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Basal Block Update and New Pump

I've been able to successfully complete two basal block studies (for reference), one for breakfast, one for lunch.  Dinner and overnight ones haven't exactly worked out for me, but I continue to work on it and will hopefully have some more luck once I get dialed into my new insulin pump.  But other things at work and happening at home have taken precedence for me.  Those items are explained below.

New Insulin Pump

Back in early June, I had an incident where my insulin pump, had a failure with the piece that holds the reservoir full of insulin in place. (link) This caused a bit of a cascade both with my previous insulin pump (Medtronic Paradigm 723) and new insulin pump.  While I was quickly up for a new insulin pump, I didn't have much of a reason to upgrade since my pump was basically brand new as the one sent to me was updated quite a bit from what I had previously had.

In the end, my insulin pump is another device that I carry with me at all times, it's always there, it's always attached, and it should always work.  When it doesn't work, that's a problem, and it's not as though I can drive down to Best Buy and just pick up a new one, the process is fairly involved and there's no one who does tech reviews of insulin pumps like they do for cell phones or other electronic devices.  When it comes down to it, there are 3 major companies involved in producing insulin pumps.  There's Medtronic which has the Minimed Sector, Johnson & Johnson which has the Animas Sector, and a newer company Tandem.  There are many other companies who produce insulin pumps, but these 3 are the major hitters.  When it comes to insulin pumps, you (meaning the pump user) makes a very difficult and serious decision.  Pump warranties are 4 years long and insurance will not cover a new insulin pump unless your warranty has expired.  All insulin pumps must be approved by the FDA for use as a medical device, and that's why there are not many people in the business of making Insulin Pumps.  The American Diabetes Association does a fairly good job of showing the capabilities of all FDA approved pumps on their website and it's a good starting place, but there are times where you simply don't know how a pump feels when it's actually used day-to-day.  

What I'm saying here is that I made a HUGE decision in the last 3 weeks to switch insulin pump companies, switch abilities of insulin pumps and go with a completely new system.  Sometimes, you decide between comfort and features when you buy a new device.  Same thing happens when you buy a new phone and I found some great parallels when Marques Brownlee released his most recent video.  The same thing happens with cell phones, where they all have plenty of features, but there's no "perfect" phone, there's no dream device available that meets all of the desires of a user.  This is definitely the case with insulin pumps.  There are a few things that go into the options of deciding on a pump and I went with the following criteria:
  • Ability to walk with DexCom Sensors
  • Ability to sync data to an online service
  • Ease of pump use
  • Ruggedness and longevity
With all of these criteria, I finally decided on the Animas Vibe insulin pump, it fulfilled all of the criteria above and my Endocrinologist has worked with the pump and pump vendor. Also, the major reason I wanted a different pump was that I was unable to get good results with the Medtronic CGM sensors and I did not want to continue to carry two devices. When I got my new pump, I immediately saw some of the things that I didn't like about it, but like any new device it takes time to get used to it and sometimes you just have to go with the punches on the new device.  I'm happy with it so far, but there will always be new challenges and soon enough, I'll be right back in the middle of getting a new insulin pump again.

Basal Block Study update

The two basal blocks I've been able to successfully complete were for a breakfast and lunch time.  I noticed a small decrease in glucose over the time of the study, which means my basal rate is too high.  I plan on doing the same tests as well as a supper test and overnight test now that I'm on a different insulin pump.  It has a much faster scroll rate than my previous, which could cause some differences in data to come out.  I'm not sure what all research has been done in the past on the differences, but I really hope to find out here soon. For now, my settings will remain the same and I hope to continue to improve my blood sugars over time.  It's a long process, but it's part of what I have to do as a diabetic.


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