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Today is my final “you just started wearing an insulin pump for the first time” class/appointment/whatever. Based on past experiences, taking anything the CDE at this education center has to say to heart will not be sufficient for my diabetes management needs. This person, while objectively qualified, has not instilled any confidence in their ability to assess my data, or make recommendations on improving my insulin pump settings. I’ve learned that hearing the phrase “maybe we’ll try this” one-two many times can have that effect on me. Am I being unreasonable? Between the two face-to-face appointments and the daily follow up calls after I started pumping insulin, I feel like I’ve given them enough of an opportunity to prove themselves.

After today, the plan of action is to monitor my data on my own, consult supplementary literature, and make incremental adjustments over the next weeks and months until my scheduled appointment with my proper-CDE. I know fine tuning the settings on my pump will take time, lucky for all of us, I’ve got plenty of that to give.

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Pumping Ain’t Easy

I know, I’m burning this post title awfully early in the grand timeline of my wearing an insulin pump, but enough has happened already – in just 48 hours – that I’m going for it.

I’ve had an eventful start.

  • My first night on a pump, we had pizza for dinner – like you do – celebrating my ability to program a legitimate extended bolus.
  • Somewhere in the process of living my life, my infusion set went wonky.
  • Despite the wonk, corrections had some effect. Which (incorrectly) led me to think my pump settings were off. Because I would know things were wrong after my first-ever 20-hours wearing this thing.
  • After continued blood glucose tests, failed corrections, and general frustration, I did a full site change. Infusion set, insulin cartridge, everything.
  • The next 12 hours involved staring at my iPad (monitoring my Nightscout site) as the number slowly fell back into range.

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How Many ‘Disappointed’ Gifs Can I Put Into One Blog Post?

Today marked another important step on my path to pumping insulin: my “Pump Start” class. After the missed calls, returned calls, triple-verifying that this was the next step in the process, the quadruple-checking that I still have the right order of operations to get me to the point of everyone in my medical team recognizing that I’m ready to put insulin in one of these t:slim cartridges – according to their standards. Today was the day. And then…

Image (linked) via giphy.com

Here’s how the first 20 seconds of my appointment went down:

Them: “So we’re going to review your diabetes management today. How many times you’re checking your blood sugar, things like that.”

Me: “My referral says Pump Start, I thought that’s why I was here today.”

Them: “No, this is just an evaluation.”

Image (linked) via giphy.com

Between the disappointment, anger, confusion, and frustration, I’m not sure which emotion the CDE I was meeting with could interpret first, but they were all there.

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Observations After Wearing a t:slim for 24 Hours

Yesterday I started wearing a t:slim insulin pump – my very first insulin pump. Ever. The cartridge is filled with saline, so this isn’t a full-on pumping experience, but enough has happened already that deem this hastily typed blog post worth a few seconds of your time to skim over.

Naturally, thoughts on all of this will continue to develop as my experiences increase and mature, but let’s get started.  Continue reading

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 – Fashion

If you’ll excuse a moment of vanity.

I knew this year would be different. As a member of the ePatient Advisory Board, there would be more attention on what I did and said. Par for the course, I suppose, that increased responsibility means increased visibility means increased responsibility. Ben Parker would be proud. It was with this context that I decided to seriously step my fashion game up for the conference. In 2012 I wore polo shirts and button ups, but I also had a zip-up hoodie on standby. Last year I bought new shirts, in particular for my opening panel that I moderated. But this year I needed something more assertive; something more mature.

Hence…

(This one was selected specifically for my portrait.Continue reading