August 30, 2008

Denise Faustman on Science Friday

Nice segment with Denise Fuastman on Science Friday 8/29/08. It is available at the iTtunes Store as a free podcast. I am officially old because I have no clue how to link the iTunes Store podcast.

http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200808291

I am Voting for Thomas P. Murt

He is our local representative in Harrisburg.

I wrote him about HB 2002 Short Title: An Act amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, further providing for school health services. (I would hate to see a long title ya know what I mean?)

This is the PA Safe at School bill for students with diabetes I wrote about a few days ago. He called our house when I was at work yesterday and spoke with one of the older kids. He said he would add his sponsorship. I got this card in the mail from him today.


Wow that was fast. I even see he is now listed on line as a a co-sponsor of the bill!

Democracy in Action! Wohoo!

So my friends I suggest you join me in voting for the honorable Mr. Murt if you are in our district and if you are not, write your honorable dude or dudette.

August 29, 2008

What is Your Goal?

There it is a bullseye at the center of a Type 1 parent’s universe. It is the blood glucose “target.” What yours 95, 110, 100?


Funny thing about Type 1 is how it makes life so quantifiable. Poke your kid with a shard of steel squeeze out some blood and in five seconds you get feedback on your parenting skills. Hit the goal and you are doing great. Oh, that parenting would be so easy - it's not.

And the goal isn’t a number.

Everyone who has listened to Cosby knows that as parents our goal is to get the kids out of the house. Yeah, it is a joke, but it is funny because it is true. The target is their own apartment supported by their own income. It’s not that we don’t love’m to the contrary we love them so much that we want what is best for them. Coincidentally what is best for them to move out of our house is good for us too.

It's just that nobody told Type 1 the plan. It will try to confuse you into not focusing on the goal. It wants you to see numbers and find reasons not to trust. Type 1 wants us to be clingy and over protective to withhold responsibility. It tells us this is for the kids own good, until they grow up.

Life doen't to happen instantaneously. Not that that wouldn’t be nice; all, sweet little kid then BAMB! Hit'm with some Emril essence and instant adult. No issues in between. But they have to grow into being an adult. We need them to grow into it so we know they can handle the responsibility. What the heck parents need kids to grow into their adult lives so we know WE can handle giving up the responsibility.

For our kids to step into their lives we need to step back.

Sadly part of our type 1 kids' adult lives will be diabetes management. Yeah a cure would be cool but my bet is our kids will grow up and move out before there is a cure. So we need to help them get ready and our part of that is growing into the idea of letting go. Giving responsibility and trust is as important for us as it is for them. We have to get past our 'need' to look over their shoulder and read the meter - literally then figuratively. They will never get out if we don't let go.

We all made type 1 mistakes. Making them was a big step in our growth as type 1 parents. Remember that first missed shot? It was a good thing. Didn't feel like it at the time but it was. It meant we were getting past the shock of diagnosis and getting back to some part of life. A little. We kicked ourselves for it too. We saw progress as failure. Don't do the same thing with letting go, don't make the mistake of seeing progress as failure.

Our teens need the same process of growing we did. We need to see their taking responsibility and forgetting as progress not failure. To do that we need to see far more successes than slip ups. We may need to create success situations as well as not yell at slip ups.

Create success situations like, "I want you to take care of you diabetes this evening when we are out, this weekend, this week, this month, until your next check up. How about you take these prescriptions to the pharmacy, call in you set order, down load your meter, set your basals and take out the trash." Hey when they are living by themselves the trash will still need to be taken out.

It is about life. It isn't easy. It takes a lot longer than a blood check. It is not about a number. Unless that number is their apartment unit.

August 27, 2008

Son of the Sidekick

Sounds like a summer super hero movie spin off.
It looks like a spin off too. Home Diagnostics has a new meter on the market, the "True2Go."

It's small. "Small enough to screw onto the top of a test strip bottle."
Wait a second. This looks like my favorite theme park meter the Side Kick redone.

