It also tells you to be sure to remove the needle guard before sticking the needle into your skin and mentions in passing that if you shove the needle into your eye you might go blind. What it doesn’t really tell me is how to put the damn set in. Well, this part isn’t rocket science. Between the cartoon and my previous experience, not to mention a tiny bit of mechanical intelligence, I think I can figure this much out.
The sensetter instructions are of similar cartoon ilk. On the other hand, the minimalist approach was not taken with the ParaPump manual. All 160 pages of it. Plus a 58 page Sensor Features User Guide, a 12 page Pump at a Glance booklet. Twelve pages of anything is more than a glance. Someone who still reads Playboy should count how many pages of photos the centerfold gets and report back in comments. There is also an Introduction to Insulin Pump Therapy, 30 pages. And of course the Practical Guide to CGM, which I haven’t read yet ‘cause I’m still sulking.
I read the intro first. It is geared towards newbies. It’s got that horrid photo of the couple on the scooter motorcycle on the cover. Remember that one from the Now I can! campaign? Only this time, like the pizza on the ParaPump box, someone just got their first copy of Photoshop and can’t resist mixing photos and clip art. The red and white scooter has been turned into clip art. Anyway, the booklet is harmless and probably helpful to those who are new. I don’t recall Smith’s sending me anything like that with my first pump, and it would probably have been nice to have a Pumping 101 text. It has little text sections with mini-quizzes. Nuff said.
At lunch I drank an Atkins shake… (5 net carbs – 4 fiber = 1 net impact carb, right? Ha! Trick question. You don’t take fiber off of meals under five carbs. If you don’t believe me just see page 20 of the Intro to Pumping.) …and plowed deeper into the books. In the early afternoon one of my home visits to a terminal patient got cut short. No, not like that, so I holed up in my office and got some more book time in. I considered reading on the drive home, but as I was driving it didn’t seem prudent.
I finished over dinner.
The pump at a glace was baffling until I had read most of the manual and skimmed the parts that made more sense with pump in hand. My advice: use it for pump-in-review instead of as a getting acquainted tool.
The main manuals are about what you’d expect. Not great. But not terrible either. No humor. Not always clear, other times insulting. They are full of flow charts and black-and-white drawings. Surprisingly, the best medical device manual I’ve even seen was the beauty that came with the retched GlucoWatch. Horrid device, wonderful manual. All of that said, the Medtronic Manuals are OK. They get the job done.
After dinner I sat down with my little ParaPump, put a battery in and got to programming it. Once I got the hang of the Medtronic menu system it was pretty straight forward. My only initial complaint is it looks like I’ll have to take quite a few more steps to accomplish things like….oh eating… than I did with the CoZmo. But, we’ll see.
I just plugged in all the same numbers I’ve been using from my current pump. I got my 18-step basal pattern in with no trouble, ran out of space for insulin sensitivity (max 8 steps in day). Damn. Well a little averaging….Programmed the pump to recognize the BG meter and the sensor transmitter when they knock on the door and set up the “Bolus Wizard.” The Bwiz is a software that looks at BG, insulin already in play, your targets, sensitivies, carb ratios and whether the moon is in Leo or Scorpio and then recommends a volume of insulin for delivery. More on that on another day.
BTW, kudos to Medtronic’s wizards for shipping the pump in screw-around mode. Well, I’m sure that’s not what they call it, but your new ParaPump arrives set up so you can explore at will. Once you initiate a “rewind,” which is part of the loading of a new reservoir you cancel screw-around mode and you are into honest-to-God pumping.
Of course in addition to the manuals there is a blizzard of various warranty sheets, wallet cards, and other lose bits of paper.
So….it is well after midnight now, but little ParaPump is fully programmed and waiting. I’m gonna hook up in the morning. Then I’m going to put in a sensor. It’s been a while, all the hair on my legs grew back! But I started shaving it off a few days ago and I’m ready. So ready. Ready to watch the flow of the water again, rather than the stones in the stream. To use the crystal ball. To be in a red state. To celebrate defeat and to be the lion tamer.
And I’m ready to do all of that with one box on my belt and to be able to watch the bizarre alien twists and turns of my BG trace on this little blue screen. This time, in real time.