Monday, March 15, 2004

Problems with Paradigm Quickset Plus

On March 3rd, Medtronic Minimed issued a customer letter with information about regarding the Quick-set Plus Infusion sets for the Paradigm pump. Many customers had complained about:
1.) Dislodging the the infusion set while removing the insertion device
2.) The ineffectiveness of the adhesive to keep the canula/ infusion set in place
The company is now in the process of redesigning the sets to have stronger canulas and use an improved adhesive.

In the meantime, Minimed is offering two other infusion set options for Paradigm users- the Silhouette and the Soft-set. You can check out the details on the minimed site by clicking here or download the minimed customer letter by clicking here. Minimed's help line is 1-800-MINIMED.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Speaking of Vacation...

Here's a vacation tip for pumpers: as we take it off Cassie at the pool, we give her a small bolus to offset some of the insulin she'll miss from her basal infusions. We've found that it helps smooth out her blood sugar numbers over the course of the day.

During a week away at the beach last year, our good friend, Nicole switched entirely from the pump. She replaced her basal infusion with Lente insulin and gave herself humalog injections after meals or high blood sugars.

Pump Freedom

As we relax during the kids' spring break this week, our friends in Charlotte are placing their 6 year old son on an insulin pump. I wonder if they realize how dramatic a lifestyle change this will be for a family dealing with diabetes.

The wonderful thing about having an insulin pump is the flexibility it affords us when our daily routine isn't so routine.

When we were on 3 shots a day, we had to eat on a stringent schedule based on the pharmokinetic curve of the Regular and NPH insulin mix. This was hard force feeding our toddler who wasn't hungry, or denying food to her when she was - just because it wasn't the right time for the insulin already in her body. This is even more difficult when we travel long distances in a car, have sleeping time change during Spring Break or have a burst of activity when we're swimming and riding rollercoasters in a theme park.

Our trusty Minimed 508 pump allows us to bolus her when she's high, after she eats (whatever the time) and suspend insulin flow when she's dangerously low. This affects our entire family's life and daily schedule and has made vacation getaways feel a bit more like a real vacation.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Site Changes and Tissue Atrophy

Sunday was the last day of Cassie's gymnastics season. What this means for us is that we can now start rotating her insulin infusion site to her abdomen. Back handsprings and flips tend to pull the infusion site's canula out, and the last thing we need is to change out her site after every practice. Inserting a one inch needle to put in that canula is not something we wanted to do more than 3 times a week.

This is why we're excited about being able to use an abdomen infusion site:
A couple years ago Cassie started to develop a little "dent" on one of her tummy sites. This was caused by a side effect from her insulin called tissue atrophy, a "wasting away" of the cell tissue.

Looking into the subject, we found anecdotal evidence that some patients react to this way to Humalog. Humalog had been working great for us: fast acting and gone from her system in 2 hours, but we decided to switch to Novolog because of the tissue atrophy.

Last year, Dr. Parker, Cassie's pediatric endocrinologist, gave us a little counterintuitive direction and advised us to start choosing infusion sites near her dent with the Novolog. He told us that sometimes it can offset the tissue atrophy and begin to buil the tissue back up. We did it and noticed the dent starting to go away. Backflips and handsprings prevented us from tummy sites since September, but now we can go back to trying to fill in her little dent. Wish us luck!