All about my stinkin’ diabetes

I’ve had an insulin pump since May 2008. It took me a while to get used to it; the constant “thing” being attached to me. I even took it off for a while and refused to wear it. Stupid, I know. There was just something mental I had to get past; I didn’t want a constant reminder that my body was failing me.
I still struggle with diabetes. I hate it, in fact. Is it limiting? Not really; at least not in the traditional sense of the word. I can eat what I want to, I just have to be more careful. And for a person that has a severe sweet tooth, that is extremely difficult.

I recently upgraded to the Animas One Touch Ping insulin pump.
My old pump was working just fine, but I felt the urge to take better control of this sugar-fueled life of mine.
If I wanted ultimate control, I would splurge for a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS), but insurance doesn’t pay for it — so, I’ll have to wait until they do. If they ever will. THAT (CGMS) would completely help me out. It’s another little device that I would insert into my abdomen every few days that constantly checks my blood sugar FOR me. It tells my pump when I’m low, when I’m high — and makes adjustments or recommendations based on those readings. In order for insurance to pay for it, I have to run severely LOW all the time. And I have the exact opposite problem – I can’t get my numbers low. They are always HIGH.

My friendly UPS man delivered a ginormous box from the Animas company at the end of January.
And I opened it. I looked at the new shiny pump.
And I returned the old pink one.
And I just let the new one sit in the box for a few weeks.
I did injections while I made up my mind that I was ready for this new journey.
Trust me when I tell you that is stupid. I know that is stupid. I just wasn’t completely ready to dive in and accept this annoying disease….again. It’s easier to ignore it, even though I know I shouldn’t.

I’m ready. I’m taking control. (Again)

Some people have asked me about this new pump – so, here I am – letting you know all about it!

Every 2-4 days, I insert a new catheter into my abdomen (A). The catheter has a tube that leads to the insulin pump itself (B). From there, I am able to administer insulin before and after meals, before bed…whenever I need it. And gosh, does it seem like I need it ALL the time!
It has a nifty little carb counter that helps me adjust my insulin for meals if I want, or I can gauge how much I need based on what I eat. I also have it programmed to give me basal doses (small doses every 15 minutes) based on my blood sugar history. For example, I always have a higher glucose reading in the morning. Many diabetics do. It’s called dawn phenomenon, and no one really knows why it happens. So, every morning at 2am and 6:30am, while I am fast asleep,  my pump gives me a little extra push of insulin to help me combat the blasted dawn phenomenon. Sometimes it’s enough to help. Other times, it’s not. But it’s a good start.

What’s different about this particular pump (as compared to my last one), is that it has a remote (C). Wearing the pump itself can be a little challenging. I don’t like to wear it on my waistband – I bump things with it and scratch it — which is what happened to my last one. There were so many scratches that I could barely read the screen.
So, I often wear the pump under my clothing, tucked away where it’s out of harm’s way. But that also makes it difficult to give boluses (doses of insulin) when I have to excuse myself to the bathroom or to another room to fish the pump out of my clothing. It was a severe pain!
The remote allows me to wear the pump wherever I choose, and I don’t have to worry about finding a place to excuse myself to give myself insulin.
The remote also has a built-in glucometer, so my glucose readings are fed right into the pump. It knows how much insulin I need based on the glucometer readings. It takes a step out of the process for me – which is less to worry about.
It’s quite nifty!

After some searching, trials & errors, I have finally found an endocrinologist that I LOVE. His office has been very good to me and has helped me get the best possible care for my diabetic life. Is it perfect? No. I have days where the last thing I think about is checking my blood sugar. It happens more often that I care to admit.
I would be lying if I said this diabetes thing was easy. It’s a PAIN. But it’s manageable.

The thing I hate most about the pump is the fact that is so stinkin’ hard to lose weight while you’re pumping. It’s probably not impossible but it feels like it at times. I know a few extra pounds is a fair trade for having fully functioning eyes, kidneys and nerve endings.

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2 Responses to All about my stinkin’ diabetes

  1. shannonknox says:

    Just wanted you to know that you are one strong woman and I love ya girl!!

  2. Candace says:

    You are such a pillar of strength. I have a ton of admiration for you. Just want you to know that. 🙂

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