Thursday, July 29, 2010

IPAs vs. CGMs

Sometimes being an engineer encourages thoughts beyond what is available today, at this moment. And lately, those engineering thoughts in my brain have focused on Diabetes technology, or lack-there-of. Don't get me wrong...I am constantly strapped to a $5,000 insulin pump which can deliver insulin in extremely minute amounts; and my purse contains a blood glucose meter that can check my blood sugar in 5 seconds (much better than the 40 seconds when I was first diagnosed 11 years ago!); and not only that, but the meter wirelessly "chats" with my insulin pump about my current blood sugar readings, and the pump responds with his own "recommendations." And this is all much, much better than those first two years of scheduled injections (via syringe...ugh...that word is just horrible sounding), limited carb intake, mandatory snacks at prescribed times, and of course those 40 second blood sugar tests (40 seconds is a long time to wait, trust me).

But how far have we really come since 1998?


In my opinion, not far enough. In fact I would venture to say my first insulin pump, the Minimed 508 (in aqua blue!) was far superior than my current Paradigm pump in regards to hardware. Without getting too boring, I will just say, sometimes simple is better.


My Paradigm software however, seems much improved which relates to better control; but I think the next significant step in Type-1 Diabetes control is the CGM (continous glucose monitoring). Holly, loves hers...a Dexcom version with accompanying "egg." And Minimed has their own version. But so far I am not impressed......at least not impressed enough to deal with another injection site every week. I had a painful experience with the i-Pro, and the calibration struggles (calibration lasts a whole day?!) do not put the CGM at the top of my list at the moment. Really, I don't understand why some great ENGINEERS can't design a site that incorporates both the insulin pump injection and the wireless blood sugar monitor....annnnnddd....incorporate the readings into 1 reporting location (i.e. the insulin pump). Apparently Minimed is working on this issue, and maybe (hopefully!) it will work out, because I really want better control...but, I also want to be able to wear a sundress without hesitation and without Diabetes (or the leftovers...i.e. injection adhesive) stuck all over my body, thankyouverymuch. Oh, and drink beer without the "highs" side-effect...see below: (hopefully you get it ;-)


And if worst comes to worst...I will just sign up for one of these sweet-ass tatoos! [preferrably in the shape of rocket...not "heart"...ugh...]