Categories
Insulin Therapy Pump Therapy

Two Must-Have Books for people on Insulin or Pump Therapy

When moving to pump therapy, the idea of basal and bolus and how you use them in tandem does not make a lot of sense at first. There’s little to using long acting insulin such as Lantus than just injecting and letting it do its thing as far as your basal insulin is concerned.

But since your pump uses a short-acting insulin, you have to supply your basal insulin very small doses to mimic a long acting insulin 24 hour dose.

Getting your basal pump settings tuned is the foundation for successful pumping. In most cases you will need more than one basal rate to deal with uneven insulin requirement in the course of the day.”

The following two books have been indispensable books for me as I have tried to set basals, carb ratios, active insulin time etc. When I was first diagnosed, I struggled a lot with severe hypoglycemia.

“Think like a Pancreas” is probably the best book out there for optimizing your pump settings.

But reading Gary Scheiner’s book, “Think like a Pancreas” was just an eye opening experience. (See it on Amazon). This is the first book I would encourage anyone considering pump therapy or having trouble with BG control with their pump to get.

It might be the only book you will need to get up and running. Gary offers a myriad of real life scenarios and chances you’ll find a scenario that fits your case.

But if you want to delve deeper into the intricacies of the Insulin pump therapy, “Pumping Insulin” by John Walsh and Ruth Roberts will do the trick.

Categories
Auto Mode Guardian Sensor Medtronic MiniMed 670G

A year Later – Success with Auto Mode

Exactly a year ago on this day, I met with my diabetes educator for my Medtronic MiniMed 670G training. Two weeks later I started using Auto Mode.

Along the way, I started documenting my journey on ButDoISay, nearly gave up on Auto Mode and certainly drove my endocrinologist crazy by constantly changing my delivery settings.

Her very words during our last appointment were: “Why change something if it ain’t broken”

Since we have a good rapport my answer was “You know, the scientist in me pushes me to fiddle with the settings. Right?!” And she just laughed.

Finally 100%. I took a year but I think am getting there
Time in Range is 91% in the last 7 days

Fittingly, yesterday for the first time I was 100% in Auto Mode and 100% in Target Range. Woohoo! I just can’t believe how the algorithm has learned my sugar basal rhythms in the last one year.

But seriously, the last year was also a very stressful year for me. Our youngest daughter was diagnosed with Autism at the start of 2018 and my life was completely changed. All of a sudden I started noticing all the missed milestones and my schedule was now filled with Autism parent training, speech therapy, and occupational therapy appointments.

However, the most stressful thing for me was not being ready to accept that my daughter was fine in her world and I am the one who needed to change to make sure I gave her the love and support that she needed to navigate around my world.

One thing though I did not have to worry so much about was: Do I have the correct basals set to deal with the stress and emotional roller coaster that came with our daughter’s diagnosis? This is quite liberating and freeing.

AUTO MODE TO THE RESCUE

Through this time, Auto Mode worked like a champ and I can undoubtedly say it has done a better job of adapting to all the stressful events of 2018 than I would have done if it was left to me in Manual Mode.

I no longer have to worry so much about lows when taking my daughters to two separate schools or doing yard work. (I had been diagnosed with uncontrolled severe hypoglycemia in 2013 when I got my first pump. I am also a late onset Type 1)

Despite Auto Mode’s many shortcomings that could keep you awake all night, I am glad that I never gave up.

WITH AUTO MODE PATIENCE IS KEY

This is my advice: If you are thinking of giving up on Auto Mode because of all those highs that you can’t seem to control, just give it time. For me it has taken close to a year to finally get to where I am comfortable with my numbers.

The Auto Mode algorithm seems to be more adaptive than I even thought. And the more data you feed it, the better it will become.

 

Categories
Auto Mode Basal Settings PUMP REVIEW Pump Settings

Shortcomings of the Medtronic MiniMed 670g, Auto Mode and Guardian 3 sensors

From the onset let me say I think the Medtronic MiniMed 670G and the Auto Mode setting are a big leap forward in glucose control for Type 1 diabetes. Closed loop insulin pump technology is the technology of the future. Personally I foresee the insulin pump becoming an install-and-forget type of medical device in the near-future. While in no way perfect, the first iteration of the MiniMed 670G was a great step forward in this direction.

Categories
Basal Settings

For Manual Mode Basal Settings are Everything

Importance of Basal Settings

After nearly giving up on my pump, I found the very popular book by Gary Scheiner, Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin. (Amazon) – I think this is a must-have book for people who want tight control of their glucose numbers.

At this point, I had uncontrolled, severe hypoglycemia. With a new-born baby, this was not just a drag on my life but it was a bit dangerous. I do not know how many gallons of orange juice I drank to counter lows.

I had also not paid attention to the importance of fine-tuning my basals. I was using a single basal which gave me big lows at night and when I was doing practically anything that needed me to expend a little energy.

Since many new pumpers are coming from a combination of short-acting and long-acting insulin injections, the idea of basals is a little foreign as compared to bolusing.

I think educators need to spend a little more time talking about how basals are the foundation of successful pump therapy.