Monday, June 28, 2010

Channeling Pink Floyd

I've had that Pink Floyd song running through my head for days now...."all in all, you're just another brick in the wall".  It kind of fits the situation lately, but not quite.  For the situation at the moment, it should be, "all in all, it's just another brick wall".  All you other D-moms (and dads) know what I'm talking about.  You're cruising along, things are going great, blood sugars are looking good.  And, all of a sudden, a brick wall pops up!  Blood sugars are running high, child is eating everything in sight or nothing at all, you're picking your brains and pulling out your hair as you try to figure out what went wrong and what should be changed.  It's so frustrating!  Right now, it's not a brick wall we're facing, but a bottomless pit.  Lily's blood sugars are plummeting several times a day.  I know part of it may just be that we're in the midst of summer.  We're busy, running around, swimming in the pools, and just generally taking advantage of the heat.  My husband is on vacation from work this week.  He was in desperate need of a mental health break.  So we have a busy week of activity ahead.  Today, we went to the zoo.  We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the zoo!  The monkeys, the dolphins, the fish, the birds.  It's so much fun!  Interestingly enough, one of the birds featured in the bird show today was named Pink Floyd (he had a bright pink belly).  We tested Lily when we got to the zoo....49.  Gave her 20 grapes and only bolused for 8.  Normally, that should send her blood sugar to the moon.  Two hours later, she was 78.  Gave her a second lunch of a corn dog, which she gobbled up in record time, leaving just a few bites for her daddy.  Tested her again a couple of hours later, as we were leaving...136.  Fast-forward to bedtime.  Lily managed to cram in 28 more grapes.  We gave her enough insulin for 20 of them, because it makes my husband nervous that she might go low at night.  Apparently, he was right.  Bedtime check gave us a blood sugar of 38!

I used to love roller coaster rides.  I want to know where the exit is for this one?  I'm not enjoying it!  I know that this is likely the start of another growth spurt.  She's about due to shoot up another inch or two in height.  But now I need to figure I decrease her basals for the next few days to get her back on track, even though I know her blood sugars will sky-rocket in a week as the growth spurt slows down?

A picture from the zoo:

Aren't they cute?  You might actually think that they love each other!

Just a little side note....
I used to do this thing in an on-line forum that I participate in.  Basically, in the middle of our daily chat area, I'd share some of my "Observations from the Gym".  I have a hard time getting myself to go to the gym sometimes, even though I find it so entertaining.  Seriously, I always come away with some interesting stories.  Like the time an elderly lady warned me that there was a "man" in the locker room.  She followed that up by asking the gym staff-member, "are you a man?"  Nope, just a flat-chested woman with a very short haircut.  Here's my observation for today:

I find people in the parking lot of the gym so incredibly funny.  They troll through the parking lot, looking for the closest parking spot possible.  I can understand maybe in the middle of winter when it's freezing or when it's raining.  But today was a wonderful, breezy 77 degrees.  Gorgeous.  And yet they still troll through the parking lot.  One person took it to a whole new level today though.  Apparently, all the special motorcycle parking was taken when he showed up on his bike.  So, instead of just using a regular parking spot, he parked on the sidewalk, directly in front of the gym!  Seriously, you go to the gym to exercise, but can't be bothered to walk from the middle of the parking lot?  Imagine how much more exercise you'd get if you parked at the back of the parking lot! 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Another Medtronic News Release

News Release

Medtronic Media Contacts:

Jeff Warren, Investor Relations, 763-505-2696

Amanda Sheldon, Public Relations, 818-576-4826

Medtronic Begins Enrollment in ASPIRE Pivotal Study of Low Glucose Suspend Integrated System

Semi-Closed Loop System Designed to Reduce Severity and Duration of Hypoglycemia

MINNEAPOLIS – June 25, 2010 – Demonstrating its dedication to close the loop for diabetes management, Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT) today announced that the first patient has been enrolled as part of the ASPIRE study of the MiniMed Paradigm x54 System featuring Low Glucose Suspend automation. Low Glucose Suspend works by automatically suspending insulin delivery temporarily if blood glucose levels become too low as defined by the patient and his or her healthcare provider and is a feature available commercially in Medtronic’s Paradigm® Veo™ System in more than 35 countries outside of United States.

