Friday, 13 December 2013

A Good Week

I suspected that this had been a good 7 days and a look at my target graph on the meter confirmed this.

Remember, my target range is set from 5 to 7 mmol/l, so the meter / pump combo are working to achieve an average of 6 mmol/l.  Pretty ambitious compared to what I could achieve with the old pen Basal / Bosal combination.  The pie chart is showing the following:

19% above 7
58% between 5 & 4
23% below 4
0% less than 4

Looking into the figures further, I've worked out my average reading for the last 7 days was 5.95 mmol/l.  I'm well chuffed with that :o)

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Pump 3 - Airports 1

It's been a hectic couple of weeks in and out of work.

First the work bit.  Lots of O/T and 'unsociable hours', meaning less than ideal food.  On the whole it was fine, with BGs at a good level, except for one Sunday morning where I hit 21!  Now, I blame this on a) starting at 02:30am and b) there being a shed load of crap food around.  Some correction bolusing saw me return to normal levels pretty quickly.

I've also been out and about quite a bit, including more flying .  The general out & about aspect meant unpredictable food intakes, but my carb counting was pretty much spot on, with no dramas.  This is good :o)

The flying bit proved to continue to be interesting, well, the security checks have been anyway.  As I've said before, the airport scanners don't set the pump off.  Each time I've negotiated security, I've been clutching my hospital letter which sates I'm a pump user, etc.  Now of the last 4 times I've been through the security process, I've only once been challenged.  the other 3 times, they've completely failed to spot the pump.  I do find this slightly alarming in today's 'terrorist sensitive' society, but hey, I got through quicker, so all's good for me!

Last week also saw my 6 monthly check up at the hospital, and the first HBA1c blood test. I was expecting a bit of a rise as it's only couple of months since going on the pump and a bit of fluctuation was to be expected.  My last HBA1c before going on the pump was 49, or 6.6 in 'old money'.  This test was exactly the same!  I was pretty pleased with that, especially as I'm so new to this pump business.  My target range that we've set on the meter is 5 - 7 mmol/l.  This basically means I'm aiming for 6 (or 48 for those younger than me!), something I think I'd never achieve on the old Basal/Bolus pen regime.  I'm pretty sure that I'm be there come the next test.

Bubbles, yes, I've been struggling with them, but I think I've nearly got it sussed.  Key to this is getting the insulin out of the fridge well before drawing it up into the pump cartridge. For some reason, it's a lot less susceptible to 'bubbling' at room temperature.  I'm sure there's some fantastically complicated scientific reason for this, but it's lost on me.  Having the insulin at room temperature and slowly transferring it to the cartridge seems to do the trick.

Finally, it would seem the season of festive engorgement is rapidly approaching.  It's always a bit of a testing time for us diabetics, for instance, an average mince pie is around 40g of carbs per pie and a modest slice of Christmas cake about 50g.  Oh, and that tiny slice of Christmas pudding?  That'll be about 60g.  Best I stock up on insulin supplies!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Bubbles, have I got it sussed?

The routine had become, very carefully fill up a cartridge, taking extra care to ensure that there are no bubbles in it whatsoever, then put in pump and, discover (after a day) loads of bubbles or one big bubble.  Where the hell were they coming from?  I made sure there weren’t any when I changed cartridge!

Then it struck me.  There must be a zillion teeny weeny microscopic bubbles that I can’t see, so a different approach might be needed.  Therefore I pre filled a new cartridge yesterday and left it in the fridge.  There were no bubbles in it at all.  Today I went to change cartridge and there they were.  Bubbles.  This gave me the opportunity to expel them before loading into the pump.  The insulin in the cartridge certainly looks clearer, time will tell if the bubbles have been banished.

More mucking about with used infusion sets now. Just how strong is that tube?  Very, that’s how strong.  Today I ‘tested’ one by hanging 20lbs (9 kg) from one.  

It stretched a bit, but didn’t break!  Most impressive.

Sunday, 10 November 2013


No, not the old dodgy film or the old dodgy song, but real life airports.