The problem with the Sidekick was it died after about 50 tests. It was programmed to stop working when it did as many tests as the number of strips it was sold with. You could not get it to work if you bought new strips for it (I tried.) These were great in the kid's pocket meters. Great is a word that here means small and easy to carry.

The insurance company in its infinite wisdom wouldn't buy them for us because the Sidekick was an over the counter product. Never mind that the strip for strip a Sidekick was cheaper than the strips they did pay for. To hold the line on costs they bought the more expensive stuff. You have to work at an insurance company for that to make any sense.

So maybe Home Diagnostics figured out that they could sell strips a.k.a. cash cows if the made son of Sidekick. I'll have to get my hands... err.. the kids fingers... on one.

August 26, 2008

From The News Wire: Faustman on TNF

What the heck is TNF? Tumor Necrosis Factor

BOSTON, Aug. 25 -- Laboratory studies of type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune
diseases show that boosting levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) or its
receptor activity selectively destroys autoreactive T cells, suggesting a
possible cure for the diseases, investigators here reported.

Read all about it here: Selective Killing of Autoimmune Cells Suggests Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes

Oh and you can listen too. There is an audio clip.

More here:
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2008/08/26/diabetes_therapies_take_new_approach/

Oh and More Mice are getting cured:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825175043.htm

August 25, 2008

Tip's Tip

Last night the Olympics ended.

Tonight the Democrat’s National Convention starts.

I am going out on a limb and guessing the Olympic Games will prove more entertaining than the Political Games.

Once again health care is a ‘Big Issue.’ The national parties are going to fight about stuff that they are more interested in as fighting points than practical day to day living with a chronic condition matters.

Can you tell that I don’t have big expectations that much will change? Tip O’Neill once said, “All Politics is Local.” Old Tip knew his stuff. Take his advice.

Maybe the most local issues are schools. You don’t have to look too hard to find parental angst on the issue of type 1 care and school. In fact I dare say this is a more emotional issue with type 1 families than the mess that we lovingly call health care / insurance.

All the boogie men of type 1 come into play with a bad school and type 1 family relationship; the food police, testing, activity, power, ignorance, responsibility and all the rest.

There is a T1 community but for the most part it is a virtual community that exists with on line connections. Politically we are not locals so in a lot of ways we don’t exist as a block with political clout.

So while you are skipping the coverage of both parties national convention, drop a note to your state representatives about the need for safe diabetes care in school. If anyone knows a list by state of pending legislation, I would live a link. ADA has this list of states with laws and this about states that don’t but neither is quite a list of states with legislation pending to call and write our legislatures about. (Pa folks here is the info for us.)

Do your civic duty. Watch the national conventions if you must but during breaks write you state reps and help bring some rational order the school rules for type 1.

August 22, 2008

What A Croc

OK. Type 1 sucks. That doesn't mean you can't have fun with it.

My pals at Cosmo were having a good time getting trial pumps on us at Friends for Life. These ladies were right up front with the fact that they didn't love their belt clips. Their solution?

A Croc cell phone case.

Hey wait a second here. You are MEDICAL DEVICE REPRESENTATIVES. Aren't you meant to be all solemn, stiff, boring dare I say serious?

Seriously funny. They get the idea that, just because diabetes is a pain in the particular part of the anatomy that the set goes into (in our case the butt), you can still have some fun with it.

You know what else is a croc? Thinking serious an solemn are the same thing.


Thanks Cosmo Ladies.




August 21, 2008

Not All Families Get Along

I am enjoying all the Olympic broadcasts. I am not going out and ordering a half dozen new cars but I may feel better about a 12 pack of diet coke and all the stuff we buy from the J&J family of companies.

We steer a ton of business the J&J family’s way. For example test strips.

It seems that they, like a lot of families, have some less functional members. By this I mean the One Touch branch of the family. Don’t get me wrong I still feel good about being a customer of someone who is bringing all the swimming races into our living room and a bunch of good people to FFL but maybe they could take a lesson from the events they beam into said living room.

