Blog Entries With Tag: port


Posted: Mar 7, 2014

It’s been a month now since coming back to Canada from what I think was the best holiday I’ve had in ages.  I’m still in the process of getting my thoughts together for a good travel blog on the experience along with going thru’ the 1,000’s of pictures both my DH and I took – but in the meantime – it’s back to business for blogging about what I do the best … diabetes … staying in control with it … using whatever method suits you best.

For myself, on this past holiday, I was determined to use the I-Port for all my rapid insulin shots that I take during my waking hours.  I average about 6 shots a day when using my rapid insulin for my meals and corrections.  The ability to not worry about where I last injected (yes – some people keep charts).  I’m lazy – too much work - using the I-Port – which is like an infusion set on an insulin pump (both devices to infuse are very similar) – makes it easier to give time to heal as you move the I-Port/infusion to the next spot.  It makes my life easier!

If I could have put my long lasting insulin into the same port – that would be great – but you can’t – according to the instructions.  It makes sense – since the long lasting insulin (Levemir / Lantus) – work at a different speed – so best to keep them separated.  So, for my regime of using Levemir during my holidays (x3 a day) that was fine (though the 6 AM wake up call for 1st of 3 shots – yawwwnnn – did I say I’m not an early morning riser???).

Anyway, the jist of my blog here is that … I had to ditch using the I-Ports into the 2nd day of our 14 days of sailing.  The reason why?

  • Heavy seas when sailing (we sometimes had waves of 12’ high) – a lot of movement – equals unable to get the needle into the rubber port  that you inject into on the infusion set – tres difficile.   Often I would just inject with pen needle the regular way – and forgo the I-Port altogether.  Sigh.
  • Lack of light.  You need GOOD light to be able to see the rubber port.  A few times when going offshore – the places we were going to – either candle light – flashlight – or next to no light at all.  The life of a boater – lighting is not always what we are used to in our homes that are connected to the grid.

So, I ditched using the I-Ports for the whole 3 weeks of my holidays.

And yes, I am back on the I-Port now back on terra-firma – still enjoying the pump break I’m taking for now.  Testing out Levemir once again – but only on 2X a day injections (sorry Doris - the 3X regime was too much like being a slave to insulin - all I did was worry about times, etc. - not my personal style of controlling my diabetes health - too stressful).

Sadly I only have 6 I-Ports left – and after talks with Diabetes Express / and Fay at Medtronic Canada – who knows when we’ll be able to obtain more.  Discussions are ongoing for distribution since Medtronic took over distribution from Patton Medical Devices in February.  It’s also very sad – when I hear from parents of kids who use the I-Port – and their not being able to get what they need (most kids use 6mm – as an adult – I use the 9mm – otherwise – I’d give the I-Ports to those that need them most).

Feel like discussing this in the forums? You can go check it out here - where I originally posted about the I-Port back in 2008.  It's not new - and many Americans don't know much about it. 

Meanwhile, back to dreaming I’m still living on water ….

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Posted: Jan 4, 2014

Remember the movie with Daniel Lewis - My Left Foot? It was based on a true story about Christy Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy.  Christy could only control his left foot.  

As I started to try to figure out a title for this blog - my British sarcastic humour way of thinking brain - did what it always does - whether it's having a hypo or not ... breasts came into play - just like some of my previous blogs have done.  So I apologise to anyone who thinks I'm making fun of Christy's situation - and now I'll proceed on with the reason I'm posting this blog. 

Oh, and the nipple bit in my title is actually my i-port - which I like to play around with at times (does that make me kinky?) .  Over the past few weeks at get togethers - I've been asked about "why did you go off the pump, yadda, yadda, yadda".  For some reason, I start to feel my "nipple" and tell them the story.  I'm always educating EVERYWHERE I go - with abit of humour in it - and at the same time - telling them that without good control - diabetes is a serious condition to have - that has dire consequences if you don't take care of yourself.

I am loving my i-port - aka "nipple".  Using it for my NovoRapid shots - not worrying about injecting in an area I have already done - and have problems with healing.  This little baby solves everything (to read more about my previous trial with two i-ports - check it out here).

You can inject ONE insulin only into the port - so with my Lantus - I've been injecting the "old fashioned way" (no biggie with a 32 gauge 6mm pen needle).  I have a good fleshy area on my backside which makes for a good dart board practise.  After a few weeks of being off the pump (of course - I chose the holiday season - when there is LOTS of good healthy food around) - I thought I'd give Levemir a try again.

