LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Thursday, April 19, 2007

ParaPump’s Pal

Mail? For me? I wonder what it is? Did I buy something on EBay that I forgot about? Let’s see, it is from “Distribution Center” in Stratford, Connecticut. Hmmmm….a mystery package. Ripppppppppppppppppppp!

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just lightening you have to worry about ... my pump once 'magically' cleared itself ... and the reason I got from Medtronic was that sometimes static electricity can do that! (Although it only happened once in over 3 years, but still).

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's another purpose for this as well (rare as it me be). If for some reason, you need to send your pump in (service for example) and receive a replacement pump, all you need to do is send your saved information to the replacement pump. Much faster than having to reenter all that information through the pump screens.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Lili said...

I don't know if you read my entry about this, but..the test strip connector seems flimsier than actual test strips. So you have to be really really careful with it, and always store the cable with its plastic hood on.

2:21 PM  

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