I had lunch with a friend of mine, one of the Minimed Regional Consultants, who showed me the new Paradigm 512 Pump with the WIRELESS Glucose Meter from BD.
In a word, yum.
Having a pump takes getting used to, no doubt. Everyone wants to ask "Do you sleep in it?" "How do you, um...you know?"
When you're connected to another device 23.9 hours a day that is basically acting as a surrogate organ for you, you grow attached (literally and figuratively) to it. I can give myself insulin (called a "bolus") with my eyes closed. I can use the Minimed 508 Remote Control, I can use the EasyBolus with Vibration for feedback.
But it's the little improvements in my external organ that really affect my quality of life. When I got a Blood Sugar meter (the UltraSmart) that had a backlight - WOW. It made checking my blood sugar in a movie theater possible...more importantly, that improvement made me feel slighly less diabetic.
The 512 is one such improvement. I've long advocated and even predicted 3 years ago a wireless glucose meter/pump. Why should I have to carry around two devices with screens, batteries, buttons, etc. Well, I still need to have two devices, but with the Paradigm 512 the pump is told wirelessly what my blood sugar is right after I test it! You don't even have to tell the meter, or press OK...it's transparent.
Then, the best part, on the pump you then run the Bolus Wizard. Having previously programmed the pump with insulin ratios (multiple ones even, by time of day!) you enter in how many carbos you're going to eat, and the Bolus Wizard suggests how much insulin you should take. It considers the ratios, of course, but also your current blood sugar AND the amount of active insulin!
For example, if you took 2 units to correct a high an hour ago, and now your blood sugar is 100. Clearly you're headed toward a low. If you tell the pump you're going to eat 30 grams of carbs and your ratio is 1:15, it might suggest 2 units, right? WRONG. You've already got at least one unit of ACTIVE insulin in you. If it suggested 2units, you'd be right back where you are now, facing a low in a few hours. Instead it might recommend 1.2 units (just an example) and get you back on target.
It's THESE kind of improvements that get us one step closer to feeling normal.
I can't wait until June 26th, 2004 when my warranty runs out and I get the latest and greatest from Minimed.