We fly back home today after a week of wedding-related shenanigans. Traveling with an insulin pump presents a different set of challenges and opportunities compared to my times using insulin pens.
From a pure numbers perspective, there’s less stuff to pack. Rather than 8 insulin pen needles per day, plus another 25-30%, I need a full t:slim site change for every three days of travel, plus another 2-3 backup changes. Instead of going through TSA checkpoints like an ordinary traveler, I opt out of regular screenings for a pat down.
One thing I still need to wrap my head around, however, are the insulin adjustments required to stay in range during my excursions. Generally speaking, my diet is a bit more relaxed when I travel. This, of course, means more variable Dexcom graphs, and new basal rates. The big challenge with all of this, though, is that I still don’t feel comfortable with my “regular” basal rates.
Before I continue, please remember, I’m not a doctor.
Yesterday I started wearing a t:slim insulin pump – my very first insulin pump. Ever. The cartridge is filled with saline, so this isn’t a full-on pumping experience, but enough has happened already that deem this hastily typed blog post worth a few seconds of your time to skim over.
Naturally, thoughts on all of this will continue to develop as my experiences increase and mature, but let’s get started. Continue reading
Through a series of unfortunate miscommunications between me, my local Tandem Diabetes representative, my endocrinologist, and a diabetes education center, my journey with an insulin pump has been significantly delayed. Up until this past Monday, I had been assured that the only training I needed prior to pumping insulin would be from my Tandem representative. The morning of my hypothetical appointment with the rep, less than 30 minutes away from beginning to program my basal rates, I received a phone call from my rep saying that my appointment with the diabetes education center had to come first, that their “pump start” class was mandatory for my endocrinologist’s patients that are new to pumping, and I would need to follow up with them on the necessary paperwork.
As of this blog post’s publishing, my insulin pump is sitting in its original box, buried in our closet of diabetes supplies behind boxes of insulin pen needles I can’t wait to leave behind.
Depending on how tomorrow goes, this could be the last time I completely finish a Lantus pen. Depending on how long it takes to process an order for a new t:slim insulin pump and complete my training, I could be using Humalog as both a basal and bolus insulin. Depending on how long everything takes, I can start saying goodbye to persistent overnight lows followed by extreme cases of dawn phenomenon (which, at this point should just be called dawn certainty).
Tomorrow I meet my new endocrinologist. Tomorrow could be the beginning of a new phase in my diabetes care. I have high hopes.