Cyborg Seminar

So yesterday, I had an appointment at the endocrinology department here in Halifax.  It was a seminar about how to become a cyborg!

Ok…slight exaggeration…not a cyborg seminar…a pump seminar!  Close enough though right? 

When I firsrt got diagnosed, I wanted nothing to do with the pump.  I think the first words I told my CDE nurse was “I don’t have to get a pump do I?  I don’t want a pump!”.  Granted I had just gotten out of emergency very early that morning and was ridiculously tired and stressed, but still I didn’t want one.  Partially because at that time, I thought it was a a surgical procedure.  Silly, I know, but at that point I knew almost nothing about diabetes management.

Now?  After being exposed to the DOC, and meeting other diabetics using the pump, I think it would be a really good option for me.  The biggest thing for me would be the ability to adjust insulin delivery around exercise, as well as being able to adjust my basal rate to get rid of my early morning BG increases.  It can be a very useful tool, and as such I’m starting to do my research!

The seminar was hosted by the unit’s CDE nurse and dietician.  The nurse presenter was actually my first CDE when I got diagnosed, so it was good to see her and catch up.  They spent about an hour going over pump basics, and a little bit of nutrition.  The funny thing is, I already knew most it, thanks to all the blogs I’ve been reading!  They kept it very basic, which was good, as I still learned some stuff and had the chance to ask a few questions.

For the second hour, we got to talk to the pump companies.  Here in Canada, we have 3.  Medtronic, Animas and OmniPod.  All three are really good options, and there’s something about all of them that I like.  I wish I could take those parts and combine them into a super pump!  So here’s the rundown:

Animas:  A waterproof pump, and comes with a remote that allows you to dose without pulling it out of wherever you’ve stashed it.  Good for when you’ve got it somewhere like your bra and don’t want to take it out, and allows dosing to be discreet.  There’s talk of their new pump being released in Canada soon with constant glucose monitoring (CGM) technology integrated into it.  That would be really cool!  Until then though, it’s a very solid pump with the only drawback being no CGM.  But they’re working on it!

OmniPod:  The big thing about the OmniPod is that it is a tubeless pump.  Both the Medtronic and Animas pumps have tubing attached to them to infuse insulin.  OmniPod is just a little pod that sticks to your skin and goves insulin right from there.  The fact that it’s tubeless is a huge thing for me.  There’s no worries of  catching your tubing on anything, as well as the potential to keep it attached during a rugby game instead of going without insulin for the duration of the game.  The drawback?  It’s relatively big.  The infusion sets from the other pumps are pretty flush to the skin, whereas these stick out quite a bit.  Their new generation ones are supposed to be a lot smaller but I’d have to see them first.  Until then, they gave me a fake pod to stick to me to see how it feels and how it holds up with my lifestyle.

Medtronic:  Medtronic has something that the other pumps don’t have: a  CGM system.  Where this would be so beneficial for me is during activity.  I teach fitness for a living, so to have something that allows me to track what my blood sugar is doing without testing would be a huge advantage.  For me, it’s definitely the biggest draw for their system.  However, they don’t have a remote like the Animas and OmniPod systems do, so all deliveries have to be made from the pump.  A minor inconveniece, and one that could easily be worked around. 

So the seminar was well run and very informative.  I also liked having the opportunity to talk to the pump reps and ask all the questions I wanted (and there was a lot!).  For now though, I’m sticking with needles.  I had a brief chat with my old CDE and we both came to the conclusion that since I’m still honeymooning and using very little insulin (maybe 10-15 units a day) that now is not the right time to start pumping.  It’s nice to know what my options are and I look forward to the day when I might be able to join the pump club.


Goals, they are a changin!

Yesterday was a big day for me.  After two years of work, through all of life’s ups, downs and distractions (including a diabetes diagnosis) I finally reached a milestone in my training.  5 chin ups!  In a row.  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was close before I got diagnosed, doing about 3 in a row, and when I got sick I thought it would take me another long while before I got close again.  But here I am, almost 4 months after diagnosis and I pulled myself up over that bar 5 freaking times!  Cue excited music, and in my head happy dance! 


I wish my happy dance was this cool…

This also makes me happy because as of this week, my goals have officially changed.  I found out that I no longer qualify for the powerlifting meet I wanted to do (they changed the qualifying numbers and I came up about 30lbs short…damnit!!) so I found something else to work towards.

A 10km run.

In Iceland.

No, I’m not kidding!  I signed up to be a part of the Team Diabetes fundraiser for the Canadian Diabetes Association, so I agreed to raise at least $6100 for them, and they’ll fly me to Iceland to participate in the event.  I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland, and if I can manage to go while raising money for diabetes, then all the better!!

ImageNow here’s the kicker…I hate running. 

Actually, that’s not fair.  I don’t hate running, it’s just not my favourite form of activity.  As I’ve mention numerous times before, I love weight training.  There’s just something about lifting heavy stuff that makes me feel so amazing, healthy and powerful.  Running makes me feel like I’m going to die.  My sister was always the runner, not me.  So to do this is going to require some extra dedication on my part.

Because I didn’t just sign up for the race.  No no no no no.  That would be too easy.  I also set a time goal for myself (obviously I’m an idiot).  I ran the Bluenose 10km race here in Halifax last May, and I managed to do that in 1:04:32 or something like that.  So for this one, I’m aiming for 55 minutes or less.  Who does that???  Answer:  Crazy people.

So now my fitness goals are going to be working on my endurance and running speed, while trying to maintain strength (after all, the Nova Scotia provincial powerlifting meet is in the spring!).  I’ll be keeping my time in the weight room as well as now adding runs in when I can.  Sounds like fun eh?  I’ll let you know how it goes. Just so you can laugh at my expense.  I’m not above a little self deprecating humour!


Also, if any of you would like to make a donation to myself and Team Diabetes, please click here.  Every little bit helps!