ASPIRE (Automation to Simulate Pancreatic Insulin REsponse) is a multi-center, randomized, investigational device exemption (IDE) study designed to assess the efficacy of the MiniMed Paradigm x54 System Low Glucose Suspend function in reducing the duration and severity of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). Hypoglycemia is a common occurrence and concern in diabetes management and can result in confusion, unresponsiveness and – in rare cases – even death.

“Hypoglycemia is the greatest fear and biggest hurdle in achieving better glucose control in patients with diabetes. Until now we have never had a therapy designed to automatically intervene when blood glucose becomes dangerously low,” said Satish K. Garg M.D., professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. “The new Low Glucose Suspend integrated system is intended to close the treatment loop, ultimately reducing the risk of hypoglycemia even when a person is asleep or unable to react.”

Medtronic’s MiniMed Paradigm® REAL-Time Revel™ system is the second generation of the only integrated insulin pump with continuous glucose monitoring system cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With the MiniMed Paradigm x54, Medtronic has designed a first-of-its-kind semi-closed loop system that not only features insulin delivery and CGM sensors, but also advanced software algorithms that enable the Low Glucose Suspend automation. The integrated system and low glucose suspend automation are the first key steps towards the creation of an artificial pancreas.

“The commencement of the ASPIRE study is the result of extensive interaction between Medtronic and the FDA to identify the clinical data required for FDA approval of our Low Glucose Suspend integrated system, an innovation we believe has the potential to transform the way diabetes is managed,” said Katie Szyman, president of the Diabetes business and senior vice president at Medtronic. “Building on our commercial success with the Veo in Europe, we look forward to the opportunity of bringing yet another new and important ‘first’ to U.S. patients for whom hypoglycemia is a significant and constant concern.”

Hypoglycemia can be one of the most frightening aspects of living with diabetes. Research has indicated that, on average, a person with diabetes will experience more than one low blood glucose event every two weeks. In addition, each year nearly one in 14 people with insulin-treated diabetes will experience one or more episodes of severe hypoglycemia.1 The landmark Diabetes Control and Complications Trial showed that severe hypoglycemia is more common in adolescents than in adults, and hypoglycemia has been shown to be a risk factor for reduced cognitive functioning among the pediatric patient population.2,3

About the Diabetes Business at Medtronic

The Diabetes business at Medtronic ( is the world leader in advanced diabetes management solutions, including integrated diabetes management systems, insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring systems and therapy management software, as well as world-class, 24/7 expert consumer and professional service and support.

About Medtronic

Medtronic, Inc. (, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology – alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic’s periodic reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.


1. Leese GP, Wang J et al. Frequency of severe hypoglycemia requiring emergency treatment in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 26:1176-1180, 2003.

2. Diabetes Control and Complications Trial Research Group: Effect of intensive diabetes treatment on the development and progression of long-term complications in adolescents with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: Diabetes Control and Complications Trial. J Pediatr 125:177–188, 1994.

3. Matyka KA, Wigg L, Pramming S, Stores G, Dunger DB: Cognitive function and mood after profound nocturnal hypoglycemia in prepubertal children with conventional insulin treatment for diabetes. Arch Dis Child 81:138–142, 1999.


Medtronic, Inc. 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The definition of success...

There have been a few topics floating around in my head lately that I keep thinking about and keep thinking I should write about on here.  Surprisingly, the ideas haven't completly deserted me yet and continue to pop up every now and then.  I'm sure I'll get around to writing about all of them sooner or later.  But I've seen a few posts from d-moms lately that talk about feeling like a failure when they see blood sugar readings that are out-of-range for their children.  So, I'm writing this particular post in response to that.  And, don't get me wrong, the response is not meant to be critical of anyone.  Especially since I often feel like a failure when I see those bad numbers too!

