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, July 25, 2013

Oh, snap! I’m unsnapped!

Just as I walked into the new clinic’s 1,000-square-foot pharmacy, the alarm went off. It was a wailing noise, not as loud as the Walmart shoplifting alarm, but with the same kind of “Freeze, sucka!” authority. Oh crap, what did I do this time? I asked the pharmacist.

He shrugged one shoulder, “It’s not us. I think it’s your pants.”


How embarrassing!

That’s the funny thing about noise. Sometimes it’s hard to know where it’s coming from. I quickly grabbed the infusion set tubing from my beltline and reeled in the pump. All that came out of my pants pocket was the pump body. The controller wasn’t there. It was missing. Gone. My pants continued to say WeeeeeeeWooooooWeeeeeeeWoooooo…

Oh snap! I’ve become unsnapped! How on earth did that happen? How long have I been unsnapped, with alarms of lesser authority that I did not hear, before this nuclear-meltdown alarm went off? I dug my hand into my pants pocket and fished out the screaming controller. I silenced the alarm with one button click, then dismissed the alarm with another click. I quickly snapped the pump back together again, and retreated to my office where I could hide amongst the cardboard boxes from our fresh move and die of embarrassment in solitude.

Later, I realized that had I thought to ask it by going to the status screen, the pump almost certainly could have told me how much insulin I had missed. If you suspend the Snap, it helpfully tracks missed basal delivery, and once you wake it up again, it will tell you how much you missed while it was snoozing. Sadly, there’s no provision to deliver that missing insulin with a simple press of a button. You have to go into the bolus menu and program the delivery manually.

On the bright side, I think it’s a good thing that this alarm was loud enough to embarrass me. The alternative could have been ketones before I realized what had happened. By the way, this is no ordinary alarm. One of the pump’s designers described the last-ditch alarm to me as “highly annoying,” but that’s an understatement that doesn’t do justice to its engineering. It’s more than just volume; it “sweeps” through sound frequencies from low to high, and then from high to low again—the theory being that if you’re deaf to certain frequencies, at some point the pump will find one you’ll hear.

Sounds like an innovation that would be most excellent for CGM integration in the future.

Tomorrow: Asante’s strange box of infusion sets


Anonymous Thalia said...

This is cool!

10:20 PM  

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