Timing is everything - see Michael Phelps’s touch out in the fly. One one hundredth of a second did the deal. I think we can all be impressed with the time keeping ability needed to correctly identify the winner.

Time matters. Unless you are one touch.

One touch isn’t exactly in the same class as the Olympic Games when it comes to timing. Our meters seem to stray off time about as fast the US Swimmer set worlds records. In other words - all the time. I have flat out given up trying to keep them in line and on time.

Time isn’t the only place this member of the clan seems to be off on its own. The $200 Ping meter is another case in point. (Any bets on if a $200 meter keeps time better than a free one? No. Wonder why not.) Animas went out of their way to make the 2020 bright readable color. One touch made the Ping meter dull unreadable monochrome.

There were clear undercurrents of Us vs Them when we asked about this at the combined One Touch / Ping booth at Friends for Life. As in go ask ‘THEM’ head jerking toward the One Touch side of the display booth why the meter has that screen. Clearly the issue had come up and the Animas and One Touch branches of the family had different views on viewable screens.

One Touch also demonstrated it is a bit of out of touch when it came to Mini’s too. For one thing they are not really particularly small. Hey One Touch - how about a meter in a strip can cap like a SideKick? That would rock.

We have two kids with Type 1. Telling the meters apart comes in handy for tracking who numbers are what. Even if you can’t trust the clock in the meter for when tests were done, knowing which meter is who’s helps. Color is a handy little feature in this regard. Yes Minis come in colors. (Grown up meters like Ultras Smarts and Pings only come in boring grown up gray because being a grown up apparently means being boring.)

Colored cases would be cool too. At FFL One Touch made it clear they have them. Yeah! Well they didn’t exactly have them at FFL. One Touch said they drop shipped the cases to selected Endo offices. They suggested we could call our Endo and see if they were one of the lucky offices that got them.

Ok I’ll get on that, after the Olympics.

August 19, 2008

Cheating

I wore a bunch of pumps at FFL. I had a Cosmo on the longest. I was very impressed with the menu structure and design that went into the user interface. But I am not here to talk about technology.

I’m here to confess.


My name is Bennet and I am a cheater.

I snuck food and didn’t bolus when I was on the pump.

Well more like I just flat out forgot - about half the time.
Maybe more.



It is so easy to get frustrated when the kids don’t bolus. The online forums are full of parental angst when kids don’t. We are SURE we would bolus every time if it was us.

I got news for ya: The only thing easier than being frustrated when your kid doesn’t bolus, is forgetting to bolus.



I dare anyone to put on a saline pump, put yourself in a moderately intellectually stimulating environment and see if you remember to bolus all the time. Oh and have your favorite snacks around and out when you wear it.

I flat out sucked at remembering. I would be walking out of a session all fired up about the topic talking with someone, grab a snack and keep talking. OK, ok, everyone who knows me, knows I keep talking all the time anyway, but there is a point here and that is... I forget...

... Doh! I’m wearing a pump.


What's more, if you’re not used to wearing a set everyday they’re not all that comfortable. It isn’t that they hurt. It is that they are just there, bugging you any chance they get.

The things are bastards that way.

The cord tries to pull the pump into the bowl every time you use the toilet. It thinks that is funny. I am telling you right now, you too can do in-stall gymnastics like a prepubescent Chinese kid looking for gold, when you know a 6 grand pump is heading for commode. If it isn’t diving for the bowl the pump is forever getting tangled up with the cell phone on your belt.

In short the pump made me well aware it was there, I just forgot to bolus.

Eating is as often a reflex more than a conscious act. There is food, it is comfort, you eat, you pay attention to what your mind is on and you forget the pump despite its gold metal efforts to remind you.

If you are like every other parent you and your fellow parents have designed our collective kids’ lives to keep them intellectually stimulated. We build building for that very reason. We call them school and pay taxes every month to support them. We want our kids to do well at this school thing. I mean we not only want straight ‘A’ but the class presidency, editor of the school news paper, lead in the play and league MVP would be nice too.