This week saw my first flights since going on the pump.  Some questions were answered through my experience.

Some basics first.
1) leave the attached & running
2) take your letter from your GP or hospital ‘just in case’ you need it.
3) be prepared to stop the pump and remove the battery, just incase someone insists that it goes through the X-Ray machine

So, does the pump set off the the metal detector?
It would appear not!

At security on my way out, the vigilant chap at the metal detector thing spotted the tubing coming from my pocket.  I told him what it was and removed it from my pocket.  What happened next was something of a surprise.  He instantly kind of became my best mate!  I was almost treated like royalty and he engaged in smalltalk.  That’s the first time that’s ever happened at airport security, and I’ve flown a fair bit!  I showed him the letter from my hospital explaining the pump, he had a quick read of that, asked me my postcode and with a cheery ‘bye’ I was into the departure lounge.

On my return flight, things were very different.  They didn’t spot the tube and I was not challenged in any way!!!!!

I’ll admit I was a bit apprehensive before I left, expecting something akin to the Spanish Inquisition, but it all turned out to be a massive anti-climax!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

It's stronger than you might think....

So, how tough is the pump setup?

Pretty darned tough!

The pump itself is standing up to day to day wear and tear just fine, including being bashed against the odd door frame.  There are no marks on it at all and it seems pretty water (well sweat) resistant and copes with much bouncing around playing Badminton and when out on a bike.

I'd suspected that the infusion set (the tube from pump to cannula) would be a bit fragile, so I set about trying to break one when I changed a set.  I can tell you now, that despite looking thin & fragile, it's anything but fragile.  I tried to pull the tube out of the end that screws onto the pump end, but although it stretched a bit, it would not come back,  Trying to snap the tube didn't work either, it just stretched a bit.

Two tubes in one

Next I cut it in half, which demonstrated how tough it was as it required a fair bit more effort than I was expecting.  After cutting, I then cut a slit down the tube (somewhat tricky with such a thin tube), which revealed another tube within.

So, the verdict - you win' gonna be snapping or pulling the infusion tube out of anything.  It's plenty strong enough to get caught on something without issue and the pump itself will quite happily swing around, dangling on the end of the tube.  The weakest point if the cannula itself that can get pulled out, but that's not such a bad thing!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Lessons to be learnt

In my last post I mentioned that my levels had been a bit high, which I found massively frustrating.  My target range is set pretty aggressively at 5 - 7 mmol/l, giving a target average of 6.  Something I wouldn't have dreamed of whilst injecting, I'd have been hypo'ing too much to consider aiming for that.  Anyway, I was running a bit high and everything I checked seemed good.  Bubbles were purged, cannulas were changed, but still I remained a bit high.  I only 'fixed' this when I changed the entire infusion set, cartridge and insulin.  I suspect that the cause was that the insulin had started to 'go off'  I've had this before with a pen, so I guess I should have known better.  As soon as I was on the new cartridge and insulin from a new vial, levels were right back where I wanted them, seeing readings around and just under 6.  This, although frustrating, was a pretty good learning experience.  I'll know for next time!

I've also experienced my first mechanical malfunction, as my wife rolled over in bed, caught the infusion tube and it lifted the cannula just enough for it to come out.  I definitely felt it come out and the cannula poking at my skin was somewhat irritating.  So was this happening in the small hours of the morning!

Had another hypo in the last week.  It was around 2am and I was 3.8, so not that low, but still technically a hypo.  Treatment for a hypo used to be fast acting glucose (I use Gluco Tabs) followed by something longer acting (cereal, bread, etc.), which isn't really ideal, but we all have to work with the hand we are dealt.  Treating a hypo on the pump is much better.  Take a test, see what level you are and then the meter suggests how much fast acting glucose to have.  Gluco Tabs are 4g of carb each, so as the meter suggested 12g of carbs, that was 3 Gluco Tabs.  A test 10 minutes later read 4.9 and that was it. Job done and back to sleep.

