Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Problem with Patch Pumps

They're sleek, for a medical device. They're stylish, for a medical device. They bring the diabetics who take insulin freedom from injections and obtrusive pump tubing. You can check your blood glucose and wirelessly control your pump from one PDA-like doohickey. (Yes, that's a technical term there.)

And they are, at this point, utterly pointless for me to consider. Patch pumps might be all the rage, thanks to famous customers like Nick Jonas, but this dorky diabetic is presently not a fan. Now, don't get me wrong. Everyone's insulin needs are different, and coming up with pumps that hold tiny amounts of insulin that dose miniscule, super-accurate amounts is certainly a very important medical device development. However, patch pumps leave diabetics like me out in the dust, unless we want to refill every single day.

I take what some people consider to be a lot of insulin. My low basal rate during the day is 2.8 u/hr. Now, granted there's not a lot of change during the course of 24 hours from that rate, but some people are just completely flabbergasted to find out what my daily intake is, as if that's a bad thing. I just call it what I need to stay alive and healthy. If you want to criticize me for how much insulin I'm taking, I'm sorry, but you're kind of a dick. Believe me, I wish I could take a couple measly units to cover a meal. I'd save money on insulin!

So I was utterly thrilled at the promise of something I saw over at DiabetesMine last week: the Picosulin Pump/Patch! At last, somebody is considering a patch pump which will be discreet, stylish (for a medical device) and will hold 3ml of insulin at a time! What a completely brill idea! I love the fact that somebody is working on a device which will give me options. Ever since Smiths Medical announced that they were bowing out from the diabetes business, I've been heartbroken, because when I get my next pump, I won't have choices. The only pump company that makes a 3ml pump that's worth a hoot, in my opinion, is Minimed. And I've had Minimed before. I wasn't unhappy, but their pump didn't offer the customization I really needed. Their bolus cap was too low for me.

I would love to see further development by Picosulin. In fact, if you visit their website, they have a survey you can take to tell them what you want in a pump. Everything I just told you, I also told them. (Maybe in a few less words, but the idea is the same.)

Maybe one day, there will be a patch pump that could work well for me. Then I can be just as hip as one of the Jo-Bros.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy D-Blog Day to the Diabetes Blog-o-verse!

So here it is, folks. It's D-Blog Day, that creatively invented holiday we diabetes bloggers celebrate with empowerment, bittersweetness, and fond memories of the first time we found, read, commented on and/or started a diabetes blog. I think so many of us came online searching for information or just someone who had a voice similar to ours, and instead we found a huge wealth of friendship, support, and stories that tell us we're not alone. We've all found that our daily struggles, while still somewhat unique, are not the misunderstood mysteries of days past. As diabetes bloggers and diabetes blog readers, we've all found a home here in the vast wilderness of the World Wide Web. Doesn't it feel great?

Here's to the future of d-blogs, their authors, their readers, the good they can do.

This coming Saturday is World Diabetes Day, and at the World Diabetes Day in Philadelphia event, I will be proud to host an information table on online support and resources for everyone affected by diabetes. While I've never been shy about performing or hosting events in public, I'm a little nervous about this one. People will be looking at me as an expert! Whoa! So, I have to thank everyone out there in the DiabetesOC for making this possible for me. The support, friendship and love I find through D-Blogs and communities is something I want to share with everyone now. And I will. And I can't wait to post some pictures from the event after it happens.

I believe that a blog can be a great tool for both empowerment and emotional outlet, and I'm so happy that I started reading DiabetesMine and SixUntilMe back in 2006, because I realized that I don't have to let diabetes run my life. Yet, when I feel like diabetes is trying to become some kind of dictatorship in my body, I can blog about it, feel better, get the virtual hugs I need. I can even learn something.

I can't really say for certain that the DiabetesOC has saved my life, but it has certainly made this life with diabetes feel a lot easier and more rewarding to live! Happy D-Blog Day to my fellow bloggers, readers, and lurkers!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Diabetes Social Networking for Dummies?

Hello readers and friends!

Just a quick post/call for help today. This year, on World Diabetes Day, I will be [wo]manning an information table at the Philadelphia WDD event, all about online support for people with diabetes. This means visitors will receive handouts and information on diabetes websites, blogs, resources, etc.

Just because many of us know where all the good stuff is online doesn't mean it's easy to find for everybody. There are a lot of diabetes sites out there, some awesome, some less-than-stellar. I want to be able to direct people to the good ones!

This is where you can help play a part in my display. Imagine for a moment you are searching for diabetes websites and resources for the first time. What are some of your picks for diabetes sites, social networks, and blogs for those who are DiabetesOC beginners? What would you recommend for a Type 1? A Type 2? A parent of a child with diabetes? A child or teen with diabetes?

Also, who are the other bloggers and diabetes activists in the greater Philadelphia area? Thinking maybe a list of the locals would appeal to passersby as well.

Your comments are really, really appreciated! And if you want to mention your own blog, I won't judge you, but if you feel self conscious about saying "Dorkabetic is the best diabetes blog ever" or what have you, anonymous comments are cool.

Thank you so much, friends!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One for the Ladies: Diabetes, Meet Auntie Flo.

(Author's Note: All the fellas out there are encouraged to read this post, but I do not expect you to understand. Or by all means, turn away if you don't care. However, if you have a lady friend, spouse or female relative with diabetes, maybe you want to check this out, and the comments that are guaranteed to follow!)

A monthly visitor. A little friend. Aunt Flo's in town. A gift from Mother Nature. The curse. The crimson tide. That time of the month. Menstruation. Your period.

Whatever you want to call it, ladies, have you ever noticed it can be tricky business when it comes to The Big D? Some people I know complain about the blood glucose roller coaster they go on. Some people go high. Some people stay low. I always get really low in day 1 then shoot way back up. A blood glucose catapult, if you will.

This makes things tricky the entire almost-week my Aunt Flo is in for a visit. I'm suddenly overly sleepy. Is my BG high? Is it just my hormones wreaking havoc on my energy levels? I never know. Peeing more often. Having no energy. Being really hungry. It seems like half the symptoms that go along with having your period are also symptoms of high blood sugar, and I am normally plagued by both at the same time. Ugh.

Let's not even talk about the food cravings. No, wait. Let's. That's what this blog is for, right? Discussions? I am one of those women who wants salty things followed by sweet things followed by more salty things followed by more sweet things. I think the absolute worst part of having my period is that not only do I get cravings, but I'm also just hungry all the freaking time. I'll eat a big dinner, then an hour later I want a snack. Then after that I might consider another snack.

Now I am wondering if my high that-time-o'-the-month blood sugar levels are related to my constant snacking. I'm sure the answer is probably yes, somewhat. I seem to be high regardless of my snack intake. You do not want to get between me and my food right now. I'm crabby enough as-is, but if you will be prying this here miniature Mr. Goodbar from my cold, dead hands. Look, I'm even bolusing for it!

Ladies, what kinds of issues do you have once a month? Let's commiserate!