Dartboard with bright coloured needles

Why do a trial with Levemir?  Well, I did try it a few years ago (back in 2009) – but sadly developed an allergy to it – which caused lumps/bumps in the area injected and swelling in areas I didn't want to swell up! I had horrible BG control - it plain freaked me out with all that happened - due to being a bit of a control freak with my diabetes management. 

Fast forward to Dec 2013 – a friend of mine who decided she’d had enough of MDI (multiple dosage injecting) –went onto a pump (lucky person has 100% coverage for EVERYTHING) – oh did I mentioned that they’re in their 70’s – and they are uber techno cool? 

So, they had a box of pen needle vials of Levemir – though I did tell them – keep them incase something goes wrong with your pump.  They detested - being a human dart board for the past 20+ years was enough for them - so I took the vials – thinking maybe another diabetic who needed it could use them before they expired in 2015.  That person now happens to be me - Ms. Guinea Pig!!

Cat waving good byeI said sadly said "bye bye" to George Michael (my Animas 2020 insulin pump) mid-December for what now seems to be a ritual every year at this time for taking a pump holiday.   I started with Lantus originally – getting used to doing the X2 (every 12 hours) shots with the inbetween dart shots of NovoRapid (using the i-port)  for my meals and corrections.   Luckily, the notes I took earlier this year – unlike the previous time – where my record keeping was pretty lame  – the transition this time (who wouldn't get anxiety attacks going off their pump?) is much easier! 

Why did I decide to give Levemir a go again?  I have a T1D mate who I lovingly call the "Insulin Guru" who swears (politely) by this insulin regime of 3X a day (every 8 hours) - and they have an A1C of 4.9% (note - a lower A1C is not my goal - just having level BG's - in my happy zone is all that matters the most to me).  Because that insulin doesn’t work as long as Lantus – they feel splitting it up into 3 shots instead of the usual 2 (or in some cases – people only take their basal insulin once a day – though I wonder about their BG readings over a 24 hour period – IF they do basal testing that is).

The first few days – I was abit unsure if I was doing the right thing.  I took my total Lantus amount – and split it up into 3X – similar to Lantus – where I take more for my AM shot – less for PM shot.  So far, with my hormonal bursts (menopause / period / stress from holidays) – I’m actually not doing too badly.  My corrections with the doses to make sure I’m staying in my happy zone are working out alright.  I have tried to allow at least 3 days before I make any changes.

The one thing that I’m finding as I enter into my 2nd week experiment with Levemir – my BG’s seem to be doing less of the roller coaster ride.  Sadly, Lantus has a reputation of landing those of us who use it – into hypo fairy land – as it has a tendency to peak – and bang – you are low.  One of the reasons I had originally gone onto George Michael was because of the hypos I was having overnight and in the mornings.  Not conducive to work at all!!!  Levemir from the research I’ve done in forums as well as medical discussions with endo’s/CDE’s tends to show that this doesn’t occur with Levemir.  

Yes, you do have to be abit patient when you try any new regime that you may not be familiar with – I won’t lie to you about this.  I won’t lie to you either – that using a pump is way easier as it has the ability to do everything with one insulin – and ability to fine tune your basal requirements.  I’m finding the time to “think” about my carb count – despite the use of the InsuLinx (watch for a new blog on this soon).  I'm still writing in a log book (the meter sadly doesn’t have ability to do this).  So initially, it’s time consuming, but if it’s anything like last years 6 month holiday from the pump – it all becomes easier.  It's like tying up your shoe laces (wait – there’s Velcro for that right?).   

The other aspect of using the Levemir – is being a clock watcher (actually it’s my android that’s my savoir).  Timing of the shots – remembering to test my BG’s a few hours later – it’s getting used to this that is bugging me slightly - but I'm determined to make this work - despite getting up at the ungodly hour of 0600 to do my first Levemir shot - that's too early for this little work at home puss cat (my other shots are at 1400 / 2200 - this is the regime that works for ME that I set up for myself).

On the other side though – that’s good at least to me –

  • not being hooked up to a machine
  • no tubing (fast dressing/undressing - Whoo! Whoo! If you get my drift)
  • Wearing clothing that normally I can’t wear due to have the pump (this may change if I ever progress to a pump that has a remote – but still – depending on where you stuff the pump – it can lead to a bit of a bulge – and sorry – I have enough of those from fat deposits on me already) … I’m so vain ;)

So, how many of you use Levemir - and find taking 3 shots of it a day work for you as well?