My pump has been beeping and vibrating at me this morning.  It's running low, currently with only 11u of insulin, so it's time to fill up a new cartridge and change infusion sets.  This whole process was a bit daunting at first, but it's pretty simple and doesn't take that long to do.  The longest bit is probably purging the bubbles, speaking of which, they still have a habit of appearing from nowhere!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

We are not alone

Life continues with the pump and it's been a constant companion.  I don't find it annoying  at all, instead it feels somewhat comforting - always there, doing it's thing....

Generally levels have been god, except the last couple of days when they seem to be slightly on the higher side.  This seemed to coincide with the last cartridge change, but everything seems to be working fine, I'm just slightly high.  More investigations I think!

I was slightly surprised to see someone on the train the other day with a pump - he had it on his belt in exactly the same place as I do.  I felt like a right plum, but I kept staring at it.  Not sure he noticed mine.  I found it quite fascinating to see another pumper out 'in the wild'.

Had a 'diabetes check' with the GP practice nurse.  This came about due to the massive confusion that me changing my prescription to 'vials' from pen cartridges.  I suspect that she may have never seen a pump before as she was certainly intrigued by it, what it does and how it does it.  There were a few questions I didn't expect such as 'so how often do you use Lantus now'.  Erm never, unless the pump breaks.  The constant drip, drip of basal seemed to baffle my audience for a bit, so I took the pump out and said 'at the moment it's giving me 0.95 units per hour as a basal dose'.  The reply was a bit odd.  'Is that normal for you?'.  Errrr, well it is now, for this particular hour of the day unless I'm running a Temporary Basal Rate.  I reminded her that I gave one big lump of Lantus every 24 hours before, certainly not giving precise fractions of a unit hourly with a pen!

This week is a but full-on at work, but I've got next week off and it's nice not to have the faff of injections, enables me to carry on working for an extra few minutes - not sure that's a good thing.

There is another good thing that's happened as a result of going on the pump.  I seem to have managed to lose a bit of weight, which I put down to eating less, 'cos I'm not going low.


Friday, 11 October 2013

Hotels and things I've learnt

This week, I had a training course in a hotel.  Turns out it was a very nice hotel and this meant nice food and drink, and lots of it. Time for some self discipline!  This was also to prove to be my biggest test with the pump so far with variable size portions and things made with probably way more sugar than would be done at home.

The first day I was running a bit high, but the second day I was pretty much where I wanted to be.

This did mean a lot of tests though, 17 over the 32 hours I was at the hotel!  Still it's all good practice and having the pump certainly made things much, much easier than pens and injections!

Now, there are lots of things you get taught when you go onto a pump and lots of things you find out for yourself, here's some of the things I've found during my journey......

  • An 80cm infusion set tube is just long enough that when you go to the loo and sit down, you don't have to unclip  the pump from your belt or remove from a pocket.
  • You really need to check that a cannula loaded into the insertion device is properly in place as, if not they can get jettisoned from it pretty much spontaneously.  Obviously they will then fire themselves, needle first, at the closest person, then stick themselves to the floor!
  • I'm a hairy chap and pulling the cannula and the sticky pad bit off takes a chunk of hair with it.  However, this isn't as bad as the itching from hair regrowth if you shave the hair off before putting a cannula in.
  • Guitar plectrums make an ideal tool for prising hairs trapped under the sticky cannula pad out.  If you leave them, they tend to 'tug' when you move about.
  • If the pump extracts itself from a clip / pocket, the tube is strong enough to keep the pump attached and will swing away quite happily without incident
  • Bubbles can seemingly appear from nowhere - it really is worth checking for these regularly

I'm still getting lots of questions, the most common at the moment is 'does it do everything automatically then?'  Well, no it doesn't, which seems to confuse most people, but I don't mind.

This weekend, it's Friday, and I have the day off, so it's the weekend already for me :o), brings a trip to Wembley for the England game, a seemingly full day at work on Saturday (arse!), another gig and, seemingly, a lot of rain.

