Tuesday, 23 June 2015

My beloved CGM (Enlite Sensors)!

Sometimes, life is just too full on don't you think?

I've had a fair few exams recently, including three very important exams tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. (Predictive grades for Sixth Form! Eek!) So I haven't had a great deal of time to do a blog post so this is only a quick one, and I'm hoping things will die down and become less homework-y next week!

I was reminded last week, exactly how fabulous the CGM is. A sensor that I had in for quite a while stopped working early on in the day, so I didn't have a CGM for most of that day, and I'd put a new one in (I can now say I can put my own Enlite Sensor in, set up and insertion!!) that evening but we can never get it to work for the first 12-24 hours. So for approximately 2 days I went minus the sensor. Not good. At all. I'm used to relying on the high and low alerts, so I forgot that I didn't have a sensor in and just tested my usual amount, which isn't enough for me when I'm without a sensor. So I dropped to 2.8 three times. Including in the middle of the night. If I had had a sensor in, it would've either prevented the low, or at least let me know when I reached the 3s. I also climbed to 11 a few times, and for me this is really out of control blood sugars especially as it was a few times these drops and spikes occurred.

This has happened before, lots of times without my CGM, for instance a few months ago I didn't have one in and I was stood next to my mum at a train station having just gone across a road to the car on my own, thought I was maybe in the 4s, or heading that way so I tested. 2.2.

It just seems that I cannot control my blood sugars when I'm sensorless! The CHI probably doesn't help with the whole no liver releasing sugar backup, and my unreliable symptoms of both highs and lows aren't helpful either. I have such a busy life (it's so easy to just look at the Sensor Glucose, knowing it is accurate than test 12 or more times a day) that I just REALLY REALLY need my CGM. Whoever invented them was a genius!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Medtronic Bloggers and Advocacy Gossip Day:)

I've had a very interesting day today. I was dragged along (by my mum) to a type 1 diabetes bloggers and advocates meeting at Medtronic, in Watford. When I say dragged along, I mean, I eagerly followed her. Medtronic get ideas and/or feedback from us about various projects or products, and in exchange they tell us what their next steps are, and what the latest news is in the Medtronic (pump therapy) World. And oh my word was it exciting to hear what will be coming!

Also invited to the meeting were:

@everydayupsdwns
Little D (can't find a Twitter account)
@LwSweetpea88
And other t1d advocates and a couple of company representatives (all diabetic, or a parent of a diabetic) (and mostly adults with the exception of two teens including myself) 
Ninjabetic, The GrumpyPumper and The Tangerine Diabetic all also usually go but weren't there today. 

Did you know that the UK only has UNDER 10% (about 8 or 9 % to be precise) of type 1 diabetic patients on a pump?!?! It is in the same percentage category as places such as Serbia, Kazakstan and Russia! Whereas places such as Italy, Hungary, France and Canada have 10 to 20 % on pumps? Surely we should be alongside these country's statistics?! 

But, thankfully, that was the only disheartening aspect of today. However, the next thing I learnt today pushed that disappointing fact very far from my mind. They are developing a system (there is absolutely no timeline on this) called MiniMed Connect. And it is exactly what the name says, the MiniMed platform connecting.... WITH A PHONE. An iPhone, (perfect for me then!) with the pump and CGM being seen on the phone screen. The user would still have the pump, and use it whenever, but your pump would have this little transmitter-y thingy kept near it which would basically just allow the phone to show the pump screen using a cloud or something. I don't understand the technical business, but I understand the !!!PUMP BEING ON AN IPHONE!!! part. It would be able to be transmitted to up to 5 devices, so yours and for instance, your mum's. 

This is working in America, or being trialled, I'm not sure what was said exactly, but it only works with American pumps so sadly it can't be bought in America and brought to the UK by a family member or someone similar:(  The system would work with the 640G, but not the Veo. There's a press release somewhere about it, if I find it I'll link to it. It'll have more details than I can give you. 

Medtronic will also be setting up a Facebook page (finally!), and we were asked to write down ideas about what they could post, link to and make the Facebook page about. We were each assigned to one of the 5 subjects, me being assigned to 'Teenagers' with the other teen there (17).

Some of the things we put were:

- Exams and managing stress, revision and blood sugars. What is available equipment and resources wise. Such as CGM, even if it is self funded for the exam period, or having a seperate room. 

- Social, how to explain and talk about diabetes and pumps to friends, boyfriends/girlfriends. 

- Puberty, parties, alcohol, sex and drugs. 

- Driving

- An introduction to diabetes for newly diagnosed teenagers (there seemed to be children and adults but a gap where teenagers help and guidance would be, in the other teen's area)

- Case studies, real people coping with real, actually did happen, diabetes crisises i.e. Being on stage and having a low, how it was dealt with. 

