Diabetes Has Terrible Timing

I was going to title this blog post simply: UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But that wouldn’t be very explanatory and would do terrible things to the already weak SEO of my site.

Here’s the story:

I’m in charge of the monthly events for the professional organization whose board I sit on. I was hosting the summer networking event one evening. I was at the bar having just been served the Pub Exclusive: Great Lakes Buckin’ Mule Moscow Mule Ale and I pulled out my PDM to take a bolus for the beer and some food. The screen flashed on and then straight to a PDM error message to call customer service.

I knew the PDM would need reset, but was wondering if I could delay a bolus so I glanced at my Dexcom app on my phone. It was apparently the perfect time for a sensor error.

Let’s recap real quick: I’m running an event, I can’t bolus from my insulin pump, I can’t read my CGM and because of the PDM error I have no glucose meter either.

I excuse myself and dig in my diabetes bag for a syringe to take a bolus from my insulin vial. I find no syringes in my bag and have no idea why. So I go to the quietest place I can find (the event was in the bar of a hotel restaurant) and even then it was loud, but I called OmniPod customer service anyway. I spent 20 minutes of the phone with a sympathetic rep who took the information and tried to walk me through a reset using a “paperclip,” since I didn’t have a paperclip or safety pin or anything, I used my earring. The PDM screen blinked off, it went to the restart screen, blinked off again, restart screen, off, restart, off, restart… rinse repeat. We tried the earring reset again. Same result. We removed the batteries, waited, replaced them, and same result. That’s when the rep pronounced my PDM dead. “Okay, I’ll take shots until tomorrow and they’ll overnight me a new one,” I thought.

“Rachel, our records show that your PDM is out of warranty. We won’t be able to replace it, you’ll need to order a new one.”

I deflated. I had forgotten that I willfully allowed myself to run out of warranty in December in the vain hope that OmniPod would be releasing a closed-loop system. I had attempted to get an OmniPod DASH in order to do a review for DiabetesMine, but I couldn’t get my hands on one. It’s a long story.

“Do you have another form of insulin delivery?” He asked me. To which my automatic response was, “Yes.”

But did I? Continue reading

I Smell Insulin

“Hey, hey, wake up,” Brad whispered, gently shaking me. “Come on, wake up.”

My eyelids felt glued shut and my head was heavy with sleep. It’s gotta be 3 in the morning, why is he waking me up? I finally got one eyelid to open and pulled my face barely out of my pillow and groggily asked, “What?”

“I smell insulin and I know your blood sugar is high,” he said. “Do you need to change your pod?” I swear it took me a good 30 seconds to process this.

Continue reading

New Job – Thanks Diabetes

A new “Are you diabetic?”

The girl I’d just met a couple of hours before on the dock of our rented lake house stepped just inside the door of my bedroom as I unpacked my duffel bag. I, along with 8 other girls, was spending the weekend at a lake in upstate New York to celebrate the upcoming wedding of our friend. I felt a little like an outsider in the group because I only really knew the bride and maid of honor before the trip. I’d met a couple of the other girls before and the rest were strangers.

My Dexcom sensor peeked out of the leg of my shorts from its site on my thigh. “Yes,” I responded simply.

“So do you wear a Dexcom?” she asked.  Continue reading

Only In Your (Weird Diabetes) Dreams

I have a history of very vivid and weird dreams. I’ve heard of others with diabetes having strange diabetes dreams and even stranger dreams when a low blood sugar is involved. In more than 6 years with type 1 diabetes, I hadn’t experienced a diabetes dream… until the other night.

I woke around 2:00 a.m. to my Dexcom alarming low, so I checked my blood sugar and it was 66 mg/dL. A little low, so I treated with a marshmallow from the bag on my nightstand (don’t judge what you don’t understand) and ended up slipping back into sleep. I can’t remember everything about the dream I had next, but here’s what I do remember… Continue reading

Tech-ed Out

So my diabetes gadgets were Out of Warranty and I had planned to keep it that way as I wait for better technology. Hope draws closer as people are actually being enrolled in the first tubeless artificial pancreas trials (wish one of the clinics were here in Cleveland!). But I’m halfway back under a warranty.

My Dexcom gave the dreaded, “transmitter battery low, reorder soon” message. So I called my medical supply company. After a slightly frustrating conversation where I had to repeat myself four times and spell the word “low” the lady said she’d get the paperwork in for me to get a new Dexcom G4 system. “Since I’m getting a whole new system, let’s put in paperwork for the Dexcom G5 please.” (Because who wants new-old technology?)

She put in the order and I anticipated full transmitter battery death was imminent and prepared to fly blind for a week or so without my CGM. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

I got the call that I expected from the medical supply company. Continue reading