Sunday, April 22, 2012

Medtronic Trial: Bayer Contour Next LINK Investigational Meter

I promised details on the investigational Bayer Contour Next LINK Meter provided with my pump for the trial, so here you have it. A picture says a thousand words, so I'm going to take advantage of that. Forgive me, however, for the not-so-great picture quality. I had to use my phone camera today, as the other camera's batteries were dead. FYI - If you click on an image, you can see it in a larger format. You also have the option of clicking through all the image up close.

Bayer Contour Meter has a USB connection for charging and downloading readings,

Results are displayed across the screen first in a big bold font, then it shoots to a smaller font as seen as it sends the results to the pump. Tough shot: Green bar says, "Results Sent."
There is a useful "Notes" screen that includes this and the following image.
Notes also includes "Activity," which isn't pictured
The meter also includes a reminder to recheck your blood sugar. I haven't used this yet, but this is a new feature, so I'm trying it out.
This is the Menu screen.
This is what you see when you select "Trends."
The is an image of the Logbook. The text under this reading has a scrolling, "Sent, High Blood Sugar."
Same scrolling text and amber color for a low. Font is white if reading is normal.
Easy on/off button, which seems like a silly thing to show you, but if you have the One Touch UltraLink, you understand. Just try turning the sucker off without throwing it out the window. Such an incredibly simple thing to make so hard.

Pretty cool! I didn't give it enough credit in my first post, but I also hadn't played with it much at that point. I don't upload the meter into Carelink, all results are sent to the pump, so they are uploaded with the pump info. However, if you needed to upload the meter only, you could. Whatcha think?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Who Knew Hormones Could Do That to My Blood Sugars?

I can't believe the last several days.

Here is a snap shot of my blood sugars in mg/dl:
Tuesday: 468 - 55
Wednesday:  478 - 45, 15% of my readings below 70
Thursday: 218 - 40, with 13 % of my readings below 70

The highs were easy; occluded infusion sets. The lows, well, I spent three nights with blood sugars I could not bring up over 80. I drank a total of 15-18 juice boxes, ate cereal, whole grain bread with Nutella and I even did a temporary basal rate last night of 45% so I could sleep. This drastic measure kept me normal and I never climbed above 150 mg/dl until morning. I was SO low and it was exhausting!

The alarms on the CGM; thank God for them, but they drove me bananas. I woke up to a screaming alarm that had been pressed underneath me and my covers with a 45 mg/dl BG, I drank two juice boxes and hoped that would be the end the alarms for the night. After all, I'm tired people!  I crashed back to a 45 mg/dl induced sleep, and BAM! Twenty minutes later, screaming alarm wakes me and I'm 55. Drink another juice and the cycle continues for three nights.

Boy Alert: I am going to discuss hormones, as they relate to blood sugars and, yes, my period!

Finally, I decided to call my doctor and he adjusted my basal rates, but could all this be because of dropping estrogen and progesterone levels? I got my period today and I'm wondering if I would have the same problem tonight. I'm not going to risk it, I changed the basal rate, but this is kinda concerning. I really, really had trouble handling this.

I have a history of BG's being high the week before my period. I also know of one other time I had this exact trouble with lows happening overnight that weren't fixed with a juice box or two, and it was the day before I got my period. But this time, we are talking three consecutive days of overnight lows before my period! Yikes.

I have always wanted a better understanding of how female hormone cycles impact blood sugar levels. I track my cycles and I track my blood sugars with the CGM, I need software to marry to two sets of data and show me some correlation. I want to know how to cope with this before it is a problem. I used to have a couple different basal patterns for the week before, but I switched pumps and never reprogrammed the rates.

I'm just going to call this a freak accident and hope I don't get disqualified from the trial because of this wacky stuff. It was weird and I hope its over!

Ladies, what are your experiences with blood sugar fluctuations throughout your cycle? Ever had anything like this happen?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Medtronic Trial: Minimed Enlite Sensor ROCKS! So Tiny and Comfortable!

How do I love thee, Minimed Enlite Trail Sensor? Let me count the ways...

Seriously folks, I love this sensor. I've had it on since Monday and I have had some hard diabetes days. I'll get to that in another post, but so far, I can't feel a thing and it works like a charm.

I'm not going to go into how to put it on, because all of that is in a video on the Medtronic website.

Some things I love about the sensor:
  • 69% reduction in size compared to previous sensor. We are talking a HUGE difference in size, which meant a HUGE difference in needle required to plunge the thing in your body.
  • Adhesive tab that holds the Minilink Transmitter in place.
  • Specially designed adhesive that slips over the sensor head before you put on the Minilink. Although, it is super soft and easily gets stuck together, so you have to be quick and hold it on all sides.
  • Can't feel a thing. Going in, or wearing it. Nothing. Completely comfortable.
  • Six days of wear.
Some things I love about the Serter (although I think that is a silly name):
  • Hidden needle.
  • Easy enough to load, but requires thought.
  • Needle retracts after insertion and you don't have enormous needles to dispose.
  • I like that you press the button to unlock the sensor, then let go of the button to release the needle and sensor. Don't know why this matters, but it feels less scary that pressing the button and waiting for the scary click. I only have done this once in the trial office, so I'll fill you in on my next experience.
Other than those things above, it works just like the previous sensor on the pump. Same requirements for calibration, but they are recommending we calibrate multiple (as many as four) times per day, but only two are required for wear. Another thing, I think I can get this on my daughter! Really, this is huge.

Do you wear the Medtronic CGM now? What do you love most and what are your biggest beefs?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Medtronic Trial: End of Second Week

So, I am ending the second week of the pretrial where I am just wearing the Medtronic Minimed Revel with no sensor and no Veo trial pump. I just have to be sure to check my blood sugar four times a day with the Bayer meter mentioned in my previous post, my ketones each day and log everything into a trial version of Carelink each Friday.

Monday I get the Enlite Sensor. I'll try to take some photos to share. Really thrilled about this and the easier to insert sensors.

FYI - Diabetes Daily has asked me to guest blog about the trial, so I will post a link to that next week.

Curious if any of you have tried or even seen the MySentry yet? I would really like to know how this works, especially for parents with T1 kids. Do you want one as much as I do?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Medtronic Minimed Trial Part two: Got Some Stuff

I had my second visit for the Medtronic Minimed Veo and Enlite Sensor trial on Monday. I was given a new Revel pump and a new meter from Bayer that links to the pump. It has a color screen. It is under investigation as well. I was also given a binder full of papers and log sheets, a blood ketone meter, ketone strips (I have to check every morning. Ugh.).

I will have to upload my readings to CareLink under a trial username each Friday and log my ketones and notes, like the fact that I have a cold right now. Also need to record exercise, lows, etc.

In two weeks I go back and get the Medtronic Minimed Enlite Sensor and can't wait to tell you about it. If you've read my blog long you know how much I hate the harpoon of a sensor they offer now. I like the results, but the UI is sucky.

One bit of info that isn't confirmed, but intriguing is that Minimed intends to continue to use the Revel model, not the Veo, but upgrade the technology in the Revel. Not sure why, but I guess the study is for the technology, not the device itself.

I just want all of this to come to market. I want the Medtronic Sentry for my kid and I want the hippest thing out there to help us manage this pain in the ass disease.

FYI - I am wearing the Dexcom 7 Plus CGM until I get the Enlite. Wearing it makes me remember why I really like the Minimed; it is all in one. I am constantly losing my Dexcom receiver in my bathrobe pocket, in my car, in my jeans that almost made it to the wash. Sigh. Hurry Minimed!