Kids have stuff on their minds. We go to great lengths to insure it.

  • They are used to wearing sets.
  • They know how to use a toilet and not do the stall Olympics.
  • They can wear a pump and a cell phone without entangling the phone in the pump line to the point of an occlusion alarm going off and text without looking at the buttons. (The starting degree of difficulty value there is HUGE!)

All that and they bolus way better than the 50% I did. More like 80% or 90%, maybe even 99% of the time.



I have a new found respect for that.

(That and I’m considering entering the 2012 Olympics in the pump/stall gymnastics event, unless I have to wear a tight leotard, that is just unthinkable.)



I’ll tell you what is breaking the rules. Stigmatizing the very real and human slip of having a life and forgetting a bolus by using terms like sneaking, lying and cheating. Yes, it is easy to get frustrated but it is cheating to let that frustration morph into to humiliating and guilt tripping our kids. It is not about numbers it is about living with diabetes, long term, independent living.

It was no accident that the same coach at Friends for Life who said there needs to be consequences for behavior was also the same guy who said he never met a kid who was the problem. His experience is that it is always the parents who have the behavior problem.

It is not about numbers it is about how we lead.

What would you respond better to, being put down as a no good lying cheating skunk (sound like fighting words in an old western don’t it?) for the 20, 10 or 1% of the time you make a mistake or praised for the 80, 90 or 99% of the time you get it right? So how are kids any different? If you are not providing positive feedback 80, 90 or 99% of the time then being overbearing 20, 10 or 1% is cheating.


My name is Bennet. I am a diabetes cheater.

Knowing that is the key to not being one again.

Not the Mama

Delaney went to Diabetes Camp. It was about 36 hours after we got home from Friends for Life. In between she had the swim league champs where she swam up age groups, and the team picnic. Busy kid.

Camp requires a form be filled out with her the basal rates. So the night, after the picnic, I wrote them all down. I did the best I could but some of her's are odd, starting on the half hour at times, they didn’t fit the camp's form cleanly. Her basal are all over the place a mixture resulting from trial and error. A product of evolution, they worked.

She was due for some serious adjustments. Her A1C, at her check up, hours before leaving for FFL was on the higher than we would like side. But We didn’t want to mess too much with basal rates at the convention and subsequent week of walking around Disney. At Disney she was running on the low side probably as a result of all the walking and the hotter than the surface of the sun paths we were walking on.

Anyway checking in to camp, they didn’t want to look at the form. They started reading off basals from the pump. OK, why the form but ok.

Until they flat out got it wrong. So wrong it just jumped out - 6:00 am to midnight x. Wait my brain said, (OK me and 'brain' may be mutually exclusive, M&M size clump of nerve endings may be better.) But even the M&M size clump of nerve endings knew there are all those strange afternoon gyrations and the ramp up for the growth hormones that hit right after she goes to sleep. There was a lot of error in the trial and error that got to these numbers and I did a lot of it, error making that is. You have seen my spelling. You gotta know I make a lot of errors.

So I said, "No, that's wrong. Her basals don’t go flat from 6:00 am to midnight and why do you have us fill in this form if your just going to blow it off?"

Well they said they assume that the form is wrong - filled out a few weeks ago - so they don’t use it.

OK so why send it out then? And you are still not reading her pump right.

Oh well they know they were reading it wrong but they “were waiting for the mother” to come bask to ask her about the pump.

That went over really well.


Well maybe not.






So when we picked her up a week later the Endo fellow had a few fine points for me.

The form was wrong.

Did the doctor set up these basals, because a doctor should?

They are very complex.

She is running high and the basals need changing.

Delaney doesn’t know how to adjust her basals and she should.

And her I:C ratio needed a tweak.


Thanks. Love Ya / Mean It.



The form - nice of you to actually look at it. What was off what I wrote or what you wrote? No answer. Speaks for itself.

No the doctor never looks at her basals, occasionally the nurse talks them over with us but I can't recall once in three years when the Endo said boo about them and I have never missed and endo appointment. I set up the basals. We are the primary care givers and that is not only fine with her care team it is their stated goal.

