Oh, cool! My cable! My cable came! Now my ParaPump can talk to my computer and visa versa! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!
Nice long cable, USB port, thank God, sooooooooooo many BG meters come with serial cables. Most desktops and almost no lap tops come with serial ports nowadays. On the other end is a funky little plastic… well, I don’t know what to call it. Looks like a slice of a Roman aqueduct with a black test strip stuck into like Excalibur in the stone. In fact, it is a test strip of sorts. More on that in a moment.
I call up the PAL software that came with ParaPump. It takes me through several quick screens. Easier than easy.
Choose what you want to do. I want to back up my pump programming, so I select the option to “read” the pump. I could also have read a file, created new pump settings, printed a copy, and so forth. Oh, by the way, don’t spend twenty minutes clicking on the icon on your main menu and swearing at your mouse. If you look carefully, it says “To read the current settings from your pump, select the pump read button from the toolbar.” Then it shows you what the icon looks like. Yeah. Don’t click there on the main menu, do what the instructions tell you to do, click on the read button from the toolbar.
You’ll get a quick check list: Stop any funky deliveries (such as temp basal rates or square waves and the like). Enter the pump’s serial number into the software. You find this on the back of the pump or on the pump status screen, towards the bottom. Mine happens to start with 411, I like that. Make sure the meter is off. Plug the USB cable into the computer, and plug Excalibur directly into the BD's test strip port. Oooooooooooooooooooo. It glows blue! The BD logo on top of the aqueduct glows blue! Further proof, not that I needed it, that MedT has stolen alien technology to make this system work.
Tell the software to read the pump. You’re advised it could take 20 seconds. That said, very quickly the pump vibrates (I gave up on the mousey alarms and I’m trying vibrate) and temporarily suspends. The pump downloads very quickly, and then the Pal turns it back on. Your done. In front of me is my basal pattern. I can also view my bolus setup, bolus wizard, utilities, and sensor settings. Programming directly on the pump was pretty easy, but I’m guessing it will be easier to make changes on the computer, and then download them to the pump. Besides, God Forbid you should get hit by lightning and lose your pump memory, this’ll be a quick fix. This is pretty slick. All of the menus are simple and clean. Nothing fancy. Utilitarian but competent. Almost anyone could use this software. I say almost anyone, because somewhere there is probably someone who is such a big idiot….
Speaking of idiots, it might be me. I closed the program without saving the download and now it is gone. Gotta do it again…
WARNING: save your cotton-pickin’ download from the File menu. It won’t do it by itself!
So this is pretty s-l-i-c-k! Now the #$%@& BD meter has a purpose. But I’m still steamed that I can’t really use it much, at least not as designed/intended/advertised due to the sensor calibration issue.
Next time: CareLink
PS: sensor is behaving beautifully now that she’s not getting too many finger sticks.