Getting Dexcom in Canada
Hi All - I had quite a few comment on my first post about the approval of Dexcom G4 CGM approval by Canada health. Many people including myself were unsure about how to actually go about getting the system. I moved up from the US last January and was disappointed that after having been on the system for half a year that I was not going to be able to continue using the system without sensors. To my surprise, the approval came a couple months ago. So I have talked to pharmacists, nurses, endocrinologists, insurances and Dexcom to try and figure out how to get sensor refills. So here is what I have learned.
Animas is an insulin pump manufacturer that has teamed up with Dexcom to use their technology is a new pump coming out, so it looks like they have teamed up with them to distribute Dexcom G4 here in Canada. That being said, I was able to get into contact with an Animas Canada inside sales representative. (1-866-406-4844). The woman I talked to was very helpful since all of the other sources I mentioned above hadn't really ever heard of the system and/or really didn't know about how to go about it. Still waiting on a call back from a pharmacist. The good news is that the sensors should be available in their Canada warehouse by the end of November. That being said, I give it a couple weeks into December, but am still in the process of how this will get paid.
I have an email into my extended healthcare provider to see when and if my sensor will be covered. Hopefully it will be covered and soon. Diabetes is hard enough to manage, so chasing down insurances and supplies can be frustrating. Hope this helps. Any questions, post in the comments below.
Dexcom has an earnings release call this week to discuss Q3 results and hopefully they will give another update on how they are progressing on their new programs. One new program that sounds really exciting is there remote monitoring system called Dexcom Share.
In July 2013, Dexcom filed for FDA approval of the Dexcom Share remote monitoring system for the G4 Platinum CGM (continuous glucose monitor). These type of approvals typically take at least 180 days, so if it is approved, expectations are that the product could launch sometime in early to mid-2014.
The Dexcom Share system can send CGM data to up to five designated recipients via the internet. How convenient would it be as a parent to always know how your child's blood sugars are trending! This also would have been really cool to have when I played sports, I could have sent my readings to a trainer on the sidelines. I am sure nurses and doctors would also really appreciate the ability to have blood sugars sent though the internet to monitor patients.
HOW IT WORKS: "The G4 Platinum receiver will plug into a Dexcom Share docking cradle. The Share cradle (plugged into a power outlet) will both charge the receiver and transmit CGM data every five minutes to a nearby iPhone or iPod touch via Bluetooth. The Dexcom Share app on the nearby smartphone will receive the CGM data and send it up to the internet. Once there, the data can be shared with up to five people."
Insulin Pen - with a Memory
Hi all - as many of you know insulin is a very powerful drug, it can and does save numerous lives daily. However, it can also be fatal in the wrong dosages from human error. As I found out the wrong way on my honeymoon, even accidentally taking the wrong insulin can lead to serious complications! The reason I bring this up is because I came across another great invention that will help in the safety of insulin delivery. For the many people using insulin pens, FDA has approved the new NovoPen Echo that has a built in memory for insulin delivery.
FDA Approval For Medtronic
Hi all - Just a quick post about some news that was announced this morning from Medtronic. I was excited to read the announcement because it shows that companies are continuing to innovate in a effort to ease the burden of diabetes management. I currently do not use any Medtronic devices or any insulin pumps, but am actively invested in a CGM competitor, Dexcom and use the Dexcom G4.
Medtronic announced today that it had obtained FDA approval for a device that will monitor patients' glucose levels and automatically shut off insulin delivery when glucose levels reach a certain point. I see this as a benefit if you are wearing an insulin pump and are unaware of your low blood sugar, be that you are sleeping or distracted for whatever reason, the device is smart enough to know to stop delivering insulin to avoid dangerously low blood sugars. This is a great step forward because it means that the devices are becoming "smarter" and are able to react without user acknowledgement. For me, one of the most costly effects of diabetes is the constant mental drain of "active management". Diabetes is a full time job, even when you are sleeping.
I never thought it would probably happen in my life time, but the artificial pancreas is looking more and more promising as devices like these get approval.
