After mailing back the old pump in the box with shipping label that Animas sent me last week, I got my new stellar A1c, which was 5.7. I decided they also needed to know the change in my A1c between the two pumps, which is huge, and also that I have not changed my behavior. So I called their tech support and added this information for them. It was cool, because I got the same woman I talked to the last time, and she was really impressed with the new A1c and assured me the information would be forwarded on to the people looking at the old pump. What is really interesting is that the new A1c was taken only two months after I got the new pump. Imagine if I'd had a full three months of data from the new pump!
This is what my doctor wrote on the letter he sent me about the results of my March 11 blood test:
"I am pleased to report that your hemoglobin A1c shows excellent overall control of your diabetes."
I got my new Animas Ping pump a few weeks ago, and just got back the results of my A1c. It is 5.7! This is an amazing difference from the numbers that were coming in before. It seemed like there had been nothing I could do to get the numbers down.
After wearing the new pump for a couple of weeks and saw how good my numbers were coming in, I contacted Animas and told them that I thought they needed to take a look at the old pump. So they sent me a shipping box and label and I sent it back. It will be several weeks before I hear anything, but it seems pretty clear to me that I've been struggling with a faulty pump.
Now that I've got the new waterproof Animas Ping insulin pump, I guess a picture of me doing this would include the pump! Going swimming (or even the process of buying a bathing suit) has been a continuing issue for me since I started using an insulin pump. There are a few issues:
How to wear a swimsuit and a pump at the same time
What to do about hiding (or showing) that little button on my tummy
What to do with the pump while I'm in the water
Will I get enough insulin if I stay in too long?
For many years before I got the pump, I was into one-piece black swimsuits. I thought they looked chic, and I had the body to carry off the look. Although it's possible to tuck the pump into the bra part of a one-piece swimsuit, mine were never that sufficiently "structured" on top to accommodate a pump (I'm not so endowed that I really needed much top structure on a suit).
What I did was switch to tankini-type suits. These have a long top and a genuine bikini bottom. The pump can be clipped on to the bikini bottom, and the little button connector and tubing are hidden under the longer tank top. At first I was afraid that these suits were going to look too "old lady," but they come in all sorts of interesting varieties, many with decolletage-revealing, body-hugging silhouettes. And the fabrics can be delicious. I have a couple in animal prints, a yummy ocean-blue suit, and one with bright, tropical designs. I even have one that has a cute little matching skirt, but you have to be careful when choosing one of these if you don't want the "old lady" look. Opt for something that rides low on the hip.
I haven't dared to wear a tummy-revealing two-piece bikini for a while, but maybe I'll be more daring in the future since I can now keep the pump on when I swim. Of course that solves the problem of what to do with the pump while I'm in the water. It really never felt safe to leave a $9,000 piece of medical equipment sitting on a towel or pool chair, no matter how nearby it is.
I was at a kickoff party recently for the JDRF's Ride to Cure Diabetes. The party was attended by long-term adult T1's as well as parents and relatives of T1's who participate in the Rides.
I want to say something to parents of T1s about approaching adult T1s and asking them about their health. In a word, "Don't"!
There is nothing worse for an adult with long-term Type 1 Diabetes than to be approached by a parent of a younger diabetic and being quizzed about how our health is doing (e.g. "how are the peripheries?"). The agenda of these parents is clear: they want to "estimate" how their kid is going to be doing is 25 years. This should be considered a breach on etiquette. The last thing I want to do (especially at a party!) is talk about whether I've got peripheral neuropathy (or not) and how my eyes are doing and the data on my A1c's. The fact that I'm in excellent health after 25 years says nothing about how your kid is going to be doing in a couple of decades. That depends on their physiology and how well they take care of themselves. It has no relationship to me.
I avoid parents of T1's like the plague for this very reason. Please, learn some etiquette! You wouldn't walk up to somebody randomly at a party and start talking to them about the results of their last colonoscopy, for example. Don't do this sort of thing to me either! I am not here to reassure you. Please, give me a break!
I've gotten the info on the Seattle JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes, and training has already started! I'm going to start going to the bike rides THIS SATURDAY! It's 25-35 miles Saturday -- I am pretty sure I can do it, we'll see. I hope there aren't too many hills!!!!!
I was just reading about the JDRF's Ride to Cure Diabetes. I think I might like to do that. I would have to get past that block of asking people to give me donations for the Ride, but I like the idea of it.
My insurance company is STILL looking into getting me the new pump. Not much progress on that front -- the woman who called today wasn't even clear what kind of pump I was looking for. So I told her to check out the Animas pump again, but also suggested she get info for me on the MiniMed, since that's what my doctor likes. I also put a call in to his office asking whether he would prefer I get a MiniMed this time.
The only drawback on getting the MiniMed is that I have lots of Animas IR1250 supplies. But if my insurance agent was correct, the supplies have zero deductible.
I've now got Puget Sound Health Partners and Animas is working with their provider to get me a new pump. My pump has been out of warranty for a year, and it's not safe to take the chance that something might go wrong with this one and I won't be able to get it replaced. The provider is something called Byram Health Care. I understood from the agent who sold me the insurance that 100 percent of my supplies will be covered under PSHP, so that's a boom. I still owe Animas for supplies from the last (lousy) health insurance!