wanted to say. So you should just read what they wrote.

Finally, I would urge anyone blogging for recognition to consider if a blog is really the right outlet for their goals/needs. Blogging is a form of sharing what it is you want to say. It’s not necessarily a platform for making people pay attention. That’s their choice. If your words or your way of changing the world resonates with other people and is valuable to them, they will listen. And that’s what it should be about – not conferences or freebies.

Defining the DOC: Why Do We Blog? – Imperfect Pancreas

Also

I started this site because I wanted to find some kindred spirits.  And that’s the reason I continue to write, and to try and connect.  It keeps the loneliness of chronic illness at bay and makes doing this diabetes maintenance thing easier.  Even though so many healthcare professionals think that my A1C is the most important marker of my success as a person with diabetes, I think my happiness is, and connecting with my PWD peers keeps me happy.

You Are HERE. – Six Until Me

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About That HONcode Pledge

Keen observers may notice an update to the sidebar as of this past weekend as a result of an effort I started a few months ago. I received notification that my blog is now fully HONcode compliant, and now I get a fancy widget indicating said compliance. In the grand scheme of things, this won’t necessarily change the content of what I write on a day-to-day basis. As I’ve always maintained, I’m not a medical professional and I’m not here to give you medical advice on how to live your life with diabetes. What I will continue to do is offer my own perspective on my own diabetes with the utmost transparency.

I could go through each of the principles of the HONcode and elaborate on how I will uphold each bullet point. That when appropriate disclose any funding I receive as a result of these efforts, that I will cite any and all sources related to information from someone much smarter than me (namely, everyone), that I’m sharing my life with diabetes to complement the information you gather on your own, not replace it. That if you ever needed to contact me, and Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+, or whatever other social network I inhabit aren’t enough, there’s a link to email chris at tobesugarfree dot com in the header right there for you. But that’s not really necessary, is it? You can trust me.

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Patient Health Survey

Through a series of unfortunate miscommunications between me, my local Tandem Diabetes representative, my endocrinologist, and a diabetes education center, my journey with an insulin pump has been significantly delayed. Up until this past Monday, I had been assured that the only training I needed prior to pumping insulin would be from my Tandem representative. The morning of my hypothetical appointment with the rep, less than 30 minutes away from beginning to program my basal rates, I received a phone call from my rep saying that my appointment with the diabetes education center had to come first, that their “pump start” class was mandatory for my endocrinologist’s patients that are new to pumping, and I would need to follow up with them on the necessary paperwork.

Heartbreak.

As of this blog post’s publishing, my insulin pump is sitting in its original box, buried in our closet of diabetes supplies behind boxes of insulin pen needles I can’t wait to leave behind.

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About Medicine X 2014 – Day 3

We made it to the last day of tweets. Here’s the Storify post of my comments along with some shots from the official Medicine X Flickr account. As usual, some of my favorite moments are highlighted below.

Go Kim, Go!  Continue reading