 

*** For more discussion on the I-port - feel free to check out the forums at this link ***

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Posted: Mar 30, 2013

Gotta love Mr. Bean

UPDATE -** NOVEMBER 18TH 2013 ** - I HAVE FINALLY BEEN APPROVED TO USE THE I-PORT! Why it took my insurance company so long is beyond my comprehension - but now I'm so excited - especially when I take my next holiday  - where I can't risk having my out of warranty insulin pump go wonky on me - this will make my MDI (multiple dose injection) regime so much easier!!!!

*******************

I posted this blog the other day at Blogger - and thought I'd share it here with you at Diabetes1.org! 

Picture of an upset

Okay, okay, don't get your nose out of joint - my fellow insulin pumping peeps - that I'm saying that the i-port is a mini-me insulin pump - but in away - when you look at it "logically" without any anger from my statement - I AM the "mini-me" pump - I am the brains behind what goes into my body - via the i-port - I AM IN CONTROL - not a machine - that I've programmed with best intentions to keep my diabetes health in control.

 


Yes, I still have to give a separate shot for my "basal" rate with long acting insulin  - I do this twice a day - 12 hours part seems to work best for me.   The basal rate is basically what your pancreas - if it's working - squirts out all the time - in order to keep your blood sugar in a normal range when your not eating, etc.   With diabetes - your pancreas can be abit on the wonky side and either work when it feels like (e.g. Type 2) or like myself as a Type 1 - where my pancreas is dead as a door nail. 


The recommendations of the i-port website is that only ONE type of insulin being put thru' the port via either a pen needle (no shorter than 5mm) or syringe (28 gauge is the thickest - otherwise you could ).  I'm fine with that that I can only use the port for one insulin.  With a "real" insulin pump which has an insulin cartridge that stores insulin (the i-port doesn't - you INJECT the insulin thru' the port) - we all know it's programmed to squirt out ""X amount" of  rapid acting insulin - for your basal rate as well as your bolus rate (aka - if you have to correct a higher than normal blood sugar (BG) or for when you are eating a meal).  If this has got you abit confused about the types of insulin - check out the link from Diabetes.co.uk that explains how injected insulins work in our bodies.  


My messy diary along with box from i-port


The thing I loved about my six day experiment with the i-port (I was only given 2 samples - boo! hoo!) - is that instead of my having to do the human dart board practise on my stomach for my bolus shots 5-8 times a day - I just did my insulin injections through the port in my skin.  It really is like an infusion set that we use with an insulin pump - except it has no tubing - or connections to a little machine that goes ping.   The port is changed EVERY 3 days - which is the recommendation for most infusion sets.  Usually in the past, I've had issues with the teflon coated plastic cannula that remains in my body for that length of time.  Luckily, with the i-port I had no such issues, removing the port left barely a mark in my skin. 


The good thing about the i-port - less expensive then the alternative of an insulin pump (I can purchase the i-ports at Diabetes Express for $149.99 CAD for a box of 10).  This is bit less expensive then what I was paying for my infusion sets with my insulin pump - but the even bigger saving for me?  I'm not having to pay for a pump which ranges from $5-7K depending on where you live - along with the other supplies that go along with the pump (insulin cartridges, batteries, replacement caps, etc.). 


i-port put in place (really easy)


One thing I did find was that I didn't cringe at having to give another shot of rapid insulin for a little sinful snack or a correction shot.  It reminded me so much of the insulin pump I used to use - where a simple touch of the key pad - squirted insulin into my body via the infusion set - except with the i-port - you are the brains behind what insulin you are injecting with.


I have submitted a predetermination form thru' my husbands workplace insurance in the hopes that these ports will be covered - hopefully at 100%.  So wish me luck - since I'm really REALLY missing my little i-port right now - I felt very spoiled using the two I was sent. It's almost how I felt when I first disconnected from my pump - and went back onto multiple daily injection (MDI).  After almost a month of learning how to stay in the BG zone with MDI - I can now say - that ANYONE can do it - if they put their mind to it - and now I'm not missing my pump as I go into my 4th month of being pump free.


It stands out about 1/2" or abit less


My conclusion?  For anyone without insurance coverage - dislikes injecting to the point of not wanting to inject (not good - tisk - tisk - who hasn't done that in their life time with diabetes?) - I really think this is the route to go - to keep a diabetic from suffering the effects of poorly controlled diabetes.  

 


NB
:  The i-port Advance has regulatory clearance in Canada, US and the European Union.  In the EU they currently have distributors in Germany, Italy and the Nordic Region and are in conversations to add some additional countries in the near future. India and Australia will be further down the road. 

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