Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Making Diabetes Fun - Medtronic Pump Skins

Oldest daughter has been enjoying her Medtronic 530g for about nine months now.  While she likes many of the features; from the simple bolus process to the ease of changing an infusion site, the number one feature that she absolutely adores is the ability to add new personalized vinyl skins. 

Who doesn't like a pretty insulin pump?  

To date, she has used just two skins since July.  Due mostly to the fact that they are very durable and unless you desire a decor change, the skin lasts indefinitely.

Another nice feature is how the skin also offers protection from accidental scrapes and bumps. When oldest daughter removed her first skin, the pump was virtually brand new - whereas other technology that she wore was scratched from day one!

Today, oldest daughter is wearing a cute striped skin in her coveted shades of blue to match her favorite jeans and sweatshirts.  The edges are pulling up just slightly from many months of wear using only a pump clip on her waistband.  In a pouch, that wouldn't happen at all!

Previously, oldest daughter created a cool soda skin in her favorite flavor.  One of her friends opted for a picture of her kitten as she named both her pump and the cat, Bella.  She explained that she wanted to be able to have a good feeling when she looked at her pump because it was much like a pet with the attention she gave it.

Anything goes as long as it looks cute!  

As an incentive for managing her T1d care so well, I offered oldest daughter the opportunity to create a new Medtronic 530G skin using the Minimed series 7 size skin.  (Important to note, the Medtronic skin-it website offers two options, one for minimed pumps that hold 200 units of insulin and another for those like the Medtronic 530G which hold 300 units of insulin.)  

To tie in a fun diabetes "skin" reward, you may choose to set a T1d goal with your child.  

* try a new location for an infusion site 

* put on a CGM for the first time

* test blood sugar two times while at school and away from parents

* pre-bolus at least 15 minutes before dinner

When you meet the goal, you and your child can visit medtronic.skinit.com to see all of the neat possibilities or to upload a personalized design.  I should warn you first, there are literally hundreds of awesome designs to choose from.  It may require a while to look through all of them. 

Oldest daughter wanted to customize it with one of her favorite items and we thought it might be fun to share with you when it arrives in a few weeks.  

Skin-it also offers other skins for laptops, phones, iPads and tablets.  Someone ambitious could actually coordinate their entire media/medical devices for a very stylish look.  

No matter what you choose, nothing can replace the good feelings of adding a fresh new look to your external pancreas.  As oldest daughter picked out her new design she said, "Those healthy pancreases are sad in their pink skin- they never have anything pretty like this! I'm calling it a T1d perk!"

Happy pumping in style!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Exactly Where She Should Be

It's been a few months since our oldest daughter tackled her latest position as part of the Mott Children's Hospital Teen Advisory Committee (TAC).

I wrote a bit about her initial process here.

From Naturallysweetsisters.com October, 2014 " For the first time, she will have an up-close view to how the world is full of many different levels of ability and that yes, while T1D does suck (her very eloquent description) - because it does (my description can be even worse at times) - the 'suck' could be very different in someone else's shoes.  That couldn't be more perfect for a Teen to realize."

Interestingly enough, what I predicted is exactly what has happened.  Through her participation, she has had exposure to much more than she could have ever imagined within the confines of T1d.  I think it is truly a gift.  But what is even better than me thinking that is watching her feel the same way.

As I drove her home from her meeting last night, she explained how being in the group was inspiring. She explained that when she realized that she was the youngest person in the room, suddenly, she understood that it was an opportunity.  "Mom", she said while conspiratorially lowering her voice, "I have a chance to soak up all of this knowledge.  It is like I am going to be in a mini-medical school!"
She then went on to share that she confirmed her decision to go on to medical school.

"I don't know what kind of doctor I want to be.  I just know that I want to help.  I want to be there for kids and I want to make a difference.  I might even be a psychologist.  I absolutely love my time with this group."

I listened to her talk about other highlights of the group interaction.  Oldest daughter had volunteered to bring in an ice-breaker and she chatted about how well it was received.

"We laughed, mom.  Some of the icebreaker questions were so funny and some answers were totally not what I was thinking.  I thought it was so cool to hear how different some of the ideas were.  Most of all, I was so happy that it got everyone to open up and share."

 We brainstormed some other ideas for future meetings and she also explained that she had been assigned research homework for an app that the group wanted to make.

Finally, as we pulled into our driveway, oldest daughter quietly said this:

"You know something?  This is the first time I have been somewhere and have felt instantly relaxed."
"Mom, they totally get me."

Thankfully it was dark, because her words lodged directly into my heart.  I get her.  I totally get her.  But as mom, well, it leaves me as mom.  She is savvy enough to think it is my job to agree.  So I parked, walked around the car and just gave her a big hug while saying I was so proud of her.

In a while, when the timing is right, I will explain the deeper thoughts that I have about growing up.  She is a teenager and so much of her world is consumed with cloning herself to match the others of hundreds of girls that blend together in the school hallways.  

What she hasn't learned is that in life, the most amazing people are the ones that didn't perfectly fit molds.  They are the dreamers, the designers, the doers, the risk-takers, the inventors and all of the creative and compassionate souls that dare to try.  Those are her people.  This is exactly where she should be.

Friday, February 27, 2015


It's Friday.  Thankfully, the BG monster got my message.