(There was one more, but I can't remember it now.)
Oh and I mentioned funny memes and pictures, to keep things light on the future Facebook page ! 

The other topics were pregnancy, hypoglycaemia, parents and guardians and a random column for interesting topics. 

We then had a guest speaker who spoke about percurement (who had been dressed like us in the morning sessions, mixed with us and was genuinely type 1 diabetic but had actually been disguised as he was actually the guest speaker!) 

I can't talk about what he said at all, as I understood barely any of it! I do know that it was about where the funding for pumps and CGMs came from and who makes all the decisions about who has them or not. The bits that I could understand were very interesting. 

(I know this next but seems a bit random, but I wanted to mention it somewhere in this post and here is as good as any a place!)

I like Medtronic as a pump company a lot. Smartguard, customer service, support, actual products.... I personally feel as if you simply can't beat them. I do wish they'd bring out a tubeless pump or at least a fully functioning remote control, but that, as of yet, hasn't been brought out, (I'm praying that they're developing or at least thinking about developing one!!!). 

Overall, it was an excellent day and I can't wait until the next meeting! I sincerely hope I'm invited again. I really look forward to the future of pump technology too!!!!!!

(Oh and disclaimer: I wasn't asked by anyone to say anything I have in this blog post.)


(Look how amazing their latest pump is!!!! And sensor!!!! COMBINED!!!)





Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Italian afterthoughts

I actually managed to survive the week in Italy, and come home in one piece! That in itself is an achievement me thinks. 

It turned out to be a very good week, and I definitely don't regret going. The teachers were absolutely brilliant too, especially the two female ones! Every single night they woke up, or stayed up until 11 for me to text them my sugars. And then at 2 or 3 depending what I'd decided at 11 (and that depended on my number and arrows on my CGM at previous test) they would wake up and wait for me to text them. The agreement was if I didn't text within 15 minutes, they had to knock on my door. That unfortunately did have to happen once, on the first night in the hotel because at 4:30am (the first night I tested once more after my 2 am test because I'd hypoed in the evening due to the sudden change of temperature from country to country, so was t sure what on earth my bloods we're going to do!) I ended up only semi waking up to my alarm, turned it off, then when the teachers texted me, twice (whoops!), I'd turned them off too and then finally actually woken up. Once fully awake I totally forgot I had heard an alarm AND texts! So the knock on my door 5 minutes later certainly surprised me. 

The only other overnight blip was on the final night when my phone decided it wouldn't send texts anymore. Helpful. So at 11pm I told the teachers this problem, and eventually agreed for me to knock on their door at 2/3am. And at that time I bumped into them in the corridor! (The tow of them prefered to both wake up each time, I think they felt more confident like that). So overnights went pretty well! I had no highs OR lows in the night, at all!

But what I couldn't have done the week without, or at least it would've been a whole lot harder, was my CGM. Oh my gosh the amount of times I looked at it, was unbelievable! I was constantly checking what direction I was going, and what I should do insulin wise. It was utterly brilliant, all week. This was the MiniMed 640G Enlite Sensor. I've completely re-fallen in love with it again! Even more so now that I can insert it myself! (In my thigh is my prefered spot). 

I did have a few lows throughout the week, but my lowest was 2.9, so not terrible. And it couldn't have averaged out at more than 2 per day, maximum. And I had the grand total of perhaps 2 or 3 high blood sugars, 2 of them being in the first 24hrs, on the coach journey. And they all came down quickly and easily. My blood sugars, in conclusion, were a success!

We spent three days in Italy in total, and two either side travelling. We did 4 drama workshops, all of which were excellent fun. We did shopping and the Scalla Opera House (and my group plus 2 teachers headed for McDonald's instead of eating our packed lunch! Our group ((the rest of the time we stayed as one big school group, only on the middle day did we split into three groups for ease of shopping)) was the best as we went in the most shops and were given the most, although supervised, freedom!) in Milan and we did Romeo and Julie's balcony (on which two of my friends kissed..... ((Both male, and best mates, not dating or loving in any way, shape or form!)) and I witnessed a proposal in front of the love notes section of the wall! Very romantic and sweet!) and the colosseum (oh my word was it embarrassing whe we had to walk out early, but oh my it is such an amazing building to sit in, or is 'in' the right word, due to it having no roof?!). Even the almost 24hour coach journey wasn't too bad, just sleeping was damn near impossible. 

I would definitely recommend Italy, I would go back! But only go provided that you take A LOT of sun lotion!!:):)

The results of my week:







I'm very pleased with the first and last photo!! The middle one, to me, seems very out of control. But then again a type 1 diabetic's graph is always going to go up and down a fair bit, so actually it's pretty good. (1st photo = test kit, 2nd + 3rd = CGM)!!