It seems to me that all of the d-parent community is defining success as always having their child's blood sugars in-range, always getting a good A1C, always being spot-on with everything.  Unfortunately, blood sugars are not like throwing a dart at the center of a bullseye.  It's actually much harder to keep blood sugars constantly in check than it is to throw that dart!  No matter how hard we try, there will always be a growth spurt right around the corner, an extra activity, a birthday party with cake and ice cream, a family gathering, a receptionist with a dum-dum get the picture, right?  We don't get to control everything, no matter how much we wish we could.  Being diabetic myself, I think it strikes me even more how much I wish I could control everything for Lily.  I know how awful it feels when she's high.  I know how scary it is for her when she's low.  I want to do my absolute best to make sure I take care of everything so that she can feel her absolute best.  And when those numbers pop up on the meter, they taunt me and tell me that my best just isn't good enough.  It's funny how in those moments, I completely forget the ideas and beliefs I want to share with other d-parents, the main one being that my Lily is a child first, diabetic second.  Diabetes needs to be in the backseat, not driving the car.  Don't believe me?  I'll explain a little more....

I was diagnosed when I was 9 years old, less than 3 months before my birthday.  My birthday rolled around.  I wanted chocolate cake for my birthday.  I was told I had to have angel food, diabetics don't get to eat chocolate cake.  Or any other kind of birthday cake either.  Too much sugar.  Fast-forward to October and my first Halloween as a diabetic.  I was thrilled when my mom let me go trick-or-treating.  Not so thrilled when I came home and she confiscated my bag of loot because diabetics can't eat candy.  Now, I realize those mentalities are a bit "old-school diabetes".  Things have changed a bit since then and we now understand that it doesn't matter so much how much sugar is in a food, but more how many grams of carbohydrates.  Great, but the thinking hasn't really changed all that much.  Parents of children with diabetes still use the "you can't, you're diabetic" line.  So, a little warning for all of you of what happens when you tell someone they can't have something....they want it more!  I have a serious sweet tooth.  I learned at a very early age to hoard my candy, to shove it into my pockets before handing my trick-or-treat bag over to my mom and then hide my stash in a safe place.  If someone offers me a piece of birthday cake, I have a very hard time refusing.  (No wonder I have a weight problem!).  My life and every food that went into my mouth was so focused on diabetes, that I revolted against it horribly and have gone too far in the other direction.  And, I'll be honest, I have a hard time denying my little girl (diabetes and all) anything her little heart might desire.  Not good!

So...the point of my post tonight....what if we define success a little differently?  Instead of thinking we've failed because the blood sugar is off, what if we focused on the successes of the day?  Did our children have a good, fun, activity-filled day?  Did they play and run and jump and act like a normal child, in spite of the breaks for finger-pokes and boluses?  Did they hear from us that they are loved?  Did we roll around in the grass with them, push them on the swing, twirl them around until we got dizzy?  Did we nurture their hearts and minds and souls as much as we did their little bodies?  That, my friends, should be our definition of success.  Every now and then, let's trade the 15 gram apple for 15 grams of a cookie and remind our children that they are just kids and deserve to have a bit of the carefree life that the other kids get to have!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day! (aka: Differences in style)

Oh, what a wonderful day!  A whole day dedicated to celebrating what amazing fathers our children have!  And while I may be just a bit prejudiced, my kids have the best dad!  Lily has been on a kick lately, determined that she is going to marry her daddy when she grows up.  Never mind that Mommy is already married to Daddy.  She's got a plan to take care of that.  Mommy is going to marry Leo and then Lily can marry Daddy.  Can't tell that she's a Daddy's Girl, can you?  He really is pretty incredible though.  They crawl all over him, use him as a jungle gym, run circles around him, talk him into just about anything they want, and just plain adore him.  The kids both run for the door when they hear his truck in the driveway and wait, bouncing, on the step for him to come up to the house.  I'd be a bit jealous of their adoration except they still need their mommy when they have an owie or want to snuggle!