Complex, No kidding? You should shave seen them when we needed hourly changes to average half the incremental change rate of the pump was capable of. Looked like a roller coaster.

Doh! I know they need changing. I told you that when she checked in but seeing how she was running daytime lows at Disney on a 10% reduced basal I didn’t really feel like changing them in the 36 hours between then and camp. Oh I told you that too.

Not for nothing y’all didn’t impress me when we checked in and with an unknown physical activity schedule I voted for running basals on the low side rather than risk a lot of lows on the BG side.

Oh and she is a total queen at making temp changes when asked to, can do most of her self care. She is ahead of where her brother was in both age and time from diagnosis on every type 1 skill. She is fairly good about combo blousing when she needs, asking us if she should.

Her reading needs work. Her penmanship could show a little more care. Her room is a rat’s nest. She needs to help out with the dishes and is due to better learn how the laundry works. She could be a little better at carb counting and I think in the grand scheme of things those take precedence over basal tuning.

But what do I know?

I’m am not the mother.


Delaney loved camp.

August 18, 2008

My Fellow Pennsylvanians

I Want You To Lobby Your Elected Officials

Safe at School legislation has been introduced into the quagmire we lovingly call Harrisburg. We need this and there is nothing like letting your elected officials know you (an actual registered voter) are paying attention.

It as easy as 123.

1) Identify your elected dude or dudette
2) Send them a letter
3) Send it again in a few months.


1) Go here and enter your zip code. It will give you your state representative and senator.
2) Here is a little draft letter only minor modifications are required (edit out the wise cracks in the brackets) or grow your own.
3) If you hear back send a thank you note. If you don’t send the letter again a little closer to the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November. In fact send another one in mid October any way.


Dear (Insert the name your dude or dudette here, see 1 above.)

Please ad your sponsorship to (Pick one, preferably the house bill for the rep and the senate bill for the senator, House Bill 2002 P.N. 2820 /Senate Bill 509 P.N. 552) Safe at School legislation for Children with diabetes. This legislation is desperately needed to help students with diabetes succeed.

We are the parents of (Your actual number of T1 Kids! I used two, if you have less than two actual type 1 kids please change the plural children to singular child as appropriate in the following sentences. Oh and congratulations on only having one.) children with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 is often reported in the media as the ‘more serious’ form of diabetes due to the higher levels of testing and insulin use it requires.

Type 1 is an autoimmune disease and is in no way the result of diet or exercise. All type 1 children and adults require insulin throughout the day and will continue to need it until a cure is found. Both our children use insulin pumps, manufactured in the Commonwealth, to deliver that insulin instead of 4 to 6 insulin shots a day. (LOOK It is good for the state economy! - Sucks big time for us but hey every silver lining has a cloud....)

(Ad A PERSONAL PARAGRAPH! follow with 'more work is still needed' like sample below)

While significant progress has been made our school still refuses many of the safe at school practices that this bill would insure. For example our children have only been permitted to participate in school trips if a parent accompanies them and despite doctor’s specific recommendations they are not permitted to carry and use their glucose monitoring equipment at all times.

This legislation is desperately needed. It is a safe and appropriate response to a chronic medical condition. I look forward to hearing you have added you sponsorship to the bill and your efforts to getting it passed. I hope to be able to share with the tens of thousands of other Delaware Valley (Or your local walk) type 1 families who support the October (Just before elections.... not that we are watching or anything... but maybe we'll follow up then) Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk for the Cure that you are working to improve the lives of type 1 kids by keeping them Safe at School. (OH YEAH DID I MENTION - THERE ARE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF REGISTERED VOTERS INVOLVED? right before Election Day? Oh I did mention that? Sorry.... Not!)

Respectfully

Gold Fever

It seems with all the Olympics coverage I forgot to write.

It isn’t that we forgot about diabetes. We are in the midst of some over due basal rate corrections for the soon to be 5th grader. It is that the Olympics are just way more fun.

