Isolation Photo Project, Day 112

I have used a Medtronic 670G hybrid closed-looped insulin pump since March 2018. My initial experiences with the "fast-tracked-by-the-FDA" device were not pleasant but improved after Medtronic updated the G3 CGM sensor and predictive blood glucose algorithm. The updated system was more reliable, and most patients on the hybrid closed-loop system showed improved outcomes over regular pump users. When a friend recently asked for recommendations for insulin pumps for his friend, I recommended the Medtronic 670G system.

In a hybrid closed-loop system, an insulin pump communicates with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) which feeds blood glucose information into a continuous feedback loop control algorithm that works with the insulin pump to keep blood glucose levels within a specified range. The hybrid closed-loop system automatically increases and decreases basal insulin as glucose levels rise and fall. The patient still needs to input carbohydrates and make adjustments for exercise, as well as make occasional corrections for high and low glucose levels.

But after sending my friend my initial recommendation, I dug around the DOC (diabetes online community). I realised that there was another option, one that I think is better than the Medtronic 670G.

In 2018, Medtronic’s 670G was the only closed-loop system on the market. However, in the fall of 2019, the best CGM sensor manufacturer (I formerly user a G4 sensor), San Diego’s Dexcom, teamed up with another San Diego based insulin pump maker Tandem, to create a hybrid “closed-loop" insulin pump system.

Available to t:slim X2 insulin pump users with Dexcom G6 CGM integration, Basal-IQ™ technology is a predictive low-glucose suspend feature that predicts and helps prevent lows with zero fingersticks.

If I were choosing today, I would choose the t:slim X2 insulin pump users with Dexcom G6 CGM integration. Why?

  • The t:slim X2 insulin pump can be updated with new features during its warranty period.
  • It has a separate smartphone-style touch screen from which the user can quickly and easily access pump functions.
  • The t:connect® mobile app serves as a secondary display for the t:slim X2 insulin pump. The user can have alerts appear on a smartphone or sent to a spouse’s smartphone.
  • The Dexcom G6 can send alerts to smartphones and smartwatches including Apple iPhones and Watches.

After reading up on the t:slim X2 and Dexcom G6, my Medtronic 670G feels and looks like a BlackBerry pager in comparison. The Medtronic 670G has toggle switches and scroll buttons. Neither the Medtronic 670G nor Medtronic G3 CGM transmitter connects to a smartphone or smartphone.

I don't know if this matters, but Dexcom and Tandem are American owned companies. In these uncertain times, the supply chain for your medical devices is something to be considered.

The t:slim X2 and Dexcom G6 are newer and I won't know what the growing pains are for a while. But I am excited that when my pump warranty runs out in eighteen months, I will have something new to try.

Submitted as part of the 100DaysToOffload project.

Isolation Photo Project, Day 111

You will occasionally see photographs posted here which were captured on Canon gear. Two years ago just after my Nikon broke but before I had replaced it with my Fuji, my wife's best friend, Ami, loaned me her father's Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. Her father, Kunj Trivedi, a retired businessman and respected nature photographer who spends most of his days between Madagascar and India, had purchased a new camera and had gifted her his older gear. My friend is not a photographer and hearing of my "need" she offered up her dad's camera. I've tried to return it many times, but Ami keeps insisting that I keep it until she needs it. Inspired by Ami's dad, I have used the Canon gear to photograph the wildlife in my backyard.

The birds were photographed while they fed themselves at the bird feeder hanging from the sassafras tree outside our hazy kitchen window.

Of course, I'd much prefer to be on safari with my gear. My brother-in-law Dipan's family were born in Kenya and still have family living there. Dipan's dad was1 planning a trip to visit family, and he suggested we come along and make a safari trip with them. I grew up reading about Africa through the pages of National Geographic, and I was excited that I might travel to another continent. Except for a long-ago family trip to England, I have never left the Caribbean and the Americas.

Saturday 11 July, 2020 | Day 111 | Canon EOS 5D Mark III | EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Saturday 11 July, 2020 | Day 111 | Canon EOS 5D Mark III | EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Saturday 11 July, 2020 | Day 111 | Canon EOS 5D Mark III | EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Saturday 11 July, 2020 | Day 111 | Canon EOS 5D Mark III | EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Gackle | Saturday 11 July, 2020 | Day 111 | Canon EOS 5D Mark III | EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

I had an interesting but tiring afternoon. This week I ordered a 4-pack of craft ale from breweries across three counties in New Jersey. Today was curb-side pickup day.

I drove to Conclave Brewing in Hunterdon County, Old Hights Brewing, a new brewery in Mercer County, and The Source Brewing in Colts Neck, Monmouth County. This took me four hours.

Old Hights Brewing | Saturday 11 July, 2020 | Day 111 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8
The Source Brewing | Saturday 11 July, 2020 | Day 111 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF27mmF2.8

Submitted as part of the 100DaysToOffload project.

  1. We are not sure how the global pandemic will play out. It may be years before we can visit any far-away family and places. 

Isolation Photo Project, Day 87

When I saw this bird with a crest of feathers sitting in the branches of our Sassafras tree, I thought to myself, "that looks like a cardinal, but it's not red". I popped the photo over to the Merlin BirdID app on my iPhone for identification. I had assumed that male and female Northern Cardinal's were red. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that that bird in my photography is a female Northern Cardinal. I had been trying to photograph the male bird for a few weeks but he has remained elusive.

Male Cardinals are entirely red with black feathers around the bill, while females are brown with a red tail, red bill and a reddish tinge on the wings.

The Merlin BirdID app is a project of Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University. The app provides free, instant bird ID help for 6,000+ birds for North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Submitted as part of the 100DaysToOffload project.