This was originally posted to my blog, Diabetes Odyssey.
Sooo, I highly suggest, if you haven’t already, reading my post It WAS Going So Well before reading this one.
Sooo, I met with my Medtronic rep, Angel, today to discuss my recent pump issues. He mentioned that he read my blog post about the issues. I apologized for the angry post, but, I was frustrated, slightly embarrassed face. He said he completely understood, we rely on this tech and it’s very anxiety inducing and frustrating and annoying when it’s not working the way it should.
I first explained to him the entire sequence of events, then I explained that as of Sunday morning I tried to start up Auto Mode again and it worked! and everything has been working beautifully again as of then!
He took my pump and uploaded my information.
“I decided to keep my appointment with you so we could discuss the issues and I can understand how it all happened. After I posted my blog post I talked with other diabetics and they gave me a lot of useful feedback and helped me to see it all from other perspectives. When your dealing with a problem, sometimes you can get stuck on one train of thought, one point of view.” I said (in so many words).
We went over a review of how Auto Mode works and also on how the CGM works. And, of course, on how the functions of the CGM and pump have different safety features that work independently of each other and this is how loop traps can get started.
“I’m sure I made the problem worse with my reactions to it. Entering BG’s too soon, leaving my inaccurate sensors in instead of changing them out…”
Angel is very good at his job, well informed, understanding of patients and why they can get frustrated, and good at explaining things. He gave me a few points to work on to prevent loop traps: Calibrate before meals and bed, wait 15 minutes between BG entries, don’t calibrate if you have two arrows or more, change out bad sensors (duh, Tamra!), Change sensors in the morning so you have all day to get it stable before bed.
Most of this I’ve been well aware of but, obviously from my recent experience, I needed to have it all laid out again and drilled into me that these guidelines are there for a reason (duh, Tamra).
Let me point out here that Medtronic is well aware of the loop trap issue and working on a resolution to stop it from happening at all.
Angel went on to review how to stop a loop trap if and when it should happen again: Turn off Auto Mode for at least and hour. If you calibrate then enter BG for Auto Mode and it asks for another BG, this is when you turn off Auto Mode… at this point…don’t enter any more BGs, just turn off Auto Mode right now.
It’s hard to bring myself to turn off Auto Mode because I love it so much, it’s the only thing- I can’t stress this enough- it is the ONLY thing I’ve ever found that actually successfully works at keeping my BG under control! I have multiple illnesses that work against my BG control, but Auto Mode tells them all to go ■■■■ themselves and controls my BG anyway!
Auto Mode is my hero and I can’t just turn my back on it so easily! I love you, Auto Mode! I can’t live without you!
Sooo anyway… we looked at my info charts for the past several weeks to see what we could learn. First of all let me point out that having it all laid out like that (I could have done this myself at home but I was so frustrated I just wasn’t using my brain as well as I thought I was) put it into such clear perspective. Here I thought I wasn’t in Auto Mode nearly as much as I actually was. Before the issues started I was in Auto Mode nearly all the time. While the issues were going on time in Auto Mode dropped to the 80 percents (if I remember correctly), so, yeah…
My BG’s were so awesome before the problems. During the problems they rose noticeably but weren’t as bad as I had thought (because I was still in Auto Mode more than I thought).
I asked if we could look at a comparison of my sensor readings and my finger readings. “If things weren’t as bad as I thought, maybe the sensors weren’t as wonky as I thought, either.”
We looked it over, and whatd’ya know, the sensors were pretty damned accurate.
“Look at it this way,” Angel pointed out. “We tend to remember the bad things more. When things are going good we don’t even think about it, but when they go bad, that’s what we pay attention to.”
So if I had a couple inaccurate readings, it stuck with me. But in the long run the sensors were really quite good.
So, there you go guys. Medtronic is still really awesome and great. They’re not perfect (who ever said they were?) but pretty great.
The lesson I learned here is to pay attention to my actions and responses. Use my brain and don’t let my anxiety take the wheel. I may not have caused the initial issue, but I certainly exacerbated it.
I feel so much relief now. I’m glad I could figure this out and learn from it. That’s a hell of a lot better than being stuck with a piece of junk.
I told Angel, “A lot of people say things like ‘I’m the patient! I’m the customer, I shouldn’t have to do any work, the product should work for me!’ But this is life, I have to do my part, too. The machine does it’s job and I need to do mine.”
Thank you, everyone, for helping me with this. Thank you , Angel, for your great assistance, and thank you, Medtronic, for this wonderful tool.
The blue shield means Auto Mode is on!