Delaney is into the games and even more into the coverage. Well more precisely the sponsorship of the coverage. She is so tuned into the commercials that we started a game of announcing what the ad is as soon as one starts. She is very good at it. So good it gives one a bit of concern about the effectiveness of advertising on pre-teens. However she isn’t exactly in the market for a Audi, GM, Toyota or Nissan.

Next to commercials, swimming was way the favorite in our house. I’ll try to be a little more attentive to writing this week.

August 8, 2008

Dear Ian & Sean

I attended a focus group session that was in theory a brain storming session for future Animas products. It was Wednesday morning of Friends for Life and we had just flown the way too early flight in. So I was looking and feeling my best.

That reminds me, thanks for the good coffee.

The premises of the session was we were going to help draft a letter to Ian & Sean, the Animas R&D guys, to help them define what we would like to see come down the pike. Funny I thought I sent that letter two years ago and was hoping some of that had found its way into the products we would see in the next few days. No such luck.

Anyway it was a fun session. Most of us were Animas pumping families, not all. I was real please to meet Jose (I am sorry I can't recal his wifes name - I a spaz with names.) and their teen son Mateo originally from Columbia and now Orlando.

Mateo wins brother of the year. I told him so. He was there for his kid sister 11. He does a fair share, maybe more than a fair share, of the diabetes care in the family. He is a very stand up young man. His parents are rightfully proud. Hell, I am proud too and I just met him. I heard through the conference grapevine (aka my buddies at the Bayer booth) Mateo could play a mean Guitar Hero. Too bad he didn’t get a chance to go hardcore against Connor head to head. It would have been amusing.

So anyway back to the session, we did a round the room discussion of what would make diabetes care better. Most was how to make the pump better. I found I was not alone in my distaste for the food, Animas food database that is. Specifically how the thing is set up in the pump, baby food beans and all. In fact I am willing to go out on a limb and say that there was at least one other who was even more unimpressed with it than I. I gotta tell ya that is saying something too. But I still almost got a riot going fanning the flames of how it should work like an iPod’s play lists.

I seem to recall ezManager took a well earned beating.

We wanted CGM integration.
We wanted flexibility in the way the internal software was implemented.
In short we wanted the pump to be ours not some dude in the R&D lab’s.

To be honest I think Mateo really wanted to be elsewhere. Come to think me too. A cure would be cool. He can could get on with being a teen and I could get on with being a geezer.

We did do a little fictitious budget allocation. I was over ruled on the suggestion of more money for pitch forks, torches and other riot gear buy my table. I don’t think we ever got that letter drafted.

So anyway Ian & Sean if you really out there, see my letter from two years ago.

August 6, 2008

To Ping Two

I wore a Ping at Friends For Life. Mrs. YDMV and I put them on instead of the T1 kids. Delaney already had on the BatGirl belt and Connor, being a teen was hustled off site.

The Ping is a little bigger than a 12xx or 2020 Animas pump. Not a lot bigger but enough form me to notice being used to handling a 1250. Just about the same size as the CosMore I was also wearing. It, the Ping not the Cosmo, says One Touch on the front where it would say Animas if it were any other model. I noticed that too. It does say Animas on the back.

The pump comes in groovy colors but mine was black. The screen was way easier to read than a 1250. I assume it is the same screen as a 2020. Very nice, I probably could even read it at night at 2:00 am without my reading glasses. The bright screen was the news last year but nobody was talking about it now.

The Ping part is it talks to a new One Touch Ping meter. The meter says One Touch on the front too. It is a remote and can drive the pump. The meter is about the size of a One Touch Ultra Smart, maybe a tad fatter. One Touch moved the food database out of the pump and into the meter.

That means you have to use the meter to use the food database. I don’t see that as a big deal because the food database usability is substantially equivalent to what it has been. Either way, in the pump or in the meter, it isn’t particularly worth the effort to use. It still has cumbersome menus and baby food and beans are still the top two spots for food in the menus system. Dudes think iPod play lists.