Before I give you the impression that I'm a huge puddle of mush for my husband (although, quite honestly, I am!), I do have a bit of an issue tonight.  My husband and I share almost equally in the substitute pancreas duties.  I take care of everything for the kids during the day, as that's my one and only job.  But on the weekends and in the evenings, we share it all.  Sounds great, right?  Just one problem with that....we have very different management styles!  Let me husband and I lived together during college.  When we first moved in together, I was pre-pump.  My care of my own diabetes wasn't at its best.  My poor husband woke up to find me convulsing on a couple of occasions.  Being the incredibly intelligent man that he is, he managed to spoon-feed me sugar straight from the sugar bowl both times and no ambulance was necessary.  But the experiences have scarred him for live.  Literally.  Fast-forward to the here and now and Lily's diabetes care and my husband tends to err on the side of caution.  Extreme caution.  I can always tell when I look at our logbook who determined how much insulin to give Lily.  Tonight is a perfect example.  We took the kids swimming for a couple of hours and followed it up with a late dinner, immediately before bedtime.  My husband and I discussed the carbohydrate count.  Because Lily was 90 at dinner (great number!), my husband decided to subtract some carbs from the final total.  Lily is now 434 (gasp!)!!!  I hate those numbers!

All you other d-moms out you deal with anything similar?  Have any tips on how to reconcile the differences in our diabetes management styles?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fly High!

After posting about my rocky start and poor attitude this morning, my day actually improved remarkably.  I'm compelled to post tonight since I'm ending the day on a much happier note.  It's amazing how my children can pull me right out of those bad moods!  There's one pivotal moment from today that I wanted to share.  Lily was running around this morning, in a good mood, happy, blood sugars were good.  She climbed into my lap, looks at me and says, "Mommy, I need wings so I can fly."  She has a pair of fairy wings that she likes to dress up in every now and then.  So I found them for her and put them on her back.  She climbed onto the couch and jumped down to the floor.  Repeated the action several times before returning to me and saying, "I can't fly.  My wings don't work."  My reply...."My darling girl, I will teach you to fly."  In a heartbeat, I swooped her up, held her high over my head and ran around the house with her.  And we flew. 

No matter what else diabetes does to us, it doesn't prevent us from flying!

Warning: E-Tantrum ahead!

I do a pretty good job most of the time of staying positive and not letting things bother me too much.  Most of the time.  It's hard to get too upset about my daughter being diabetic when I see so many other parents dealing with much worse.  Diabetes is hard, but it's life, right?  But I still have my moments.  Today, I want to follow my son's lead and throw myself down on the floor and kick and scream about how unfair life is.  I want to yell to the world about how much I hate the fact that Lily is going to be diabetic for the rest of her life.  I'm tired, I don't think I get more than 4 hours of sleep each night.  I wake up every couple of hours, doing blood sugar checks for Lily and myself.  I worry about what her blood sugar is doing at all hours, about whether or not she has enough water to last through the night, whether she's too hot or too cold.  Oh, how I wish I could have just one night without any worries.  One night of un-interrupted sleep so I could wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day.  How wonderful would it be to be able to go away with my husband for an evening and leave the kids with a babysitter and to not have to worry about whether the babysitter knows how to handle Lily's blood sugar checks and insulin dosing? 

Okay, tantrum is over, I think.  I'm just feeling a bit tired and emotional today.  It's a lot easier to deal with all the stress and strain when you've gotten enough sleep.  I have a feeling today might be a bit rough, unless I can convince both my children to nap so I can get one in too!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The worry that never ends....

