Saturday, August 21, 2004

Temporary Basal Patterns

Here's a great tip for insulin pumpers from a Yale Diabetes Educator - EVERYONE on an insulin pump should have these 4 temporary basal rates programmed in:

1. Low Blood Sugar Basal: 0 units for 30 minutes.
2. High Blood Sugar Basal: 200% normal basal rate for a 3 hour duration. Use this for extended highs like when you're sick.
3. Travel Basal: 150% normal basal rate for a 2 hour duration. Because inactivity on planes, trains and automobiles lead to high blood sugars.
4. Exercise Basal: 50% normal basal rate for 1 hour 30 minutes. Because your body's metabolism is up during exercise and stays up past the actual time of your workout.

A primer for those who may not be familiar with the terms BASAL and BOLUS. A properly programmed BASAL pattern is the amount of insulin the pump will automatically put out to keep your blood sugars stable without any carbohydrate intake. If you eat or need to correct a high blood sugar, you need to program the pump to deliver a BOLUS or an extra and immediate infusion of insulin. The Bolus is manually entered when you need this boost of insulin.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I care for eye care

We got a nice note from Neil Squillante who reads our blog and wanted to mention his dad's offer to help diabetics with free eye exams in New York City.

Neil wrote that his dad takes time away from his opthamological practice one day a week because "many diabetics don't realize that the early stages of diabetic retinopathy often don't produce any symptoms. With these free eye exams, some diabetics will be able to take preventive action that they otherwise may not have taken."

You can check out his site at: www.retinacare.com.

Super Secret Review

We just participated in a closed study of the new Cozmonitor and had a chance to play with this little device for a week. The glucometer is based on the Therasense Flash glucometer and attaches to the back of her purple Cozmo pump.

It's pretty small - about as thick as a half pack of Juicy Fruit gum and is secured to the pump by the battery cap screw. The unit is small but for an 8 year old, it makes the whole package quite a pocketful. A nifty leather case also helps keep the whole thing integrate as a single unit. So if the pump's conected to your body, you'll never forget your glucometer at home (of course, you'll still have to remember to bring strips and a lancet with you).

How does the Cozmonitor communicate with the pump? There are infrared (IR) "ports" which line up perfectly to the pump's own ports. The beauty of this is that all blood sugars get recorded to the pump's memory. When we review Cassie's numbers, we disassemble the Cozmonitor from the pump; line up the IR port to our computer's IR port, then download the history using the Cozmanager software. Voila, all her blood glucose tests, bolus history and carb intakes are there in a consolidated report.

Using the Cozmo pump and the associated Cozmonitor has made it easier for us to manage diabetes. It helps us do a lot of the thinking and remembering needed for diabetes care, and lets us concentrate on parenting an 8 year old.