Our D-history:

My daughter, *Rosie, was five years old when she was diagnosed on September 19, 2008, with Type I Diabetes. We started out on MDI, but in October 2010 we switched to a pump. We also added a Dexcom CGM in May of 2011. In February 2014 we changed to the Medtronic Enlite system- a pump and CGM all in one.

*Rosie is not her real name... I let her pick her own pseudonym for the blog!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Big Bang Theory: Big Disappointment

The Big Bang Theory is my favorite TV show... I've been looking forward to the season premiere for weeks now.  I was rather surprised and displeased, however, when Penny made an inappropriate, uneducated, and misleading statement regarding a person wearing an insulin pump.

The text, quoted from The Big Bang Theory forum's taping reports:
He asks how her previous job experience prepared her for this kind of work. She talks about when she was waitressing she was a very convincing salesperson because she got large customers who shouldn’t be eating cheesecake to eat cheesecake. One in particular even had an insulin pump. The interviewer says “I have an insulin pump.” And she responds with something like “You should stay away from cheesecake.”
I believe the term Penny actually used in the episode was "fatties", but I may be mistaken- I was a bit shocked at the whole conversation.

We know the all science on the show is real thanks to an on-set consultant. The algorithms and formulas the guys work with are all true to life.  Why, then, didn't anyone take two seconds to Google "insulin pump" and learn that wearing one is: 1.) nothing to joke about, and 2.) has nothing to do with being fat?

People wearing insulin pumps have enough trouble already explaining that it's not because they are fat, lazy, or not taking "proper" care of their diabetes.   My daughter certainly didn't ask to have her pancreas shut down at age five.   Insulin pumps are a wonderful, life-saving device... not a punch line.

Here's the message I sent to CBS:
I was very disappointed that my favorite show, The Big Bang Theory, treated an insulin pump as a punch line.  Being overweight has nothing to do with an insulin pump, which is typically worn by Type I Diabetics.  Type I means that the body does not produce any insulin, regardless of diet or exercise or the amount of cheesecake eaten.  If TBBT has a science consultant on set to assure the accuracy of the equations on Sheldon's white board, why couldn't someone have taken a few moments to Google insulin pumps and present something accurate?
the mom of a Type I Diabetic child
who wears a life-saving insulin pump 

The Big Bang Theory could take this and make it a learning opportunity.  Maybe when Penny starts working at the pharmaceutical company she'll learn about insulin pumps and apologize for her earlier comments.... but I doubt if that will happen.

It was just one big disappointment.

The post contains affiliate links to Amazon.  If you purchase something via these links I may receive a few cents in profits.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

A Quick Update

Rosie is in the sixth grade now, and so far things have gone well with school this year.   Her teachers continue to let her test and treat in the classroom as needed, and she only goes to the clinic if a site comes out (she needs to call a parent for that) or she needs medicine for a headache (usually from being high and coming down quickly).

We stopped using the Enlite in late Spring.  The constant alarms and conflicting advice we got from the "help" line were just too frustrating.  Rosie was in tears several times about it.  We decided that it just wasn't worth it for us, so we've gone without a CGM for a couple of months now.  We're hoping to change back to a Dexcom system this Fall, if our insurance will allow it.

Otherwise, not much new in Rosie's d-world.  We're finding that the older she gets, the more diabetes is taking a back seat to her other activities-- and that's exactly how we want it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Birthday Blood Sugars

Rosie turned eleven yesterday.  I can hardly believe that my tiny four pound preemie is now such a beautiful,  caring, happy young lady.

Her birthday blood sugars have been all over the place:
  • 100-something at breakfast.  Yay!
  • 399 when she got home from school and sheepishly admitted that she forgot to bolus her birthday cupcake.  
  • By supper she had come crashing down to a lousy 39.  
  • An hour later,  just before volleyball practice,  she was up to 128, but feeling shaky like she was dropping again.  We didn't bolus the 46 carbs she ate for supper and turned down her basal rate to 50%. ..a gamble,  but based on past experience,  it seemed like a good plan.
  • She went down to 61 during practice.
After practice we'll head home to a hot shower (might bring her down), birthday ice cream (might shoot her up), and a site change (never know what that will do).  Diabetes apparently didn't get the memo that today should be all about the fun-- but we'll carry on, regardless!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Two Weeks on Enlite: Frustrating

Right now, we're not so sure we should have switched.   To be fair, this has been an unusually tough two weeks for our family.  My sister-in-law passed away after being unexpectedly diagnosed just a month earlier with cancer.  There have been some other unusual things happening with family.  To say that these two weeks have been stressful is putting it mildly.

In the midst of everything else, though, we have been dealing with the Enlite.   And that's how we feel about it right now.... we're dealing with it.  Right now, our issues are:
  • The majority of the time when Rosie enters a blood sugar reading, it then alarms and tells her there's a calibration error.  
  • It's alarming so often that Rosie is now ignoring the alarms and sometimes shuts them off without even reading them.... which defeats the purpose of the alarms.  We're working on this with her, but she's 10, and the constant alarms are embarrassing to her. 
  • I have never personally seen the reading be closer than 30-40 points off from a finger stick reading.   Rosie says it has been closer a few times at school.   (Our Dexcom was often exactly the same as the finger stick number we would enter.)
  • At night, if Rosie has a heavy blanket on, I can't hear the alarms.  With her Dexcom we put it on her nightstand, and I could clearly hear the alarm a few doors down in my bedroom.  We're going to have to go back to using a baby monitor. 
  • We went through four sensors in the first week.  The first few days seemed to be fine, but then Rosie had three come out within the next few days.  We've resorted to adding strips of IV3000 patches over top of the sensor just to keep it in.
So, we're frustrated.  This weekend one of my goals is to sit down with the manual and try to figure out how to make this thing work better for us.  If I can't figure it out, I'll call our trainer and hopefully she will be able to help us.  I know many people have been happy with this new system, so I'm hoping that we have just not had the time to work out the bugs yet and we will soon find a way to make this system work better for us.

P.S.  In the time it took for me to type this post it has alarmed twice.  Once to tell Rosie there was a calibration error (half an hour after she entered a finger stick number--??) and then a few minutes later to tell her to put in a new sensor.  That sensor was new four hours ago.   Arrrrghhhhhh!