But first, a trip to my GP who seems to be somewhat confused with a minor prescription change - I need my insulin in vials, not pen cartridges now.  This seems to have completely baffled them and I need to go in as a letter from the hospital and me writing 'Humalog insulin vial' on the repeat prescription is apparently 'not enough information'.  After all the changes I've made going onto the pump, I really didn't expect this to be one of the challenges!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Days 14 - 16

The weekend saw a variety of things going on, including work, watching Chelmsford City FC actually win for a change, a badminton match, a walk and a hyper.

The hyper saw me hit 16.9 for reasons that I can't quite fathom, but corrective doses sorted it.  I suspect it was a combination of bad carb sums and bubbles in the infusion set.   Otherwise my levels have remained pretty constant and no other peaks / troughs, which is ace.

Today saw me return to the hospital for a quick catch up on how things are going and suffice to say, everyone is pleased with progress so far.  We've also lowered my target range down to 5.0 to 7.0 mmol/L.  I can't really go any lower than that otherwise I'd by hypoing most of the time.  I'm happy that progress has been good enough to get down to these targets so quickly.

It's the little things, or should that be the long things?  I have found that an 80cm infusion set tube is just long enough that when you go to the loo and sit on the seat, there is just enough tube available so you don't have to remove the pump from belt / pocket!

The next two days sees me at a training course in a posh hotel.  This should prove interesting!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Day Thirteen

Day thirteen,unlucky for some....  Not sure if it is for me, but then I'm not thinking straight as I'm doing a 12 noon to 10pm fasting session to assist with getting my Basal levels dialled in.

All I can think about at the moment is food!

Anyway, an update on badminton & having the pump in the 'mp3' pocket in the shorts.  It was all fine, the pump didn't bounce about, nobody noticed it was there (or if they did they didn't mention it) and there were no dramas.  A TBR of -40% was used in the end and it seemed to be just about right, so I'll try it again on Sunday when I have a badminton match to play.


I've had another look at the stats and I'm pretty chuffed with what I see

The trend (the black line) has come down and appears to beginning to stay down.  The spike on 30th September was, I think, due to a cannula giving up on being useful, but all other days look good to me.  If it wasn't for that happening, I'm pretty sure that the trend line would be firmly planted towards the bottom end of the target range.

my multitude of BG tests each day are falling within a narrower range and, interestingly, my previously normal morning BG increase seems to have gone.  Meal rises are also now much, much reduced, which I think is partly (possibly mainly) due to being able to use MultiWave and Extended Bolus.

A varied weekend awaits me, including a midnight to Midday fast tomorrow, I guess I'll just have to stuff my face at 10pm!!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Day Twelve

Another day, another bunch of questions, mostly the same ones, but I did have a new one which was asking about the cannula sites.  They asked if it stays in the same place forever.  of course, it doesn't so I explained about how it has to be replaced every three days and you can't reuse the site, so you move it to somewhere else.  This sparked a bit of confusion and led to the statement 'but you'll run out of places to put it!'.  Ahh, perhaps I didn't quite explain that one properly!  The inquisitor was then told that you move it around and you do re-use site, but not immediately.

People still seem to think that I'm now massively hindered in my day to day life because of the pump, so to prove them wrong I'll be going to physio for a knackered back in a bit, with the pump attached and later will be playing badminton for a couple of hours.  I must remember to crank down the basal rate for that later - I think 35% less as a 'see what happens' value.

But, what to do with the pump whilst I'm playing?  Well, luckily I have a pair of shorts that have a small pocket in the back.  They're running shorts really and the pocket is really designed for keys, cash, small mp3 player, etc. but it just happens to be the perfect size for my pump.
Does my pump look big in this?

OK, it sticks out a bit, but who cares?  I certainly don't.  I just hope it doesn't move about too much.  There's only one way to find out!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Day Eleven


I see bubbles, well, more specifically one bubble and I'm not sure how it got there.
How did that get there?
Anyway, it was easy enough to get rid of by some strategic tapping and running the 'Prime Infusion Set' routine on the pump.  It kind of satisfying watching the air work it's way along the infusion set tube.

