Monday, November 23, 2009

Going on pump is like going back to school

OK - been on the pump now for about 1.5 weeks. Been OK. A huge learning curve here after 25 years of taking insulin shots. It feels a bit like I am going back to school. So much to learn. So much to unlearn.

Anyway. I am getting to know a few people on pumps too and they are an invaluable resource. What I find most amazing so far is how my kids, 4.5 and 2.5 years old, take this completely in stride. My 4.5 year old daughter now asks which pocket I am carrying the pump in so she can sit on the other leg. And she has asked if it is nice to not be taking shots anymore. Completely casual. Completely normal.

So far - my biggest challenges have been figuring out how to carry the pump and inserting the infusion sets. Getting the hang of the infusion sets (I am using a Medtronic pump currently with the Silhouette infusion system). Still no clue about how to carry the pump in diverse situations, like riding my bike in the rain ... but I guess I will learn.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 2 on the pump

Well, Day 2 on the pump was better than Day 1. The night went well -- was a little weird to have a thing attached to me all night but not so bad - slept in some nice big Livestrong sweatpants with big pockets where I put the pump.

Earl AM went fine - had some issues with the pump in mid day - not sure what exactly was going on but still fine tuning the dosing and all the parameters with trying to make the pump mimic a pancreas.

Anyway - enough about me. Most important thing to post today is that tomorrow is World Diabetes Day. Lots of events and activities and other things going on in the real and cyber world.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 1 - Pumping Again

I was torn about whether to blog about this whole thing or not, but inspired by Lance Armstrong's openness about this cancer treatments, I have decided that it might be useful to some people --- so here goes....

Well, after a HORRENDOUS experience with the Insulin Pump last summer, I am trying it again. Last summer, I spent 2.5 weeks on the pump. Week 1 was freaky - getting used to the whole concept after 25 years on insulin. Week 2 was pretty nice - getting used to the whole thing. Week 3 was the worst - got a very bad infection at the pump insertion site. After a few days went off the pump and then spent 1.5 months dealing with something akin to MRSA. Never got the organism typed (which was really really dumb in retrospect) but when the third antibiotic I went on started to work it seemed like MRSA.

Anyway - more on the disaster later.

Today is for new beginnings. Starting on the Insulin Pump again. Got trained by the Medtronic specialist, which went much better this time than last time. And was up and running in ~ 2 hours. And then I went off with the pump connected, a cyborg again for the first time in over a year.

I went to work for a bit for my lab meeting (a student was presenting and I already delayed her presentation last week so could not ditch her again this week). And after talking to people a bit after lab meeting, I went home.

This time around, with a year to think about things, I feel much better being on the pump Of course I could still get an infection but hopefully that will not happen and things will go better this time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Day 2 on the pump

Well, Day 2 has begun. And I confess I still find the whole thing to be freaky. I had a rough night trying to sleep with the pump by my side and the tube connected to me. At one point it fell out of my pocket and onto the floor. In addition, my 3.5 year old daughter woke up screaming few times wanting daddy to come to her room. So I rushed into her room, once forgetting to pick up the pump from the bed and nearly dragging it on the floor.

I spent much of the AM trying to figure out how I was supposed to take a shower with this thing. I disconnected the tubing but was not sure how wet I could let the port on my belly get. So I washed the rest of me and was careful with the port.

I decided to skip work today. Just could not deal with it. And I spent the AM doing some yard work and the PM making jam and freezing some of our summer fruit growing in our yard. And I still was a bit freaked out by the whole thing.

So we decided to go out for dinner and though it was nice to be able to punch in how much I was going to eat and get a bolus from my pump, I still found the whole thing stressful. I did not know what to do with the tubing nor exactly how to carry the pump around. Then we went out for ice cream and eventually came home. So - Day 2 survived but still not exactly relaxing.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Starting pumping

Well after 24 years of Type I diabetes I am now switching from multiple daily injections to using a pump. Not sure if this will be a permanent shift but it is worth a try.

I note, I have been in excellent control with the injections and do not really find them that annoying. But lately I have had some issues with control (both on the high and low end) and I thought it would be worth trying the pump.

So I went to my doctor, who happens to also have Type I diabetes. And he recommended I go on the Medtronic Paradigm 722 pump. And so, without much fanfare I did it.

It took a month or so for the paperwork from my insurance to work through the system and I was approved for the pump. And then they sent me a big box with all sorts of stuff in it. And I scheduled an appointment with a Medtronic tutor who would show me how to use it.

And that is what I did today. I went in to my doctor's office and me the tutor. And we went through the basics (I had spent about two hours playing around with the pump the day before). And then we got some insulin from the doctor and she showed me how to connect the tubing. And then I connected myself (using one of the Medtronic Quick-Set systems).

It was not too painful, but I got some sort of stress response - pale and sweaty - much like the last time I gave blood. But I got through that and felt a bit better. And then I was sent home. Just like that I was a cyborg on the pump.

I confess - despite being a biologist (Professor) and having lots of knowledge about how these things work, I spent the rest of the day kind of freaking out with a tube connected to my belly fat. Nothing rational in the freak out session - just felt weird being connected to this pump when normally I would just give a shot and then be "free." Oh well, we will see how it goes. I even went from the doctor's office to a meeting I had on my campus about teaching a new course and managed to not completely flip out and run out of the meeting.

And then I went home and kind of sulked around the house while I tried to figure this thing out. So - not too bad but not sure I like this thing. When using injections between shots I could at least pretend to be somewhat normal. Now with a tube sticking into my side that is not going to happen.