When my husband and I decided to have children, I never thought that diabetes was going to be a concern.  Honestly and truly, I didn't think it would happen to one of my children.  The chances of a child of a diabetic mom developing diabetes as well is only 5%.  That goes up to 7% if the dad is the diabetic.  Not sure-odds by any stretch.  Up until the moment I realized that Lily was showing signs of diabetes, it never occurred to me that she would have it.  Now, it's all I worry about.  Lily was always really tiny.  She was in the 8%ile for her weight before she was diagnosed (after diagnosis, she grew 4 inches and several lbs in the first 6 months!).  Before she was diagnosed, we'd been worried for months because her lymph nodes were staying swollen.  I don't know how much of that to attribute to diabetes and how much of it was just because it was a normally, germy, Minnesota winter. 

Jump ahead to post-diagnosis....we have a second child who is not diabetic.  Yet.  We hope Leo never develops it, but lately, it's all we worry about.  At his last well-child check, his weight fell in the 1%ile.  Yup, 99% of children his age are bigger than he is.  Maybe my husband and I just grow them small.  But for months, we've been worrying about his swollen lymph nodes.  Yes, it was during winter in Minnesota, and it seemed to have been a particularly germy winter.  But you can't help wondering if it's all connected.  You worry.  Maybe Lily was small because her body was too busy fighting itself to grow properly.  Maybe her lymph nodes were swollen because her immune system was busy attacking her pancreas.  How do you know what's just "normal" and what's a sign that you're leading up to a diagnosis for your second child? 

It's hard sometimes to not let that worry drive your life.  I have to make a conscious effort to not dwell on that worry.  My husband and I have decided to develop the view that Leo will most likely be diagnosed with diabetes at some point in the future.  We check his blood sugar randomly.  He's surprisingly not bothered by finger-pokes.  Doesn't even make a peep!  It kind of feels sometimes like we're taking a defeatist view, but really, what can you do?  There's no way to prevent diabetes and no way to predict it.  Maybe Leo will get it.  Maybe he won't.  We're choosing to accept the probability that he will develop it and if he doesn't, we'll be pleasantly surprised.

Do other parents of diabetic children deal with this worry too?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A dirty little secret

Got your attention with the title, didn't I?  Everyone loves salacious information and gossip, no matter how much they tell you that they don't!  But honestly, this post is not headed in that direction.  This is another one of those topics that I've been thinking about for quite some time and have noticed that very few people talk about this area of having a child with a chronic illness, like diabetes.  Or any other prolonged illness, for that matter.  So, here it is...the dirty little secret....

Chronic illness of a child takes a huge toll on your marriage.

Seriously, it can be so incredibly hard.  My husband and I were still recovering from the trauma of having a second child.  Leo was born in January and I felt like it took a good 6 months for us to recover and get back to something that resembled normal, whatever that might be.  Just as we were finding a new groove and figuring out how to make time for each other in between caring for the two beasties, Lily got sick.  I'll have to share the story one of these days of how she was diagnosed.  Probably not quite the typical scenario for diagnosis.  It threw me for quite a loop, to be honest.  I've been diabetic for so long myself, but the chances of one of my children being diagnosed was supposedly only 5%.  In those early days after a child is diagnosed, you go through so much and are so focused on taking care of your child and trying to deal with your own shock, anger, and denial, that it's easy to overlook the fact that your spouse is going through the same things.  You get so caught up in just getting through the day that it can be easy to lose sight of each other.  It's so ironic.  In times when we should turn to each other and lean on each other the most, we forget that we have that other person to give us support and to support in return.

