…I woke up, went to get out of bed and felt a tug; I managed to catch it before it fell on the floor. Fortunately being 5ft 1″ with 80cm tubing attached at the waist meant even if it had fallen on the floor, it shouldn’t have ripped my cannula out. However that instinct to protect the little box on the end of the tube is necessary, any little crack can cause havoc now that I rely on this as my lifeline and an issue on day 2 (my first full day) of pumping would be very unfortunate.
I had the best sleep I’d had since Thursday and I was both surprised and incredibly grateful for it. I felt a sense of calm that I’d been longing to feel although it was mixed in with a small element of panic; perhaps only natural to feel this way when you’re a fembot?! Another new experience planned for today, first burrito and meeting more of Matt’s friends. As a slightly different start to my day, the first thing I did this morning wasn’t to check my phone, so imagine how incredible it felt, for someone who’s been somewhat isolated in her diabetes journey, to see a text from my man, with a link to burrito carb info. I’d hoped I’d be able to work out the carb info as we ordered the food so I could pre bolus before we took the food to D & G’s house; I had a tiny anxiety about doing this in front of people I’d never met before, especially when you’re trying to make a good impression; but it was all good. D & G are incredibly welcoming people and not a single one of Matt’s friends have been anything other than supportive – I think Matt got more good luck texts to pass on to me on pumpstart day than I got directly to my phone – so I shouldn’t have expected anything different I suppose.
I had a massive spike after the food, which I corrected for although I did experience a few persistent hypos’ later on in the evening. The degludec clearly hasn’t yet left my system. Thank God for temp basals – they were my saviour at this point in my pumpstart journey. It was also great to hear from my pump buddy Kate this morning, we talked about how people at work would probably ask her what her pump was, my suggestions for responses are as follows;
“it’s so the FBI know where I am” or “they won’t let me out without it” or “it helps me adjust to earths atmosphere”.
What amusing responses have you given to questions about your pump?
Another epic sleep and another 6am start. This pump malarky isn’t a friend to my lie ins, but that’s OK; today is set change day – my first time without supervision. Because I woke up with a high BG I just had some tea for breakfast, whilst I sipped my cuppa and waited for the correction bolus to kick in I read through the medtronic quick start booklet to remind myself of the steps needed for a successful set change.
Again, I had my pump buddy’s support and she mine. We discussed the best time of day to do it to fit in with our schedules, whilst bearing in mind that immediately before bed isn’t a sensible option. I had an “original blonde” moment here, I can laugh at it now and I’ll hope you’ll join me. So, because I needed to keep giving correction boluses, I had in my mind that I couldn’t do a set change for 4 hours after a correction. DOH!! So because of my daftness my planned morning set change turned into a mid afternoon set change. Fortunately, it went off without a hitch. I think the toughest part was selecting where to place the new site, but knowing that I could change it again on Friday meant I wasn’t too panicked if it wasn’t the easiest site.
A few more hypos today, but I’ve started to spot them coming more and use a temporary basal rate to try and avoid them. I’ve become accustomed to having some crackers instead of hitting the haribo. Because our brains don’t know we have Diabetes, the way I maintain my hypo symptoms is to always treat with fast acting glucose at 4.2 or below, that way my body will crave glucose and hopefully I won’t compromise my hypo awareness. If I’m above that level then I’ll usually try to bring my next meal forward or have some non fast acting carbs (I LOVE Munchy Seeds Honey seeds – also my bedtime snack of choice if I’m below bedtime target), and include a negative correction when I bolus. It’s all so much easier on the pump because the bolus wizard does that calculation for you. I was worried that using the pump would alter my hypo and hyper symptoms, not the case at all and the beauty of the pump is that I seem to have more control over avoiding hypo’s altogether because I can reduce insulin if I need to. I’m more invested in proactively managing my Diabetes more, it’s an empowering change to reactively managing it.
I also saw my GP today to go through the prescriptions I’d need now, I was asked if the pen cartridges and needles etc could be removed from my repeats now;
**If you’re starting Insulin Pump Therapy you will still need to carry your fast acting insulin around with you in case of high BG’s, a failed set or an issue with your pump. PLEASE DO NOT LET YOUR GP REMOVE THESE FROM YOUR REPEAT PRESCRIPTION.**
Repeats sorted, I then talked my GP through how my pump works. I appreciate that my GP is honest with me when something related to my Diabetes is beyond the scope of his knowledge, but I’m even more grateful that he takes the opportunity to learn. I know there will come a time when I need to change my GP, and I will honestly miss the way we work together to manage my health. If the staff at your GP practice don’t know much about your pump or the way you manage your Diabetes, why not offer to give them a talk; if nothing else it will help you realise how much you actually know.
(I’m in no way suggesting this should replace formal education for Drs and nurses, but it can assist them in learning about patient care and how diabetes varies so widely).
Today I’m feeling brave….and or foolish! Time for Christmas shopping!! Having chatted to Brian a lot, I took into account that I’d be a lot more physically active and no doubt super stressed with all the slow moving people spending their money and struggling to move under the weight of their shopping. I put on a temporary basal of a 30% reduction for 12 hours, I also took the train – it allowed a few moments of relaxation before I became a short woman amongst a sea of shoppers.
I’ll admit to feeling a pang of nerves about the crowds of people, what if someone hit my pump or if I got it caught on something and ripped the cannula out…I put those thoughts to the back of my mind and vowed to just avoid getting too close to people. Once I got into town the first stop ended up being the M&S cafe, I needed to treat a low and I also needed to make a list of who I was buying presents for…I could feel the stress bubbling already.
After traipsing around for a few hours, salvation in the form of my best friend S arrived! This was the first time I’d seen her since becoming a fembot and I was excited to share this with her, it also meant sitting down and drinking coffee (or tea in my case). The first thing I did was show S how, having my pump clipped to the middle of my bra; I could look like Iron Man, as a DC and Marvel fan that was so amusing to her. Once we got over the superhero discussions, I showed S my cannula site and talked her through how the pump works. It was interesting that she’d assumed I would have a permanent ‘port’ to attach the pump to, which I guess comes from our friend who has dialysis. It made me realise how misunderstood Insulin Pump Therapy still is, maybe not even just amongst the Type Zero’s. It also made me realise how much I’ve learned in the last few days, so I gave myself a little credit and mentally gave myself a pat on the back….my shoulder impingement means I can’t quite reach.
All images are copyright Discombobulated Diabetic and Google Images.