Diabetes Travels

So I am demo-ing another insulin pump. Which I will get into in a second. I am also in New Jersey for a weight management conference. Just wanted to set the scene. 

I hear New Jersey is lovely in the Spring…

  

I put the pump on on Wednesday – and flew out of Chicago on Thursday. I was nervous going through security since I am not a diabetic. 

It was actually fine. My sweater was actually more problematic (it had little gold studs on it) than the pump. 

Fun fact- it is recommended to disconnect your pump upon landing and take off. This is to ideally to prevent any occlusions or other issues that can result from pressure changes. 

The conference has been great so far- learning tons- lots of this info will be finding its way into HDHH in coming months!! 

So the pump: I am wearing a Tandem T-Slim.  

  So the pump itself is pictured above- you can see why it’s called what it is. It’s very small and sleek. It’s smaller and thinner than a deck of cards. 


I wore it with the “Cleo” set/site. I like the Cleo because you NEVER see a needle. The insertion is also VERY easy. The site is small – which I like. To be clear the red spot on my belly- it is not irritation from wearing it- it is irritatation from me rubbing off the residual adhesive…. 

 If I thought packing just for me was a pain. If you are an individual with diabetes with a pump- you need to pack back ups of everything. Your site needs to be changed every 3 days.  AND your insulin should really be carried in a temp controlled carrier on a flight. 

 

So you need to make sure you have: a vial of insulin, spare cartridges, spare infusion sets, spare needles (you inject the insulin into that black “L” shaped cartridge- and that cartridge slides into the pump). Etc. 

As you can see above dental hygiene is also a must.

So the nitty gritty- 

Pros– 

The pump is small and sleek- and well discrete

it’s so small it even fits into the small pocket in running shorts

The Cleo infusion set is simple, easy to pack- easy to insert

Bolusing is very simple- as is changing my basal pattern

Cartridge/site changes are also simple as the pump gives you set by step instructions on what you need to do to properly

Their T Connect software to download the pump at home is very easy to use. 

Cons

So I am a violent sleeper- I slept with it next to me one night- to wake up and realize that I ripped my site out. If I were a type 1 diabetic I could have been in DKA. However this was remedied last night – by me clipping the pump to the top of my shirt. It also worked wrk the first night when I tucked it into my sweatshirt pocket. 

It’s definitely not the most technologically advanced pump (but still a great pump) 

– this is more of an opinion- not a con: I ultimately see the market (hopefully) going in the direction of tubing free pumps- and ideally a tube free artificial pancreas (still a ways away from this). 

It would also be nice for this pump to be able to directly communicate to a CGM.

In practice I let my clients choose their pumps. But personally if I had to be on a pump- I would still have Omni Pod as my first choice- but this would be my second choice.

Ok. So I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what is actually “inside of me” when I wear these pumps. So NO first of all- their is not a needle hanging out inside of me. When I insert a site – yes there is a quick needle prick- but the needle is immediately retracted and in its place a cannula is inserted. This is the cannula  

 

So it’s very fine and small- it kind of reminds me of a little hangnail. So that tiny cannula is what infuses the insulin in. This and the insulin need to be changed out every 3 days- sometimes 2-3 days. 

Both to keep sites healthy and because insulin is fine at room temp- but when it’s in a pump next to a 98-100 degree body for 3 days that’s not room temp so by day 3 the insulin can be pretty degraded. 

I gave myself a pretty generous bolus (of saline) for these  bad boys last night  

   

And no- the irony that I ate these whilest at a Weight Management Conference is not lost on me. But I enjoyed every bite. 

If you ever make it to New Brunswick I highly recommend Destination Dogs. Which where these divine things came from. 

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