Levels have been good today, ranging from a low of 4.3 to a high of 9.2 after eating.  Average so far today is 6.1.  I'm happy with that!

In a bit I'm off to another gig, and will be stuffing as much as I can in my jeans pockets, which won't be easy.  I think I'll seek out some cargo style trousers at some point - plenty of pockets!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Day nine / ten

Day nine and it's cannula & infusion set change time.  On my own!  I was slightly apprehensive that I'd probably cock something up, but it turned out to be a quick, easy and cock-up free activity.

The photo shows what was needed.  The pump (with old infusion set still attached), new cartridge, cannula & infusion set, insulin and the cannula inserter thingy.

The whole thing only took a few minutes and no bubbles were introduced :o)

Later that night brought the first hypo since going on the pump, only a mild one, but it does mean I get another coloured wedge on the 'Target' pie chart on the meter.

So far, not a bad set of results and levels are improving all the time.

Interestingly, a fair few people seem to think that going on the pump is terrible and some kind of life limiting experience.

Well it's not.

Contrary to what they may think, I personally think it's bloody brilliant and it's not a hinderance so far.  I'm intrigued why they think it's terrible and almost like a millstone round my neck.  The only think I can think is that they really don't know what a Type 1 diabetic has to do to keep on top of the disease anyway.  A pump really does make things much, much easier to control.  Being attached to the pump 24x7 isn't a big deal.

Tomorrow brings another gig test for the pump as I return to The Underworld in Camden

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Day Eight

Today started with good levels and the remained good all day, including when going for a 25 mile bike ride whilst running a 50% Temporary Basal Rate, so it's looks like I'm close to getting my levels dialled in.  Time to look at the stats...

Yes, that's a fairly complex looking graph, but it's really quite interesting once you work out what's going on.

The vertical red line, I've added as that's when insulin went into the pump.  The green band is what my target range is currently set to (6-8), the little x's are BG readings and the dark horizontalish line amongst them is the trended average.  As you can see, it's on the way down :o)

So, how has it been being attached to the pump all the time?  Well, it's been fine.  I haven't found it annoying yet and in some ways it's been slightly comforting having it.  It's been to work, the daily commute (2 bike rides and one train each way) a lively gig, a charity quiz night, a mountain bike ride and a road ride and even the dentist.  In all these situations I've had no issues at all.  Next week it gets treated to a physio session, badminton and another gig :o)

I think the pump is brilliant and wouldn't want to be without it now

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Day Seven

It's all still going well, and from the various logs and charts, there does seem to be a slight downward trend in average BG levels.  I shall examine the stats in more detail over the weekend.

After a call with my diabetes nurse, we've decided that as things are going well, we'll lower my target range and up my insulin to carbs ratio.  This should, hopefully, bring BG levels down to a good level on a more constant basis as I've been a bit 'peaky' after food.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Day Six - night out

Another good day with the pump.  Levels pretty stable, no issues and using the pump is becoming second nature.  TBRs, Multiwave & Extended Bolus's, all things that were out of reach when doing 'normal' injections, are very useful and despite being a bit daunting to start with, easy to use.

Today saw a big test - a gig at the Underworld in Camden to see The Howling.

Going to see The Howling is usually a pretty lively affair and they didn't disappoint, loud, lots of bouncing around, lots of heat and sweat.  So, how did the pump cope?  It didn't miss a beat.  

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Day Five

The first night on a 'live' pump last night and it's a revelation.  Had to do a 2am test - 4.6 was the number.  Normally I'd think 'hmmm, that's a bit on the low side', but threw caution to the wind and just went back to bed.  06:30 hours and a test reveals 4.5.  Now that has never happened before, I was usually going slightly high in the mornings.  I'm impressed.

More training and a run through of the differences between Standard, Extended and Multiwave Bolus as well as Temporary Basal Rates (TBRs) Interesting stuff.  I think I've understood it all and will be put putting it into practice later in the day.

