Tuesday, 17 July 2018

A pump all of my own - Go Live

The day has come and gone... sort of, and I am now the proud owner of a pump... my pump, not a loan pump from the clinic... this one is mine.. I think I shall call it Bob, until I don't.

Now that it is all my equipment I am less shy about hauling it all out the bag and having a really good look at everything that comes in the box / case. And it's a real snazzy case too (insulin pen for scale):

Continuing with the un-boxing it seems that the manufacturer SOOIL are not messing about, they have crammed almost everything I could think might be even vaguely useful into this case. Some I may use some I definitely will not but here is what it looks like all neat (without the pump... I'm not putting Bob back in the case he will get lonely!)
By my reckoning that supply around 2 weeks worth of reservoirs in the case no infusion sets though I have boxes of those from the clinic in any case. You also get a handful of batteries and by my count about 6 different pump carriers.

Hauling it all out and laying it on the table gives a better idea of what comes as standard with the DanaRS it seems. Below all laid out with some annotations below of what is what.

A - Spare Batteries
B - Solid plastic carry case
C - Leather Carry Case
D - Easy Setter (it's a Dana Thing)
E - Spare Scroll Plunger (again, Dana thing)
F - Spare battery and reservoir covers
G - Pump pouch (think this is meant to clip to a bra perhaps)
H - Neat case that had a bunch of the smaller bits in
I - Key for tightening / loosening the battery & reservoir covers
J - Another pouch though this one you wear as an over the shoulder sort of thing
K - Bob!
H - Shower pump pouch (think I'll just take it off)
I - Manuals etc
J - Yet ANOTHER pump holder, this on in a belly band type of rig
K - Micropore tape x 2
L - Mefix tape / patches (never heard of em)
M - Tegaderm patches
N - Spare reservoirs

The above doesn't include the other bag I had which approximately 30 additional reservoirs and infusion sets which have basically filled an entire drawer in my bedside table... so yeah... got loot!

The good & bad

I'm going to do this the other way round and cover off the bad, well I say bad they are more annoyances I guess.


Priming is fiddly!

I am not even joking here, there are a bunch of different steps to prime this and get it all up and running again and I think even on a good day I will be talking 10-15 minutes with some properly fiddly steps. Don't believe me, it's close as makes no difference to the DanaR which you can see for yourself here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQf0Vy_gwnM

To be fair the part where you wind the scroll in is done by the Easy Setter and it doesn't seem all that awkward. I am yet to try and do it all manually.

(EDIT after 6 months) Okay so it's not THAT bad. Once you get your technique down a set change is just over 5 minutes.

It uses proprietary infusion sets

A minor annoyance since this equipment is not something you can just go and pick up from the pharmacy if you are running short anyway but it is not using any standard connectors. That said they do have a fairly good range of cannualas and tube lengths and the default that I am using is a nice 360 degree spinning affair which is actually pretty comfy.

You can hear the scroll motor run

This is my first ever pump so I do not know if this is standard. I have been wearing the pump tucked into the top pocket of my shirt and I can occasionally hear a high pitch sound of the pump running, it is not loud but I do notice it sometimes though to be completely fair it's not bothered me once in the last week.

It's not possible to download pump data right now

Okay this is more one for the clinics and was actually one thing that nearly stopped my clinic from offering it, thinking it was possibly a little too soon. The reason for this, as best I have been able to divine, is that the phone Apps have not been CE certified yet so the pathway to connect to the pump to pull data is not officially there yet. NOTE: I say officially since this is not as big a deal as you may think and gets covered in one of the GOOD sections.

It uses some proprietary battery

The batteries or a little odd at first though I thought it highly unlikely that a pump manufacturer would go to the expense and effort of inventing their own battery. A very brief search reveals that it's a fairly standard battery with a minor mod. (see: Blog from Bionic Wookie) That said again it's largely academic since you get the replacement batteries as part of your regular supplies from SOOIL.


This sucker is light!

I am not kidding, I dropped it on my kitchen scale complete with 240U of insulin in the reservoir and it maxed out at 73g. Yes I know that the Omnipod is probably lighter and maybe there are a couple of others but for a pump with the features this one has it's quite impressive.

Backlit LCD Screen

This may seem like an odd thing to put in good. "What, old fashioned LCD with no pretty colours?" yup! Why is it good, well easier to do a list:
  • It uses a ton less power than colour screens
  • It's lighter
  • You can read it in bright sunlight (been useful the last week)
  • Backlight is not so bright it disturbs your partner if you are making a correction at night

Full bluetooth connectivity

That's right, it seems to always be in discover mode when you wake it up though you have to approve any pairing requests on the pump.


Yes I saved the best for last. This little pump, from the factory, will happily work with OpenAPS (AndroidAPS to be completely accurate) and does not require any funny tweaks or hacking or firmware. Fully warrantied by the manufacturer you can Loop with it. Of course this added a few other good things.

Remember when I said that it's not currently possible to download this pump for the clinic? Who cares? Once I hooked it up to AndroidAPS EVERYTHING I do ON THE PUMP gets synced back to my nightscout and my clinic can then see it in near real time. I have spent a lot of time talking to my pump educator about this and showing her all the features as well as the reports she can pull and she seemed to think it was cool and gave her everything she needed to be able to monitor and support me. Have I mentioned recently that I think my pump clinic are awesome? No? Okay my pump clinic are AWESOME!
[EDIT] A couple weeks in now and my clinic properly love how AAPS integrates the pump with NS as they can keep an eye on things and offer suggestions over email without having to get me to do an upload first. I think this means that we have managed to get most of my rates nailed down in record time

Okay so I am having to explain things and teach the educator all about this tech and how everything hangs together but you know what? I'm fine with that #WeAreNotWaiting and it seems my clinic at least is happy to support me and learn from me with this.

Finishing now I promise

I want to make a few things completely clear before I sign off:
  1. I am not jumping straight in to looping as soon as I am live on a pump. This is silly an irresponsible since I think it is important that you understand all about the tech that is keeping you alive. This includes how to run it by hand when the tech fails (yes, "when"!) so it's important that you know what you are doing and even have a plan for when the pump itself fails. @grumpy_pumper did a guest blog for @RenzaS on just this subject last week(https://diabetogenic.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/wwgd-the-back-up-plan/). Most convenient timing.
  2. I did a lot of investigation on AndroidAPS and made sure I fully understand what needs to work and how it all hangs together, so I know what to kick when stuff breaks!
  3. I'm being completely open and honest with my clinic about my intent and what I am doing. At the same time I am making every effort I can to include them so that they can learn and understand what it is that the #WeAreNotWaiting community have achieved. It's very clear to me that we are all working towards the same ends and making "them" and "us" distinctions with our clinics helps no one and only alienates people that genuinely want to help us. They just have different restrictions to work under so bear that in mind.
  4. Finally the important thing, I'm taking all the tips and leanings I can from other pumpers (not just loopers).

So there you go, that's me 8 hours into pumping and so far no major disasters. Had a near hypo before lunch now just dipped down to 11.5mmol/l (207mg/dl) following lunch, though that is not uncommon. The coming weeks will be interesting and exhausting I am sure but once I am happy I more or less know what I am doing I will start doing what many others have already done and close the loop. #WeAreNotWaiting and currently, a little as a time, neither am I!

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