The meter does all the bolus calculations and can send it over to the pump. That is a little bit handy. We agreed that at time it would be nice if Delaney was in a dress. Also for parents of little kids so they can remote control the pump.














Sadly the meter has the same monochrome screen a One Touch Ultra Smart has. Same is a word that here means, marginally readable. It was easy to see why nobody was talking about screens. OK it is back lit. Compared to the pump screen (and since you have both with you all the time the comparison is hard to miss) the meter screen is, to be nice, crap.

There are some menu changes in the Ping. Some of the set up screens were more readable, apparently there were in the 2020 too. They added a screen to code the meter to the pump. Strangely when Kimball and I first bloused, at the exact some time, in the quickie training class it crashed my pump. We had to re-code the pump to the meter. The pump person thought it was because we bloused at the same time. I think it is more likely, given that it was real early, that she coded both meter to the same pump before we showed up for the first pump trial of a long day but I don’t know. Didn’t happen again.

So the big question everyone had when the Ping was announced was does it do CGM? The answer - all the wonderful communications stuff the Ping does. In other words Ping doesn’t do CGM.

They said they hope to have a product in late 2009 or 2010. Nobody would answer questions about upgrades. The stock response to, ‘Can the software in the pump, meter or computer application handle the volume of data from a CGM?’ was ‘When we have a CGM product the software available then will then work with CGM data.’

The other big question was how much is a meter if you loose it - Two Hundred Bucks. OUCH!

Neither Kimball nor I was particularly impressed with Ping. The meter screen is a joke compared to the pump’s. The communications are a little cool but not revolutionary and the meter is gonna get lost. While the pumps come in colors nobody was saying anything about meter colors other than ‘Did you see the new Mini colors Blue and Purple!’ J&J is a family of companies. Every big family one member that needs to get with the program, One Touch is The J&J family’s but that is another post.

I wouldn’t upgrade a 2020 to a Ping unless it was free and if the meter is 200 beans I can’t see it being a free upgrade. Likewise neither of the T1 kids were impressed enough to want to try a Ping for any appreciable amount of time.

DexCom says they expect to have CGM integration for the Animas before the Pod. Summer of 2009 is the goal. That could slip with regulatory issues. So that means Ping II is a year maybe a little more away.

Connor will decide what pump he wants when is 4 years are up in April. It is his diabetes, his body, his choice. I suspect he will want to stick with what he knows.

That is OK. Ping is just another pump.

Pumping is about more than infusing insulin. Johnson and Johnson is making a commitment to an expanded definition of type 1 care. The best example is that the best speakers at Friends for Life were J&J’s guys. Hell FFL is a J&J company new too. That matters. It would be nice if the technology was a little better too but diabetes isn’t about technology. It is about life.

From The News Wire: DexCom on Animas and Podd

From DexCom's Earnings Call as reported on Seeking Alpha - Their thoughts on CGM and Pumps and the next generations of the DexCom product.

Terry Gregg - DexCom President

..Our continued goal is to complete all development, clinical and regulatory efforts with Animas and be positioned to launch our first product during the summer of 2009. But, as you are well aware, the timing of the regulatory process is uncertain we would expect to combine product with Insulet to follow later in 2009.

We are also pleased to report that we have filed a PMA supplement for a third generation continuous glucose monitoring system with the Food and Drug Administration. Data from our approval support trial demonstrated significant improvements in system on time and improved accuracy as compared to our current product. In addition our third generation system will include twin doors to complement our turn graph and event entry capabilities such insulin intake, (inaudible) exercise as well as configurable alarms.

Keep inline with generation alliterations we continue to make progress on our fourth generation product. We expect this design to incorporate an enhanced membrane system, we have been greater accuracy and be suited for large volume production. Additionally our fifth generation sensor is now being tested in humans in connection with our in-hospital product.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/89295-dexcom-inc-q2-2008-earnings-call-transcript?source=wl_sidebar&page=3

August 5, 2008

I Would Rather Drive a Mini Cooper

Friends for Life is about people. Well people getting stuff from vendors in the expedition hall. Some vendors do test drives. It was great fun joking around with them while putting all the junk on.