My copy of Accu-Chek 360 arrived today, so that was duly installed and the infrared USB reader doodah connected.  I have my blue light now :o)

I gave the software a quick run through and it all seems pretty straight forward and gives loads of data & graphs, etc.  I can see me using this quite a lot.
The nice people at Accu-Chek are also sending a copy of the configuration app as well, which will make changing pump settings nice and easy.

I also headed out on the bike for a couple of hours this evening, and following the advice I was given earlier started a TBR of 50% 1 hour before I went out until 1 hour after my return. Before I started the ride I was 7.5.  Previously I'd have had something to eat to 'top myself up' and invariably I'd get back after a couple of hours at around 5 or lower.  Not today.  Today I just started the ride, tested myself about half way (6.7) and as I finished, tested again and was 6.9.  Awesome - TBR's work!

Just got to see what happens tonight now, another 2am test awaits.....

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Day Four, or should that be day one? Insulin!

That's it, no more dry runs and fiddling without consequence, the pump is now running for real with insulin.

More training today, a fair bit to take in, but I think I got it all.  I was warned by various people that my levels would likely be a bit wayward.  Well, they were right, it's been a day of literal highs and lows, but nothing too bad.

Filling the cartridge from a vial was a bit like the old days when the drill was a vial of insulin and syringes.  It was strangely comforting doing something I hadn't done for years, but at the same time excitingly new.  Some more training and tweaking tomorrow.  If all goes well, I may venture out on the bike tomorrow evening.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Day three - The office

First day at the office with the pump and the dilemma of what to do with it.  Tried a few different options:

  1. Hanging from a lanyard round my neck.  This was somewhat annoying and, frankly, looked daft underneath a formal shirt
  2. In a pouch clipped to the inside of my trousers.  Pretty much invisible, but a bit annoying at times, especially as I get to work via Bicycle and train.  Persevered with this for a few hours before reverting back to:
  3. Belt Clip.  It's on show and the tubing could snag, but was by far the easiest / most comfortable solution.

I guess the next step is to start looking at deploying scissors to pockets!

Tomorrow is the next big step - using the pump for real.  I think that, despite being physically connected to the pump 24x7, it will be quite liberating!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Day two

The pump was taken out in public yesterday, to a wedding reception, which involved the usual dancing and general tomfoolery that wedding receptions require.  I was aware that I had the pump with me, but it didn't get in the way and I forgot about it for much of the time.  I had the pump in the belt clip, it stayed where it was put and I don't think anyone else noticed it was there, despite the infusion tube hanging out from under my shirt a few times.

I reckon that's a pass.

I've been impressed with the Bolus calculator on the meter and used the recommendations it  makes for units of fast acting insulin and injecting it with a pen (no insulin in the pump yet, that happens on Tuesday).  All was going well, but then I found myself having a hypo.  I was a bit perplexed, but a bit later sussed out what had gone wrong.  The pump hadn't had any basal data entered into it, so it rightly assumed that I had no insulin in me.  Trouble was I did as I'd had my long acting injection as usual, so a hypo was inevitable.  Technology is great and the Combo system is impressive, it's downfall is that it was given to me and my stupidity!  A hypo shortly before going to a wedding reception, hardly ideal, but that's all part of the deal for a T1.

Today has been spent playing with the Combo and getting to grips with what it can do and how to do it whilst it's not loaded with insulin.
 If's there's one thing Accu-Chek like, it's documentation,  I reckon there's at least about 1,080 pages of the stuff!

I've been learning how the different Bolus modes (Standard, Extended and Multiwave) work as well as how the Basal works.  I think I now know the reason that DG tests 'every two hours for 24 hours' was mentioned.  Can't say I'm looking forward to that!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

One day in...

It's been nearly 24 hours since I received my pump, thoughts so far...