CROSSFIT + DIABETES LOGISTICS
So I had decided last minute to compete in the 2013 Crossfit Open, after some convincing from my coach. There are something like 130k people signed up to compete. Basically, each week for five weeks a random workout gets announced and you have to complete it within 3 days of the announcement. Typically it is as many rounds and/or reps you can do in a designated time. Sounds FUN huh? I will not be anywhere near the top of the leaderboards, but good experience and helps me stay focused to get back in shape.
I wonder how many type 1 diabetics are competing? Im sure there has to be more than me? There are a lot thing to think about with the diabetes logistics, sugar low, sugar high, but I had my wife there to actually watch my sugars with my Dexcom G4 and let me know if things started to go out of whack. This was her hastag for me... #highmaintenancehubby :) heehee
Extra Adhesive for Dexcom G4
So I have been somewhat on a mission to figure out the best way to wear my Dexcom G4 and get the most out of each sensor. Between working out, yoga and showers, it usually only lasts a few days before it starts to peel up. I had received a bunch of 3M Tegaderm adhesive patches when I got my pump, so I made a little template and cut a space out and put it directly over the Dexcom patch (white adhesive part). It helped with the skin irritation and the peeling versus medical tape that I used to use. Once the Tegaderm started to peel, I was able to remove it and replace with a new fresh one. I was able to get 12 days out of the sensor and it made the Dexcom G4 feel a lot more secure.
I usually go with my lower abdomen when thinking about where to put my sensor each week, but also wanted to try out other areas that a few readers suggested awhile back, and wanted to give my stomach a break. It's currently in the back area of my arm and so far it seems to work pretty good. It isn't as accurate as when it is on my stomach, but much much more comfortable.
A1C RESULTS : AT HOME
I am not one to go to the doctor much, except to get my blood work done. Well, mostly just to get my A1C checked but last year I still had money in my flex budget for healthcare expenses, so I thought I would try an at home A1C kit. It comes with two tests and I think it was roughly $30, so depending on co-pays and lab fees, it might be well worth doing it at home. Also, it is only a regular finger stick versus having blood drawn.
Dexcom - Like a G4
"Now I'm feelin so fly like a G6, Like a G6, Like a G6, Now I'm feelin so fly Like a G6! Poppin bottles in the ice, like a blizzard, When we drink we do it right gettin slizzard, Sippin sizzurp in my ride, like Three 6!"
So, I got my new Dexcom G4 and I absolutely LOVE IT! Whenever I talk about it my wife always starts singing the lyrics above, but subs out G6 for G4. Kinda because she thought that those were the actual lyrics. Hahah. I think it's hilarious!
2013 Workout with Dexcom
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Make 2013 the best and healthiest year you can!
With New Year resolutions upon us, I thought I would write a quick post about carrying around some equipment while working out. I typically don't use the arm band for crossfit, but works really well for running or biking. The Dexcom 7, "the egg" will fit okay in my phone arm band, but looks forward to the new G4 that should fit much better.
In the crossfit photo below (left), you can see my Dexcom leaning up against the wall in the bottom left corner. I was doing burpees in the photo, so it gets in the way in your pocket. Also, something else to think about is sensor placement because it is pretty difficult to do burpees when my sensor is on my stomach. At this point, I was actually wearing it on my my lower back/side. However, lower back/side or stomach are both difficult spots if you are going to use a weight belt. Those are the only places I have tried, but would love to hear how other wear theirs?
I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday and Santa was able to fill your stockings with all your goodies. I also hope those goodies didn't wreak havoc on your blood sugars like it did mine :(
I didn't have the best self control the last few days with all the good food and treats! I am going to need to get back in "normal" eating order after cookies and rolls and more rolls and did I mention cookies? You can't be perfect all the time. You need to be able to indulge every once in awhile, right? I had to correct some pretty high, highs that I am not proud of but, back to healthy eating!
Speaking of gifts, my wife got me a really cool new toy that made me feel like a kid again :) My niece and nephews were all jealous, hahaa. Also, I got really good news while I was out of town with the family. I will be getting my new Animas Ping pump this week and will start with a saline trial. I haven't used a pump before, but I thought it would be a good option to have and be able to use when needed. I will report on my findings when I get it and see how I like it.