Delaney was more into the Test Drives than I had expected. She wore a Cosmo, a MiniMed with a CGM and of course there was the trusty 1250 doing the real pumping. Part of her freedom to run around was to carry her cell, meter and some glucose.

That is a lot of stuff. She also collected enough shinny beads, trinkets, talismans, yoyos, pedometers and assorted branded backpacks to buy back Manhattan from the Indians at current market rates.

She was on the go all the time. (Hence the crummy picture) At one point I was concerned that all that weight may have more than equal and very opposite reaction with the elastic waist band of her shorts. Fortunately she found the solution to this potential crisis by hanging all this stuff from the belt of her pump pouch.

She had a utility belt of high tech gadgetry that would put Batman to shame. At one point I realized that the manufacturers suggested retail price of all this stuff the kid was wandering around with was more than a new Mini Cooper.

I would rather have a Mini Cooper than need a MiniMed.

August 4, 2008

Wack -a- Meter Friends Videos

I'll Link Wack -a- Meter Videos here as I get them so keep 'm coming Kids!

Our buddy Evansdad from CWD stepped up with our first Friend's of YDMV Wack-a-Meter Video.

August 3, 2008

Smash -a- Meter

It Is Time We Take Joe Solowiejczyk's Advice.
(Even if we can't pronounce his name.)

Life isn't just about numbers. Type 1 kids have to do what they need to do to stay health. This includes mentally healthy.

We all need to understand it is OK to hate diabetes. What is a more prominent symbol of their diabetes than the ever present meter and its numbers?

Kill the Beast!

Totally surprise your type 1 family member by stopping the car, getting the meter out and running it over. Kill the meter. If running it over with the car does not do it, smash it with a hammer or a rock.

Let your family know it OK to dislike diabetes - take it out your frustrations on a meter!

Think Wack a Mole with out a padded wacker. Gallagher were are you when we need you?

My great thanks to Joe at Friends For Life for suggesting this. I for one am convinced it helps. (It helps to have a backup meter before you sacrifice one to mental health too, reality sucks.)

So my friends here is the first ever YDMV video challenge. Smash a meter. Put the video on YouTube. Anyone have an asphalt roller? Just exactly how flat can we get one of these things?



More Stupid Meter Tricks

You're Not Hardcore

Unless you
live hardcore
.
- Jack Black

School of Rock


If you are used to playing Guitar Hero laying down - then you have to lay down.

They guys from Bayer brought Guitar Hero and two guitars (twice as many as any other vendor!). Connor is hard core so no standing on the little podium thing.

One of the cool thing about FFL is getting the kids involved. In session and with the stuff. Sadly this year the event was so well attended that they had to find other space for the teens, off site. As a result the teens didn't get a lot of time in the exhibit hall.

If I was one of the exhibitors I think that would have irritated me and had me on the organizers for either a refund or a schedule change. This is the demographic that they want to influence but had little shot at.

Well unless they were hard core.

August 2, 2008

What's Important

I had a teacher in college who regularly asked in lectures "What's Important?" I wrote down what he said next 'cause it was gonna be the a test.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words here is a thousand words worth of what's important about Friends for Life. This is Joe, Paul and the teens from eastern Europe. It's getting late, folks are heading to bed, all the tables are clear but one. All the kids are clearly involved in the conversation.

The body language was interesting. At times, the kids were leaning in paying attention. At other times Joe and Paul were doing the leaning in hands on the table listening to what the kids were saying.

This is what Friends for Life is about. It is what Joe and Paul are all about. More than everything else Friends For Life is about personal contact. The give and take of understand what living with type 1 is like.

I have no clue what they were talking about. That's their business. What the picture says to me is that there are a lot of tables we can sit at. There are times when sitting at a table with type 1 peers and mentors is the only one that counts.

What is important? Friends For Life.