In the hopes of at least letting other families out there with similar situations know that they are not alone, I'm going to open up a bit about our specific problems.  One of the most frustrating things about diabetes as you get older is that it often goes hand-in-hand with depression.  No one knows why.  I have my theories.  Considering how much extra stress and strain can be added into our dailies lives by blood glucose checks and insulin dosing and weighing every bit of food you eat, is no wonder diabetics become depressed.  I've dealt with chronic depression most of my adult life.  After giving birth each time, I was left with a pretty severe case of postpartum depression.  It took quite a while to find the right medication for me.  My husband has always had a problem with anxiety.  He uses his anxiety as a motivating force and it drives him to strive for perfection.  As our marriage counselor says, put the two together and it's like adding gas to the flames.  Jump ahead in our lives to post-diagnosis.  Many of you with very small children with diabetes realize just how hard it is to keep those numbers in check.  I'm a stay-home mom.  It's my job to keep Lily's numbers where they should be during the day.  My husband would come home from work, look at the logbook and see how badly her blood sugars jumped around and would get upset with me for not doing my job.  It took him a little while to realize that things just weren't that cut-and-dried.  So, we started seeing a marriage counselor.  I can honestly tell is the best decision we have made!  We've both become more aware of how we choose to react to things, what our own weaknesses and short-comings are and how all of those things can affect the other.  Amazing what a difference actually listening to each other and looking at our own part in issues can make!

So there's my dirty little secret for tonight.  My husband and I have not dealt well with Lily's diagnosis in the past and have sought counseling in order to help us learn how to work together.  Things aren't perfect, by any means.  But they're better and we're both happier.  We've figured out how to keep our love and devotion to each other at the front and that has made all the difference!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's all in the timing!

I think I might have finally recovered from our latest road trip.  We had a great visit with my family.  It's so much fun to bring our kids to the big family functions.  My family is HUGE!  Seriously.  I think I've mentioned before that I have 6 siblings.  Between those siblings, there are also 16 nieces and nephews.  It's amazing how 2 people can become that many more after 50 years!  One of the best things about being around my family is that there's always someone to play with, someone to watch, someone to hug, someone to listen, someone to talk.  Incredible and so comforting!  Lily and Leo both enjoyed having so many playmates to occupy them and it was great for Lily to see her aunties testing and programming into their insulin pumps as well. 

It took me a few days to get around to writing this post simply because I was so touched by the responses to my last.  I see my husband dealing with everything and yet it still escapes me how frustrating it would be to not know what our daughter is feeling when her blood sugars are off.  Your responses made me choke up and shed a few tears.  When Lily was first diagnosed, I searched and searched for a book that talks about all the unique problems and situations that come up when you have a pint-sized (aka: toddler or preschooler) diabetic.  There was nothing.  Really.  I played around with the idea of writing a book about it myself, and it's still a thought that comes up every now and then.  But I'm not sure I'd know what else a parent would want to know!  Anyway, thank you so much for your comments!

On to tonight's topic...per request of Just Plain Me, I'm going to talk quick about road trip snacks.  To be honest with you, we don't do many road trips in the usual course of life.  We visit my family several times a year, which is a 5-hour drive.  For those trips, it's all about the timing.  A typical road trip day for us starts with a quick breakfast, followed by packing, loading the car, getting the kids dressed, and a morning snack.  Usually something fairly filling, like string cheese, nuts, milk...protein-based foods.  We always time our leaving after morning snack in the hopes that the kids will nap.  Leo almost always does, Lily very rarely.  There's a decent-sized town about halfway through our trip, where we stop for lunch.  Not many options, but we usually pick Arby's or McDonald's.  Back on the road for a couple more hours and we're there, usually before Lily calls for a snack.

Nothing ever goes exactly as you plan it though, right?  So, even though we don't snack in the car much, I do pack snacks.  You never know.  My children are both half fruit-bat, half-rabbit.  Car snacks for us are usually prepared, fresh fruit.  Gets a bit sticky sometimes, but I know my kids will eat them and they're healthy.  So, I rinse and core strawberries or pull grapes off the vine and pack them into Tupperware to bring with.  We usually stay in a hotel and will make sure we have a refrigerator available for storing the food and using it for snacks during our stay.  In addition to the fruit, I'll pack some trail mix, nuts, or string cheese.  Those individually packaged sticks of cheese come in handy on the road!  If your kids are old enough, peeled carrots work well too (Lily loves these, Leo is too young yet though!).  I just get the whole carrots and peel them myself.  They taste better!  Long answer short...sometimes you have to get creative.  Kids change everyday and what they love one day, they detest the next.  You just have to look at what they currently like and pick the choices that work best for you as far as convenience and carbohydrate-levels go.

