Wednesday, 5 October 2011

An update: Decision made, and the Perfect gift for a Geek

It's about time I updated my blog.
I've been trying for a while now, but I never seem to be able to sit down and bash out a whole post the way I want, and to be able to share everything I want that's on my mind. That pesky thing called time, crazy schedules, and that thing about falling asleep at my desk when i finally squeeze in a moment to try write, after I've gotten through all the other stuff I need to do that day, have made blogging a bit tricky for me lately..
So here's me trying out a new strategy to see if it works: shorter posts, probably less depth and detail (aargh. But I like details :/)ok, fewer details, and I'm gonna try bash them out in brief moments that I have in the middle of everything else. Like this post, written while sitting in the tissue culture lab, waiting for the centrifuge to finish spinning so I can carry on with the next step of washing my supervisor's blood, and then waiting for reagents to thaw  ( enough detail? Maybe just enough to be cryptic ;P ) it helps that I get to do this on my brand spanking new and oh so pretty and shiny iPad :)

So, some brief things ( a list!...type thing.. Does two points count as a list?)

1) I'm a  huge huge geek. I'm a lab geek, an art/ photography/ anything visual geek, a book geek, and a science and techno geek. So it shouldn't be too hard to picture the huge geeky smile I had one my face the whole of Friday evening (and the whole weekend, and whenever I think about it, like now) when I was given a beautifully sleek and sexy black iPad2, preloaded with a bunch of useful and awesome science apps, journal readers and lab -assistant apps, photography and photojournalism apps, reading apps, and some health and diabetes apps. And some web comic apps, because what's a geek without xkcd? This is such such such an awesome gift, I'm instantly attached to it and working out how to integrate it into my daily workings, to feed my productivity, and my geeky brain. I love it. And the amazingly thoughtful, supportive and *ahem* spontaneous geek who gave it to me :)

2) Decision made: I've chosen my pump. Actually I chose it three weeks ago, but y'know (see above comment on lack of time to keep thins blog updated). So, after trying out the accucheck spirit pump, and the glucometer/remote/bolus calculator for the combo pump for a few weeks (the big "NOT FOR HUMAN USE" on the combo pump they lent me was a bit of a deterrent for actually using the whole combo pump system), I was able to test drive the medtronic veo pump (only the pump, not the sensors, so no cgms or lgs for me to try) for about a month. I do still want to post a detailed comparison between the two systems, mostly because my admittedly not-so- in-depth googling sessions weren't able to turn anything recent or with the information I wanted. In the meantime I'll just say that as pretty as the remote for the combo pump is, the fact that the veo offers the cgms integrated with it kinda made this one a no- brainer for me. Add in the fact that i also get the security of low glucose suspend, and that I actually just like the menus and set up for the medtronic pump, and, well, I'm going with the veo. Woop! I'm excited :)
2.2?) My medical aid continues to amaze me. The only paperwork I've had to deal with has been one form for medtronic, with my medical aid details, my a dress and what colour our pump I want, and a form to the postal pharmacy with my details. No letters,  no justifications or motivations, no requests for payment, nothing. And they're covering everything! Ok, well, not everything- i have a copayment of 4% for the pump and transmitter *gasp*, and they're covering the infusion sets and sensors each month. Compared to the paper trail I had to run through just to get my old medical aid to cover half my insulin?  This is awesome.

I've got an appointment for this Friday morning to get my pump and the cgm sensors and transmitter set up. We get the elite sensors here, much to my relief. I curious/ nervous/ excited to see how cgm goes.


  1. They are covering sensor each month - that is awesome! What med aid? Mine covers all my pump consumables every month. I do not wear sensors every day (only every few months), and those they have paid for. I cannot (according to what I heard) get both the pump consumables AND sensors from the same "fund" the medical aid uses to fund these, as one would apparently run out at some point (there is some limit on it). I have had absolutely no issues with pump supplies though, delivered every month on time, with no co-payment ever. With the CGMS sensors I order when I need.

    I connected the CGM last night again actually, but was frustrated with alarms keeping me awake half the night. It constantly told me I was at 20, which I wasn't. They can be frustrating at times, but great for seeing trends and doing serious basal testing (which I am just struggling to get around to do....)

  2. Sweets- I'm with discovery. Admittedly on one of the top plans, comprehensive, which means I fork out a quarter of my not-very-big salary to them each month. But with everything they're covering, they're more than paying me back! I have no idea what fund all my consumables and sensors are coming out of- honestly, with everything working just as it is, I'm too scared to ask questions incase I alert them to the fact that they're paying for too much and they suddenly change their minds about all the approvals ;P

    The sensors are taking some getting used too- the only alert I have on for now is the low glucose suspend- and that kept waking me up in the small hours of this morning telling me I was low when I was a beautiful 5.something. Not cool on a Saturday :/ I'll give myself a chance to get more used to the sensors before I try another round of basal testing...

  3. Then we are on the same plan :) I have never called to ask them anything regarding how much is in fact covered for the same reasons. I am getting my pump consumables from Medipost and have never had any issues with them at all. Like I said, sensors I get as needed and have not had problems with it so far. I am way to nervous to put it on permanently, as I am sure I will run out, especially after hearing that comment from one of the reps recently!

    The sensors do take some time getting used to, and I do not really trust them in any case. My last one was a miserable failure :(. I am in desperate need of proper basal checking - but I hate doing it so much! So now need to arrange for another box of sensors and can try to get going again.

    I also heard that some people get varying levels of accuracy with the sensors depending on the site they use. Quite interesting actually. I find again that the first day is the worst in terms of accuracy, after which it tends to get a little better. Also found that it is most accurate when you are stable, and within a good range - like 5.6. But I guess it will get better as they improve them.

    I tend to switch of the alerts. I generally don't have hypo-unawareness (just hypo-confusion sometimes haha), and the alerts, especially when false, is quite a pain at night.

    Connecting the CGMS does get a big much for me at times, just feels like too much diabetes (info) too much of the time. And I tend to overreact at the things I see - it was hard for (and still is) to just use it to see trends, rather than act on things immediately and all the time.

    Good luck!