Moving into 2019: Diabetes and Not Diabetes

We’re ten days into 2019 and life is the same. But not really the same. Oh yeah, it’s probably the same but it’s nice to use the reset of a new year to check out where I am. With things related to diabetes. And things not related to diabetes.

Geographical change:

I abandon the cold of Minnesota every year after Christmas and snowbird my way to Arizona for 4 months. I have been here about two weeks and we are finally warming up after super cold temperatures and snow in the mountains. We have had a couple of rainy days but mostly the sun shines and my spirits soar. I don’t have to worry about slipping on the Minnesota ice.

Diabetes Stuff:

In early December I wrote about going back to my Animas Vibe pump due to occlusion alarms and other frustrations with my Tandem X2 pump. I went back to the X2 for my endocrinologist appointment later in December because I want my medical records to show nothing other than Tandem use. Medicare Part B insulin and pump supplies require the serial number of my pump and I don’t want to risk coverage nor do I want to put my endocrinologist in a situation of having to fudge on what pump I am using. Then because I was traveling to Arizona, I wanted to wear my in-warranty pump so that if the second pump in my suitcase was lost because of shenanigans while I was being groped by TSA, it would be the old “worthless” pump.

But very quickly in Arizona, I got frustrated again with occlusion alarms on my Tandem pump. So I ditched it again and am back to my Animas pump. I called Tandem to report that I was having occlusion alarms and indicated that I just wanted that on my record not a pump replacement. Since I have had occlusion alarms with three different Tandem pumps, I am not optimistic that a new pump will make a difference and I don’t want to deal with it until I have access to the Dexcom G6 and Basal IQ. For Medicare users, that is expected to start happening in April. Until then I will continue with my workhorse Animas pump that delivers insulin and never has occlusion alarms or other intrusions into my life. As always, please note that I am a huge fan of Tandem and do not regret my t:slim X2 purchase. I just regret that I am one of the unfortunate souls who has occlusion alarms and struggles to succeed with this pump.

Diabetes, Arthritis, and Lifestyle:

I have previously mentioned that I am giving up extreme hikes of 12+ miles in the mountains to preserve the remaining cartilage in my painful arthritic feet. I don’t want to have foot surgery especially as I am finding that my August hand surgery solved some of my problems but not all of my problems. I have no confidence that foot surgery will turn me into a 25 year old athlete again….

I am finding new activities and am attending fitness classes three times a week. Plus I ride my bike to everything in my community and never use my car or golf cart. So far I have been keeping in touch with my hiking friends and right now for me the social connection is far more important than the athletic connection.

Kinda Broken:

A lot of things in my life kinda work but are kinda broken. This is definitely a #1stWorldProblem section. 

The remote for our main TV does not turn on the tuner or cable box and we must do that manually. If you forget, button pushing randomly turns on some devices and turns off others. When the TV dies, it will require an expensive redo. Until then, we just figure it out and make it work.

My husband broke the battery compartment door of my golf laser gun. To get my distance on the golf course, I push up on the bottom of the gun, push the button, and hope to get the distance. Yeah, it works but is annoying and one more challenge for my arthritic hands. But I don’t play a huge amount of golf and don’t want to invest in a new laser gun. When this one works. Sorta.

The screen lock button on my iPad is stuck. I should get it fixed but right now I added an Accessibility Feature button that allows me to turn off the screen with a few clicks. Annoying but a cheap fix.

The garage door manual close button doesn’t work due to a lightening strike last year. So I have to enter the code which works fine but is an extra kinda-broke step. 

My August hand surgery fixed one of the bad joints in my left hand. But it didn’t fix the joint that hurts when I play golf. And the bad elbow wasn’t even addressed. So a hand brace and an elbow strap make golf possible.

Totally Broken but Fixed:

When I flew into Arizona in late December and picked up my husband’s car at the airport lot, the car screamed brake failure and stranded me in a rocky industrial lot north of the airport. AAA, a loaner car, and an eventual warranty repair got me home in a few hours and the car back in our garage a few days later. Thanks heavens that the brakes failed before I got to the highway.

We have dealt with a quirky HP printer for several years where it always needs to have its network settings re-entered weekly just to print a crossword puzzle. Finally it got an unfixable error message and we now have a new Epson printer that promises to be more reliable. I hope. New printer=$90. Ink for new printer=$70. Argh!

Still Broken:

Yeah. My pancreas is still broken. But what’s new???

Abby the Black Lab is doing okay but is in pain due to arthritis and other health issues. She started laser treatments today and the prognosis is good for easing her symptoms. She is still happy and eats and drinks well. And she looks super cool in the doggie sunglasses required during her laser treatments. But she is an old dog and age is not fixable….

*******

Happy New Year to all of my readers and may 2019 be a good year for you and your family.

7 thoughts on “Moving into 2019: Diabetes and Not Diabetes

  1. Laddie, you are nothing short of an inspiration. Your broke, not-broke, sorta-broke, better now, but then … WHEW … observations are a chapter I can well relate with.

    Thanks so much for just being you and the very best that you can be for all around you.

  2. Happy New Year! I was just thinking of you and your X2 occlusion issues the other day, wondering how that was going. I started on the X2 about a month ago, and am lucky to have the Basal IQ, and am super happy with the system. I have had about 2 occlusion alarms, but just adjusting the “pigtail” got them worked out quickly.

    I use the “tummietote” soft belt to hold my pump without a case and wear it 24 hrs/day. So far it’s working great. I know you’ve tried everything, but thought I’d offer this as one possibility – especially once you have the Basal IQ option, as it’s quite amazing. I think I’ve had just 2 lows at night since starting! (I used to have 1-2 each night often…)

  3. Laddie, still wondering about your constant reoccurring occlusions. Have you thought about what’s really causing them? Meaning it’s either pump, infusion set, or insertion location?
    I’m 1.5 yrs on T Slim, after 4yrs with Medtronic, and 47yrs T1D. Loving the change especially since upgrading to G6 with Basal IQ, finally sleeping soundly without hypos and waking up 85-115 most days!
    Getting back to your ocllusions, after 40 yrs of 2-4+ insulin injections my abdomen has lots of scar tissue which forced me to use stainless steel I fusions (hated them) to prvent scar tissue from collapsing soft cathaders. But now with T Slim I’m able to use their Soft 30 sets with just 2 occlusion events that self corrected when I re-delivered failed boluses.
    Have you tried filling reservoirs water and letting them deliver into cup/bowl over a few days to see if occlusions occur? That would eliminate pump and infusion set failures.
    On a side bar, I’m “fortunate” to now qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid for my medical needs. And, as expected with Medicare only approving Dexcom CGMS and the G6 not requiring calibration Medicare is NO LONGER cover blood glucose test strips for Dibetics using CGMS.
    It’s outrageous, Medicare’s still thinking Diabetes gets better or easier to live with as we age! Not to mention the 2 hrs no CGM data durring warm up every 10 days. So for brittle biabetics like myself with Unaware Hypoglycemia do we intentionally run high BGs when starting new CGMS to avoid possible ER visit or worse?

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