One more quick tip for road trips.  I let Lily go barefoot in the car.  You wouldn't believe how much easier it is to turn around and poke a toe for a blood sugar check while the car is still in motion than to have to pull over and do it!  Don't worry, my husband drives and I do the checks!

Monday, June 7, 2010

One of the benefits of having a husband who works for Medtronic is that he forwards me the news releases.  Thought some of you might find the following of interest:

News Release

Medtronic Media Contacts:

Jeff Warren, Investor Relations, 763-505-2696

Amanda Sheldon, Public Relations, 818-576-4826

Medtronic Launches Next-Generation Continuous Glucose Monitoring System for Advanced Diabetes Management in 49 Countries Around the World

iPro™2 Professional CGM Provides Simple Way to Reveal Insights Into Glucose Control Not Possible With Standard Glucose Assessment Methods

MINNEAPOLIS – June 7, 2010 – Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT) announced today the launch of iPro™2 Professional CGM, a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system used by physicians to help improve diabetes management, in 49 countries around the world. This simplified, yet more advanced fourth-generation CGM system is valuable for detecting high and low glucose fluctuations that can lead to dangerous health complications, which often go undetected with traditional A1C tests (a measurement of glucose control over a two-to-three-month period) and glucose meter measurements.

iPro2 Professional CGM has received CE (Conformité Européenne) Mark. Subject to other local approvals, Medtronic plans to release iPro2 Professional CGM in 22 more countries around the world, for 71 in total, including the United States where Medtronic has submitted its application for approval to the Food and Drug Administration.

“It’s never been easier to reveal previously undetected high and low glucose excursions and understand their causes. This information is helpful for making better treatment decisions to improve patients’ lives,” said Francine Kaufman, M.D., chief medical officer and vice president, global medical, clinical & health affairs of the Medtronic Diabetes business. “Moreover, iPro2 Professional CGM is quick to implement and provides reports that physicians can use to educate patients on the therapy and lifestyle changes they can make to improve their health and quality of life.”

iPro2 Professional CGM is easy for clinicians and patients to use. It includes a disposable glucose sensor and a small data recorder, which automatically record glucose information. This next-generation product is simple to start and significantly reduces the amount of clinical staff time needed to implement the therapy. There is no computer required for setup, patients do not interact with the device, and minimum patient training is required. Patients wear the small, lightweight and watertight device while going about their normal daily activities before returning it to their physicians’ office for evaluation.

Once returned, glucose information stored in the device is easily uploaded using a “smart” docking station to new CareLinkTM iPro software, a fully integrated, Web-based platform that makes data from iPro2 Professional CGM easy to evaluate. Physicians can remotely access the software using any computer with an Internet connection. Reports containing continuous glucose information are well-organized and capture important glucose trends, such as hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic episodes, that can inform treatment decisions. The reports are useful for educating and motivating patients to implement changes in their diabetes management after viewing the effects that specific foods, exercise, stress, and medications have on their glucose levels.

“We have seen strong adoption of professional CGM in the United States because of its ability to provide superior insights for healthcare professionals to improve patient outcomes. We are excited to launch the next generation, iPro2, which will continue to transform the management of diabetes while providing superior ease-of-use for clinicians and patients,” said Katie Szyman, president of the Diabetes business and senior vice president at Medtronic.

About iPro2 Professional CGM

iPro2 Professional CGM uses a tiny glucose sensor to record as many as 288 glucose readings over a 24-hour period. Glucose data captured in the system is uploaded to CareLink iPro Software and viewed retrospectively by healthcare providers.

