Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

Living with a new Vibe

OK, I admit it, I am trying to be pun-ny with the title of this blog.  I do have the new Animas Vibe pump, and will talk about that, but I am also experiencing a new vibe in the pace of my life. Both of these have a definite impact on my blood glucose control, in a good way for a change. Things have settled down post-surgery wise.  My new knee is working a little bit better everyday – and I stress a LITTLE BIT.  This is a slow process, and not always comfortable. But the worst is behind me and I am getting back to a more normal pace of life, and enjoying the freedom from the old knee pain.  This has brought about a definite easing of controlling my blood sugars. I am very thankful for that. There are still the weird spikes and troughs that life with T1D brings, but overall things are good.  My most recent A1C was a total shock to me, in a good way, and both my doc and CDE said “You are too hard on yourself” almost in unison.  Embarrassing…..but too true.

Things have also settled down in my work life.  I am through the busiest time of the summer (which, now that I look back at it, I scheduled ridiculously soon after surgery) and on to more leisurely days of work.  I have time to plan, study, clean out all those storage areas at work where I have been throwing things for the past couple of years, and just generally move at a slower pace. I am sure this is helping with BG control. The effect of stress, good or bad, related to work, is tough to manage when you are your own pancreas.  Once again, I marvel at the wonder of how God created our bodies to work so beautifully, so that we don’t have to consider how often to breathe, or how to keep blood moving to all parts of the body, or how to control things like blood glucose.  It is a constant reminder to thank Him for the things in my body that DO work, and to rely on Him for the strength to deal with my broken pancreas.

Finally, I do indeed have a new Animas Vibe clipped to my hip.  I have had it for less than a week, so these are initial impressions. But, overall, I LOVE IT.  The main thing is that I no longer have to carry two devices on my person (pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) receiver).  That might sound trivial, but honestly, it is a relief.  Not every skirt or pair of pants or dress has pockets or anywhere convenient or discreet to hold one device, much less two.  Now I can get my CGM data on my pump screen with just the click of a button.  Yes, the screen is smaller than on the Dexcom receiver screen, but that doesn’t bother me like I thought it might. The resolution is great and the colors are really helpful (though it is taking me some time to get used to the different colors that the Vibe uses for low, in-range and high BG values compared to the Dexcom receiver). I love that when I enter a BG value to bolus for a snack or a meal, the Vibe asks if I want to use that value to calibrate.  I often forget to enter BG values into my Dexcom receiver (an extra step that gets lost in the process of testing BG by fingerstick, entering all the numbers and carb intake into the pump and then dosing).  That means I get that lovely red blood droplet appearing on the screen every 12 hours reminding me that I have been neglecting my Dexcom receiver. I also like the polite messages that come on the screen of the pump when my BG goes low or high.  In my head, I am thinking “you idiot, you went high! Fix it!” but the pump just gives a gentle message that I am “higher than the user limit set” or something similar.  I would love to be able to have that kind of attitude toward highs and lows – objective, rational and calm.

What do I wish for with the Vibe?  I would love for my CGM sensor to be able to communicate directly not only with the Vibe, but also with my phone, so that I could continue to use the Share app without having to have the Dexcom receiver close by.  I really like the Share app, which allows me to share the data from my CGM with up to 5 other people on their phones.  I have 2 followers, and I like the security this gives me. It’s weird that sharing this kind of very personal data brings me a sense of safety rather than intrusion.  But diabetes is a scary disease at times, and I like knowing that if I am alone, someone else knows I am having trouble, even if they are not in the room with me. So I keep my Dexcom receiver close by, to take advantage of this feature.  I trust that Dexcom is working on this and look forward to the ease and security it will bring all of us who use it.

I love the data that the CGM gives me and how it helps me manage this disease better.  I am grateful for all of the new developments that have brought us to this point, and as I read about all the projects in the works for future diabetes technology, (thanks to diaTribe for keeping me so well informed!)  I get so excited!  Bring on the artificial pancreas! or the implantable insulin delivery system! or whatever will make management of this disease easier!  I’m ready!  For now, I will enjoy my new Vibe. or vibe.

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