Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Grumblings, and a Drawing on Needle Length

Minimed says that I only get four sensors with the guardian. That means that the guardian actually costs 760 dollars more than the navigator does.
I am wearing a small patch of IV3000 on my left arm, to see if I have an allergic reaction to it. I'm not looking at the arm, but since I don't feel anything, either it fell off or so far so good.

I was doing a shot on Saturday in front of another diabetic and she commented on how short my needles are (5mm). She says that that length is too painful for her, and said that it was maybe because I'm skinnier. I think though, that it has more to do with how thin my skin is (THIN!). If she were injecting, say, her forearm, she'd probably prefer the short needles. This is a graphic I did on the wisdom of picking the right length of needles. To be honest, most people have more fat than this in most spots that they'd inject.
Intradermal injections, which I have accidentally done when I've had too much angle going in, can cause a bump if the volume of the injected liquid is great enough and close enough to the surface. It leaks into the fat slowly, and it hurts for as long as the fluid remains there to irritate the pain receptors in the skin. OUCH!
Intramuscular injections can be as painless as subcutaneous ones, but they're often not. It's pretty easy to irritate a muscle.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Guardian Arrived

A little past noon, as I was getting ready to go to work and saying goodbye to my mother, the doorbell rang. I ran to buzz, then zoomed down the stairs, not quite colliding with a fedex dude. I started to ask him if it was my minimed guardian, then saw the minimed symbol and flourish on the box, and answered my own question. The fedex dude said he'd come with me for my mother to sign it, but I said I'd sign for it myself- my name on the box, wasn't it? I guess I'm still not looking my age. Nineteen and a half years old as of yesterday.

So I opened the box to look at the contents. There was a lot in there. Unfortunately, there were only four sensors. I was told that I'd be getting ten. I thought I must have figured wrong, but my mother said I should call Minimed, so I did. The customer service lady said that she knew that ten should've shipped with the Navigator, but that she wasn't sure about the guardian. She had me leave a voicemail for the same dude who I'd called more than a dozen times without reaching when I was figuring costs. I hope I get another six sensors. I already spent a goodly chunk of money and I was figuring on getting ten sensors. Not four!

Three other surprises in the box: I got ten things of IV3000, which I didn't know I was getting, and which suggests I was supposed to get ten sensors, 'cause a plain IV3000's not useful. I also got an operating manual that says it goes with the Navigator, which isn't what I got. I also got two batteries, which wasn't a very big surprise, though a nice one.

I was late for work.

Monday, April 21, 2008

three Things I've Learned

I'm still fairly new; less than two years into diagnosis. But I'm a lot farther and I've moved beyond the basics. Here are some things I didn't even used to know were there to ask about.

1. Carbohydrates are not the only things that you can eat that will raise your blood sugar. It is common for protein to be converted to sugars and to them raise your blood sugar sometime after carbohydrates will. Having lentils and beans for supper might raise your blood sugar a few hours later (because of the protein).
In addition, some substances, such as caffeine, may give you insulin resistance.
And a minority of diabetics, including myself, experience dramatic rises in blood sugar after consuming some artificial sweeteners.

2. Your diabtes really and truly does vary. Even though somebody else has your same type of diabetes, xe definitely does not have your same body.

3. Your meters are not very accurate, even when they're consistant. That's a fact of diabetes life. You can improve the accuracy of your meter, but it will still be inaccurate.


My Guardian shipped today. It's still in California.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Teeth Filled

I got three fillings done on Wednesday. This appointment went way better than the first one. It bordered on fun, even. The needle used for the local anesthetic is 27G, and the dentist used a topical before injecting, so I didn't feel much- mostly the suction of it coming out bugged me. I got two shots of the painkiller since I could still feel a lot after the first- as far as I could tell the second one didn't really make a difference. I felt a fair amount of pain when the cavities were being scraped out (at the most acute it was like having a shot with a 22G needle), and the cotton in my mouth didn't feel so great either, but overall I was really really sleepy and that prevented me from feeling much. Local anesthetics are not supposed to cause sleepiness and I'm not sure if they did in my case or if that was a coincidence.
My bloodsugar had been dropping before the fillings and anesthetic, and continued to drop afterwards; as far as I can tell the painkiller had no effect on my insulin sensitivity.
One thing I hadn't realized was that the dentist wouldn't want me to be eating afterwards, and my stuff to treat hypos all needed some chewing. As I was hypo at the end of the fillings, the dentist gave me a lemonade juice box (25 grams of carbohydrate of which none were fiber) and that kept my blood sugar up until the anesthetic had largely worn off. During the filling, my lip and tongue both got cut a little bit, and my gums are still a teensy bit sore, but mostly it's all better. Yay!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Getting a Guardian

It's decided: I am going to get a minimed guardian! I'm buying it as a cash item, in minimed lingo, meaning that we won't be applying for insurance aid. That's going to be 1339$ for startup costs that include one box of ten sensors. I figure I'll wear one sensor per month; if each sensor lasts about a week, then I'll be fairly part time on the sensor.
I had been thinking about the dexcom, and then I realized a few things. One, the dexcom doesn't allow you to calibrate by manually entering a blood sugar value; you can't use any old blood sugar meter. My insurance will only pay for test strips on the Accu Chek line of meters and adding in the cost of getting test strips for the one touch meant that the dex suddenly cost a lot more. Then I also realized that most people get more than the FDA approved 3 days from a guardian sensor, and that with that factored in, the Guardian sensors are much cheaper than the Dexcom ones. So I called Minimed, talked to somebody named Sarah about my questions on Wednesday, called her back on Thursday to say, Yes, that's what I want to do.
I told Sarah on the phone at Minimed that I'd had a reaction to the iports and asked about what if I have one to the guardian. She says that if it was a reaction to the adhesive (and it was- question is was it ONLY to the adhesive) then we can change the adhesives. But if it was a reaction to the plastic cannula, then we're out of luck. Minimed will take the transmitter and monitor back and reimburse me about 900 dollars if that happens.
I've transferred the money into my checking account, haven't got the details finalized, assume it will be another 2-3 weeks before I actually get the guardian.