About the Diabetes Business at Medtronic

The Diabetes business at Medtronic ( is the world leader in advanced diabetes management solutions, including integrated diabetes management systems, insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring systems and therapy management software, as well as world-class, 24/7 expert consumer and professional service and support.

About Medtronic

Medtronic, Inc. (, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology – alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic’s periodic reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.


Medtronic, Inc. 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

One big wish....

I hear it all the time when other parents of diabetics find out that I am a diabetic too.  "Oh, at least you know what she's going through!"  This is one of the comments that can kind of irritate at times.  Seriously, does anyone think that having diabetes myself makes it all that much easier to have a child with it?  But, I know they don't mean it that way.  They are right in a sense though.  Here's my one big wish for all parents of diabetic children.....I wish you could all know exactly what it all feels like.  No, I don't mean that in a bad way.  I really, really don't.  This wish for all of you comes from the fact that I can see how frustrating it is for my husband to not understand.  When Lily is low and is cranky and weepy, like she often gets when her blood sugars are below range, he has a hard time understanding.  When her blood sugar is high and she's taking out her ill-feelings on her brother by picking and tormenting him, my husband's patience wears thin.  I wish, I wish, I wish, that I could show him, somehow, what it feels like to be low, what it feels like to be high, what it feels like to be tired and worn-down and confused.  So, here it close as I can come to describing it:

Lows:  Have you ever gone to a foreign country where you have only the most basic understanding of their language?  That's what it's like to be low.  Everyone is talking so quickly, things are going on around you, and everything is happening at a pace that you can't keep up with.  You shake.  You're dizzy.  You feel like you could fall over and take a nap right where you're standing.  You have so much you want to say to the people around you, to tell them what's going on, what's happening inside you, but you just don't know what words to use to get them to understand.  They don't speak your language.  The temperature around you is too hot, you sweat and tremble.  I've heard a lot of d-moms complain about trying to limit how much their child eats when low.  When you're blood sugar is low, you feel like your very life depends on how much food you can ingest in as quick of a time as possible.  And really, your life does depend on it!  But remember, everything is moving at a much faster pace than you and your thoughts, so while your blood sugar is coming up and you probably don't need to eat anymore, you still feel like your life depends on you continuing to eat as much as possible, which then leads to the rebound high.

Highs:  I find these so much more frustrating than lows.  They last so much longer and take more time to correct.  Oh, how I hate highs!  For me, it's like being in the desert.  You feel like you haven't had anything to drink in days.  You're so thirsty!  And every drink you take turns to sawdust.  Nothing quenches that thirst.  You could happily guzzle down gallons of water and still be so thirsty!  A bathtub full of ice-cold water wouldn't be enough!  So you drink and drink and drink.  But as soon as you take that drink, you feel like you could pee your pants.  Literally!  Every drink you take flows right through you.  Can you imagine trying to potty-train a toddler who has a high nearly everyday?  I've seen grown-up diabetics who don't take care of their blood sugars well have problems with making it to the bathroom in time.  I can't imagine how my 3-year-old is going to handle it!  When you're high, you drink and drink and drink and pee and pee and pee.  You empty your bladder just to have it full again 10 minutes later.  It's amazing how quickly water can make it through your system when you're high!

Oh, how I wish I had better words and phrases to describe all of this for you!  The feelings of being high and being low.  They're incredible.  Uncomfortable.  Confusing.  Frustrating.  Embarrassing.  This is the one area of diabetes that makes me glad I know what Lily is feeling.  Unfortunately, there are so many other areas where being diabetic myself can add complications!  I'll have to tell you all about that next week as we're heading out tomorrow on another long car ride.  Five-hour-drive to go visit my family and see my beautiful and intelligent niece graduate from high school.  It's so worth the drive!  I miss my family so much sometimes!