It has been six months since I began using my insulin pump 24/7. Under no circumstances would I voluntarily return to multiple daily injections.
It took about a year of gentle persuasion from my health care professionals for me to take the plunge. But once I decided to start using an insulin pump and made the connection I was instantly attracted. Much of my hesitation was around being continuously connected to a seemingly intrusive device that would be a constant and visible reminder of my diabetes.
Fortunately, those fears turned out to be without foundation. I have worn my pump happily with some snug dresses.
Before I made the pump connection I met two females who had their pump nestled in their bra. I find this is the best place for me to wear my pump, too.
The clinical pump representative and the diabetes nurse educator who trained me on using the pump were wonderful.
Like anything new, it takes time to become proficient. A reservoir and line change initially took me about 45 minutes, but I am now down to less than four minutes. It is important that I get this right because my life sort of depends on it.
It was also important that in setting my pump rates I did many blood tests. This allowed me to work with my health care professionals to find settings that were right for me. It was not uncommon for me to do 12 tests a day. It may seem a little excessive, but it helped me get set up and to ensure my pump was working well for the most important person in this instance: me!
So far I have been fortunate with only one tricky situation – around two or three months after I started using my pump it stopped delivering. Of course it would have to occur as I’m heading off to work. What is a girl to do? I reconnected the old reservoir which bought me enough time until recess (of course it had to happen on a day when I was teaching until recess). I was not yet at the speedy rate of four minutes per reservoir and line change, but I managed to get it done in much less than my initial 45 minutes.
As is the case for everyone with diabetes, not a day goes by that you don’t think about your condition. The rates that are set initially for your pump are not set in concrete, so as life events vary so do the needs of your pump.
As I spoke to a colleague about goals for the year I said I want to be pump master. Being a person interested in physical fitness, he thought I was referring to pumping iron or lifting weights and he started talking about his aim of increasing the weight he lifted. I just laughed and replied: “Yeah, but I pump 24/7. Can you match that?” When he realised we were talking about different pumping he smiled and ceased talking.
As far as I am concerned connecting to an insulin pump has been the best decision I have made for 2012.
I believe that you only get out what you put in and anything worth doing is worth doing properly. I am not saying it will all be smooth sailing and that you will magically get perfect BGLs by connecting to a pump.
I was experiencing hypos frequently and my multiple daily injections were like a broadband antibiotic, wiping out everything.
But with a pump I have greater control over the way and rate in which my insulin is delivered. It is not perfect, but then again nothing ever is. It is, however, a definite improvement.
Thinking of taking the pump plunge? We’ve got lots of information on our website.