Where to put the pump?  Well, don't know really, just a case of trying different places.  It's been most frequently on the belt clip at the moment, this was me at work earlier

My biggest fear, well the only one really, was what would I do with it at night and I'm still not sure.  Last night, I used the waist strap that came with the pump and it seemed OK.  Was I aware of it being there?  Yes, but it wasn't uncomfortable and didn't really 'get in the way'.  I'm pretty sure I slept on it at some point.  The cannula stayed put, nothing was pulled out.  Here's a picture of the pump on the waist strap - it's not going to be winning any fashion awards.
No, that's not me in the photo

First impressions on the meter - it's bloody good.  The bolus calculator is great - no more sums - test blood, enter carbs and the meter does the rest.  It'll be even better from Tuesday when the pump is delivering insulin.  The meter also has some nice graphs and lots of info on what it, you and the pump have been up to.

The screen itself isn't anything like as good as , say, Apple's Retina screen, but it's clearly legible and does the job well.
The only thing the meter is missing, is a nice blue light.  Blue lights make anything awesome ;o)

Getting the pump

Yesterday I got my pump, an Accu-Chek Combo.  It came in a big box with a bewildering array of manuals and ancillary bits.  There was me thinking there'd be a lot less kit, I'm going have to rethink where to store it all now!

20th September 2013 by -Cheesyfeet-
20th September 2013, a photo by -Cheesyfeet- on Flickr.
I spent 2 hours at the hospital getting shown round the basics to get the pump and meter up and running.  I'll be 'using' the pump, but with no insulin in it until Tuesday morning when I go back for more training, so for now I'm attached to the pump, but still administering insulin via pens.  This gives me time to get used to the way it all works without the risk of cocking up on insulin delivery.

You can read all about the Combo via the link above, but it really does seem to be a very good set up.  The meter talks to the pump wirelessly, so you can do everything without getting the pump out.  It was slightly daunting at first, but everything is straight forward , and me reading some of the manuals before I got the pump certainly helped.

Walking out of the hospital with the pump attached and am arm full of everything else, it certainly felt like things were going to change.

So, what's it all about then?

Multiple daily injections are a pain, sometimes literally, but mostly just from the point of view of carrying stuff around, remembering to do them, doing the carbs to units sums and, occasionally, people giving you funny looks.

I'd heard about pumps and after some research decided that a pump would be good for me.  Specifically it was going to help with the following (in no particular order):

  • Forgetting to inject.  It's rare, but sometimes I'd forget if I'd injected or not.  Then I'd remember that I'd forgotten, or that I might have forgotten.  A bit of a conundrum, do I inject and risk having double what I need or don't and go high?
  • No injections.  Biggie this one, the pump replaces the need for all those injections every day :o)
  • Sports.  Despite not being one, I like acting like a teenager on a bike and doing silly things that can and do make me fall off (and occasionally break things), or just ride somewhere for a few hours.  Problem here is that with Basal (slow acting insulin) and Bolus (fast acting insulin) injections, ideally it requires some preparation in advance.  Reducing the Basal amount  can require that planning to be 24 hours in advance, so you'd reduce it, then it might rain biblically and the ride get called off.  That'll be high BG (Blood Glucose) all day then.
  • Less to carry around.  Don't need to carry the pen and needles as the pump will be attached to me.  Still need to take the meter with me though.
  • Gigs.  I like going to gigs.  Gigs and insulin pens are not happy bedfellows.  This may seem trivial, but hey, it's a solid reason to me!
  • Better control.  Highs are bad for you.  Lows make me feel like crap.  I'd rather not have either thanks, the way the pump delivers should smooth BGs out to much nearer normal levels
  • 'Dawn Phenomenon.  More often than not, I'm a bit high in the mornings when I get up.  The Better control will hopefully deal with this.
  • No more sums.  Believe it or not, when you're 'low' doing the sums (in my case 1.5u of fast acting insulin to 10g of carbs consumed) can be bloody difficult to work out if your a bit low.  Add in corrections (less or more on top of the 1.5 x 10) and sometimes I may as well just get a random number generator

There are some other reasons as well, but they ^ are the main ones

I won't go into details about how pumps work, etc as many people have already done this.  Have a look at the Diabetes UK Website to get started

Anyway, I'd made up my mind, and luckily my Diabetes clinic and Primary Care Trust agreed and a pump was funded.