Question: Why did I consider using a pump?Endurance Exercise is the short answer. When using injections it is impossible to change your basal (24hrs) dose for an 8 hour period in the middle of the day. This is what your body needs if you have done exercise for longer than 3 hours. This is ok to manage this once in a while, but if you are training then you are doing this all the time. My diabetes is particularly well controlled in the days following endurance exercise. It's a wicked twist of fate that meant that the exercise helping my control was conflicting with my insulin therapy. I was discussing this with my doctor when he suggested that I try using an Insulin pump.
It felt like I had been kicked in the face.
I hid my surprise well. My doctor went through the pro's and con's of using insulin pump therapy and introduce me the diabetic educator who would guide me through the process. The decision was in my hands now. I wiped the scuff mark off my nose as I walked out of his office.
Question: Why was it such a big shock?I am not sure. Logic tells me that I should have seen it coming. Knowing what I know now, I practically pushed my doctor into making the suggestion. I guess I had never pictured myself connected to a machine. I had never allowed myself to consider that an option. Being attached to a medical device is a bit like admitting to being sick. I have always thought of managing diabetes as a bit like brushing your teeth. It's another thing you need to do to keep back the rot, but it doesn't need to interfere with your life. The situation is actually the same, but a machine seems to somehow make the situation seem that much more serious and restrictive.
Question: Why did I do it?The promise of better control, improved life-style, reduced hypos and easy management around exercise had sowed a seed that I would eventually circum to. The battle was set, the emotional against the logical. It was a long drawn out battle that lasted three months. I fought hard but in the end surrendered. Logic won.
I decided that I wanted the best therapy above all else. I was going to try it. I was still very uncomfortable with the idea.
Question: Some practical questions?How will I sleep? What happens if I rollover and block the tube? What about swimming? How much does it cost? How do I pay for it? Going out?
I phoned my diabetic educator and found that there were simple practical answers to all my questions. We decided on a date.
Question: So when did I become a fan of the insulin pump?I became a fan the day I stopped the injections and turned on the pump. I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders, except it wasn't a weight it was like a physical tension. I had no idea that I even had this 'physical tension', but with it gone I felt normal.
There are more reasons why it makes me feel normal. The freedom you get from not needing to eat at exactly the same time every day. I no-longer need to feel awkward accepting an invited to a late lunch knowing full well that I will have eaten lunch long before it gets offered to me. It gives you the ability to change your mind about how much you want to eat. You can be more precise and even account for one biscuit. Pizza becomes and enjoyable meal again. Then there is the better control, reduced hypos and easy management around exercise.
I got more that what I was expecting.
I no-longer resist being connected to a machine because of the freedom it gives me.
I can still disconnect from the pump at any time, but I prefer not to.