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Slap me with a Veo Sensor

November 26, 2011

I’m in Toronto, where yesterday I came in to get set up with a research study on basal assessments at Toronto General’s endo clinic.  As a participant in this study, I will be wearing a minimed Veo pump and sensor for the next three weeks.  (Hopefully, by the time this three week trial is over, I’ll have my own pump, which has been slow to come through thanks to my ambivalence towards the sport of insurance company hoop-jumping.)  It’s a fun study, and I’m really enthusiastic to participate in research in any way I can.  I love that I will help contribute to knowledge.  I love that I am networking with health professionals.  I love that I am getting free strips, sites and sensors for three weeks. It’s all good.

I was all chipper heading into the endo’s office.  I knew I’d be leaving with an army of gear stuck to me, and I was cool with that.  While I’ve been rocking the homolog pen and nightly lantus for the past three months without many complaints, I did spend two months this summer on a minimed pump, and got pretty used to it. The sensor would be something new, but also a really cool new toy. I was excited to have the sensor and pump for a few weeks, to get to know how to use this gear, and to “show off” to my friends and colleagues my bad-ass pump, sites, and doo-hickies.

The reality has been more emotional than I expected.

Diabetes is such a personal thing.  My own management of diabetes is so personal.  Checking my BG is comforting to me, as much as necessary. My insulin pens are my friends – they go with me everywhere, and we have  a good working relationship. Granted, we know what to expect from each other.  When one of my devices doesn’t work, I can legitimately tell them off because they have let me down. We are a (happy?) family.  We are a team.

This new pump and sensor are not part of my team yet.

Having diabetes is not so much about the knowing as it is about the doing.  My journey with diabetes has been one-part thinking, nine-parts doing. You learn how to administer insulin most effectively. You learn what your BGs will do in the most absurd circumstances. You make adjustments by trial-and-error. You run into weird situations, and you troubleshoot them on the spot.

So having my little familiar routine of diabetic “doing” taken away from me so suddenly is more of an adjustment than I expected. I can’t do things the way I am used to. I’ve had some fussy overnight numbers – my BG has been riding HIGH HIGH and I keep feeding myself insulin which doesn’t seem to be doing a whole lot.  Is it my body?  Is it the pump?  What is it?  Normally, if I were waking up in the night at 14 I’d reach over to my bedside table, shoot a couple units from my pen, and roll over, hoping to wake up under 10. Now, because of the sensor, I don’t even need to check on my meter – I can just look at a little screen and see where I’m at, no finger pricks or nuttin’. But then why is the insulin I’m pumping not working? Should I square-wave the bolus? Increase my basal rate? Give a straight bolus and see what happens? So many damn options! And still I am so high! The fact that I am staying at a friend’s house in Toronto, not at home in Kitchener, makes the weirdness of it all a bit more isolating.

It’s weird. My little system of pens and freestyle lite meters has been my world for a longish time now.  My first few hours away from that family is feeling strange. It’s almost like adjusting to a whole new disease. Almost – but not quite. Not nearly quite.

After spending a comfortable but strange (read: high BGs) night on my friends hide-a-bed, and after a morning brunching with old friends, recording a bit of music, and puttering about some craft fairs, I will be heading home to Kitchener. I can’t wait to get home to my kitty cat, home to where I feel warm and safe, and introduce my new bits of gear to my day-to-day life.  I hope to feel more grounded without my old dia-routines, and with my new ones, once I’m home.

I’m not complaining at all.  These are awesome, powerful tools I’m sportin’.  It’s just an adjustment is all.  Emotionally as well as practically. More than I’d anticipated.  And that’s okay. I’m handling it just fine.

Cuz I’m a rockstar.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Daniele permalink
    November 26, 2011 12:18 pm

    Good luck for your new experience.
    Don’t trust too much your sensor, it can fail you know.
    Keep doing sticks.
    And if you are high for long, probably is your basal too low, but that is normal at the beginning with a pump.
    Your docs will help you, isn’t it the aim of your research ?
    Usually you should not correct, to let them understand how much more basal you need.

    Bye

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