Pumping Ain’t Easy

I know, I’m burning this post title awfully early in the grand timeline of my wearing an insulin pump, but enough has happened already – in just 48 hours – that I’m going for it.

I’ve had an eventful start.

  • My first night on a pump, we had pizza for dinner – like you do – celebrating my ability to program a legitimate extended bolus.
  • Somewhere in the process of living my life, my infusion set went wonky.
  • Despite the wonk, corrections had some effect. Which (incorrectly) led me to think my pump settings were off. Because I would know things were wrong after my first-ever 20-hours wearing this thing.
  • After continued blood glucose tests, failed corrections, and general frustration, I did a full site change. Infusion set, insulin cartridge, everything.
  • The next 12 hours involved staring at my iPad (monitoring my Nightscout site) as the number slowly fell back into range.

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No Longer Waiting: Why I’m Taking My CGM to the Cloud

Before I explain my perspective on the CGM in the Cloud movement, the technology I’m utilizing to make this part of my diabetes management, and the resources I used to complete my implementation of said technology, I figured now would be a good time to put in a bit of a primer on Dexcom, the benefits I’ve found in wearing a continuous glucose monitor, and if you’re up for it, why this cloud business might be worth your time, energy, and money. If you want to skip to the CGM in the Cloud bit and ignore the tl;dr bits, this link will skip you a few paragraphs down. I’ll try to keep the run on sentences to a minimum.

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The Saline Chronicles

A long time ago (in blogging years) I shared some thoughts about rotating insulin injection sites. At the time I never would have predicted I would revisit this post with the perspective of a soon-to-be-insulin pumper. But that was then.

Of course, the fun part about wearing an insulin pump is there’s only one “injection” every three days. Yes, it’s more complicated than that, as there’s much more hardware associated with that single point in time. I suppose less truly is more? But with each site change comes a new opportunity to attach this insulin pump in a manner that will provide a new and foreign experience to my life with diabetes. Based on my limited experience with this thing, trying to figure out the how and where of pump tubing management will be a constant game of cat and mouse. But while I’m still writing the Saline Chronicles – read: pumping saline until my official insulin start date – I’m treating these site changes as genuine moments of experimentation and exploration. This is the time to test out various placements around my body to see what feels comfortable, what is reachable with my own arms, hands, and potentially a mirror for guidance, and what is physically impossible for one person to accomplish.

And as I have a decent number of choices for each new infusion set, experiment I shall.

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Feedback Loop

Since I’ve started sharing my journey to acquire, complete training on, and ultimately manage my diabetes with an insulin pump, I’ve been receiving all kinds of feedback across various social mediums. Thank you for that. One interesting comment that keeps popping up is a sense of surprise at my patience through all of the hoops and hurdles I’ve encountered along the way. A number of people have added that they didn’t have to wait nearly as long as I am to start pumping insulin, be it immediate training, or skipping training altogether. If possible, I’d like to take an informal poll here, to round out this particular branch in this discussion.

If you’ve ever worn, or are currently wearing an insulin pump: When did you start wearing your first insulin pump? How long did you (have to) wait after you received your first insulin pump before you started on insulin? Did you meet with a CDE before hand? Did you jump in without formal training? What additional resources, if any, did you consult in your first weeks?

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Ending on Zero

Tonight I finished the last of my Humalog insulin pen with dinner. I needed 4 units to cover our beef with broccoli, mostly for the rice, and there were exactly 4 units remaining in my insulin pen. Perfect.

Tomorrow, hopefully, I take the next step on my journey to transitioning to an insulin pump. Granted, the pump will be filled with saline, and I’ll still require insulin injections during this period – which reminds me, I should probably break out a new pen for the morning. Hold that thought.

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A Stressful Conundrum

As shared on My Diabetes Secret.

Image links to submitted secret on MDS.

Image links to submitted secret on MDS.

Add this to the list of things they don’t tell you at diagnosis. Proper diabetes management is so much more than counting carbs and regularly checking your blood glucose levels.

The fun part, however, is even if they told me all the extra stuff I’ve learned in the past twelve years, I wouldn’t have retained any of it. My biggest worry as I sat in that hospital bed was how will I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

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